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The End of a Eventful Month


I enjoyed a “challenge” free month. While I continued to pay my regular payments on my credit card and student loan. In general, I lightened up on the financial front…just a little bit.

And I splurged a little bit…

  1. I ate a meal out with each child this month. With so many changes coming this month, I wanted to check in and make sure everyone was doing okay. In total, I spent $85 on meals out. It was a great time and a real treat to catch up with each child individually before we started splitting up!
  2. We ate a meal out as a family, which I must admit was quite a bit more expensive than expected. I let Sea Cadet pick the place since it was his graduation month. It cost me $100 and we all tried Czech/German food. We won’t be returning to that restaurant again as no one really enjoyed the food, and it was too expensive. But it was a great family memory.

  3. My big splurge…old time photos for the family! This is something we used to do on a yearly basis, but it’s one of the things I let go back the wayside some years back as I began letting “extras” go. But not knowing when I will have all 4 of my kids together again, I decided it was a splurge that was worth it to me. They were $99 and each of the kids got a copy, as well as my parents and grandmother. Money well spent in my mind!

Today I return from Chicago leaving Gymnast at his dad’s. I flew up with him to meet with the high school guidance counselor where he will attend. And make sure I am clear on how it operates and the opportunities they offer. (I have been AMAZED at how different the schools in different counties operate and the different things they offer.)

And tomorrow…A NEW FINANCIAL CHALLENGE and back to the financial grind!!!




  • Reply Kiki |

    I just caught up on all the comments about the new car purchase. Wow, just wow. And now I see that you have unloaded almost $300 on absolutely unnecessary expenses, plus the cost of an air flight. (You certainly could have arranged a phone call with that guidance counselor or a Skype.) Hope, you do not know the meaning of thrift. It’s just my husband and I now (4 children grown). We have a very healthy income and savings and investments, and we go out to eat about 2 times each year.

    You are never going to get your life and finances together unless you change your paradigm about money and spending. You are unteachable. Over and over, people have given helpful, practical advice, which you routinely ignore. Here is an example of thrift. Our first three vehicles cost a TOTAL of $1,800, and we drove these cars for 16 years. We did this because we could not afford a brand new car, and we didn’t care one bit what people thought of us.

    It’s just unbelievable.

  • Reply Deb |


    You have splurged a lot this month. I am just amazed at the financial decisions you have made. I bought my “new to me car” in 2008 from a dealership. I paid it off and continue to drive it and will until it is no longer able to be driven. I make about 70 K a year and only have my student loan and mortgage debt left. You could be in the same situation. I feel that the blog needs to review their writers and replace those who are not committed to making progress.

    • Reply Kiki |

      I second this. It will be four more years of the same. Hope has not been successful and neither was Ashley. I follow some pretty amazing Instagram accounts where people are killing their debt.

  • Reply Canan Onat |

    I used to think you were pretty thick skinned due to some harsh comments. However I now think you have an iron body armor. I understand the pictures and the meals together although I think those could have been done frugally. I do not understand the car though. Even before College, your daughter will be buried under debt. Why are you doing this to her? You were all for HS in the beginning and then you decided to send the kids to public school which is totally fine. Now you are sending one to a private school with many unknown expenses. How about the other kids? Just don’t get it.

    • Reply jen |

      She (Princess) will not be in debt unless she chooses to be. The beauty of this is that because she is a minor she cannot enter into this kind of contract. She may not even be able to be on the title of the car in Georgia. She can just decide not to pay it. The only obligation she has is a moral one, and given the circumstances, I don’t think she even has that.

      • Reply Jessica |

        I completely understand what you’re saying about princess not ACTUALLY being responsible for the debt..but this was a teaching moment and this has set up princess for a lifetime of thinking that this is normal, acceptable behavior. That kind of debt is even worse than the car debt theyve just taken on

        • Reply Jen |

          Oh, I completely agree. This is why I don’t think Princess has the moral obligation to pay the loan. The fact that she has a loan is because of the terrible, terrible, terrible, example her mother sets.

