Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Frugal Teenager, Ready or Not

October 10, 2008

WHEN Wendy Postle’s two children were younger, saying “yes” gave her great joy. Yes to all those toys. The music lessons. The blowout birthday parties.

But as her son and daughter approached adolescence, yes turned into a weary default. “Sometimes it was just easier to say, ‘O.K., whatever,’ than to have the battle of ‘no,’ ” said Mrs. Postle, a working mother who lives in Hilliard, Ohio, a middle-class suburb of Columbus.

This year her husband’s 401(k) savings are evaporating. Medical bills are nipping at the couple’s heels. Gas prices are still taking a toll. Mrs. Postle recently decided that although she and her husband had always sacrificed their own luxuries for Zach, 13, and Kaitlyn, 15, the teenagers would now have to cut back as well. the rest


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