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Lighten Up

I know the last few days have been extremely difficult. I wanted to share with you some of the good things that are also happening for me right now. (Ok, it’s no more than a funny kid story, but it’s going to be interesting to watch this one play out).

My boys are allowed to play video games pretty much endlessly at Dad’s house. When we were a family, I had a rule that my mom used when we were kids, the video games were put away for the summer months…I have no problem with this.

One of the challenges the boys and I face is that I have no toys, very few books, etc. for them to pass the time with. I don’t yet have any board games, or even cards. They don’t have bikes at my house yet and we have not yet purchased the promised rollerblades (the last paycheck in May is when that purchase is scheduled for).

So, the boys say that we ‘need’ an x-box. We have had extensive wants/needs discussions and already talk about money management and such so the ‘need’ part of that statement is a running joke with Boy 1 and myself.

Last weekend we ate supper at McDonald’s on Friday. I was tired, they were tired, it was getting late. The next day they also wanted to eat out for lunch and I said we couldn’t do that every day just because we now live within a few miles of McDonald’s. I was assured that Pizza Hut or Subway would also have been acceptable.

So, in my continued effort to teach money management skills to the boys I came up with a plan. I said each time I have them, we will have a budget of $25 for eating out. Any left over money would go to their X-box fund. On the weekends that we decide to not eat out at all, that we eat ALL our meals at my place I will add  $40 to their x-box fund. As you can imagine, this got Boy 1’s brain a ticking…so if we don’t eat out, we get more money? Yes Bubba…hmmm

I said that to make it fair, I would also work with them to plan out weekend menus so that there would be food they wanted. Yes, this is just another way to add to the whole money management lesson as they will now be able to see what it takes to plan meals and what things cost.

I have explained that we are not broke. That we just have to learn how to make plans and follow through with them when it comes to money.

Yes, I am such a nerd that the thought of this plan excites me and makes me giddy. I have smiled the entire time I’ve been writing. I will keep you up-to-date on the X-box fund. I’m thinking that by the time winter rolls around we will have enough money for it…perfect timing on my part…and they don’t even know it!! HAHA

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