5 Unexpected Costs When Raising A Teenager

According to the USDA, the older a child is, the more expensive they are. Below, five of the unexpected costs that come from having a teenage child are explained.


First Unexpected Cost :

One of the best things about becoming a teenager is the ability to drive. But for parents, this excitement is very much overshadowed by nerves and the need to pay an enormous sum of money. First, one must start with driving school, which can cost anywhere from $200-$600, depending on the quality of the school. The DMV will then charge numerous red tape fees that crop up on every step of the licensing process. Most surprisingly to parents is how much auto-insurance for teenage drivers can potentially cost; the prices are nearly twice as high for younger drivers, as they statistically get into more accidents. And, let us not forget the most obvious expense: a teenager’s first car. Even buying a secondhand car from a prior decade will cost about $2,000.

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image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net


Second Unexpected Cost :

When students enter high school, most find they need their own computer. Schoolwork must almost always be word processed, and the majority of research takes place online. Purchasing a laptop for a teenager is no small feat, as most new models easily cost over $1,000. On top of that, most computer programs do not come included and cost an extra fee. Additional technological expenses can add up as well, as most teenagers will have a need for a smart phone or, recreationally, an mp3 device or gaming console.

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Third Unexpected Cost :

As a teenager enters middle school, cosmetic dentistry often takes a large bite out of the parent’s wallet. Traditional braces typically cost $3,000-$5,000; Invisalign, a clear alternative to braces, can cost $4,000-$7,000. Often times, insurance companies may cover a small portion of this expense, and most orthodontists offer a monthly payment system. Despite these two facts, braces are an enormous expense for parents of teenagers.


Fourth Unexpected Cost :

When entering high school, the cost for extracurricular activities increases dramatically. Around this age, sports teams become more serious. A large registration fee, travel money to and from events, and appropriate equipment can add up to a serious number. Activities like dancing and playing a musical instrument can be just as steep in cost. And a parent has no choice but to pay these fees, as students simply must participate in extracurricular activities, not only to have fun, make friends, and keep themselves out of trouble, but also to impress the colleges to which they will soon be applying.


Fifth Unexpected Cost :

It is a fact that college is one of the most expensive endeavors there is; there is nothing unexpected about that. However, most parents overlook the costs that occur leading up to that first student loan. If one chooses to take standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT, each organization charges a bit over $50 each time it is taken. There is then a fee to send these scores to each school the student applies to. When applying to each individual college, a school can charge a $30-$80 application fee. When College Board suggests a student applies to five to eight schools, these fees add up quickly. After traveling to campuses for visits and interviews, parents will realize how expensive applying to college really is.

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Nicolas Klein is a father of 3 and enjoys blogging about his experiences with raising his children. Nicolas recommends checking out his favorite parenting blog at raisingteensblog.com

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