Oops-got that too. 3 weeks vacation time in my first year, in addition to the week between Christmas and New Years being paid time off.
Physicians works a helluva lot more hours than a receptionist. Let's not even get started on how much education it takes-both in time and cost. I'd rather have the secretary's debt myself.
You can live a middle class life and be happy. If you can't, your priorities are just wrong.
You're assuming, incorrectly, that middle class people cannot plan for retirement. Obviously, you're going to keep going till everyone says you're right. It ain't coming from me and like I said before I'm not going to debate it. I have different values in life and they're not subject to change.
True. You can graduate from med school with over 100K in debt. You will pay that off in about 5 years. So, after 5 years of med school, plus 5 years to pay off student loans, you're basically starting with no savings. A secretary has a 10 year head start in that sense. But, is that sufficient to make up for the earning/savings discrepancy for the rest of your working life? Say around 30 years?Physicians works a helluva lot more hours than a receptionist. Let's not even get started on how much education it takes-both in time and cost. I'd rather have the secretary's debt myself.
Now you're getting personal, and I'm not sure why.You can live a middle class life and be happy. If you can't, your priorities are just wrong.
Yes, you can live middle class life and be happy. You can live an upper middle class life and be happy. You can be a richie rich and be happy. Financial situation does not predict happiness. I'm not sure you can be poor, living paycheck to paycheck and hand to mouth and be happy, however. When we were living that life, my parents were terribly stressed out. They did their best not to let it trickle down, but it did (to me, anyway, my brother was oblivious, I think).
ETA: I am not expecting anyone to agree with me, actually. Like I've stated previously, I'm absolutely sure that my view will be in the minority. I do think that I have an opposing view point and rationale to add to the discussion (which is what I assumed we were doing). Most grown ups cannot be convinced that their points of view are wrong, or even to acknowledge that another point of view might have merit; I'm not dumb enough to think I'll change anyone's mind.
Edited to further add: My major problem is with the whole 'I want my kid to be happy doing whatever' notion. I am postulating that there are several things they can choose to do that will make life difficult for them (none of which involves them being middle class, BTW), and that's not something I can find myself supporting. Like my client, who put his kid through expensive private school. She is a dance major, and I'm told, quite good at it. She specialized in ballet. She is 5'2". And working at The Gap, with no prospects of employment in her field of study.
Last edited by Suja; 08-28-2012 at 02:13 PM.
Honestly it's so hard to predict the future. I know my MIL wants to retire so badly but is stuck in a city she hates still married to a man she wants to be divorced from for the past two years because she cannot afford to retire yet.
Bridget that sucks so bad for your dad but he has to know he made the best decision he could at the time. They had no idea that your mom would get sick and they wouldn't be able to follow through on their plans. If they had been, he likely might have felt that the work was worth it.
Money doesn't buy happiness.....but I know for DH and I, we are a lot more happy and stress-free when we have something in the bank and putting more in each month or paying extra on the house. We put a lot of throught into if we could really afford a child and not be living check to check. Same thing before we bought the minivan...didn't want to drain the savings (we could have paid cash but need the money liquid for when we get the baby call)....but looked closely to see if we could afford the payment without going to thin since we hadn't had a car payment if about 4 years.
But really everyone just has to do what they are comfortable with and what their priorities are. We put a higher on savings and stuff for the house....my bff's family puts a high one on travel and takes several big trips a year. We like to travel but are ok with small ones and a big every 4-6 years.
We pretty much live paycheck to paycheck right now and I am pretty gosh darn happy. That is going to change now that dbf has a new job and we're both happy about that too.
Bottom line is different strokes for different folks. That's what makes the world go 'round.
I think that the real discussion should be what the heck is happening to the middle class? I consider myself there now but I feel like it's not easy to get there and stay there. And I think that having it strong is vital.
To me middle class should be a family of four living in a house (unless in say NYC or something), a reasonable home like a 3 bedroom ranch, one car payment, a vacation a year or every other year, being able to put to retirement AND savings (a 6-9 month emergency fund). And being able to at least help pay for those two kids to go to some type of school.
I will put it out there my household is between something like 69-72K a year and we can manage this with two adults but I will not be able to do all the above with two kids and probably not even totally with one kid.
It used to be that people had pensions and didn't have to save so much themselves for retirement. It used to be that people had so much less in healthcare costs (when i was a kid, my parents insurance covered everything).
I put in for retirement and have several accounts. I also will get something of a pension but that is being phased out. I still am not sure if we will have enough to retire at 65 because that is so hard to predict what the needs will really be, what the markets will do....we try using various engines.
I could probably afford vacations more often BUT we cannot get enough time off work.
