Saturday, August 16, 2008

Economy of Foster Care

As you may or may not know foster care pays (not very much). Here are my money saving tips for those of you who haven't figured it all out yet.

First, I charge them for all services I provide. I will tuck them in at night, but it will cost them an ear wiggle. At certain times decided by the phase of the moon or tide schedule tucking in will go on sale. During sale times the change due for an ear wiggle is a tickle. Tickles are like pennies, they cost more to make than they are worth, but to them it feels like a real bargain.

I save all ear wiggles until I have enough to buy earrings, I purchased my last April.....2007ish, or maybe it was 2006. But my husband did buy me a pair for our anniversary in 2007. They were made from volcanic ash, cool huh? I figure I've got about enough to buy new pair unless there is another sale and I have to cash in some ear wiggles for tickles.

Next I only feed them hot dogs, and most of the time cold ones. What is it about three year olds and cold hot dogs? This strategy does save us four cents a year on electricity that would have been used heating them up, it's more of a tortoise than a hare road to riches.

Next they are only allowed one outfit. Booger has chosen a car shirt, that has 47,000 miles on it, he pairs it with a fancy pair of "black" shorts that are actually tan. They are not dirty, he just insists that they are black.

The four year old likes to cook which saves us a ton of money on our chef services. He also likes to sweep and we have since let go of the maid. He has also shown a proficiency for decorating. We like to call his style "Early American Childhood." We are expecting Oprah to replace her cutie pie with ours, I think it will all the rage in households across America with children under the age of five.

Booger enjoys doing the laundry and Princess likes to "wash dishes", actually all three like that one. Washing dishes almost always entails "mopping the floor" thereby combining the two jobs into one. Another creative work combo is bathing/mopping bathroom floor.

My next big tip is to take them out to eat often. The big box warehouse stores often offer samples around lunchtime, we practice our "pathetic orphan" faces during the week and can usually get out of there spending only $100 - but with a free "lunch". This also applies to the snacks offered at church, I have taught them that if they "spill" theirs they can get a replacement, but while the church worker is preparing a second cup of goldfish to hurridly eat the original fish off the floor. Our church also has fruit and granola bars, if they are fast and snappy they can stuff their pockets with three or four granola bars while I am "socializing" and we are covered for snacks.

I saved hundreds of dollars on swimming lessons, I taught them myself. This has worked well for me as I am also lazy. I no longer have to practice my tennis spectator head jerks while I am alone with three little ones at the pool.

I of course get paid quite heftily for the other services I provide. Playing outside always nets me flowers. When I tell Princess how pretty she looks she responds with "no, you look pretty", they always, and I mean always say "thank you mom for making dinner" and I didn't teach them that one.

I would also point out again that you can claim your orphans on your taxes, but that seemed to upset some people. I know I should be doing this out of the goodness of my heart, but Walmart isn't hiring right now. When they do, that will be my big money break. I can work 8 hours for more money. Wahooo. At that time I will dump them all at the nearest state office and buy myself a convertible. For those of you upset that I'm claiming the foster children on my taxes and not caring for them solely out of the goodness of my heart, rest assured as soon as the state gets their act together and terminates their parents' rights, I won't change anything other than their last name. And I urge you to check out what the irs says on the matter. Don't google it, you'll get more opinions of people who know nothing about the tax code. Don't ask your case worker, it is out of their realm of expertise. - that's all I'm saying.

So, what money advice from me would be complete without the following, tithe and stop using credit.

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