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Everything posted by 2squared

  1. Definitely these. I also tell our drivers that driving is a privilege. We pay for that privilege - vehicles, gas, and insurance. In return they are expected to chauffeur their siblings and run errands for me without complaint. They are expected to have gainful employment which they are to use for their personal expenses. We cover all the same expenses as before, but they cover their increased socialization costs. My kids work during the summer and use those earnings throughout the school year.
  2. No. Cash is king, especially in this economy. You will have many out of pocket or unexpected expense related to buying and selling. I would keep cash for those items. is your emergency fund fully funded? If not, I would stock cash for your emergency fund. if your emergency fund is fully funded, will you have 20% down to avoid PMI?
  3. If you can’t afford to carry two mortgages indefinitely, I would not do this with a bridge loan. I also wouldn’t buy without first selling or without a contingency to sell. The economy is bad and getting worse. I would mitigate any financial exposure, especially with large assets. We have sold our current house and rolled the proceeds into our next house. Depending on the situation, we either rented in between buying and selling or made our purchase contingent on the sale of the previous house. if you aren’t aware of your options, I strongly encourage you to contact a mortgage broker or even your local bank. I wouldn’t enter this situation, in this economy, without strong financial education.
  4. When we added our oldest as an authorized user, I had considered opening a new account that only she would then use. If you want to track the kids’ spending, you could go that route. I decided I preferred to have fewer cards, accounts, and payments to manage, so they were added to our existing cards I consider most of my high school kids’ driving to be my responsibility. Before they were able to drive themselves, I drove them to work, school, activities, friends, etc. They are doing the same driving (although fewer miles since I’m not driving round trip x2 anymore) plus errands and sibling chauffeuring, so I am covering all their gas. Our gas bill has gone down. 🙂 I think once dd leaves for college, she will pay her own gas, but I will give her cash when she comes home to encourage her to make the trip. I want to build good habits early, lol. I didn’t find our teen boy to be as expensive as I expected. He’s about $90/month, and that’s with full coverage on a 2010 sedan. My 18yo dd is $90/month on a 2013 Chevy Equinox, so they are nearly the same cost. I just dropped full coverage on ds’s vehicle yesterday, so I expect his amount to decrease a little. We have our two teen drivers as primary drivers on our two oldest vehicles.
  5. I agree. My kids have debit cards, checking accounts, employment, and years of managing their personal money before they are added to our credit cards at 16yo. We add them because they are financially responsible and trustworthy. If they weren’t financially responsible or trustworthy, we wouldn’t have gone this route. We pay for insurance, gas, vehicles, cell phones, etc while they are in high school. Them driving saves gas versus us driving them around, and it’s a lot more convenient to have them drive. My oldest is heading to college in the fall, and I plan on passing her clothing and gas bills to her then. I’ll probably give her gas money when she visits to encourage her coming home.
  6. If my teen used my credit card on authorized items, then they will be banned from the card and they would reimburse me. This hasn’t happened yet, but that is what I tell the will happen. We have never carried a balance on a credit card, and we definitely wouldn’t in this case either. My teens use my credit card to buy things I pay for. They use their own credit/debit cards for their personal expenses. They frequently run errands and buy items for the household. I should say my pre-18yo teens use my credit card for their personal online purchases and then they transfer cash to me. We don’t use debit cards for online purchases, as a matter of financial security.
  7. A credit card is a means of payment, nothing more. Some people may prefer to reimburse their teen for expenses, and that works for them. The same money is spent regardless of payment method. My teens are authorized users on my credit cards purely for my convenience. I have no care if it helps build their credit or not. They will do that on their own. If they do get a boost from being on my card, I guess that’s an unintended positive outcome. My teens definitely consult with me when they spend large sums of my money, but just as often I am telling them to spend. The means of payment (their debit/credit vs my debit/credit) is, once again, purely for my convenience. If my teen overspent in his/her credit card, I wouldn’t bail them out (hypothetical at this point because they haven’t overspent yet). That would deprive them of a valuable life lesson. Having them as authorized users on my credit card is not related to their spending limits at all they are responsible for monitoring their spending of their personal money. My teens do not have overdraft protection either, for the same reason you state. I want them to have the natural boundary of only spending what is in their checking account.
