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Everything posted by 2squared

  1. For the OP, I think the class would be extremely valuable. Yes, the class will teach the same principles as the radio show and books, but the critical differences are (1) She would attend the class with her dh rather than read/listen in her own, (2) someone else would be providing input/advice to her dh since he doesn't seem to listen to OP, (3) The class would provide clear structure and prescribed actions over a period of time, which the OP and her dh seem to have trouble doing on their own, and (4) they could see first-hand how other couples relate to each other and handle finances. The OP and her dh seem to have inconsistent and ever-changing views of their financial world, and I think the structure and feedback provided by the class would be almost as good as counseling. The class will push them to create joint goals and priorities, neither of which they seem to be able to do on their own. The class would require them to be accountable for their past actions, goals, and future actions. Getting a consolidation loan without a joint financial budget and goals will not solve any of the issues that are creating their financial insecurity. A consolidation loan would also eliminate the mental "wins" of the snowball approach, which I think are very valuable for people in the OP's position.
  2. Dave Ramsey's class would be perfect for you. I think it costs about $100 and focuses on getting you and your spouse on the same financial page with goals and a mutually-agreed to budget. He also has a clear structure to his advice. Based on your other posts, I think his program is exactly what you and your dh need. Consolidating debt is usually not the best path to financial security, and many loan consolidation companies are scams. After reading your posts, I'm not confident you know enough about your financial situation to make long-term loan decisions. I get that your credit card payments are large, but you need to determine the root of the problem and solve it. Why are your credit card balances so high? Without solving the root cause, a consolidation loan is just a temporary bandaid. Many, many people get consolidation loans and then charge up the credit cards again because they haven't identified and solved the root problem.
  3. If it's public, it can be used as evidence. I'm guessing screen shots of nonpublic posts fall into the same category. My husband likes to say, "You call it Facebook, I call it evidence." People post some really stupid stuff on the internet.
  4. Not exactly what you asked, but I would also serve chicken and a white sauce since I prefer my guests to have a choice. Not everyone likes sausage and vice versa.
  5. If either of my teens drank that much milk in 24 hours, my dh would be ecstatic. He is always trying to get them to drink more milk. I would tease my 14yo ds, but I wouldn't be surprised or upset. Teen boys are hungry people. My brother went through that much milk as a teen. I would tease my 16yo as well, but I would question her a little about it. She doesn't eat nearly as much as her brother, primarily since she seems to not be growing much anymore. I do know she still goes through periods where she is hungry constantly, so I expect her body is still changing. If my teen bought his own gallon of milk or other food items, I wouldn't care one bit about how fast he consumed it, but I don't manage their eating anymore.
  6. I also want to add a comment as a mom of a teen boy. My oldest son is only 14yo, so I am projecting forward a little with this comment. However, I would highly encourage my ds to not date a girl whose parents treated him as a likely rapist. He's a teen in the same developmental spot as any teen girl, and he deserves the same respect. A PP suggested having her family drive the 16yo girl to the fireworks and meet up with the boy. I would side-eye that arrangement and suggest my son move on to another girl whose family assumed the best in him rather than the worst.
  7. Agreed. I see my daughter learning so much from her relationship, and she's doing it while I am here to guide her. Having a serious boyfriend for the past year has added a wonderful, rich component to her life. They are really good together, and they are growing and maturing into their relationship really, really well. I don't expect them to date each other through college*, but I will feel much better sending her to college knowing we've provided very hands-on guidance through her first serious relationship. *I could see my dd staying with her boyfriend long-term, but I am very careful to not speak about them in those terms. I call her boyfriend her "first boyfriend" and her "high school boyfriend". I think he's great for now, but I am not making assumptions beyond right now and I don't want her to either
  8. i wouldn't have any issues with either date for my 16yo, but we definitely let her be alone with her boyfriend. They had more restrictions for the first few months of dating since she is our oldest, but, honestly, you can't actually stop them from having sex. You can make it difficult, but kids have always found ways around restrictions. My grandparents did, and I'm sure teens haven't changed much. We focus our energy on talking with my daughter to understand where she is with the emotional and physical pieces of her relationship. We provide guidance on how to select boyfriends, how relationships should work, etc. Lots and lots of discussion with her and trust in her decision making. She comes to me for relationship help with things like how to talk through issues, how to argue fairly, should they kiss, etc, so our approach definitely seems to be working. The upfront discussions make her more confident and help me keep a pulse on her relationship. These efforts are far more effective, to me, than restricting her social activities (beyond safety issues).
