The Wonder Years Budget

Nobody ever totally prepares parents for puberty. Our little girl who always dreamed of being a fairy tale princess and marrying her Daddy is growing up. She has forgot about unicorns, fairies, and lovely princesses and just thinks about clothes, makeup, music, and her friends. Mom and Dad get an occasional roll of the eyes when we dare ask her about how school was going. Ah, the wonderful teenage years!

We are fortunate that she is a pretty good girl. She keeps up with her homework and is making decent grades. Even though she is just a freshman in high school, we are encouraging her to consider college choices and a possible career. Since she was a baby, we have been setting money aside for her college fund. She should have a good start when she graduates and starts college courses.

Teenagers hit the pocketbook hard! She is involved in a lot of extra-curricular activities in school and reminds us that it all looks good on a college application. She is a responsible teen and does a little bit of babysitting on the side for extra money on the weekends. She and her friends have endless trips to the mall, to the movies, and to our local pizzeria. Soon, she will be getting her driver’s license and we will be discussing her buying a car and paying for the insurance. The costs only get higher when she starts college.

So, my wife and I have thought of some ways we can trim our budget. We sat down with our monthly bills and figured out some things we could eliminate. A lot of the magazines we like to read can be borrowed free at our local library, so it only made sense to cancel the numerous subscriptions we had. I cannot remember the last time I went to the gym after paying the exorbitant membership fee. So there was another extra cost that was nixed. We were proud of ourselves for finding ways that we could save more money in our household. We were also shocked at how much all the little charges add up.

Another way we found big savings was finding out about FreedomPop Wireless for our cell phone service. We signed up for FreedomPop and did not even have to sign a service contract. We enjoy the same nation-wide service that we always have and do not have to buy new phones. It is a great deal that offers us up to 500 text messages, 200 voice minutes and 500 MG of data for free! There is a charge for overage; but it is just one cent a minute for voice or text and two cents a minute for extra megabytes of data. Since we use our phones a lot, we upgraded to their unlimited plan for only twenty bucks a month. We even have the option of purchasing phone insurance.

Yes, it is difficult to raise teenagers. They are costly but worth every penny. I am glad that my family and I are saving money on our new FreedomPop Wireless plan. We are still enjoying our cell phones and the extra cash we are saving.