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View Poll Results: Do I let him buy or not?
Yes - it is his money, let him waste it 79 92.94%
No - you need to teach him about the value of money 6 7.06%
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:19 AM   #41
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whenever I wanted to spend "my" money on something stupid like electronics or girbaud jeans when I was in high school, my mother and father would tell me that since I had so much money, maybe I should be buying all my clothes and no more lunch money. Of course, I got a few splurges here and there, but it was really easy for them to say, "alright money bags, maybe you should buy your $130 soccer cleats instead of us." Paying for my vehicle and insurance was another favorite of theirs.

Whenever I started to crowd the plate, the inside fast ball they sent whizzing by clearly communicated their message.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:53 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Forgot where I read it, but a wise mom said she applied the "ten year rule" to dumb teenage decisions, as in "Will this matter in ten years?"

So "yes" to letting her 15-year-old dye her hair orange (or green, or whatever) but "no" to the tattoo.

If the dumbest thing he ever does is blow $300 on a phone he's ahead of the game. It's his money, let him make those mistakes when the costs are low.
This was the same as my sister.... my niece had all of the strange hair colors and even had her tounge pierced... which she did get removed eventually..... no tatoos as far as we know....
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:54 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by ronocnikral View Post
whenever I wanted to spend "my" money on something stupid like electronics or girbaud jeans when I was in high school, my mother and father would tell me that since I had so much money, maybe I should be buying all my clothes and no more lunch money. Of course, I got a few splurges here and there, but it was really easy for them to say, "alright money bags, maybe you should buy your $130 soccer cleats instead of us." Paying for my vehicle and insurance was another favorite of theirs.

Whenever I started to crowd the plate, the inside fast ball they sent whizzing by clearly communicated their message.

I like this.... I will use it some time....
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:58 AM   #44
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The update:

We bought the phone last night... I got the cash in my pocket... I will be putting it in his college fund soon (he does not know that I do that with his big purchases)....

He is aware of the risks.... or at least I should say he SAYS he is aware of the risks....

I asked him 'how long has you and your mother been talking about this before coming to me?'..... he said two weeks...


One thing that my DW said is that he is considered a 'digital citizen'.... I think that is what they are calling his cohort....
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:26 AM   #45
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The update:

We bought the phone last night... I got the cash in my pocket... I will be putting it in his college fund soon (he does not know that I do that with his big purchases)....

He is aware of the risks.... or at least I should say he SAYS he is aware of the risks....

I asked him 'how long has you and your mother been talking about this before coming to me?'..... he said two weeks...


One thing that my DW said is that he is considered a 'digital citizen'.... I think that is what they are calling his cohort....
Did you take him out to buy the phone? That would be a good lesson for a teenage boy - being graceful and showing you can change your mind...
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:31 AM   #46
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I never realized it until now but I too have an "old man's phone".
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:01 AM   #47
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Forgot where I read it, but a wise mom said she applied the "ten year rule" to dumb teenage decisions, as in "Will this matter in ten years?"

So "yes" to letting her 15-year-old dye her hair orange (or green, or whatever) but "no" to the tattoo.
This reminds me of a story told to me by my old grandpappy. A young woman wanted to get a rather large tattoo put onto a very visible part of her body. Her baby boomer mother had given up trying to convince her otherwise. So, her aunt pulled out an album of photos from their high school and college days - bell bottom pants, paisley shirts with big pointed collars, tye dyed shirts, bushy afro-hair, hippie dresses, etc. It was a real hoot and the young woman could not believe her parents actually dressed that way when they were young. At that point the aunt pointed out that the goofy clothing could easily be removed and replaced with a more modern and mature look without the need for an expensive medical procedure. The young woman did not get the tattoo.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:27 AM   #48
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Did you take him out to buy the phone? That would be a good lesson for a teenage boy - being graceful and showing you can change your mind...
No, did it online. We did look at other options, but he was set on a specific one....


I did make him count out the money before I pressed the buy button... he was a bit miffed at having to pay taxes
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:59 PM   #49
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I assume that otherwise he is a fine boy - decent grades, no drugs, reputable friends, and his girl friend isn't an embarrassment.
I now see where I went wrong...
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:07 PM   #50
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Yep, I have to agree. Let him spend the money and learn the lesson. It's cheap tuition and certainly better than learning the same lesson via a $35,000 car that he can't afford to buy much less insure, maintain, etc.