          I can only hope that Princess does the right thing for her. Learn her lesson before she’s old enough to be held legally liable for her debts. Reneg on this terrible idea, and going forward remember it as an example of incredibly poor decision making. Learn and grow, something her mother clearly cannot do.

          • Angie |

            The beauty of it is that they didn’t get a car loan. The uncle fronted the money for the car interest free. My guess is that Princess will have trouble finding a consistent job with her schedule. Maybe together they send him a few payments and hopefully full coverage insurance. Then the uncle will gift her the car because she needs it to get to school. He must already expect the debt isn’t going to be paid. At least not in full or in a timely manner.

            This is good news for getting Princess out of this crappy situation. But bad for teaching responsibility, money management, and reneging on generous offers. I think that buying a reliable older car for Hope wouldn’t have been the worst decision in the world as Hope needs car access one way or another. We likely would have supported getting a small loan if it was well thought through. It is the way it is was hastily considered. To go from I don’t need/want a car to saying your non-driving daughter bought a car within 3-weeks is concerning. Mainly because of how the responsibility was deflected or thrown onto her kids. To me those are the main points that make it a horrible decision.

          • Deb |


            You make a good point about the three week time span between not needing a car to getting a 2019 vehicle. I agree with your statement of “the responsibility was deflected or thrown onto her kids” and this is how Hope justifies her financial decision making process.

      • Reply Drmaddog |

        And unfortunately I think this is ultimately the rationalization hope and her daughter will use when it all goes south ‘well he shouldn’t have given us a loan. She’s too young and has no legal obligation to pay it back’. In the meantime they’ll be using it he car for free.

    • Reply Hope |

      Sea Cadet has graduated from his collegiate program with no debt.
      History Buff is continuing his training as a machinist, and will graduate with no debt.
      Gymnast is now living with his father and his girlfriend and is happy and thriving there.

      I find it interesting that the BAD community pushed me to have Princess help pay for her high school education, but is opposed to me having her help pay for the privilege of driving a car.

      • Reply Cwaltz |

        Children don’t pay for needs, parents do. However, volleyball isn’t a “need”, it’s a want. Private schooling isn’t a need(we have public schools that allow children an education for minimal costs), it’s a want. A car when busing is available is not a need, it’s a want. No one said you should not help her with some of her wants” however, you have less than a month worth of funds available for emergencies? What happens with housing, a need, if a contractor or two does not pay as they are supposed to? Can you meet her NEEDS if something happens or are you focused entirely on giving her all of her wants at the expense of those future needs?

  • Reply Misti |

    Hope – You had Princess’ friend take photos of one of the twins for free. Why could she have not taken the other photos? They dont have to be “old timey” photos to create memories, and you could have paid her 1/2 the amount. I dont understand about the car or the eating out; you and gymnast had a cheap sushi meal before he went back to his dads. why not the same with the other kids?

    • Reply Drmaddog |

      Because that sushi meal didn’t cost $10. She’s not being honest. You can’t get gas station sushi for $10 for two people. No way the two people ate in a sit-down sushi restaurant for $10 including tax and tip. Didn’t happen. Hence the expensive dinner for everyone else. Because the first one wasn’t cheap either.

  • Reply Jessica |

    There is nothing you can say at this point that can convince me you arent being paid for these posts. This one in particular is so completely tone deaf after the last post, I’m just in awe. This is no longer a helpful, conversational blog. Hope comes every few days to drop whatever junk content she feels like unloading – no comments are ever read (clearly) or answered. The site is pointless imo other than watching a train wreck in slow motion. But in this case, the train wreck happens over and over and over again

    • Reply jen |

      And the fact that a lot of her things only tangentially relate to finances. Don’ get me wrong, I’m glad for her kids when they have an accomplishment like graduating or whatever. But what place does it have on this blog? It doesn’t.

