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Double Dipping as a Birthday Present

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Gymnast just turned 15. And when your child needs nothing but wants everything. They are really hard to shop for. And when you do not want to pay for luggage to bring him back from visiting his Grandparents..you Double Dip.

I don’t think that’s the right term for what I ended up doing…

I bought him a couple of funny cards from the Dollar Store. And I created a gift certificate for his birthday present…

I had budgeted $100 for his birthday…$50 for a present and $50 for a birthday meal. (This is my standard birthday budget for each of the kids. I’ve shared this before.)

But I also knew I was going to spend some money on back to school clothes for him. So I added it all together and put it in a certificate. (I did tell him that we wouldn’t be going shopping until a decision was made on where he will be living this fall. If he goes back up north, he will need very different school clothes then if he remains in  Georgia.)

He is thrilled…especially with the larger number. (I had already explained it to the girls so they didn’t wonder why he was getting more $$$ than them for school clothes.) And I am thrilled that I didn’t buy him anything bulky that has to be shipped by to Georgia.

My dad purchased the birthday dinner. He typically pays for our food when we are in Texas. And 3 of my 4 siblings came. We ordered in and celebrated while respecting social distancing. And it was wonderful.

The birthday boy and I…I look at this picture and realize that I look like I’ve been working around the clock. Tired and bedraggled, but no regrets, I am making real progress for the first time in a long time!

Worth the Risk

I am so grateful that we came. We all have the nagging worry about COVID 19. But my mom is not getting any better. And seeing her, well, it’s not something I was willing to give up especially knowing that I may not be able to come back over the holidays as the virus gets worth and we go back into quarantine.

We are respecting social distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing like crazy.

The girls and I were masked and sanitized for our entire trip.

And my siblings were fantastic in welcoming Beauty to the family and gave each of the girls a birthday card of their own with a little cash. (Since they don’t really do anything on Princess’ birthday, they always make sure to do something when we are around and they make sure they are fair.)

It is Going to be an Expensive Month

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As I sat thinking and planning for my finances for this month, I was trying to come up with a financial challenge and I just can’t. It’s just going to be an expensive month. As discouraging as that is, the silver lining is that once this month is over, I can resume my monthly challenges.

Extra Expenses this Month

  • We’ve got back to school shopping to do. We are still waiting to hear when and how schools will resume, but I know that my 3 youngest kids need some new clothes. And school supplies of some sort.
  • I am sending Gymnast to a week of outdoor day camp. While this was not originally planned, it needs to be done. Anyone else with high maintenance kids know how much you need downtime from them. That will cost $300, but I know it will pay for itself in the amount of work I can get done with him occupied.
  • Princess may have to attend a volleyball camp. She is debating even playing volleyball this year after getting a taste of working and earning her own money. This is why camp is a maybe. I have made it clear to her that I will happily pay the $350 for camp if she is going to play volleyball. But if she is not, she needs to make that decision now as I will not be happy if I pay for the camp and she doesn’t play.
  • Senior pictures for the two girls are scheduled for this month. This won’t be a large expense as a friend is taking them. But I will pay her something because it is her livelihood. (I often feel taken advantage of when people ask me to do or help with large tech projects as a favor with no offer of compensation. As a result, I am very careful to not do that to others.)

We are So Blessed

I look at this list and realize just how much we have to be grateful for, especially during the pandemic. These are all extras. They are all choices I am making. None of these are required to live.

All in all, these extras are probably going to be about $1,200 to cover this list. And as I think about that number I get a little sick to my stomach because that would be another good chunk of my student loans gone. (For the record, I already have a $1,200 student loan payment scheduled. I am sticking to my debt payoff plan.)

And I might very well change or cut back some of this…but right now, this is the plan.

But, the good news, as I continue to forecast and plan…After this month, extra expenses for the last 5 months of the year should be minimal.

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