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The saving money bug is biting others in this house…


I overheard the kids talking tonight and 7 year old girl explained to her big brothers that the library is the “way to go” because you just borrow the books and DVD’s and you don’t have to give them money.  🙂   This on top of the 13 year old revisiting the 25 cent boxes of Rice Krispies and marveleing aloud.  The 12 year old was on the phone with his Dad yesterday sharing what a deal these antennas are because “tv is FREE Dad.”    There have been some unrelated challenges with the 17-year-old so we definitely don’t have any positive or negative commentary from him.  Oh to be as smart as all of the 17-year-olds out there!  Another day where I find a whole new respect for my parents surviving FIVE teenagers!

I know that some readers will assume our kids are overindulged…but I beg to differ.  They saved money from chores (more on that in a post to come), birthdays, holidays, little “jobs” and have bought ALL of the gadgets they have.  One bought an iTouch after over a year of saving. Honestly I didn’t think he’d be so determined but I’m proud he was!  We supply the bottom of the barrel cell phones b/c my husband has a stash of old phones at his disposal and I’m the only one in this house with an iPhone!  And that was only after it was reduced to an employee discount price.   The middle schoolers just got their phones this school year and friends don’t believe them when they learn their Dad works for a cell company…b/c they definitely don’t have the cutting edge phones.  Three of the four kids seem to be naturally thrifty and the one that isn’t…is learning from the others.  We provide basics and even the PS3 that is now serving as our television supply was split–we paid 50%, they paid the other 50%.   So, all this is to say that I’m not surprised by the lack of drama or pushback from them…but I am surprised at each of them articulating it in the manner they do.  As a new blended family we’ve needed a common goal.  It hit me today that saving money and paying off debt is the perfect common goal!   In some bizarre way (truly bizarre thinking here) I wish I COULD point to a bunch of crap for the kids to explain this debt!  But that’s CRAZY talk!  I am sure the days ahead will see unhappiness and disappointment as the novelty of this battle wears off and we all realize it is a long war ahead.

Anyway, this  is just a random share to celebrate the entire family’s progress.  I like the idea someone put in a comment about recruiting them for my ebay sales.  I know they would love that!


Born and raised in Texas.I've at least driven through every state in the US courtesy of a roadtrip loving Dad.

I'm single with two children and a good parenting relationship with their father.

I am a "life is just half full of funny" kinda gal.Humor is my saving grace and I am thankful for it every single day.I have a strong Catholic faith and am thankful for that foundation.
I read a lot for a living but still enjoy a good book.I love biographies but in recent years have found the need for fun fictional books--sadly, for a long time I just didn't enjoy fiction!
I love live theatre of any kind--from local productions to Broadway.
I love to scrapbook and pride myself in my kids' albums.
I love being a mom but also love my career.I'm blessed to have found a balance allowing me to be at everything my kids need and want me to be at--while also having a career.
Favorite Quotes:Well behaved women rarely make history.
Behold the turtle.He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out. -James Bryant Conant

Latest posts by Claire (see all)


  • Reply Kim |

    All I can say is thank goodness. I can’t imagine having 5 that would fight you on this. My oldest was really good and surprisingly the youngest is not so picky but the middle on is awful. She will still complain about how cheap I am. I am not cheap I am trying to get out of debt and she is not helping.

  • Reply Bobbi |

    Kids are more resilient than adults and I think they will just go with the flow. It is good you are teaching them early. What a GREAT tid bit to pass along to them for their future lives. They will appreciate it later in life! As for the 17 year old, he/she gets it too and appreciates it. They just don’t know it yet, lol.

