My experimenting – My Teenager Son on Budget

Y’all asked me to post about how my experiment with putting my teenage son on his own food budget is going.  Tonight was our first stab at it, and the testing ground was perhaps the most challenging of all: Wal-Mart.  Yes, I turned my 14 yo son loose on a Wal-Mart with $45 and his own shopping cart!

I would call tonight’s shopping expedition a smashing success.  I fussed at the teenager to make a list, informed him he had to buy his own milk, juice, fruit, pasta, and what-not.  I figure I can cover him on things like condiments and margarine, but he is *SO* on his own with the milk.

Yes, he objected to the milk idea, but I held my ground then pointed out an obvious benefit: with his own milk he won’t hear me throw a fit when he decides to drink a tall glass of it at every single meal and snack time.

I guess it was a huge eye-opening experience for him in the dairy case, since he only bought himself a half-gallon instead of a full gallon!

I´m Putting My Teenage Son on a Budget

I went grocery shopping yesterday with my teenage son, since he’s been grumbling that I don’t get him enough of the foods he likes.

Big mistake.  Actually, BIG MISTAKE.  Things kept “jumping” into the cart when he thought I wasn’t looking.

By the time I got to the deli counter (and was quite happy to see all the sale signs) I was getting quite fed up with my son’s antics.  He was bouncing into the chip aisle, the pop (soda) aisle, and through the freezer aisles as I waited for the lady to slice up all the cheeses for me.

It was then I got this “brilliant idea.”  I am going to stop grocery shopping for my son completely!  Instead, I am going to give him the money I would usually spend on his food (he for some strange reason is a vegetarian) and then I will let him get his OWN grocery cart and buy his own groceries.

Tips for Budgeting for Irregular Income

How about a useful post?  One of the common “excuses” for not doing a budget is “I never know how much money I am going to make/bring home because I am not on a set income.”

Bah!  (Fiddlesticks!)  That excuse is just weak!  If you work on commission or tips you can still make a budget.  Irregular income is no excuse, you still need a battle plan for your money.

While most of our household income is fixed (about 75% of it) I still bring home some irregular income because I work on tips.  I still need a plan for what to do with that money, or it ends  up burning a hole in my pocket and “disappearing” like unbudgeted money usually does.

When you don’t have a guaranteed income level, you need to shift to a prioritized spending plan, where you list out your expenses in the order of importance.

If you have no fixed income, then your entire budget is a list of spending priorities: