Thursday, March 29, 2012

Making Friends And Careers.

Sam has been busy making friends with the kids. Iris is still skittish. We are hoping it wears off and she comes to trust the kiddos.Felix, on the other hand, has taken to Sam like butter on toast. He relaxes as soon as he's in his arms and will sit for quite a while. Mama Cass keeps her eye on them, but doesn't bellow as much when Sam has him.
Today I got to spend some time with the local 6th graders for career day at school. I had no idea what I was going into. They had given each of the kids a career, income, family situation (married, kids), a debit card and check book. There were stations set up all around the gym for auto loans, student loans, insurance, taxes, credit card debt, child care, piggly wiggly, clothing store, rent/mortgage loans and fun stuff.

I was at the auto loan table with another mom. We had several different cars, mini vans and trucks, as well as a UTA pass. The most fantastical and popular vehicle was the Charger. But at a staggering $781 a month plus insurance plus rising gasoline prices for just 15 mpg/city, we sold a lot to begin with and then ended up giving checks back so they could purchase the 2004 Oldsmobile Alero for $112 a month and better gas mileage.

Many of these kids got it. A couple of them wanted the Charger, but when they saw the price, were very upset that they couldn't afford it while their friends with more money could. One boy just started to look at the cheaper sedans when I told him that if he got the cheapest car, he could easily make a monthly payment AND put money away each month to save for a newer, better car. The understanding was immediate. He got it. And purchased the cheaper, older car. Later he came back and said that it was so unfair. He was a firefighter and risked his life and didn't make near as much money as his friend who was purchasing his second vehicle and still had thousands to work with for the month. Hmm. Ya think?!


It hit them all.

One girl was married and had 4 children and after getting an apartment and paying for groceries and utilities, only had about $100 to purchase a car with. Ouch. She needed a mini van because she couldn't get her 4 kids into a sedan. But the cheapest mini van was $204 a month. So I advised her to talk to her rent adviser and see if she could lower her rent and then see about lowering her student loan payments. She came back after about 30 minutes with a relieved smile saying she worked it so she could buy the mini van. And she still had about $50 a month left over.

I just loved watching it all go down. I think if we, as adults with a career, family, mortgage/rent and other bills, were to sit down with a check book register and really take a look at what we have to work with, we might stagger ourselves. Are we being smart with our finances? Are we teaching our children how to be smart with finances by example? Are we setting aside our childish wants and passions so we can afford the basic neccesities of life? And are we ready for the time that we retire? Will we be able to retire? Hmm.


Hits us all hard.

1 comment:

Kim said...

You are such a great example to me in so many ways! Thanks for posting~miss you!