Wow! I've just finished reading and wow! Such an interesting discussion! (I never considered myself this interesting - but again, wow!)Okay, first off, yes, this is mine and DH's problem, not the kids. We neither want nor expect them to lend us their money, although we will ask DD14 (who is quite capable) to help with some of the ebay stuff and give her a percentage of the sales. For the record, what we have asked of DD16 is to get a part time job for spending money (She DID get a job yesterday, and starts next week - yea for her!) This particular kid is a very busy one. She takes college classes (many online, right now just one), now works, teaches piano (a small bit of income), and travels (in the US). She just got back from a 6 week trip with a family acting company. She had a few problems staying within in her budget, some things her fault, some not, perhaps we did not budget realistically, part was clothing related (we're in CA, she was in New England). She was badly injured early in the summer in a bike accident and could not work for quite a while. She works on the teen end of the event I work for, which took the latter half of the summer. So she did not have a chance to make any money to prepare for this trip. She got an opportunity to work with the acting company on a special project (she did make a small amount of money) and I made the (probably) irresponsible decision to put opportunity over sanity and tried to fund it, on top of everything else. Anyhow, the trip went well and she is invited to do it again in March. We have told her that she can do it, but she has to earn her own money this time, 100% (not all that impossible, as this trip will be shorter and closer to home). I really don't want OUR problems to keep her from living her dreams (within reason), but indeed, she does need to generate her own spending money (which by the way, she IS very good with under normal circumstances) for these special endeavors. Also, she has her permit (for 8 months now) and needs one more formal lesson before she can take her driving test . (another $89!). She is using her earnings from the trip to help pay for that (she's already paid for one of the 2 lessons she needed). DD14 is pretty independent but I would not think it fair or reasonable to leave her 40 hours a week on her own. The local HS, although close to home, is neither safe nor good. Some of the things that my driving (and to an extent attendance) is required for is coop classes in science, book discussion groups, game days (math), museum field trips; also she volunteers at the library once a week. She does occasional pet care for several neighbors, and again hangs on to her money pretty well, though she is the one who loves shopping. We've introduced her to thrift stores, which she gladly peruses for things she needs. (She is also teaching herself to sew and frequently alters her thrift store finds to make them the way she wants them). So we're making progress there. I spent today surveying the situation more (dollar by dollar, bill by bill) and should have a budget soon (or at least the numbers to offer up). I am still negotiating with DH about the motorcycle. I have a good vintage guitar that I am trying to come up with a fair price on, and that will be the best thing I can sell this week (it should go for $1500-1700, got it a couple of years ago at a garage sale for $40). I am looking for an appropriate job.Regarding the holidays, (someone asked), we've all agreed that we have everything we need. I'm planning on making any gifts for relatives and friends (I have everything I need on hand to do so, and what I do is not tacky, quite nice in fact). DD16 is crocheting scarves for all her friends (she already had a good stash of yarn), DD14 is sewing soft sculptures for her friends (again, we have the supplies on hand, so no cost). I will sell several of my studio supplies (I have a group that buys very quickly) for about $50-100 for some stocking stuffers for the girls, but that's about it though with actual cash spending, and I haven't even decided for sure if I'll do it. My extended family had made the decision on Thanksgiving that we would not do much with gifts this year except for things homemade and creative, and we're all happy with that idea. We are good on food for a couple of weeks, the pantry is in good shape and we are mostly vegetarian anyway. Sorry this is so long. As dire as the situation is, I do feel better and am gaining clarity just having talked to all of you and that I'm trying to finally fix it. I can do this!Thanks,NMP
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