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Posts tagged with: music lessons

Floundering a Bit on a Plan – Too Much Going On

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I am typically pretty decisive on my plan, but I’m really floundering this time around.  We just have alot going on at the same time.  And I’m struggling with my priority list.  So here I am asking for some feedback from you.  In a nutshell, here are the  things going on in my head that I’m trying to balance along with my debt payoff (these are listed in no particular order other than how they came to mind:)

  • Kids Co Op Costs – As I mentioned last spring I am going to be teaching two classes this fall as our homeschool co op to off set the cost of the kids’ classes.  I had hoped that those two classes would fill and I wouldn’t have to worry about any tuition costs; however, it does look like there is going to be a difference.  Typically, the little’s dad would be helping with this and this would not be an issue.
  • Moving/Housing Costs – When our lease is up next April we are LEAVING.  So I will definitely have some moving expenses or at least storage costs.  Since I HOPE to be buying, I need to seriously consider upping the ante on my savings beyond the EF fund that I add to a little at a time.
  • Travel – One of the places I am definitely going to loosen my financial belt a bit this coming year is on travel. We have two trips planned this fall, both to see family, so not much expense except gas and a bit of food…and we’ve just been presented with the opportunity to spend a weekend in DC and work a marathon which would be fun, but it is volunteer and I would have to cover our costs.  (I’m not thinking beyond April with this, just short weekend trips to see family.)
  • Educational Camps – One thing we really cut back this year was some of the educational camps/experiences we have done in the past.  And with the twins beginning their junior year, I’d really like to get a few more in before they are in the “real” world.  Not to mention, some of them count as a semester worth of credit for classes so they truly are “school” related.
  • Music – We cut music out of our curriculum in the Spring of 2014.  It was one of the first “big” cuts I made.  At the time I knew it would be a temporary move, but I didn’t realize it would be so long.  Princess has been asking when those lessons can resume.  So I would like to consider adding them back in for at least her and any of the boys are would be inclined to really commit to it, ie practice.

So you will see I have a lot swirling around in my head thus making my “debt” payoff plan a bit more challenging.  I really like my new budget…but I have to consider these others things and really make some decisions again.  So let’s talk numbers, here are my estimated costs for the items listed above at least through April based on sketchy ‘ideal’ plans of which nothing has been decided or committed to.  In fact, none of this has even been discussed with anyone other than you now…the sucky thing about being a single mom is having no one to bounce these things off of!

  • Homeschool Co op Classes – Currently the kids are registered for several classes each over 2 days.  The cost per semester will be right at  $2,170, I can get a 10% discount off that if paid in full up front.  Currently, it looks like I will be able to bring in right at $1,600 for the two classes I am teaching.  I do still have openings in them both so if filled, it would cover everything, but I have to plan accordingly for now.
  • Moving/Storage – I have no idea how this will go.  I would anticipate at least $200 for a storage unit to hold everything if we were to hit the road.  And probably a solid $10,000 would be a good place to be if we were to find the right place to buy.  These numbers are just coming off the top of my head.
  • Travel – Right now I am budgeting $250 per ‘family’ visit trip.  This would cover gas, some extra food and that’s about it.  Since we’ve been doing this particular trip forever, I know this is slightly higher than needed, but want to give myself a bit of wiggle room.  Two times this fall and maybe one time in the Spring before April, so a total of $750 for family visits.  And the possibility of DC, I don’t know?  (Little Gymnast’s meets are a whole other story and I will cross that bridge when I get to it and have a meet schedule.)
  • Educational Camps – There is really one in particular that I would like to send both the twins to for a week early next year and Princess to for a day.  The total for this would be right at $1,000.  (Oh, I can predict what I’m going to hear about this one…but I’m telling you, this is a solid educational program that they will NEVER forget and it does require about a month long preparation on their part to be ready for it homework-wise that is.)  Oh, and if I register them in September, we would get a little over $100 off.
  • Music – This one I really struggle with for two reasons.  One I know how important music is both educational and emotionally.  But on the other side, music lessons are expensive and with our currently living situation…practice would be hard.

Ugh, so if you are still reading and have gotten this far, thank you.  I know this is not the most organized post.  But this is where I am at as I try to discern the best path for paying off debt which I TRULY am still laser focused on AND maybe add a bit more life back in and plan for upcoming things.


It’s So Quiet

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The music has stopped. And I’m so sad about that.  If you will remember last spring I wrote about how important I felt my kids music lessons were. I still agree with that post wholeheartedly; however, with the reality of moving to a much smaller space and with the eye on the prize of getting out of debt, some things had to give and go.  So with our garage sale the full size drum set was sold and the full size keyboard was sold.  We held on to the guitar, figuring it would fit under a bed somewhere and the practice drum pad and one set of sticks, again, something small.

In general the kids have been okay with taking a year sabbatical from their music lessons and teachers, but History Buff does continue to comment that it’s really important to him that he learns to play the guitar well.  I’ve told him that if he shows me he’s committed to practicing and learning on his own (YouTube, iPad lessons, etc.) I will consider reinstating lessons.   And Little Gymnast asks every time we drive by their piano teacher’s home when he gets to go back…with him I say, hopefully in our new house we will have room for a real piano.  He will have to wait until that time.

We know this is a short term solution for us.  We know it will last at least a year. We hope it won’t be much longer than that.  But for now, the music has stopped in our home, and it’s quiet.  And it’s one of the few things that we are giving up that I will truly miss this year. But the bright side…that line item will not return to my budget, at least for this year which is a savings of a couple of thousand over the year.

The younger three will continue to sing and perform in our church choir which I’m grateful for as it’s free and I think it continues to bring some music to their lives.  History Buff is so good at working with the younger kids after having years of choir in public school growing up and the director loves having him as a volunteer while both Little Gymnast and Princess had solos in the Mother’s Day performance.  (Sea Cadet and I just show up for support, believe me, no one wants to hear us sing!)

 


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