Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Story of Our Financial Blip

My blogging style if I could call it that, is to share my story, what I do, what I wish I might have done differently, and elicit feedback and conversation. Please note in my postings and even when I comment back, I'm mostly referencing myself and how I approach things. Feel free to judge me and be as awesome as you want to be in giving feedback and joining in the conversation. Just note that while my word choice or the order of how I respond to comment in the interest of brevity, might not be clear or could be taken out of context, I'm not placing judgment back at anyone. That being said, my next story might give me a lot of negative push back on self and family indulgence, vanity, or just plain stupidity, but this is how the financial blip manifested. 

I was too eager, too aggressive in booking our initial airline tickets for our trip. I saw the weeks free on my work calendar, checked with DH and the adult kids, and away I went. I found the Air BNB and have blissfully been planning away, looking at options left right and center of Paris, adding in side trips to Belgium and Germany along the way. I saw the super low air fare as a sign this trip was meant to be-I needed to act. 

We knew DD2 was going to audition for a an all state choir. I didn't know, nothing  was shared about what happens if the kids is selected, other than they are part of a two day workshop and then sing as the finale to a state music educators conference next February. All the details though, are on the state choir website if I had bothered to research. We learned through one of her college visits when she met with the music program director that the All State required week long camp was the same week as the first week of our planned trip.  DD2 wasn't too worried-it is very hard for girls to get into the choir because of the large numbers auditioning in the state, and she did not feel she had a strong audition. No school can have more than six students selected, and many years her school has had only two or three, and until last year when one girl was selected, they haven't had a girl make the choir for many years. 

Have you ever been in the position of hoping the best for someone, but knowing if they succeed, a whole lot of mess was going to spiral out of it? You've probably figured where I am heading, but DD2 was selected for the choir. On top of that, she was the only girl from her school to be selected. Because this is a state audition process, to forfeit her  place in the choir would not mean a slot for another student from her school, so not accepting her slot would not go over well, and she would essentially be cutting a lot of opportunities for herself her senior year of high school. Sure, the school directors should have been much more communicative about the week long camp as a possibility. Who knows, they maybe did say something to the kids, but those are details that would  have been great to have in writing. We would have planned around the week from the beginning. 

This left us with the dilemma of figuring out how to reconstruct the trip to accommodate her schedule. There are change fees with the airline of, gulp $275 a ticket, plus the price difference, accommodations to  cancel and reschedule, and an itinerary plan to start over. We also have the cost of the week long camp itself. All together, we estimate a $3,600 swing in expenses. Scheduling is going to be tight as the camp runs right up to the day before our new departure date, so a fast pick-up, unpack, laundry, repack will be required. Fortunately, her camp is at a college within forty minutes of us as opposed to last years being in a college four hours away. 

A bright spot though, this all state placement  is an automatic $4,000 a year scholarship at several of the schools she is considering. She just got a part time job and starts training today, as a hostess, food runner and table busser at a hip restaurant downtown on the river, plus a few steady babysitting gigs lined up. With earned and gifted money, she's contributing to the cost of the camp and incidentals for the trip. 

I couldn't be prouder of her for this accomplishment. I'm just as proud that she recognizes what this change has meant financially and making new choices on how she will use her own money and a plan to contribute more. It might also nudge her in a specific college direction, knowing others have heard her talent and it is not just all mom and dad talk when we say how good her singing is. I'm sure there is a lot of eye rolling at our situation-I would be rolling my eyes too if I wasn't front and center. We're making it work. OK, let the comments commence. 

20 comments:

  1. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. At the time you made the decision you took into account all relevant information. Things have worked out better than you could have expected, just not financially. Quite honestly Sam, I know you are trying to live frugally and save but this just sounds like "one of those things". Sorry, gal, you will never be perfect, you will not always make perfect decisions, you are just like the rest of us.

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    1. One would think though after 29 years of parenting I would know to get all the facts before proceeding with other planning though. this is where my frustration is-my own ignorance and not typically how I approach planning. Oh well, it is now done.

