Recession Mama











Vicky's wedding reception

Vicky's wedding reception

Katy Sez: My friend Vicky and her now husband had a five star wedding last weekend. There were Hawaiian dancers, amazing Hawaiian food, a band and a DJ, and she tells me it was all done on a budget! Of course, I wanted to know HOW, so she gave me and now you, the lowdown…

Vicky & Dean's wedding ceremony at the Langham

Vicky & Dean's wedding ceremony at the Langham

By Vicky

First of all Katy, I had a wonderful time this weekend and YOU saved me a ton of money. Having a friend who can coordinate day of, is invaluable– getting a coordinator or someone who knows how much everything could (notice, I didn’t say ’should’ b/c everyone’s should is different) cost is probably the first thing to saving money. (Katy, you know I will gladly repay you in-kind, so let me know when I can help!) Second, ironically I ran the same location scenarios on an excel spreadsheet that you’ve done here (including malibu house & restaurant). Unfortunately net-net, it is all about the same cost, so go for the location you love the most. The least expensive locations tend to be either hotel (b/c all rentals are included) or a park or beach owned by the city or county. I’d love to share what I did for my wedding if it’ll save others money, so this post might be long (deep breath) but here goes! 1) determine how much money you have to work with 2) figure out how you’re going to fund it (really fund it, not on plastic- don’t start your marriage on a fantasy) 3) write down ALL the possible costs that you might incur during your wedding (remember the little details like hotel room night-of, car to get you from one location to another, gifts for your bridesmaids, hair/makeup for you, your mom, girls… everything) and 4) prioritize which of these is most important to you, assigning each a budget. BTW- try to pay via a credit card that gives you $ back (but make sure you pay it off and don’t incur a finance charge!) For my wedding, I negotiated a flat minimum with the hotel, but made sure it included all tables, dinnerware, stages, chairs and dance floor (all that stuff adds up). I also negotiated in my wedding cake, hotel rooms for the night before and day-of. Since there was a hotel minimum to meet, my choice of entrees and absence of dessert (since there was wedding cake) allowed for premium cocktails, a groom’s cake, hors d’oeuvres and wine. I found my bridesmaid dresses at Loehmann’s and bought my veil ($17), Vera Wang shoes ($65) and flower girl’s dress on Ebay. I bought fabric and sewed the flower girl’s sash, to change the color to my color scheme. There’s no shame in low cost or used– it’s only 1 day and as long as it looks classy. In this case, all were new. My wedding dress is the 1 thing I badly wanted, so I paid full price… but I opened a credit card to get % off, bought it in Portland (believe it or not, that air ticket was worth the savings in sales tax) and I plan to ebay the dress soon to recoup the cost.

The gorgeous and delicious wedding cake

The gorgeous and delicious wedding cake

AFTER you get all this stuff together, THEN order the flowers, design your cake and stationary. Contrary to belief, “the colors of your wedding” is one of the last things to think about. Your bridesmaid dresses DON’T dictate your color scheme, so don’t get distressed if you can’t find the perfect color of pink. Find a neutral dress color and use your flowers & stationary to take care of it. P.S.- don’t be married to a type of flower. Give your florist an idea of the “feeling” and “color scheme” you want… then let him/her get creative within a budget. Start with a wishlist of everything, then scale back. You may have to pick and choose what you emphasize (ex: I had white carnations in my mixed white, green, brown bridal bouquet. Others may say ‘no carnations’ but trust me, they looked great). My florist (Jackie Combs) was amazing– let her partner with you. To save costs, I bought paper in bulk, printed my own invitations using Word, Powerpoint and Google images on my little home deskjet. I used the same paper & leftover scraps (if you get Kinko’s to cut your invites, have them save the scraps!) for my programs, escort card/favor tag & menu cards. It took a lot of time, so be sure to factor that in. For my favors, I shopped the after-christmas sale (everything was 75%+ off!) and when I tied a nametag to it, they doubled as my escort cards. Get creative and think after-holiday shopping… July 4th is coming up and you can get some very cool stuff. If you live in LA, the flower/gift mart is your best friend. My final comment is that everything is online– look for ideas and start compiling an ‘idea folder’. Know what you’re good at… and know what you’re not. It may cost you more time & money in the long run, if you’re not crafty and you try to do your own invites or if you’re not organized and you try to coordinate your own wedding vs hiring someone to do it. STICK TO YOUR BUDGET and don’t allow yourself to be tempted with “should haves”. Just because someone else had it at their wedding, doesn’t mean you have to! We didn’t exchange rings b/c what we wanted is not within our budget right now… so instead, we exchanged leis! Garter toss? Nope. Bouquet toss? Nope. Spa appointments for the bridesmaids? Nope. Inviting parents’ friends? Only 1 table allowed. Videographer? Friend. Honeymoon? Later.