Chrissy you are very lucky to work in academia....benefits there are beyond fantastic. I used to work for a medical school and had great benefits there. I did lose a lot by taking a job at a hospital (though I get higher pay)....I didn't realize it until I had already moved and started though. I have considered a few times looking back into academic libraries but I do really like where I work and the people so I have stayed.
I do think homework is important in higher grades as I think that the issue moreso in our country is personal responsibility and not so much the educational opportunities. Also making wise choices, especially in regards to money, which is why I don't particularly think that making a lot of money is necessary. I can easily live off of $20K per year and not even have to get on any assistance as long as I had my healthcare through my job. It depends on one's choices in life and I feel oru country is too much based on consumerism and trying to "keep up with the Joneses" also that one is not "successful" unless they go to a certain school or send their kids to a certain school or if they don't live in a certain place or have a certain car. All of it is so superficial to me.
I don't know, I just think that our educational system allows all sorts of opportunities for advancement and that homework is not the key to that. I do agree some memorization is beneficial, like multiples for example or knowing that "know" is pronounced "no." Simple things like that, but just doing something someone already knows how to do just because is ridiculous to me. If a kid is going to get homework, it should be something that they actually need help in learning or a skill they haven't mastered yet, not some sort of busy work, which most homework is now-a-days. I actually do give Ky "homework" in a sense and he doesn't like my "homework" because it is harder than what he gets from school. For instance I had him read "Up From Slavery" by Booker T. Washington and write a 3 page 5 paragraph synopsis of it including his opinion/view on specific themes of the text, which is an autobiography. His teacher looked at me all crazy when I told her this and I am very involved in the school, but my main gripe with a lot of schools are the fact that they are giving the kids homework on basically easy stuff and not challenging them. And that is my point when it comes to school, it should be challenging and not endless, boring, memorization. And if there is memorization involved let it be something that they haven't memorized before. Provide info on why this memorization is important. What exactly is memorizing this material going to do for the child, what is the purpose. I am all about purpose and I have no problem with Ky working on long division for example because sometimes he still has problems with. I feel the quick refreshers should be done at school. There are plenty of things for kids to learn and do at home - how to do chores, how to cook, playing with siblings, talking with parents, even learning on the computer or other technology. Suja, you mentioned programming, which they don't teach in school. Ky is learning to write code and programming robots at home. If he weren't doing worksheets he'd have more time to do that. I know most kids don't do the things he does at home but many of them are involved in things they like to do as well. Ky likes anything to do with technology, he is also learning how to edit videos and create movies and cartoons with Scratch and other free softwares he's found online.
I also believe that working in those service jobs are a big motivator for young people. I'm sure your own work in a low paying, lower class job inspired you to want more from your life. I don't expect my kids to start off at the top. I am lucky in that I've never had to work too many lower level jobs. I have worked in fast food before for a few months but my first job was actually making $10 an hour at an office, I was "rich" compared to my friends and since I lived at home I didn't have any expenses, I rarely even cashed my checks at the time.
I expect them not to blame anyone for their shortcomings and to know that if they want something out of their life, even a better wage, then they can get it if they want it. But I just don't want their primary focus to be on money and consumerism. If it is, that is their perogataive, but I just know, from experience with my own grandmother who worked in a job she hated and then retired at 55 (with large bank accounts and a big pension) to be bored and lonely and still complaining about things and wondering where she went wrong with her kids, that that is not always a good thing. My mom and I were talking of her mother last week, my grandma's birthday was the 19th and so we think of her often in August and my grandmother was rather wealthy and was the head of Personnel (what HR used to be back in the day) for a major manufacturing company and was the only black person in that office and was seen in my hometown as a trailblazer in our business community. She was college educated and had 3 kids too and always was working to retire. I remember her retirement party. It was a huge event and it is hilarious because after 2 weeks of retirement she went and took a PT job at Arby's LOL! She was bored being retired. Her kids were all grown up and she didn't have anything to do so went and worked at Arby's. She had been divorced so didn't have a companion or anything and was pretty lonely. Of course she had some good times. She travelled a bit, but she was a person who had everything that one could see as success but wasn't happy with it and eventually she ended up getting cancer and died at 67, relatively young for someone in our family and even had to spend all of her money on cancer treatment at the end of her life so much so that we had to take a collection to bury her.
Life is so difficult at times and is filled with so many choices.
I don't want my kids to be stressed about academics. They are smart and capable of learning anything, like most kids IMO and there is no need to make them computerized memorization machines via homework at such a young age. Also, like what was mentioned above, they are in school 8+ hours somedays. They should be learning there and really there is no point IMO of homework when you are in school practically all day, it makes me wonder what the heck you are doing in school.
