Monday, October 15, 2012

31 Days of Repetitive Parenting: Day 15 "We are using our money for other things."

Over the years, we have found that a negative response we give to a request is sometimes more easily accepted with a simple explanation.  Our kids are more receptive if we expand our answers beyond, "because," "no," or "I said so."   Sometimes, this is not possible and they may need to be content with a simple answer, but other times a teachable moment presents itself and the more detailed answer comes in handy.  This seems to be the case with finances.

One line Hubby uses on all of us (me included!), is "We are using our money for other things."  This usually stops a competition with the proverbial Joneses in its tracks.  If we keep pushing we are met with a reminder of all the things on which our money is spent: the house, the cars, the utilities, the food, the music lessons and the private school (just to name the big ticket items!)

It is difficult raising our kids in the middle class, when they feel dirt poor.  As they say, it's a "First World" problem.  We are constantly needing to remind them that we are not even close to poor, but we are using our money for other things.

Could we have a bigger house? Yes.

Could we drive a better car? Yes.

Could we go to Disney World every year?  Yes.

IF we pulled them out of private school and stopped the expensive music lessons.

Neither of which we want to do...nor do they!

So we will continue to remind each other, and our children, that these are the family decisions we have made and will continue to make because we feel it is the best place for our family.  Our kids have thrived spiritually and academically throughout their years of Christian schooling.  They have also become quite accomplished in music, which is a life long skill that will benefit them for years to come.  Both choices have enormously influenced who are children are and the impressive young adults we are beginning to see develop before our very eyes.

No regrets!

As Cupcake entered into the picture, the budget took another squeeze with the cost of formula, diapers and wipes.  Of course, while she grows up some expenses are dropped only to be replaced with other items.  Now we have added nursery school and Kindermusik to the list of things on which our money is spent.

Naturally, as Cupcake's world expands, so does the possibility of her entering the race with her pint size Joneses.  It is just exhibited in a different way, than with our teens.  Her hot button issues are princess back packs, anything Minnie Mouse and light up shoes.  (Okay, must admit that her sister has similar envy issues with shoes, just not the light up kind.)  With our teens, we hear the moaning about clothes, cars, cell phones, Ipads, laptops and vacations.

First world problems.

Considering that it will be nearly two more decades (yikes!) before Cupcake graduates from college, I have a feeling we'll be repeating this phrase for a very long time.  Looks like "we are using our money for other things" for years to come.

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