Standard of Living

  1. School is great! Summer is great! The days are long and hot and beautiful! I've got tons of time to spend with my 3 girls............and yet......I don't have the spendable cash that I'm accustomed to (that I gave up willingly to go to school full-time) spend doing things we all enjoy.


    My kids expect certain things each week. They expect to go swimming at the Y 2x a week at 2bucks a pop plus snacks. That's 18 dollars a week on swimming. They expect to go skating once a week. That's 12-15 dollars. They expect to go see Grandparents at LEAST once a month. That's a 3 hour trip one way. about 30-40 in gas and another 20-30 in food/snacks/drinks...


    So, how are you helping your kids adjust to the NEW standard of living??

    I'm evidently sucking at it..a.s i've spent the morning scrounging for pennies to make their weekly trip to the Y.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Bevi
    Hi,
    I think that this is a wonderful opportunity for your children to learn the value of a dollar.
    Tis also a good opportunity for them to learn WANTS vs. NEEDS, as well as EXPECTATIONS vs. REALITY

    Perhaps start taking them to a lake or beach...or even to enjoy a sprinkler in their own back yard!

    Teach them that sacrificing now will pay off tenfold in the long run.
    Sit em down, and tell them that they can go to the ymca OR skating , but only ONCE per month...

    ...grandparents..... well that's a hard one....perhaps you could save food /snack $$ if you feed them before you go and get them bottled water for the drive..... that's what i do....there's no need to graze in the car...is there? I never saw a kid die of starvation during a 3 hour car trip.

    I would never scrounge pennies for my son to do an activity ..... it would be teaching him that you can sacrifice basic needs for somthing that's a luxury. That's not a lesson i want him to learn...... i want him to grow up and manage money in such a way that he is not going to get in over his head.
    imho, luxuries are hard to enjoy if your broke because of em.

    Good luck, take care
  4. by   marilynmom
    Kids have to learn the difference between wants and needs...might as well start now....lol

    We just do a lot of free stuff, and in the summer there is a lot of things to do. They play with other kids a lot, we go swimming at free pools, the library in the summer usually has lots of free activities and book clubs, and just doing nothing is OK too. Somedays we just stay home and they watch movies, play outside, color, read books, etc.

    I dont know how old your kids are but you could just explain to them that since mom is in school there is less money to do some things or instead if buying snacks and stuff when you go swimming, bring your own food or eat before you go. As far as grandmas house ya the gas money is a lot but you dont have to buy so many snacks, just bring your own food.

    You will just to fine new thingas for them to do and they will get used to it eventually. They are just used to the routine of swimming twice a week at a certain place, etc but its also fun to try new things! A garden hose in the back yard can be just as fun!

    Marilyn
  5. by   fnimat1
    I know what you mean.....I haven't even started school yet and I'm feeling the crunch. I have planned a lot of free events at the various museums libraries,, science centers, parks, etc. in my area. I also don't have a car right now so I'll be bussing it with 4 children....ahhhhh....lol. Try and do a lot of creative projects with them.


    Fatima
  6. by   Cynthiann
    Lots of great advice already given here.

    Fortunately, my kids are to young to want the costly things, they are 2 & 3. Their activities mostly consist of playing in the yard in the kiddie pool (love to do this because I can study while they play) and going to the playground at the park.

    You definitely need to sit down with your kids and tell them that they have to sacrifice certain things for now so you guys can have a better life later.

    It really sucks and getting by with so little money but I get through it knowing that after I graduate things will be so much better.
  7. by   rnnurse2be
    Ok, here is a few most suggestions. MY boys want to go the water slides, but for us to get in we are looking at $40.00 and thats bringing our OWN food! Soooo, they have a lemonaid stand and earn the money for their own tickets in! Why not do that and they can use the money to go rollerskating, swimming ect? I know there have been times where in 1 hr they have made $9.00! Then they learn they have to WORK to earn Money and how easily it is spent.

    Go to parks and play, have their friends spend the night and watch a movie and pop popcorn, go to a lake (if nearby) to swim.

    Make it a fun thing to come up with new ideas for summer time fun.

    We've talked to our boys at length about mom in school and the things we have to give up. The internet can give you fun ideas Go to: WWW.FAMILYFUN.COM and look around. You can even put in "summer ideas for kids" in google and it will come up with pages to look at.

    Make it a FUN challenge for you and your kids.
  8. by   TeresaRN2b
    I guess I am a mean mom. I tell my kids to suck it up life isn't fair. Why do you have to spend money to have fun??? Our best vacation ever we had camping and it was also our cheapest. We saved on hotel bills and food expenses from cooking out. I suggest you start working on good old fashioned fun. You know a Monopoly game, a deck of cards, uh, hide and go seek. There are so many ways for your kids to have fun besides spending money. We have 5 kids and there is no way I can afford to do that stuff every week. Even if I could I don't know that I would. Just my thoughts anyway.

    Teresa
  9. by   marilynmom
    Originally posted by TeresaRN2b
    I guess I am a mean mom. I tell my kids to suck it up life isn't fair. Why do you have to spend money to have fun??? Our best vacation ever we had camping and it was also our cheapest. We saved on hotel bills and food expenses from cooking out. I suggest you start working on good old fashioned fun. You know a Monopoly game, a deck of cards, uh, hide and go seek. There are so many ways for your kids to have fun besides spending money. We have 5 kids and there is no way I can afford to do that stuff every week. Even if I could I don't know that I would. Just my thoughts anyway.

    Teresa
    LOL I am a mean mom too
  10. by   Browneyedgirl
    Thanks for the tips. They ARE really great kids. 7, 5, and 4.

    We ended up not going swimming yesterday because they got in a fight...okay....uh..mmmm...they were stressed about $$ and going and were being not so great.

    but USUALLY they are angels. lol
  11. by   Bevi
    Originally posted by TeresaRN2b
    I suggest you start working on good old fashioned fun. You know a Monopoly game, a deck of cards, uh, hide and go seek. There are so many ways for your kids to have fun besides spending money.
    Teresa
    Awesome suggestions!
  12. by   giftedRN
    I have been attending University in Florida two years now and my children are feeling the crunch. My financial resources is limited and I told them that I will be okay after graduation. I am planning to go back to Jamaica to have fun after school, then I will be working here for a long time. My children are looking farword to the trip. For now they are trying to cope with this basic lifestyle.

    Ann.
  13. by   straba
    Where in JA are you from annmarei? I went there this past march to see family. I probably won't be able to visit home again until I graduate in June...........2005!!
  14. by   Berta
    Lol, I am " the meanest mom in the world", I didn't realize I shared this title with so many other moms. I too have already felt the squeeze of no money because of school. My kids wanted to go do the pool thing too, as well as the movies. There was no way I could afford it. My solution for the pool was settled even before the summer began. I explained to them that we just couldn't afford it. Period. I did offer to buy an inflateable pool from Walmart for $20, along with which I informed them that if they are rough and pop it, no more pool for the summer. I told them the only way I could afford to buy it was to take the money from the grocery budget for the month that bought their junk food. Amazingly, they agreed. I was surprised considering their ages 8 and 3. As to the movie thing, we are borrowing movies from the library. We also visit the playground almost every day.

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