Thursday, September 13, 2012

Teen Woes: The Cost of Independence

Dear Teens,

As parents, we realize your urge to become independent. Unfortunately, simply throwing thirty bucks on the breakfast table as you run out to school and yelling "THAT'S FOR MY DATA PLAN" doesn't make one independent.

As our founding forefathers realized, independence comes at a price. Simply turning eighteen, does not constitute one as independent, nor does it allow one the freedom to do as one pleases. Only complete independence, allows a person the joy of freedom to decide for one's self.

Allow me the joy of outlining the cost of a teen's independence and freedom, will you?

You'll need a roof over your head. I'm guessing you won't want to pay our rent, so you'll have to move out. If you're lucky you'll be able to find a studio for $800 a month around these parts. You'll need a deposit of $1600 and a reference letter from your previous landlord. Don't look at us.

You'll need to purchase your car from us. Don't worry, we'll give you a sweet deal on that cute little, hand-me-down BMW. $4,000. Unfortunately, your credit worthiness with us is in the crapper. The car payment is now due. . . in full. Again. . . don't look at us.

By law, you need insurance to drive that cute little car. $150 per month

To make that cute car run, you need gas. $240 per month

Don't forget to take care of yourself; medical and dental insurance: $160 per month

Your must have accessory; cell phone: $90 per month

You'll probably get hungry: $450 per month.

You may want to cut out your private SAT tutoring; $400 per month, as well as your private coaching at $160 per month. 

So far, you're looking at a $5,600 start up cost and a monthly cost of $1,890 per month for your independence. That doesn't include any money for fun, extracurriculars, makeup, skincare products, haircuts, eyebrow waxings, 7 for All Mankind jeans, or even tampons for that matter.

Oh, and don't forget to budget some money for that wonderfully expensive, first choice college you have in mind. 

If you can swing all that. . . WOW! Your parents did an AWESOME job with you! Congratulations!

If not, you better adjust the attitude, tuck that tail between your a@@, apologize, and head upstairs and hit the books. 

Dinner will be ready at 6:30, and remember, no texting at the dinner table.

Your Parents

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! It felt good to write it out! Blogging = Cheap therapy!

  2. NICE. Put it on the fridge.

  3. I LOVE this. I am sure my dad would agree with you :)

  4. She is really testing the waters isn't she? I agree with ames "put it on the fridge" and everywhere so she never forgets that her lifestyle isn't free - somebody has to pay for it and she can choose who but better be prepared to accept the conditions until she is really independent. Teenagers... I am not ready for them!!!!! I may print this out to keep for future reference:-)

  5. OMG!!!! I love it! I can't tell you how many times my mother had this EXACT conversation with me. Straightened me up REAL QUICK. I'm talking... I dumped my loser boyfriend within a few days of such madness. I started dating normal high school guys and enjoyed my senior year for once. Seriously you're a GREAT mom! And I'm just laughing so hard ---thank you thank you. I need a good laugh. Do post on the fridge. Just a "friendly" reminder of who is in charge:)

    1. I don't think she's going to dump him until she finds someone "better".
      Glad to hand out some laughs. :)

    2. she is cute smart and drives a decent car. i'm sure amongst her high school friends there are much "better" catches out there to begin with. don't worry she will fold like a cheap tent!:) i did...once word got out i was on the market took just a few weeks to start courting boys my age. keep us posted. hearing about your teenage daughter gets me all fired up for when mine is ready to make me go grey.

  6. Oh boy...keep drilling that into their heads. I'm telling you I had no idea. My mom passed away when I was 19. Two months letter ran off to Los Angeles with $1500 and dream. The first year was a constant slap in the face reminder of every small thing my mother ever told me about being an adult, finances, time-management, etc. At the end of the day, there are just certain things you will never learn until you are out on your own, no matter how many times your parents tell you.

    I WISH I go back to the days of just going to school, working FOUR hours at a grocery story a few nights a week, and just throwing my mom $40 for my portion of the family cell phone plan..HA!

    1. OMG. First, I'm sorry to learn you lost your mom at such a young age. Second, I can't believe you had the balls to do that! Holy cow! Look at you!

  7. bwuahahaha, I totally needed this six months ago. :) Great post!!

  8. Haha! Ooh boy, sometimes I think my mom needs to have this discussion with my now 25 year old sister!

  9. I don't think I understood this until I was on my own and first figuring out that you need money to pay for essentials, not just for those extra comforts of life. So if your daughter doesn't either, I don't blame her.

    You might put this in a form of "currency" that she can actually understand. For example: time. If you're independent, that means that you have to cook all your own meals (or order take-out or whatever), you have to wash your own dishes, you have to take out the trash, you have to do your own laundry, you have to vacuum the floor, you have to check the mail, you have to buy postage stamps, you have to take your car to get its oil checked, etc.

    Being a grown-up is exceedingly time-consuming. Even if you hire stuff out like laundry, you still have to think about it & fit it into your schedule. You don't get to throw $30 onto the dinner table. You have to deposit the money into the bank. Then you have to have a check so that you can write a check to pay the bill. Then you have to put the check into an envelope, put a stamp on it, and then walk it to the mailbox. This assumes that you checked the mail in the first place, wrote down when the bill was due, and didn't forget.

    Stuff like this I understood as a teenager. Use vocabulary that she's more familiar with and perhaps she'll get the message. (That is, of course, if she's listening in the first place.)


  10. I've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! You can get it here:

  11. Oh I so love this. My tweens are getting into this know it all stage and it is driving me nuts. I blogged about it recently too, like you said cheap therapy LOL By the way Hello from The TT Diaries your newest follower from the weekend blog walk.

  12. Even when I was living on my own in college, I was in hte same town as my parents, so my health insurance, phone, car, and a lot of rent were covered by them.

    I thanked them profusely today after paying my credit card bills.

  13. love it! Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop. Your participation helps make it a success.I'm sorry I am slow to visit I am fighting a nasty head cold and my time on the computer has been limited.Wishing you a beautiful day .xo

  14. Thank you so much for linking up with the I Love my Post hop. :)

    Oh my I was an awful teen I ran up all sorts of bills, money just wasn't something I thought about.



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