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Jenniffer's Journey:

Fun-tastic (affordable) Fall

If you’ve been following my social media posts, you’ve seen my attempt at a Not Bummer Summer on the cheap. From a trip to Summerfest with tickets that I won to a stress-free staycation and volunteering for our favorite charity, we’ve had a nice summer racking up a total of 822 thrill points. And some really priceless moments as well. 

Ashley also had some Not Bummer cheap times with her friends over the summer, and I had some Not Bummer cheap times of my own. Like most recently when I scored half priced shrimp at the Taste of Madison during the last half hour of the event. After my third time through the line, the vendor was on to me. “No shrimp for you!”

The final stop in our Not Bummer (cheap) Summer was Ashley’s birthday celebration. Typically we go out for dinner with family and a couple of Ashley’s closest friends. This year, I cooked dinner at home and was really hoping that when I asked Ashley what kind of cake she wanted that she would have opted for one cooked by me. While I was a tinge disappointed that I didn’t hear, “your cakes are amazing mom, I want one”, I was secretly happy to splurge on a Hy-Vee cake with their amazing whipped frosting. Totally worth the $10 for a really small cake. And you can’t have a Hy-Vee dream cake without Culver’s custard. Also totally worth it.

I usually go overboard on birthday gifts, but this year, I gave Ashley a small cash gift with a big piece of advice – save more, spend less. She also received some cash gifts from other family members, so she now has some big choices to make. To help her with that, I’ve set up a meeting with Coach Melanie when Ashley will open up her own checking and savings account. And with a checking account comes a debit card. And with a debit card comes a lot of responsibility. A lot. So Coach Melanie will become Teacher Melanie, and her and I will tag team the “how to be responsible with a debit card” class.

Here’s this week’s financial fun fact:  there’s no hard, fast rule for when your child is ready for the added responsibility of a debit card, whether it’s tied to a checking account or whether it’s a prepaid debit card. A prepaid debit card it easy to get but many of them come with fees. On the other hand, a regular debit card can be tied to a savings account reinforcing the habit of setting aside money for long and short term goals. Just remember to monitor your child’s account and offer guidance on spending and saving decisions. P.S. Summit offers a student free checking account!    

While our Not Bummer (cheap) Summer has come to an end, Ashley and I will begin our Fun-tastic (affordable) Fall each with our own debit cards in hand. I wonder which one of us will break down and reload our Starbucks account first……….three words: pumpkin spice latte.




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