Prompt for December 6: Money

I love a good challenge.  Especially when it comes to writing.  So when I heard that Sarah Rosemary at Sunny Side Up and DailyAngst were hosting Reverb11, a series of prompts on 2011, I of course, realized that there was no way I had enough time to participate.   That being said, here I go:

Prompt for December 6: Money.  Where did you spend your money this year?  Did you save it instead?  What, if anything, would you like to do with your finances this year?

Click here to enter your link and become a part of our Reverb11 Journey…

I deplore talking about money, so this might be a short post.

To answer the prompt, in 2011, the money went to Disney for an Alaskan Cruise! Ironic as I spent most March sitting on a jury that awarded a family a half-million of Disney’s money for a personal injury case.

In 2010, the Child wanted to go on a Caribbean Disney cruise.  Laura and I always wanted to go on an Alaskan Cruise.  The Child in her brilliance found a compromise, an Alaskan Disney cruise.  If I had known how much we were ultimately going to spend on the cruise to Alaska, I never would have agreed to do it.

I was willing to put the down payment down in 2010 and make the final payment in February 2011.  Along the way, feature creep came into play.  I found that there was a half-marathon a few days before, so why not fly in on Friday for it?  Then later, I had the brilliant idea to fly in on Tuesday and spend more time in Canada?  Hotels for a week?  Food for a week?  I do so much business travel that I think I just don’t appreciate how much travel costs. Maybe I didn’t want to care. It could have been that darn Canadian exchange rate.

I’ve always had trouble spending money on myself, but on The Child, I’m a soft touch (as long as she works hard in school and cheer). A double-digit chunk of what I earned this year went to that two weeks in Alaska and Canada and that doesn’t include the downpayment in 2010. For the record, neither Canada nor Disney sent a thank you.

Another 5% of the money went into braces and cheer.   Cheer isn’t cheap.   Neither are braces. I realized when I was about 30, that my mom was never going to fix my teeth. The responsibility was mine.

My mom and I left New York in 1972 when I was 7. We moved to Canada and stayed with friend in November.  Winter in Montreal did not agree with my asthma, so we moved to Las Vegas.  I always tell the story that the bus stopped there we liked it so we stayed. 

We lived in The Downtowner Motel for what felt like months. Mom worked at the desk at the motel and then went across the street to another motel and cleaned rooms.  We slept in a twin bed in that hotel for a whole bunch of weeks. Mom then hooked up with a guy and we all moved into an apartment. He was an alcoholic-addict, but that is so a story for another time.

A year didn’t go by in any of our apartments where the power wasn’t turned off for a day or three.  Neighbors noticed and shame ensued.

A phone was short-lived luxury as it was often the last of the bills to be paid.  Friends notice when you don’t have a phone.  Shame insued.

The rent was always late.  Every month there was a late notice on the door.  After a while, it was always posted on the second day of the month.  I remember once mom had me take the rent money up to the office and tell them that I forgot to bring it up, I was about 11 at the time.  There were times during my teen-age years where mom and I lived out of a car for several days at a time. You get the point, I have money issues from childhood.

When I look at the books for the end of 2011, we spent about $3,000 more than we earned. Gratefully, it came out of savings and cashed out stock options. There’s no credit card debt.  The cars and the motorcycle are paid off and we even have a new car fund.  Of course, the Child will probably get the car and I will gladly give it up to her.  I think I heal my childhood through her. To see my daughter in her braces, and knowing that I have another large payment on those things coming up in January, I get that the bill and the ability to pay that bill is a huge blessing.

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Prompt for December 6: Money

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