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Browsing posts in: Spending Money

Summer Camp


I realize that my stubbornness regarding the kids’ summer camp is rubbing some people the wrong way. I also realize that I am spending a great deal of money on their summer camp. In fact, the amount I am spending is probably more than I’ve spent on their weekly summer camps for the last 5 or 6 years combined. I am aware of this. I own this decision. And as much as I would like to put the money towards something else, my kids will always come first.

Summer Camp Reasoning

With that being said, and all the comments I’ve gotten each post, I felt like sharing my thoughts and reasoning was necessary. I’m sorry if you do not agree with this choice, but this is one choice I am not willing to reconsider.

  • The kids will be 13 and 14 next year. It will most likely be their last year going to summer camp. They will both be old enough to get part time jobs the following year, and will want to (they already want to.)
  • They are REALLY isolated in this tiny town. As much I attempt to get them out and involved, it’s just a completely different world here. These weeks are camp at are a needed respite from that isolation. And they LOVED this camp this past summer.
  • Although I have been attempting to hire someone to help facilitate getting them out and about, even just to volunteer opportunities, well, I haven’t had any luck. The summer is worse since their brother will be gone again. They understand that this camp commitment will replace any chance of me hiring someone, and they are in agreement.
  • They shoot guns, ride horses, jump off huge platforms onto blobs in the lake, play nightly games, go camping and so much more that they have never done before. Some I’ve never done before. I want these experiences for them. I never got to go to summer camp. I want this for my kids. I can’t give them everything I want to give them, but I can give them this. This is in my grasp now.
  • And probably the most selfish reason of all, but with this camp, I get TWO WHOLE WEEKS of me time. As a single mom, this is just a breathe of fresh air. Two weeks where I don’t have to drive anyone anywhere, feed anyone, answer calls about drama at home and so on. Unless you have walked in my shoes, don’t judge. I don’t EVER get a break, NEVER.

This is my justification, excuse, whatever you want to call it for the camp commitment. I know it is delaying my debt free life a little while. But I also know I won’t get this time back with my kids, they won’t get time in their life back.

I can’t be the only one with a hold out in their “minimizing budget.” Do you have an item in your budget that others would question? What is your Achilles heal when it comes to your money choices? Obviously mine is my kids and their activities.

Three Recent Purchases


I’ve been talking about all this money we’d spent in summer but haven’t given specifics. There’s a lot to talk about in the context of that whole conversation, but today I wanted to pop in quickly with 3 recent purchases (made in the last 3-4 months).

1. Hot Water Heater

When we bought our house in November, we new we would need to purchase a new hot water heater soon. It was original to the house (almost 30 years old) and had a huge dent in the side. Most of our home had been updated semi-recently before we bought it, but the hot water heater was still original. It never really worked great, but over the summer it totally puttered out, requiring a replacement. Not a huge expense, but an easy $350 on the old Home Depot credit card. (Cha-ching!)

2. A New Tire (again)

Can we all agree that I have the worst luck in the world with tires? I replaced two tires in April, then we had a blow-out in June which required 2 more tires to be purchased. If I’d purchased all at one time I could’ve saved a lot of money, but I hadn’t realized I was in a situation where I’d be buying 2 more tires only two months after the first 2 tires. And the blow-out occurred while driving on a cross-country trip, so it was a pretty huge ordeal at the time. WELL, fast forward to early September. I was driving on my way to work and had another blow-out. All I can guess is it was due to construction debris along the highway. There was no real “cause” (didn’t hit or run over anything obvious) and the tires were brand new. Guess which tire blew out? One of the two that were replaced in that out-of-state tiny-town repair shop. No warranty. So add another tire to the credit card (cha-ching!)

3. Halloween Masks

I really have no business being in any retail stores right now, but the girls had a friends birthday party at a Michael’s Craft store (did you know they hosted parties? the kids really had a blast!). Anyway, while walking around I noticed that all the Halloween stuff was 60% off!!! I love Michaels because they’re one of the only places that will do big sales before a holiday (not just after it’s passed). These little face masks were originally $1.00, but I scooped them up for 40 cents each. I bought 8 in total and have invited some of the kids’ friends (and their moms) over for a playdate this weekend. The friends’ parents are going to bring craft stuff to decorate with (e.g., sequins, feathers, pom-poms, etc.). I’m going to provide the masks and paint (which we already own) and will have some snacks we can share from our pantry/Costco snack stash. Cheap little playdate. Also the only one of the 3 items on this list that I was pumped to buy! Forty cent face masks?! Can’t argue with that! Woo!


What’s one of your recent purchases?