Monday, November 16, 2015

November

Here's some of what is happening:

  • D is home sick and missing a field trip to the Big City.  Bummer! 
  • Baby T has her kid table all set up for a pretend birthday party.  She was just feeding me some Melissa and Doug pretend birthday cake.  "Happy birthday to you!" she says.
  • After a year of minimal use, Baby T is really getting into her pretend fruits and veggies.  Her fancy kitchen is also getting a lot of attention.
  • "Clean up!  Clean up!  Everybody do your share!" she's singing while putting stuff away.  Bless you, parents' day out teachers.
  • Yesterday Baby T was telling me that at her next birthday, she will be four.
  • "I'm setting up the animals to have a picnic!" says Baby T.
  • C is now taller than me!
  • A few years ago, the big kids' school instituted a senior trip to Europe.  I went to the informational meeting at the end of C's 7th (!) grade year this past spring.  We've had some talks with C about trip savings.  She's going to need to earn and save $77 a month (!) for 52 months (!) to cover the trip.  She really wants to go but that's a pretty daunting sum for a 13-year-old.  She has a lot of small home earning options that do easily add up to $77 a month, but it's $1 at a time, so it requires a lot of diligence.  The good news is that being 13, C is showing a greater and greater amount of childcare know-how, so her earning power is going to be increasing exponentially over the next two years.  She has the opportunity to do some neighborhood babysitting for a family we know well (probably in about a year) and I think I could be comfortable with her babysitting Baby T by herself in two years.  We've also discussed the possibility of C giving Baby T ukulele lessons in two years for pay.  (C has been chomping at the bit to give Baby T a ukulele but I want to wait another year for that.)  Obviously, a lot of this income for C is going to be coming from us, but we will hopefully be getting good value.  
  • I'd like us to do a monthly check-in with C to see how she is doing, probably on budget night.  
  • I've also ordered C a second piggy bank (it's actually a see-through pink teddy bear) in addition to her current clear piggy bank.  The plan is that during the month, she can save her month's earnings in the pink teddy.  At the end of the month, we need to count up her earnings for the month.  We will bank anything up to $77, but anything over $77 will go into the clear piggy and she can spend it as she likes.  The $77 gets banked and then she starts the next month with an empty pink teddy bear.  A little complicated, but C gets it.   
  • D would like to save for a car instead.
  • I kind of hate to see C sweating away for nearly 4.5 years just to go on a brief trip, but it is her choice, and if she changes her mind, she can do something different.
  • We did have official savings accounts for the big kids, but we're phasing that out, as keeping track of the taxes and passwords for the small accounts was putting a lot of wear and tear on my husband.  The current plan is that we will keep a sort of virtual Bank of Mom and Dad for the big kids.  The sweetener is that the Bank of Mom and Dad will offer 3% interest on their accounts, which is pretty darn sweet these days.  (The catch is that the kids only get to access those funds for approved expenses--car savings, senior trip, etc.)    

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