I have never been lucky at winning contests, prizes, raffles, etc., but the past few days have been unusually lucky. First, on Saturday, at my son's wrestling tourney, I won the 50-50 raffle - $80. Then, yesterday, I got word I won some photo equipment worth about $150! I should play the lottery. ^_^
I never win anything either, as a lifetime rule... but I won $1 on a $1 scratch-off ticket last week (first one I've bought in a year or more; the winning ticket is still in my wallet). Does that count for anything? Actually, I also recently won a 2 DVD set on artisanal butchering, which will come in handy next fall... I hope.
Must be the worlds worst drug dealer if you can't buy a new car now ROFL
I would keep my car forever if allowed. DH traded my van in six years ago when the first van was getting near 100K and filthy. We love Hondas now, now have 2 older civics for kid cars. Current 2006 Toyota van had to have a new transmission last year- they accused cheap internal pieces in newer transmissions.
Jen, I had about 45,000 miles on my car when I got it 4 years ago. Has almost 100,000 now. That shows you how much driving I do. Nice car, btw.
Darius, Nissans are well known to last a long time with few problems. Same with Toyotas and Hondas. BTW, the longest I had a car was 8 years, a Ford Focus that I bought 3 or 4 years old with low miles. It had over 200,000 miles on it when I got rid of it. It was needed many more repairs that last few years I had it, but it was all normal wear and tear stuff. I never had any trouble with the engine or tranny.
Yes, throw away mentality pertains to everything now. Very few things are made to last anymore.
Memory, I have also received nothing yet for my taxes, but I want to go with TurboTax this year.
I remember back in 1992 we traded our Nissan Sentra with my fil for his really old NIssan pick up that had A LOT of miles on it(can't remember the exact amt) boy did we get the short end of that stick!( he needed to switch cause the truck was a stick shift and it was bothering his arthritis and at the time couldn't afford to buy a car)
but the Sentra was only 5 years old and the paint was already fading to a pale red.
the truck was also formerly red and we had to have a piece of cardboard inside across the floor to keep the wind from coming in
we go to do maintenance at the fire dept of one of our township contracts, someone changed ALL the units(furnaces and air handlers/condensers)
sit down with engineer and he says there is a company doing energy audits(the only company allowed to) and they write up a report on the units you currently own vs the units they can put in. They then change out all of them and they apply for a grant and that's how they get paid, the township does not have to pay anything at the time of the work. This company DOES NOT warranty the work or parts and IF the government denies the grant the township then has to pay $37,000 for the work that was done. They changed a BRAND NEW unit that was put in last year and just junked it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAT THE HECK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sally, he sure is trying...last year was the 1st year we ever had a refund from the state so that must mean something. Really the townships have way much more control over taxes and stuff but the big fight is with the board of ed(the only part of my taxes that have gone up in the past 3 years, btw)
oh yeah hubby loves dumpster diving at these government office buildings...found a whole pack of stationary imprinted with all names, obviously one of them got fired or whatever but HELLO, can't you use it as scrap paper????
Found a whole box of unused pencils, pens, rubber bands and paper clips because they cleaned out someones desk after they were fired...what? no one else uses this stuff?
Called last week to get results of county bid...won't tell me over the phone it will be on the website next week
check the website this week, not there, still not there today
hubby emails, "we'd like to know where we ended up on the bid"
she emails back "the bid was mailed out and went out for bid on the 12th"
I email " yes, the bid that was due on the 12th and opened on the 12th, we'd like to know who won since it's not posted on your website"
she emails back "the company who the bid was awarded to is posted on the website but if it's not posted it is being reviwed and will be posted next week"
You may have heard about the gas explosion nearby the other day. Contractor for Verizon hit a gas pipe and some time later a house blew up, injuring two volunteer firemen and wrecking four or five houses. Now comes word that the contractor does not have enough insurance! What do you do? He surely will be out of business so if you sue, you will probably get nothing. I am assuming your homeowners should cover you while they are the ones to go after recovery. Messy.
I'm just tired of being sick and mad about that stuff. The moral is: be a fat cat and your fellow fat cats will make sure you all eat well.
Seriously- how can one person, out of the whole organization that runs anything, be worth so much more money than another? And would it kill somebody like that to maybe take that bonus and set up scholarships for all the underlings kids, or health care help? Of course, he may well but that won't be reported in the same article.
Waited outside the library this morning, as it opened delayed for some sort of weather. I heard a few people discussing getting some sort of health care by applying for asistance of some kind. "A lot of forms, a big hassle but they give you what you need." Well, hell-O, me and DH working and paying taxes, and our employers subsidizing the healthcare system with big insurance premiums, our entire adult life is 'somewhat of a hassle' too.
Yes, I know it stinks to not have private insurance.
Sorry, I am not in the mood to hear someone complain about the paperwork needed to get free healthcare.
Dumpster diving at government offices? Never thought of that. Sounds like you can get some good stuff. People are so wasteful.
People in government don't know anything, Jen. The right hand doesn't know what they left hand is doing, as they say.
Didn't hear about that explosion, Victor. Bummer.
Sherrie, good to hear that Jim is working more now.
Anyhow, I got that car I wanted, the 2012 Hyundai Accent. Got it in silver, not green like I wanted, but I'm still happy. Still want the green, though, but they wanted 1K more down to get it for me, as they said they don't make many automatics in that model in the green. Even the in the standards there aren't that many. Anyhow, payments are more than what I was making on the PT Loser, but I'm going to be getting about twice the gas mileage, and my mileage checks from work will more than cover the gas I will be spending on it. I'm thrilled. Here's a pic of me with my new car.
Congtats on the new car, Karen! You'll be traveling in style!
