As I have mentioned before, I have never had to be on a written down budget. When we had lean years, we ate at home, brought our own coffee and packed a lunch. No vacations. I made it fun so Kate never knew.
Now that it is fixed income and withdrawing from my savings, I am paying a lot more attention. I do spend more when I am here with the kids. I want to watch them enjoy their inheritance! Once a week or so, I treat them to a family date ... indoor playground, the zoo, pizza buffet where the kids eat free. I invested in a bike rack so they can load and go on adventures. They are so great about making sure the boys get physical exercise every day.
I'm also showing them inexpensive or free things to do when I am away and the rains hit. We have a huge covered cement patio so they can ride, kick balls, play tag and get fresh air. The library has loads of kid-oriented activities and story time. Our local theatre has $1 kids movies every day at noon. Parks and Rec has indoor play time with lots of gymnastic things to climb and jump around.
I was SOOO excited to learn I could now save $200/year on my condo insurance. Our new HOA insurance policy covers the building and we just need to cover the $10,000 deductible should something catastrophic occur. We are in the process of updating our House Rules when one member called to talk to the insurance agent ... and maybe this has been covered in the past but wow! Great news.
Then, in the mail that very same day ... the rent on the storage unit went up $40! Per month!
Shoot. Money, money, money....