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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-29-2006, 01:52 PM   #21
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tawny Dangle
Me, I'm working on getting rid of a lot of junk that is cluttering my house right now, because I don't want to leave a mess for my heirs to clean up.
Me too, which is why we instituted (and actually sometimes follow) a family rule: something new comes into the house - something old has got to go. It's very liberating getting rid of stuff.

A very sobering moment for me came when I went to Louisiana right after Katrina and helped out for a while. I spent one night working at a temporary shelter where the Red Cross was collecting folks coming out of the disaster zone before putting them on a bus to head to other cities. Seeing what people who are forced out of their homes on short notice will take the time to grab and carry with them had a powerful impact on me. I came home and looked at my stuff and realized how little most of it really means.
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-29-2006, 03:01 PM   #22
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

$1.14 Canadian versus $1.60 in 2002! A 31% decrease. Lovely being 30% poorer than our neighbors in 2006 isn't it?

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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-29-2006, 03:25 PM   #23
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Clearly at times - I wish we had left with a few more items of essentially zero dollar value - personal pictures off the wall and maybe a few Mardi Grais medallions.

Oh well.

heh heh heh heh
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-29-2006, 03:31 PM   #24
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

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$1.14 Canadian versus $1.60 in 2002!* A 31% decrease.* Lovely being 30% poorer than our neighbors in 2006 isn't it?
$1.14 Canadian versus $.96 in 1974!* A 19% increase.* Lovely being 20% richer than our neighbors in 2006 isn't it?

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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-29-2006, 03:57 PM   #25
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick2
Clearly at times - I wish we had left with a few more items of essentially zero dollar value - personal pictures off the wall and maybe a few Mardi Grais medallions.

Oh well.

heh heh heh heh
But, did you grab your white boots before you left?
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-29-2006, 04:07 PM   #26
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Didn't seem to make much of a dent in their pile of posessions though.* When they both went into assited living at age 90, we still had a ton of junk to clean out of their house and dispose of.* No appraiser required.


DW and I are in the process of doing the same thing to her parent's possessions. *They are both in a facility for their various issues and "don't want their home sold." *That's not in the cards. *It will be sold and, undoubtedly, torn down to make room for a McMansion.

We're cleaning out the "personal effects" of a couple of pack rats that have lived in that house since 1963. *They have account statements going back to the 1980's and investment information from the 1940's. *We even found a couple of "war bonds" from 1943.

My FIL was buying stuff up until the day we moved him into assisted living on June 1. *He's taking his Alzheimer's medicine and he's feeling a lot better. *He's ready to go back home now. *He wants his car back too.

Seeing all of the junk has affected our view of "stuff." *We've even moved some of our stuff to their house to be sold with their stuff.

We're having an estate sale which will be done by some estate sale professionals. *They take 30% but they take over completely. *When done, we'll have a clean house and it will be bare to the walls. *We're going to also have them sell the light fixtures if anyone wants to buy them. *When I heard what they do, I started to worry what it would cost. *Only 30% of what that junk will sell for is a major bargain.


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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-29-2006, 04:54 PM   #27
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

We did a one-week long estate sale, then a Saturday garage sale, then three trips to the dump. Deposited $5500 in the bank at 5:30 Saturday and felt truly free. This was our own downsizing.

Now we are minimalists. Only buy JIT and one goes out when one comes in. We even have cupboards with empty shelves and empty drawers. Discipline! If in doubt, throw it out.

We have missed some things but it is nothing when compared with the sense of freedom from stuff!
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-29-2006, 05:03 PM   #28
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
But, did you grab your white boots before you left?
Drat!

Left two pair by the front door - one was Sunday go to meeting quality - the white was pristine almost spit shined.

heh heh heh

P.S. - Tractor Supply doesn't carry white and Walmart up here unlike Slidell, LA doesn't stock em either.
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-29-2006, 06:08 PM   #29
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

* *I suspect that tripwire's location depends on how much you want the item....* *I would like to spend the $500 bucks to replace the dishwasher, but DH balks.* On the other hand, dropping $300 or so on a digita camera seemed a bit much to me, but it didn't bother him at all.*

*
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-29-2006, 09:44 PM   #30
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Someone mentioned bottled water. Mine is soda. Whats the deal with them charging 2 bucks when you go out to dinner.
Parking is another thing I hate to pay for....
Are you guys familar with the George Carlin routine.? I can definetly relate to having too much stuff.
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-29-2006, 11:59 PM   #31
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Recent expenses have changed my financial pain threshold by orders of magnitude.

