Should You Upsize Your Home When Your Kids Are Teens?

As your children grow into the tween and teen years, your house can begin to feel cramped.

The kids have an increased need for privacy, and they are likely to have more friends over.

They may have more “stuff” as they take part in band, sports, and extracurriculars.  As parents, you may not like having your teen children in bedrooms right next door to your bedroom because they go to bed later and are noisier.

All of these reasons and more are why people often upsize in housing during their children’s tween and teen years.  Yet, is this really necessary?

Should you upsize your home?

Should you upsize your home?

The Upsizing Story

Roger and Payton decided to build a new house when their kids were 11 and 13 for all of the reasons stated above.

The new house had 1/3 more space, and the floor plan was split so that the parents’ bedroom was on one side of the house, and the kids’ bedrooms were on the other side with a living room in between.  They moved in when the kids were 12 and 14.  They loved the house, but within four years, their oldest son moved out.  And while their younger son lived at home while he went to college, they realized they could have easily stayed in their old home, which was plenty big enough for three people.

So often, homeowners decide to upsize when their children will often be out of the house in a few short years.  This may not be the smartest financial move for several reasons:

Increased Housing Expenses

When you upsize to a larger home, you’re going to face increased expenses.

With a larger house comes an increase in utilities, taxes, and maintenance costs.  These extra expenses may run several thousand dollars or more per year.

In addition, you may face a larger mortgage payment when upsizing, unless you made a considerable profit from the sale of your smaller house and were able to make a large down payment.

Increased Demands On Your Money

Not only will you likely have a larger mortgage and other routine costs mentioned above, but you’ll soon be facing many other expenses that come with the teen years.  You will likely have to pay auto expenses for your new fledgling drivers, including car insurance for teen drivers, which can be pricey. In addition, teens may be involved in more expensive extracurriculars as well as social events like prom.

Soon, your children will be off to college, and you may want to help pay some of those expenses, if not tuition, then perhaps some spending money for the kids.  Again, this will likely add thousands of dollars in expenses into the budget yearly.

As if all these increased expenses weren’t enough, this time of life is also when aging parents may need help.  Perhaps an elderly parent requires additional care, so one spouse must cut back on his or her work hours to spend more time with the parent.  Maybe the elderly parent needs additional financial support.

Finally, this is the time when many people try to increase their retirement contributions.  Substantially adding to your retirement can be difficult when you’re shouldering so many other financial burdens.

Many, many people upsize their homes when their kids are tweens and teens.  For families who are in a strong financial position, this is fine.  But for other families, staying in their current home, even for the few years when kids are teens and space feels tight, may make a world of difference in their finances as they face more expenses with their teens and their aging parents as well as their own retirement needs.

If you are the parent of teenagers, did you choose to upsize your home, or did you stay in the house you already owned even though it felt cramped?


4 Inexpensive East Coast Destinations to Travel to With Your Family

It’s amazing how things change when you have kids. Before kids, weekend getaways and trips were fairly easy. When we needed to take a break, I remember we could look at the calendar and twenty minutes later, have a few dates to run by work for time off.  Even the destinations would already be top of mind and after looking for deals on travel sites and asking around, we’d settle with whatever had the best price. Pretty easy.

Fast forward a few years and now we’re parents of an eight-year-old and a four-year-old.  

Those first few years with our little ones were honestly rough. We’re trying to coordinate between two jobs and one school schedule. It was tough finding the perfect time to take a week or so off. Once we had our dates, we’d then have to make sure that we could find a deal. Thankfully, we’ve gotten a little bit wiser. We found our footing and came up with our little system for timing our vacations and snagging some good savings. We’ve also found some spots that allow us to unwind without breaking the budget 

Affordable Family Vacations to Take This Fall 

While school is back in season, that doesn’t mean you have to write off the rest of the year.  You still have time to take one last getaway to recharge your battery, have some fun, and connect as a family.  

To make things easy for you, I want to share a few of our favorite spots that both we and the kids enjoyed. The cherry on top? They’re also affordable spots!  

Daytona Beach, Florida 

If you’re looking to escape and have some beach time, then Florida is the way to go. However, staying in Orlando is not on the list if you’re looking for a chance to relax and actually save money. Instead, soak up some beach time before the weather gets too cold and hang out for a bit in Daytona Beach.  

When we did our trip last October in Florida, it couldn’t have been more perfect. The weather was still warm, the large crowds of tourists were gone (along with the overpriced hotels), and there were plenty of things to do around.  

Racing fans can enjoy the Daytona International Speedway or if you’re in the mood for stars, you can head over to MOA’s planetarium.  And if your kids really want to visit the Magic Kingdom or Universal Studios, you can make it a more affordable day trip rather than blow your budget by spending your whole time there.  We once went to Universal right after Thanksgiving and were able to skip waiting in line because it was so quiet.  

Charleston, South Carolina 

We took trips to Charleston for the last few Decembers and I have to say, we’ve enjoyed every one. While the temperatures have cooled down a bit, making beach time minimal, we still managed to be out and about. Throw on a jacket, wear your fall layers, and you’re all set to hit the town and enjoy some history and food.  

You have to visit The Tavern at Rainbow Row. Besides being the oldest liquor store in the country, the vibe there is incredible. It’s small, but the selection is wide. Want to have an incredible lunch that’s still cheap? Try out The Blind Tiger. The truffle duck, bourbon bread pudding, buffalo cheese curds are delicious.  

Asheville, North Carolina 

One of our favorite low-key trips we’ve taken was a camping adventure with some friends just outside of Asheville. Being able to see the mountains shift into autumn colors was incredible. If you’re a photographer or love being outdoors, you have to take a trip here. It’s so peaceful and the views are amazing. For the parents, Asheville is the hot spot for fantastic food and a wide array of awesome breweries.   

After spending your days enjoying the parks and maybe getting some tubing in, treat yourself and the kids to Double D’s Coffee and Dessert. It’s a cool double-decker bus in the city that’s also nearby Wicked Weed brewery.  

Tuxedo, New York 

If you absolutely love New York City but also relish some peace and relaxation that a more rural spot gives, then you should check out some of the small towns upstate.   

I may be a little biased since I lived here for a few years, but fall is pretty much the best time to visit. You can truly have the best of both worlds with renting a spot in a town just outside the city.  The Metro-North Railroad means you can take a train to New York City, allowing you to enjoy a scenic ride and skip put on the nightmare of driving in Manhattan.  

Have your day trips to shop, visit the museums, and explore some of the best restaurants. You can then head back to your affordable getaway spot and enjoy some of the local events including celebrating autumn with exquisite apple cider.  

Saving Up for Family Trips 

While you hunt for the deals, you can start now saving up for your trip. You can create a vacation fund as separate savings to keep you motivated.  

Using a tool like Mint makes it easy to track your progress and help you find ways to trim your budget a smidge so you have more money for fun during your trip. Knowing our money leaks allowed us to try some fun monthly challenges to sock away an extra couple hundred dollars.  Keep your vacations debt-free also means there’s less stress as you don’t have to worry about a bill afterward. Double win in my book!  

If you’re looking for tips, please check out my post on how to shift gears and become a savvy saver.  It’s much easier than you think and you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish in one month.  

Your Take on Family Getaways 

Wherever you go, I hope you have a wonderful time together. Now that you know my favorites, I’d love to hear about your spots.  What have been some of your best vacations together?  




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