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Proud Mama Moment – Generous Kids

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Ever since History Buff began working full time, he began showing up every once in a while with a little something for Princess and I. Now that Beautician (decided on a nick name for my new foster daughter) moved in, he began including her. Last night he came in and gave each of the girls a $5 bill. It’s just a small sign of his generous heart.

We all went to lunch this week at the local restaurant. First time in ages, we’ve all been out to eat at a sit down restaurant. I presented my 3 kids (Gymnast is still in Texas) with a challenge. I asked them to remember all the help they have gotten in their lives from their extended family and people in our village.

And then I pulled an old spaghetti jar out of my purse that I had Beautician paint previously. I super glued the top of the jar and had History Buff cut a slit in it for me.

Will You Help Someone Else?

You see Beautician has not been able to get her drivers license (or even her permit,) but she will turn 18 later this year. She and I have been chatting off and on over the weeks she has been here, I have encouraged her to begin saving for her first car. Without a car there’s not much she will be able to do when she graduates next year as there is no public transportation here.  (Right now, the four of us get her to and from work every day. And we will tackle the school year when it gets here.)

She has committed to saving money from every paycheck for a car…and we decided this sealed jar was the ideal way to do that. (She can’t open a savings account either until she turns 18.)

I presented the jar to the kids at lunch and asked them to become Beautician’s extended family. I asked that contribute to the car savings when they find themselves with spare change or extra cash. She had no idea what I was going to do and she broke down in tears. Each of the kids quickly chimed in their commitment to help. They were very quick to remember and share the many times people have contributed to their growth and financial successes.

It was funny how the kids all said “did mom give you the whole ‘pay yourself a car payment….’ speech?” and so much more that they have heard from me for years.

Let’s Fill the Jar

We are determined that by the time she is ready to get her license, she will have the cash to purchase a decent cash car  and have some money toward car insurance. And it will be a treat to watch her bust her jar open when it comes time!

As soon as we returned from lunch, all 3 children ran to begin contributing. I do believe we are going to need some additional jars by the end of this! History Buff and Sea Cadet both added their loose change savings to her jar. (She started with $100 from her check.)

Watching my kids immediately pitch in to support another made this mother super proud and showed Beautician that she is so loved and valued.

 

 


19 Comments

  • Reply Kili |

    While I do love the symbolism and the generosity, to me that seems like quite a large sum to save in a jar.
    Isn’t there a way to deposit it in an account every now and then?
    Or at least have her make the payments deducted from her paycheck straight into an account?
    I would hate for a jar with enough money to pay for a car to end up misplaced or accidentally thrown out or so

    • Reply Hope |

      Unfortunately, because of her age and the legal issues involved, without her mom our hands are really tied with what we can do. We do have a locked fire safe that I will probably put it in when full. But we are just starting. Just trying to make the best of a hard and heart breaking situation.

      • Reply Cwaltz |

        I’m confused. If she is your foster child and you have legal guardianship why couldn’t you help her open a bank account? If you don’t have legal guardianship than what happens if she were to get sick? It’s great that you want to help this girl but I think that with minors that everyone needs to be on the same page for her to benefit.
        I also think it is sweet that the boys want to help but they also need to be saving if your goal is to have them move out a year from now and if your intent is for them to be more financially independant. Their next landlord will likely not charge them $250 a month for food, utilities and shelter. They should be saving now with that in mind. Now is a great time for them to figure out how charitable they can afford to be in line with their budgets and beef up categories like income replacement should they get sick or car repair should they need to replace tires or whatnot.

        • Reply drmaddog |

          Unless the teenager is not a true, legal foster child and instead she was having trouble where she was and was just taken in without any legal arrangements. In that case, Hope wouldn’t have any power to do anything.

          As others have said, this is a generous act on the part of the other kids, and a lovely gesture to make the new young lady feel included and welcome, but a couple of things bother me.

          One, it isn’t the siblings’ (full, half, step. foster, whatever) responsibility to pitch in to buy a car for the other ones. It is sweet, but I agree with cwaltz, that these young men ‘s focus needs to be on saving to move next year, as hope said they would be.

          Two, why wasn’t this the plan for princess, a decent, used, paid-for-cash car? the two foster boys had to get their own, the foster girl has to buy her own. why a brand new expensive car for princess? I understand the philosophy of ‘fair isn’t necessarily equal’ but if i saw one of my siblings get a brand new car when I had to scrape together for a beater for myself, and then i was asked to help pay for a car for another sibling, as i was trying to make my way to independence…whew….

          • Canan Onat |

            I agree 100% with this:
            “Two, why wasn’t this the plan for princess, a decent, used, paid-for-cash car? the two foster boys had to get their own, the foster girl has to buy her own. why a brand new expensive car for princess? I understand the philosophy of ‘fair isn’t necessarily equal’ but if i saw one of my siblings get a brand new car when I had to scrape together for a beater for myself, and then i was asked to help pay for a car for another sibling, as i was trying to make my way to independence…whew….”