I recently bought my 18 year old cousin, who recently graduated high school a book called "Worthless" a book by a guy who feels one should never get a liberal arts degree in todays day and age, and I agreed with him on a lot of things in the book, even though he was kind of butt-hole-ish lol! But one of the main things I agreed with him on was not focusing on getting into an expensive school just because of its reputation and also not trying to hurry up and finish college, that one should take their time and enjoy their young adulthood/youth because they are only that age once. I agree with that and of course see childhood the same way. I also honestly don't see college as all that difficult. It was pretty easy for me, even classes I took at other schools here like Emory and GT which are top tier schools. I feel it is more about motivation when it comes to school, knowing what you want and how you want to get there, and loving the journey moreso versus the end effect - a job and money.
Last edited by Ky'sMom; 08-28-2012 at 02:27 PM.
It's definitely not something I can do, because the stress just kills me. Every time there was an extra expense that was unforeseen, it was like a huge black cloud. I can't even begin to tell you how much sleep I've lost worrying about my parents' finances. I took over for my dad when he was in the hospital after his heart attack (mom was pretty much catatonic, and someone had to pay the bills), and making the math work was stressful enough.
Suja, I can imagine that was very difficult. Dbf worries a lot about money so I guess maybe we balance each other out because I rarely worry. I feel like as long as we have food and shelter and each other we have more than a lot people so I try to help him focus on all of the things we have to be grateful for. Now me? I stay up nights worrying about plenty of other things that dbf does not have a fleeting thought about. lol.
Not to change the subject but I've been really trying to get Kai to pin down some things I can put in his lunchbox at school since he is SO picky and meal times around here with him are usually such a challenge with me just trying to get something healthy in him so he will grow and thrive. Last week on a whim I made him a hummus, avacado, mayo and sprouts sandwich on a gluten free hotdog bun and called it a sub. Would you believe he loved it? Getting this kid to eat vegetables has been a challenge all it's own and he basically loves a veggie sandwich. I just gave him one and he said, "Thanks for that Mom. That was so so good." I am floored and relieved that there is at least one thing I can pack him that he will eat.
Also, I don't think I told you guys that his kindergarten teacher is gluten free herself so I'm glad he will be with someone who understands his restrictions.
Last edited by Bridget; 08-28-2012 at 02:34 PM.
I completely agree with you that kids need to learn the value of work, the value of money, and work their way up. That's one of the major sticking points between DH and I. I am of the opinion that we owe Mira nothing more than the chance to study what she wants (within reason), and he thinks that she shouldn't have to struggle like we have had to. Major disconnect there.
School should be focused on teaching important skills, but all I keep hearing about is the darned SOL.
http://www.skinnytaste.com/ (she has a gluten-free section) and so far, everything I've made has turned out extremely well. And Bananas Foster French Toast = Manna from a place I don't believe exists
Oh I'm totally making that summer vegetables with sausage for dinner tonight. I have summer vegetables overflowing right now between my dad and csa.
I currently get about 3.5 weeks of paid vacation per year at my current position. I also get to take however many unpaid days off that I would like to.
Like I said above, I think all of this depends on choices and what one values over something else. And how people spend their money. I find it ridiculous when people say to me, like they are bragging, what college their kid was accepted into, or how much money the voice lessons costs. I'm thinking "so what about your kids' college, you'll probably be broke soon, they should have went to Atlanta Metro for a couple years since its only $3000 a year, you woulda saved a ton of money" and "what an idiot, they can get free voice lessons at the performing arts center" lol! Elle's ballet class was taught by an Atlanta Ballet instructor. Atlanta Ballet also gives ballet lessons at their building but they cost $150 a month. I go Elle's for $30 for 3 months. Both are the same quality. My cousin is going to Atlanta Metro for the first 2 years of college to take all his core classes and pre-requisites and is hoping to transfer to a school in Savannah for his last two years. The school in Savannah cost three times or more as much as Atlanta Metro, which is literally $3K per year. I think it is a smart choice. There is always a choice when it comes to education and extracurriculars.
I will also add reiterate that the opporunties I mentioned above we have in this country are great. I don't see any excuses for anyone not to get a decent education, even a public education, my whole education was public and I had wonderful teachers who really challenged me most of the time (without 2 hours of homework everyday). They weren't constrained with the "pass the test" culture that education is riddled with now though so that may be the difference IMO. Or the "our school has a lot of homework so we must be REALLY challenging" sort of attitude, as I don't see homework as any indication of the excellence of a school. I also don't see any hinderance in people not getting to put their kids in programs to broaden a child's interest. There are a lot of free things out there. There are even vouchers for programs that well off families pay for. Before I got the position I have now, Ky went to a GT camp called CEISMIC, which is a STEM program for K-12 kids at Georgia Tech. I couldn't afford to pay the program fees and asked about a voucher and they gave us the classes for free. I pay for them now but there are tons of things out here for kids that are low cost and one doesn't need a doctor's salary to put their kids into certain activities.