Hospital bill for two visits; one visit for surgery and a four day stay.
Second visit a few days later due to a complication for and additional 6 days.
$97,500

Surgeon fee $17,800

New driveway $13,000


$20 bucks does not seem so bad right now.
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-30-2006, 02:08 AM   #32
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
Nords, I used to spend money the way your daughter does, my mom just kept an envelope in the drawer with 20s in it and told me to let her know if it ran low (it was rough to be me, let me tell ya). Soon as the gravy train ended and I had to earn every cent, and my first late payment on a credit card, and my first bounced check, and things changed quickly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
Your daughter sees everything as "free" once she makes a withdrawl from the Bank of Dad. In her mind the amount of money available is infinite. You and your DW are simply the ATM machine that tells her she has reached her limit.
She's in the phase where she's focused on "fitting in" and finding her status with the "pack." She has no concept of money or value.
I hear what you're saying, but my original post didn't rehash our kid's system which has mutated evolved over the last five years.

I was raised in financial ignorance with a small allowance while spouse gained knowledge but was expected to beg for spending money. So we're waaaay overcompensating with our kid's financial education. With that disclaimer:

The Bank of Dad ATM does not exist in this family, but we did get a lot of our ideas from David Owens' "First National Bank of Dad".

Our kid has received $5/week allowance since she was eight years old. She gets $3 of that $5 allowance in her checking account (or in cash) for spending on whatever she wants. She gets it whether or not she's a productive member of the family. It's not even for her benefit-- it's for our parental instruction in teaching her about managing money.

Of the remaining $2/week, $1 is dumped into a "Bank of Kid CD". This CD used to pay one penny per dollar per month-- 12% simple interest-- because that math was easy to grasp. Today it pays 6%/year and "matures" each April & October. October is her birthday month and she knows she'll score at least a Benjamin from indulgent relatives so the only significant withdrawal is April, and that's usually in amounts under $75. When a cash windfall drops into her lap she usually puts it in the CD to compound a while.

The final $1/week goes to the Bank of Kid 401(k). It has the usual fancy matching rules and all the other 401(k) crap (with a zero expense ratio!) but the basic teaching concept is that it's money you can't touch until "forever". At age 16 it'll mature with $5000 to be used however she wants (guess what she'll be spending it on). Since at that point she'll probably only be staying in Hawaii for 18 months before attending a Mainland college, she'll also have the option of banking/investing the $5K and "owning" the family Taurus wagon.

She's had a checkbook since she was nine years old. She's had a credit card ($300 limit) since her 13th birthday-- she tracks her spending in Quicken and she pays her bills online. We started her clothing/toiletries budget at $300 every six months, and we're about to expand that to another $60/six months for school supplies. Appeals for higher budget limits require Quicken documentation and budget reports broken down by category/month. (A major PITA, which holds down appeals for higher spending...) By the time she's 16 I hope to give her one checking-account transfer a year and let her do her own budgeting. I move money between our accounts by EFT and she balances her checkbook in Quicken (no math errors and no sloppy handwriting).

She's expected to keep up with the usual teen chores of emptying wastebaskets, taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, clearing the table, cleaning & maintaining her bathroom & room, doing her laundry, cooking an occasional meal, and keeping the water conditioner stocked with salt. If chores aren't done then she can't do jobs.

She's encouraged to earn $10/hour at jobs like washing cars, cleaning windows, doing yardwork, word processing, creating spreadsheets, and some home improvement tasks. $10 is pretty high but it keeps her motivated. It also lets me pontificate on quality of work, keeping a focus, having a positive attitude, and other things that I've never had to learn because I've never had a real job.

She's tinkered with putting her Bank of Kid CD money in stocks. She's made some money-- more money than me until recently-- but she's lost interest in it. She's starting to learn about index mutual funds (the MF Investment Guide for Teens) and she'll be doing more of that for her 14th birthday.

What's really tripped her trigger is hearing us talk about a CD ladder. She came up with the idea of breaking her remaining CD money up into college-prep chunks. She's built a five-year ladder (through April 2011) at interest rates from 6.5-8.5% to make sure that she has a known quantity of spending money for each year of high school/college. She's more interested in security than she is in IPOs so I'll support that.