fire eater

But we had hawaiian food, fire dancers, a band and our close friends… just what we wanted. I hope this blog helps someone out there. A wedding is the worst nightmare 2 people will ever have. It’ll test the limits of your relationship, but 1 day is not the rest of your lives. Prioritize and you’ll get through this insanity just fine.

Vicky & Dean cut the wedding cake

Vicky & Dean cut the wedding cake

Advertisements


{May 28, 2009}   Guilty Shopper

By: Heather

Mamas and Papas. I’m a guilty shopper. But I’ve done a little shopping lately.

42-17017132

Let me explain. If it’s for me, I usually hesitate.  But if it’s for the kids or the house, I usually don’t feel guilty.

I guess we all have our limits and splurges.

I still set limits on what I’m willing to spend. And I shop by looking at the price tag FIRST.

My husband is very generous and he tells me not to worry.

“If you want it, get it.” he says. But I still feel guilty if it’s for me.

But this week I pushed my guilt aside and finally bought my mother’s day gift. I got a cream colored soft leather purse that hugs me like it’s in love. I’ve been searching for a white/cream colored purse for years but have never really found one I like, at the price I like.

I asked the sales lady several times if the bag was on sale. She repeatedly said no. But I decided to “let go” of the guilt and buy it.

purse

But wait a minute. There are people out of work who can’t pay their rent, who are struggling to buy food. How can you spend that much money on a purse? Ridiculous!

Perhaps. But it doesn’t stop there. I also bought my husband two pairs of leather flip flops and a purse for my mother’s birthday and ordered some dress shoes for myself.

I’m horrible right? I felt a little sick when I handed over my debit card to pay for the purchase. I just kept thinking, “How can I have so much, when some people have so little? I should just put it back and be happy with what I’ve got.”

“I know. I probably shouldn’t get all of this”, I tell the clerk, “but it’s really good quality and hard to pass up. And I can never find shoes that fit me.”

Side bar: My feet are really narrow and it’s almost impossible to find shoes that fit.  So when they do fit, I get them.

“Can I return these if I change my mind?”

“Yes.”

“I just feel a little guilty.” I say.

“Well if you can afford it, then I say spend it.” replies the clerk. “It helps us out.”

Hmmm. The comment hit me like a meatball sandwich.

“It helps us out.”

cash register

That’s so true. If everyone stops buying just because they “feel guilty” then the economy will really crash and burn. I wonder if some of our “hesitation to buy” has actually costs people their jobs.

I hope that my purchases will help keep someone employed, and they in turn will keep buying their morning coffee, which will keep the barista employed, which will help them pay for college, which will help their parents financially, which means they can pay for their cleaning lady, which means she can buy groceries for her family.

It’s a big circle. It may seem unfair that some people can spend money on so-called frivolous things. But  here’s my question– “Doesn’t that help the economy?”

