Financial literacy, financial responsiblity-teens and young adults, Helicopter parent, life skills, motivation, parenting, Parenting humor, Parenting teens and young adults, parenting young adults, teaching financial responsibility

How to Keep Your Young Adult From Moving Out* *Disregard if you’re ready for an empty nest…

If you’re looking for some ideas to keep your young adult at home forever, I’ve come up with some great tips.  These ideas will be especially helpful for parents of those who have decided that their education is complete or those who have completed college or trade school and are in imminent danger of moving out into the world.

 

  1. Make sure that you perform all of your parental cooking duties with regularity and without complaint. Do NOT trouble them with worrying about where their next meal is coming from and whether or not they have the time, energy or inclination to cook and clean up.  Keep the fridge and pantry full of their favorite snacks and be willing to make a special trip to the store just as soon as a special item has been depleted.

 

  1. Do their laundry regularly. If they don’t put it in the laundry basket, you’ll have to gather it yourself.  No respectable parent would ever allow their young adult offspring to be traumatized by running out of clean underwear!    Be sure that when you clean their sheets you make the bed afterwards.  After all, they didn’t ASK you to tear apart their bed.

 

  1. Don’t ask for any help with chores. After all, it’s YOUR house, so you shouldn’t impose YOUR standards of cleanliness on them.  Even their own room should either be cleaned by you or left untouched.  It’s ok though; since they will always be living with you, they will never need to learn to keep things tidy in order to successfully coexist with a roommate or a significant other.  Besides, they need to use their spare time to play video games and catch up on their favorites shows. 

 

  1. Ensure that they have the freedom to host friends both day and night.  Don’t embarrass them by expecting them to ask you for permission.  After all, they are adults now!  When the boyfriend/girlfriend sleeps over, don’t make them feel awkward.  They have their own room and nobody is bothering you.  Leaving a tray of snacks outside their door is a very kind gesture.

 

  1. Always make sure you provide them with a nice vehicle to drive. Never expect them to be responsible for any aspect of said vehicle. A loving parent would provide a gas card, perform routine maintenance (oil changes) and clean the car regularly.  Be sure you pay the insurance and that you place a valid insurance card inside the vehicle.

 

  1. Continue to pay their personal expenses. You’re expecting far too much if you expect them to buy their clothes, cell phone, car insurance, car expenses or any other cost that is directly attributed to them.  Any parental expectations of this kind will negatively impact the stock prices of such companies as Starbucks, Pink, Apple and Game Stop.  As you can see, if you were to expect financial accountability, you would be unpopular with not only your own family, but a wide range of shareholders as well!

 

  1. Don’t expect them to work at a job that is beneath their dignity. After all, wasn’t YOUR first job in management? Ok, I know, that was probably not the case.  But you shouldn’t expect them to go to a place where the people in charge are mean to them when they do not perform as expected.   Don’t encourage them to stay in such an abusive work environment!

 If you follow all of the suggestions listed above, you can be relatively sure that they will never leave the nest.  Just continue to keep up your part to ensure your reservation in the “good” nursing home!

If, however, your goal is to raise financially competent young adults who are able to move out on their own, check out some other articles by The Launch Lady.    www.the-launch-lady.com/about

Financial literacy, Insurance, life skills, money, parenting, parenting young adults

How to Decide Between PPO or HMO Medical Insurance Plans

Learning about health insurance is like learning a foreign language.   Not knowing the language can cause huge financial mistakes. This article has been requested of me by some of my favorite people.  Here are their stories:

Caitlin had just graduated from college, just had her first child, and had just accepted her first “real” full-time job with benefits.   She found it very confusing to have to read through and select her health care plan.  In the end, she realized it would be smarter to stay on her parents’ plan as long as she was legally allowed to do so.

Kelsey had the benefit of Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) medical plan.  She made an appointment with an in-network doctor.   After the insurance claim was filed, she found out that certain services are excluded from her policy when she was presented with a $400 bill.

Shannon also had insurance through a PPO plan.  She found a doctor near her new home and made an appointment for the purpose of meeting and selecting a primary care physician (PCP).  After the claim was filed, she also received a $400 invoice because it was coded as a preventive exam which is not allowed by her policy.

