Suburban consumption challenge: Kid birthday parties

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2 Responses

  1. Lucky Girl says:

    Just found your blog courtesy of Steve at Think Save Retire. We are very similarly situated to yourselves (based on your neighborhood description you must live next door). We are having the same struggle in regards to birthdays. I would prefer to do nothing but have a cake, my husband wants to keep up appearances but not go too far. Good job finding a decent compromise!

    • Joe Freedom says:

      Thanks for the comment LG! (And another thanks to Steve for the referral.) Yes, in communities like ours it is a constant challenge to strike the right balance between responsible financial management and not becoming a social outcast (which I probably wouldn’t mind but Mrs. JF has a different view!). Right now we are negotiating our way through the holidays, which includes expectations of gifts for every single person that touches our lives in any way–multiple teachers for each child, girl scout leaders, church group volunteers, bus drivers, school administrators, newspaper delivery, piano teacher–and those are just the ones that immediately come to mind. I would need a spreadsheet to track them all. Some of this is well-intentioned and well-deserved recognition and gratitude directed toward people that are serving in critical roles for our kids and family, but a lot of it is just going through the motions. In affluent areas like ours there is a tendency for this show of appropriate gratitude to slide down the slippery slope toward formalistic show and excess. That’s where we attempt to draw the line; but it can be very difficult when everyone around you is cheering on the excess and waste.

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