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my husband doesn't agree with teach teen daughter to budget money she spends on lunch rather than eating at school

My 17 yr old step daughter lives with us. She will be 18 in 6 months, is a jr. in high school and gets $20 per week spending money for anything she wants.

She doesn't want to eat the lunch served at school but wants to take frozen meals, crackers, cookies and cokes for lunch. Since lunch at school cost about 2.35 per day, I told her she could spend $3.00 a day and buy anything she wants to take at the store ($15.00 per week). He father thinks we should give her more money because she can't buy all the stuff she wants on that amount. I feel she needs to learn to live within a budget and make choices accordingly. Once she is home from school there are plenty of junk food etc. she can eat if she is still hungry. My husband thinks I'm being unreasonable. HELP! am I wrong?

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Asked by Marena56 at 12:01 PM on Jan. 20, 2010 in Adult Children (18+)

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Answers (14)
  • if it were me and i were given the money for "lunch" it would be going in a "pot fund"...that was back in the day. i never ate are doing right. Let her take stuff from home.

    Answer by shay1130 at 12:04 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • i don't think so.... i was taught how to live on a budget at 14. My parents gave us just enough for lunch every day. I bought a cookie and a soda and that was all I ate until dinner. $1.75 a day was fine and then if I got really hungry one day I had enough to buy breakfast or a sandwhich on top of my cookie!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:05 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • honestly if it were my kid...she would have a job or be doing some major chores around the house to be earning more money

    Answer by shay1130 at 12:06 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • When I was in highschool we had off campus lunch - obviously more expensive than than school lunches. My parents gave me the amount that a school lunch cost at the time, anything else I wanted to spend over that amount I had to make up. They did let me bring canned soft drinks from home.
    If she wants more than you're offering, let her get a job.

    Answer by missanc at 12:09 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • I always gave my kids a certain amount each week for lunch, they had to make it last. I think it is teaching them to budget, the school lunches are enough to fill them up, and if they chose not to eat that, they need to budget what they have.

    Answer by robyann at 12:09 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • No, I don't think your wrong. I think it is a good lesson to be learned. Some people don't learn until they are well into the work force that the moneny they spend daily on going out for lunch, and all those visits to star bucks can quickly add up to be th eequivilant to a monthly household bill,lol. You've given her a fair budget...I think she should try to work within her means and figure it our and hubby should back you up. Good job mom! I love creative parenting :)

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 12:12 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • wow my daughter who is a freshman would love to have 20$ a week for food...
    i give her 10$ a week and she can budget that or eat the school lunch for free...
    so i say your right on the money haha with making her figure out how to buget it out to last all week
    and if she needs more than that at her age she can get a job....

    Answer by cara124 at 12:40 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • My sons are high school seniors and since the summer before their Junior year they have been responsible for extras. they work pt (and play football, run track and are in drama along with 1 being a VP of the Senior class) and they pay for their cell phone bill ($10 a week) & car insurance ($15 and $20 a week) right off the bat. After that they pay for gas in their cars and my son who is college bound (the other is Army bound) puts money aside for college expenses. Whatever is left after that is theirs to spend as they choose. They come home for lunch and I make them lunch. If they want to go get fast food for lunch they pay for it themselves. All we pay for are their school clothes, school supplies, school fees (even though it's a public school there are fees) & hygiene needs. They have learned how to budget and how to spend wisely and thhey thank us for that often. You are doing the right thing!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:23 AM on Jan. 21, 2010

  • I think $15 a week could easily get her stuff.
    12 pack of coke - about 2 1/2 weeks worth - about $4 with deposit and tax (so figure $2 for a week)
    frozen dinners - Often on sale they are like 2 for $5 - maybe 3 for $9
    bag of chips - $3
    She also gets that extra $20. If she wants the cookies too she can use some of that for a pack for the week.
    The days she doesn't have her frozen foods she can take a sandwich made at home or leftovers or something.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:28 PM on Jan. 21, 2010

  • I think if you are allowing her to drink coke for her lunch you need to deal with that first. That is a horrible diet. A frozen meal doesn't need cookie or crackers added to it. She would do better buying fresh bread and deli meat than frozen meals. And why is there plenty of junk food to eat when she gets home? Yes, budgeting is a good skill. Healthy eating is even more important.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:21 AM on Jan. 22, 2010

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