We are trying really hard to save money right now, but the best money I've spent in the last few months was $40 for 1/2 price sushi night this evening with my son. One of the advantages of one-on-one eating out with teens is that they are your hostage for as long as the meal takes to order, deliver and consume. They can't take their food and disappear into the basement, as sometimes happens when I turn my back. They can't wolf down and entire meal in 5 minutes, throw their dishes in the sink and disappear. That is one reason I love eating out.
Afterward we sat in the kitchen and talked about financial fitness for an hour or so. Yes, the kid is very different. He is amazingly thoughtful when it comes to his future, and sees farther ahead in life than I ever did at his age. It was a discussion all about money; saving, the pitfalls of trying to keep with the neighbors, college, and staying out of debt. He probably has a skewed view of my financial fitness because he said everyone he talks to about me tells him I'm good with money. Probably the bigger factor is that I've always had a good job, always worked hard and always tried (sometimes unsuccessfully) to live well below my means.
It was a lovely dinner, then a wonderful and rousing conversation with a 17 year old boy/man. And I'm the luckiest mom on earth to have shared that with him tonight, when his frontal lob was fully functioning.