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  2. The extra cost is due to a wonderful opportunity for your daughter...one that you didn't have all of the information about. I wish that my unplanned financial outlays over the last year had been for pleasant reasons, rather than one nightmare after another. As we keep telling ourselves ' it's only money'. Some things are far more important.

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    1. You are giving me a rose colored look-thank you. True, while we will need to be more midful th enext year about other expesnes, it is only money and the memories of both can't be bought.

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  3. Agree with the other posters, and . . . am in the process of myself rejigging our full summer plans due to a) an unexpected work trip for my husband, and b) a huge work opportunity for me. So, I hear you. :-) Our costs will be much less, but only because it's domestic travel with no hotel stays, and also because I'm hoping to get work to absorb the change fees.

    And, a huge congrats to your daughter. This sounds like a fabulous opportunity.

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    1. It is of some comfort to know it happens to the best of us-I just coul dhave avaoided this problem with better research. Still, we are makin git work. The next yer might be a bit tighter, but saving $10 here, $50 there, another two years of light Christmas, which no one even noticed last year but me becasue I was the one buying, and things will be back on track.

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  4. Frankly, I don't see how you could have chosen to do anything else. You can bet that if my DS auditioned for and made state choir, he'd be going, and damn the torpedoes. This is also an amazing way of the universe showing a kid how all our life choices, have consequences--some good, some bad, and that we have to accept those consequences. Choosing to sing? Great choice, leading you to be eligible to audition for state choir. Choosing to audition for state? Great! You were picked! Choosing to attend state choir camp? A bit trickier. Some uncomfortable consequences here, as a result of our earlier choice to go to France, but we'll accept the consequences, and deal with the logistics.
    And congratulations to her!

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    1. You are so right. This will be a great learning expereince in my daughter's final year. She knows it was her issue as well not finding out all the details, or pressing for details, that led to us not knowing the dates. There will be no mom at college to put things on her calendar. She also was debating about a social activity for school that owuld have been near $100-nope, not using her money for that an dinstead, has put therself down as available to work that night instead, an dmost likley will get scheduled. I appreciate other teen mom's weighing in on my life!

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  5. I think it was John Lennon who said "life happens when you're busy making other plans". We've all been there...
    Arilx

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    1. ANd now, we better preapre ourselves for being unprepared on the trip and learn to roll with any curves. John Lennon had it right-and I love that song (one I sang to my son as an infant and toddler)

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  6. I don't think you have anything to be sorry or upset about. If DD2 picks a college that qualifies for the $4000/year scholarship you'll be ahead of the game! I see this as win-win! What a wonderful opportunity for her and your trip is going to be amazing!!

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    1. Not doing both was never part of the decsion. Paying for both, now that is where our effort need to focus.Everyone is so kind in helping me see this is just life, and looking at the good stuff.

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  7. Everything works out for the best - it is an amazing opportunity for dd and she HAS to take advantage of that!!! I am so excited (and very, VERY jealous) of your trip, it will be the trip of a lifetime as a family and I don't think you should feel "bad" or "guilty" about changes that have to be made - like others said...that's life!

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    1. Guilty wasn't the word-dumb, perhaps is. I know we are incredibly fortunate on both accounts. I like being thrifty-I guess I just gve myself more momentum to find the best value for our money for the next 12-24 months!

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  8. Things happen, we roll with the punches, no real choice here, from my perspective. Life happens, ya know?

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    1. It is done. We are still committed to both the trip and her All state camp. Tuna and pasta sound pretty good on the dinner menu for a while.

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  9. Everyone else has said all there is to say. Don't kick yourself! Congratulations to her. I know you are proud parents.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I know I am harder on my actiosn than you all are. I'm taking the positive words to heart.

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  10. You have to do what you have to do! She has a great opportunity and you are still going to Europe. Life continues to be good!

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    1. Life is more than good. You are all a great support system and a reminder of that. BTW, love the snippetts on FB from your talented offspring.

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