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

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.