Tag Archive | son

My Son Gets a Learning Lesson on $400 worth of “Debt”…

My 16 year old son got a job over the summer at a local restaurant chain. He started collecting quite a bit of money in his tip outs at the end of each week. I told him that he should start letting his checks go into the bank and spend only his tip money. He reluctantly agreed; but soon realized the tip money was more than enough. He also decided that since he got a job he wanted to upgrade his phone which would cost $45 a month for the phone and insurance. I told him that as long as he was certain he could pay the $45 I didn’t care. (I pay for the service).

About 4 weeks ago I got onto his online banking account and realized there was WAY more debits than there should be since he has cash to spend. I totaled it up and he had spent about $400 in unauthorized (by me)debits. I spoke to him and we talked about how easy it is to whip out a card when you don’t have cash. Then I broke the news…I said to him, “$400 adds up fast over a few months when it’s $5 here and $5-$10 there huh? He was shocked that he spent so much that he was completely unaware of. I told him the right thing to do was to pay it back. He immediately started freaking out! “I don’t have $400!” My response was, “if this was a credit card you’d have to pay it back. And since you spent money on your card that wasn’t supposed to be used then you need to pay it back.” He protested that it was his money. I agreed, however the agreement was that he would only spend his cash. He was really upset with me but agreed he’d pay it back in installments. I told him the longer he took to pay it off the more interest it collects. He replied, “I have to pay interest on my own money!” I told him it was the responsible thing to do. I told him this was a great opportunity to learn how “debt” works. A high risk credit owner usually has an annual interest rate of around 22%. That’s about $88 a year in interest on $400. We sat down and I explained that if he divided $88 over 12 months that equals a monthly interest charge of about $7.35 per month. (I didn’t bother trying to explain that monthly interest rate amount decreases as the balance goes down). I’ll get into that another time.

I told my son stories upon stories of how I constantly over drafted my checking account in my 20’s. No one taught me how to be smart with money. I got my first credit card at 21. I had 3….all maxed out and I was in about $5,000 worth of debt until tax time rolled around and I paid it off and started over. (I was a single mom and I got a lot of money back). I never learned until I got married to a financially savvy guy at 28. He taught me everything I know about investments and, savings, and NOT using a credit card to get what you want. I explained to my son a “need vs a want.” It sank in and he totally started to see the picture I was painting! He went to the bank later that week and paid off all but $170 of the $400. He told me a few days ago That he’s been setting 70% of his tip money aside to pay back his “debt”. I was SHOCKED, he was PAYING ATTENTION!

Next week he plans to pay off the rest (including the interest). I told him…”At least your paying yourself back and not a credit card company right?” His response? “Thank God!!!”

I had him put his debit card in a safe place outside of his wallet so the temptation to pull it out was no longer there. In just 4 short weeks he’s been so amazing at saving money to pay his phone bill due on the 3rd of December and pay back the rest of his debt.

This has opened the door to us talking quite a bit about finances, what college expenses will possibly entail, future household bills etc, interest on cars, homes etc. we’ve talked about debt vs equity. I told him that if I didn’t teach him about wise spending and saving habits he’d have to learn the hard way like I did. Not to say it still can’t happen, but at least he can never come to me and say “why didn’t you tell me about this major part of life!”

Daunting debt

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Never Grow Up…..

Your little eyelids flutter cause you’re dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you everything’s funny, you got nothing to regret
I’d give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
I won’t let nobody hurt you, won’t let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, never grow up

You’re in the car on the way to the movies
And you’re mortified your mom’s dropping you off
At 14 there’s just so much you can’t do
And you can’t wait to move out someday and call your own shots
But don’t make her drop you off around the block
Remember that she’s getting older too
And don’t lose the way that you dance around in your pj’s getting ready for school

Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
No one’s ever burned you, nothing’s ever left you scarred
And even though you want to, just try to never grow up

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room
Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home
Remember the footsteps, remember the words said
And all your little brother’s favorite songs
I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone

So here I am in my new apartment
In a big city, they just dropped me off
It’s so much colder that I thought it would be
So I tuck myself in and turn my night light on

Wish I’d never grown up
I wish I’d never grown up

Oh I don’t wanna grow up, wish I’d never grown up
I could still be little
Oh I don’t wanna grow up, wish I’d never grown up
It could still be simple
Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
Won’t let nobody hurt you
Won’t let no one break your heart
And even though you want to, please try to never grow up
Oh, don’t you ever grow up
Oh, never grow up, just never grow up

Lyrics~ Taylor Swift

Love,

Mom

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tori

A Baby….Seriously God?

I’ve always been the rebellious one in my family…the black sheep so to speak. No one ever set a single boundary for me, as a child, and in essence I grew up getting my way on EVERYTHING. I would pout for HOURS until I obtained whatever it was I was after. I constantly refused to do things just to be difficult, and prove no one could make me do anything I, myself, didn’t want to do. Because the adults in my life didn’t know how to handle a child of such defiance I was given whatever I wanted just to get me to behave. Well I don’t have to tell you that it basically turned me into a self-entitled little brat! This unfortunately carried into my adult years…FUN!

Now, to my credit, I graduated high school in 3 years due to taking college courses (out of pure boredom and not wanting to be home) with my then, highschool boyfriend. I only took these classes so my boyfriend and I could spend time together. I had no idea that at the beginning of my junior year of high school my counselor would tell me that I had the opportunity to graduate that year. Due to taking college classes such as math and english I was eligible for early graduation. I accepted that offer at the drop of the hat. I HATED high school and wanted nothing more than to be done. I graduated from highschool and started my life at 17. I proceeded to move out almost immediately; I worked 2-3 jobs during this time just to make ends meet. I may have never had discipline growing up, but we were poor. So I didn’t have a singe person I could call and ask for help from. Looking back, I’m glad I didn;t have anyone, but at the time I TOTALLY wished I did. Having no one to rely on made me work a million times harder since I had an apartment to pay for, power, phone (like old school, plug-into-the-wall type phone). I pretty much had to bike everywhere or occasionally get a ride from my mom. I was finally able to afford to by a cheap car. I think I paid $1000 for it and made the guy $100 payments for 10 months; it was a 1985 UGLY brown Chevy Chevette. While it might have been ugly, that car traipsed me and my close friend all over the place. I lived in Crescent City, CA back then (my mom moved us there when I was 12). I have no clue why my mom would move us to such desolate, horrible place, where pretty much everyone was mean…especially the kids. Oh yes, she wanted to live near the OCEAN! She couldn’t have moved us to MALIBU? OK, rabbit trail….sorry, I do that all the time…

I got out of Crescent Shitty…*cough, cough* I mean Crescent City when I was 21. I moved 3 hours north to a valley in Oregon. It is beautiful here in Southern Oregon. I got pregnant with Taylor pretty quick, because agin, I had no boundaries. Looking back this is probably comes from being molested when I was 12, but that’s an entire OTHER story that I do not feel like discussing tonight. Anyway, needless to say pregnancy was quite the shock. Keep in mind for later, that the day I found out I was prego, was the first time I had laid foot in a church in YEARS. I don’t remember what the service was about, but I do know my roommate talked me into going to church with her and her friend that morning. I got sick eating pizza at the mall after church and I immediately knew something was wrong. I had the immediate feeling that I was pregnant, and I was right. I was freaking out about how I would provide for a child on $$6.95 an hour. I had no idea what I should do. I went back and forth about my options, and at one point decided I would keep it and then later had a FREAK OUT and decided to get a late-term abortion. I was 4 1/2 months pregnant, and I scheduled the procedure for the following week. I just couldn’t be a mom, I could barely take care of myself. At that time I pretty much knew nothing about God. I owe the credit of my son’s entire existence to a local pastor. It was just about closing time when this man came through my line. Our exchange went as follows:

