Andrew has what Bridget might call an interesting "style of money management." Although, it does sound like she may be pretty familiar with Andrew's style.
Andrew has what he likes to call "free money." This is a wide variety of things including many things that I don't consider free money at all.
For example, when we went golfing with his family, we paid, but his parents paid us back. In Andrew's mind we somehow made $30. In my mind nothing happened. We still have the exact same amount of money we had before.
Or, my brother was using my cell phone for awhile. It's a family plan so it's $20 per cell phone. We were paying for the bill, and then my brother was paying us back. Every time he gave us $20, Andrew would remark, "Sweet! Free money!" I don't think that was free money. Again, we just broke even...
Tax refunds are also free money. To me, this is a refund. Something I already paid coming back to me. It still belonged to me... To Andrew, this is free.
There are some things that Andrew and I both agree on as free money: scholarships, grants, gift cards, and points accumulated on our credit cards. Those are all free. Things we weren't expecting, things that didn't initially come out of our own pocket, things that people gave to us out of the goodness of their own hearts. That's free.
It has taken me awhile to get Andrew to see my point of view. I think that I am understanding his...but it's still hard for me to consider something free when clearly we a) break even or b) have something returned to us. So, Andrew has added some new terminology when he speaks about money with me.
We now have what he calls "real free money," which he used the other day to reference a gift card his grandparents gave him for his birthday. And then he has plain old "free money," like the refund that we finally got today from our Jordan trip last year--which in my mind isn't really free, see, because we already paid that money, they are just giving a little of it back because we didn't spend it all.
At least this way I know that he knows the difference between free and not free.