A resourceful mother of two from Monroe, Washington, has ignited a fierce debate online after revealing her unconventional approach to managing playdates. Brianna Weimar, 33, took to TikTok to share that she charges other parents for the cost of snacks, soap, and even electricity used during playdates at her home.

In her viral TikTok video, Brianna explained her rationale, acknowledging the backlash her approach has received. She shared screenshots of a heated exchange with another parent who accused her of running a “price-gouging scheme.”

“Six months ago, my husband and I were struggling financially despite our $140,000 annual income,” Brianna admitted. “The cost of living was overwhelming us, and we had to make some serious changes for our family’s sake.” She then outlined the steps they took to regain financial stability.

Brianna emphasized the importance of distinguishing between wants and needs. “Our generation is too quick to buy as soon as we want something,” she said. For example, she waited to find double-walled coffee cups at a thrift shop instead of purchasing them immediately, as they were not a necessity.

Tracking their spending was a game-changer. “This helped us see where we were overspending,” she noted. Brianna created an auto-calculating spreadsheet to identify problem areas, discovering that food was a significant expense. To combat this, she now plans meals meticulously and audits their fridge to avoid waste.

Shopping at local markets and budget-friendly stores like Aldi has also been crucial. “The prices at major supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths are out of control,” she remarked, noting that essentials like washing powder are often the same price at discount stores as they are on special at the big chains.

Brianna also saves money by buying toys and clothes from thrift stores and has become “obsessed” with Facebook Marketplace. She proudly shared her bargain find of a $1,700 Bugaboo pram for just $200.

One of the most controversial aspects of Brianna’s strategy is charging for playdates. She recounted an incident where she sent a Venmo request for $36 to her son’s friend’s mom after a playdate at their house. “I do not think I was in the wrong here,” Brianna said. “Read these text messages and let me know what you think.”

Responses to Brianna’s video were mixed. Some viewers were critical, unable to understand the necessity of her approach given her family’s income. One commenter said, “I just don’t understand how this is possible. I earn $80k, my partner is a med student, and we manage fine.” Another added, “I’m on $60k, a single parent with a mortgage, and doing fine… something is terribly wrong if you can’t afford life on $140k.”

However, many responses were supportive and appreciated Brianna’s efforts. One user commented, “Great post. Gen X here, I think we spoiled your generation with instant rewards. Great job changing your mindset.” Another said, “Love the effort you guys are going through. Long term, this is going to make a huge difference.”

Brianna’s story highlights the varying challenges people face, even at higher income levels, and underscores the value of thoughtful spending and financial literacy in navigating the cost of living. While some may view her approach as extreme, it brings attention to the broader issue of financial responsibility and the importance of making deliberate choices to secure a stable future for one’s family.

In a time when many Americans are struggling with rising costs, Brianna’s approach serves as a reminder that even small changes can have a big impact. Her story encourages others to examine their spending habits and consider new ways to manage their finances, even if it means taking unconventional steps.