Saturday, November 8, 2008

Budgeting and the single parent

Budgeting is the hardest thing about being a law student and having a child. Because your graduate expenses are all loans, budgeting is very, very important. There is very little wiggle room. Children of law students already make a lot of sacrifices due to time restrictions on the single parent. To top it off, they also make financial sacrifices. Sometimes these sacrifices seem painful even for the parent.

My daughter has had the same bike for about 4 years now. I was hoping that it would make it to spring time, and I would buy her one that was a bit bigger. But this week, the front brakes blew out and then today she wrecked it and flattened both tires. Her little friend down the street had the same thing happen. Her friend's mom took the girls to WalMart and bought the little girl a new bike. When I came home, there was my daughter crying away because she no longer has a bike.

Now the logical side of me realizes that giving a child everything they want, when they want it---well, that's never a good thing. I said to her that I understood her frustration, but that I did not have the money for it right now, and Christmas was around the corner. "But she got one and her mom is a single mom and her mom did not have the money either." The lessons of life are sometimes painful. But my daughter hears more often then not, "Not now honey, maybe next month. I don't have the money right now." Money and budgeting is the hardest part. We live in a nice place, we have nice things, we have food in the refrigerator, and we are blessed with wonderful family and friends. We have more than most. However, a child constantly measures herself against others, and it is hard when they see what appears to be easy acquisitions for others and do not understand why they cannot get the same.

1 comment:

  1. I'm lucky I suppose. Mine will still be so young by the time I graduate that he won't know how poor we were.