Budgeting - difficult child Style

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    As you know - difficult child has a lot of grandiose plans. Unfortunately for difficult child, we do not have a lot of money....and can't afford to buy or do a lot of the things difficult child would like.

    Undaunted, difficult child plans to use the money she earns from her part-time, min wage job to fund all of her dreams. She has been talking about taking a week-long beach vacation to celebrate graduation. She wants to get herself a laptop computer. She plans to live in a luxury apt complex in the center of town...

    And now, she has decided she needs a custom-made dress for graduation. No - not "hand made" as in I really can't afford a fancy dress so I will make my own instead - but "custom made" as in I will send my measurements to this company that I found online so that they can make a special gown just for me.

    I tried to talk to difficult child about budgeting - spending wisely, making sure that she doesn't overspend and miss out on things she really, REALLY wants because of some frivolous thing she bought.

    difficult child assured me that she has a budget - which turned out to be basically a really long shopping list.

    I showed her that she needed to do MATH to have a budget. On one side - add the money you have in your hand plus any money you know will be coming in (ie weekly check). On the other side - list all the things you want to buy by the end of the school year: vacation, graduation dress, laptop, etc. THEN you can see how much money you can spend on what you want and you will see whether you can really afford all of these things.

    difficult child dutifully wrote down all the figures. (She was a little generous with her own expected earnings - but close enough).

    When she added up both columns, she discovered that the "Earnings" side was far lower than the "Expenses" side. Well, she knew that couldn't be right - so she checked her numbers and calculated it all up again. Same result.

    "Ugh!" she exclaimed. "According to this, I hardly have any money at all!!!"


    difficult child went back to the budget and added extra $$$ to each "expected paycheck"...

    and lo and behold! There's plenty of money! The "budget" works out just fine!

  2. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    Oh, my...

  3. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Oh dear...

    But well, if you ask my grandpa, she has understood one very important thing many people (at least around here, we tend to play safe) never get. Budgeting is not only about cutting cost, it works just as fine to add income. Now of course comes a tricky part: How is she planning adding income?
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Completely agree!

    And it would have been nice if difficult child had concluded : I don't earn enough money for everything I want - I guess I need to get more hours (or a new job or a raise or whatever).

    Instead, she was so sure that she COULD afford everything on her list - she simply changed the numbers to match her ideals.
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    How will she deal with the disappointment when reality comes crashing down on her and she realizes that a fancy apartment, a lap top, and a custom made gown for graduation are something that is really not attainable?
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    That is how you budget in difficult child Land, DF. You don't have to work for money. Remember the therapist who worked with her? Since a therapist told her there will be money for her to do this, that and 12 other expensive things for college, because a scholarship will pay for it all. What scholarship? Who cares? The scholarship trees will have such an overabundant harvest that ALL difficult child freshman will get trips to Paris Fashion Week and an unlimited amount to spend all year long. The idjit therapist told her it was true, so it is. (remember the idjit therapist who tried to sign difficult child up for a bank account without you or husband involved in it? Yeah, that idit therapist. Hard to keep them straight sometimes, I know.

    Just like the sleepover/mall/party/ride/whatever plan of last weekend, difficult child's budget has NOTHING to do with reality. At least not the reality that the rest of the world lives in. Until she actually has to support herself on whatever she can earn, this isn't going to change. You have done everything you could to teach her the value of money, how to earn it, how to work hard, and all the other things we want our kids to know.
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Oh my gosh - I had forgotten about that! (Must've blocked it out - LOL!)
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I don't know...

    I just hope she doesn't blow all of her money on something stupid - and then get stuck without something she truly needs. husband and I are in no position to "rescue" her financially.
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    OMG!! I had forgotten all about you telling us that. The therapist filling her head with all this false reality is only going to make things so much worse.
  10. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Wow, Daisy, my difficult child has that same budget plan, except now he's 20yo and has a newborn and NO job.