Other things she's come up with on her own:
- Caring for neighbor's pets.
- Instead of putting all her spare change into a savings jar at the end of the day, she takes all the $1 bills out of her wallet and puts them away.
- She tries to change her small bills up to bigger ones because she's less likely to spend a bigger bill (but extremely quick to spend a $1 bill).
- She wants her monthly allowance in her checking account, not cash, because it's more work for her to write a check or use a credit card.
- She aggressively shops Goodwill & garage sales and then fills out the cracks in her wardrobe from Wal-Mart or the mall. She's probably at Goodwill & Wal-Mart every month and the mall every six months.
- She doesn't give a crap about fitting in with the pack, occasionally to her detriment. With her "It's all about the gear", whether or not the other kids think it's fashionable. She is not a girly girl and she has a contrary streak a mile wide. It must come from her mother's family.
- She researches the heck out of her purchases. Basketball shoes were a six-month research project that started at $250 and worked their way down to a $75 pair that she stalked until they went on sale for $49. I was heartily tired of being lectured on shoe technology by then but I admire her persistence.
- She's planning to tutor Kumon as soon as the instructor thinks she's old enough-- $7/hour for roughly 10 hours/week.
- She recycles beverage containers for 5 cents each, and she even dumpster dives at high school events.
- At age 16 she wants to kick in her $5000 to help us buy a used Prius, which she'll drive until college and then sell back her share to us. We're still working out the details of this proposal.

Sure, she's bounced a check and paid the penalty fees. She's paid her Kumon teacher late a couple times and had to eat the $5 charge. She's emptied her pockets on gimme junk and had to slave away for more "necessities". She's come up short on the occasional budget item and had to limp through the rest of the month. But NFCU just sent her an ad for "College Campus Survival Tools" that include a checkbook, a credit card, online account access, and a used-car loan... we shared a good laugh over that.

Like every teen, she's still extremely generous with our hot water and our electricity. (The solar systems are cushioning the blows.) Otherwise I think she appreciates value in the things that she considers important (especially if she's paying for them). What continues to surprise me is that our ideas of what's valuable are so divergent, but I guess it's age-appropriate in a consumerism era of "you can get anything you want". We keep giving her the tools, so we shouldn't be surprised at what she builds with them!

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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-30-2006, 03:24 AM   #33
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Nords, you've done a good job with your daughter, I think. We don't have kids yet (trying to, hopefully this year) when we do I wonder if we could be as elaborate as you are, I guess only time will tell.

We both are very minimalist couple, own very little stuff....don't know where I pick it up from, maybe from moving around too much, it's been 13-15 times in my lifetime in 6 cities, 3 countries. I have long realized that associating ourselves with material stuff doesn't have much meanings.

My weakness in money is it is easier to spend on other people than myself. It's also easier to spend from passive account, which is far from me. I have an account which deals with rental income in other country. Since I don't necessarily ever see the money, I set up automatic mutual fund contribution from there, withdraw for vacation, buying properties, etc....balance there is only enough for minimum. Meanwhile, account that my salary is transfered to is intact, very little withdrawals maybe $500 a month. It's been close to 6 years this way, I have accummulated too much cash I'm trying to disperse into other investments. Only recently I have been able to slowly putting some into brokerage institution.

I think the reason for all this is because I feel insecure about not having cash close by, while cash that is far away is not really missed. I lent 60K to my brother with a blink of an eye from that passive account but took me 3 months to get the nerve to transfer money out from active account to buy funds...I would do lengthy research first. Don't ask, it's weird...everyone has their emotional attachment in some forms to another.

In another story regarding money, I have an aunt that constantly renovating her house...it's been 10 years never ending story about curtain, paint, new floor, etc imagine the return on such investment. Definitely different style than us, younger generation. I felt our lifes are so.....carefree, hassle free. It probably drives them crazy that we're so simple(my particular aunt is especially nosy), as if we're not making progress but they surely don't know right?

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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-30-2006, 06:41 AM   #34
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Nords,

I'm amazed at your system. I was obviously not persistent enough to make some of the things I tried work better but I never tried a total system like you did. Of course, some states would probably consider what you've done with your daughter to be child abuse.

My first two worked out pretty well with a simple allowance. They also got a bonus for good grades. Overall, they were pretty good with their personal finance. Both worked some in high school and during college.

Child 3 has been the "whatever baby." Give her money and she spends it .... now! She always needs more and is reguarly holding her hand out. She has defied any effort at teaching her to budget and watch her cash flow. She ignores the "rules" and will put us in positions that require us to bail her out to prevent bigger losses. We've learned to ration her money as her bills come due so that its there when it needs to be. When we try to lecture her, her answer is always "whatever."

