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About Frances

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  1. I do think this is one of the single biggest changes in education since I was a college student. The view by many that a product is being paid for and purchased and if the consumer isn’t happy with everything about the product they will complain until they get what they want. And in order to keep the system going, at many places standards will be relaxed and things like cheating will be allowed because it keeps the tuition dollars flowing. My husband used to teach a gen ed class every summer at one of our state schools for fun. One year his TA discovered massive cheating by the vast majority of the class which was almost entirely made up of students from the foreign country bringing in the most full tuition dollars. After many years of glowing reviews, he was not asked back. He was fine because the experience was so demoralizing he had no desire to teach the class again.
  2. I do a combo of work at the office and work at home, and ironically, I generally find I get more exercise when I work at the office. I have a standing desk there and I walk on all of my breaks and at lunch and then I walk home, and often walk the dog when I arrive home. So about 1.5-2 hrs of walking and very little sitting. I also try to do 30 minutes of strength training or biking most days before dinner. Our weeknight dinners are simple and light and I often make a big batch of something on the weekend. I make sure to eat a snack right before I leave work, otherwise I’m starving when I get home and exercising doesn’t happen if I wait until after dinner. When I work from home, I find it much harder to not just get caught up in work and not really take breaks until the dog wants to go out. I find I actually do a lot more sitting and less exercising when I work from home than when I go into the office.
  3. I think this is a very common problem. Most profs I know would appreciate the reminder.
  4. The mortification comment was not about owning three or even thirty vehicles. It was about asking an elderly parent for a loan to buy a third vehicle with no retirement savings or pension in place and one existing car loan.
  5. Yes, we do. It is actually one of the lucky/fortuitous choices that has helped us to be in the financial position we are now in, as neither of us have any commuting costs and we can get by with one vehicle. The only time we’ve had commuting costs since moving here over twenty years ago was when my husband went back to grad school. But we both grew up rurally in the Midwest, so we are also familiar with that lifestyle as well.
  6. They don’t technically need it. We just like to make their lives easier by paying for cleaning, yard work, snow removal, etc. because we can’t physically be there to do it.
  7. We walked everywhere. When we needed groceries we all walked with a bicycle trailer to the store and hauled groceries back with it. When my son had orchestra, we but his bass in it and walked to practice. A neighbor had an old beater car he used for field research that he said we could borrow anytime. We used it twice to take our son to the doctor when he was sick, including the day before my FIL died. He was actually so sick that day that we could not fly home for the funeral with my husband, but had to wait and follow a few days later. I did see that you disagreed with having three vehicles. Obviously we disagree on when owing a truck is necessary. Due to the nature of his job, my husband spends significantly more time working on our complete home remodel and doing all sorts of hobby projects where he is regularly, as in many days a week, hauling lots of stuff, including lots of large stuff. But 95% of the time he can make it work with a small hatchback, and when he can’t he borrows or rents a truck or has items delivered. Of course he would like a truck, we’ve discussed it many times. But we both prefer fully funded retirement accounts, a healthy emergency fund, savings, donating to causes we believe in, and financially helping out our elderly mothers. Edited to add that while we don’t live rurally now, my husband and I both grew up rurally. His parents never owned a truck and mine didn’t until I was in high school. Of course both of our dads always wanted trucks. My dad not only did everything my husband does in terms of physical projects, but also chopped all of the wood to heat our house. Until he owned a truck, he borrowed in exchange for labor, as he was incredibly handy.
  8. And I’m sorry, but I’m not going to apologize for saying that three vehicles for two adults is an unnecessary luxury and living beyond your means when some or all of that money being used for loan payments could be saved for retirement. And you said you didn’t agree with the purchase, so that doesn’t sound like a necessity. I have no reason to believe you are not living within your means in every other way. I was only commenting on the scenario you presented regarding vehicles and retirement savings. And of course your MIL and parents are free to do anything they want for all of you. I said I could not imagine any adult I know asking for such a loan. And my son is still a young adult, so of course if he asked me for such a thing, I would want to offer him motherly advice on using money wisely rather than having him make a poor financial decision. Of course he would be absolutely free to ignore that advice and borrow the money elsewhere. But I’m not going to make things financially worse for him in the long run by enabling a bad financial decision.
  9. I have absolutely no issue with good debt. We could easily pay off our mortgage right now, but choose not to, as we can get a much higher rate of return investing the money. We also borrowed some for my husband’s second doctorate. It’s been an amazing investment that has paid dividends many times over. But when you have nothing saved for retirement, I can’t agree that borrowing for an unnecessary third vehicle is good debt or a path to wealth.
  10. I don’t think it’s terrible. I just find it hard to imagine any adult I know actually asking their mom, regardless of wealth level, for such a loan for something that is not a necessity. They would all be way too embarrassed to ask a parent to help them live beyond their means. It would be bad enough if they had to do it out of necessity, such as needing a car to drive to work, but of course they would do it in order to provide for their family. And in such a scenario I would be more than happy to loan the money interest free to my son. Or maybe even gift him a car or let him buy ours for cost. But I would not be involved in financing the luxury purchase of a third vehicle. I would advice him to put the money toward retirement, an emergency fund, general savings, or investments.
  11. Because he is an adult in his prime working years and is asking to borrow money from his elderly mom for something that is not a necessity? While I could outright buy a truck for my young adult son with cash if I wanted to, in the situation you describe, I would not lend him the money for it. If he wants the luxury of a third vehicle, then I would want him to wait and earn it. Hopefully during that waiting time he would come to his senses and never make the purchase. We are fortunate to be in a very different place financially than you, but we only have one, small used vehicle. We’ve never owned a new car or had a car payment. So I honestly can’t comprehend owning and insuring three vehicles, two on borrowed money, unless it was an absolute necessity.
  12. I’m sorry if it came across as judgy. It’s just that most men I know that age would be mortified to ask their elderly mom for such a loan. And by luxury, I meant not a necessity. It has nothing to do with the age or condition of the vehicle.
  13. Agreed. I’d sell the truck so that there is only one vehicle debt. And Scarlett has the old paid for car when he’s at work. The occasional times he needs a truck he can borrow or rent. We’ve been working on a whole house remodel almost entirely ourselves the last few years and only have one little hatchback. You can haul an amazing amount of stuff in a small car if motivated to do so. My husband also does lots of other yard, sculpture, art, etc projects without a truck. We’ve saved so much money over the years by having only one small vehicle and always paying cash. I have to say I’m amazed that a grown man old enough to have married children would even think of borrowing from his elderly mom for such a luxury. I would, however, completely understand if it was a necessity.
  14. I get you on HR being bad. Th few times I’ve tried to get answers from mine it’s been useless. But at least where I work, it would not be HR who would know the answer to this type of question. It would be whoever does payroll.
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