Today’s article should be useful for those individuals who get to choose between employee sponsored, managed care plans.   Many employers provide their employees with medical benefits.  They usually pay for part of the premium.   The premium is a fixed payment which is usually deducted from each paycheck regardless of whether the employee receives any medical care or not.   Here’s an example to show what that means:

Austin works for a company which offers medical insurance with a premium of $500 per month which is the group rate negotiated by his employer for each employee who chooses to participate in the medical plan.  Austin’s company is very generous, so they subsidize, or cover the cost of, his premium by 80%.  That means Austin pays only $100 per month (20%X$500) for his medical insurance plan which would be worth $500 if he didn’t work for such a great company.  His share of the premium would be deducted directly from his paycheck with pre-tax dollars.  In other words, the premium would be deducted from his gross wages, and then, taxes would be calculated on the balance (gross wages minus insurance premium) X tax multiplier).  Austin was confused when he saw his first paycheck because his deduction was not $100 as he expected it to be.  When he called his payroll department, they explained that his premiums would be pro-rated, or divided up equally between all his paychecks.  Austin’s medical premium for the year would be $1,200, so if he was paid only once per month, then his paycheck would have showed a $100 deduction for his medical premium.  But lucky Austin was paid every other Friday, so he had a biweekly pay schedule.  52 weeks in a year divided into 2-week periods assured Austin of 26 pay checks in a year.  His premium of $1,200 pro-rated equally between 26 paychecks created a deduction of $46.15 on each paycheck.  Congratulations to Austin.  He now has medical insurance, so if he gets sick, will all his medical care be free?  Far from it!  If he never gets sick or goes to the doctor, he must still pay the premiums.

Now that you’re familiar with how a premium works, we’re going to backtrack and talk about the two most common types of managed care plans, specifically PPO (preferred provider organization) and HMO (health maintenance organization).

PPO’s offer more choices, but the premiums are higher. Most services are subject to a deductible and a coinsurance must be paid by the person who receives service.  You can choose between a service provider who is in the network or one who is outside the network.  The difference is that the plan will pay a higher percentage of expenses if you choose an in-network provider. You are not required to choose a (PCP) primary care physician and you can usually go directly to any specialist (eg. dermatologist) that you choose without having to see your primary care doctor first to get permission to do so.

HMO’s offer fewer choices but lower premiums. You must choose a PCP to coordinate your medical care. For example, if you want to go to a dermatologist, you first need an appointment with your PCP to ask for a referral.  If your referral is given, you will need to select a dermatologist from a limited network.  HMO’s have a tidy, predictable co-pay(ment) schedule and lower premiums, but is offset by fewer choices.

If you look at the table and see blah, blah, blah insurance, just skip to the example after the table…

Coverage Comments PPO In Network PPO Out of Network HMO
Preventive Care 100%, no deductible Services paid at 70% after deductible $0 co-pay
Deductible First $400 of medical care each year is paid by Austin before the insurance will reimburse any expenses. $400 single, $800 family $400 single, $800 family None
Co-Insurance/Co-pay Co-Pay (HMO only) is a fixed predetermined amount for service 85%* of eligible charges**after deductible*** 70% of eligible charges after deductible Co-Pay based on service
Out of Pocket Max $2,800 Single, $8,100 family $3,100 single,

$9,000 family

$1,800 single, $3,600 family
Primary Care Visit

 

85% of eligible charge after deductible 70% of eligible charge after deductible $25 Co-Pay
Specialist Care Visit 85% of eligible charge after deductible 70% of eligible charge after deductible $40 Co-Pay
Hospital Care/Surgery 85% of eligible charge after deductible 70% of eligible charge after deductible $200 day/max $1,000 year
Outpatient Surgery

 

85% of eligible charge after deductible 70% of eligible charge after deductible $150 Co-Pay
Emergency Room (ER) 85% of eligible charge after deductible 70% of eligible charge after deductible $150 Co-Pay
Diagnostic Tests 85% of eligible charge after deductible 70% of eligible charge after deductible $0.  Co-Pay

*Percentage figure in the entire chart shows the percentage of the eligible charges which will be covered after deductible.