I got free voice lessons, trumpet lessons, piano lessons, summer camps, sports, all sorts of things when I was a kid. I admit that you cannot find many free sports, but the Y in particular will work with families now to get kids involved in things and I know here there are a plethora of extracurricular activities under $30 for kids to be involved in and one can even get a waiver of that fee in most instances if they are low income.
I don't love the squash family either but they are in plentitude so make myself eat them.
I have tried a few times and it's just not working for me. And DH doesn't like them either so I'm not very inclined to make any kind of squash or sweet potatoes. But we both love broccoli and eat least 4 cups a week and brussel sprouts are his favorite veggie so we eat them a lot too. So I figure I'm doing ok.
but yeah I'm a picky eater and have a long list of what I don't eat...stuff people love.
fish or seafood
those are just a few.
The only veggie I really really don't like to eat at all is beets. Brussel sprouts are good when cooked in bacon grease with bits of bacon. Lol probably not too heart healthy according to experts but I believe eating real food you can't go wrong unless it's just not right for your body type. I remember my mom laughing because she scolded me for throwing my beet greens in the compost and said I should eat them. So when I told her I've been eating my beet greens and cooking them in bacon fat she had to scold me again.
I love broccoli and spinach. And asparagus. Green beans. Those are my veggies of choice and I like them all with butter.
Things I don't eat that a 'typical American' (whatever that is) eats: Soda, juice, hot dog, burgers, french fries, potato chips, anything involving pig parts (ham, bacon, etc.), slaw, mac and cheese (most cheeses and cheesy dishes, really), pasta salad, olives, lamb, tuna in a can and salmon. Among veggies, I like potatoes and a lot of Indian root vegetables, green beans, winter melon, pumpkin, Asian sweet potato, okra, cabbage, onions, tomatoes (but raw, with sugar) and beets (but not beet greens or mostly anything green). I think that's it. I make myself eat the rest because it's good for me, and I want to be a better role model for my kid. One thing I'm finding is that practically anything is edible if you put enough sriracha in/on it, so I am now downing canned tuna, after smothering it in guacamole, avocado and a little sriracha (calling it my version of tuna salad)
Suja - have you ever tried Cholula hot sauce? I like Siracha, but I looooooooove Cholula!
As for the earlier discussion, I think that the right kind of homework is beneficial, but I know that in 7th grade history class the teacher used to send us home with Seek 'n' Find puzzles with Texas History words to find. It's not like I was learning anything at all and I know he wasn't actually going to grade them beyond looking to make sure they were enough circled words on the grid. I want JoJo to come out of her education with enough training in something, whether it be plumbing or finance or hairdressing or the law or graphic/web design, that she will be able to get a job that makes enough money for her not to worry about making rent each month. I don't want her to waste her time and money getting a degree that is as useless as I found my own to be.
"Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov
Erin, I was wondering whether you knew anything about the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta and if you did, what your opinion was on the subject.
Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12
Never heard of that until now. I looked it up, and it looks like they have a bunch of different flavors? Which one do you like? Wegman's and TJ's don't carry it, and that's where I shop the most, so that'd be one reason I haven't seen it. Giant is pretty close though, so I'll stop by and take a look.
I agree with you on getting what would be a useful education/skill. I wouldn't necessarily have problems letting Mira pursue what could be an impractical passion, if she has the talent for it, as long as she picks up an employable skill/education alongside it.
Erin, I agree with you on getting basic education/degrees at local colleges, for the most part. The one exception I can think of is some place like MIT, RPI, and other math/science/technology intensive schools. There is no equivalence between getting an education at a place like that and one like say, George Mason (which is in my backyard, practically), I think. There might be similar specialty/niche sort of schools that I'm not aware of, and for those, I think there would be an exception. Otherwise, I don't think that at the undergraduate level, where you go to school matters all that much. At the graduate level, it can make a significant difference, especially in certain fields like business, where the networks you develop by going to Harvard/Stanford/Wharton/Sloan etc. are going to have a significant impact on your employability after you're done with the program.
I like the regular flavor - I think I have seen it with extra lime, but I would rather add my own lime. It's the one with the predominantly yellow label. Yummmm. I have actually considered packing it when we go on trips, but haven't yet done that.
"Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov