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The Millers Negotiate their Wants

Cutting spending isn't effortless. Teens are expensive and costs add up. Learning the difference between WANTS and NEEDS has been a real game changer!

We’re buying in to our financial journey.

A young woman wearing a purple dress poses for a photo.

Kids are expensive… and they don’t get any cheaper as they get older. We thought with the pandemic we’d be able to effortlessly cut some of our spending, save money and pay down bills. But again, kids are expensive, and the summer before Ashleigh’s senior year has had some expenses that have thwarted our savings goals. Senior pictures. The ACT test. The ACT tutor. The textbook for her dual–enrollment class. The list goes on.

Ashleigh has been a real trooper (and partner!) through this NOW journey. During this season of trimming our expenses some of her “wants” have been answered with a “no”. Some “wants” have been negotiated. And some of her “wants” she’s had to pay for herself.

Ashleigh has worked part–time at a daycare for over a year now, and summer has always been a great time for her to work a little extra and put money aside. At the beginning of 2020, we went on a college visit and felt a little sticker shock by the price of admission. So months before our family was selected for the NOW program we had the discussion with Ashleigh that she would have to take on some of her expenses (mostly her dance team costs – uniforms, camps, and competitions), so that we could focus on paying down debt to become in a better position to help her with college.

This June (and with out complaint, I should add) Ashleigh paid for dance camp. She bought her own clothes this summer. And sometimes when she and her dad want a late–night milkshake, it’s her treat! Our NOW financial journey is really a total family effort. We regularly discuss our goals as family. And while I’m in the office writing this blog post, Ashleigh is in the dining room work on a scholarship essay. We are all “bought in” and doing our part to get the family across the finish line, realize dreams, and be in a better financial position together.

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