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The Cost of Kids and Smartphones

From food and diapers to Big Wheels and Barbies, there is a lot of money to be spent on kids these days. So it's no surprise that a monthly smartphone bill is one of the newest additions to the cost of child rearing.

But how old should your kid be before wielding such technology? And how much money should be spent on a monthly mobile phone bill?

A new study from Pew Research Center discovered that only 12 percent of American teens age 13–17 do not have a cell phone of any type, according to Reuters. And a quarter of American 8- and 9-year-olds now have them, according to the 2015 Parents, Kids & Money survey by Baltimore money managers T. Rowe Price.

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But there's so much more that goes into the decision of getting your kid a cell phone. Consider the monthly cost, and add that up until your kid is 18 (or later). That's a chunk of change!

As Reuters reports, if you get your 12-year-old a plan that costs $50 a month, it'll set you back $4,200 though age 18. And that's just the service bill. There's the potential for additional costs like repair, data usage and replacement.

RELATED: Are Smartphones Ruining Our Kids' Eyes?

So what's the solution?

Try a prepaid plan for your child's first cell phone. Shop around and find the best deal. Or consider a family plan. And if you've got a teen at home, make him or her chip in for that monthly smartphone bill.

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Image via PhotographyByPaul/Flickr

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