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Doing it again…No Spend September


Our no spend August went wonderfully and I am thrilled with the amount paid toward debt. Now that we have settled into our school routine, managed our challenging food/meal requirements and schedules and have another uneventful month ahead…

We are going to do another no spend month beginning tomorrow

First, I’ve got to restock our cupboards as we have really eaten through most of my stockpile.

What’s Going on This Month

These no spend months are not all that challenging when I look at the monthly calendar. So timing is definitely everything when it comes to make them a success.

  • The kids only have the one day out of school for Labor Day.
  • It is my mom’s birthday month, but we actually sent her presents with my dad’s previously.
  • While I am beginning to plan for the holidays, Christmas specifically, and do want to get my Texas family gifts ready to take with us at Thanksgiving, there is nothing I must purchase now. And this month of no spending will give me time to put some thought into it so that next month, I can get them all created and/or purchased and wrapped.

With all that in mind, it’s the perfect time for yet another No Spend Month.

This is my attitude these days. I have definitely embraced the bloom where you are planted mentality and have created a home and a life I love here.

Kid Update

There are lots of things going on in the kids lives.

History Buff

History Buff is facing some of his first adult disappointments. His full time job has denied his latest vacation requests. (He has not requested any days off since February.) They have denied his request for a long weekend in October, so he won’t be able to take our short family trip. (It was supposed to be for the state fair, but since that has been cancelled, we are brainstorming ideas for a quick 3 day trip.)

His request for our Thanksgiving Trip to Texas has also been denied. He’s more than a bit upset by that one. He has one more request in, to go see his girlfriend in Virginia for her birthday this fall. We will see how that one goes.

Otherwise, he continues to live at home, work and play video games…that is his whole life.

Sea Cadet

Sea Cadet will get back into the swing of things this month. He’s picked up full time work shifts from his part time job at an EMT for our local county. He’s had his interview for the fire fighter/EMT one county over but hasn’t heard back yet.

When he’s not working, he’s continuing to pick up training from GEMA and other fire houses. Last month, he completed his HazMat training.

He is considering joining the National Guard. And makes noises about returning to school, but hasn’t taken any steps towards that.


Beauty has finalized her schedule for her senior year. And she continues to work at the local coffee shop 4-5 shifts per week. We are going to sit down with her Cosmetology teacher this week to lay out a post-graduation plan based on what she will need to get her cosmetology license and any training she will need to pursue a career in hair.


Princess is flying through school. She really is getting a taste of what college will be like with only being at the high school 2 days a week. (Her welding class is every, but it’s just 2 hours and there is never any homework.) She loves and excels at her job.

She took the SAT this past weekend. Her ACT score was great, but she wasn’t satisfied so wanted to try this other test. In just a couple of weeks, she will begin applying for college. I am relatively certain she will be accepted to her top choice school, but she does have a couple of backups picked out as well.

Right now, the plan is to do a drive by of her other two choices during our long weekend in October, just so she can see them. She’s done the virtual tours online. But I’m relatively certain she will get into and attend her first choice school. We visited it last year and while it took her a little while to warm up, I think she’s pretty excited about it.


Gymnast has settled back into home life here in GA. We finally got him a bed last week. It was purchased in July, but due to COVID related delays, it just arrived. He enjoys being the “new kid” at school. And is working diligently toward starting his own business. We shall see!





  • Reply Honey Smith |

    Wow. In over 15 years of full-time work I’ve NEVER had a vacation request denied. Is that abnormal?

  • Reply Angie |

    From what I’ve gathered, History Buff works in retail. Weekends and holiday vacation requests are almost always denied. Some stores are worse than others, but holidays are a hard no and weekends you’re generally expected to work at least one day. Thanksgiving is the biggest selling time of the year so I’m not surprised. Anywhere I’ve worked, if you want Thanksgiving/Black Friday off you have to call in sick and hope you don’t get fired. Unfortunately, even though it is illegal, I’ve had experience with retail managers also give preference to approving weekend/holiday requests to parents over young single people.

    Any reason he can’t visit his girlfriend on a 2-3 day trip during the week? Even if she has to work during the day, they’ve still got nights.

    • Reply Hope |

      No, he could go anytime he wants…but he typically lacks funds due to his video game hobby. And his $1,000 truck…well, no idea how that would do on an 8 hour road trip.

      • Reply Cwaltz |

        There is a pandemic so I’m not really sure that anyone is really able to have an appropriate work \ life balance right now. My youngest has been working overtime because essentially working is the only real way to get social interaction right now. When he’s home he does much like History Buff, watching\ listening to podcasts or playing video games. I’m not really certain we are being fair to young people about this stuff since we have literally told them social gatherings are dangerous right now.

        Have you considered trying to get him to start a small vacation fund ? He could put $20 a payday away similarly to how Beauty is funding a vehicle and if needed he could potentially rent a vehicle for a longer day trip.

  • Reply Anon |

    Man, could you be any more dismissive of History Buff? Somehow, I’m guessing a kid who ended up in the foster care system and up for adoption at 13 has dealt with plenty of disappointment in his life.

    • Reply Hope |

      Dismissive? Just stating facts…the things he participates in or does not participate in are completely his choice. Outside of his 40 hour work week, he controls his time.

      • Reply jj |

        The fact that he spends a lot of his free time and $$ on video games, says something. And the way you phrase it, leaves tons of room for interpretation – if I was his GF I might be mad about it, lol.

        • Reply Hope |

          Since the GF is in VA, I don’t think she realizes exactly what it would be like if she was local. And yes, if it was balanced with other life things and responsibilities, it would be fine. But when it’s done to the exclusion of all else…especially when you are living with other people, well, I don’t like it.

          • jj |

            He must be making time for her and she feels loved/prioritized? This is all speculation from us though (just so folks realize this) and I can see what you mean. All hobbies should have a healthy balance between work and other social outlets!

    • Reply Hope |

      I think it came as a surprise as he has worked for this same company for 2+ years and has always taken the Thanksgiving week off, in exchange, not taking any time around Christmas. But there is a new store manager and lots of things have changed.

  • Reply Shanna |

    Sounds like things are rolling along!! My friend’s daughter is a welder, she just bought her first home at 23 as a single woman. It can be lucrative! As for ACT, if she did well, she should take the ACT again versus getting the hang of another test. She can see where her short comings were and study that section extensively. If she can still sign up for an additional ACT, even jumping up a point or two with an already high score can put her in a higher category for Merit money at colleges. Happy September!

  • Reply Lisa |

    Poor guy. No wonder he’s just working and playing video games, doesn’t sound like he has much chance to do anything else.

    • Reply Hope |

      Much chance? I don’t know what that means. He works 40 hours a week like most adults…the rest of his time is his.

  • Reply Marzy-d |

    I hope you are aiming high for Princess. Why not apply to some ivy league schools in
    New England? The financial aid packages can be *much* more generous at a well endowed private school, and it can end up being less expensive than a state school. At Harvard if you make less than 60,000/year you pay nothing, and you can make up to 125k and still get financial aid. And the ivies are *dying* to increase the “diversity” of their incoming classes.

    • Reply Kate |

      Correct, I went to a top liberal arts school in New England for less than the cost of the state school given their financial aid (need-based not merit based).

  • Reply Jennifer |

    History Buff is an adult. You said anytime after his 40 hour week is his. Why do we keep hearing about his gaming? You are very obvious that you don’t like it. It is not impacting him working. If you are sick of seeing him gaming ask him to leave don’t passively/aggressively speak about this it has nothing to do with your getting out of debt. Does he pay you what you agreed on?

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, you are right, I don’t like it. I would like to see him move out. To put some money into his “piece of truck.” To begin adulting.
      But his priorities are his own. And at this point, I haven’t put my foot down about him moving out.

      • Reply Angie |

        Well, regardless of whether I think you’re right or not. I believe people should have the ability to create their own boundaries. Maybe you should ask him to move out instead of harboring some grudge and picking apart what he does and doesn’t do. FYI, every person does not have to be super motivated, for some a job and a hobby is enough. You’re pushing your ideals of what you think a successful person is onto him and judging him for not meeting it. That can’t be a pleasant environment to be around, for you or him.

        My brother never took much initiative to do much more than he had to and even that took a really strong push. And I think that’s fine. He’s got a FT job and spends the rest of his time cooking or holed up in his room learning or playing video games, or who knows what exactly. My parents never pushed him to move out, and now at 38 he still lives at home. It actually ended up working out, because he watches the pets and house while my parents snowbird in the winter. He’ll cook dinner once a week or so for everyone. But otherwise, they mostly keep to their separate ways and act as roommates. They don’t hang out or do communal activities really. But they still cohabitate and love each other. They just had to adjust their expectations.

