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future plans coming together

November 7th, 2017 at 10:47 pm

Sitting with the future of possibilities my wife and I have figured out some next steps. The renter of my house is moving out at the end of the lease which is the end of the year. We have decided to move back and do foster care. We have both always dreamed about this and there's going to be challenges, we're excited about it. We have continuous conversations, we're going to go slow and check in to see if we want to continue to do this. I will be the sole provider for the family. We're going to have to make some big purchases (pull out carpet from the house, install laminate floors due to allergies and asthma) purchase commuter car(likely used Honda Fit). We both feel like we have a lot to give. I know that these expenses will impact my current net worth but I've been so lucky in my life, it's good to try to make a positive impact in the world, one starfish at a time. We both know it's not always going to be easy but we're willing to try it. We can always stop if it's too much.

Our plans are to work for a crisis nursery (parents need emergency care while they deal with other crisis) or respite but nothing long term so we can also enjoy each other and have breaks. We don't intend to fall in love with any child and adopt.

My question for you all, have you ever done foster care? Any tips or suggestions?

Thanks in advance

Learning to manage money

July 25th, 2015 at 07:42 pm

I grew up in a family where we didn't value stuff. It was more about valuing experiences and people more than keeping up with the Jones. Both of my parents were social workers and thinking of others was important but so was living the life we have chosen versus trying to be boastful or prideful. It would seem that our family was religious based on our judeo christian values but religion didn't come into our family until later(another story and only includes some of my family).

My parents gave us allowance and I often spent it as soon as I got it as a child, usually on sweets. My parents (or maybe my father specifically) really believed in children developing their own autonomy so as children we were able to make a lot of our own decisions. My mother didn't work until we were all in middle school so she kept expenses down by doing more (home cooked meals, gardening and etc) instead of buying more. When she went back to work, all the family pitched in for housework because her extra paycheck would allow us more luxuries. I don't know how they did it because I saw my late father's Social Security Statement for his income and it was never above 40k. This was very surprising.

I started my first job(waitressing) when I was about 16 and used tips for spending money and banked all my paychecks. I usually always had some money in a savings account. I lived at home until I finished my 2 year degree. Within 6 months of completing my 4 year degree, I was pregnant and married. We lived in low income housing for a couple of years and then with the help of my family, purchased a home. When my son was born, I expected to go back to work but when he showed up, I fell so absolutely in love with him, I couldn't. Daycare would effectively zero out my wages so it was more worthwhile to me, to learn to live on one income. Thankfully, Amy Dacyczyn of the Tightwad Gazette helped me through those lean years. It also helped that I could delay gratification very well. I learned how to stretch money based on watching my family but also being motivated(public library is your friend for research!) to stay home with my son when he was a baby.

Speaking of Amy Dacyczyn, I just came across this blog post about one of her now adult daughters about growing up her family. It's very interesting to see her perspective then and now. http://thefrugalshrink.blogspot.com/2013/05/dacyczyn-interviews-jamie-part-1.html

I do think I was very lucky to have already been ok with a lower cost lifestyle based on what I grew up with. We went camping, to the library and to free events at museums or in the parks with our picnic lunches instead of hotel vacations, cable tv, restaurant dining and the like.

How did you learn to manage your money?