Pastor: “Good evening young lady, how are you tonight?” (He did introduce himself as a local pastor of a church in my area).
Me: “Fine” (in my head thinking, “please don’t make small talk, I’m not in the mood dude”)
Pastor: I rarely get the inclination to do something like this, but I want you to know that God wants me to deliver a very important message to you.”
Me: *thinking dude, your crazy* But also a bit awe-struck and curious…I had no idea that what he was about to say would change my life forever.
Pastor: God knows that you are going through something extremely difficult and wants you to know that he wants you to do what HE would want you to do.”
Me: With tears in my eyes and completely dumbfounded as my chin I’m pretty sure hit the floor, I said, “I’m sorry, WHAT?”
Pastor: May I pray with you?”
Me: “sure”
Pastor: Dear heavenly Father, I pray that you pour your wisdom into this young lady so that she will honor you.” (Short and sweet)
Me: (tears now abundantly clear) I whisper… “thank you”
Pastor; young lady, things will be ok, just listen to God.”

And just like that he walked away….

I went home that night and prayed for, pretty much, the first time in my entire life. I think it went something like this:
“God, I have no idea what happened tonight, and I am pretty freaked out. I have no business keeping this baby. I have a crappy job and no money to raise a kid on, you DO NOT want me to be a mother, I ASSURE you!!!” And without the skip of a beat I heard a voice that said, “This child will come into the world to do great things.” I was SO FREAKED OUT I jumped up out of bed, turned on my light, because I was POSITIVE someone was in my room….but there was no one. Just me, and my bed, and my now wildly crazy thoughts that I am CLEARLY schizophrenic, because I am hearing voices in my head! I went and got a drink of water; my heart was beating so fast I was sure I was going to have a heart attack. I mildly calmed myself down, I get back into bed, and I say “OK God, if that was REALLY YOU, then you need to show me a sign that this is something I am really supposed to do…A CLEAR SIGN…(Picture this: I am shouting out loud…I knew I sounded like a lunatic!) But what happened next would change fate forever. I was lying there, and all of a sudden I felt what felt like butterflies in my stomach. It was the first time I ever felt him move, the flutters lasted for about 30 minutes. I had my sign….I laid in my bed and cried for hours, knowing I had just committed to becoming a mother. I had never felt so scared in that moment, than I have ever felt in my entire life.

4 1/2 months later I gave birth to a son, Taylor. My ENTIRE family was in the delivery room…(Imagine my big fat greek wedding), seriously….even my 14 year-old sister AND her boyfriend were in there (BIRTH CONTROL)! Which must have worked since she’s 29 with no plans to have children. After 15 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing, All was quiet as Taylor was making his appearance into the world…and all of a sudden I hear my mother yell “WHY IS HE BLUE?” The doctor looked at her and said, “YOU….OUT….NOW!” Seriously, why would you yell that? If you knew my mother you would understand. Taylor was born a healthy baby boy (I wish I could remember his stats, but I don’t). I do remember however that he was born on 3/31, at 3:33am, in room 3, in the Chinese NEW Year of the Rabbit (luckiest year), and most importantly the blessing of the LORD. I’m pretty sure that 3 is his lucky number…

I wish I could go on to say that I found God, and was a phenomenal mother, but that is far from the truth; I was still the same self-centered girl I was 9 months before…

In case you’re wondering, I just told my son this full story on this most recent Christmas night. It was the right timing as he has been dealing with some very personal issues. I never want him to doubt that there isn’t a God…because that would be a travesty all things considering. I’m not sure anyone in my family knows this story because none of them believe in God, and I’m not sure they would believe me anyhow.

I promise I will continue the story of what happened next, but the story of ones life can not be written in a whole night….

loves,

~B

Taylor became my INSPIRATION….

Taylor and I when he was around 4.

Taylor and I when he was around 4.

Taylor, Age 3

Taylor, Age 3

Taylor, age 1 1/2

Taylor, age 1 1/2

Taylor, age 3

Taylor, age 3

Taylor, age 3

Taylor, age 3

Taylor, today, Age 14 1/2

Taylor, today, Age 14 1/2