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Teaching Jane the Value of a Dollar (or 75)

Jane is invited to a birthday party at Sephora. Well, we think she’s invited, I don’t have the evite, but the host child assures her I need to RSVP. The girls will be getting makeovers and whatnot. It’s a very nice but fairly typical birthday party so I was going to buy my fairly typical birthday gift which puts us close to $40 with card and gift wrap.

Since I’m off to Chicago tomorrow morning I need to buy the gift today and Jane has instructed me to purchase about $75 worth of cosmetics for the 13 year old birthday girl. I started to say no, but since we were on the way to school I didn’t want her going to class upset. I figure she’ll just have to be upset at home.

I want to explain to her that every birthday party is pricey. We spent a fortune on her 13th but the gifts were in line with what I’m prepared to spend. I thought about telling her to spend her own money, but I don’t want her feeling like she has to overspend.

We’ve done a miserable job showing restraint for our own kids. Birthdays and Hanukkah always seem to creep up to a thousand. After 13 years of excessive gifts for my own kids how do I turn around and tell Jane that it’s just not like that?

I guess I just do. I’m not shelling out $75 for a birthday party and I’m not prepared to let my daughter use her money.

What would you do… besides turn back time?