Sean and I have struggled a bit (a lot a bit) with adjusting to the fixed-income lifestyle that is our student experience. Sean spent almost 7 years in the Navy, with steady and fairly healthy paychecks for a single guy (for most of that time…but let’s not get started on the ex-wife saga). I was used to working and having a discount at the retail store that I worked at for the last three years. I’m spoiled in not really having to worry about where rent or grocery money is going to come from and still having an “allowance” of money that I could spend as I pleased.
While we made a decent amount at the yard sale, watching some things leave at 1/6 (not even on somethings; i.e. clothes) of their original purchase price was a little bitter sweet. No; I wasn’t going to use or wear x-thing again, but dang…over time, that was a lot of funds spent on things I didn’t really need, or, in a few instances, items that had since been upgraded. It’s been a little more than three years since the last time I had a yard sale, but with what we’ve donated to Goodwill annually, we easily could have had an annual yard sale (provided we hadn’t been in an apartment the past two years). If you multiple what we made today by six, it comes out to a bit more than $1,300. That’s $1,300 (probably more) of crap that we didn’t really need and, ultimately, didn’t really even want. It’s going to make me think harder before I buy crap in the future at least.
Do I need this? Do I really want this? Would I rather have something else that’s worth saving for and not buying something that serves the same function twice?
Also, the kids are effin’ spoiled. We didn’t sell much of their stuff today, but rather I caught myself thinking, “If this and that don’t sell, we could set it up for them and…oh, yeah…wait…they’ve done squat to deserve it. Dang.” on multiple occasions. In fact, one thing that sold today was my old bike. Originally, I had thought about gifting it to the oldest. But here’s the thing… They washed my friend’s car and my car the other day to earn some money/for the oldest to attempt to work his way a little farther out of debt. They successfully…played in the water hose for two hours. Some cleaning got done, but not much. (Half check mark in their responsibility columns.) Then the garage was closed up for the night and they came in. The next day I noticed the room mate’s bike tire protruding out from under the garage door. If they had spent 1/10 of the time picking up the bike that they had knocked over as they did bugging Dani about how much they earned, there wouldn’t have been a $500 bike sticking out from under the garage door. (Negative responsibility points.)
The oldest still doesn’t do his homework the better of the time and instead chats away with gramma on Facebook. -.- No, I’m sorry, but Monday-Friday, until they have C’s or better, they are NOT supposed to be going anything outside of schoolwork. >:-( (Which feels like a two-fold betrayal because it’s not just the oldest doing something that he knows he’s not supposed to. Maybe it’s mean, but if he fails, he’ll still be expected to move out at 18. He can go crash on gramma’s couch and either go to school or get a job from there and she can deal with it and chat with him aaaaalllll day long.) And even when I sit on Chris, treat him like he’s five and make him do and show me his homework…we had the following conversation last week over printouts of his missing work.
Me: “But…you did this work sheet! Why is it a zero for last week??”
Chris: “I lost it.”
Me: *dumbfounded* “You have a fairly small, fairly simple room…and only one backpack…and the only places that you go are here and school… How did you manage to lose it?!“
Chris (13 years old, for the record): *vacant look; shrug*
The boys’ dad likes to play me the song of, “You just can’t give up on the kids!” Bitch, please. There’s a difference between “giving up” and not being willing to literally walk a thirteen year old to his classes all day, holding his hand and turning in the work that you have to make him do. It’s ridiculous. The school even gave each of the kids a trapper-keeper style notebook that ZIPS SHUT at the start of the school year. He has ZERO excuses for “losing” his homework.
The younger of the two just randomly acts like a jerk. In class, to Megan or to the pets. Doesn’t matter and there’s no rhyme or reason to it. He’s more than old enough to use the space between his hears occasionally and…he just…refuses. It’s easy to preach not giving up when you only have to deal with their attitudes on the weekends. (/rant. Sorry, he annoys me something fierce. Even though I know he’ll never “get” it and the energy is wasted.) But more than that, they’re both spoiled and they do not deserve it. I need to stop and think twice before doing or buying anything for them, too. Do they deserve it? Is this just something else that’s going to be taken advantage of?
Bottom line: More thinking, less buying.