Raising a Full
“Mom, can you drop off a few things at the Salvation Army for me?” asked my daughter not long after Christmas. “When I put my new stuff away, I cleaned out clothes I don’t wear anymore.”
It sounded like a reasonable and venerable act. That was before I carried the three HUGE plastic garbage bags to my car. Whenever my kids make me break a sweat, it’s time to investigate further.
Holy lift and seperate! Who wears 32 bras? In my day, your bras weren’t color coordinated with your outfit that’s what beige is all about. (But that was back when you died of embarrassment if your bra straps showed. Now it’s a fashion statement.) And who needs enough underwear to outfit the entire audience at a Hannah Montana concert? My daughter.
I held my tongue and went to the shirt and pants sections. Oh, they were clean and neat alright. They would have made the army platoon they were intended for look very nice.
My shock was at two levels. First, the sheer number of things and second, the amount of money it must have cost. And trust me, I didn’t pay for the vast majority of her trappings.
We outfit our kids very frugally. The kids each get a “back to school” pants and two tops, set of underwear, shoes and sneakers in September, a pair of pants and couple of tops for their birthday and the same at Christmas. Shoes or sneakers are replaced as needed, but there is a catch. I pay the first $35 dollars and they pay the rest if they choose to get a more expensive pair. And of course, they ask for clothing from their grandparents for Christmas and birthdays to supplement what provisions we issue. They are always neat and clean. And apparently, willing enough to work to bow to peer pressure.
Each child does some household chores weekly for a less than two digit allowance. My husband makes them bank half, so they end up with a few dollars in the end. That exercise was supposed to teach them to save.
Because we don’t provide for everything the kids desire, each of them found jobs early on. Between babysitting, collecting cans, mowing lawns, waitressing and working at fast food places, they have their own money and bank accounts. We hoped they both had a working balance.
Of course, the kids think we are cruel. I was beginning to think our work to get the kids to save had failed. Looking up from what seemed like the complete summer inventory at the Gap, I asked, “D wedding dresses uk o you have any money left from all your work after buying all these clothes?”
“Mom! I can’ believe you,” she said indignantly. “What do you think I am, stupid?” Deciding to hesitate before answering, I said, “Well, um, there are a lot of things here.”
K wedding dresses uk nowing my bottom line very well, she pulled her bank book from underneath bra 27, a nice green flowered model, and opened it up. I gasped!
My mind raced as any parent’s would when finding out their 20 year old daughter had a five figure savings accoun wedding dresses uk t balance. Pushing aside my initial feelings of jealousy, I asked how she had so much money and so much stuff.
Turns out she has been dutifully saving for years and limits her spending to 25% of her earnings. She purchases clothing from discount stores only, revealing that she did pay at least some attention to me at some point. Even while enrolled in college full time, she works proctoring, tutoring and refereeing volleyball games for spending money. (She’s an accounting major. Figures.)
After checking the long deposit history, I breathed a sigh of relief. Not only did she procure her funds legally, she actually learned how to save. (And to shop at discount stores.) The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree after all.
I congratulated her on her savings and decided not to comment about how much more it could have been if she hadn’t been single handedly keeping Victoria’s Secr wedding dresses uk et in the black.