Flexing the budget

If there’s anything I’ve learned in the last seven months, it’s that flexibility is needed when budgeting. I’ve made a few decisions this month that will test my ability to move things around a bit in the months to come.

Last month I mentioned my ex-husband was promoting the idea of Driver’s Training for both girls. The ticket price for this proposition was $800 each. While I do think it’s a good idea, in principle, I couldn’t support sending both girls. I did, however, bite the bullet on sending the eldest. In order to pay for this, the ex will cut my child support payment by $100 for four months. This makes it easier for me to manage it. As a compromise, I did take the youngest to the used book store, bought her the Ministry of Transportation’s Driver’s Handbook for $7.95 and promised she could get her G1 this year, sometime. That promise comes with a $120 price tag.

The next decision has to do with the youngest. She’s at the top of her Drama class in High School, and has been for two years. She loves it, and seems to have a natural aptitude for remembering lines and generally being dramatic. While some of that comes with the territory of being a 17 year-old-girl, it is something that adds richness to her life. I’ve hunted around for opportunities for her to take additional drama training at professional theatre companies, but have come up primarily with awesome sounding programs that cost about the same amount as a reliable used car. Last week I found a program at a Toronto, professional company geared directly to her age group for $600 for two weeks. I signed her up. She starts today. At 17, this will be the first “day camp” type of adventure I’ve ever paid for for her. I know all sorts of other kids who do this kind of thing routinely, and for a much heftier ticket price. Regrettably, the ex-husband declared being tapped out when I asked him if he cared to contribute, but I was prepared for that. In his defence, I did book it without consulting with him in advance, which knowingly left me in the “at your mercy” position.

The next thing this month wasn’t really a decision, but a bit of a costly accident. When I was taking my youngest to SickKids for her routine check-up on Wednesday, I lost our public transit pass. Ten more days to go until the end of the month we’ll have to ante up for. Drag, but at least it was closer to the end of the month than the beginning. I also lose the opportunity for the tax benefit for this thing if I can’t submit it with my 2010 taxes. Dang!

Finally, and I expect to take some heat from some of you over this, I made a decision to expand our little family by two. A friend of mine has a cat who had kittens in early July. There are 8 in total. Our home is currently blessed with two fur babies. Daisy is over 15, and in reasonably good health, except for a touch of arthritis. Zoe some of you have met here, who will be two soon.

I’ve half joked that my future plans include becoming a crazy old cat lady. Why wait? Why not admit the craziness now?

These two are so adorable, and they’re already siblings. It’s just a perfect set-up. The future financial hit is obviously an increased demand on vet bills, cat food and cat litter. In Toronto, pet’s also need to be licensed. The one on the left will be named Moulette, or Moo for short. She has black and white stripes on her body, which is impossible to see from this shot.  The little tabby (gender unknown right now) is nameless for now. Suggestions? I think my daughter likes Gus for a boy, and Mia for a girl. I’ve promised her she can pick the names.

Seems a good time to look into pet insurance options  😉

Other than those four things, we’re cooking along swimmingly here. Looking forward to having the new fur babies home. No date on that yet. They’re a bit too young to leave their Momma. Today I’ll be heading to the bank to re-negotiate the interest rate on my line-of-credit.  Wish me luck.


3 responses to this post.

  1. no heat here. I love love love kitties. Pets really can add a lot of joy to a life.


  2. Great pic of the baby kitties. It’s my new screensaver today!


  3. Love the new furbabies! I’m sure they’ll be worth the extra cost associated with pet ownership.

    I’m also especially impressed with your ability to flex to the unpredictabiliy of life. Who knew you’d end up losing your ttc pass… or that NOW would be the perfect time to sign your girl up for drama camp. Life is meant to be lived, and if you can flex your budget so that these things can be worked into your budget without taking a bite out of savings or dragging you into a debt hole, more power to you! I love your positive attitude!!!


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