Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cut-Backs at Home

When Kyle was a junior in high school, we gave him a debit card attached to a joint checking account and deposited an "allowance" into it monthly. The intent was to get him used to budgeting money--From that point on, if he wanted money for a movie, sporting event, expensive clothing, gas for his car (school was a 20-minute commute), lunch with friends, etc. he had to use that money. It's worked out beautifully.

When Kyle started college, we figured that his being a poor college kid and all, we should continue to give him an "allowance," especially because we cannot afford to pay for his college tuition. He also has a part time job for spending money and can come home any time he wants to eat, so he's making it just fine.

Starting in April, my salary is going to be taking a pretty good hit, and we have to find some serious ways to cut back. I told Kyle yesterday that although I don't want to, we're going to have to stop giving him the allowance. He's an adult now and will have to stand on his own feet financially.

So, what was Kyle's response to this announcement? Did he cry, "What?! That's not right!! You said you'd give me that money, so now you have to! I don't care if you don't have it in your budget--You have to pay me!" Did he picket out front or organize a rally in which he screamed, "This is the end! I'm fighting for my rights and the rights of my future children, who will lose weekends and probably have to work even harder for the rest of their lives!"?

No. He said he understood. I didn't even have to explain to him that Mr.4444 and I never had the benefit of a monthly allowance from our parents.  I told him we'll probably still fill his gas tank now and then and feed him, of course, whenever he wants to come home. We're still going to pay for his car insurance and might even give him a birthday present. He says he's not going to disown us.

I just hope we can keep this off the evening news!

24 comments:

  1. Isn't it great when kids just start to act like the adults we raised them to be?

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  2. Clearly Kyle is awesome....and I'm sure his awesomeness has something to do with his parents. ;-)

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  3. It just makes me so mad that you are in this position.
    And it doesn't surprise me at all that he reacted that way, because he hasn't been raised with the sense of entitlement that so many kids are raised with these days. And, he has awesome parents in general. =)

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  4. Way to go mom and dad on raising a fine son. When life gives you lemons you make lemonaid, and it looks like that lemondaid will have plenty of sugar in it! :)

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  5. He's growing up! You didn't mention if he has a job...if he doesn't, now might be a good time to look for one! :D
    Both of my college boys have on-campus jobs: OS is working at the post office (not getting a whole lot of hours or money) and MS started working at the aquatic center in Jan.

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  6. Sorry about your upcoming pay cut but not at all surprised at Kyle's reaction. I'm sure he didn't expect his allowance to last forever.

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  7. We're a teaching family (dad, husband, me for several years, son, and daughter's fiance), and we also took a significant pay cut a couple of years ago. I would not have minded (so much!) if the school board hadn't foolishly and needlessly fired the superintendent a year before he would have retired and then proceeded to hire a new one (while 'buying out' the old one) at a HEFTY salary raise with promises of guaranteed HEFTY annual raises!!!

    And THEN they hired a new head football coach to replace the retiring one... at a HEFTY salary.

    That county's schools are in accreditation jeopardy because of the serious dysfunction of the school board. We're glad my husband was able to find a job elsewhere!

    It's unfortunate that those possessed by a sense of entitlement don't realize that we MUST be willing to sacrifice some - whether we like it or not - in order to help get things straightened out.

    But that sacrifice needs to be across the board.

    We had (mandatory) experience with a union many years ago. It wasn't a nightmare by any means, but they were useless. We are thankful union membership is not mandatory for teachers in NC.

    I hope that the tough situation in WI is resolved soon....

    'Lucy'

    PS - Your son is the product of great parenting, which includes common sense!!!

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  8. Way to go, mom & dad! I am blessed that my cherubims have similar attitudes! I'm also very lucky that I'm just getting a salary freeze instead of walking papers!

    My thoughts and prayers for a quick resolution for your situation.

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  9. I remember when my Dad got laid off at 50 years old. I was 24 and working. We kids had always paid room and board once we got out of school, so we picked up some of the burden for my parents and doubled our board so that the family could survive. Eventually he got work, but my paycheck was greater than his. I never asked my parents to reduce my board back to what it was. I couldn't. We were a family and decided to do whatever it took to keep things as normal as possible. You're a great parent and you've obviously set some good examples on responsibility and saving just as my parents did for us. Your son knows how hard you work and have cared for him in the best way you can and will always continue to do so. I'm a municipal employee, haven't had a raise in 4 years and have less in my paycheck now because my health benefit package increased because of the burden it placed on our town. It's hard to save for retirement now and contribute to my retirement plan...which I had to reduce. I can't complain though. No one has been laid off, I still have my health insurance and I love my job.

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  10. Oh, yes, kyle's been working at his "dream job," detailing cars (cleaning them) at a local dealership.

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  11. I think you need to alert the media that you have such an un-entitled son!!! Go Kyle!

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  12. I know you've had many proud moments due to parenting before. You can just add this to the list. Way to go, Kyle! Way to plan ahead, Mrs. 4444!

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  13. I'm not surprised; you raised him right. :)

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  14. Great kids usually have great parents...

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  15. With everything going on in your state right now, Kyle knows the score. Like you say, you have been helping him and now it won't be possible. You have great children who are learning to be responsible adults.

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  16. You and Mr. 4444's have raised a fine responsible young man there. No doubt he'll do fantastic in the 'real' world.

    I just sorry it all comes down to this.

    God bless ya and have a great day sweeite!!!

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  17. He probably understands that he has it good. I paid my own gas, car insurance and earned my own spending money. From my Junior year in high school and on.

    Sure my parents let me live with them until I was 24 but I was in college the whole time (paying for it myself too).

    It's all about growing up and being responsible for yourself. Sounds like he's doing great!

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  18. Don't worry! It will never make the evening news! Why? Because Kyle is awesome. Because you are great parents. Because through the years you've taught your children that they should work for things and not feel entitled to anything. Because for whatever reason, there is no DRAMA in being a mature, grown-up, responsible person. You guys ROCK!

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  19. not the best of news but I think it might harder on Mr. Mrs. 4444 than Kyle. Probably will turn out for the best for him. I and many others got through college without much help and I think it can still be done.

    Hey - little off the subject but not much - Back in the Grammy's show I enjoyed Muse. They have a hit song called Uprising. Reminded me of the WI protests.
    Here's a youtude clip
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8KQmps-Sog

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  20. Sounds like you raised Kyle just about right!

    And good points!

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  21. You raised a great son and you are (and obviously should be) very proud of him!

    Thinking of you!

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  22. What an awesomely mature young man...he gets it. I'm sure you're super proud :)

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