**Eligible charges exclude certain procedures or services which should be called out in your policy document.

***Deductible example-Austin breaks his arm and ends up in the emergency room (ER) at the hospital which is in his PPO network.   His eligible medical expenses total $2,500.  A claim is filed by the hospital with his insurance company so they can pay the hospital directly for Austin’s medical care.  We’re going to assume here that Austin had chosen the PPO plan and we can see in the table that an emergency room trip is subject to a deductible.  Because this is the first time this year that Austin has incurred any medical expenses, he hasn’t met his deductible.  Once the insurance company reviewed the claim and determined that all the expenses were eligible, they paid the hospital $1,785.   The hospital then sent a bill to Austin for the additional $715.  He reviewed his Explanation of Benefits (EOB) to see the claim details from the insurance company to make sure that he was being billed the right amount.  This is how the insurance claim was calculated:

  • $2,500 for hospital services less his $400 deductible (Austin was single) left $2,100 of eligible expenses
  • $1,785 ($2,100 X 85%) is the amount the insurance company paid to the hospital
  • $715 is the total of the deductible ($400) plus Austin’s 15% coinsurance (2,100 X 15%=$315)
  • $200 is charged by his orthopedic surgeon for a follow up visit
    • The EOB shows that the insurance paid $170 (85%) and Austin owes $30 (15%) since the deductible has already been met for the year

The emergency room bill is just one component of the medical treatment.  Austin could be billed separately by the physician who treated him in the ER as well as for any diagnostic tests, such as x-rays, that needed to be done.

Austin pays the hospital for his share of the ER visit.  If he didn’t have insurance, he would have owed the entire $2,500.  Austin sits at home with a broken arm, wishing he had chosen an HMO since his ER trip would have cost him only $150!  Since he doesn’t get to go back to work for a while, he has plenty of time to read about his insurance plan.  He learns that dental insurance and vision insurance are covered in separate policies and he did not select them. He is relieved to discover that his company has Open Enrollment once per year, so he will have the option of switching to an HMO for next year and adding both dental and vision insurances.

How does each story end? Caitlin takes the money she saves on premiums and starts an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.  Both Kelsey and Shannon have worked with their doctors to ask if there is another appropriate medical code that can be used to resubmit the claim to the insurance company.  If the insurance company will still not pay the medical claim, they’ve learned that they may be able to negotiate a fee reduction for charges not covered by insurance.  And Austin?  Well, he takes his good arm and pats himself on the back for choosing to purchase the insurance even though he didn’t really think he needed to!

Adulting, college, Financial literacy, financial responsiblity-teens and young adults, life skills, money, parenting, Parenting teens and young adults, parenting young adults, teaching financial responsibility

Bill of Rights For Parents of Young Adults

Bill of rights

The unwritten parental constitution has changed immensely over the last 50 years.  In earlier times, parents had a lot more expectations for their kids.  Maybe it was just the way it was in that era or maybe it was out of sheer necessity.  More recently, parents in general can’t seem to do enough for their kids, even when they are pressed for both time and money.  If we don’t accommodate all of their desires, then we have tremendous guilt.    I get it.  I’ve had plenty of guilt, but not because I didn’t love and care for my kids.  It’s because I said no to many of the things other kids took for granted.  Like smart phones.  Before you judge me too harshly, just know that mine had a flip phone which they got for 8th grade graduation.   I wanted to teach delayed gratification and that trying to “keep up with the Joneses” was neither wise nor sustainable.

Continue reading “Bill of Rights For Parents of Young Adults”

Adulting, career, Financial literacy, life skills, money, parenting, Parenting teens and young adults, parenting young adults

Questions To Ponder Before You Decide To Send Your Kid To College

Capture

In earlier generations, college was neither necessary nor expected of every single person who graduated from high school.   However, today it is rare to speak to a parent who isn’t trying to find a way to prep their kid for college and figure out how it will be funded.  While college can be a great tool for many, it is not for everyone.  Here are a few things to think about before making the decision to invest in a college education. Continue reading “Questions To Ponder Before You Decide To Send Your Kid To College”

Financial literacy, life skills, parenting

What Happened To My Little Girl?

