I have had their birthday presents for a while. And I purchased some of their favorite foods during my last grocery run in September to cook their favorite meals in celebration (we typically go out for birthdays.) It’s a break in tradition, but we are all happy with the plan.
The Twins 1st Birthday Party – Age 13
The twins had never had a birthday party before they moved in with us. And they showed up just two weeks before their 13th birthday!
I couldn’t let the opportunity pass to celebrate them. My girlfriend and I invited every teenager we knew from the neighborhood and a few other kids Princess and Gymnast age, and threw the party at the local recreation center. There was laser tag and cake. It was funny when I looked back at the pictures and saw a couple of kids that they are friends with to this day. Good friends, in fact!
It reminds me that hard times pass. The hard times now will pass. Because moving two teenage boys with no history, from such a different background was hard. But now…now, I can’t imagine my family without them. I am so proud to call them sons and still feel joy when they call me mom.
I’ve been blogging here at BAD for over half the time I’ve had the twins. And while I have been learning hard financial lessons, I have been working hard to make sure they are making wise ones know AND knowing why AND how they will affect the future.
The twins and I have met (individually) to discuss their budgets and goals. They are working with quarterly budgets and starting (really just starting) to think long term when it comes to their finances.
I am covering their room and board now, but they are responsible for all their own monthly bills, spending money and school expenses. It has been a learning lesson for us all.
How We Created their Budget
These are the categories we used to plan their money:
Weekly Gas Food Entertainment
Monthly Individual subscriptions (Hulu, Xbox, Spotify, etc.) – these vary for each of them Cell phone Car Insurance
Quarterly Car Maintenance – oil change and then a little extra for other regular car care items such windshield wipers, tire rotation, etc. Shoes Clothes Special events (varies by season) – this quarter we discussed including extra monies for our Thanksgiving Trip to Texas, Christmas presents and a trip they plan to take over the Christmas holiday back to Virginia
Once we had these numbers, we divided them up into weekly/bi-weekly amounts based on their pay schedules with their jobs.
How the Money Works
Once we knew the number they needed to have available to them for these expenses, we made a plan.
Every time they get paid, they put their monthly and quarterly monies into their personal savings so when those expenses/bills arise, they have easy access to the money.
They also “pay themselves” their weekly money and put it in their personal checking or withdrawal in cash, whichever they prefer.
The remainder of their paycheck gets moved into a shared checking account. (Each twin and I share an account.) This is not to be touched without a discussion with me. We call it their nest egg.
Because Sea Cadet has been working on this for quite a while, he has another account where we put $500 which is for car maintenance. This is for any major repairs, etc. that he might need for his car.
I plan to do the same with History Buff, but he’s just getting on his feet so it will take a little while.
What about an Emergency?
I believe this is a good jumping off point for them. They are responsible for making sure they maintain their personal savings with no oversight from me for the budgeted items and know that if it comes time for any of the pre-planned budgeted expenses, they will not be able to withdrawal any additional monies.
But having their nest egg allows them to have an EF of sorts. Sea Cadet has dipped into his nest egg a few times:
When his hours got cut and he didn’t have enough to cover his budgeted needs. It was a small amount but really nice for him to see that savings at work.
He had to purchase some medical supplies and uniforms for his EMT courses and clinicals. Again, not a significant expense but something unexpected. And it was really nice to be able to buy them without stressing at all.
When his cell phone stopped working, he was able to purchase a new phone on Amazon quickly. (He later found out that his phone issue was a the result of an Apple defect and they fixed it for free and he got this money back.)
They really are just starting to think long term and the money required for that. They both dream of better cars. (I just hope their cars make it until they are done with college.)
Sea Cadet has his eye on the prize of graduating with his Advanced EMT diploma next August and plans to move out. He’s really earmarking his “nest egg” for that move and possibility of being independent and out of a job/income for a while when he moves.
We haven’t talked numbers for these long term plans yet, but they are starting to think about them. And they are definitely enjoying the freedom (from stress and otherwise) that having a nest egg gives them.
I’d love to hear ways you helped your young adults launch into the world post-college specifically when it comes to finances and planning!