  8. Kids have to be 18yo to get their own credit card, and then when they are 18yo, the credit limit is very low. My kids start driving at 16yo, so that’s when we add them as authorized users. My younger teens/preteens take my credit card when they are out and about without me. I think my 18yo has $150 credit limit on her card. i have no desire to transfer money or have them split their credit card bill between things I pay for and things they pay for. It’s much easier for them to just use my credit card.
  9. I should add that my teens have their own debit cards which they use to pay their expenses. They use my credit card to pay for my expenses.
  10. Our teens are authorized users on our credit cards. They use the credit cards for everything, and it’s been heavenly. They run errands for me all the time, and the convenience of not tracking and transferring money has been awesome. For example, if they are out an about, I can have them stop by the store for milk without a second thought We pay for everything - gas, insurance, repairs, vehicle. The vehicle is as much for my convenience as it is for their convenience. When they start driving. I save a lot of time and gas money not saving to drive them around anymore, and they also drive their siblings around. I am pleased to foot the bill in exchange for the added convenience, and I am very glad my five kids are two years apart. I should always have a teen driver until my youngest graduates.
  11. Treating male and female employees differently is sexist. Doesn’t matter if no one knows or it’s for a religious belief or if it’s to make a spouse feel better. It’s sexist. I have seven direct reports. If I meet with my male employees in glass conference rooms but my females employees in my office, that is treating them differently. If I have a rule I’d never be alone with my male employees but I would with my female employees, that is treating them differently. I would be extremely disappointed with myself if I didn’t treat my employees exactly the same. I never think, this person is male, so xyz treatment is needed. Either I meet with everyone in the glass conference room, or I meet with none of them there. In fact, I would feel terrible if an employee figured it out - My boss meets with me in xyz room, but she meets with the rest of the team in her office. It’s bound to be noticed at some point, and then I would have set up our company for adverse actions. You could extend the same thought to age or race. If I have a personal rule to to never meet alone with my employees > 60 years old but I can with younger employees, that’s wrong. If I have a personal rule to never meet alone with my Native American employees but I can with my Caucasian employees, that’s wrong. I am very surprised people cannot see sexism in this Billy Graham rule, but maybe I shouldn’t be surprised? I expect this inherent bias happens more often than I realize.
  12. I live by the concept posted above, but I detest the Billy Graham rule. I think the Graham rule does nothing but hurt and demean women. I can’t imagine not meeting with men 1:1 in a work setting. Not only would I not be able to be successful in my role, but my male coworkers wouldn’t be successful either. Not to mention, treating a males differently than females is illegal. But, anyway, I think the way to live out the philosophy above is to mitigate the impact of bad scenarios, not to focus on eliminating the bad scenarios. For instance, how to mitigate the impact of a marriage ending. What do I do? I make sure I can support myself and my kids, know our financial resources, and am capable to live independently if I ever need to. Marriages can end for so many reasons. Living the philosophy means I am set up to recover from my marriage ending or my spouse being disabled or dying.
  13. Exactly this. I have a high school wrestler who will be a junior this year. He was a top ranked wrestler in our state last year as a sophomore. College coaches have started calling. He will be absolutely devastated if he can’t wrestle this year. He’s also a straight-A student vying for valedictorian and plays football and baseball. But....his passion is wrestling and he wants/needs to compete for himself. He’s lifting, running, and eating to get his body ready for a wrestling season that should be six months away but is likely to not happen. I want him to be safe and healthy, but wrestling has been our mental health and sensory therapy for him for nearly a decade. I would love to see a compromise where athletes can compete, with the competitions streamed online rather than have live audiences. Viewing could be subscription based so the programs would still earn revenue.
  14. We just rented a beach house with private access to the beach on Tybee Island, GA. Four bedrooms, sleeps 10, one full bathroom + four sinks + two outdoor showers). One week = $3500 We saw prices more expensive for much fancier accommodations. Many places were already booked, and I assume they were cheaper for similar accommodations. I would think you would need a huge house for six families....and a lot of bathrooms. If each family comes with two kids, that’s 24 people. That will be expensive if you stay in one house. Could you find a place where you rent condos in the same complex? That would be my preferred approach.
