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Soccer Chick Has to Pay the Piper

Ir’s 6am, and I’m wondering why in the world I’m awake.

This new schedule I have of staying up late and sleeping in is fantastic.  Except for the days when you’ve got parenting things to take care of.

Just as I was getting ready to head to bed last night, I received an email from my cell phone company.  It was a notice of the bill that will be due in a couple of weeks.

I scanned it, thinking it wasn’t a big deal…just the usual…until I got to the bottom line.

Folks, my bill totaled over $400!!!

This was way over what we usually pay.

I thought that maybe the company had not received my last payment, so I fired up the laptop, which was already grumbling after the long day I’d put it through, and went online to check things out.

Lo and behold, the company did receive my last payment.  We had simply gone over our plan’s minute allotment.

I have the all-inclusive plan…1,500 minutes and unlimited data.  It’s definitely a luxury, but it’s been very convenient and fine up to this point.

Trying to be a good mom, I allotted the kids 100 minutes each, per month, of the regular daily minutes.  It doesn’t sound like much, but they have unlimited texting and can browse the internet without extra charges.  Plus, their nights start at 7pm.  Between texts, landlines, and the ability to email from their phones, you’d think they’d stay within their budgets.

Think again.

I used to monitor the bill very closely; however, lately I’ve gotten slack.  I figured if we didn’t go over, it wasn’t a big deal.  However, in doing so, Chicky has also gotten lax.  She’s taken advantage of my being distracted and talked her little heart out.

Way back when the kids got their cell phones, they were given a  stern warning that if they went over their allotted amounts, I would charge them what my cell phone company charges me…$.40/minute.  Chicky has argued about this, claiming it’s not fair because if the household doesn’t go over the total amount of minutes in the plan, why should she bother paying.

She’s missing the point, as a lot of kids do.  Kids tend to think in the moment.  Wise parents plan for the future.

If she doesn’t learn to stay within a budget now, when will she ever learn?  This is the time for training…for developing good habits.  Learning to manage money is probably one of the most important skills we must teach our children, before they head out the door for good.

Because I haven’t been checking the bill lately, I suspect that Chicky’s “allotment” has grown.

This month it affects the household.  With me out of work and money being scarce, it’s like a slap in the face.  Chicky has been working, though.  Lucky for her and us.

So, Chicky had to pay the piper.

Do you know how much her extra 466 minutes cost her?  If you do the math (I used a calculator), it comes out to $186.40.

No small change.

Did I actually make her pay it, you might ask?

You betcha!

Chicky is 17 years old and thinks she’s ready to tackle the world.

She’s almost there…but not quite.

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