      The amount of information she over shares about her children, and the way she violates their privacy is truly frightening.

      • Reply Drmaddog |

        She’s been ignoring comments for a long time. At this point, much like the garbage plagiarized SEO posts, she’s just creating content to get paid. The place for that would be her own personal blog.

  • Reply Jessica |

    Totally agree – shes shared way too much about her grown children’s mental, physical and emotional health

  • Reply revdrmd |

    I have wanted to see you succeed in your journey to get out of debt. Your choices are not helping you meet this goal. As a single woman, I would be humiliated and humbled to accept loans from family members even if they were for very good things such as transportation and school for my children. I think that your heart rules your head when it comes to finances and your children. It is time to be guided by your head and not emotion. The choices you have discussed making in the last few posts have been been unwise. If I had to borrow money from a family member to purchase a car, I would not purchase a newer one but would purchase a reliable used car from the places that sell them. I would not expect that my 15 year old would take on a car note prior to her senior year especially when she is so involved in her life at school. I would not fly to Chicago to visit a guidance counselor when this could be done by phone. I would try to think of ways to have time with each child that might involve a trip to an ice cream store, and a family dinner would be at a place where I knew I liked the food and what it would cost. When I needed photos taken of my retirement party and videos made, I asked friends to do it. I arranged to pay for their parking and purchased a small gift card. Do you consult with anyone before you make these decisions? If not, I suggest that you find an accountability group that will speak truth into your life. You are not following the recommendations of the people on this blog.

    I agree with the privacy of your children. I would not post their photos, indicate where they are going to school, or ask for graduation cards to be sent to them. The world is not a nice place and you are putting your children at risk.

    Sorry if this is harsh since I don’t know you. It is what I think needs to be said.

    • Reply SMS#2 |

      I must have missed her asking people to send graduation cards to her kids. WTF?

      • Reply Jen |

        It’s just a couple pages back. Very griftery. Literally no one asked to send him a card.

  • Reply Denise |

    Hope’s financial decisions of late just don’t add up to me. She has mentioned that her boyfriend is planning to move to where she is. Anyone else think she may be assuming/hoping he will cover her expenses long term so she doesn’t have to think through the ramifications of her decisions in the short term?

    • Reply Laura |

      Yes, and I advised her in a previous post not to count on that. Great if it works out, but if not you need to be able to stand on your own two feet.

  • Reply Canan Onat |

    Hope is a hopeless case. This blog has clearly become a waste of time. If she doesn’t realize that she has a problem, she will never be able to fix it. I am done with this blog.

  • Reply Kate |

    I hope you can hear this in the kindest way possible. Is there a chance you are afraid to be debt free or that subconsciously you don’t think you deserve it? Now that you’ve really made progress you’re taking on unnecessary education costs and a basically new car. It doesn’t make sense when you’ve worked so hard.

  • Reply SMS |

    Kinda get the meals out, they were special occasion meals. Nothing wrong with trying a new place either, although clearly she didn’t think about the cost. I also understand Hope flying to Chicago. She surely wanted to see for herself where her son is living and going to school. I would have done the same.
    But the formal group portrait was unnecessary – it could have been done for minimal cost. And the car! And putting a debt burden on her young daughter! Words fail me.

  • Reply Joe |

    It’s crazy to read for the last 10 years or so about such impressive debt reduction efforts (no spend months, creative meal planning, home made soap, etc etc) and then have it be interspersed with these periodic terrible decisions that completely undo all of it. To this point, I had thought that the ~$2000 in credit-card bought computers from a few years ago was the most egregious, but this new/newish car really takes the cake.
    Really unbelievable given the number of previous posts that have discussed pros/cons of car ownership and the previous experience in general with cars. Go look up Jonathan Ping’s (mymoneyblog.com) posts about cars (it is his Early Retirement Lesson #4). Obviously too late now, but maybe can influence a future decision!

So, what do you think ?