This post isn’t really about birthdays. It’s about how relatively unimportant is the amount of money we spend on our kids. It’s about how kids spell love, T.I.M.E. and how having a friend to come along beside you to give new ideas and tell you that things are going to be ok, can make a hard thing seem possible.
Things have been quiet on the blog the last few days, because I was putting all my energy into a free webinar that has been my dream for the last 7 years. Finally all the pieces came together to make it a reality. The webinar itself gives enough information to massively change a financial trajectory, but there wasn’t enough time to go as deeply as I want to go. You can see the replay right here for the next few days. I’ll need to take it down after the weekend, because some of the information is time sensitive.:
Grocery Shrink Live Replay from Angela Coffman on Vimeo.
At the end of the webinar, I announced a 2 month course/private group coaching session that starts on Monday! In this time frame we can go as deep as we need to, to seriously change lives! Several readers signed up immediately and we’ve already started the journey in our coaching private group. One mother especially touched my heart with her story. We’ve been where she is and there were so many things she said that brought back those old emotions. She gave me permission to share her story here:
C: I’m a stay at home mom of 4. I am the financial manager of our home. (LOL) I too homeschool our kiddos. We are currently trying to prepare our home to sell. What we need to sell it for, is more than it’s valued at. We have nothing to pay the difference (a $20,000 difference). We are trying to upgrade the house for a higher resale in high return areas. We are doing the work ourselves to save there. Dinners have become a nightmare. We are feeling the urgency to list the house on the market “now” in prime selling time. However, feeling overwhelmed because the work is not yet finished. I tried to earn some income on the side to help offset the building material cost but I have no time to working the business. I’m still diapering and breastfeeding a baby. The other 3 children’s birthdays are right around the corner. We feel defeated as we may have to settle for a short sale. A real kick in the teeth. Because we almost lost it once before to foreclosure after the hospital bills from birthing came in. We did a loan modification and have been great with mortgage payments ever since going into the 6th year now. ~well that was a bit of a ramble. LOL, I suppose I could have journaled all that, it’s the first time I’ve stopped to look at the big picture! Oh yes, the Goal: to sell the house and become “us” again.
You see the course is about groceries. We are going deep into groceries and everyone in the course will save the cost of their tuition the first month or get a complete refund. But the course is also about you, your goals, your needs. That’s what the private group is for. 8 weeks of personal access to me and the other friends on the same journey. To encourage each other, share ideas. Here’s what I said:
Me: Oh hugs, C–. How stressful. How old are your kids?
C: They will be turning, 10,9,6, and 2
Me: Such great ages. If you want we could brain storm low cost ways to celebrate birthdays that make the kids feel like they’ve splurged.
C: That would be awesome b/c the first one is this month the 28th and I usually order things online…
Me: How old is this one? Boy/girl? Interests?
C: Girl turning 6. She loves horses, princess, tiny figurines to play with like critter county~she loves making little families, arts & crafts, cooking/baking, and dress up
Me: I’d make it a friend only party and limit it to 2 hours from 2-4 so no meal needs to be served. For party favors buy each little girl a box of movie candy ($1 each) and wrap it in cute paper, or plain white paper and let your daughter decorate them with markers. Grap a couple of extra boxes of candy for the cake. Buy a bag of mixed baloons (Walmart has the best quality for the same price as dollar tree.) Blow them up with your own breath and tie them together with strings (or curly ribbon if you have it already) and hang them from the light fixtures and backs of the chairs. Only buy festive paper napkins (you don’t need paper plates, cups, silverware and tablecloths) and serve the cake and ice cream on your dishes and use the best tablecloth that you already have. Pull out the fancy china if you have any. If not your regular dishes will be just fine. Serve juice mixed with a 2 liter of lemon lime soda in tea cups and call it punch. Do a $1 box cake mix and $1 can of frosting and let your daughter decorate the cake with candy. Get plain vanilla icecream to go with it and pass around a bowl of sprinkles and a spoon. For the party, have the little girls decorate a couple of refrigerator boxes with markers, colored paper and glue sticks to make a castle/house. Then pull out all the dress up clothes and costume jewelry and let them play. You won’t need to buy gifts yourself because each friend will bring something and that’s 9 gifts! at 20 minutes before the parents come, stop the play, serve cake and ice cream. Then open gifts. Hand each girl her own wrapped box of candy on the way out the door. Total cost: less than $20
For the boxes, call Home Depot several weeks ahead and ask when they recycle their appliance boxes. They will save them for you if you ask, but you’ll have to go early to pick them up (like 7:30am) They are free
C: wow, just wow! that all sounds fantastic! seriously I’m stunned…this sounds amazing and I know she would have a blast!
Me: The highlight of her day will be decorating the stuff with you for her friends. The key is to let perfection fly out the window and just let her do it her way. (That’s the hardest part.)
C: yes…I can see your ways 🙂 and all this incorporates who she is,… honestly I’m humbled and stopped in my tracks…
This quick intervention literally just saved me over $300. That is impressive indeed. But, what’s more heartfelt and gets me to the core, is my daughter. I have been trying to find ways to connect with her. She’s a quirky little duck…But I shared with her the birthday plan and she excitedly threw her arms around me saying “oh mommy this is going to be the best birthday ever!” I cried…the $ saved is amazing, but that moment with my little Ellie, priceless. I will remember that for the rest of my life. 🙂
Me: I LOVE this so much <3 <3 <3
We only have about 20 slots left in the class, but if this is something that speaks to you, you can see more here.