Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Budget Baby!

Awhile ago Sarah expressed an interest to go back and visit China sooner rather than later. We had originally talked about going after high school was done but she seems to want to go in the more non-distant future to visit with her foster family, aunties and friends. And we want her to love her homeland and to be excited about a visit back. So we've started looking into options to see if it will be possible.

We put together a budget and are trying to watch our spending more closely. This has been a great learning tool as well as Sarah sat a bit while we were working on the budget. She asked some questions and we found a way to involve her more in our day to day running of the household.

Now, instead of a weekly allowance she receives a certain amount of money at the beginning of every month. She is responsible for selecting (with parental veto power!) and purchasing her own clothing, jewelry, makeup and fun items. Of course we buy all the household stuff, school stuff, pay for her cell phone, etc. And we buy the "essentials" as to clothing and shoes (coats, tennis shoes, undergarments, etc) but she buys the pants, shirts, sweaters, dresses, etc. If she decides, she can be happy with clothes and items she has and save all her money.

We thought this would be a good way to help her start now figuring out how to select items for herself regarding "wants" vs "needs" and how to compare items, shop for bargains, etc. She and I go "girl shopping" every Sunday and last Sunday we window shopped quite a bit, but she decided to keep all her money! She was such a good shopper looking at sales and figuring out percentages off prices, comparison shopping and list making. She made this Mama proud!

One of the first "budget conscious" things she did was to make her kitty a new toy. She had looked at a cute little cat play house at the pet store that cost $20. She came home, found a box, covered it with wrapping paper, hung a shiny paper ball inside and some ribbon down over one of the doors she cut into the side and put a big bow on top. Romeo loves it! She declared, "I just saved us $20!" She's so darn cute!!


Sherry said...

What a great idea about the allowance and what a smart girl Sarah is. I bet Sarah's kitty toy is even nicer than the $20 one too.

Lesa said...

What a wonderful idea! She is definitely smart enough to handle this.
How exciting of thinking of going back soon.

Joanne said...

Great kitty house - that was an awesome idea!! I think it's wonderful that Sarah wants to go back to China - so do I!!! I cannot wait to bring Mia back, but when she'a bit older! How about going back for a baby sister???!!
What a girl you have there - I love to see what she's up too :)

Kimberly said...

You guys are so smart! I'm taking notes for when I need to use these strategies with Quinn!

I love the cute house Sarah made for Romeo. AND she saved $20! AWESOME!

~elise said...

found your blog from RQ, SN forum...just had to say I've loved reading a long! what a beautiful family!

Lauree said...

Great idea including her in the budget process, etc. I really like the money given at the first of the month. We've been doing an allowance with our son weekly and it's hard to remember that! Sarah is just beautiful. Take care, Lauree

Kelly said...

I came accross your blog and I've gone back and read the whole thing. I really enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing your adoption experience.

I too am adopting from China and I have some questions for you (if you are willing) about adopting an older child. If you are willing, please email me at: