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music lessons and costumes can be an unexpected expense parents don't consider initially when planning financially

There are certain things that become easier and certain things that become harder once your child becomes a teen. Teens are more independent, which means more free time for you. However, they’re also more expensive to look after, which means looking for new ways to earn/save money.

What are some of the additional costs that come with raising a teen? This post delves into a few of the major ones and how you can prepare for them.

Extra Home Space

As your child becomes a teen, they may not want to share a room with siblings - especially those of the opposite sex. This is when many families have to look into extra bedroom space.

A home with an extra bedroom may require moving. In other cases, it may be possible to convert an unused room into a bedroom or build an addition. 


Once kids become teens, clothing can become more expensive. Some kids may require adult sizes of shoes and t-shirts. You’ll also find that this is when many kids start wanting to dress more trendy and embrace brands. 

Until your child is able to earn money to support themselves, you’ll need to buy the bulk of their clothes. Any designer clothes that they want could be something they have to pay for themselves using pocket money or money from a part-time job.


Once your child becomes a teen, they’ll also stop eating child’s portions and start expecting adult meals. This means buying more food to support your teen.

Start preparing for larger grocery bills. As with clothing, encourage kids to pay for their own ‘treats’ (such as candy and snacks) out of their own money once they start earning. 

Electronic Devices

By the time many kids reach their teenage years, they expect to own a phone. A laptop may also be necessary for doing work (especially when kids go to college). 

You may be able to pass down old electronics for them to use at first. Many kids start on a pay-as-you-go plan. There are meanwhile discount schemes offered by some schools and colleges to help parents and students afford cheaper laptops. 

Hobbies and Interests

The teen years are when many kids start to get heavily involved in hobbies and interests.If your child wants to pursue a sport or learn an instrument, you will need to pay for this. As they get more serious about this hobby, the costs will rise.

It’s good to encourage kids to pursue such hobbies, but make sure it is a true passion before splashing out on expensive kit. It’s often best to start with cheap sports equipment or a beginner musical instrument. 

School Trips 

Your child may want to go on various field trips with their school during their teen years. Parents are generally expected to contribute towards field trips. The bigger the field trip, the more money you’ll have to pay out.

Work out which trips your child cannot miss and prioritize these. Your child does not have to go on every trip - especially multi-day trips, which will cost more. 

Orthodontic Treatments

Will your teen be getting braces? The teen years are the most common years to consider orthodontic treatment. 

Braces can cost from $3000 to $10000, and are not always covered by dental insurance. Fortunately, Medicaid can pay for braces if they are deemed medically necessary. For kids that just want some minot straightening however, you will have to pay. 


Teens may expect more for their birthdays as they get older - especially major milestones like their 18th. 

Start budgeting early for birthdays so that you can pay for big gifts like consoles or afford for them to go to the cinema or bowling with friends. Don’t get into the early habit of spoiling kids with too many big presents or elaborate parties, as they’ll expect this each year.

Driving lessons

Will your child learn to drive? Most kids start learning to drive between 14 and 16. Driving lesson fees can vary from school to school. You then have to consider costs like buying them their first car, getting them insured and keeping the car maintained.

Some kids are able to get a job by this age, and this money is able to go towards driving costs. However, as learning to drive and owning a car can be expensive, you may want to help contribute some money until your child is able to earn a greater wage. Starting a car fund (to pay for lessons and their first car) once they become a teenager could be worthwhile. 


Finally, there’s college to consider. College fees can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 depending on whether your child studies at a private or public college, and whether they study out of state. 

If you don’t want your child to rely on a student loan or don’t think they’ll be able to get sponsorship, you’ll have to pay these college fees out of your own pocket. It’s worth saving up a college fund early so that you can build up as much money as possible. Even a small amount of money could be valuable in helping to reduce the amount of student debt that your child may pay. 

Written by:
#MenWhoBlog MemberBlogging GuruThought Leader

James' passion for exploration and sense of duty to his community extends beyond himself. This means he is dedicated to providing a positive role model for other men and especially younger guys that need support so that they can thrive and be future positive contributors to society. This includes sharing wisdom, ideas, tips, and advice on subjects that all men should be familiar with, including: family travel, men's health, relationships, DIY advice for home and yard, car care, food, drinks, and technology. Additionally, he's a travel advisor and a leading men's travel influencer who has been featured in media ranging from New York Times to the Chicago Tribune, and LA Times. He's also been cited by LA Weekly "Top Travel Bloggers To Watch 2023" and featured by Muck Rack: "Top 10 Outdoor Journalists for 2022".

He and his wife Heather live in St Joseph, Michigan - across the lake from Chicago.