How much do kids pay for their own activities...

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caseynshan
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How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by caseynshan »

Our kids (12 & 14 )get a decent allowance and earn a little money (primarily dog walking and babysitting)
They both participate in activities that have ongoing and equipment costs. (Violin and Rock Climbing)

We, the parents, are currently paying all costs (approx $100-$200 month each), but thinking of mandating that older child pays 10% of costs and younger pays 5%.

So here is the poll...
#1 - Do you as parents ask the kids to participate in these costs?
# 2 - If yes, how much and how old are kids (obviously 17 year old should pay higher % than 6 year old)
livesoft
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by livesoft »

We didn't make kids pay for activities that we wanted them to do. They paid for all their other activities such as eating, drinking, entertainment, clothing, driving, gasoline, etc.
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lthenderson
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by lthenderson »

We don't make our kids pay for any of their activities. Instead we make them to put all their earned money into a savings account to be used for college to cover incidentals and what we don't to cover with 529's.
Mike Scott
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by Mike Scott »

We paid for anything we considered home school related activities until they completed high school. Then they were on their own to continue and/or pick up new activities as they wanted.
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by NoVa Lurker »

#1 - No.
Rupert
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by Rupert »

I require my kids to participate in two extracurricular activities: one activity to keep their minds and/or community healthy (e.g., music, Scouts) and one activity to keep their bodies healthy (sports). So I don't ask them to pay for those. At least, I pay for all minimum required equipment; I might ask them to pay or help pay for unnecessary upgrades, e.g., the fancier green soccer cleats, as opposed to the cheaper black ones. Instead of asking them to pay a portion of the violin/rock climbing costs, I might instead ask them to contribute more to paying for their "stuff," i.e., non-school-related clothes, shoes, trips, etc.
Rodc
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by Rodc »

If the money comes from you what does it mean to participate in the costs?

We gave the kids a clothes allowance and a fun money allowance (chores were mandatory but unpaid: you did them because everyone must contribute to the family. I don't get paid for making dinner, I do it to support the family. They did not get paid to do dishes, they did it because it needed to be done. If they did not want to do dishes they could make dinner, and sometimes do. Different folks have different ways of doing things which is fine - no one right answer). Once the oldest was old enough to work the fun allowance came to an end. The younger ones are not there yet.

It was their job to make a clothing budget and decide what to buy and when. If they spent too much on fancy X, they might not have money for Y. They learn to do without Y, or they learn next time not to spend so much on X. They could spend some of their other allowance on clothes if they want.

Similar for their personally spending, but no spending clothing allowance on non-clothing.

They now get money from a trust from grandma and it comes twice a year. They have to up their budgeting skills.

You still have to decide what is in and what is out. For example I don't require they pitch in to cover family vacations or music lessons. Ultimately deciding what is in and what is out is the real crux of the issue. Our answer is disturbingly like livesoft's. :)
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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

None, zero. It's the parent's responsibility to pay for activities they want child to participate in. Short of your child being a future Bach, I find it hard to believe they came up with the idea of playing violin on their own (plucking the G,D, A or E strings is not what I had in mind when I was 14 as a fun side activity). Much like one of my former classmates who due to his pure luck of being the tallest in the class was assigned to play the bass, when all he really wanted to play was a French Horn. So much for student choice! :)
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ChrisB
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by ChrisB »

Thanks everyone for the interesting replies. My daughter is still only 2 1/2 so this is all far off of me but I enjoyed reading different responses about approaches to chores, paying for items, etc.

One thing I remember my Dad doing was asking me if I wanted to play in extra sports leagues (outside of school). We sat down together discussing what this meant in regards to time commitment and how much it cost. He didn't make me pay but it made me think about what things cost and appreciate the commitment.

Side story - my 9 year old nephew just earned $150 for testing out new legos, and sending pictures and reviews of the new build. He showed up at my parents with doughnuts and drinks for the entire family the following weekend including a special doughnut he got for my daughter. I think this is a great indication of how his parents are doing!
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by harrychan »

livesoft wrote:We didn't make kids pay for activities that we wanted them to do. They paid for all their other activities such as eating, drinking, entertainment, clothing, driving, gasoline, etc.
This is how I was raised. I had to work each Summer to support my 'fun' activities throughout the school year. This would cover any luxuries such as a walkman, movies, our going out with friends. Anything school or extracurricular related, my parents would help out.
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dbCooperAir
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by dbCooperAir »

Mike Scott wrote:We paid for anything we considered home school related activities until they completed high school. Then they were on their own to continue and/or pick up new activities as they wanted.
This is us as well.

We also took every buy out so not to do any fund raising. Between church, band and activities we had something close to 30 fund raisers between a couple of kids, then add on top of that a half dozen neighbor kids selling crap it was out of hand. In the end we paid for everything out of pocket, I would do the same thing again.