My purchases will not break my bank. And I will use everything for a LONG time. Plus we donate to charity, our church and help friends and family when they’re in need. So maybe I should NOT feel guilty. Maybe I should feel good about helping the economy. And hopefully that’ll keep people working too!

 



{May 27, 2009}   Feelin’ Confident

–by Carla

spring

I recently caught myself thinking (or maybe daydreaming) that this recession was over, that we were all better and that we could all go about our business like nothing ever happened. I mean, it’s spring, the trees are green, flowers are blooming, the weather here in the Dallas area is amazing, I’m taking the boys to the park just about every single day…

...thanks for bringing me to the park, Mom!

 

 

...thanks for bringing me to the park, Mom!

…and I just got a pedicure. So, we’re all better, right?

I’m no economic brainiac, but I did hear the news this week that consumer confidence was up and that made Wall Street stand up and take note. Ok, fine…so we’re not completely out of the woods just yet, but doesn’t it kind of FEEL that way?

Think of it this way, when did our fancy, cozy, wonderful little bubble burst? Around October, right? SEVEN months ago. For a country with A.D.D, that’s a ridiculously long time. And then think of this: We were all completely freaked out by what had just happened with our money…

winter

…It was fall, almost winter. No more green, lush leaves on the trees, no pretty flowers, no going out to play and frolic, no reason to get a pedicure. That sort of environment really messes with a person, don’t you think? I mean, it’s entirely possible that we had the economic equivalent of S.A.D., seasonal affective disorder. So have we just shaken it off and come out to play in the sun, or does the economy even work like that? In other words, does Main Street drive Wall Street, or is it the other way around? I really don’t know the answer to that. But if we THINK it’s getting better out there, maybe it really is. 

And hey, look, I know that not every American is in some sort of economic distress. But some ARE, and of those, some are worse off than others…and this occurred at every economic level. Along those lines, something hit me the other day while listening to “Funny The Way It Is” by the Dave Mathews Band. Just a little something to think about. Here’s just part of it:

Funny the way it is, if you think about it Somebody’s going hungry and someone else is eating out

Funny the way it is, nor right or wrong Somebody’s heart is broken and it becomes your favorite song 

Funny the way it is, if you think about it A kid walks 10 miles to school, another’s dropping out

Funny the way it is, nor right or wrong Oh, a soldier’s last breath and a baby’s being born

(It’s a crazy good song…you should check it out.)

I’m feeling this consumer confidence thing, I really am. I’m also thinking that maybe a little dose of sunshine and a ride on a tiny horse at the park is exactly what we need right now.



By: Heather

Hey mamas and papas. We’ve all been trying to figure out how to save a few bucks here and there. There are some obvious areas where you can cut back. But sometimes you can save TONS of money where you least expect it. You just have to get off your butt and do a little homework. (More after the jump)

Read the rest of this entry »



by Katy

Thanks again for all the comments on the two wedding locations my fiance and I have picked out. We’re very excited about this process, and we’re also happy to share our burdens. Believe me, we will make the final decision based on what is best for us (what we like the best and what we can afford the most), but it is really great to hear what ya’ll are saying. For some strange reason, it makes it easier, and it seems to relieve the stress for us a bit. Before I delve into location #3, I just want to quickly give a shout-out to my friend Vicky. She just got married this weekend, and it was spectacular! I don’t know what kind of budget she was working with, but I know she did have one. (She has mentioned it on Recession Mama.) I felt like she really did the most with her money, and it showed. It was the perfect example of having a 5 star wedding on a 3 star budget (Again, I have no idea what her budget was for the wedding, so this is just a guess.) And I hope I can do the same! Maybe she’ll feel comfortable sharing in the comments or in a future guest post. Well, here is wedding location #3! Enjoy…

House in Malibu

House in Malibu

Third choice for us is a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) wedding. We’d rent a house/property in Malibu or on the beach somewhere in Orange County, bring in tables, chairs, linens, heat lamps, silverware, plates, glasses, caterer, etc, etc, etc. And if this sounds like a lot of work, well…you’re right! It is. But it could be the way we save money. So here goes…

A blank canvas or a logistical nightmare?I

A blank canvas or a logistical nightmare?