  15. We don’t have middle of the night sheet issues, no bloody noses and no water in the bedroom. When we are sick, we take vomit buckets to bed with us. If someone missed their bucket, we would put the sick kid in our bed, throw the sheets in the laundry, and have a parent sleep in the sick kid bed on top of one of our many quilts. I can’t remember the last time that would have happened. My bedwetters have always slept through the night, and then we washed their sheets the next morning. I personally just don’t want to store sheets that we don’t need. I already have a ton of blankets and quilts! Sounds like our new closet is the best option. Our other closets are taken already as nearly everyone shares a bedroom, and we don’t use dressers (two in use for seven people). Areas under the bed are used for storage since the closets are full of clothes. Thanks!
  16. Northern ladies - where do you store your quilt and blanket collections? We have quilts on our beds and throw blankets by the couches. We do not have extra sheets to store. We wash and replace on beds the same day. We also have a collection of extra blankets and quilts that reside in a cedar chest. I want the cedar chest to go away, but I don’t have any good ideas for storing the extra quilts and blankets. Dh’s grandma blessed us with a lot of homemade quilts and now I’m stuck trying to figure out how to store them. I’m thinking storage tubs in the basement, but maybe others have a better idea? We do use the extras for sleepovers, picnics, and ball games. I also already keep lap blankets in the van. I need an old fashioned linen closet just for my quilts! Dh is finishing an office for us, and maybe I could store the quilts in the new office closet? We need a place for dd’s prom dresses too. Hmmmmm....that might be a viable option. any other ideas?
  17. Dh is getting Tiles - 2 for key chains and four stickies for remotes. This will be a welcome gift for everyone. Dh gets so mad when he can’t find remotes or tiles. The kids don’t put away the remotes, but he is the one who misplaced the keys. Anyway, this way he will be able to push a button on his phone and find what he’s looking for. No need to irritate the rest of us now....I really hope they work. I love the throwing knives and soap-on-a-rope ideas. My 16yo may get throwing knives for his next birthday or Christmas.
  18. ETA: The fastest way to advance in your career is to (1) be excellent at what you do and (2) have a champion in the organization that will pull you along with her/him. I have always been high-performing, and I have been able to make the levels above me look good. In turn, those above me have been my champions which helps with promotions, salaries, benefits, etc. I nurture the relationships I have with my champions.
  19. I am a senior accounting manager for a larger company, and I have been working as an accountant since the 1990’s. I have a BS in accountancy and I passed the CPA exam back when it had to be taken in one shot. in my experience, bookkeepers have no experience/2 year degrees and accountants have four year degrees/CPA. Bookkeepers/clerks do bookwork for small companies, leaving the accounting work for a larger firm, or they work in A/P, A/R, payroll, etc in larger companies. Larger companies hire 4 year degrees accountants for their accounting teams. I require a four year degree to hire into the accounting team. We are LCOL area, and we are starting new grads at $50k. My most senior accountants make $70k-$80k + bonus, and accounting management is at >$100k+bigger bonus. Clerks in A/P, A/R, payroll make much less and have far less opportunity to grow their salaries. Even with decades of experience, clerks and supervisors in A/P, A/R, payroll make less than my new hire grads. My ideal new hires would be: (1) a green 4 year college grad with a CPA, (2) someone with business experience in another area but who went back to school for their accounting degree (just described my last two new hires, lol), or (3) someone very experienced from a larger company than ours who has a four year degree + CPA. I want someone with the technical book knowledge whom I can mold or someone already molded by a larger company. Bookkeeping experience wouldn’t be a competitive advantage for my accounting positions. In fact, we have had a difficult time converting bookkeepers to accountants in our company, so we generally don’t look at our own staff when we have accounting positions open. I tried really hard with my last open position, and the bookkeepers just couldn’t make the jump. Very disappointing for all of us. ETA: You should look at employment opportunities in your area, and consider what you are looking for long-term. A bookkeeper/clerk position is generally 40 hours/week, 8-5, butt in seat at the office (pre-Covid), and low stress as it is a processing job - entering invoices, processing payroll, collecting on outstanding invoices. An accounting position involves decision making and analysis along with standard accounting tasks related to financial reporting. My accountants are all salaried with the understanding that they are employed to complete their work, which may not fit into strict 8-5 working hours. The flexibility is to our benefit and detriment. I never miss a kid activity, I can work during vacation if needed, and I can work form home whenever I want, but.....I am expected to get my job done which means I will work evenings/weekend to get caught up if needed.
