Thursday, September 12, 2013

6 years later...

I'm still a blogger.

Maybe not as frequently, but I'm still here. 

Today is my 6 year blog anniversary!

I've done several posts already reflecting how grateful I am to be part of the blogosphere, so I won't dwell. I'll just blog.

Continuing my financial update...

When summer began, since I didn't have to allot $$ for the girls' school lunches anymore, I made both a "Sylvia"  and "Riley" line item to my budget. They also get a portion of the child support that I receive from X if and when he sends it. I knew that since I was producing the musical, and still working full-time, I would be gone from before 8 a.m. and get home close to 10 p.m. every weeknight. Which meant there'd be little time or energy left for household duties.

Previously, I've tried to pay the girls per chore, but it was just too much trouble. Instead, we made a deal that they would each get $20 per week for doing pretty much everything I told them to do.

I didn't have to do laundry all summer, and man, that was heaven for me! They also did dishes and other daily tasks, which was a big help. And they didn't use all their cash.

I've sat down and shown each of them my Magic Little Notebook so that they understand how I keep track of everything. They would ask for $10 here and there to go to the movies or eat out, but they both did a great job of keeping their own notebooks to track their "accounts."  Mind you, I did not tell either of them to do so; they just did it on their own. (Proving, once again, they learn from our actions and not our words.)

I also explained to them that some things were going to have to come from their accounts, like new school clothes and supplies. They both did an excellent job of finding things that they really liked that fit within their budgets. They also learned the actual cost of going out after a performance, since I would allot their portion of the bills from their accounts. They grumbled a little at first, but understood. 

I used to worry that I was running out of time to teach them these kinds of money lessons. Turns out that just being open with them about our household finances and involving them did a lot more than I expected. 

Sylvia wasn't crazy about the fact that I did take some of the costs of her art supplies (which ended up totaling $255) from her account, but after reminding her that I spent three times more than she did, she has accepted it. She tends to let her account dip very low, so I've implemented a rule that they can only take out half of what they have. (She wanted to spend her last $20 so I told her she had to wait until the following week when she would have another $20 in there.)

Riley started saving of her own volition because she wants to buy a laptop, so she only takes out small amounts.

We depleted my Miscellanous, Fun and Dining Out buckets almost completely going out with friends after shows and grabbing a bite on the way to the theatre, but we are slowly working, one paycheck at a time, to build them back up. At least it didn't go on the credit card, which again, is better than last summer! We'll see where we are next summer, and just hope it continues on the upward trend.

Thanks for being here to help me celebrate 6 years of blogging! Hope to still be here next year, too.

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