First, we have the location fee – $6500 for the above house/property in Malibu, and the huge sum of money is for…well, nothing. You get to use the grounds of the property for your ceremony and reception. But that’s it. On top of the $6500 you’re forking over, you have to find and put together everything else. So here’s what else we need – caterer – we’d go with a green/organic caterer, and that ranges from $45/person to $85/person (hopefully this includes plates, silverware, and glassware. We would be able to buy and bring our own alcohol (this could save us a lot!), but we’d also have to hire bartenders…so let’s say it’s $5000 total. Next. tables, chairs, linens, and napkins – $1600. In addition, $500 for about 6 heat lamps (it can be cool in southern california), and these locations generally just want you to stay outside on the property. $500 for a dance floor, and most of these places REQUIRE valet service and security – let’s say $2000 (on the cheaper side). So, before florist, photographer, clothes, etc…we’re looking at…$27,773 (if we’re going with the $45/person number).

what the reception could look like

what the reception could look like

Here are my pros and cons:

PROS = We could get exactly what we want – location, food, and decor. This could be cheaper than the other two options, if we’re good at negotiating and putting together iron-clad contracts.

CONS = This DIY location #3 is obviously a LOT more work. A lot could go wrong because there are sooo many vendors to coordinate that day. One late delivery for tables/chairs/linens could create a timeline disaster! This could also end up costing us more money than we can anticipate, at this time, since we don’t truly know what the prices are going to be until we’ve put the deposit on the location and then started negotiating with the rest of the vendors. Also, the $6500 feels like a big waste of money since it’s not for anything but the location. And again, these beach locations are very far away from our rehearsal dinner, the night before. (But this one isn’t as far as Dana Point.)

There you have it! 3 locations — Dana Point restaurant, downtown L.A. restaurant, or this DIY beach property rental. I’d love to hear your thoughts.



{May 24, 2009}   Back to the Basics

–by Carla

Happy Sunday, everyone! Today’s guest writer is Lydia, a friend from way back. She was a teacher of mine at the University of North Texas. We always called her “Aunt Lydia” back then, mainly because she was young and cool just like we were. She likes to say, “One of my claims to fame is that I taught Carla everything she knows about studio television…. which may explain why she pursued a career in radio…” Ha! We stayed in touch a bit over the years and reconnected recently. I found out that she is a big fan of saving money (love her!) and is now a big fan of RM (love her more!). So here is “Aunt” Lydia, in her own words:

In Proverbs it says – “The debtor is slave to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)  Anyone want to stand up and testify?  How many of us have felt like all we do is pay bills and wonder how we’ll do it again next month?  How many of us would like to know we have some money tucked away for a “rainy day”?  How many of you guys and gals have little ones that you’re worried about funding their college education? 

I love the RecessionMommas site, so in the spirit of cost cutting, I’m going to discuss some of the principles I learned from Dave Ramsey – the author of THE TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER and host of radio and television.  Dave’s advice is going to sound eerily familiar to those who actually listened to their grandparents on occasion. 

1. DON’T SPEND MONEY YOU DON’T HAVE.  Simple and to the point.  It also means we have to be mature (yikes!) enough to save up for something we want, not just run out and charge it.   

2. GET RID OF THE CREDIT CARDS – I know, I know!  For those of us who got our first credit card when we were in college, the thought of living without one sends a chill down our spines!  I have managed to cancel and cut up all but 2 of mine.  (One card gives me Amazon.com points!)  Seeing that when I started the “Dave Plan” I had about 8 cards, I have definitely made progress.  I pay them off each month, but that still goes against “the Dave Plan” because we do tend to spend more $$ when we charge things rather than forking over the cash. 

