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Growing Up means Paying Bills


Princes is 16 and a senior in high school. She works a part time job. And she is not participating in any sports this year. (At least, at this point.)

So just like the twins before her, she will begin taking on some financial responsibilities.

Time to Pay Some Bills

She will begin paying her phone bill at $45 per month. She has the opportunity to reduce that to $35 if she wants to get rid of the hot spot service which is an add on she has.

Princess will also begin paying 1/2 of her monthly insurance premiums at $125 per month.

This responsibility would have begun earlier this summer; however, we made a deal that I would pay for her car insurance if she would attend summer school and take two college classes.

And I would probably not be implementing this responsibility if she was continuing to participate in school sports. The time commitment and time management responsibility she takes on when managing school, a part time job along with sports would be equal in my mind to stepping into some minor financial responsibilities.

But…since she has chosen to give up sports for the time being, it is time.

Different Treatment but Fair and Always Loved

I am often accused of unequal treatment of my children on this blog. And that hurts. But I can tell you that I have set down and done some soul searching and discussed this with the twins. And I can assure you that any “inequality” is just difference in treatment, not anything else.

Each child has unique gifts and challenges and I adjust my parenting appropriately. So are they treated differently, absolutely, no doubt! Are they treat unfairly or dis-proportionally, no. But their disciplines have been different, their responsibilities have been different and their opportunities have been different. But always fair in the long run. And not one of them doubts the love I have for them.

I Hope You Feel Broke…


We are in the final stages of trip planning and, for now, it looks like we’ll be headed home in the spring of next year. Call me the eternal optimist but I’m hoping there will be a fabulous vaccine and we won’t be relegated to the least inhabited areas of our country by then.

Since we’re staying off the beaten path, I wanted to plan one last hurrah at a nice campground in Florida…near civilization. There’s some beautiful spots on the white sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast. I shopped around and was stunned to see these camping spots crossed $100 a night. $100 a night!! For a parking spot! Some crossed $150! Five days at one of these ‘resort’ campgrounds would cost us more than a month at BLM or state park lands.

My husband watched in-depth review YouTube videos. I could see the stars in his eyes. Snorkeling in the clear waters. Sun tanning on the beach. Swim up bar at the resort pool. Walking hand in hand, watching the sun set. I knew exactly what he saw. “Book it!” he exclaimed. “We have it in the budget. If things aren’t better, we can cancel. Book it.”

I deferred.

That night, I tossed and turned. Sure, it is in the budget but I want to leave a big buffer. So many things could happen along the way. At 2am, I was still wide eyed. We don’t have the money. I can’t.

The next morning, I brewed a strong black tea. I searched and searched for alternatives. I found a delightful state park ¾ mile from the beach with tram access to that beautiful white sand. No, no swim up bar but it’s $40 a night (and we won’t be paying for those drinks at the bar!). I could tell my husband was disappointed but he looked at the numbers we had left in our budget for that category and he decided it would be best too.

Before we paid off our debt, we weren’t using a budget, we decided what to buy based on how much we had in our checking account. Money in. Money Out. These days, I have no idea how much is in our checking account. Seriously. Not a clue. I know exactly how much we have in each category. If I’m running out of money in a category, I pinch pennies. I freak out. When we relied on the checking account balance rather than how much we had budgeted for that category, we were legitimately broke! Now, I just FEEL broke all the time…but I’m not. It’s made me more conscious of what I’m spending and where. I tap the brakes on spending far sooner than I would have.

So yes, I hope you feel broke. I hope you budget well. I hope you stick to your budget. Your checking account will thank you. No, you might not get that great resort you were hoping for… but you won’t worry about your retirement either.