  20. It does make a difference monthly versus random to me. That’s my entire point. My mental buy-in cannot handle random or a pile of cash building up for them. To be on board, my requirement is to pay set bills. OP’s dh sounds like me, so I am providing a different perspective. My guess, based on his investing comments, is that he also won’t be able to handle money sitting in a bank account waiting for his MIL to need it. I understand the math is the same either way. However, situations like this need to be done in a way where both spouses can agree on how to provide support and how much to provide. And, if our financial situation changes, then it will impact the people we support. Such is life. By giving a set amount, they are able to better budget the funds they do have. It’s the poverty mindset with windfalls that I read about - when people are on the edge financially, windfalls don’t help nearly as much as reliable, consistent support. People do truly retire without having the financial resources to support themselves. Hopefully they find support through various programs, but often family steps in to help as well.
  21. It’s not hard to see when people are short money. We know how much they retired on, and we know it was all in a savings account (so losing purchasing power every year). They asked dh’s brother to buy their house, and when he declined, they made an appointment with a realtor to sell. They love their property dearly, and they wouldn’t willingly leave. They have extended all the credit available to them. They don’t maintain their house because they can’t pay for someone to do the work. They skip medical and dental appts because they can’t pay the bills. They don’t grumble about bills or money ever. In fact, they never talk about money. They were behind in their property insurance before we took over the bill. They were days from of being uninsured, which would have caused their mortgage company to foreclose. None of this was shared with their kids until the last possible moment. They are hard working, honest, salt of the earth people who raised nine kids on a small single income. They aren’t faking their situation, but they aren’t my parents so I don’t know the entire situation. All nine kids and spouses cannot provide input or nothing would get done. We have way too many opinions to allow everyone a voice. I, however, do have a voice in how much we are willing to give. Whether it makes sense or not, I need to pay a steady bill. If we have a pot of cash to randomly distribute, I would be resentful if the situation. Right or wrong, thats how I would feel and my requirement for supporting their household. Some of my BIL and SIL give straight cash, which obviously works for them. It doesn’t work for me, and I’m guessing I’m more like OP’s dh.
  22. I don’t agree with the advice of gifting random cash. We help support my in-laws, and I mentally could not handle gifting cash. I need to pay specific bills so I know our contribution is going where it’s needed, and they need to know how much they have to live on. If I gifted random cash, I would always be on edge and irritated like OP’s dh. By paying specific bills, I can easily budget the money and reduce my mental load about the entire situation. My in-laws can, hopefully, make smart financial plans with their resources. I’m not convinced my in-laws have budgeted their money well. I don’t know that they overspend either, but I don’t think anyone knows how short they truly are. We are all contributing money to a black hole, and I’m always waiting for the next problem to arise. At least by paying specific bills, I feel like our obligation is set. I know dh wants to give more, but I just can’t do that without seeing a complete budget and knowing if they have already explored senior programs (which they haven’t). So, dh and I are at a stand still. I want more data before increasing our commitment, and he doesn’t want to obtain the data. This situation can easily go south between spouses. My best recommendation is to jointly agree on how much OP’s family is willing to contribute to supporting MIL, and budget/set aside that amount every month.
  23. Reality is that people do have to work to produce food and other essentials for society. Having people work isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity. Employers seem to be doing their best to make conditions as safe as possible.
  24. I am trying to make the most of this wonderful gift - the gift of time with my family. I don’t think we will ever be able to spend this much time together again, especially since my oldest is off to college in the fall. Evening walks with my girls Watching Psych with my youngest before bed (he’s obsessed with the show) tons of home improvement/decluttering Read and watched the entire Harry Potter series (book/movie/book/movie/etc) impromptu Dairy Queen runs Buying almost anything we want - groceries, Amazon, etc and still spending less than pre-pandemic (but less eating out than before) Camp fires in the driveway
  25. I want to make a video of well wishes for my grad, but I don’t know which editing software would be best. I just thought this up in my head, and I don’t have solid direction yet. I’m hoping my target audience would send videos of themselves with their congrats, advice, stories, etc, and we would like to add still pictures of dd between the clips. Anyone have suggestions on how to do this? I assume there are a multitude of software options I’m looking for easy-ish with some editing abilities. I am open to price. thanks!
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