A side story (ADD kicking in) – I recently called Discover card to cancel my account with them.  They had sent me one of those lovely letters telling me they were raising my interest rate for no reason other than they wanted to.  So, I took the opportunity to sever my ties with them.  

When they transferred me to the correct department, the guy tried to talk me into staying with them.  No prob, it’s his job.  But, he keep warning me that my FICO score was going to drop, that I’d been a customer since 1988, since I pay off my card each month it really didn’t matter what the interest rate was… What finally got me laughing was when he said “We’ve had a very long relationship…”  I told him, “Relationship? It wasn’t like I was going to invite you to my wedding.” Ha! 

I tell you this story not only to amuse you, but to show you that the credit card companies will try to persuade you that the worse thing in the world is to cancel their card.  Always remember, these are the same companies that instantly slap you with late fees and jack up your interest rate if your payment arrives 1 minute after 12pm the day it’s due.  Relationship my big fat, errr, toe! 

  1. MAKE A BUDGET – it’s not as horrible as it sounds!  If you will plan your spending each month, you will spend less.  A quick way to get started (and to figure out where you are bleeding cash) is to write down everything you spend.  It’s shocking how much stopping at Starbucks, or my personal favorite, Dunkin Donuts, a few days a week actually costs!  Buy the coffee at the store and make it at home.  It saves lots of $$!

 

Dave Ramsey says to spend your money on paper before you spend it for real.  For those of us “free spirit” “creative” types, that can be a little hard to do.  Try drawing doodles in the margins to illustrate all the money you’re going to save by doing your budget. J 

4.  BECOME A WISE SAVER AND INVESTOR.  We all need an “emergency fund” in a savings account where we can get our hands on it.  You must be wise about your definition of an “emergency”.  Sorry ya’ll, but Nordstrom’s shoe sale IS NOT an emergency…. 

Investing can be a bit intimidating, at least it was for me…  I kept thinking, “If I screw this up, I’ll be eating dog food in my old age!”  However, we can’t let fear keep us from educating ourselves and just doing it.  Our biggest asset is TIME.  The younger we are when we start investing, the longer the magic of compound interest works for us.  For those of us who aren’t quite so young, it means we need to be even more intense. 

Ok, this is enough for now.  I will leave you with the SEVEN BABY STEPS that Dave Ramsey teaches – 

BABY STEP 1 – $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund

BABY STEP 2 – Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball (see website for details)

BABY STEP 3 – 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings

BABY STEP 4 – Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement

BABY STEP 5 – College funding for children

BABY STEP 6 – Pay off home early

BABY STEP 7 – Build wealth and give!  Invest in mutual funds and real estate. 

For more info on Dave Ramsey, see http://www.daveramsey.com/ 

BIG thanks to Lydia for being our guest writer today!



By Katy

Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback about location #1. Here is location #2:

Ceremony set-up at the Cicada Restaurant

Ceremony set-up

Above is a photo of the interior of a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. Here’s how the website describes this 1920’s building which has been renovated into an Italian restaurant and event space:

This grand building was constructed in 1928 as the headquarters of one of the most prestigious and expensive haberdasheries in Los Angeles — Alexander & Oviatt. During the early phases of construction of the Italian Romanesque styled building, Oviatt attended the 1925 Paris Exposition and decided to decorate his building in the new style.

When the building was completed, the sheltered lobby forecourt contained over 30 tons of glass by designer Rene Lalique. Many original pieces remain in the panels at the top of the lobby columns. Lalique also designed the mallechort elevator doors, mailboxes, and directories. The interior retains the elegant art deco fixtures, stair rails, and molded plaster ceiling panels.

Reception set-up at the Cicada

Reception set-up

Now, here are the numbers (based on the same amount of guests as location #1 and also 2009 prices):

$4.75/person Appetizers

$ 74.00 per person – Served Entrée

$5/person Champagne Toast

$3/person Cake Cutting

$7/person Tables, Linens, Chairs & Place Settings

$800 Dance Floor

$3500 Site Rental Fee

$7/person Ceremony fee

$27/person for first 3 hours and $7/person for each additional hour – Premium bar

The total comes out to be $40,594 (including service charge and tax), and again this is before photographer, florist, clothes, and music. Here are my pros and cons:

cicadarecepb&w

Pros = Location, location, location. It’s in downtown Los Angeles. That’s where we live. It’s also close to Chinatown (remember, I want to do the rehearsal dinner in a Chinese restaurant the night before). It’s a gorgeous art deco restaurant, and I love the 1920’s style of architecture and decor. My ring looks very vintage Art Deco, so it would fit in perfectly here! The food is phenomenal, and the service seems impeccable. (Fiance’s boss had his wedding here a couple of years ago, and he said everyone raved about the food and the service.) We’d be able to save on a hotel since we live blocks away.

Cons = It’s not the beach. Prices are higher because they make you pay for every little thing. It would be a bit similar to the rehearsal dinner since both are inside restaurants without much of a view.

OK so how does location #2 compare to location #1?




{May 22, 2009}   Free-For-All Friday

–by Carla

Not having gobs and gobs of disposable income to toss around freely now means having to dig a little deeper in the old brain to find ways to entertain Toddler Boy and Baby Boy (although BB is pretty easy to please) without forking over cash at every stop. I mean, you can only go to the mall so many times, or go to the indoor play center so many times, or go to the mall..oh wait, I said that. We go to the mall a lot, it seems. But this RecessionMama is now starting to enjoy all the free stuff that life has to offer. This big city girl who hates bugs, has never been camping and doesn’t really like the outdoors all that much … is really spending a lot of time IN the outdoors lately. Seems Toddler Boy is a born outdoorsman. He’d spend all of his waking hours outside if we let him. So mama has been schlepping toys in and out several times a day now for weeks and weeks and hanging out by our very own sandbox…

017

…and taking them to the park which is literally a 5 minute walk from the house (but most of the time I drive). And it hit me the other day while I was shaving my big toe gazing out the window, it’s really nice to do these things with the boys…it’s OK.

Free = good. Oh and on that note, I felt bad for Heather this week after she had to flush Goldfie down the crapper after his or her untimely death. The newest addition to their family had gone to the giant fish bowl in the sky and Heather had to shell out a bunch of money on something that started out as a freebie. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

So here for your enjoyment are a few listings of freebies, because some things ARE free:

liberry

* The library: You can check around where you live, but here’s some info on what Dallas has to offer: The Summer Reading Program is starting May 30.   It’s open to all ages from birth to age 18. All the Dallas Public Libraries provided free programs throughout the summer – arts, performances, animal shows, crafts, clowns, magicians, yoga, songs and more. Info here:  ttp://dallaslibrary.org/events.php

* A great place to visit that lists all family-friendly and FREE activities in the Dallas area (not just Dallas), is through the KERA Art and Seek calendar at http://www.artandseek.org/

* Then I basically searched for free activities in Dallas (even though I live in a suburb) …and was reminded of this great link: http://tourtexas.com/content.cfm?id=136

Dallas_Skyline_night

…just plug in your hometown and bam, you’re on your way to freebie land….unless your free fish dies and you don’t want your kid to find out. Then you’re screwed.



 By: Heather

Mamas and papas I have a dilemma. I’m not sure if I’m going to tell my daughter that her goldfish died. I should’ve known when we took the “free” fish that we would soon have to pay a heavy price.

 42-17244829

I found the little bugger floating on its side while preparing to clean the bowl last night. It was clearly dead. It smelled too, so I just poured out the water and flushed the goldfish down the toilet. That may have been a mistake.

fish in toilet

He or she (we’re not sure which) has been a part of the family for exactly 8 days, so it’s not like we’ve grown attached. But my daughter is 3 1/2 and a bit of a drama queen, so I’m not sure how she’ll react if she finds out I flushed her beloved “Goldfie” down the toilet. “Goldfie” is what she called the goldfish and she’s managed to remember that name all week. (that’s a big deal for her age) 

“Goldfie” came into our lives at an end-of-the school year party. The hostess gave a goldfish to each of the kids. I’m not sure if this was her intention since they were part of the decorations. But the kids wanted them anyway so she obliged.

I practically sprinted across the room when I saw the goldfish  bowl landing in my daughters hands. But I was too late to protest or politely decline. She had a Kung-foo grip on that thing and there was NO WAY we were leaving it behind.

cartoon fish

Soon the “free” fish turned into a $75 fish. We had to buy a bunch of supplies for the thing… PLUS a fish for my son. The kids were thrilled! I was not. (just what I need more animals to feed and clean up after)

My son’s fish, named “Fishy, Fishy, Swim, Swim”  is doing just fine. Thank Goodness! But I’m praying she will last.

In the meantime… I think I may take the cowardly way out and buy my daughter another fish before she realizes that it’s gone.

So let’s attempt some math here… that’s $15 for another fish (i’m upgrading to a Betta this time) Plus $15 for a new bowl, another $5 to $7 for the rocks and flowers to go into the bowl and $12 for new food.

That adds up to $50… give or take. So this just proves that nothing in life is for free.

Let’s just hope that’s all it costs me. I shudder to think how much  I’d pay for “therapy” sessions if my daughter finds out I flushed “Goldfie” down the potty.

42-15865495



{May 20, 2009}   Whut I Lerned In $kool

–by Carla

2900120227_77fa456ca7

I understand the purpose of an education, I really do. I went to college. I have a bachelor’s. I dig teachers. Honest. In fact, I am half teacher. My Dad has been teaching for almost 40 years and my step-daughter is a brand new teacher. I love ’em, I really do. WHAT I was taught all those years still does boggle my mind. I just don’t know how much of that stuff helped me out in real life, day to day tasks. You might be able to relate:

* Dissecting a frog: I have yet to put any of that to good use, but had I paid more attention, maybe I could have removed my own gall bladder three years ago.

* Diagramming a sentence: Noun, verb, got it. Why did that have to look like a math problem?

stockdale6

* Math problems: I never really saw them as problems, therefore I never really cared to solve them. I mean, it looks just fine to me. I’ll just leave it alone. Again, never had to do that in real life since college. Never.

But what I really could have used were classes on other, more useful things, like MONEY, for crying out loud:

* Aside from spending it, what are some options when it comes to income?
* Savings, checking. Ok, those are basics, but how can I make my money grow and work for me? 

And don’t get me wrong, I did have a few classes over the years that taught these things, but they were brief and we never lingered much on the topic. It was like your parents talking to you about sex or smoking. “Don’t smoke. Ok, we got that out of the way, let’s go out for pizza”. (Come to think of it, we never had that conversation in my family)

I do, however, know that there are other ways of teaching kids about money. Aside from my 2 boys, my Mom, my Dad and my brother, all of my family lives in Mexico City. Picture the people from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, then picture a bunch of Lebanese folks who speak Spanish, and that’s them…a big, bold, smokey family who are all up in each other’s business 24/7 (which I love, by the way). My aunts and uncles taught my cousins (all 20 gazillion of them) about business and money and working hard and saving up, and at very young ages, (teens, early 20s) most already had their own businesses. Granted, my relatives most likely loaned them a little starter money, but they all did something with it, other than blow it on junk like yours truly.

I hope to find a nice balance with my boys and be able to teach them the basics and beyond. As for me, I can’t dwell on what I didn’t learn all those years ago, I just need to pay attention to the crash course in economics that I’m living as a 30-something and learn as much as possible right now.

And at least I don’t have to buy any books. Whew…

 

 



et cetera