Shanny

I loathe goodbyes.  It’s not like she had never been away from home.  For the last two years, she lived in an apartment at college.  But this was different.  She was packing EVERYTHING.  It was moving day and I thought I had everything under control.  Well, actually THEY had everything under control.  I wasn’t exactly sure of my role anymore.  I thought I would be part of a caravan helping to transport all of their collective “stuff” to a neighboring state…until I learned they wanted to do it all themselves.  Why should I have been surprised?  Every parenting decision I had made up until this point had been made with the end in mind.  My goal was to help create young ladies who could successfully navigate life without me.  I suspect his parents subscribed to some of my beliefs as well in order to have created a college-educated, card-carrying adult who assumed the role of husband just after he turned 22.  Continue reading “What Happened To My Little Girl?”

Adulting, Financial literacy, financial responsiblity-teens and young adults, life skills, parenting, Parenting teens and young adults, parenting young adults, teaching financial responsibility

Teach a Kid to Fish and She’ll Eat For a Lifetime

Launch lady tax check

As an avid reader of Napoleon Hill’s philosophy, I have read that one of man’s greatest fears is the threat of poverty.  Though I have never personally experienced abject poverty, I know well some who have.  I do know what it is like to have to make tough choices. I know what it is like to have $5 left until payday with no savings account or safety net. This was part of what drove my decision to enlist in the US Navy when I was still a teenager.  In retrospect, it was one of the best things I could have done, though it didn’t feel like it at the time.  I was given the chance to be wholly accountable for my outcomes.  It was an excellent training ground to learn countless life lessons.  I am far from being a financial expert, but I continue to learn.  My drive to learn is so I can teach others what I wish I had known at a much younger age.  My own daughters have always had a safety net and sometimes find it hard to comprehend (or tolerate) what I am trying to teach them.  What I offer is perspective by asking the following question: “When our children no longer have parents to consult with (or get subsidies from) how will they manage to get along financially?”  I am a fervent believer in “If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day; if you teach him to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.”   Here are just a few things I’ve tried to teach my kids that you might find helpful as you try to teach life skills to yours: Continue reading “Teach a Kid to Fish and She’ll Eat For a Lifetime”

Adulting, cats, college, earn money, Financial literacy, financial responsiblity-teens and young adults, life skills, mother love, motivation, parenting, Parenting teens and young adults, parenting young adults, teaching financial responsibility

How This 19-Year-Old Found a Way to Conquer the World on Her Own Terms

Kelsey and her kitty

I grew up believing that 18 was a magical age.  I could not WAIT to turn 18 so I could be independent and do things my own way.  I was bred to be both independent and credit worthy.  I still have my original JCPenney credit card that I’ve had for well over 3 decades.  Filling out the application was probably how I celebrated my 18th!  I had a “soft launch” shortly after 18 when I moved in with a friend.  I paid a pittance for rent while I learned to navigate life totally independent of my parents.  Since I didn’t have a car at this point, my friend was gracious enough to shuttle my pathetic a$$ to the laundromat.  Getting to work required that I either negotiate with coworkers or walk.   After a few months of this, home started looking pretty appealing, so I went home long enough to buy a car. After I got my mobility machine, the independent streak really kicked in and I moved out again.  My early independence is what helped shape my views as a parent.

Thirty-one years later, I was the parent of a teenager who had been bred to be both independent and credit worthy.  We were both brand new graduates; college for me and high school for her.  She entered her first year of community college as she had been groomed to do.   Unfortunately, she hated it.  She hated everything including the town we lived in.  She felt trapped by expectation and didn’t want to waste the time or money to complete college when she had no particular aspirations.  I didn’t try to fight her.  My own experience had shown me that if you really want to accomplish a higher education, then you’ll make it happen when the time is right.  I simply told her that if she chose to end her education that it would be time to be an adult with grown-up responsibilities.

