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money issues
saturday, may 1, 2004

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i think i've indicated this before, but poverty sucks. granted, we're not in as bad a position as we could be in. as much as it upsets me to not have either saxy or i bringing in a paycheck (especially after all the freaking work and sacrifices made to get a damn degree i can't use in cali), at least we have the ssi and child support coming in, such as it is. it could be worse. we could be on the streets with nothing. we have a comfortable life for people who are poor. there's always things we want (will there ever not be?), but the needs are pretty much covered. still, poverty sucks. especially when you have kids.

one of the things i always wanted to teach my kids was how to be responsible with money. my plans had originally included an allowance and earnings for extra work around the house. for obvious reasons, this has not happened. and now what do i see? the same irresponsible behavior i had when i was first went out on my own. they've got money, any money (and i mean it could be 10¢), and it must be spent. and they have no idea what a dollar is worth! i just had a daughter come down and tell me that with her whole $20 she wants earrings and a necklace for her dinner dance plus a "couple" of bras. the girl doesn't believe me when i tell her she'll be lucky to afford ONE bra with that.

granted, it's not all bad with the money thing. i've noticed that my oldest can stretch a dollar further than i can, especially when clothing shopping. i watched her go out with $50 and come home with 3 entire new outfits (minus earrings and necklaces). she's a clearance rack demon. but middle girl, well, that child's in trouble. for one, she is an absolute clothes horse (as much as our circumstances allow her to be, anyway). and she has to have the newest "in" stuff and the brand labels. give her $50 and we're lucky if she manages more than one outfit. she has her stores - the expensive ones. and kitten doesn't even mention much about clothes unless she needs something. oh, she has her few expensive items she wants - leather pants, her letterman's jacket (which i so seriously wish we could get for her!) - but, for the most part, she doesn't talk about what clothes she wants unless she needs it. give her the money for it, and you can trust her to get precisely what she needs. jewel, on the other hand, wants all the time. and when she says she needs something, and you give her money for it, that's not what she buys. it's kind of frightening, really.

youngest girl, froggy, doesn't have to worry about the wants versus needs thing yet. with the older girls, we've told them they are old enough to spend a little of any money the do get on their things: makeup, clothes, jewelry, personal items, etc. obviously we try to cover what we can, but if they get a little cash, they are supposed to help themselves out. they aren't required to spend it all on necessaries, but if they need jeans and no one has the money to help them buy jeans, then they should use some of the money on jeans. froggy isn't there yet. if she gets birthday money (which is infrequently at best), she can spend it on whatever she wants without worrying about whether or not she needs something. that will change for her soon, but she's not quite there yet. maybe in a couple of years from now. course, with her sister being such a clothes horse, it's not likely she'll actually need much. just a new thing or two to make the hand-me-downs fresh.

i told jewel to hang onto her $20 for the trip to atlanta. we're planning on making a stop here and there and we're pretty sure she'll want a souvenir or two along the way.

then, maybe, when we get to atlanta and have jobs and things, money won't be such an issue and i can try to teach the lessons i want them to learn. maybe.

site of the moment:

ring/clique/fl of the moment:
mark my place
word of the moment: cozen

to deceive by artful wheedling or tricky dishonesty, cheat, defraud; to beguile craftily or victimize by chicanery; delude, deceive; to bring about, induce, or obtain by artful wheedling or tricky dishonesty intransitive verb; to act with artful deceit; chisel


Since July 9, 2000

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