Kids are incredibly expensive. Turns out you have to feed them, clothe them and keep a roof over their head. It adds up. But wait, it gets even better as they turn into teens.

My baby's birthday is coming up and I'm giving her the car I'm currently driving. Since I'm a pig, I'll pay to get it detailed ($200), and I'll be sure to change the oil. I'll be ready the first time she needs to change the tires. Her safety is the no. 1 priority in my life, so it's incredibly important she's in a reliable vehicle. I'll buy whatever for myself. If I end up on the side of the road, at least I have the experience to deal with it.

Besides the vehicle itself, insurance for a teenage driver is extraordinarily expensive, and on average a whopping 10 percent of their parent's income, according to

In Texas, it's not quite as bad as other states, but certainly not as good as others. Adding an 18 year old is an average of 8.2 percent of Texas' median income, and, of course, it's even pricier for a 16 year old.

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Some ways to save are to utilize the "good grades" discount many policies offer should your child qualify for them. Of course, another way to save significantly is to give your child (or help them obtain) a vehicle that's fully paid off. Liability-only insurance typically will cut an insurance bill in half. I firmly believe no teenager needs a brand new vehicle; I find that offensive. Of course, my first vehicle was only three years younger than me, so I might be a little biased.

Another significant way to save is to wait until you're 22 to drive, but many teens don't want to do that, and most can't wait that long because they must drive themselves to school or work.

Before you grouse too much about Texas' teen insurance rates, take a look at Michigan's. Adding a teen driver can cost families nearly 20 percent of their median income. Holy cow. I would just get that kid a bike and wish them luck.

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