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Welcome to Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid

Therapy and sanity for ordinary parents of special kids.

"Slicing" the family budget.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know quite well that my daughter Katie is unique. A fact that’s most obvious when it comes to her eating habits. Katie has just never really enjoyed the foods most children her age do.

“Mom, there’s something disgusting on my plate! Hurry up and come get it!”

“Katie Honey, that’s a potato chip.”

There is, however, one popular food she loves more than any other — pizza. In fact, along with bread, pasta, and cereal, it’s one of the few things she eats. And because she’s on the thin side (something she clearly did not get from me), I’m more than willing to order her one when she asks for it. It’s worked out well for us and for our local pizza place, which has enjoyed a long financial partnership with our family. A partnership that’s earned us our own account manager to handle our needs.

But with today’s challenging economy, that’s all changed. My husband and I have been forced to make some difficult household budget cuts. And as CFO of our family, he decided on the most difficult one.

“Gina, I’m going to have to trim our pizza budget to $1,000 per year.”

Panicked over what this meant, I tried to reason with him. “Can’t we take the money from somewhere else like heating?”

“Gene, we’re cutting out pizza! We spend way too much money on deliveries.”

Instinctively, I turned to my friend and neighbor during one of our weekly husband bash, err, I mean coffee gatherings.

“Do you believe him Juli? He wants to cut our pizza budget. What am I supposed to feed Katie? Man cannot live on Honeycombs alone.”

“Get her frozen pizza. She eats them whenever she’s over our house. She loves them.”

“Excuse me?” I think you have Katie mistaken with some other picky-eating neighborhood kid. My daughter would never eat a frozen pizza.”

“Gene, I’m telling you, she loves Digiorno’s.”

When Katie got home from school, I couldn’t wait to confront her.

“What’s this I hear about you eating frozen pizza? I feel like I don’t even know you,” I cried, fighting back tears and trying not to think about how much more money I would have had in my 401(k).

“I’m sorry Mom. I like delivered pizza better and you kept ordering it when I asked for it.”

I had to admire her honesty, but I also had to stick to our financial plan. “Well, it’s settled then, from now on, I’m buying you frozen pizza.”

And that’s the plan I’ve stuck to, until recently when I received a stellar report card from her school. Ecstatic over her hard work, I decided to reward her with an unexpected treat.

Instinctively, I speed-dialed our local pizza place.

When our account person drove up to our home with the pizza, I received a shocking surprise.

“Oh, Joe, it’s you. I didn’t recognize your car. What happened to the BMW?”

“Oh I had to trade it in Mrs. Gallagher. For some reason, I’m just not making the money I used to.”

“Sorry to hear that Joe. What will you do?”

“Well, I have a little money put away. I’m thinking of investing in the stock market. My broker tells me that Digiorno’s stock has been soaring.”

5 Responses to "Slicing" the family budget.

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  2. Jordan Yarborough January 23, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

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