L.W. asks from Westland, MI on October 25, 2009
Should My 13Yr Old Son Help Pay for a Class Trip?
I have a 13 yr. old son who has a chance to go on a very educational 3-day trip with his class. He is a great student, is regularly on the honor roll, and really wants to go on this trip. My husband and I can afford to pay for it, but part of me thinks that he should have to help pay for it. The price for the trip is $450 and I think it may help him appreciate the trip if he has to help pay his way. Any creative ideas on how he could earn money aside from raking leaves, shoveling snow or collecting bottles/cans? The school is having one fundraiser, which I don't really think would be something we could sell very much of. Plus, when my kids have fundraisers, it really ends up being my husband and I selling stuff to the same friends, family and co-workers. We end up doing most of the work, collecting money, delivering, etc. That is why I was hoping to come up with another way for him to earn the trip. He also has another trip his class will be taking later this year, which is another reason I don't want to just say "yes" and write a check. Any ideas would be appreciated!
K.S. answers from Detroit on October 25, 2009
I would make him pay for sure. Our kids are 9 and 8 and they both worked hard to buy new bikes. They are very aware of money and saving.You can give your son a certain amount he has to earn. (our kids had to earn 25.00 each but they are young).
The jobs he can do are limited because of his age,although he may have to work harder it will start a good work ethic,
which will help in the future. Rake away or do fall clean up, try dog walking, or you can pay him for more difficult jobs at home like clean out the garage, cleaning all your windows, washing the carpet, or cleanig closets out. good luck.
K.C. answers from Detroit on October 26, 2009
I think it is a good idea to have kids pay for half of the things that aren't necessary, helps them appreciate the value of a dollar and how hard we work to earn the money they want to vaccume out of us, he could print flyers and pass them out in the neighborhood for things such as dog walking, pet or house sitting (at that age he would just take the mail in or feed the animal and let it out a couple times a day), window washing, gutter cleaning (if you don't mind him getting on a roof), maybe he could make Christmas ornaments or (not sure what you do with the stuff he has out grown) maybe he could clean out all the toys and clothes he doesn't want anymore and take them to a resale shop, also if he excells in a subject maybe he could tutor younger kids.....hope you get an idea or two out of this....good luck
H.B. answers from Grand Rapids on October 26, 2009
If you can't afford to send him, then don't put that pressure on him. If YOU want him to get the benefit, then send him. He's not 33 years old with a college degree, and a career. Going on that kind of trip at that age, is a lot of peer pressure, y do want to add to it, when he is working, he is doing well in school. Continue to support that.
T.A. answers from Grand Rapids on October 26, 2009
I have a different suggestion for you. If you and your husband are in a position financially to pay for his trip, then by all means you should do so. You can use the fact that this is something your son really wants to put some conditions on the deal that you will foot the bill.
Require him to do some community servce, or volunteer to help out someone who needs something. Do you have any elderly neighbors who may need their walks shoveled this winter, or their leaves raked this fall? He could do that for them to "earn" the priviledge of going on his trip. Do you have any friends that are single parents, thay may need a little complimentary babysitting, for a night out? What about any projects at your local church-like thanksgiving dinners, or Christmas gift giving projects? I'm sure they could use a strong young man with lots of energy to help serve, or hand out packages?
This way he earns his trip, but also learns a valuable lesson in volunteerism. I bet he would feel really great about it afterward too.
S.D. answers from Boston on October 25, 2009
Maybe he could babysit neighborhood kids?
M.C. answers from Saginaw on October 27, 2009
it would be a good experience for him to help pay for the trip and it would teach him the value of a dollar. you and your husband work ard and shouldn't be making the money just to give to him you two should save for your retirement and helphim save for his college tuition.
C.J. answers from Lansing on October 26, 2009
I agree that he should pay for at least a part of the trip as well as his own snack and spending money. Does your son get an allowance? He should start saving at least part of his allowance for the trip, as well as work around the neighborhood and at home for extra cash.
Try talking to your parents and in-laws and see if they have any projects that could use his help and ask them to present a "job offer" to him. Then he can decide if he wants to work for the money and which projects he actually wants to do.
Lastly, you might want to sit down with him and brain storm ideas together. He might surprise you with a few of his own that are really workable. You and your husband should have the final say about fund-raising ideas, but your son will need your help to get started, so the collaboration should be a family discussion.
D.T. answers from Detroit on October 26, 2009
I have a 13YO. One thing I might suggest is Christmas is coming and maybe he could mention that instead of a physcial gift how about $$ for his trip either from Grandma and Grandpa or from you. I do this now with my kids cuz they don't need stuff. If you push them they are very resourceful and it also encourages them to save their money for something important.
I also come up with jobs that are worth $$ like I needed my porch painted over the summer so that was worth $15 to make that happen. If you had a housekeeper you would pay them......so $5 for a bathroom and $5 for a floor. I also have time limits....cuz I hate that lack of motivation to get things done....so if it is not done by Friday you get less money until so many days ellapse and you get nothing but you may still have to do the same job.