Dear Annie: I have twin teenage granddaughters who visit me every year for a week. They also bring along a friend (just one, thank goodness). I love having them, but I end up spending a fortune entertaining them. I pay for every meal, including restaurants, and we eat out a lot. I love to take them places, but I’m on a fixed income and would like to make it less expensive.
Do you think if I were to give each of my granddaughters a set amount of money they would be more frugal? They earn a lot of money babysitting, but I feel funny asking them to spend their own money on things when they visit me. Any suggestions? – Going Broke in Florida
Dear Going Broke: You should not have to foot the entire bill for two teenagers and their friend. You are already giving them a free place to stay and any meals eaten at home. But please don’t demand payment from the girls. Instead, ask the parents to help you with the cost of entertaining these young people for a week. They also could give the girls an allowance for personal expenses (movies with the friend, trips to a restaurant, mall purchases). The extra girl’s parents should similarly send her with personal money so she does not become a burden.
Taking the girls for a week is a lovely way to bond with your granddaughters, but it is also a favor to the parents. Explain the situation and ask them to help remedy the problem.