Do you still pay for your teen’s cellphone bill?  A recent article in the Wall Street Journal says “more than 2 in 5 parents of 18-to-35 year old adult children still pay for their kids’ cellphone service.”

78% of teens now have a cell phone and almost half of them own smartphones according to Pew Research.  The average age for teens to receive their own cell phone is between 12 and 13, based on a statistic from Top Ten Reviews .

Clearly cell phones play an important role in the lives of teens, yet do they really understand that these tiny devices cost money…..potentially a lot of money?

Texting charges, roaming charges, airtime charges, and access charges can all add up……not to mention the taxes.

Cell phone bills can be really confusing — even if you’re not paying for your teens’s cell phone, take the time to sit down with them each month and go through the bill line by line.  Make them understand what those 50 texts a day to their friend actually cost.

And as soon as your teen gets a job they can start paying their own way – you’ll be surprised how much their cellphone bill drops once they’re responsible for it!  If you’re trying to teach your teen financial responsibility you can avoid the static at the other end of the line, by simply focusing on something they can truly relate to… their phone.


> Post By Erika Vujnovich:   Erika is a business journalist with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. Her key focus is educating parents on how to teach their children about basic financial topics. A former writer/producer  at CNNfn, CNBC and Bloomberg, member of the NY Financial Writers’ association, and recipient of the TJFR 30 under 30 financial journalism award.  You can find her on Twitter  @erikavujnovich.