If you're a parent, you've probably pondered some of the timeless questions about what moms and dads should and shouldn't pay for with regard to children's activities and life milestones. Few couples would deny the need to cover educational expenses for early schooling. However, what about typical teenage rites of passage, like proms, college, senior trips, and first cars? Then there are the potential costs associated with older teens and young adults, like weddings and job searches. It's probably fair to say that there's no right or wrong policy about such things. Indeed, families make their own rules, and no two clans are exactly alike. Review the following expenses and see how your family deals with each one.
Sending children off to college is not just a milestone in a youngster's life; it's one for dads and moms as well. There are dozens of ways to share expenses, though some families use designated funds to cover the entire cost. For the rest, loans are the typical way to pay for the bulk of college-related bills. If you want to borrow money in your name to avoid burdening kids with instant debt when they graduate, Private Parent Loans are a smart choice. They're in your name, not the child's. One of the popular options, Earnest parent student loans makes it easy for working adults to pay for tuition, room, board, texts, fees, and other school expenses.
The majority of parents pay for some or all of junior and senior prom costs, but the bills are usually split between elders and youngsters. Proms are not cheap, either. Modern versions include pre-parties, formal dinners, dances, and the occasional after-party for those allowed to stay out extra late. Some students rent cars, clothes, and special accommodations for group get-togethers. In all, the average high-school student could spend $500 or more on a special night. Have a discussion with your youngster long before prom and decide who will be paying for what.
Since the 1950s, families have been coming up with clever and unique ways to buy first cars for their teens. Some opt for the popular 50/50 method in which mothers and fathers offer to match the amount the child comes up with for the car out of job money and savings. Others choose to purchase a used vehicle for their kids but leave the responsibility for paying insurance, gas, and routine maintenance to the youngster. Lucky kids inherit older cars from their parents as hand-me-downs, which often happens in larger families where there are several drivers.
Of course, you want to make sure your daughter has the perfect wedding, or your son for that matter, but that does not have to mean footing the entire bill. All the traditions are giving way to new cost-sharing methods for newlyweds. No longer do women's families pay for everything except the honeymoon trip. Nowadays, young couples often plan simple weddings and pay for everything themselves, letting mothers and fathers off the financial hook for this ancient ritual that can easily cost in excess of $10,000. Husbands and wives tend to pay for their own ceremonies mainly because people are getting married later in life than in years past. Plus, it's more common today for young couples to already be working and living on their own when they tie the knot.