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Expensive daughter feeling guilty

 
All of the activities I’m involved in cost a lot of money. I love doing them, but I feel bad about making my parents pay for my fun.

 

Right now, I do youth and government, dance, summer camps and maybe a summer college intensive that would cost a couple thousand dollars. We can afford it, but my mom gets stressed out whenever I ask to join anything, and I have to think about college, too.

 

I feel selfish. What should I do?

 

Money matters are always tricky, babe, and there’s really no quick fix for your sitch…unless you wanted to ditch the guilt now by saying buh-bye to your extracurrics. There are a couple of ways to ease the way you’re feeling.

 

Talk to your parents

 

You’re a young adult, and while you might not be 100-percent independent, you need to start figuring out now how money and budgeting works so that you won’t run into trouble when you’re on your own. Tell your ‘rents that you want to talk about your summer activities. Don’t simply let the conversation drop when they tell you not to feel guilty. Ask if your fam really can afford it, and if you can do anything to help pay for your activities. Maybe Mom would appreciate some help around the house or a night out with your Dad while you sit for your sibs.

 

Prioritize your activities

 

As you grow up, you’re going to have to make choices. If you really love dance, maybe you could increase the number of dance classes you take over the summer and drop summer camp. Maybe you should drop youth and government and run for student council. Take a closer look at the clubs your school offers and local programs at your library or community center and see if you can find some free or low-cost activities that’ll keep you busy without breaking the bank.

 

Make sacrifices

 

If you’re still feelin’ the guilt, it might be time to stomach some sacrifices in your everyday life. Consider asking for dance classes or club fees as birthday and holiday gifts. And think about getting a job. Maybe you could teach classes to younger students at your dance studio, or take up babysitting or dog walking after school. Be creative and really ask yourself if you really want to do what your parents are paying for. How much would you give up to keep doing it?

 

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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 3/16/2011 4:10:00 PM

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