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We've usually bought school supplies for the fall, but I don't see any need in it this year. We have plenty of paper if they want it. They want the cool notebooks. (Waste of money.)


You aren't buying a dozen new outfits and $100 worth of school supplies for each child. You aren't shelling out money for lunch or school sports or gym uniforms or the latest and greatest fad so they don't feel left out.


Buy them the cool notebooks. Buy them more paper. Buy them a cool set of pens. You'll probably spend less than you would for a lunch for you and the kids. It's probably less than an outing to the movies. It's less than an afternoon at some entertainment place. Comparatively speaking, the school supplies are cheap and will make them happy for longer dollar per hour wise than many other things the money could be spent on.


That's one of the hurdles I've had to get over. It seems like if we spend money on something permanent, then those things should be used permanently (or at least for a long time.) $50 on a video game they finish in a week seems a waste. And yet $60 disappears into nothingness for 2 hours with friends at a restaurant for dinner.


Where else can you get a week's worth of entertainment/brain exercise for $50? And on top of that the video game could be sold for at least half on eBay. There's no recouping the cost of dinner. ;-)



He picks out the games when I buy them. They are all games that he has decided to buy. Toys R Us had a big game sale and we bought three new ones that he picked out. He loves them at first, then he gets bored.


Little kids don't have much experience to draw on. Their choices are going to be based on things that may not have to do with the game itself -- like a cat on the cover, or something exploding -- just because they don't have anything else to base it on.


It's one of those things that gets learned by experience. We can tell them not to judge a game by the cover but that doesn't mean much until they've experienced it for themselves and start to form their own concept of what will give them a good idea of whether they'll like the game or not.


GameStop has used games. What about games at the Salvation Army and garage sales? There's Gamefly. Even libraries sometimes have games. At least then you won't have much money invested, he'll gain experience in what he likes and doesn't like in a game, and you can just drop them off at the SA when he's bored with them.


(Of course that doesn't work so well with kids who prefer to hang onto things ;-)



Now, maybe by your theory I should have taken him for a ride then, but we were pretty broke and I really couldn't afford to have the gas used up by joyriding with him.


If you could have paid someone $5 or $10 to stop him from taking the keys and starting the truck, would it have been worth it?


How much would it have been worth it to you to have a class for him to drive in? Could you have found a way to save $10 a week for a class? So what if it hadn't been a class but just driving for an hour a week? (Or whatever it would cost to run the truck for as long as he wanted? Maybe it would have been only $2.)


We can be wasting hundreds of dollars a few pennies or few dollars at a time so it's good to be aware of those trickles and plug up those leaks. But if all of the leaks get lumped under the category "too wasteful to be done" then we lose sight of what we'd actually be spending if we did one of those things for a useful reason.


My daughter complained about the bathroom being cold so that's one of the reasons she protested showers. I felt reluctant to use the space heater because they're huge suckers up of electricity. 1000 watts of electricity. The same as 10 100 watt bulbs and I can't even bring myself to by 100 watt bulbs. But our electric rate is less than 10 cents per kilowatt hour. That means you can run something that uses 1000 watts of electricity for an hour for 10 cents. Obviously running a space heater 24 hours a day would eat up money but not even an hour once or twice a week? I was saying no to something that was less than 20 cents a week?



I don't see myself making a pan of eggs and asking my daughter afterward if she'd like to eat them. I don't want to waste food, or money. She's 6. Maybe you're talking about the little little ones.


Nope, talking about older ones too.


Part of it is getting to know your kids. I know Kat likes cut up fruit so will rarely turn it down. Sometimes a surprise sandwich sends the message that you were noticing them and thought enough to take care of their needs without them asking.


You can make something for her when you get hungry so if she turns it down, you have lunch already. :-) Make a batch of something to eat over several days like soup or bread or muffins and bring her some. If she doesn't eat it, just put it back with the rest.


I don't want to waste food or money either, but think of it in terms of priority. How much would you pay to have your daughter healthy and happy?



Joyfully Rejoycing
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