Monday, 27 July 2015

The Budgeting And Planning They Don't Warn You About

Last Sunday Chad said, "Mom you do know I go back to school tomorrow hey" My reply was "No really... are you? I have been meaning to ask you" His reply was "Yoh you getting bad you don't know nothing (sic) going on in my life anymore" Yip, it has gotten really bad since I no longer drive him around anymore. He goes clothes shopping on his own; he drove to Gold Reef City the other day with his friends, it is about 30km's away and for me that is crossing the border. I have driven there once on my own, well with Chad in the car, but me driving. Chad just hops in the car and off he goes. I know it is normal for 18-year-olds to do that, but for me it is taking a lot of getting used to, because a) he is my baby {no longer} and b) I hate driving, get lost and won't drive out of my comfort zone.
The other day he was going to look at suits for his Matric Dance and whilst Mark was still phoning for the address and directions he was almost at the place. Modern day technology, Google the place and off they go.

The point to this post and post heading is Matric - the expense no one tells you about when it comes to family planning. I don't mean the Family Planning at the clinic where you are given a pack of condoms and the pill and sent on your way, I am talking about financial planning and budgeting. I am sure everyone has at some stage planned the expense of having children, be it with a financial calculator; scribbled on the back of a serviette or just randomly in your head, some budgeting and planning goes on. Gasping at the cost of prams and nappies or diapers whatever you choose to call them. College fees; school fees; clothes; transport, the list goes on, BUT there is one little {huge} expense all on its own and that is Matric. School fees are expensive, we all know that. Chad goes to a private school, but we are fortunate that it is not as expensive as other private schools, but facts are facts; if  you can afford high school you can afford university.

Then there is Matric - The Matric Dance and Matric Vac. Believe you me don't think because you have a boy that you are exempt from the expense. There is the tan can; the teeth whitening; the clothes; luckily the hair; nails and makeup is exempt for boy parents. The hair gets done, but obviously at a fraction of the cost. Then there is "Dax for Vac". If you think girls are the only ones who worry about body image then you don't live with a teenage boy. "Dax for Vac" is working out in the gym like crazy; protein shakes and chicken; lots of it to look good for Matric Vac, where they are going to spend their days drinking too much and eating junk food when they remember to eat.

Chad and his one friend are hiring suits, Chad a Tux and his friend a suit. We said that we would buy him one, but he thinks it will be a waste (good boy) because he is planning on getting much bigger so by the time he needs to wear a Tux again it will be too small {positivity is always a good thing}. The hired suits also get tailored to fit perfectly - at R2.00 less than 1k to hire a suit, I should think it must fit perfectly. That excludes a shirt, which Chad has now decided to hire as well; because he can't find a new one that looks like the one he saw at the suit hire place. [I am not too keen about a hired shirt, but it is not my Matric Dance].Then there is the shoes - no jocks; socks or shoes are hired out - well I should hope not. I think these boys have trawled all the malls looking for shirts and shoes. My FOMO, when it came to being involved in my son's current life ended very quickly when I realised that it would have been me trawling the malls and driving to the other side of the world town to try on suits and go for fittings. He has it all covered. Every now and again he pops in at work to get some money and I am still taken by surprise when he walks in and I wonder how he got there.

The other day it was to buy alcohol for a "bring your own" party. Mark said to me you know that Chad is buying alcohol. My reply was "Mark he is 18, what were you doing when you were 18 as long as he knows he must never drive even after one drink" They were all sleeping over at the one girlfriend's house and her mom was driving them to and from the party and Chad's car was locked in her garage. Chad has to know that no matter how drunk he gets, even if he experiments with drugs, he can phone us at any time of the night to fetch him, he is not to drive. We won't say hey how cool -you are drunk and buzzing- we will deal with it, but he must never drive drunk or get in a car with a drunk driver.

OK, I did balk at the price of the alcohol, my son has expensive taste. After the Matric Dance expenses, we then have the pleasure of paying for Matric Vac, the one neither Mark or I or looking forward to, not the expenses the actual trip. However, we have paid for the Rage pass at 1.3K, we still have to pay for hotel accommodation; petrol split 4 ways not too bad and spending money. We have paid R400.00 deposit for accommodation in a hotel and I am worried that the two boys organising the accommodation are going to mess up and they won't have accommodation.

... And that is a snippet of the expenses no one tells you about...

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