          • Canan Onat |

            I do not know why my comment does not show up but, I am sure I said:

            I agree 100% with this:
            “Two, why wasn’t this the plan for princess, a decent, used, paid-for-cash car? the two foster boys had to get their own, the foster girl has to buy her own. why a brand new expensive car for princess? I understand the philosophy of ‘fair isn’t necessarily equal’ but if i saw one of my siblings get a brand new car when I had to scrape together for a beater for myself, and then i was asked to help pay for a car for another sibling, as i was trying to make my way to independence…whew….”

          • Hope |

            I believe many BAD readers have forgotten that I bought the twins their first car. I bought it when they were 15 as an incentive for them and their grades.
            History Buff chose to drop out of high school and move out of the house at 18, leaving the shared car.
            Sea Cadet drove that car until he totaled it in a wreck.

            Sea Cadet then went a year without a car. Then my Uncle bought him his current car…and he drives that today. Sea Cadet has never bought a car.
            When History Buff decided to move home, my uncle put a good deal of money into a car he has purchased so it would drive-able (it was not running at the time.) History Buff sold that car last fall and drove Sea Cadet’s car while he was gone.
            History Buff just bought his $1,000 truck.

            The point being, until now, at 21 with a full time job is the first time either of the twins has purchased and maintained a car all on their own.

          • Hope |

            See my response to another poster…the TWINS never bought a car until just now when History Buff purchased his truck.
            I bought their first car and a family member bought/fixed their second cars after Sea Cadet totaled the one I purchased for them.

            And the point is that many have stepped in to help us, my kids…there’s no reason they can’t it forward, even if it’s just spare change.

          • Drmaddog |

            Yes. History buff has purchased a $1000 beater car. Princess has a brand new one. You have asked them all to pitch in to help buy a used car for the new teen. I feel what I said is generally consistent with all that.

        • Reply Marzy-d |

          Let’s not try to drill down into the legal particulars as Hope has stated that it is private. Unfortunately, for many minors it is safer to keep their savings in a jar than in a savings account that an unscrupulous ir financially irresponsible parent can legally drain.

  • Reply ellen |

    Have you seen those debit cards that you can set up for minors? It’s called Greenlight. It allows them to save without really having a bank account. You set it up for her, and deposit the money saved. as she saves more money, you deposit it into the card. It has a MasterCard logo so she can use it as “credit card” that way the money is safely put away and it’s not just cash sitting around in a jar. Check it out and see what you think.

    • Reply Hope |

      I hadn’t thought of that. Our bank used to offer something similar but did away with that program some years ago.
      I will have to check if there are any options for her to set up without a “adult.”

  • Reply Sandra |

    Sadly, Hope, I must disagree with you on this whole issue. Now is the time to help your older twins finance their own future so they can take wings and fly! And, any help you can afford toward this end would be great. The money they are bringing in would be so much better spent saving for a place of their own and putting any extra funds toward paying for their education. Even if they can only take one or two courses at a time (currently online, probably) while they are working, any additional education would enhance their opportunities for higher salaries in the future. It’s OK to ask them to keep their personal space tidy and perhaps handle the yard work and any heavy-lifting jobs around the house. But the rent on your home is your responsibility, Hope. Also, it was your decision to help this girl, and, therefore, her transportation and getting her places is your responsibility. It’s all well and good to make her feel as welcome as you can. However, you should clearly understand that as the parent these are YOUR costs to pay!

    • Reply Hope |

      If the twins were in school, they would live here rent free. That was stated to them and I believe in the post. Not to mention, their school is paid for through special funds available to children in foster care in their teen years.

      I am not asking them to buy a car. I am asking them to consider donating their loose change. And you are right, it is my responsibility to support them when they were children/students and I do/did. But at 21 years old, working full time, it is time for them to prepare to spread their wings and move out. But that is not their mindset…this is a exercise to encourage and prepare them for that step. I am not going to support them forever and I don’t believe any parent should. While everyone’s time is different…I believe that when a child becomes an adult, is not going to school and is just working…it is time for them to prepare to leave their parents home. IMO

  • Reply Kili |

    This might be a cultural thing….
    But from an outside of the US-perspective it seems quite odd that you are able to work and get a paycheck but not a savings account where you could deposit the money of your paycheck (=your own money)
    into.

    Good luck to beautician, the twins, princess and Gymnast on their way to independence!

    • Reply Cynthia |

      It may just be a US thing. You can usually get a job at 15 or 16 (depends on the state), but not a bank account until 18 unless a parent or legal guardian is also on the account.

  • Reply Margann34 |

    I think that there is always a little room in the budget for generosity. The twins can save for future expenses AND give a little to someone in need. It is not a one or the other situation . I think it’s awesome!

So, what do you think ?