Delayed gratification header image

Delayed Gratification For The Win

Several weeks ago, my sister sent J a gift in the mail — the Harry Potter Lego Dimensions Team Pack. J is a HUGE Lego fan, so naturally Legos are a great gift for him.

When he received them, however, he told me that he didn’t have the rest of the parts necessary to use them. Apparently you need a starter pack, and oh, it’s available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Wii U.

Yeah, we don’t have any of those.

I immediately stopped investigating how we could play with this toy, and we started brainstorming on what we could do instead.

Now what?

J decided to return the gift and get something else. Having no idea how much Lego Dimension Team Packs are worth, we headed to the store and hoped for the best. (Seriously, though, how much could it be? There were like four pieces in this tiny box.)

Imagine our delight when we found out the return value was $25 (!!!). We walked around the store for awhile, trying to find something to get instead. He picked up a few things, but there was nothing that he wanted that he could afford.

So we took a step back. I asked him what he really wanted.

Continue Reading

august-2017-interest-report

August 2017 Interest Report (and Total Savings at the Bank of Mom)

For over a year, I have been paying J interest at the Bank of Mom.

He started with $45.00 and earned $1.35 the first month. (I pay 3% monthly.)

This month, he’s up to $231.99 and earned $6.76 in interest.

I print and email him a copy of the statement each month. (He has his own email address and when I send the statement, I add other notes and tips. Hopefully he will read these someday and remember what we talked about.)

Here’s his statement for this month:

Continue Reading

how-much-does-your-vacation-really-cost

How Much Does Your Vacation Really Cost?

Back in March, we went on a road trip and J calculated how much we spent. I thought it was great for him to be able to see exactly how much a vacation really costs.

So when we went to Virginia Beach a few weeks ago, I wanted to have him calculate the cost again, with a few tweaks.

During the trip, we collected all receipts in a folder. We didn’t attempt to do any worksheets or calculating while we were away! A few days after we got home, we sat down and filled out our new and improved trip log (once all of the EZ Pass transactions posted).

This time, we divided all of our receipts into categories. We ended up with seven groups: gas, tolls, groceries, eating out/snacks, household items and lodging.

He labeled each green box with the category. Then he used a running total approach with the register. This involves:

Continue Reading

great-allowance-debate

The Great Allowance Debate

Allowances. To give or not to give. It’s a hot topic.

To put it simply, I think there are three main camps:

  • Don’t give it at all. I already feed, clothe and shelter you.
  • Give it unconditionally. Here is some money and it is yours.
  • Give it conditionally, based on desired actions. Here is money for completing X chores, getting Y grades, etc.

And we…

Continue Reading

not-motivated-by-money

My Kid Is Not Motivated By Money

At the end of every school year, the teacher sends home a few summer learning packets. There is normally a packet for math and one for reading/language skills.

You’ve probably heard the statistics on summer learning loss — that kids lose at least one month of learning over the summer. I’m in favor of the idea of these packets, but in practice they’ve never worked for us.

We just don’t get around to it. Summer is busy and fun, we’re outdoors trying to soak up every last bit of warm weather and daylight that we can. We’re doing all of the things that we don’t get to do the rest of the year — swim, camp, picnic and hit the local amusement parks.

So this summer, I had a brilliant idea (or so I thought). I had the solution that would motivate J to want to do those worksheets.

Continue Reading