In the thick of things our sports/activities were north of $500/month in 2010 dollars.
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Rodc
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by Rodc »

ChrisB wrote:Thanks everyone for the interesting replies. My daughter is still only 2 1/2 so this is all far off of me but I enjoyed reading different responses about approaches to chores, paying for items, etc.

One thing I remember my Dad doing was asking me if I wanted to play in extra sports leagues (outside of school). We sat down together discussing what this meant in regards to time commitment and how much it cost. He didn't make me pay but it made me think about what things cost and appreciate the commitment.

Side story - my 9 year old nephew just earned $150 for testing out new legos, and sending pictures and reviews of the new build. He showed up at my parents with doughnuts and drinks for the entire family the following weekend including a special doughnut he got for my daughter. I think this is a great indication of how his parents are doing!
Nephew sounds like a great kid.

Very early what my parents did, and we repeated, was to give a small amount for something the child might want and have the child decide when to spend it. At age 4 or 5 most kids don't understand large amounts of money and may not really understand that a dollar bills is worth more than a quarter, or that a dime is worth more than a nickle. So start small. In my case we got enough money to buy one popsicle a week from the Goodhumor man. We had to decide which day. For my daughter it was rent one movie per week (I recall the rental was only for a day or two, so it got used up and then you had to wait). Over time the amounts can grow and the decisions can become more complex. At some age you could make it something a little larger but you do not get enough all at once so they learn the power of saving. My twins on their own figured out if they pooled their money they could buy cooler stuff more quickly and learned to trade - pool money and boy 1 got what he wanted most, next time pool money and boy 2 got what he wanted. Cool life lesson - wish I could claim credit. :) Later it becomes much more open ended and they really have to consider trade-offs.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by Doom&Gloom »

livesoft wrote:We didn't make kids pay for activities that we wanted them to do. They paid for all their other activities such as eating, drinking, entertainment, clothing, driving, gasoline, etc.
Similar here but with some notable differences.

Anything they did or wanted to do that we felt was a long-term benefit to them, we paid directly and completely.

Clothing, electronics, etc: we paid for "needs"; they paid for "wants." We paid for basic driving costs as it benefitted us as well as them, but they shared insurance, maintenance, repairs, and "above reasonable" gasoline costs.

We gave them some allowance, the amount of which was based roughly but arbitrarily upon appropriate behavior and achievements during a rolling, arbitrary period of time. We told them that we considered school work and extra-curricular activities to be their "primary job." They quickly understood that if they did their job well, they would be rewarded (but not extravagantly) down the road. If they wanted additional money, they worked for it.
Bill M
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by Bill M »

We paid completely for everything we thought was worthwhile. The kids paid for everything they thought was worthwhile that we didn't think was worthwhile.
Then there was a third category....I can only think of two items: video games and (upgrade to professional grade) musical instruments. If it passed our test, the kids paid for 1/3 of the total cost and we paid 2/3.
rjsob58
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by rjsob58 »

We pay for activities for our now 15 year olds. Video games and other purely "entertainment" things can be 1) from their savings, 2) on their xmas/birthday list, 3) cash saved from allowance/odd jobs or sometimes 3) barter (e.g. - wash my car).

One other thing I've done is to match 50% of what they put in and KEPT in savings for the year. So at the end of each year, we look at their balances at beginning & year end, and I match 50% of the difference. That has definitely encouraged them to save. With interest rates where they are, they have little other incentive except a way to save for bigger ticket items.
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by likegarden »

Our 12 year old grandson lives with us and gets everything paid for by us and his father, our son. I plan to let him mow the lawn for $20 per week in 2 years from now.
OutInThirteen
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by OutInThirteen »

Our sons paid for things like video games, Legos, Magic/Star Wars cards, etc. from their paper route/house sitting/lawn mowing jobs. They had chores around the house for which we gave them an allowance (only when too young for "outside" employment). We paid for everything else. For a time it was pretty expensive, the two primary activities were ski racing and competitive soccer. In addition to equipment costs, the travel-related costs were pretty high. Racing events and soccer tournaments typically required overnight travel to the far reaches of the state, which in our part of the country cuold be many hundreds of miles away. But it was definitely worth it.
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by Carefreeap »

The teenage years are the perfect time to give kids life lessons about wants vs needs and budgeting. Also I think parents have a duty to help kids with longer terms goals (like college) which may be difficult for teenagers to understand.

What I don't recommend is what my folks did which was to cut me off over everything but food and shelter at age 13 because they were of the opinion that we didn't appreciate anything unless we paid for it. My bother and I were paid for certain chores but it was a really lousy way to create a family dynamic. At this time we stopped going on family vacations together because my mother told me they needed a vacation from us. My father told me that if they paid for college I would just party and not study. I wasn't a straight A student but a pretty good one taking all the advanced accelerated classes I could.

It's taken me years to figure out that their attitude was basically a projection of what they were doing at the time which was partying it up themselves and living beyond their means. It gives me no pleasure to report that mom died hundreds of thousands in debt eight years ago and dad is still alive but living on his $1100 SS check in a HCOLA with no other assets. In the back of my head I've got a fear that he will come to me looking for help and I want to say 'You made your bed now lie in it". And I feel terribly bad for thinking of it.

