I vote for putting your money into your bowling expenses

This is where the winnings came from, and quite frankly, this gives you a tremendous amount of pleasure and you’re not going to stop playing. Why not just think of it as a lovely gift that’s been offered to you to offset future expenses? This way you can allocate your normal paycheck towards your every day bills and sinking funds, and still work on replenishing your BEF. You still have to have a life, Eldred! Consider it to be a wonderful present…

Well, the good news is that we did pretty well with Feb under our “new normal” budgeting process.

I was very proud of us and DH in particular, because our instances of eating out (a particular weakness for him) went from “every day” to only three times, and one of those three times was our wedding anniversary. The other two times were a cafeteria meal for him when bringing his lunch didn’t happen for a variety of reasons. Some folks will recall that I hit the roof a few months back when I learned he was spending amazing amounts of money somewhere. It turned out that most of that was spending on food, so last month’s challenge was to eat from home, every single day. I think we did pretty well given it was our first month on that new plan. I’m also pleased that we hit most of the rest of our goals too – I nailed all my categories in terms of expected vs actual spending, so that feels pretty good. Even came in under by a smidgen in a few. Haven’t seen DH’s numbers yet but at least now we’re starting to share information back and forth. As recently as early August I wasn’t sure that was ever going to happen.
The bad news is that we have a major blowup brewing this very morning, and the ridiculous part is that it’s unnecessary. At least I think it is. The couple from whom we bought our combine, is liquidating their entire collection of farm equipment, along with a bunch of other shop tools, household furniture, gun collection, hardware supplies, etc. That auction is this coming Saturday. If money were no object, DH and I could easily each spend several thousand $$$$ during that auction and come home feeling like it was Christmas morning. Ahh, but we can’t and we won’t and we’re already trying to figure out if we can spend anything there at all. The disagreement right now is two-fold; 1) whether to go to the auction at all, and 2) if we go, how much are we going to spend? Given our fragile financial situation, I’ve been tending to think we shouldn’t go at all. The thought of buying some really useful pieces of equipment, at pennies on the dollar, is certainly appealing. Appealing enough that I went ahead and prepared a “spending plan” just to see what the opportunities were, and if the long-term savings would justify the unexpected short-term expense. I should clarify here that this money would come out of a general savings fund which was earmarked for other stuff. So if we spent money on this auction, it won’t be available for those other anticipated future needs. (note to self; should start some kind of “liquidation/auction/estate sale sinking fund” for this type of situation!). After working the numbers, I’m actually OK with simply not going. Keep us from temptation, and we can buy the equipment we need, when money isn’t so scarce. DH, on the other hand, is stuck in the very uncomfortable place of knowing we shouldn’t spend money, yet wanting to anyway. More specifically, I can tell after being married for 12 years, that his inner kid very much wants to go that morning, with no plan in hand, and just spend whatever he wants to spend. He also wants to be able to spend for me, sweetheart that he is, particularly since it’s two days before my birthday. But that’s exactly the type of spending which has gotten us both into trouble in the past.
As prep for our planned meeting on this topic this weekend, I had a list of the items I’d be bidding on if we went, along with the minimum/maximum market values, and how high my bid price would go before I’d stop. His “plan” was to not have a plan – to just go that morning and see what he felt like. When we talked about it yesterday, I presented my plan, and said clearly several times that if we fundamentally don’t want to spend the money, then let’s just not go. He said maybe three sentences during the whole meeting, and they were all asking me to clarify some part of my own spending plan. But he didn’t say a darn thing about what he wanted, what his priorities were, what his concerns were, none of it. He just got more and more mad, and we ended up not making a decision. So, that’s hanging over us for the week. We’ll talk about it in our weekly marriage counseling session this Wednesday. I guess he has more to work out on this topic than I do, so I’ll just be the watch-n-wait person on this one. I just hope he arrives at a decision he can live with. I guess next Monday we’ll have our answers.
I was frustrated with this situation last night after the meeting, and again this morning. But I think now these are “growing pains” as we move away from who we used to be, towards who we want to be. Yea, there’s going to be some squirm factor as we run up against situations where our old selves are so sorely tempted to just “give in” and spend whatever we want. Hopefully this will be a good exercise in choosing not to go that route again, and instead making well-considered decisions, then sticking with them. So, perhaps folks can send us warm fuzzies of “resist temptation!” all week this week. We may need them.

Just some suggestions!

When my kids were little, we let them know that Santa’s stuff isn’t free. If your parents have jobs, then Santa expects them to pay; it helps Santa have some things to give the kids whose parents don’t have jobs. And we had a limit per child of what we could give Santa.
It helped hem get the concept. I remember explaining to my eldest–with the ADHD–that if he got everything on his list, the other 2 wouldn’t get anything, so how fair was that? He figured it out, and pared down the list. he was 7.

As for allowance, we tried a dollar a week for each year of age, when we could afford it, but it really didn’t work; I’m sure we didn’t do something right!

