Lesson: A Daily Budget

My son is very intent on being treated as an adult.

This is good.

It took me a long time to accept, but it really clicked in our final Family Therapy session, when his therapist confirmed that, yes, he is ready to try this thing we’re calling “adulting.”

One of the biggest lessons that feels important to me as a mother in this land of Unschooling, is that he obtains real life skills (the kind that help you pay the bills). Henceforth, the  shared €28/day (aprox. $32) plan for our life in Barcelona. I’m living off the teacher’s life salary and trying to make it at least a year out here, and this is one of our splurge towns.

Day one: A mix of independent and shared budgeting

  • Breakfast alone cost him €7. First order= a wonderful organic nectar carton and a hipster favorite–Agucate y miel sandwich con tahini. Not sure that’s exactly what he thought it was going to be, but I’m proud he knew the meaning of aguacate! I got some additional items, my breakfast was only €2,50 but I also decided to get some other staples (like my grandmother suggested) to get us going: Rice Milk, butter and eggs. Total for breakfast items: €18,19


  • Snack time: €3 A nice little pizza type situation that we don’t know the name of that helped us to be able to get along for another hour as we searched the city center for our International Prepaid SIM cards.


  • Beverage time: €2,50 Pina nectar, mmm


  • Dinner: €3.64, rice, cheese, and peas

Total for the day: €27,33

Well…we cut it real close (hey, this is a HUGE lesson for me too). I was extremely tempted to borrow from tomorrow’s budget, but then I realized that would not be a good lesson for my son or me. We needed to make do with what was left for the day. So how?

Ended up in a small mercado that had some options…after some debates about what would be a good choice for dinner, I decided to leave it up to the young man to figure out. He didn’t very much like that. At first, he wanted to combine pasta, rice, and cheese–all good things, but it didn’t make much sense to me in terms of a meal. This is where the nutrition factor and lesson came–we needed to balance it out.

After a bit of huffing and puffing, I reiterated our need to collaborate on the decision for this meal. He got his rice and cheese and I added some peas to the mix. And now he is cheffing up something he says was inspired by the Thai restaurant he worked at for a minute in Denver. Ingredients: Rice, eggs, cheese, and peas.

This should be interesting. Most important part is that we stayed on budget, even if we are really experimenting here! And we have some more to add to tomorrow. Maybe he’ll be able to save up for that pair of sunglasses after all.

Money Left: €2,67

Lessons Learned: Patience, perseverance, tolerance, follow-through, deliberation, collaboration, problem solving, Financial Algebra, cooking and cleaning. 

P.S. With a little miscellaneous salt-kind-of-seasoning that we found in the hostel kitchen, it was good and we are full.



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