Sunday, February 01, 2009

It's The Final Countdown! --->

...or how to turn a financial lemon into a Margarita (or even a tequila shot)

Oh dear - another School Year about to start. One goes out shopping or to a cafe & all you hear are the wailing laments of parents bemoaning the outlay & cost of School Uniforms & the dreaded School Stationary lists.

Ok - well maybe I over dramatized that bit. But you do see a fair share of eye rolling & hear gasps of shock at the prices of things. This is even worse when they get to Intermediate or High School.

You mention School Uniforms & Stationary shopping to a friend casually & you are greeted with "I know - such & such just spent $500.00 on the summer unform & then blah blah blah on the's DISSSgusting"
. In the past I must admit to having at least thought the same more than once.

But that was when I worked outside of the family home.....&, well I guess I kind of analysed how many hours at work it was costing me to pay for a school uniform & stationary.
I have even been known to stand there in a queue with everything crossed hoping that I have enough money in my account to pay the total at the checkout....without the hideous embarrassment of having to put something back ;o)

Well let me tell you - this last lot of l-o-n-g school holidays has been enlightening! Completely. Aside from a severe case of yo-yo butt (now an official entry in the Dictionary of Deb), where upon every time my butt would hit a chair to type or torch, I would promptly be interrupted with "Mum...can you/can I/can we", I have felt a sharp shift in my outlook.

So, earlier this week, with a spring in my step, I gleefully went shopping for Gabriela's Intermediate Uniform.....$100.00 for a skirt?....who cares. $80.00 for the jersey wonderful. "$30.00 for the polo with the school logo? - hey I'll have TWO of those thanks." "Oh yes we definitely want the sports uniform as well" & so on.

Thursday it was Stationary time - so instead of the usual manic round of scouring the latest circulars to see who was supplying all the products needed for the cheapest price & then tiki touring around the city to buy them , I went with the notoriously more expensive idea of buying them direct from the school instead.

Down to the School Office, we swanned & I asked for the complete Stationary pack. "Are you sure you wouldn't like to check the list & see if there is anything she might have at home?" I was asked. "No - it's fine" I replied "it, doesn't hurt to have doubles to fall back on".

So why the shift in attitude? I'll tell you - because I am the worst Mother one could possibly imagine.... I need some 'me' time without yo-yo-butt syndrome....I
need to be able to focus on all that I want to achieve this year without constant interruptions & drama's. I need to be 'Deb Uninterrupted' instead of 'Mum' a few hours a day! Slowly it had dawned on me that when they went back to school I'd be getting that 6 hours per day of freedom.

I then started pondering that perhaps the cost of uniforms & stationary (& later school supplies costs & school fee's) was worth that 6 hours a day freedom.
I even got carried away enough to do the Math!!! Now anyone that knows me will know that I absolutely hate math - it's a foreign language to me. So for me to willingly engage in some multiplication & then the dreaded division was nothing short of astounding. Oh yes - freedom is certainly a good motivator!

I have just discovered that to keep Miss Gabriela at School for a year - a total of 1158 hours of freedom is costing me....

a grand total of......

are you ready?

$1.92 per day - or 32 cents an hour! That is New Zealand dollars & cents people - so at the current exchange rate against the US dollar you can approximately halve it!!

Oh I might have just paid $115.00 for the School kilt made of what is possibly the ugliest tartan in existence - but hey I'm happy ;o)
Actually I'm almost bouncing ....

Disclaimer: I really do love my kids, but seriously 6 weeks & two days continuously at home over Summer??? And these holidays have been particularly stressful - just believe me on that!


angelinabeadalina said...

Yo-Yo Butt Syndrome is now in my vocabulary, too, Deb! It's the perfect description, you know :) I love your math!

P.S. It's true, we love our children but we all need time to be someone beside just "Mom, can you...?" If we didn't realize how lucky we are to have our children, then there wouldn't be any guilt involved in those gleeful "Thank goodness, school starts soon" sighs.

rosebud101 said...

Wow! Deb, you have it figured out! Good for you!