Celebrating Women...for the Real World
Thursday, August 31, 2006 A Public Service Announcement

Please be advised the HELL HAS FROZEN OVER!! How do I know this? Well, my ex-husband, who I like to think of as a sperm donor only, agreed with me about something. No, that's wrong. Let me change that. It's not that he agreed with me, I agreed with him. No, I didn't "cave", I agreed. He came up with a great idea concerning our kids and I agreed. It was a good idea, really.

Our oldest son is a Sr. and our daughter is a Jr. As you may remember from your teenage years, or, if you are currently raising teenagers, you will figure out that they have little regard for money. Both teenagers are driving. One of those teenagers will be going off to (gulp) college next year. Every time I turn around, they want (according to them-need) money for clothes, out with friends, gas, more clothes, more out with friends......You get the picture. When they are told no, you'd think we cut of a limb (in case CPS is reading, I have thought about it, but never actually followed through).

Here is a perfect example. My ex bought my son a truck. He is paying for son's insurance during football season because it would be too hard to arrange his schedule around practices, games, recovery, etc. My ex also said he would fill up his tank every other week. Well, that was not good enough for my son. My ex also gives him $20 cash to spend however he wants every week. I don't know about you, but I think that's VERY generous. When I was a Sr. in high school, I maintained a 3.6 GPA and worked two jobs averaging 65 hours per week. I bought most of my clothes. I bought my car and paid for gas AND maintenance. I think my parents paid for the insurance. That's it! The insurance! And I was happy that they did!

So, what's this idea? Well, my ex opened a checking account in son's name with a check card. He and I agreed on a dollar amount that we will deposit into that account. What's the amount? $200/month. Out of that money, he (son) will be buying his own clothes, gas when empty between the two tanks ex provides, he will have to pay for any extracurriculars (you know, the "I need $$$ to go out with the f-ball team for dinner; homecoming tickets; homecoming dinner; Sr. T-shirt;) etc. His dad is still going to give him the 2 tanks of gas/mo; pay his insurance; and give him $20/week for lunch. The whole goal is to teach him how to plan, budget, and hopefully, be more appreciative.

Now, here is an excerpt of my conversation with son last night:

Son: "Mom, are you going to fill up my gas tank the weeks dad doesn't?"
Me: "No. That's what your bank account is for."
Son: "So I have to fill up my tank AND buy my other stuff? That's not right."
Me: "I think that's more than fair."
Son: "Well, then I'll just run out of gas and you'll have to come rescue me."
Me: "No, a tow truck will rescue you. But I wouldn't recommend that as it will cost you a lot of money to get your truck back. Towing is very expensive these days."
Son: "You mean I have to pay for that too?"
Me: "Yup"
Son: "You just don't know how much it costs for stuff these day." Click.

Boy am I glad we're trying to teach him financial responsibility and cash management now rather than when he goes to college. I'm also glad that the account is in his and his dad's name. That way, if his account is overdrawn, his dad is responsible! (He, he. I planned it that way)!

Posted by Sheri & SuZan :: 8:40 AM :: 10 comments

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