I'm sure that other people on this board have similar or worse stories but won't talk about it.

While I think it's good to teach the value of a dollar I think the bigger lesson is to teach your kids that it's a tool to be used wisely and not a weapon.

Good luck OP I know raising kids isn't easy.
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barnaclebob
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by barnaclebob »

$200/month would be about 2.5% of my wife and I's takehome pay. I suspect 10% of the cost of the activities would be a lot higher % of your kids income...
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alec
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by alec »

Carefreeap wrote:The teenage years are the perfect time to give kids life lessons about wants vs needs and budgeting. Also I think parents have a duty to help kids with longer terms goals (like college) which may be difficult for teenagers to understand.

What I don't recommend is what my folks did which was to cut me off over everything but food and shelter at age 13 because they were of the opinion that we didn't appreciate anything unless we paid for it. My bother and I were paid for certain chores but it was a really lousy way to create a family dynamic. At this time we stopped going on family vacations together because my mother told me they needed a vacation from us. My father told me that if they paid for college I would just party and not study. I wasn't a straight A student but a pretty good one taking all the advanced accelerated classes I could.

It's taken me years to figure out that their attitude was basically a projection of what they were doing at the time which was partying it up themselves and living beyond their means. It gives me no pleasure to report that mom died hundreds of thousands in debt eight years ago and dad is still alive but living on his $1100 SS check in a HCOLA with no other assets. In the back of my head I've got a fear that he will come to me looking for help and I want to say 'You made your bed now lie in it". And I feel terribly bad for thinking of it.

I'm sure that other people on this board have similar or worse stories but won't talk about it.

While I think it's good to teach the value of a dollar I think the bigger lesson is to teach your kids that it's a tool to be used wisely and not a weapon.

Good luck OP I know raising kids isn't easy.
Yeah, one of my neighbor's childhoods was like this. She's been in therapy for years.
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TNL
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by TNL »

alec wrote:
Carefreeap wrote:The teenage years are the perfect time to give kids life lessons about wants vs needs and budgeting. Also I think parents have a duty to help kids with longer terms goals (like college) which may be difficult for teenagers to understand.

What I don't recommend is what my folks did which was to cut me off over everything but food and shelter at age 13 because they were of the opinion that we didn't appreciate anything unless we paid for it. My bother and I were paid for certain chores but it was a really lousy way to create a family dynamic. At this time we stopped going on family vacations together because my mother told me they needed a vacation from us. My father told me that if they paid for college I would just party and not study. I wasn't a straight A student but a pretty good one taking all the advanced accelerated classes I could.

It's taken me years to figure out that their attitude was basically a projection of what they were doing at the time which was partying it up themselves and living beyond their means. It gives me no pleasure to report that mom died hundreds of thousands in debt eight years ago and dad is still alive but living on his $1100 SS check in a HCOLA with no other assets. In the back of my head I've got a fear that he will come to me looking for help and I want to say 'You made your bed now lie in it". And I feel terribly bad for thinking of it.

I'm sure that other people on this board have similar or worse stories but won't talk about it.

While I think it's good to teach the value of a dollar I think the bigger lesson is to teach your kids that it's a tool to be used wisely and not a weapon.

Good luck OP I know raising kids isn't easy.
Yeah, one of my neighbor's childhoods was like this. She's been in therapy for years.
My spouse was also raised this way, also was in therapy for years, and now has virtually no relationship with either parent.

Our kids are young (8 and 6) and we are also addressing this issue. Like one of the posters above, we require each kid to do a sport and a community activity. We pay for all of the costs related to those and will continue to. They get a $5 a week allowance to do chores, do their homework, and do well in school. The problem is that my spouse continues to buy them things that I think they should use their allowance for (candy, treats, video games, etc.). I am sure that this is a by product of my spouse's upbringing (see above). I haven't objected or said too much about it yet. In the grand scheme of things it is minor, but will probably have to be addressed at some point.
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gasdoc
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Re: How much do kids pay for their own activities...

Post by gasdoc »

I am partially responding to the previous poster- as well as the OP. We have one child, age 17. We live in a town 1.5 hours from a major city and make frequent trips to the "big city" for her sporting activities (soccer.). In the beginning, every time we made a trip, there was some article of clothing she "needed" from the mall. We quickly figured out she "needed" fewer items of clothing when we just gave her the money monthly and let her make her own clothing purchases. Over time the amount grew (now $150/month), as well as what she was expected to use it for. She saves some, but spends most of it on eating out with friends, clothes, movies on weekends, etc. We pay for anything school and soccer related (uniforms for school and soccer). Occasionally, my wife will be out shopping with our daughter and will buy her something she should have used her own money for, but that doesn't seem to take away from the system we have developed. In the end, she learns to manage money in a basic sort of way, and rarely asks us for money.

gasdoc
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