I must digress a bit and talk about what happened the year before.  Her senior year of high school was only one class, so she worked full time.  When I saw how she was spending her money, I brainstormed for a plan.  We sat down and calculated some numbers as though she were going to move out to give her an idea about what “life” costs.  We came up with a figure that she would need to pay her own way.  Then she was given the following two options:

  • Pay the agreed upon sum to me to contribute to household expenses
    • I never told her but I would have saved it and given it to her when she moved out
  • Put the money in her savings account each month with the stipulation that it could not be withdrawn and that I would look at the statement each month to hold her accountable

I persisted even though she thought I just wanted her money.  My true mission, in addition to inspiring her independence, was to minimize the cash that she had been handling so frivolously. I was glad that she chose what most would agree was the only intelligent choice.  My mission was accomplished when she was able to eventually leave home with several thousand dollars in the bank.  She also did a soft launch by moving in with a friend right after she turned 19, but came home a few months later.  What she did next floored even me!

Three months after her 19th birthday, she informed me that she had found a job on-line and was moving to Utah which was almost 1,400 miles from home.  She had gotten a phone interview at a popular ski resort and was hired, sight unseen.  I guess hospitality workers must be hard to find!  She bought an airplane ticket and made it happen.  I remember going with her when she closed her bank account.  The banker, a young man who appeared to be only slightly older than her, told her how lucky she was.  I reminded her that she wasn’t lucky; she had made the decision and she was making it happen.  I had a mixture of emotions which ranged from pride to fear.  When her dad decided to fly there with her, I cried.   With my independent streak, it had never even occurred to me to do so.  She was mortified, of course, but I was grateful that he had taken that extra step to help her ease into her transition given the sometimes sinister deceptions on the internet.

She met a lot of different people while working in Utah.  Many of them were college educated yet not ready to grow up.  She didn’t have the benefit of much college yet, but she was receiving a most valuable education!  The first place she lived was in the worker housing with two roommates that she had been placed with.  The room was not included in the employment offer; they had to pay out of each check.  For anyone who has done any time in a barracks or college dorm room, I think you get the idea.  You end up living with people you don’t know and you learn how to deal with all types.  I watched in awe as she took advantage of all the amenities Utah had to offer.   After a couple years, she moved with a friend to Texas.  Four years wiser and infinitely more street savvy, she returned to her roots bringing with her a sassy feline companion.  I was thrilled to have her back home with me for almost a year as she transitioned back to the area and continued to do amazing things.

Six years from the time she first moved out, I look at the things she has done and what she continues to do.  She is preparing to buy her first home and get married to a wonderful and ambitious young man.  She’s working her way through college and dabbling in different careers.   She’s learned that you can’t run away from yourself; unfortunately, your problems go with you.  She left home a surly teenager and came back a grateful, positive, street-wise and confident young lady.

My beautiful daughter is in transition so I sit here today with her cat, who I am fostering, until she gets settled into her new home.  I have not been able to instill the same independence in the cat.  Though it is a common perception that cats are independent creatures, just listen to the squalls when you fail to put kibbles in their dish at the appointed time!  I have found myself obsessing over the cat just a bit too often these days so I’m trying to focus on my writing instead.   I will miss them both as they get settled into their next phase (to see what happened to the cat, read Eviction Papers Served-Launch Lady Style ) I think my firstborn now understands that I didn’t want her money.  What I wanted was her happiness and her respect, and I’m very grateful to have experienced both.

 

Adulting, Financial literacy, life skills, parenting, Parenting teens and young adults, parenting young adults, teaching financial responsibility

Flight of Freedom from a Flagrantly Frugal Female

frugal

Has anyone ever been called “the F word”?  I have, and it stings!   The word I’m talking about is “frugal” and I hope that is what you were thinking of when I asked the question!  Frugal has a negative connotation because people tend to get it mixed up with “miserly”.

  • Frugal-thrifty, prudent, not wasteful
  • Miser-a person who is extremely stingy with money

It appears that the frugal person is smart with their resources, so I will proudly wear that label.  My personal philosophy is to be careful with what I have, but not at the expense of other people.  My attitude is that I can have anything I want, but I am VERY selective in what I want!  If a discount is offered, I will absolutely take advantage of it and I can’t comprehend the mindset of those who would not.  If a restaurant offers a discount to come 2 hours earlier than the masses…”why yes, thank you”, as long as my schedule permits.  Sometimes, I like living on the edge, as was the case in my most recent vacation.   I selected a different Hotwire Hot Rate hotel each day as we traveled down Florida’s west coast.  The best find ever was the $99 hotel right on Clearwater Beach.  I could not have stayed there for full price…it is not in my DNA. Also, I loved the thrill of the hunt!