  • Reply Cathy C. |

    Claire, good for you on getting the kids on board! I’m sure as your journey goes along there will be times that the kids will rebel a little and/or try to guilt you or make you feel bad for “denying” them certain things. We started our own debt payoff in Jan. and we only have one child (well, he’s really not a child anymore as he’s 18), but at first he acted like a little entitled brat. Now he’s starting to see the light and becoming more involved in debt discussions and taking notes on “what not to do”. Thankfully we don’t have any cc debt and are just working on paying off our cars and house, but our struggles with him and teaching him about money are almost the same as someone who has huge cc debt. Even though we’ve paid cash for everything for years on things besides the cars and house, our son has always seen it as though we buy whatever we want when we want it and he sadly has very little financial sense. UGH! Sometimes you just can’t win! Hopefully your kids will learn a lot about money over the next few years!!

  • Reply Cathy C. |

    I also just wanted to add that I’m so glad I found this blog! You’re really keeping me motivated to stay on track and I love reading about all the ideas to try and live a more frugal life! It’s really hard when all of your friends and coworkers are still spending like there’s no tomorrow and talking about their extravagant vacations for the upcoming summer while you’re saving every penny to pay off debt. Just nice to see there are others out there with the same goal!

  • Reply Jean |

    What a great post! Thanks for sharing your victories with us so we can celebrate with you.

  • Reply Marianne |

    I think the example you’re setting for your kids and the lessons you’re teaching them are awesome!! My parents taught me to be smart with money but my husband was not so lucky and he has struggled with it as an adult. Seeing how difficult it has been for him to change some of the ways he looks at money has made me so determined to make sure that I teach my son to use money wisely so that he won’t have to struggle so much as an adult.

  • Reply Adam |

    this post is great – between the volunteering and the thriftiness, you are setting yourself up to have some well-adjusted adult children.

    i noticed you deleted the paid off cards from the debt list. i would have kept them in so i could keep looking at all those 0’s! i have a spreadsheet and when i pay off a debt i highlight it in bright yellow! after 2 years the yellow started filling up the page, so great!

    • Reply Dream Mom |

      Yes, I agree with Adam to leave them on there, even with the $0. It will be good to see the zeros as they are paid off and easier to follow. And yes, I still prefer the new numbers on the first of the month. The only other things I’d like, is the auto balances together and the credit card balances together. Just my opinion, lol.

    • Reply Dylan |

      I agree with Adam, leave the paid off debt on the list. It’ll be good to see those zeroes on the days that you need a boost. 🙂

      • Reply Claire |

        Interesting! I guess b/c I am SUCH a list driven person I just wanted them GONE GONE GONE! And honestly…I think I was about to run out of room given the long list! I’ll keep this in mind as we move along but I don’t need to see a $0 where that ridiculous $65 original balance was! LOL! The memories are ENOUGH!

        • Reply Another Reader |

          Rebecca put zero as the debts were paid off and when she took out a vet credit card for her dog’s care, she added a line and the amount. To keep a visual history, put a zero when something is paid off and add new debts, such as your consolidation loan, to the list. That gives the most complete and fairest view of your progress.

    • Reply Bluezette |

      I agree that I’d like to see them listed but on the other hand the debt isn’t gone, as $0 would imply, just moved. Maybe that’s why Claire chose to remove them instead.

      • Reply JMK |

        Perhaps rather than $0 put “Moved to LOC”. The debt isn’t paid, just relocated to the new Line of Credit.

  • Reply emmi |

    Money is freedom.
    Stuff is a burden to the soul.
    I think teens get get this if it’s presented as empowering, not as punishment.

  • Reply emmi |

    Cathy, have you tried entrapping your coworkers with funny questions when they mention their vacations/toys?

    In your most innocent voice:
    “Gosh, it must be nice to have no debt so you can take trips like that.”
    “Every dollar put on a card carrying a balance costs double once it’s paid off. Good thing you don’t have to use credit cards for your trip.”

    There will be an awkward silence 😀

    • Reply Cathy C. |

      Oh, this is awesome! It’s almost like you know the friend of whom I speak!! Hope the opportunity presents itself to use one of these!

So, what do you think ?