September 6, 2017

{Learning Hard Lessons | Teaching Her About Money Management}

For starters, can we talk about how old I feel that Dawn is already a sophomore in high school? I'm confused on how that happened so fast!

The obligatory duck face mirror selfie.

In eighth grade Dawn begged me to let her take her lunch next year. She swore up and down that she needed to take her lunch. That she hates school lunches. So I bought her a cute new lunch box for her freshman year and I think she took her lunch maybe ten times the entire year. It drove me insane. Mainly because she also wasn't eating at school. She would constantly tell me that she just didn't want to take her lunch that day and she would just take some snacks. I don't know how many times we went around and around about Cheese-It's not being a lunch. It was insane. I honestly think she was testing me to  see if I would just give in and let her buy her lunch. It got ridiculous enough that she told her counselor that there was no food in the house. Yeah...I rolled my eyes at that one too. But of course I had to go in and explain that yes, she does have plenty of food to choose from for lunch she just doesn't want to make it. 

So this year I asked her if she wanted to buy her lunch or take it. If she chose to take it, she was taking it all year, no excuses. If she chose to buy I would put money on her lunch account.

She swore up and down that she wanted to take her lunch.

Having been through this with Cassie once already, I knew that we needed to add the money to her lunch account instead of sending her to school with money every day or every week or whatever. 

On the first day of school I added enough money for her eat lunch for two weeks (can we talk about how much I love being able to go online and add money to her account without having to deal with the school at all? So handy!).

Because I know her, I told her the money she has deposited into her lunch account every two weeks is the only money she will get. We will not add more money if she mismanages her money. 

That is exactly the lesson she is learning the hard way this week.

Two days ago when I checked her lunch account, she had enough in there for two more days. Since she didn't have school Monday. D gets paid this week so I knew I could log on and add her lunch money on Friday morning. 

I checked it again today (I check every few days because we had some issues with someone else using Owen's lunch card.) and she's down to $.60. I was confused so I checked the purchases. She spent $4 on lunch yesterday, instead of the regular $2.20. She spent another $2 on Ala Carte Entree. Which leaves her with the $.60. 

When I told her today that she would have to figure something else out (ie take her lunch instead of buying it), she said they told me even though I don't have any money on my account I can still get lunch.

This is true. A loophole through my you only get this much money rule.

So I clarified the rules for her. I explained that if she goes ahead and spends money she doesn't have on her account, she's going to be short again in two weeks. She didn't understand how that would work. I simply explained that I will deposit the same amount every two weeks. If she spend $4 when there's no money in there, the money I deposit will bring her account positive again. But she will then be out $4 the following Friday. I would not be depositing the regular amount and then adding more to cover the negative balance. 

To be honest I think she was trying to test the waters and see if D would give her money to cover lunch if she didn't any money on her account. But she was disappointed to learn that I had already explained to her dad about the lunch buying rules. 

We shall see if she figures something else out tomorrow.

-Kristin