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Archive for May, 2018

social strata for our kids

May 31st, 2018 at 11:37 am

Did you read the article recently about class and how movement between classes in the US is almost NIL? It doesn't matter what religion, race, and politics. The biggest factor is where your parents are socially and the elasticity of their position. The higher up you are, the more you can help your children and prevent them from falling down the socio economic ladder. The lower down you are the harder it is for them to climb the ladder.

Of course pretty much everyone reading this here at a place called savingadvice already is giving both themselves and their children a one up. Within your own socio economic position it's likely since you are looking at improving your financial situation or already have, the change to the family tree means that you are making things better for your kids. You are telling them early about things like debt, college, saving, investing wisely, etc.

All factors that contribute to your child's success. So compared to your peers your kid is getting a headstart on things that could drag them down financially. But instead they have parents who may not help as much financially or are able to help more financially because they have their house in order.

As I was reading this article I found myself nodding. That we are going to help our kids as much as possible. They have advantages now from our income but also we are probably going to help them in the future as well.

This came about because so many of us on this board are striving to help our kids with college. It's been written that college and student loan debts are massive (and it really is). But those of us on here I feel are doing better than our peers in helping our children through it financially because we know better and have our own house in order.

I mean we have friends we camped with who recently set aside $50k per kid for college. Our kids are the same age. But DH and I have been putting a little every year aside and we have about half as much. Right now we are considering a lump sum investment into a 529 but if we do then we'll still come out ahead having had saved less over these past 5 and 8 years. Plus the lump sum can be smaller since we'll still be saving our $2k/year.

So the little things like smart saving and wise budgeting this site encourages has helped.

Just musing how changing the family tree a little can show great result.s

school auction and no homemade food

May 29th, 2018 at 11:24 am

I read Laura's post about her feet and it make me feel a lot better. Because as I sit here writing this yesterday at a very nice neighbors house for a memorial day bbq I realized DH and I were the only parents not attending the school auction.

Part of it is being cheap. Part of it is it's not a scene I particular care for. Part of it is I don't really want to waste a date night on an auction. I'd rather have a sitter and go out with DH for a fancy dinner somewhere just us.

I guess I'll mention it was just my birthday over the weekend and we were camping. DH even forgot the cake (cheesecake) I love and he usually goes and gets with the kids to sing to me. We're probably doing cheesecake tonight.

Anyway I felt a little cheap because I was like we aren't going to the auction as everyone stared at us. I don't know what I would buy either? I am not big on wasting money. So yes I'll donate whatever they tell me to the PTSA. And today I volunteered at art docent and I have a meeting for a PTSA committee I'm on. But I have to give more? Participate more?

I already went to the BBQ without makeup and a bit underdressed since we had just gotten back from camping. My nails weren't done, nor my hair or makeup. I just wanted to meet more neighbors and let my kiddo play with the girls she spends every morning with when I drop her there to walk to the bus stop with their au pair and I drop my other kid at school and work. I also did not make a side dish I bought a fruit tarte from the store (I felt incredible shame when I realized everyone else had made stuff!)

Ugh. So my lack of parenting perfection was on evident display. Anyway Laura feel better about your feet. I felt the same way about my clothes, food, and lack of wanting to participate in the school auction. And I am still embarrassed.

Dog Adoption Lament

May 21st, 2018 at 10:50 am

So most of you know we've been without a dog now almost 18 months. This is pretty much the longest DH and I have been without a dog but life's been busy. And we've been on wait lists for about a year with rescue groups. But we haven't been proactively looking either other than putting our names on lists.

But on a more serious note. I want to write about how weird this experience has been. This is the first time we've tried to adopt a dog post-kids. Our kids are now 8 and 5. We've finally also moved into a house with a yard. So we seem like an ideal family now right?

WRONG. Now we have kids and a lot of rescue groups or petfinder don't want to talk to me anymore. Apparently when we were young and dumb DH and I were great candidates. Now with 2 "small" children we aren't. We're next exactly new to this rodeo but they aren't thrilled without "candidate" package.

So right now I'm mulling buying a dog. I cringe as I write this because that makes me choke a bit on how expensive it is. Plus truthfully I feel really guilty based on how many dogs need homes. But now what? We need a dog that is hypo allergenic. But other than that age isn't a big deal and type isn't either. A good disposition. We can work with them.

I'm unsure where to go from here. Do we really buy a puppy?

Have you calculated your commute?

May 8th, 2018 at 10:33 am

Have you ever calculated the cost of commuting? I say that because now we have a direct cost. My DH commutes on average 30 minutes one way instead of 1 hour plus. And an hour is generous because usually coming home before it was 75-90 minutes. But assuming he saves now 1 hour an day total in commute he's saving 5* 48 weeks = 240 hours a year. What is an hour worth?

That's the question. If it's worth $25/hr then it's $6000/year of $500/month he's saving. So we could "shave" off $500/month on our mortgage payment moving closer. If we calculated the hour is worth $50/hr then it's $12,000/year and $1k/month. That makes moving closer a lot more beneficial.

Personally I think moving closer worth $50/hour. Assume we go out to eat more, pay more in gas, pay more in child care, etc I think we can easily save $12k/year moving closer. But some people live next door to their parents so they commute far. If i had that sort of deal I'd do it too.

Have you ever calculated what your commute cost you? Was it worth it to move farther? Why?

Blue Apron?

May 7th, 2018 at 10:35 am

So I saw for $24.99 a meal package from Blue Apron at Costco. I was super curious. I didn't pull the trigger but I was tempted. I mean I'd like to learn how to cook a different/new meal. But $24 for a meal seems pricey. Of course Blue Apron is a genuis. I mean seriously it wasn't on my radar at all. I usually don't spend money on online shopping and I don't browse for stuff.

But that being said I decided I would read the website this week and maybe give it a whirl using one of the online 1st time user discount.

Talking with DH he said look at the big picture. $25 for a meal is MUCH cheaper than eating out. It serves 4 so $6/portion is less than you pay eating out. True.

But it's not for people who know how to cook. It's cheaper to buy the ingredients yourself and do it. But maybe for a new dish it's worth it. Before investing in the spices it's worth trying to see how easy or complicated and if you'll like it. And I can see how for people who don't cook it's way better and cheaper than eating out.

Anyone do blue apron? I'll review it after I try it. Because I will try it.