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  1. #21
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    And yeah...$500 a year doesn't cut it. I've been shoe shopping with my daughter for sneakers. She tries on about 100 different pair and none feel "right". After the 8th store, and 80th pair I'm willing to hand people money to make her happy. And it still doesn't make the magic sneaker appear! We have the same issue with bras - it has to fit perfectly, not feel too tight, not feel itchy. And only one kind of underwear, certain socks. I am amazed at friend who walk into some place like Kohl's and walk out with giant shopping bags or who see a deal online and just buy it. Usually when we are shopping it takes a couple trips to find an item that passes all of her tests.

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    It has been a long while since I was a teen, but I do know that while we were growing and needing to replace clothes often, we never got the expensive stuff. Everything was basic/functional, and we accessorized to add color/fashion touches. Why waste that money if it would probably only fit one year? When the growth leveled off for 1-2 years, we got things that were meant to last longer. Times have changed, and I see my niece (21 years old) wearing brand new and fashionable stuff every time I see her. She says that she shares clothes and jewelry with her friends -- I never did that as a kid or young adult.

  3. #23
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    I think once kids have stopped growing it's better in the long run to buy quality. My daughter has a winter parka from her last year in college, it's now four years old and looks great and is in good condition. I'm sure it wasn't much more than $100 to start with and now it's amortized. Of course, moving to LA sort of made it obsolete but that's not the parka's fault.

    When I was much younger and much poorer I bought my stepchildren clothes at Ames (equivalent to Kmart) and Sears and discount places like Burlington Coat factory, so I'm very aware of what can be done on a budget. In those days JC Penney was aspirational. Even now, there is crap sold at Banana Republic and other name stores that isn't even worth the cost at half-off sale, much less full price, and I won't buy it. It's a balancing act.

    For example, I think LandsEnd is always worth the money, their stuff is well-made and I have a swimsuit on its third year (that's a lot of chlorine). But their clothes are basic and not particularly interesting, and can be dressed up with one more trendy item from somewhere else. Urban Outfitters costs about as much as Lands End and their stuff doesn't last as long but is much more fashionable. Somewhere on the continuum there's something for everybody.

    (Not everyone likes shopping as much as I do, I realize.)
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbell1 View Post
    My son is a senior this year! I was so happy when he hit the age range where he stopped growth spurting out of his clothing mid year - I used to give away bags of barely worn items when he was in elementary school. My friends with younger ones loved me, but damn, it was expensive. Now he's in pretty much the same size the past few school years, so I'm much happier and the bag giveaways have stopped.
    Mine didn't change much from his junior to senior year - but this last doctor trip he was an inch taller and about 10 pounds heavier than last year. None of his winter stuff fit (yes, the stuff that did fit him six months ago). So, there's still time for your son to grow!

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    Another thing they kept saying was "teenage girls are different". I would interested in hearing from families with teenage girls to find out if you have experienced that or if your clothing budget stayed the same as your teenage girl became a fashionista. (Assuming she ever did.)
    Okay. I have a 17 year old, but she is absolutely not a fashionista. She hasn't grown much or changed much since she was 13, so she can still wear a lot of the same stuff. I bought her a winter coat on sale last year and I think I spent about $35; she wears a winter coat about once a year, so it's not a priority and that's the first coat I've purchased for her in years. She has one pair of dressy heels (stolen from me and never returned, so I guess now they are hers), one pair of leather flats, two pairs of sneakers, a couple of dresses, about five pairs of jeans, and lots of tops, most of which she has purchased herself. I buy everything on sale; she buys everything for herself on final clearance and has come home with tops she's bought for $5 or less more than once. She has one pair of much-despised khakis that she had to wear for band and some leggings that she never wears. She likes hoodies and has about six of them, but most of them were birthday gifts from people who know she likes hoodies and one was a hand-me-down from me that I got from work.

    I figure I will take her shopping a couple of months and buy her maybe three pairs of jeans and probably a few tops. She will need some new sneakers soon. Maybe some new underwear and socks. All of it will be on sale when I buy it. I don't anticipate buying anything else. I expect that I will spend about $200-250 this school year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    My bras cost $15 and last about 5 years each. My underwear is the cotton hanes that come in a 5-pack. A friend with a VS card gets freebies that she gives to me, so those are the only nice ones I have.
    That would be her clothes. I can't imagine any scenario in which I would buy her Victoria's Secret underwear. If she wants that kind of stuff, she'd better get a job. In fact, if she wants most nice things, she had better get a job.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