        Give History Buff some grace to be him. Keep an open mind. But create/enforce your boundaries if you really need them to reduce animosity and sanity.

      • Reply Jennifer |

        Every day you are letting this continue your anger will mount. Tell him to move out before the relationship is destroyed. By doing this you will loose his rent money which I’m sure you will say is fine. Your house is packed with people send him packing

      • Reply Lisa |

        You need to talk to him and not keep making passive aggressive digs at him in this blog. If you want him to move out, tell him and set a deadline. Otherwise if he is paying rent he is a tenant, roommate, however you want to say it and can spend his free time as he chooses. Seeing him not make choices you want him to make is frustrating, but they are his to make. Simmering resentment is helping no one.

  • Reply SMS |

    Is History Buff actually gambling, or playing free video games? Sorry if that’s a stupid question, I don’t know much about these things. If he is wasting money on these games, money he doesn’t really have, I personally would be really concerned. If that’s the case, he needs a loving intervention, not just disapproval.
    As for Princess, I agree that she should aim high!

  • Reply Anonymous |

    Your son is paying rent now so that makes him your tenant. It really is none of your business what he chooses to do in his free time

  • Reply Anonymous |

    We are also in the middle of a pandemic where people are encouraged to stay home. What do you propose he do with his time?

    • Reply Hope |

      I’d love if he went to school and learned a trade or gained some skills to help him in the future. He talks about being a provider and getting married…
      And his school is essentially paid for…it just makes me sad and scared for his future. I won’t always be here and I want him to at least be able to support himself if not a family.

      • Reply Ellen |

        Not everyone is made for school though. It’s normal as a parent to want more for your child. But remember for one, he’s not you. Whatever you were doing at 21 is not necessarily what he wants to do. 2. remember that you yourself have made plenty of mistakes along the way to learn from and are still learning from. I’m sure your parents tried to intervene as well, but remember 21, you can’t tell them a damn thing because they know everything. 3. you’re very vocal on here about wanting him out. not sure if you are doing the same in person (or the same to his brother), but I have to wonder how that makes him feel? There is such a thing as the black sheep. If i remember correctly, this is the child that has difficulty learning correct? If I were him I wouldn’t want to go back to school either.

        He has a retail job that we all know pays horribly; as retail jobs do. Definitely not something you can support yourself on. However, seeing that your rent is what? $650? plus utilities and you’re making him and his brother essentially pay the house bills between the two of them, I am surprised that they both have not just come together and found themselves a place. I get it, I do. You definitely do not want to end up in a situation like Angie described where you’re child is 38 and has never left the house. I would be pushing him out at that point. But at least sit down with him and give him a time line. Don’t make him feel like the way he’s living his life is wrong just because it’s not the way you would do it.

      • Reply Jen |

        Not everyone wants to go to school or learn a trade, and not everyone has decided on a path at his age. Putting off further education until you decide that you really want it is far better than picking something because you feel expected to do it. I know several people who felt forced to get further education, and ultimately they did not perform as well as they could, or changed majors so many times they ended up in school for an extra year or two.

        So, if he’s meeting his financial obligations to you, and meeting any expectations re: any expected household chores….keep your thoughts to yourself. If he is not meeting those expectations, address them to him directly and not taking passive aggressive dogs at him on a public website.

  • Reply Cynthia |

    My child also spends WAY too much time gaming so I get it. However, we are in a pandemic so it’s not safe to go out with friends or in groups, it’s over 100 degrees where I live and most places are closed or have very limited capacity due to COVID19. So options are pretty limited. I have set the expectation that once the weather cools down and things reopen gaming time will decrease (my child isn’t a rent paying adult though so I can do this). At the end of the day, it’s kind of annoying, but there are much worse things they could be doing with their time and money.

  • Reply jj |

    Even though your son is paying rent etc, he is still your kid under your roof – I live at home, I am much older and I am sure my mom feels your frustrations. It is hard, because I am an adult but I am under her roof so some things I still have to do/am expected to do. You are going to have to let go on the things you feel about the situation, as stressful/scary as it is for you as a mom.

    • Reply Hope |

      You are right. I appreciate BAD pointing out how my frustrations are coming through.
      I need to sit him down have a heart to heart about what living at home as an adult means and what my expectations are.

So, what do you think ?