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An Unbudgeted but Needed Expense

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As many of you know, Gymnast moved to Illinois with his dad last fall. And I haven’t seen him since our Thanksgiving trip to Texas. But I am dealing with this separation much better than I thought I ever would.

However, despite continued requests for his dad to send him for a visit, per the agreement when this happened, it has not happened. So I bit the bullet this past week and purchased a round trip airline ticket for Gymnast to come for his Spring Break. (I cleared it with him and his dad before making the purchase.)

$355!! Ouch! I don’t know how families who live long distance all the time do this.

I am excited to see him and have a little down time with him. The three oldest will still be in school. (Their Spring Break is the following week, and we will be traveling to Texas.)

We haven’t decided what will happen next school year when he begins high school. I am inclined to let him choose with the caveat that he commit. I think staying in a stable school environment is best, especially for the important high school years. We will see what happens.

Anyone else gone through a change in physical custody with their child during the turbulent teenage years? Any words of wisdom?

I maintain full legal custody at this point, but we agreed to this trial year per his request. He will be 14 years old this summer, and I believe old enough to decide for himself with clear expectations set by his dad and I. But sometimes it really sucks being a parent, not sure if you are making the right decision for the long run. Really wish I had a time machine right now.

I’ve asked his dad to help pay for this plane ticket. He says he will send $100, we will see if that really happens. I continue to pay for Gymnast phone bill. (Mostly because I do not want to lose touch and this way I make sure I have a way to reach him.) But I’ve held out in sending any additional monies despite his repeated requests. He has to learn to live with his dad’s rules and standards if he is going to live there.

Divorce really sucks. As much as it was needed. I really hate it for my kids, especially in this long distance situation.

 


How has February Gone?

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Tomorrow I will announce a March challenge as we say goodbye to February. I don’t know about you, but this month has been much easier for me. I truly didn’t mind the Eat at Home challenge with the break I gave myself to get out of the house occasionally for lunch.

We ate at home every night. And I went to the coffee shop 1-2 times a week to work. It’s amazing the difference in my productivity when there versus in my home office. No distractions like dishes to clean, laundry to do or any other “house” chores distracting me.

How’s your eating out been this month? Did you join in the challenge? Or modify your norm at all?

And while it wasn’t supposed to a be a #nospendmonth for us, it really turned out to be. Between our normal busy schedules, the rain and the medical issues, we just didn’t go anywhere or do anything that would have cost us outside of our regular budget.

I have to travel several days this week for work. But next week (the first week of March,) I plan to really sit down and take a look at my finances. It’s time to pay off some more debt with my savings from January and February!

Looking forward to the last couple of months of this school year:

  • Princess will be playing with a rec volleyball league ($142 for the season, I mentioned it back in January) beginning next week in addition to her 4 high school classes and 2 college classes. She is going to keep me busy!
  • Sea Cadet is enjoying his new job and learning new auto skills (he’s working at a car wash/oil change place,) and looking froward to finishing his Advanced EMT studies in July.
  • History Buff is enjoying his new job at a big box home improvement store and working hard to stick to a budget. He learned a hard lesson this semester after not sticking to his budget last fall. He is very excited about his schooling and has chosen to pursue certifications in machine lathe and welding simultaneously. I am very proud of how hard he is working on his finances.

I’m excited about the new challenge for March. I hope you will join me. These monthly challenges are really helping me stay focused.