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    Our school system is advising parents to scale back on BTS shopping. The rationale is that kids end up wearing the same small subset of their wardrobes to school anyway. Most teens could get by with 2 pr jeans, 1 dress pant, a bunch of tees and a couple of hoodies.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  7. #27
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    MM, is your daughter old enough to either have an official job, or to babysit/petsit? Does she have an allowance? If the goal is really to teach her budgeting, the fastest way to make it stick is if her money is involved.

    it seems reasonable to me that parents of teenagers would pay for basics - sneakers, at least one pair of nicer shoes, a couple of pairs of jeans/shirts, socks and (non VS crap) underwear, and anything above an beyond is paid for by the kid. Or, if you want to pay for it all but teach her about budgeting, set the limit for the year and collaborate with her to decide how to use it (with some non-negotiables like the above-mentioned socks, sneaks, etc).

    Admittedly, I am flinty, both in regards to clothes expenditures for people of any age, and in terms of teenagers expecting everything they want magically paid for, but I do think it's just nature that budgeting and what the world costs doesn't really sink in until a person has to use their own resources. This can also teach good lessons about delayed gratification - if there's something expensive she wants (prom dress in the spring?), she needs to save for it, rather than just blow her dough on small stuff.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    Our school system is advising parents to scale back on BTS shopping. The rationale is that kids end up wearing the same small subset of their wardrobes to school anyway. Most teens could get by with 2 pr jeans, 1 dress pant, a bunch of tees and a couple of hoodies.
    Are these the same schools that send home lengthy and very specific and pricey lists of supplies parents are supposed to buy for the classroom?

    And agree with genevieve that that the best way to teach budgeting is if the money is coming out of their pocket from funds they earned themselves. I mentioned above doing one's own laundry and sewing too - do anyone's kids do that? I think people value things a lot more if they have to take care of them as well as pay for them.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Are these the same schools that send home lengthy and very specific and pricey lists of supplies parents are supposed to buy for the classroom?
    Ha! I spent at least twice as much on art supplies ALONE last year as I spent on clothes for the girl. If she were ever to complain about her lack of expensive clothes, I would tell her that her clothes look a lot like her cameras.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    I mentioned above doing one's own laundry and sewing too - do anyone's kids do that?
    Both my kids do their own laundry and mend seams (badly, but they do it). I have yet to have to show them how to sew on a button and am beginning to think I need to snip a few off so I have a reason to make them learn. My daughter has made a pillow, a backpack-type of bag, and a pair of pajama pants for sewing projects with Girl Scouts, so she knows how to do some basics on the sewing machine. There's a kids' sewing school in town that is surprisingly busy (I know the owner), so I would guess there are a lot of kids in town who can sew a fine seam, or at least a crooked one. I think most of my kids' friends do their own laundry; there seems to be an unwritten rule here that once you hit 16, that's one of your jobs, if it isn't one of your jobs already. Lots of them cook a little, too. Some of them cook a lot. A lot of them have jobs and pay for at least some of their own things.

    Then there are the ones who can't do anything. My daughter's best friend does nothing for herself. She's a great kid, but I keep wondering what is going to happen to her when she goes hundreds of miles away to college next year.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post

    Then there are the ones who can't do anything. My daughter's best friend does nothing for herself. She's a great kid, but I keep wondering what is going to happen to her when she goes hundreds of miles away to college next year.
    Ha! If she has gone this long I would think she would take her stuff to the local fluff and fold for a buck a pound!

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    This is about what we spent on DS before he turned 18 and bought his own clothes. Let's face it, he was just easier all around.

    I stumbled on a message board last night where a parent was asking about a clothing budget for a divorce and it was both eye opening and amusing to read the discourse.

    On the one hand you had the moms saying things like "one pair of jeans could cost $200" to which I'm thinking "are you f'ing kidding me? If my kid wants a $200 pair of jeans she can figure out how to pay for them herself." On the other you have the moms with 4-6 kids saying "we only spend that (1600 was the proposed budget for two kids, a boy and a girl) on our entire family because we buy a few things and hand the rest down" to which I'm thinking "how come people can't understand when their experiences don't apply -- when you have a boy and a girl only, how exactly can you hand stuff down?" (okay, I was really thinking 'are you f'ing kidding me' but that's what I meant. )

    But most were saying "that seems low" and then pointing out all the things not included in the budget and why it seems low (10 pairs of pants at $20 each was more than her pants budget, etc.) and that got me to thinking. The number from the article above actually came from a USDA study. And all those numbers were self-reported. My experience is that people suck at self-reporting. What was pointed out in the discussion is that the mom hadn't included things like pjs, coats, and any special occasion clothing at all (the girl was old enough to go a prom but also what if they were invited to a wedding or had to go a funeral?). I suspect a lot of that sort of stuff wasn't included in the self-reported numbers either.

