Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Flurry

As in, the flurry of activity before Christmas.  It is not all Christmas related for me though.  I have many thoughts spinning in my head including my parents' move and my soon-to-be guardianship of my nephew.  I have written up some house rules, wii point incentives, chore charts to earn money and a kid friendly menu.  I have great hopes but I know reality might be a little different from the blissful teen years I am envisioning. 

Wii Points:
10  Check homework list daily
10  Finish homework
10  Backpack ready for next day
10  PE form submitted
10  No zeros at end of week
10  Shower
10 Ready for school at 6:50am with hair brushed
 -Zeros in PowerSchool will freeze all points until the assignment is turned in.  If assignment cannot be submitted, Wii points go back to zero.
-An overall grade of F in any subject will cancel all entertainment (video games, extra-curricular activities, TV) until brought up.
-Wii points are used in 30 minute increments. 
-Wii points can be exchanged for TV time.  30 Wii points = 1 half hour episode. 

I bought the wii console, or at least, I ordered it on Amazon.  It is used and comes with the controllers for 2 people and wii sports.  I told my nephew that I was going to wait until after Christmas to order it but I found a reasonable deal and wanted to check it off my to-do list so I bought it now.  If it comes before Christmas I will wrap it up as a gift for me and wrap up the game as a gift for him.  If it doesn't show up before Christmas then that is ok too.
My nephew, like many 13 year olds, is not interested in school work so I am trying to provide enough incentives to make him interested.  Hiring a tutor worked out well for my sanity this semester.  I hope to continue that next semester.  Transportation is going to be my biggest headache.  I found some horseback riding lessons that will pick him up from school and drop his off after I get out of work.  I'm going to try that out for the first month.  I don't want to have to leave work early to pick him up from school.  Even though my boss is semi-accommadating, I don't want to use up all of my special favors right away.
Money is pouring out of my wallet this month.  My budget is in a free-fall.  When we get some sort of routine together I will try to figure out my goals.  Right now my goal is to have a happy household again and some organization and control of my life.
My nephew is a free-spirit.  Definitely a spender.  He told me that everyone should be able to do what they want, then everyone would be happy.  I told him that he will re-think that statement when he gets a little more life experience.  We went in to Big Lots the other day to buy a gift for a gift exchange.  He insisted that he needed a 4 port USB attachment for his computer.  I asked him why but he couldn't give me a reason other than wanting it so I said no.  We went to the grocery store next so that I could buy the ingredients for fudge.  He asked me why I have so much money (I assume he asked that because he sees me buy a lot of groceries).  I said that I have a job.  He wanted to know how much I make an hour so I told him and then told him how much comes out for taxes and retirement.  Then I started listing my bills.  He wanted to know why I have to pay the bank if I own my house.  I explained how a mortgage worked and he wanted to know why I didn't just pay it off.  Um, because I don't have $72k to spare.  
I hope he got something out of the conversation.  There was a lot more that I would like him to understand but, you know, the attention span of a 13 yr old isn't that long.  I'm glad he was interested enough to ask.  I definitely intend to have him earn the money for his hobbies.  That will help him learn how to budget, I hope.  I don't want him to think I am a money tree.  His carefree attitude makes me think he will have to learn many lessons the hard way instead of learning from other people's mistakes.  I hope I can help him learn these thing early on.  Of course, if I move to a tiny cabin on my property in 5 years then he won't be living in my basement when he's 30.  I must have a plan to launch this little birdy out of the nest.  All in good time.  Getting through the 8th grade is my first priority.


Dave said...

Ten points for a shower? Sounds like hygiene is not on the top of your nephew's list, either.

At the risk of sounding crass, I hope your nephew is trustworthy enough so you won't have to worry about him possibly stealing money from you if you don't buy him the stuff he wants.

It is good to see he is interested enough in money matters and you can have a positive influence on him.

I bought one of those multiple USB-port thingies for my friend's PC and it cost only a few dollars so I would not worry so much about it.

I hope you can get your budget out of free-fall soon! :)

Lizzie @ her homeworld said...

Hi Daizy
i think the incentive plan is a good one. There may be changes initially but that is fine. Remember thirteen is not an easy age to be and cut him some sack from time to time

Daizy said...

Dave, I have left money out and so far he hasn't taken it so I am happy about that. The USB port is just more stuff for my over-stuffed house so if he couldn't think of why he needed it then I didn't want him wasting his money. Plus he still hasn't bought ME anything! Not that I'm holding my breath or anything.

Daizy said...

Lizzie, I am kind of happy that I will have someone to bore with my "when I was your age" stories. I had trouble making friends at 13. I just have to make my stories relevant to a boy.