Tips for Teens: How to Contribute to Family Needs During Tough Times

Personal Finance February 26, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

If your family is going through tough times financially, consider ways you can contribute.

Asking your parent(s) to talk with you the family budget and being willing to take some action to help is the first step to gaining respect and to demonstrate responsibility as a family member.

teen with cash

Cost?savings things that you can do to help with family expenditures are:

• Turn off lights, televisions, or other electronics when not in use.

• Take shorter showers to cut down on water and electric bills.

• Don’t stand with the refrigerator door open while deciding what to eat.

• Investigate cost of cable/phone/computer usage and newspaper delivery. Help figure out your family’s real needs versus wants for these services, then talk about ways to meet them. For example, could you use the public library online services for homework? Do you need a daily newspaper deliverd to the house?

• Hang up your clothes after wearing so they wear longer and need less frequent washing and care.

• Volunteer to help with family chores in lieu of paying for services like cleaning, lawn care, take?out food, or childcare.

If you have a job, you might offer or be expected to help cover some of your expenses, especially for "wants." This could include a new pair of shoes or a night at the movies with friends.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.