3 Ways Teens Are More Expensive Than Babies

3 Ways Teens Are More Expensive Than Babies

When we discuss the expense of having children, we have a tendency to focus on how much it costs for a baby. That’s somewhat inevitable, as there are just so many things you have to purchase when you welcome a new life into the world.


There’s the stroller, the sleeping arrangements, all the various disposables such as diapers – the cost can mount up and up, seemingly able to grow almost exponentially. Even when you reach the toddler stage there’s still a lot of expenses; especially when it comes to replacing the clothes that are outgrown within a matter of weeks.


By the time you reach the teenage years of parenting, you could be forgiven for thinking the lean times are over. Your teen might even have their own job, so you don’t have to worry about finding the funds for endless sources of entertainment. Sure, you’ve got the college fund to contribute to, but for the most part, we can all agree that babyhood is when the expenses are at their peak.


However… is that really the case?


1) Babies Don’t Ask For Anything


While having a baby is an expensive time for a parent, all of it is done on assumption. We buy clothes, toys, and the essentials that our baby needs to flourish. But, when you think about it, absolutely none of it is asked for. We can trust our own judgment, shop around, make savings wherever we possibly can. A baby doesn’t care if they have a store-brand diaper or the leading brand; they just want to be comfortable.


A teenager, however? Well, they care, and they care a lot. Not only do they want the latest must-have (be it clothes, tech, or anything else that becomes a sudden trend), but they’re not shy about asking for it. Then there’s the money they need “just because”; an allowance to spend and do with what they please. It all adds up!


2) You Don’t Have To Rationalize With A Baby


If you’ve had financial problems and need to cut back, you don’t have to have a frank discussion with a baby about it. You make the cutbacks and try to do the best you can to keep them comfortable, with one eye on your financial future. Your baby just takes what you offer.


A teen doesn’t quite see it that way. Especially for early teens, they might not have yet got to grips with how money really works. If they hear that you’re in a tight spot and thus luxury spending needs to be reduced, they’re likely to not really understand that. They will just suggest you look for a new credit card. They have become used to a way that life is, and they are resistant to the idea of going without. That means they can expect things that you, as a parent, feel obliged to supply to the point you look into easing the transition. Rather than just cutting right back the way you can with a baby, you can look for bad credit personal loans or credit cards to ease the feeling of financial tightness.


Learning to say “no” if you can’t afford something is a big part of coping with this, but it still doesn’t make the need for the initial conversation any easier. No one wants to admit to their child that they aren’t coping with something and, wonderfully, with babies you don’t have to.


3) The Future Costs


We made a brief mention of it earlier, but it’s an expense that is definitely worth mentioning: the cost of college.


There’s no doubt that it is incredibly expensive to obtain a degree these days. If your child feels that’s a route they want to pursue, most parents will want to contribute in some way. The idea of your child embarking on their professional life with a noose of debt is not something most parents want to handle.


It is, nevertheless, a huge expense. Every bit of money you save is useful, a little less debt waiting to be accrued, but it can feel like a burden on your household finances. This can reach almost fever-pitch proportions as they approach college age, and you find yourself wanting to bump that fund up just a little bit more. It’s a necessary expense and it’s not something you regret, but it’s still an expense a teen brings that a baby doesn’t. That is: unless you start saving for their college education very early on!

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