I assume that otherwise he is a fine boy - decent grades, no drugs, reputable friends, and his girl friend isn't an embarrassment.

Thought I had replied to this, but see that I had not....

Yes, he is a fine boy... straigth As, no drugs, good friends from what I can tell (even though he is very quiet and does not have many)... no girl friend (wife thinks he might be eyeing one, but to reserved to do anything)...

Funny you mention about a $35,000 car... my nephew was about to purchase one a bit higher than that.... while still living at home... sis did not know what to tell him except that if he could afford a car he could afford his own place.... fortunately for her (and IMO for him) the bank shot him down.... his job was not permanant....
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:55 PM   #51
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Thought I had replied to this, but see that I had not....

Yes, he is a fine boy... straigth As, no drugs, good friends from what I can tell (even though he is very quiet and does not have many)... no girl friend (wife thinks he might be eyeing one, but to reserved to do anything)...

Funny you mention about a $35,000 car... my nephew was about to purchase one a bit higher than that.... while still living at home... sis did not know what to tell him except that if he could afford a car he could afford his own place.... fortunately for her (and IMO for him) the bank shot him down.... his job was not permanant....
It seems that your son does not "want to waste money". He seeks goals that are more valuable to him than his perceived value of the cash. He is following his utility function, like any other human who is at least partly autonomous. You on the other hand perceive that the value of the cash is greater than the value of the phone. But he is the economic actor in this case, not you.

I only had one conflict with my sons. I didn't want them to drink or smoke, but they didn't desire those things anyway. I had no interst in their sex lives, beyond some education about safe sex.

What I did try to prevent, that they wanted to get, was sport bikes like Ninjas. They are both speed crazy, and I have seen too many motorcycle accidents. One of them now gets his fix from a fast car, double black diamond snowboarding, and mountain biking.

The other bought a Carrera and drives on the track.

I am not exactly nuts about any of these things, but they are, and IMO these beat sport bikes as to the chances of staying alive with an intact spinal cord.

So I picked my spots, and feel pretty good about it.

Ha
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:41 PM   #52
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Similar situation with my 16YO DS. He had a perfectly good Samsung smartphone that I bought for him for birthday or something. He decided he wanted an iPhone 4S midway through the contract on the Samsung. I told him if he could save his money to pay for it he could. He did.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:41 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by ronocnikral View Post
whenever I wanted to spend "my" money on something stupid like electronics or girbaud jeans when I was in high school, my mother and father would tell me that since I had so much money, maybe I should be buying all my clothes and no more lunch money. Of course, I got a few splurges here and there, but it was really easy for them to say, "alright money bags, maybe you should buy your $130 soccer cleats instead of us."
Actually a few years ago I implemented this. I gave the kids (teenagers) a big increase in then allowance. However, they were required to buy their school lunches and their clothes out of the allowance. I did say that they couldn't run around in rags. I found that once they had to pay for their own clothes they were much more careful about what they bought and paid attention to the cost of clothes. They knew that if they were careful on clothes then there was more money for "fun" stuff which was part of the lesson I was trying to teach.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:25 PM   #54
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Next time this comes up, perhaps a compromise is in order. Allow them to buy the phone but only after reading The Millionaire Next Door. Maybe son will think twice after that experience. I know that it influenced me. Probably wouldn't have been so geeked all along about LBYM and ER if I didn't save strongly as early as possible in my career. Also understanding these concepts prior to searching for a spouse with similar values can be priceless.

BTW - Don't assume that the kids will outgrow their love of the latest tech gadgets as they age. I have a coworker a year or so older than me (upper 40's) who had to declare personal bankruptcy recently while both spouses were employed without any health crisis that I know of.

They will likely have to work forever at the rate he is going.

