Kids And Finances: Should My Son Help Pay For An Expensive Field Trip?
The field trip came with a price tag of $246.
The first thought that came to mind questioned the school’s logic for sending home a permission slip for a field trip with a fairly large price tag with only about a week to return the slip with payment. Rearranging a budget to absorb $246, especially weeks before Christmas, is not an easy task. While this wasn’t my son’s fault, it exemplifies that it’s almost necessary to have a special teenager emergency fund.
Once I got past that, I began thinking about a financial solution to pay for the field trip. As I explained the field trip to my wife, she expressed a thought I hadn’t considered:
Should we require our son to contribute some of his own funds towards the cost of the field trip?
My wife’s argument for this course of action are:
- Not Required : The field trip is not mandatory, and not part of his grade. It’s simply an opportunity presented to students.
- Fun Activity : He wants to go because the activities sound fun and his friends are going.
- High Cost : Because it’s an overnight trip and they will be staying in a hotel, the cost is higher than the average school day field trip.
- He Has Income : My son works 15-20 hours a week at a part time job, and even after saving a considerable amount out of each paycheck, he has a significant amount of spending money.
In summary, since it’s not required for his class, the field trip is simply a fun experience he wants to go on with his friends. So, he should at least pay part of the cost. At least that’s what my wife is asserting. The counter argument is that it is a learning experience that will enhance the subject matter of his Physics class. Since it’s essentially a school activity, maybe we as parents should pay the fee in full.
I’m on the fence on this one, Clever Friends. I’m concerned that somewhere, deep in the bowels of my reasoning I’m agreeing with my wife only because it would be easier on our budget.
What do you think, should my son be required to pay for part of his field trip?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock