Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Fitness and Finances

It is Friday - thank goodness - very stressful week.   I am glad it is over.  I hope this weekend, starting a house project will get my mind on more productive things.

I decided during another sleepless night to start that book for my son that I wanted to make for him.  It is a constructive way to handle this mess.  It is going to be a manual for living so to speak, made especially for him. 

It will have 3 main sections:

1) Home Finances
2) Basic Auto and Home Repairs
3) Recipes

Then, I will put sub headings - like Monthly Budget, Important Papers, Tracking bills, Main Meals, sides, etc.

This gives me something to do that is a little more positive and does not cost me anything, but CAN be helpful if he decides to use it.

I also want to make him a quilt.

Moving on,

Finances:  Hum-drum week.  No paycheck, so no change in amounts, except a $400 decrease in our retirement savings account.  LOL  First time so far, so I think I can ride the storm.  We stuck to the budget and the only buying I did was the kids school supply packs for next year.  It had a line item though, so no money lost.

Fitness:  Not the best week for me.  I felt extremely stressed, so I drank quite a bit of wine.  I did not overeat though, and still exercised 4 times this week. Overall - no weight loss, but no gain either. (still 7 pound loss overall)  Not that bad to me.  I know what I need to do lose next week.  Getting these projects going should help with that.  Plus, a friend wants to start walking with me. She is older - in her late 60s, but a dear, dear friend and I am so looking forward to these walks.

I THINK we are going up to the land this weekend and start hacking down some trees.  I get to use my machete!  WOO-HOO!  It is the little things.  Then on Sunday, I am starting those cabinet doors.  3 at a time!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Throwing Money at a Problem


I am not the kind of person who enables.  I never was.  I never thought I would be.  I was the hard one.  The cold one.  The one who said no and made people cry.  I never co-signed on a loan.  I never lent money, only gave as I saw fit.

However, with my family, I have been so bad.  I bought my mother a car, paid her rent and listened to her belittle me all the while.

I paid for my sister's wedding, gave her a car, bought them a washer and dryer and other things here and there.

My son.

Now this is where it really hurts.  Like seriously hurts.

I want to throw money at him and hope his problems go away.

Let me explain.

He is bi-polar.  He is obsessive compulsive.  He has anxiety issues.  He dropped out of school (college) and has been working less hours since then.  He sleeps all day and stays up all night gaming.  He says he not depressed - his life is great.  He is eating us out of house and home (so he can save up) or so he says.

What do I want to do?  I want to buy him a condo.  It is a nice condo, in an OK area.  Not the best, but definitely not the worst.  Close to his work and it comes with all appliances including a washer and dryer.  It is $65,000.

My thought is that when it is paid off - we will give it to him.  It would make me feel better knowing he would always have a place to live.  Yes, he would pay the mortgage through us and eventually take over the tax payments.  Yes, when we were transferred the title to him, he could sell it and keep the money - no strings attached.

It would ease my mind tremendously.

Is it the best choice.  Absolutely not.

As mothers though, do we make the right choices all the time?  Am I buying today - not a chance.  But is something that is on the table.  Although, it still feels like I am throwing money at a problem.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Tale of Two Brothers - Saving

1st Brother - Zach, 19 months older
2nd Brother - Aidan, Younger by a mere 19 months

Mom opened both of the boys savings accounts when they were 5 and 4 years old, respectively.  She told them at this tender age that they would want a car one day and that you had to save up a LONG time to afford one.  They would now get an allowance, but they had to put 1/2 of it in this savings account.

They both were so excited to watch the balance go up and mom took them weekly to make their deposit, teaching them how to fill out a deposit slip.  The bankers even treated them like patrons.  It was great.

When birthday and Christmas money came around, they were encouraged to put 1/2 of that money in the savings account as well.  At first, it was easy to convince them, but that changed as time went on.

Zach spent money like it was water.  He bought little trinkets, candy, etc and could not hold onto to his spending money for something bigger.  His savings account grew however, because Mom kept pushing.

Aidan, however, saved up for things and often had extra money.  Sometimes he would ask Mom if he could put more in savings.  He just never seemed to want much.

By the time Aidan was 13, he had surpassed his brother in savings, even though he made $1 less per week than Zach.  Mom and Dad promised to match whatever they had saved for a car, but decided to put a limit of $5,000 on it because Aidan was such a good saver!  No corvette for a 16 year old boy!

At 16 years old, Mom and Dad stop paying allowance and said they had to get jobs.  If they wanted a car, there were expenses that went along with - gas, insurance, repair, etc.  There were other bills now as well - a monthly cell phone bill.

When Zach turned 16, he had about $1,500 saved for a car.  When Aidan turned 16, he had about $3,000 saved.

Lucky for Zach, Mom and Dad had a great car that was given to him for $1,500.  Aidan had to look for a car however.  He got a good one (with Dad's help) that had low miles and not very old.  It was not a teenage boy car, but it got good gas mileage and was his. 

What came along with turning 16 was Mom no longer forcing savings.  Zach tried to save, but something always seemed to come up.  He also ate out most of the time and that used up most of his paycheck.  On an average month, he spend 3/4 of his checks on out-to-eat food.  He was in trouble.

Aidan, found that he saved to a fault, often going without to save more.  It was becoming a problem for him because he was forgoing time out with friends to save. 

Both boys worried Mom because she could see the problem with each. She did not know exactly how to handle it.

Next: A Tale of Two Brothers: School