But he is the cell phone GoTo guy around here and loves that status (actually he tends to ,for the most part, regurgitate Verizon marketing phrases but it gets him the reputation anyways).
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:01 PM   #55
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My oldest has been working with me at the rentals this summer earning $7.25/hr. So the first $250 he had went to a long-board (skateboard).... more than his friends spent, beyond his ability .... but I let it go. Now he needs more $$ (so I have a helper)
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:06 PM   #56
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I don't know. I just feel that for some posting on the thread there is just an assumption that a smartphone has no real function and is only obtained for the status. But, my experience is that for many it really is more like a small computer and is used for a lot of things. Some of the things I use mine for and I see my kids (16 and 18) using it for:

1. Phone
2. Texting
3. Camera
4. Reminders
5. Calendar
6. Surfing the web, sometimes even for school
7. Keeping important documents for easy review such as my son's syllabi in his college courses
8. Taking notes in class (in college)
9. Recording notes (check out AudioNote app)
10. Posting on facebook and other online forums (I have posted here from my phone)
11. Watching videos or Hulu or Netflix
12. Checking and writing email
13. Chatting using Skype so you don't use phone minutes (now that we are on a shared data plan and have unlimited phone minutes this doesn't matter but was very nice before and is nice with someone not in the US)
14. Recording fitness workouts and watch videos of proper form for specific exercises
15. Listen to music
16. Listen to lectures (continuing education in my case)
17. Play games
18. Check the weather
19. Get the news and receive news alerts I've set up
20. Check the stock market
21. Read Kindle books
22. Get a flashlight app and use it as a flashlight
23. Use it as a mobile hotspot for my notebook computer while traveling
24. Use it as a remote for the TV
25. Measure your heart rate
26. Use it as an alarm clock (I no longer have an alarm clock, I just use my phone and I can set multiple alarms for different times on different days)
27. Use it as a timer or stopwatch
28. Keep a task list
29. Keep a shopping list
30. Use it as a GPS and for navigation (my nice Garmin took me to the wrong location once but I opened up the map program on my phone and it quickly straightened me out)
31. Record voice memos of things you want to remember
32. Use Siri to find the nearest restaurant (or whatever)
33. Scan in bar codes at the store for a variety of information that you can get from various apps
34. Keep track of what I eat.
35. Keep track of what I spend.


I could continue, but the point is that I don't think there is any other single device that can do all of those tasks. A feature phone can do a few. A computer can do a lot of them but lacks portability and isn't a cell phone. Even then I don't think I could even take a laptop to the grocery store and reasonably scan in bar codes.

Some of these things may be things that some of us would never do and I'm sure others use their phone for things I don't mention. But if wanted to do those 35 things and you added up the reasonable cost for a cell phone that wasn't a smart phone and then added a computer (even a notebook) it would likely cost more than a smartphone and would lack the portability.

I can understand that not everyone wants one and that is fine. I can even understand that some might want one and not be able to afford it. There could easily be other things that are more necessary. I do think that the smartphone is still something that is optional. However, it is hard for me to really see it as a waste of money.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:18 AM   #57
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However, I was the second to get a smartphone.
I have a cell phone. It can send & receive calls. Is a smartphone one that doesn't ring if I don't want to answer it?
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:12 AM   #58
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I don't know. I just feel that for some posting on the thread there is just an assumption that a smartphone has no real function and is only obtained for the status.
.
That is because the OP said that. Nobody read between the lines.

'I said it is a waste of money to buy a 'smartphone' just to look cool. He said 'it is my money and I do not want to look stupid with an old mans phone'..... just to let you know, I did let him buy an I-Pod with his money, so he does not need it for that purpose....'
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:29 AM   #59
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Considering that most Americans haven't saved enough in their emergency fund to cover their expenses for 6 months you could be describing a typical 40 year old these days. Doesn't seem like a lot of people are able to tell the difference between "needs" and "wants".
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:14 AM   #60
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I could continue, but the point is that I don't think there is any other single device that can do all of those tasks. A feature phone can do a few. A computer can do a lot of them but lacks portability and isn't a cell phone. Even then I don't think I could even take a laptop to the grocery store and reasonably scan in bar codes.
Thanks 2 U, I removed my netbook from my carry-on and I'm going with just my (and DW's) smartphone (we leave tonight, for Scotland).

While we are in the "wilds", we probably will not get wi-fi nor cell service, but since our phones have both, we will just chance it with that. Since we traveled in Scotland a few years ago, they might have improved services, but I'm counting on that they did not ...

The only other thing we used the netbook for is to take a backup and review the photo's we had taken (on an SD card), but we'll just risk it.

Thanks for letting me get through TSA with less "baggage" (I'm looking forward to my "grope" )...
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