  9. My line in the sand was similar to OP's when we stopped homeschooling. Our kids got more expensive as they grew, and our financial resources were getting tighter and tighter. I remember looking at PT opportunities, and seeing that the pay really wasn't worth the effort vs a FT position. A little here and there wasn't going to make a substantive long-term change. I ended up going back to work. Now with two FT incomes, we can meet our needs and most of our wants. I dearly miss being home with the kids, but not at the expense of our financial security. My line in the sand has moved, too, now that my oldest kids are close to college. My current line is fully funded retirement, emergency funds, kids activities, travel, and funding 3/4 of college expenses. If my dh can make some good career moves, I will reduce my hours to PT and not look back. No change is forever, and financial security is a gift for your children and your marriage.
  10. This is our family as well. I give my teeens/teens privacy in their communications with their friends; medium does not matter. I view an electronic device as a tool, much like pen and paper or telephone.
  11. Our public school definitely assumes a role in the governance of student behavior. Our principal believes behavior on oersonalnrime impacts the educational environment, and thus, the school does play a role. My 16yo has brought me examples of social media bullying. We take a screen shot or a picture with another phone and I forward the pictures to the principal. He the. addresses the students directly. I have been very pleased with his treatment of these situations. That being said, he is a little bit of a bully himself, so the role of disciplinarian is easy and effective for him. My elementary students at their parochial school have not experienced cyber bullying. ETA: I don't know that I could or would address these situations on my own. If you don't know the parents or where the kid lives, how would you talk to the parents? Sometimes the perpetrator is anonymous. Our principal routinely sends email notifications of bullying education to the parents - what apps to watch for, current trends, even Info about 13 reasons why when that movie came out. I really appreciate that he uses his position in this way.
  12. Four hours west of Chicago....are you near Galena, IL or Dubuque, IA? I'm from that part of the world but live in MN now. A driving trip to the Badlands and Mount Rushmore would be fun in a couple years. We did that over fall break one year, and it was a great vacation at that time of year. Omaha, NE has a great zoo that takes a couple days to get through. The Field of Dreams is not far from Dubuque, and is a fun little stop, especially after watching the movie. Minneapolis/St Paul is a day's drive from Northern IL and would be a fun trip. Chicago would be another fun city to explore. My five kids are 16yo-7yo, and we are just starting to ramp up our traveling. Last year I took my two oldest to Paris and London while dh stayed home with the younger three. This summer we are driving to NC and renting a house on the beach. I hope to take my kids on a trip when they graduate high school, just the two of us. I find AirBnB to be a great value for bigger families. We save throughout the year to afford vacations, but that being said....we have two FT incomes. I would LOVE to be home with my kids again, but I can't give up the financial security my working provides for us. Growing up, my family traveled quite a bit. My grandparents went to every state and over 50 countries before they stopped traveling. My mom picked up the travel bug from them, and she takes two large international trips every year in addition to a couple domestic trips. I was very fortunate to land an international traveling job right out of college, so I have seen most of Europe and pieces of Asia and South America. I took dh on his only international trips, and I am fortunate that he understands travel/vacation is pretty high on my want list. When we hit retirement in 15-20 years, we will travel at a higher pace.