The financial crap will all end with her when she graduates in December. DW and I have already decided she won't learn until she gets a car reposessed and runs up a horrible credit card bill she can't pay. She needs a good shot of financial reality.

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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-30-2006, 08:11 AM   #35
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Wow!

Ouch.

heh heh heh

P.S. referring to SteveR's post.
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-30-2006, 10:59 AM   #36
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Nords,

Great system to encourage kids to earn money. We have two daughters who do not do any house chores or summer work. It's ironic that when we were kids that we had to perform housework (at no pay), work part-time after school, and pay for our college education. Everytime I brough this issue to my wife, she said that times were tough in the past and now that we are better off that we should not make our kids to experience the same dilemma. I tend to disagree.

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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-30-2006, 04:00 PM   #37
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Nords,

We did similar with our kids, or at least DW did. We have a son and daughter (son is 18 montsh younger than sister).

during the year they were 11 she wrote down everything spent on them and starting the following year they received a monthly allowance. It worked great for both of them. e.g. Daughter went to as many proms as she could starting her first year at High School and never bought a Prom dress new - always shopped around after the end of the previous prom season. I know we started paying her $50/month back in 1993 and increased each year with inflation.

Son was even easier, 2 years later he was only on $40/month.

Both of them started earning money as soccer refs at age 14 and both took jobs in stores at 16 (TCBY for daughter, Albertsons for son).

I think college fees tested my limits more than anything. Daughter decided to go to out of state university (UT at Austin while we lived in Baton Rouge) which was fine as she never went to any private schools after 4th grade so we reckoned we owed her. First semester was a killer at $5,400 just for tuition. However, 2nd semester she got a job at the university so we only ever paid in-state fees after that. Even so, in total with fees, rents, allowances, travel etc we spent about $65K including $10k on acr when she graduated.

BUT, she graduated in 4 years in Computer Science with a 4.0 GPA and walked straight into a job with IBM at Austin as a computer engineer earning $60k/year. Not bad for someone just over 22 yrs old and obviously set up for life. So like earlier posts I think I don't mind paying for things that add value even if it is a lot of money.

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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-30-2006, 06:07 PM   #38
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Why not set up an sure automatic deduction into a roth ira. Interestingly my issue is the reverse of yours. I will spend whats in the checking account. So I have ways set up to shuffle funds out. If your constantly spending that other account your not going to let those funds compound.
I am sure the guys here will tell you to dca into an index or that wessley income fund (Sp)
Rob

Steve did you have the Surgeon put in your driveway as well ? Ouch that must be some driveway !!! I balk at paying someone 50 bucks to blacktop mine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Siv
I think the reason for all this is because I feel insecure about not having cash close by, while cash that is far away is not really missed. I lent 60K to my brother with a blink of an eye from that passive account but took me 3 months to get the nerve to transfer money out from active account to buy funds...I would do lengthy research first. Don't ask, it's weird...everyone has their emotional attachment in some forms to another.
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-31-2006, 12:00 AM   #39
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spideyrdpd
...Steve did you have the Surgeon put in your driveway as well ? Ouch that must be some driveway !!! I balk at paying someone 50 bucks to blacktop mine.

Well there was a lot of concret involved as well as redoing the slope from the house out to the street and laying new drain pipes for the gutters. We replace a whole set of steps and the entry apron which was very expensive just by itself. All told, they poured enough concrete to cover over 2000 sq. ft. It is a side entry drive that also includes the front steps area so it is a bunch. They also had to demolish the original driveway that was sinking are falling apart (could not snow blow it anymore) and then haul it all off.

The surgeon may not be done yet. DW may need more surgery so we are in a wait and see stage right now. Thank God for insurance. Even with that we are paying 30% of the total up to our out of pocket limit. At least I won't have to worry about not meeting my Flex Spending amount for this year.
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?
Old 07-31-2006, 01:31 PM   #40
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Re: What's a dollar worth to you?

Nords,
Totally impressed with your financial system for kids. Hey, maybe Motely Fool needs some competition from you on a new book in that area!


re: tripwires, I think you are right that it is all psychology. Like other posters, I too have these arguably odd inconsistencies. Irrational? Not sure. I can easily pony up for 'experiences' assuming of course that I am not being gouged. For instance, a great meal out, a vacation, marina fees. But buying any 'things' just seem to stick in my craw. Don't even get me started about printer cartridges... Then again, if it is anything related to the boat or my sculpture, then I just get it and don't even think twice. Strange.
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