Let's get ready to rumble
The school year hasn’t even begun yet but the teachers are starting to send out emails and reminders about upcoming events. The HS band is going on a trip to Chicago – naturally both skids want to go. Actually, both skids expect to go. There has never been any hint of doubt that they would. *cough*entitled*cough* Being the only financially responsible parent in this three-some, I started scanning the budget for future months looking for places to squeeze in the monthly payments for this trip. $150 in October, November, December, and an unknown amount in February to be determined by how successful the band’s fundraising efforts are. Oh, an multiply that by two skids. If this isn’t bad enough, we have to start thinking about Homecoming, too. SD17 is a busty, round thing who has to go to a special store to find dresses because otherwise she looks like a hooker about to fall out of the top. Not her fault, but she’s a tad persnickety about her dresses which means that we almost never find one at a reasonable price. And of course BM doesn’t give a sh*t about price because, welp, she’s going to split it down the middle anyway! Then there’s hair…nails…shoes…jewelry…a tux for SS16…flowers… and it’s only Homecoming for pete’s sake! Not like it’s prom yet. But I digress…
So thinking about this makes me wanna hurl. We’ve got an evening planned to get together with BM to discuss birthday party plans (SS16 wants a big sweet sixteen bash like big sister had…of course we had to rent a pavilion *eyeroll). Anyway, since we’ll be in the same room together I figured I would use the opportunity to mention the Chicago trip and Homecoming. Namely, that if the skids don’t chip in a little for the cost of the trip, we simply won’t be able to afford “our half” because, well, our bills need paid first.
Before anyone balks at us asking the skids to chip in, we already did this with their Disney trip with the band a couple years ago. They paid about 1/3 of the cost (probably a little less, actually). I don’t see why this trip should be any different. It’s an expensive trip and they both want to go – so double expensive. Since asking them to skip this trip is absolutely out of the question (insert sarcastic eyeroll) we have to come up with a solution that doesn’t bankrupt our household.
The conversation hasn’t even happened yet and I’m already getting the angry, nervous shakes. I’m bracing myself for the inevitable BS. For BM to say “TFB. You can pay me back or make it work.” For DH to heave a sigh of frustration and lament how life is so unfair that he has to work so hard and barely be able to afford things. For DH to get angry at me for even suggesting that the skids pay for part of the trip when “they’re just kids” and then get even angrier when I get mad at him for being a spineless pushover.
I’m probably getting myself worked up over nothing. It doesn’t do any good to worry about something that hasn’t even happened yet, although history tells me that sh*t is about to hit the fan. Please send good vibes to keep my backbone strong and my tongue in check, because I’m about ready to lose it.
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Figure out what you can pay first
Decide what you and DH can pay towards each of these activities in advance. Tell BM and the skids the amounts you are willing to pay. If they are old enough to go to these dances and go on these trips, they are old enough to figure out how to work out a budget in order to pay for them.
Of course, this isn't going to help you with DH's attitude. You need to get him on board first.
Your husband needs to get
Your husband needs to get himself in check when it comes to what he can reasonably afford, AFTER bills are paid.
It's really not rocket science, if there is no money for extras, there just isn't. Not a bad lesson for the kids to learn, either. If they want it bad enough, they will work for it. Oh, wait, kind of like life.
Is he "caught up" on that car insurance for SD? 'Cuz I'm sure BM will bring that up!
Oh I'm sure!
About that car insurance... we had a little money set aside for parts to fix SD16s Jeep. The one that he will start driving once he gets his license (whenever that is). Well we recently bought those parts. DH promised that once we started putting money into the Jeep he would tell BM to get bent and stop harassing us about car insurance for SD17.
Still waiting for that conversation to happen.
One way I would handle this
One way I would handle this to keep from too much mingling with BM- you guys pay for one kid, she pays the other. As for homecoming, set a dollar amount and go from there. You are willing to contribute $100 each, the end.
As someone who has to go to several grown up proms yearly (they like prom in the Navy lol) and blessed with chest- Threadup is awesome! I just got a gorgeous lace gown, with tags! Was $300, I paid $43!
All of this
OP....you can also try bridal shops or bridal resale shops for dresses. DD17 is five feet tall and weighs nothing.....with a DD chest. She found a beautiful and appropriate prom dress for less than $200 at a bridal shop. It was actually a wedding dress but it was pink so they had it in the prom section. For Homecoming she scours thrift stores and bridal shops and has never paid over $50 for a dress, which is a challenge since she is a double zero to zero everywhere but her bust.
We always set a budget of what we will pay prior to any event or trip. Then other parents or the kids are responsible for the rest. I am a bit of a control freak so I like to be the one to set the first budget lol!
Something that another person wore once and is in excellent condition???? (Gasps in horror and clutches at grandmother's pearls) I have vivid memories of suggesting such a vile and disgusting thing to SD. You would have thought that I asked her to go to the local cemetary, dig up a fresh grave, and roll around in it. DH, being utterly susceptible to her freak-outs, bought into the idea that I was advocating for her wearing a filthy rag to a formal event. Out came the credit card and she skipped off with her friends and no supervision. I think his eyes bulged out of his head when he got the bill. Close to a grand for dress, shoes, bag, new makeup, and hair and nails done that day. But he paid it.
Yeah between DH and I
we have five kids and four are girls. They kew budgets before they could do basic math lol! I actually broke my typical budget for the dress mentioned above (it used to be $100) because the dress was just so pretty and princessy that I wanted to steal it for myself! And DH did all of the alterations!
Have you looked into
second hand stores and those dresses exchanges/donation things? I’ve seen some on FB where girls donate their dresses to others.