Monday, September 12, 2011

Money Monday! Mid-month edition!

Operation September Grocery Budget is 40% complete, and it appears to be going much better.  We set this month's budget at $550.  (In the name of full disclosure, we decided to take out some extra money to get some staples back in the pantry because we had NOTHING in July when we went to the States for 2 weeks.)  Currently, I have spent $372.67 or 32%.  That is so much better than we were last month.

I decided that the one large grocery trip was not going to work for us because the large initial expenditure makes it virtually impossible to compensate for monthly ebb and flow.  (Remember: budgets are alive.  They need to be changed, updated, and worked.)  The weekly trips allow me to know how life is going before I invest in the groceries.  The issue with this is the recurrent opportunity to impulse buy.  I've discovered a new weakness- the rotisserie chicken.

It seems innocent enough, the rotisserie chicken, sitting on the warming shelf.  But that smell.  That yummy smoky juicy smell that wafts through the whole building.  I seem to be incapable of resisting them.  And you know, they are conveniently located by the checkouts.  I've decided to allow myself this indulgence for 2 reasons.

1.  Rotisserie chickens are MUCH cheaper than little girls' dresses- my original obsession.

2.  After I'm done with the chicken, I've been boiling it for stock.  So, the $4.79 chicken makes at least two lunches for the Bits and me and about 4 cups of stock.  In my mind, that's a good deal. 
(No comments bursting my bubble allowed.)

The other exciting money news this week is that Chloe's 4th grade class is currently working on budgeting as part of their math curriculum.  I am thrilled. 

(Quick aside: I love Chloe's teacher.  I know I mention that about every other Weekly 7, but I love her.  She's a godly teacher who gets that education is more than what any standardized test could measure.  I loved my 4th grade teacher, and I love Chloe's 4th grade teacher.  Is it just a thing about 4th grade teachers?  Aside over.)

Kids have been learning money math forever in school.  Why hasn't budgeting been taught alongside it?   And 4th grade is perfect because kids understand the concept of money and the stuff they want is no longer found at the Dollar Tree.  You know that if your kid's teacher says something it's gospel.  Regardless if the child understood correctly or not.  (In K, Chloe came home convinced Adam and Eve came to the US on the Mayflower.  We could NOT convince her otherwise.)  So, if we could train up a generation of kids who understand stewardship, can you imagine the difference in this world?

Chloe, her Daddy's daughter, has always been fiscally conservative.  We call her Dave Ramsey Junior, or just Junior, for short.  To be totally honest, she's a drag to take shopping because she questions every purchase.  "Mom, don't you have enough purses."  "Dad, you really feel like DSW is a store we need to go in?"  The last time she had money she asked if we could go shopping.  She bought a clip lamp for her bed.  How very practical.

 She has been diligently working on her budget.  They have $1000 to plan an imaginary birthday party.  (Maybe not completely practical, but it makes the math easier for 4th graders.)  Carson found out this weekend that she had cut him off the birthday party list for lack of funds.  I was teasing him about it until Chloe informed me I was the one staying home with him.  How very practical of her.

As we head toward the middle of September, I encourage you to get your budget in order.  What better time to recommit to financial health than during the calm before the storm of the upcoming holidays?  And for those who think the idea of a budget is too scary, remember that although your finances might be more complicated, budgeting itself is doable for a 4th grader.  And for you. 

3 comments:

nancy l said...

I have a weakness for rotisserie chickens too. $4.79 isn't really a bad price either.

I'll send Chloe my budget & she can practice on it. :)

Anonymous said...

Tell Chloe I'll give her my mom's icing recipe, and she could make the cake. You could have her do a cost-break-down of all the ingredients. Of course, with such a generous budget, she could fly my mother down to make a cake for her on the premises! You want that in chocolate, or vanilla? A.

Steph said...

Aunt Bonnie is a fourth grade teacher so I am guessing they all rock! :)