    Another thing they kept saying was "teenage girls are different". I would interested in hearing from families with teenage girls to find out if you have experienced that or if your clothing budget stayed the same as your teenage girl became a fashionista. (Assuming she ever did.)
    It sounds to me like you're not necessarily buying expensive individual items, but just important quantities. Maybe that's one of the differences in lifestyle based on a person's income bracket. Through my teenage years, I rotated on 2 pairs of jeans + one pair of trousers, 1/2 skirts, 1/2 dresses. Tops have been acquired through the years - the dress tops of 8 years ago are my casual/home tops of today. At any given time, only 1 of each category of items looks new. It makes it more special when I get to wear it.

    ETA: I also think that needing help attracts help - it's astonishing how many wonderful things people have given my family throughout the years, including boxes full of unused good quality clothing. In that sense, maybe some of your friends and acquaintances receive more hand-me-downs that you'd expect.

    I guess maybe your daughter would have an incentive to reduce spending if she saw the money as being pooled together with other budgets? Like if you spend this much on clothes, it will affect our ability to send you to your first choice university.... I remember I seriously started lowering my expectations in terms of getting sent on holiday/camps when I realised how much my parents were going to have to fork out for uni.
    Last edited by millyskate; 08-19-2013 at 08:58 PM.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post


    Then there are the ones who can't do anything. My daughter's best friend does nothing for herself. She's a great kid, but I keep wondering what is going to happen to her when she goes hundreds of miles away to college next year.
    This is my nephew. He came to live with his dad last fall for his senior year and we discovered he was about as helpless as the average 4 year old. He did not know how to turn on a stove, wash a dish, or any basic life skill. His ridiculous mother insisted he was "too young" for that stuff and using a stove, especially, would be dangerous for him. Mind you, she also insists he is a genius, so it isn't as if he is challenged in any way or she even thought he was. She just babies him. Her whole family infantilizes their kids. Her brother is going to prison and his wife is now scrambling to arrange affordable "child care" for kids aged 12 and 15 while she works.

    I have to say, though, that I don't get the whole kids must do their own laundry thing. My mother never wanted a bunch of small loads of laundry in the house instead of a few large loads so all the families laundry was done together. I often helped with it as a teen and knew how to do laundry, but the idea of family members all doing their own is so odd to me. I had students who would talk about everyone in a family of five or six doing their own laundry and instead of maybe four or five loads a week, there were ten or twelve. That seems so incredibly inefficient and wasteful of water, detergent and power.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post

    I have to say, though, that I don't get the whole kids must do their own laundry thing. My mother never wanted a bunch of small loads of laundry in the house instead of a few large loads so all the families laundry was done together. I often helped with it as a teen and knew how to do laundry, but the idea of family members all doing their own is so odd to me. I had students who would talk about everyone in a family of five or six doing their own laundry and instead of maybe four or five loads a week, there were ten or twelve. That seems so incredibly inefficient and wasteful of water, detergent and power.
    See, my brother and I were doing our laundry since we were tall enough to reach the washing machine (and washing dishes since we were tall enough to reach the sink standing on a chair). At most, we each did 1 load lights and 1 load darks a week, usually every 1.5-2 weeks. Towels/sheets were washed every 2 weeks (changed more frequently but not washed until there were enough for a load). So at most my family of 3 growing up did 7 loads of laundry but more often it was 3-4.

    Now, my husband's family did laundry together and once we got married, his mom started telling me how she washed certain items of his. I told her he'd be doing his own laundry. Which he does (and did w/o issue when he wasn't living at home). I usually do laundry when I need to, maybe 1x week (darks 1 week, lights 1 week). I can usually go 2.5 weeks w/o doing laundry if necessary (old cheap underwear are kept for the purpose of me not getting around to doing laundry). We don't do too much laundry 3 loads/week is probably a lot. We could wash clothes together, but I wash lots of stuff on delicate cycles, I don't trust my husband to do my laundry (and hang what needs to hang, etc.), and I don't need to do his (I don't mind washing clothes, I hate folding!). We do trade off on towels/sheets/dog laundry though.

  14. #34
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    I do all the laundry. Husband does almost all the cleaning, so it is a fair trade. We have an extra large washer and I do two loads a week in summer, usually three in winter. If we each did our own, that would change to four or five a week.