I’ve had many years to hone my “craft” and I’d like to impart this mindset to my daughters as well.  I moved out on my own at the age of 18, and I was able to spend many years as a stay at home Mom.  One of the reasons that I am so adamant that an 18-year-old can survive in the wild without parents is because I have done it.  More recently, I have seen many examples of independent young people still living life on their own terms.

Here are a few common sense things you can teach your teens and young adults to ensure their survivability in the world:

  • Teach good money habits while they are living under your roof and working at their first job
    • Mandate a certain percentage of savings
      • Consider ways to incentive extra savings
        • Matching
        • Explaining the wonders of compound interest
        • Finding other young success stories to inspire them

 

  • Share the nitty gritty of your budget with them
    • Discuss the difference between wants and needs
    • Go over their budget with them to get an idea how much disposable income they would have if they moved out

 

  • Let them share in the management of household duties such as food management, which could evolve into a post all by itself
    • Cooking in versus eating out
    • Planning meals versus going to the store daily
    • Eating leftovers versus tossing them

 

  • Discuss with them how they can cash flow college
    • Summers are a great time to work hard to get ahead
    • Encourage them to put effort into claiming some of the free scholarship money that is available
    • Working during college is not child abuse and leads to better time management skills
    • The college “experience” may be overrated, especially if it leads to long term debt
      • Besides, today it is very common for their parents to go to college while working full-time and it is often fully paid or subsidized by their employer
        • I am proud to say, I took full advantage of this option

 

  • Roommates, roommates, roommates
    • Fewer things can make life more manageable than having someone to share expenses with
    • Finding one is far easier than it was “back in MY day”
      • Roommates.com hadn’t yet been invented
      • Social media wasn’t an option then either

 

Those are just a few of the things that go through the mind of a frugal individual.    If you are flagrantly frugal as I am, do not apologize.  Stay the course and revel in the freedoms that frugality has afforded you.   Your loving guidance will inspire in your kids the gift of freedom when you have taught them to soar on their own.

 

 

 

Adulting, Financial literacy, financial responsiblity-teens and young adults, Parenting teens and young adults

Disposable Income is the Devil

moneyIs disposable income really the devil?  Well, it depends on perspective. As an adult with grown up responsibilities such as paying for a mortgage and taking care of a family, disposable income is a wonderful thing which allows us to enjoy discretionary experiences and things.   How, then, could disposable income ever be a bad thing you ask?   Well, let me tell you!  When a teenager or young adult first begins to earn their own money, unless it is offset by some personal responsibility, they have a plethora of disposable income.   During this time of abundance, it is very easy to allow poor spending habits to take root.  These habits, if allowed to continue, can make them feel persecuted and victimized when real life responsibilities hit and they can no longer have a daily treat from Starbucks, eat fast food, go to concerts and movies or buy video games frequently. Following are some ideas to help them learn to manage their income while learning incremental financial responsibility:

  • Have them pay for items that benefit only themselves
    • College savings
    • Car
    • Car expenses (gas, maintenance, insurance)
    • Smart phones (including data plan and insurance)
    • Clothing
    • Personal items not required for basic care (ex. makeup, perfume)
    • Personal entertainment outside of family events (movies, dining)

If I had a teen or young adult who was fully engaged in school and study time, I would expect far less in terms of financial participation than if I had one who spent lots of time in non-productive pursuits such as watching TV or playing video games.

Now is a good time to work on budgeting together.  Obviously, it is a good thing if any working person has a surplus to spend on things that are enjoyable.  However, having too much cash can give a minimum wage worker a false sense of prosperity if the income earned is not balanced by a corresponding measure of financial responsibility.

While they might not be particularly thankful now, your young adult will thank you later when they find that they have been groomed to be more capable than most and when they are prepared to strike out on their own much sooner than their peers.  Then you can smile and take great satisfaction in knowing that you have done your job well!

Financial literacy, financial responsiblity-teens and young adults, parenting, Parenting teens and young adults, teaching financial responsibility

Borrowing From the Bank of Mom

https://www.loveandlogic.com/blog/kids-and-money-face-to-face-with-reality

The linked article by Dr. Charles Fay of Love and Logic rings true for me.  Their philosophy had a profound influence on my parenting style, partly because it made sense and partly because it amplified who I already was.  When my daughter was 17, she got her first car.  I decided to pay up front and then have her reimburse me for her portion.  Since I was always looking for an opportunity to teach a relevant financial lesson, I created a promissory note.

Principal Rate Time PxRxT Total due
Amount due if loan was from actual bank $750 14% 0.6667 $70 $820
Late fee $25 if payment is not made by the 15th of the month  
 Payment due Date Amount Due to Bank of  Mom Balance due
10/1/2010  $          100.00  $             650.00  
11/1/2010  $          100.00  $             550.00  
12/1/2010  $          100.00  $             450.00  
1/1/2011  $          100.00  $             350.00  
2/1/2011  $          100.00  $             250.00  
3/1/2011  $          100.00  $             150.00  
4/1/2011  $          100.00  $                50.00  
5/1/2011  $            50.00  $                       –  
 $          750.00

 

She didn’t like my idea very much.  In fact, her response was “You are not the bank, you are my MOM”.  Yes, that was true.  But I was not just ANY mom.  I was the kind that wanted to make sure that she had been provided with a real life education.  By setting up a plan that created a penalty for late payments, she chose to pay off her car early rather than risk having to pay any late fees to the money grubbing Bank of Mom!  My bank didn’t charge interest, but showing the interest rate that would have been charged by a different bank helped make The Bank of Mom more desirable than its competitors.  No late fees were paid to The Bank of Mom and for that I was grateful.  I wasn’t looking to augment my income; I was intending to create a self-reliant young adult.

The promissory note contained the components that would be evaluated in a regular bank loan.  It wasn’t always convenient to track the payments so meticulously, but I kept it up since I knew it would be good for the wonderful young lady I was trying to mold.  I took my job very seriously!  Following is the schedule used to record the payments along with additional terms of the loan.   The ending message was issued with the loan release to the borrower.  Unlike the real bank, the Bank of Mom dispenses a few words of praise and encouragement along with the title.

 

Payment History
                   Due Date 9/1/2010 10/1/2010 11/1/2010 12/1/2010 1/1/2011 2/1/2011 January
 Date Paid 1-Nov 1-Nov 20-Nov
 How paid? Cash Cash Cash Check Check Cash
 Car loan  $             100.00  $           100.00  $     100.00  $           100.00  $            100.00  $        250.00
 Insurance  $            54.00  $                54.00  $             54.00  $       54.00  $             54.00  $               54.00
 TV  $               7.00  $                  7.00  $               7.00  $         7.00  $                7.00  $                 7.00
 Cell phone  $            30.00  $                30.00  $             30.00  $       30.00  $             30.00  $               69.00
 License Plates  $            97.00  $          50.00
 Kelsey Paid  $          188.00  $             191.00  $           191.00  $     191.00  $           191.00  $            230.00  $        300.00
Borrower will pay on time each month or pay a $25 late fee.  Just like a bank loan, she is responsible to repay the loan even if something happens to make the car undriveable or if it isn’t her fault.  The payment is due on the 1st of every month.  There will be no reminders.  There is a grace period of 2 weeks before the payment will be considered past due.
 
       
 Kelsey-borrower Borrower signed under protest
Mom-lender Gleefully signed by Mom
Kelsey paid off her car 3 months early.  Congratulations for being a conscientious borrower!
Be proud and always remember how good it feels to earn what you really want.

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I couldn’t be more proud of this young lady today.  She chooses to forge her own path in life and does not like to be told what to do.  Her life is not devoid of struggles, but she accepts responsibility for her actions.   Don’t be afraid to swim upstream and do what many parents are afraid to do.  If you do it with love, they will be better prepared to face the realities of life.  And don’t worry, they’ll still love you!