- I've mentioned a few times John and I are on a strict money diet. We're working a three year plan to eliminate debt, excluding house. I'm constantly amazed how quickly the money goes when I'm watching it like this; $20 here, $30 there, it doesn't seem like much but it IS.
Christmastime might be a challenge, but I'm ready. It'll be hard but we're just tired of the same old fa la la la la la la la la. We think the kids will still forget what they get this year just like they did all the years before the money diet. So with great discernment, we have settled for doing fa la la la la. The other la la la la will just have to be paid out in adoration, loving smiles and cookies. Always cookies. No chocolate chips, though--we're not the Gates' you know.
- I miss the days when John and I held up our ledger, magnifying glass in hand, discussing in depth each dollar we spent at Christmastime. The kids were very young and didn't know better--but they didn't expect so much and they enjoyed every single gift. Treasured those gifts, really. More on that later, I've got ideas. I want ideas....
- I'm here tonight on a Friday night not only because clearly nobody invited us to hang with them, but also because I'm struggling with this strict budget John has proudly integrated. It's okay...I mean I can do $150 a week groceries, the family meal has long ago given way to activities, friends and now John's teaching four nights a week.
- It's the clothing budget. We're a family of five. Three of the five are still growing. So here's what my superhero husband John budgeted for clothing: $50. A month! Don't bother looking under your desk for the other zeros, I already did. There aren't any. That'd be roughly $70 a year per family member. It'll look better if I take it out in $5's.
- What to choose for the boy--should I overlook last years jeans he just donned? After all, they make a nice little capri pant. Okay. How about shirts--ahh well he's home schooled, let him wear 3/4 sleeves. Who's going to laugh at him here? (hehe). But shoes! We can't keep him in flip flops much longer. Eventually we'll have to break or risk time in the pokie when his Sunday school teacher sees his purple toes.
- So today I put socks on his feet and coaxed him into the car. He chose a pair of tennis shoes on sale, $34. I also bought myself a pair of jeans, $26 on sale (I heart Kohls). With tax, roughly $70. Uh oh. If I add in last month's slacks and tie for the piano recital, I've done spent all I can without dipping into the $5 a week gas money I'm allotted. $5 is a lot for gas, especially for my Explorer! Geeshh! I could use that if I need to.
- Cody, the other boy, comes to mind. He's desperate for new jeans and I'm hip to a great consignment shop that caters to teenagers. But any dollar I spend there is still a dollar over my generous clothing
pittanceallowance. So here's what. John has jeans. He doesn't need more than two pair. Cody can have one. But Cody's thinner. I sew. I have jean thread. I have the Jeanamajig tool. I will sew a seam down the sides as I've diagrammed below. And with that, I'll have scraps. Scraps don't mean scraps here anymore. Again I put pen to paper. Here's the outline, I'm open to amendments, ideas or jean soup recipes here:
This budget will work! I think I still might squeeze another $5 or $6 out of the clothing allowance guru yet. So long those boxers I whip up for John chafe him where chaffing isn't welcome!
*sorry about the formatting dots, my post wouldn't let me separate the paragraphs!