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Debt Free by 43: Creative Solutions to the Family Budget

How To Make Ends Meet With a Tight Budget

Disclaimer: Yes, I have an Amazon Affiliate link so I get a small kickback from your purchases. This helps me feed my minions and not live in a van down by the river.

Problem: We are mid-pandemic, business is much slower than usual, and being out of work since early December, we have kept our spending in-check even more than usual. Our budget is tight. Prices have increased for certain things, such as family entertainment. How do we make sure we can still afford some of the kid’s extracurricular activities?

As a Mom, we dedicate our lives to making sure our minions have a life better than our own. Our mission is to make sure they have “All The Things”. This creates so much stress and it’s worth it. So how do you solve this situation? How do you make money ends meet so you can say YES when your kid asks if he can play sealed Draft Magic?

On Friday nights, Evan, our oldest minion, likes to play a fantasy card game called Magic: The Gathering. He plays Friday Night Draft at a small local shop called Dreamers Vault. He is probably one of the youngest players that regularly attend. It is pretty fun to watch this little man play with guys that range in ages 8 years his senior to guys that have been playing for decades longer than he’s been alive.

When the state shutdown, it caused the Dreamer’s Vault some difficulties, like many other small businesses. After they were allowed to open, Friday night drafts were limited with how they can operate and the number of players allowed into the space at the same time. This has lead to an increase in the cost of gameplay. Completely understandable, I’m a small business owner, I get it. Half the people allowed and a different style has required a different price, an increased price.

As a mom and sticking to our Profit First for Family Budget, Debt Free by 43 plan of attack, the new cost is not in our budget unless we come up with a creative way to make some extra money.

The store also requires a mask to be worn while playing.

I told Evan “I’ll make you a mask. What would you like on it?”

He said he wanted a yellow mask.

I then said “I can make you anything you want and you want a plain yellow mask? How about you make a meme and I’ll print it onto a mask? Does that work?”

His eyes lit up. Because there are two more things (other than Magic) this child loves: Cats and Making Memes.

So he made his meme and emailed it over to Momma. Momma printed it for him.

He went to the first night of Magic in 3 months. It was like a breath of fresh air for him. That night spent playing with his friends, built up his dwindling confidence. It revived his zest for life again. Filled that empty spot created by loneliness after being trapped in our home during the stay at home order placed on Minnesota residents. THIS is the thing parents live for: hearing the laughs, seeing the smiles, the pride beaming from your children.

But then it comes back down again, how can we afford this simple activity for him again on a weekly basis when the cost is now double what it used to be?

That’s when it hit me. I can print his mask design and teach him a few life lessons at the same time. I explained to him that his mask design will be available online for people to purchase. The profits from the sale of his mask will go into a fund for playing Magic on Friday nights, the extras, if there are extras, will go into a savings account for later.

He asked me these questions:

  • How much are you selling the masks for Mom?
  • How much is Magic?

I answered his questions, he did the math. Then he asked me:

  • How many of my masks have you sold so far?
  • Have you thought about offering a membership to your site?

That last question though… JAW DROPPING. I’m totally impressed with his thinking.

After my long-ass story about how I was going to fit an activity that is much needed into our tight budget, my answer is we are going to sell something to help him learn the lesson of working for earning money to make sure you can afford to do the extra things in life. Because money isn’t free and sometimes you can’t always get what you want unless you work for it.

This is an intense subject for a kid, but we make sure that he understands that he doesn’t have to worry about certain things because we always make sure that we have food, shelter, safety, and enough love to go around. He’s an old soul. We joke that he’s like a little old man.

Here’s the time for shameless self-promotion. It's how I help pay our bills, with my business... but it's also why it all started. I chose to take control of my life and figure out a way to improve my life. Shop the link below to order yourself a Freakn Mask. There’s a selection of snarky, funny masks for the funny, cool moms stuck in the suburbs.

This is how we Kick Today in the Dick!

By changing our life One Day at a time with One Thing at a time.

Written with love and laughter, by Naomi Wierby, Founder & Owner of Fashion Freak LLC of Apple Valley, MN

The Perfectly Flawed Badass Fashion Freak

Cat eating a hotdog cloth face covering designed by Evan

Designed by Evan as a fundraiser for making money to play a game he loves, Magic: The Gathering. All profits go to him. Thank you for supporting a minion's dream and smile, even if you cannot see it behind the mask. 



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