    But a better example is my friend's household. She also has an extra large washer. She has seven children ranging from newborn to ten. She does all the laundry together and washes four or five loads a week. If in say eight years, every child plus both parents did his/her own laundry separately...That's nine people doing perhaps as much as two loads a week (four of those kids are boys who will be teens in eight years...their clothes need washed and I'd be shocked if they don't play sports and have uniforms and practice clothes, etc...). Well, you just went from roughly five, maybe six, full loads a week to as many as eighteen not full loads a week. I can't find a way to justify the inefficiency of that no matter how many times it is explained to me. All the laundry can be done together and kids can still be involved and still learn how to do laundry. We don't have to waste water, time and power to accomplish them learning how to do laundry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millyskate View Post
    I guess maybe your daughter would have an incentive to reduce spending if she saw the money as being pooled together with other budgets? Like if you spend this much on clothes, it will affect our ability to send you to your first choice university.... I remember I seriously started lowering my expectations in terms of getting sent on holiday/camps when I realised how much my parents were going to have to fork out for uni.
    I think this is true. Kids have no idea how much things cost until you actually show them. Your salary sounds like a lot of money until they see your expenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    I have to say, though, that I don't get the whole kids must do their own laundry thing. My mother never wanted a bunch of small loads of laundry in the house instead of a few large loads so all the families laundry was done together. I often helped with it as a teen and knew how to do laundry, but the idea of family members all doing their own is so odd to me. I had students who would talk about everyone in a family of five or six doing their own laundry and instead of maybe four or five loads a week, there were ten or twelve. That seems so incredibly inefficient and wasteful of water, detergent and power.
    I don't know if this link will work or not, but: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater

    That would be my kids and their laundry.

    My son just did his laundry yesterday; I think he did three loads. My daughter did two loads this morning. All of those loads were full loads. And that will probably be all the laundry they do for at least two weeks.

    I have ceased to think of this as my problem.

    My problem is my husband--Mr. Exercise, Fitness and High Metabolism sweats his way through an ungodly amount of laundry this time of year. If the kids need a couple of things washed while I'm doing laundry, I'll throw it in with what I'm doing and if I need a couple of things washed, I'll throw it in with theirs. "What are you washing right now?" gets yelled upstairs a lot, but I haven't noticed an increase in our water or electric use since the kids have taken over their own laundry.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

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    You want an ungodly amount of smelly laundry from one man, forget exercise. Send him off to turn herring into slurry to make cat food for a week.

  17. #37
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    I see the benefit of household laundry (instead of individual), but if that's the procedure, make the kid take a turn doing the household laundry.

    I insisted on doing my own laundry from the age of 14, because my mom ruined some of my clothes (that I had spent my hard-earned money on! see? I was way more invested in those clothes because I had bought them ) by tossing them in the hot wash.
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    Both my son and daughter do their own laundry. A full load of lights and another full load of darks, each. I'm amazed how many young adults don't know how to do something so simple for themselves. It's a simple yet necessary skill for life. I started doing my own laundry when I was 9 and am none the worse for learning at a young age. My peeve is Mr halffull's itchy work socks that are always inside out ... ugh LOL

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    I heard a while back that Wal Mart was the biggest clothing retailer in the USA, and this report (2010) says it still is:
    http://apparelstrategist.com/wal-mart
    20% more clothing sales than Macy's, twice the size of many other retailers. I occasionally get some basics there (socks, pj's, T-shirts, sweats), it is not where I usually get outfits, coats or swimsuits.

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    My 14 y.o. son is now @ 5' 9" and we did some shopping for him this weekend. He now wears size 11 men's shoes. Sigh... Thank goodness he's not picky with clothes, only shoes, but that's because Nikes fit him best and they last longer before wearing out. He tears up Reeboks & Addidas within 3 months but Nike's last 6 months for the same price! I do buy the kids' school clothes throughout the summer to help make budgeting for it easier. I'm a SAHM so we're on a tight budget. I shopped JCPenney's clearance, Khols, Walmart, Target (my fave) and Macy's. When I combined the sales along with coupons the store emails, I saved a bundle. Anyhoo, I'm looking at around $300 total per kid and that includes the Jansport backpack and his Nikes. I didn't factor in school materials like the mountain of binder paper, pencils, etc. though, just their personal clothes.

    Edited to add: I need to add an additional $60 to my 14 y.o.'s budget, his H.S. requires him to purchase their P.E. uniforms and 2 locker locks from the school. Sigh...

    Ok, edited to add again to type that I think many parents overindulge their kids. Does a H.S. kid really need a Louis Vuitton purse (assuming it's not a hand me down from Mom, of course) or several $200 Jordans? I mean really?!
    Last edited by myhoneyhoney; 08-20-2013 at 06:35 AM.

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