    Maybe its all explained in that difficult child Handbook that was mentioned in a different thread!
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Uhhh, DF? Is she planning on running for Congress?
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Lol, I'm sorry, I was chuckling already, and then read Step's note ...

    I know that she will come crashing down, but at least you got her to sit down and make a list. That's a start. (I'm trying to look on the bright side.)
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had to laugh at Step's reply too...lol.

    DF, honestly I do believe this may be true of lots of difficult child's and even some typical teen's. Not all of it because quite a bit of it has some magical thinking going on and some kids are very good at concrete thinking but not all of them. I think it depends on the diagnosis. From what I can tell, most of the kids with bipolar or borderline have money issues. I was also one of them. Remember that old adage about the person who said that they didnt understand how they could be out of money if they had checks left? Well that was me....lol. Thats why I never allowed my boys to have checks with any bank accounts even if they had checking accounts and they understood why. Just took temptation away.

    Cory was just horrible when he was a teen and wanted everything that was expensive. He wanted Timberlands and all the expensive clothes. He wanted to dress in all the latest fashions and wanted to go shopping every month on my payday. He couldnt figure out why I couldnt give him all this because in his mind I made so much money and should be able to just peel of hundred dollar bills like they were one's.

    Well....Cory grew up and had to take care of not only all his needs but those of a girlfriend but also TWO children. Ahhh, where did Timberlands go? LOL. Well if he found them at the Goodwill store he got them! He has found this really nice place that sells seconds of good clothes at prices that are the same as Walmart but even then he doesnt buy clothes for him more than every two years or so. He may get an outfit or two for gifts during the year. He has to pay the bills. Im the one who buys the kids clothes. He has to pay his regular bills and he found out that what he thought was big money isnt so big anymore. Life hit him upside the head.

    *Does that to so many people. Probably will to most of our difficult child's.
  14. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    It always amazes me what difficult child thinks she can afford. She does have a baby sitting job every other week and makes about $30 a week. Most the time it is spent on Monster drinks and candy. Yesterday she decided that she and her sister should try the ziplines that are advertised here where we are on vacation for spring break. After all, she found a $5 off coupon. So I let her call and it was $72 a person. Even she was shocked!

    She has grandiose dreams of turning 18, renting a place in the country where she can have horses and lots of cats and dogs. Right. She gags if she has to scoop the litter box at home! When I put a damper on it that it wasn't feasible to afford that... she replied, well I'll marry someone and he can work and I can afford to stay home with all the animals. So I asked "who's going to muck out the barn?" OH! her husband will do all of that for her!

    Life. It is going to be a rude awakening for most our difficult child's who think they will turn 18 and be on their own, and have a sporty car, nice clothes, eat out when ever they want, and afford nice vacations. KSM
  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I suppose in some circles - difficult child would do just fine with these kinds of accounting methods....yes, perhaps Congress would be the ideal spot for difficult child! LOL!

    In other news...I have an update:

    difficult child says she went through all of her bank records and "found" several hundred "extra" dollars - so things are even better than she thought!

    Well, that's just great...

    I hope it all doesn't come back to bite us in the b*typical teen!
  16. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    "found"? Uh oh.
  17. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    "found" - her word.

    I'm thinking it's more fancy math....I don't *think* she would steal several hundred dollars, because that could only mean she was stealing from her job...I don't think she is that stupid.
  18. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    "Found" huh. How come I can never seem to find even .01 more in my accounts? And, just so you know Step, you made me spit my coffe when I read your Congress comment!
  19. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Oh I know - right?

    Frankly, seeing how well that whole "budget" thing worked for difficult child makes me want to add...say...half a million dollars to my *own* budget and see how that works for us. I bet I'd be able to afford all kinds of fancy things!
  20. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    She really is living I her own little difficult child world, isn't she? I'm amazed how she always seems to make things work out for herself, no matter what the situation is.