Birthday and Christmas money was easy: they had savings accounts at the credit union. Half of any gift money went into savings, and the rest was theirs. the idea was that when they were 16, they would have a good start for buying their first car. It was a worthy goal, and one that they could see as a good thing in the future. we did allow them to take money out for spending money the year we went to Disney World, and we matched that amount. And one of my sons wanted a drum kit, which we let him buy with his car money; later he didn’t have enough money for the car he wanted, and had to buy something that cost a little less. Certain items, we paid half and they paid half.

I absolutely love it

We will be contributing some, but we have not worked out all of the details yet. And, we have not yet established an allowance for the kids. We are working on figuring out the best way to do that so that we can establish financial responsibility with them.

What we have done is give him some spending money for a field trip at daycare and he gets to choose whether to spend it or save it. So, he has birthday money and he has a few dollars here and there from choosing to save. Of course, now that summer is over, so are the field trips.

Right now, his concept of money is quite immature. He has a bunch of coins and he thought that he’d have enough to buy a whole new video game. When we counted it, it was less than 2 dollars, but he still didn’t understand that it wasn’t enough. His birthday money was 20 dollars from the grandparents and he has about 6 dollars from the tooth fairy. Add that to a few dollars here and there and he does have some money. I just feel bad about asking him to pay for the whole thing.

So, I think that this idea might help him get the concept of what things actually cost. He does understand that we are trying to save money, but that’s about it.

The next obstacle is that he still believes in Santa. When we say that we are saving money so something is too expensive for Christmas, his solution is that he’ll ask Santa to get it for him.

Why not make a goal thermometer, such as the one attached, to chart his progress?

Matter of fact, I would find a picture of a DS and make my own chart out of the DS image with tick marks to denote his progress toward saving for a repair.

Is he to save up/cut out items for the entire amount? Or will there be some parental contribution of money versus in-kind contributions such as the money you didn’t spend on snacks at the grocery store? I ask because I would use different colors to denote where the money comes from. Red might be his birthday money contribution, Green might be a certain percentage of his allowance (I forget the word Dave Ramsey uses), Purple might be the money he saved by not buying snacks and blue might be the money mom and dad contributed because you want to see him progress toward his goals. He can tell by the percentage of color, where his money is coming from.

If he’s not paying for his snacks now, he won’t get the full concept of you not paying for the snacks unless you put the money in his hand so he can save it for the repair. I would probably take him to the grocery store, have cash on hand and when he doesn’t get an item he usually gets, put the cash for that item in his hand right in the grocery store. Then he can count up that money when he gets home, and color in his chart for that much money saved.

So, my son’s DS broke

We originally purchased it used on Ebay for Christmas last year. The parts got wet. He had it in a bag for a field trip for daycare and the water bottle leaked. So, it is not like he was irresponsible, but it is broken. We have attempted a few thngs ourselves, but nothing has worked so we contacted the company. We can get it fixed for 85 dollars.

We’d like to use this as a teaching lesson for my son. He is 7. We want to show him the process of saving up for the repair. We’ll talk to him about cutting out some things like sweats etc. from the grocery bill and have him pitch in 20 dollars of his birthday money. But, I’d really like him to understand the process and the importance of not paying for something unless you cut out costs elsewhere.

Anyone have any child friendly ideas for getting this across. My son does have ADHD and so his understand of some common sense things (like time) is behind a typical child. So, maybe think of a 5 year old.

I’m thinking of a chart and maybe an envelope and having him count and chart it, but I can’t quite visualize the best kind of chart to use.

Good catch!

Yes, Hal is saying the right stuff. I hope you didn’t sign up for membership, but if you did call the main company, not just your upline and cancel it. If you get any products in the mail, call for an RMA return number immediately and return them asap. If you get any biz aids that maybe charged for, return it to the main company not your upline. If it’s just a catalog or spam stuff throw them in the trash. These guys are sneaky at best. Don’t give them too many reasons why you quit. They will try to get you back and are so brain washed they think what they do is nothing wrong. They can’t handle to much information. Be short and sweet and to the point.

Good luck and thanks for your military support! I married into an army family so I know what it can be like.

I was almost recruited by an ACN rep too

I think ACN is among the most likely to catch people, because as you say, it does seem legit. Indeed, their service IS legit – reselling telecommunications. Then you find out the whole thing is one big MLM. Their legality has been (unsuccessfully) challenged by the Australian and Canadian governments. They slip through because they claim that the product is the focus, and the residuals are the main source of income, when in fact the major money is made (by very few) by relentless recruiting.

Be careful

Make sure you didn’t sign up for autoship – you need to cancel that seperately. I have known some situations(gym memberships) where cancelling the credit card is not sufficient. They can still ding your credit if the payment does not go through. Make sure your membership with ACN is cancelled.

almost got me!!

i am a san diego resident currently serving in the u.s. navy. i signed up for the acn mlm. i thought this was my big break because i have seen alot of marketing scemes throughout my days but this one seemed legit. i signed for the enrollment fee of 499. and when i got home i decided to do research because it was kinda odd that they wanted my cr3dit card numbers and the numbers on the back of my credit card!! no one ever asked for the number on the back unless i were purchasing something online. so when i did my research i found that acn isnt all that its cracked up to be. so i immediately canceled my credit card!!
thanks google!! lol