How to stay on a Summer Budget

As part of my series “The Imperfect Perfectionist,” I am redefining perfection by making room for the imperfections that go hand in hand with being a parent. I am uncovering the secrets to doing less, rather than doing more, so we can find balance and peace. This week I am reaching out to partner Kristin Mastromarino, a professional organizer, to help me stay with a summer budget while entertaining four kids.She can be reached at



“Honey it’s summer you are supposed to be free. You know, treat the kids to whatever they want to do…create memories…Ferris wheels, cotton candy, movies on rainy days, barbecues, ice cream at 10pm…no?”

Somehow that proclamation didn’t go over so well.

B on our Quicken didn’t stand for  BIGFUN. Apparently that big B stood for something  beginning with a B and ending with a T that didn’t drain our checking account before the month of September.

This meant that when I paid the monthly credit card bill, I would have to open my eyes before I hit the “Pay Now” button so I could see exactly who I was paying. 

The hardest part about budgeting in the summer, is finding creative alternatives for kids activities that don’t involve money. Collecting sea shells and making collages at the age of 15 didn’t go over like it used to. I could see it now.


“OK kids our fun for today involves a scavenger hunt where I will hide things all over the yard, and then set the timer to see who can either collect the most summer trinkets or pass out from the heat first. Then after that we are baking cookies.”

My oldest daughter would look at me wondering if I had gone down a size in my underwear and the circulation was being cut off from my brain.

“You want me to do what?!”

My new summer goal isn’t to drink one ice cold beer at happy hour each day. It is now to find out how I can cut corners and have fun but not go overboard with the cash.

I am reaching out to Kristin Mastromarino, professional organizer to help me to organize my B for BUDGET…and still not ruin the B for big fun.

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