Sunday, June 11, 2006
the effect of children on $$$$$
this may come as no surprise, but kids are s p e n d y . and they are kinda demanding about the money you spend on them.
the other day paulette came home from school and demanded $180. we helped her through the math and then she realized she only needed $120 and demanded again. "you have to give me $120, i NEED $120". wisely, my friend dianna said: "i want $300." lindsay and i followed suit with much higher numbers that would pay off student loans and buy houses. it shut her up for a bit. but the demands just keep coming.
they really do need so much stuff. they have no summer clothes, they need tons of hair products to get their hair/scalps healed, summer camps, school trips, medicine, lots of food, etc. it really adds up.
plus, they have never learned what it means to work and earn money. they can't remember living in a home where anyone left for work earned money. they existed charity, entitlements, or gifts. the concept of earning money is foriegn. but it is actually exciting to watch them learn the value of work and the instant gratification that can come when you clean something really dirty, and then get paid for doing it. (more on work later).
because our church is helping us pay for most of the additional cost (until we start getting the social security etc. benefits... ) we have to keep good track of what we spend. so today, jet lagged and super lazy, i started using a computer program to track my expenses. in this way the kids have had a real positive effect on my $$...i am embarrassed to say that i have never kept good track until now, so this is really exciting.
AND because dinners are now always at 6:30pm (supposedly, more like 7) and they are all sitdownprayerfirst kinda dinners. we have to plan menus. it is amazing what you can make if you just plan for it. and we have been having some really delish stuff at our place. the girls don't love everything, but they are good sports to try everything (they like green drink though). so, i eat out alot less and we make pretty inexpensive meals (for the most part).
that is all to say that kids might be rough on the pocketbook, but they sure do make it more organized.
i wrote this and then just before posting learned that someone in our congregation generously gave our Bishop $5000 to help take care of the girls. our bishop has assured us that we should not allow this to become a financial sacrifice/burden. it is really amazing to observe the generosity of so many people.
so many people have offered to take the kids for a weekend, or for a night, or whenever. this experience has punctuated the african notion that "it takes a villiage" and it is a beautiful thing to watch a congregation and neighborhood become a villiage.