WOW....I really wasn't expecting it to blow up the way it did. My post was about planning for purchases, and therefore that money was not going towards debt. And as some people pointed out, that is better than continuing to go into the hole. And THAT was the point of the post.
However, it turned into a few other things.
For those of you who have a special needs child....if you don't think I was supportive enough to you, I am sorry. I live with it day in and day out, as do you. I get it. You get it. Which is why I was a little surprised at some of the comment.
Yes, it is my money...and I will do as I want with it. Yes, they are my kids, and we will make the decisions that we feel are best for them. You all are absolutely right about that. But if I "put it out there," then I will expect that people are going to have comments...both positive and negative.
Let me explain a few things....and this will be my final word on the subject. Comment if you like, don't comment. Your choice.
1) Kids birthdays. As I stated, we probably over-saved. I didn't say that every penny will be spent on this. The money that we saved would normally have gone to debt, but we decided that as the kids are getting a little older, we need to socialize them more. We have struggled with this. So we decided to have their parties a few weeks after their actual birthday, to allow them to make some friends at school, and then invite them. We are trying to start the year out on a positive note for them. They get to "host" something and feel good about it. Sassy rarely gets to be the center of attention, as her brother tends to garner most of it. So yeah, we want to give her the chance to shine. Bossy needs a party that is structured where he will succeed, so we picked something he likes and understands.
This is a ONE time event. ONE. Next year they won't have this. Nor the year after, or after that. ONCE. Their gifts will be $25-$30, plus cakes. Having two kids have their own day to be special....PRICELESS.
2) Camp. Camp serves as daycare for us. We both have to work, and during the summer when school is out, they need to go somewhere. We pay $120 a week for BOTH kids (cheaper than what most people pay for traditional daycare for their kids) and they have a world of fun. Swimming, games, fieldtrips, movies, arts and crafts. All included. Going rate for a standard babysitter around here is $10 an hour. For the hours that we would be at work, even accounting for the days when G-man would be home, would be 6 hrs a day, 3 days a week. That would be $180 dollars for our kids to sit around our house, not socialize, not go on field trips. We don't have family here that can watch them. It isn't an option. My kids aren't sitting around bored, they are having fun....it is a win win. Check out the prices for daycare and summer camp....$1000 for BOTH kids.....is a steal.
3) Christmas. Someone said, oh people will understand. But you know what.....I won't. One time a year I would like to show someone else some appreciation. And I STRETCH the budget. Most of the teachers and therapists are under $7 each. For nice gifts. We generally spend $100 per person in our immediate family (so, $400 there). Considering we have largely cut out spending on impulse things and other purchases that used to go on a credit card....we save for this. The remaining $600 goes to tree, cards, postage (not just cards, but all the gifts we have to ship, unless we can get free shipping via the order). This will cover about 30 other family, friends, and teachers. Again, no one says I have to spend it all....but I want to have a little cushion.
4) Friends. Someone said we needed better quality of friends. SHAME ON YOU. I have AMAZING friends. I have friends who sat up all night with me crying when my husband had an affair. I have friends who flew half way across the country at the drop of the hat. I have friends who cried with my when my daughters died, and sent me Christmas ornaments that included them on the personalization. They love me. They love my kids and accept them for who they are. I can't control the kids at school....and we are working on finding kids that accept Bossy for who he is. I am not their parent, so I am not responsible for teaching those kids. But I am responsible for how I conduct myself, and if I choose to invite them into our lives to aid in their education...that is my choice. But MY friends, and their children....are loving, and tolerant, and special.
My blog is not about my personal life or personal relationships. It is about our family's relationship with money. It isn't about how I raise my kids, or our spiritual beliefs. It isn't about my marriage, or our struggles with our family. Yes, they all sneak in....but that isn't the focus. Read my blog....don't read my blog. But I don't appreciate personal attacks on any member of my family.
If you respond...fine. I am not going to respond to any comments on this post. I have said my peace.