If you have a question you want me to answer in a future Q&A post, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and put Q&A in the subject line. You can also leave a question in the comments here, but I do lose track of those sometimes.
Hello, hello! I’ve got a new set of questions to answer, and they are an especially random lot today.
I see Lisey has a septum piercing! My teen wants one. Did it hurt a lot?!
A septum piercing seems to be far less painful than the nostril piercing I had. Lisey didn’t experience much pain at all, and it healed so much faster than my piercing did.
The septum piercing has also healed way faster than our ear cartilage piercings.
So, I would not say pain is a huge issue to consider with this one. It was a lot more like getting an ear lobe pierced, and an ear lobe is really no big deal.
What does everyone look forward to doing when quarantine is over?
I personally am feeling ok about being stuck at home, but I hate seeing my girls struggle. So I am most looking forward to them being able to see friends and go places. I will feel happier when they are feeling happier!
Aside from that, I am looking forward to being able to see people myself. It feels like ages since I saw my parents and siblings.
Mr. FG gets cabin fever more than I do, so I know he will be happy when he can get out and about more.
Sonia in particular is looking forward to getting her learner’s permit. No licensing/permitting has been allowed for months now, and we are hoping sometime this summer maybe she can get her permit.
How do you handle teen expenses?
I’ll share what we’ve done, with the caveat that this is descriptive, not prescriptive. Your mileage may vary, and what works for us is not necessarily what will work for you.
They buy their own phones if they want an upgrade over and above our hand-me-down phones.
For service, they can stay on our Ting plan, but they are responsible for paying for their data usage.
(At first, we were covering the whole bill. But we found that teens are not that motivated to curb data usage and look for WiFi if they are not the ones paying for the bill. Thus, the new policy!)
We’ve paid for this 100%.
We split this 50/50 with our kids from the time they get licensed through college. After that, they’ll need to pay for it on their own.
We have provided a used car for our kids to drive while they are in high school/college.
If the car makes it until after college graduation, they can either buy the car from us (it should be a very cheap purchase by then!) or give it back and buy their own.
We pay for 100% of their books and tuition for any classes taken in high school.
After that, we have some money saved for them to use for college tuition/books, and any money spent beyond that is their responsibility.
If we’d started life out with a higher income, we could have saved more for their college expenses. But alas, that was just not the case.
- saved what we could for them (we’re still contributing each month for all four of them)
- helped them get quite a few college credits knocked out while in high school
- helped them out with a car and car insurance
- offered them free room and board here at home while they’re in college
Part of me wishes we had been able to save enough put them through four years of college.
But I know that having to pay for a lot of it on their own will definitely help them to value their degree more, and it will also inspire them to be smart about their school and living choices.
(If you have to pay for your school, you do not tend to putz around, taking a bunch of classes that have nothing to do with your degree! Kind of like how you don’t use as much cellular data if you have to foot the bill. )
For instance, Lisey has studied for and taken a bunch of CLEP tests because that’s a much cheaper way to get some of her basic credits.
When she finishes at the community college, she’s transferring to an in-state university that has a great language program because when she saw how much out of state tuition was, she felt like the choice was clear.
And she’s purposely looked for jobs that pay more than minimum wage (she bar backed for a while and now she works an automotive job) so that she can save more for college.