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Spending Freeze Partially Lifted

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Those who are close to me sometimes tease me because I have a thing for mail. After the mailman goes by I’m usually the first one out there to see what he brought. You can imagine the mailman jokes I get 😛

Mr. Mailman didn’t disappoint me today. I finally received the payment I was owed from an advertiser. It was postmarked a week ago so it was definitely sent late. I haven’t received a reply to my emails, so I have no idea if they just sent it late or if they ended up sending a new check. I guess I’ll have to keep an eye out for next month.

With that check, we are definitely okay this month. While our spending freeze has been nice, I am pretty glad the money came in. Quite a few months ago, I told my son we would go see Pixar’s Wall-E (which opens tomorrow) in the movie theater as a special treat. He’s at that age where he 1.) Remembers everything we say and 2.) Really understands ads that state when a movie is opening. So deep down I was hoping our financial situation improved so we could partially lift our spending freeze so we could go see the movie. I’m not sure if we’ll see it this weekend, but at least I can set the money aside now.

I should have done that when I first told him we could go see it but I am still trying to adjust to the “setting money aside thing” for occasional treats like entertainment. If I was really on the ball, I should have set up a jar to place money in every week as we saved up to go see the movie (for the three of us, a matinee will cost $17). We tell him all the time at the store that he needs to save his money to get the toys that he wants. But seeing mom and dad actually saving money will have a lasting impression on him, I think.

We really need to be doing more to help our son learn the financial habits that we are learning as adults. I think that as a family we should determine our next “treat” and save up for it. I think it will be a nice and rewarding experience for all of us.


11 Comments

  • Reply Mar |

    Tricia, the jar thing definitely works. I know a family of 5 who wanted to go to Disney World several years ago. They looked up all the prices, decided to camp since they had all the gear and the campground down there is apparently very nice, and came up with a budget. They children, who were around 11, 9, and 7 were involved in the process. They then put up a sheet of paper in the kitchen with how much they had to save, how much they had already saved, and the dates of the trip. This paper was updated monthly. Part of the trip was funded by dollars that went into a jar beside the paper for things not spent, such as a Friday night pizza dinner from one of the local restaurants. The parents went over this with the children – should we get pizza or save for Disney? At least 9 times out of 10, it was save. They had a great trip that they all still remember and that they could all enjoy because they were able to pay for it in cash.

  • Reply Jane |

    Tricia, don’t worry that you aren’t teaching your son enough about good money habits, you ARE! Our three sons are grown now (ages 28,26 and 21) and all out on their own. They are all exceptionally good money managers, because when they were growing up they were watching while we paid off debt, saved all we could and “cleaned up our money act”. None of them have made the mistakes we did at their ages. My own parents and my husband’s were not good with money and we had to relearn better choices when we got to our 30’s and had gotten into a hole by mindlessly just doing what our parents did. We turned that around, thankfully. But there was a MAJOR side benefit to our better money management. Apparently children really do pay attention to what you do (no matter what you say) and learn from it. We are so grateful that we made the changes we did when we did!

  • Reply Jim ~ mydebtblog.com |

    My mom had a jar she would save some of her regular spending money and change. I would count the jar from time to time to see how much was in it. When there was enough money to do something with it, we would go and do it because it could be paid for. I think it’s good to show children that it takes time and patience to save for something you want to do or have.

  • Reply Caitlin @ C³ |

    The jar would be very helpful to a child!

    “Mommy and Daddy saving money” is quite an abstract concept – especially when all the money is at the bank, in an account they can’t see.
    Seeing a jar full of money grow, and then seeing and experiencing the money in the jar used to buy the item being saved for would be an excellent teaching tool!

    I also have a thing for the mail! I love opening the box to see what’s in there! It’s a little sad on days when there’s nothing!

  • Reply Mrs. Accountability |

    I like the jar idea, and mom and dad modeling saving on this level will make quite a statement. I also LOVE getting mail, have ever since I was a young child. For a while, email was just as delightful but that wore off since I get so much. 🙂 Regular mail still trickles in slowly so it’s still a happy time of the day for me – especially when I’m expecting something in the mail besides bills!

  • Reply Sherri |

    I am obsessed with the mail.
    Obsessed.

    It’s kinda silly because I don’t really get a lot in the mail, but the second I head the mail in the box out I go. Maybe there is a “mail obsession” gene…

  • Reply Beth |

    That is funny because I too LOVE the mail. Getting the mail is literally a highlight of my day. I think it’s the unknown — you never know what’s going to show up. It’s like a mini-adventure that happens every day. (I also LOVE paying bills — no automatic bill-pay for me — but that’s another story for another time.)

  • Reply Best credit card offers |

    My mom had a jar she would save some of her regular spending money and change. I would count the jar from time to time to see how much was in it. When there was enough money to do something with it, we would go and do it because it could be paid for. I think it’s good to show children that it takes time and patience to save for something you want to do or have.

  • Reply Erica |

    I’m reading about your spending freeze and I have to say that I’m really impressed! I thought I was doing well by cutting my groceries down to ~$100 per week (for a family of three) but wow! You’ve inspired me to look further.

So, what do you think ?