  13. I homeschooled for six years and then went back to work FT as our family's breadwinner. I much prefer to be home, and I am hoping my dh can increase his salary enough for me to feel comfortable transitioning to PT. My youngest three are in our parochial K-8 school, and tuition is only $2k/year/kid. We have a families in all income brackets attending the school. Those at the lower end don't pay any tuition. Those at the upper end sponsor additional kids. As to who does the "at home" stuff when you go to work, the "must dos" still get done. How those things get done will probably look different, but all the "must dos" still get done. I work FT, sit on our parochial school board, coach youth basketball, and shuttle my kids to their activities year-round. My dh is currently on a state-side deployment, so I am a single parent right now. My days are full, but my kids are flourishing and I know myself well enough that I have a high need for financial security. As much as I dearly wish to be home with them, even PT, I will not sacrifice retirement, college savings, emergency funds, and enrichment opportunities. My job is very flexible meaning I can flex my hours pretty much at will and I can work from home when needed. We moved for this job, and we purposefully live within four blocks of the parochial and public schools. My kids (even my 7yo) can get themselves to and from school and the majority of their activities. I work less than 20 minutes away (door-to-door), and we also chose to live very rurally so our kids could easily have independence. Moving away from family and friends can certainly be difficult, but I think being open to relocation is often a critical component of long-term financial security. Landing my current job was very easy as it was in my previous line of work. I took a significant decrease in title and responsibility compared to my last professional position, which was probably a mistake. I sold myself short. Oh, well. We all have regrets and things we would re-do if we could.
  14. Definitely, and not just contentious relationships. Nonexistent relationships have a negative impact too. My dad married his third wife when I was an adult. She was OK until we had kids. She didn't like kids, and it was just terrible being around her with my kids. We had a huge blow-up one day and I told my dad we weren't visiting him anymore. He ended up divorcing her later on, but I think damage had been done on both sides of the relationship. I've met his current wife, #5, a couple times. She doesn't have a relationship with me or my brother, so my dad doesn't have much of a relationship with us anymore either. It's disappointing. My dad retired last year, so maybe things will change. I'm not holding out high expectations.
  15. Gently, I would let them take the lead in asking questions and making their joint adult decisions, especially given their new military status. The military will offer a wide range of benefits, many of which you won't be aware if you haven't been a military family member. Your dd's new dh will have a lot of guidance through the military, if they are looking for it.
  16. We gutted our bathroom and are at the stage for picking the vanity and flooring. The bathroom door (only old item remaining) is dark brown and matches the other interior doors so it doesn't make sense to replace it. Dh wants a brown vanity to match the door. I prefer dark gray/black because those colors seem more current. The shower and toilet are white. Our new 3/4 basement bath has a black vanity with gray/white top, light brown oak door, and brown/gray/black linoleum. I think it looks very nice and fits with the rest of our very average-at-best house. we saw an yellow-ivory vanity with a dark brown top that I could live with, but I don't think it would work with a white shower and toilet. What would you do for colors? I want a fresh, light feel without dating us, if possible. I hate decorating; I would gladly pay for this skill set.
  17. My oldest is only 16yo, so I am assuming our processes will change in the next couple of years. When she first started going out without us (boyfriend driving her before she was 16yo), I would set an alarm for about 5 minutes after the time she was supposed to be home. When she got home, she would wake me up and I would turn off the alarm. Theoretically, if the alarm wasn't turned off, I would wake up and check in with her. Similar process as to the hall light, and I might steal the hall light idea if the rest of the family could comply. :) We don't have a set curfew beyond whatever legal limitations she has as a 16yo driver. She self-regulates very well based on her schedule, and I don't wait up for her anymore. She keeps me updated on her evening plans, she has good friends, and she makes wise choices. Unless something changes in her judgment over the next two years, I don't see us implementing stricter requirements now or when she becomes an adult.
  18. Middle schoolers commonly take driver's ed here. The farm kids get their permits at 15yo, so they take the class in 8th grade at 14yo. In our district, the first 8th grader turned 15yo in March. My 8th grader just turned 14yo a couple weeks ago, but he's definitely on the young side for the grade with an April birthday. A private company handles all the driver's ed requirements. The class cost $320. State licensing fees are additional.
  19. Reading the social security website, they are looking for prof the child exists and is still alive. A medical card, medical records, religious records, school records, etc would work and are listed as acceptable on their website. Does your teen work? I would guess a paycheck and/or w-2 may work as well I believe you are going to need a social security card to get a state ID if you don't have a driver's license or passsport.
  20. There must be other options? My kids are in parochial and public schools, and none of them have a school ID.
  21. This is out-of-the-box, but could you help launch the young adults to their own rental somewhere. Maybe subsidize a little of the rent for a few months or contribute the deposit while whomever is left moves to a smaller rental house/apartment? You could get a 2 or 3 bedroom if only the youngest three move with you. Seems like the older three could move into a cheap one or two bedroom apartment (someone could sleep on the couch/pull-out sofa in a 1BR). This would help them move toward independence and give you more rental options.
  22. Thank you, everyone, for the replies and information. These ideas are exactly what I had in mind. My ds has not talent tested yet, but I am thinking we should do that. He has tested in the 99th percentile in all his school standardized testing. I know he is bright, and his teachers see that he has much more aptitude than they can reach in his standard classes. Our small rural school does not have gifted or advanced offerings; the most they have been able to do is to skip him ahead in math. I am sure we will look at college math classes for his 10th grade year, which is when they are available to him through the school. His science teachers are heavily recruiting him for Robotics next year (starts in 9th grade in our district). I am pushing as well, but the Robotics season runs concurrent with the wrestling season. He is a varsity wrestler and the physical and mental commitment of that level has been very difficult for a 13/14 year old, especially as a starter on a state ranked team. Wrestling satisfies his sensory therapy needs and is his current passion, so it's a difficult balancing act.....when to push, when to pull, and when to step back.
  23. I am wondering what resources others use to find summer academic camps. My rising 9th grader is advanced in math and science, and I would like to send him to a math/STEM camp this summer. I've googled quite a bit, but I just don't know where to look and how to find worthwhile options. If it's too late to find a camp for this summer, I would like to start planning for next year. He needs more than our local high school can offer, and we do not have enrichment options locally since we live rurally on the SD/MN border. Bonus points if you know of any quality STEM camps in the Minneapolis/St Paul area. Thank you for any assistance you can provide.
  24. Do you really believe the public service jobs you mention - police, military, etc - only work 40 hours/week? When my dh was a county prosecutor with 10+ years of experience he made <$50k and he did not work 8-5, nor did the police officers he worked with. As a public defender he made even less money with a higher case load. He made the most money in the military, especially considering the nonsalary benefits, but he was away from home for long periods of time in places where he slept in his office so he wouldn't get killed by the nightly bombing raids. When he was stateside we lived where the military told us to live and he worked when they told him to, which was not a set 8-5 schedule. I really don't see comparing jobs with physical danger in the same categories as non-physical danger jobs. i think the salary of any job cannot be evaluated in isolation. You have to look at the benefits (vacation, working hours, danger level, retirement, medical, etc) too. I also think we have to acknowledge that not every job will pay the same, and few jobs pay enough for one working person to support a family for decades.
  25. That's us. Friend parties are too dangerous socially. My kids don't want anyone to feel left out. We also actively discourage the "best" friend term. Almost friendships change as kids grow, and the "best" label becomes a huge burden at some point. It also includes expectations of behavior that I don't encourage - a best friend must always be included in the group, asked first to things, told secrets, etc. I prefer my kids to have plane, vanilla friends while realizing that those friends are often situational - church friends, school friends, sports friends, etc. It's very ok to have a school friend who doesn't come to play or come to birthday parties.
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