I find it hard to weigh in on government workers since that's who I see daily. I can tell you there's nothing easy about the social service jobs. Many of the people I end up seeing are too brain damaged, too mentally ill, too high or strung out on drugs to handle their healthcare paperwork. Problem is a portion of them commit terrible crimes and another portion of them just do really dumb things in public, so society ignores them at our own peril.
Victor, that's really cheap of our VP and Pres. Wow!
Rosemary, I would not want to do a social services job. I thought at one time I would, but that would be tough for me. I love working with the developmentally disabled, but I'd have trouble working with the mentally disturbed, drug and alcohol addicts, etc. It's tough to see people going through that.
Attended a seminar today for prevailing wage act today. Some guy asked if they paid an employee prevailing wage for a job and he didn't have to can he ask for that $ back? and the state guys mentioned an anonymus tip that there is a company paying the guys prevailing rate in the check but then asking for $ back in cash
Re Google- etc-
I looked at downloading an app for a plant journal, but got stuck at the permissions. You had to agree it could record phone call locations, something like that. Is this the secret reason that they offer so many free and cheap apps- data they glean, (along with helping you run over your limit on data per month.)?
My account pays for 200 mb but I hardly use 50 in a typical month. The only time I got the warning for getting over (130mb in my case, or 65 percent) is when I called up lots of maps while christmas shopping; the maps were the only unusual thing in that period.
bing has fabulous daily pictures.
Some (other?) search I was using gave me such shopping-oriented returns that I had trouble doing 'research.' Going back to Google corrected that.
re the sec't'y- I hate getting half the story. Common media loves giving half the story.
I love mts. The west is gorgeous but that's a big move and we would never do it as long as parents are still around. My sis and BIL are moving to PA in the spring. Near Hawley in the Poconos. No tax on pension in PA.
any experienced arborists looking for a job?
Requisition Number 1200033
Job Title Arborist I
Department Landscape Grounds Shop - 738
Position Summary Princeton University maintains the finest and most diverse collection of trees and plants in central New Jersey, one of the finest of any college in the United States. The arborist, working with a crew leader and occasional helper, and based on an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a wide range of diverse trees and plants, including specimen materials, has a primary responsibility for assuring the well being of these plantings
Must possess NJ DOT/CDL license
The ability to lift 75 lbs. over 4' high
Must have physical dexterity and stamina required for the performance of tree maintenance duties, including the ability to climb and work in trees over 100' high.
The ability to endure all weather conditions
Will be required to bend, kneel, stand for long periods, stoop, climb stairs, ladders and trees on a daily basis.
Will be required to handle and use toxic and or hazardous lawn and tree chemicals occasionally.
Will be required to work in an area of light to heavy noise levels daily.
Must be able to work with power equipment having moderate to high levels of vibrations daily.
Will be required to work with or around dangerous equipment daily. (ie. Chain saws, chippers, vegetation processor, etc)
Will be required to work in hot or cold weather daily
Sounds too much like my newspaper route! Hey, Victor, you could always "occupy" one of those 100' tall specimin trees and just go home on the weekends!
Many arborists from around the world were unable to save our Liberty tree here. Note the connection of that tree to the newspaper I deliver daily in short blurb below:
"Liberty Tree, St. John's College, AnnapolisThe idea of Liberty embodied in a living tree comes from Boston in 1765, when the Sons of Liberty chose a stately elm under which to voice their opposition to the Stamp Act, a British imposed tax on newspapers and official documents. They also commissioned Paul Revere to design a medal that each member wore that bore the image and the caption "Liberty Tree." Led in Maryland by the prominent attorney Daniel Dulany who wrote a persuasive pamphlet on the evils of the tax, and by Jonas Green the publisher of the Maryland Gazette, the colonists burned the tax collector in effigy on a gallows erected near the Liberty Tree on what is today St. John's College campus, and tore down his office. The tax, which was to paid on all public documents and newspapers, led Jonas Green to publish his paper as a supplement to the last issue before the tax was imposed, thus technically avoiding the tax.
The Liberty Tree at St. John's College was the last surviving Liberty Tree in the United States. The tree served as an integral part of the campus and commencement exercises had been held under the Liberty Tree since the 1920s. On September 16, 1999, the tree was seriously damaged during Hurricane Floyd. Consultants examining the tree found that the tree was dangerous in its current condition and could not be saved through traditional methods such as bracing or wiring. On October 25, 1999, workmen began removing the tree after a memorial ceremony. A descendant of the Liberty Tree, planted in 1889, stands in front of the college library. The Maryland Commission for Celebration 2000 arranged for cuttings to be taken from the tree and cloning experiments are underway at the University of Maryland."
Yes that would be a more than min job, with the hazards and physical part. They forgot.
Will be required to work where hundreds of lovely coeds can be gazed at every day on campus.
ST John's still has some very impressive trees though, doesn't it? One of the nice things about old college campuses, and thats the oldest here?
I recently applied for a different position, county gov., which does not require any college, and I hear the applicant pool was noticeabley more 'overqualified' than usual for this job..For 11 something an hour, flex/ on call, no guaranteed hours after the training, a rough guess by the people hiring of about 450 hours per year.
Well, I decided to open that account with Perk Street Financial where I can earn cash back on my debit purchases. Kind of a pain to get it going, but finally got it done. There are a lot of steps, signature card to fax or send in, verification of bank account, waiting for debit card, waiting for bank transfers to be complete, etc. A lot of it's for security purposes, and it's good to know they take security seriously. I have finally started using my new debit card.
My sister's boyfriend got laid off from his job a couple days ago. He worked at Ocean State Job lot. Others there got laid off as well, and many long time workers had hours cut way back. Tough times.
I think anything US should be made in the USA.
Sally, I love the penny counter top. I saw a bench once made out of pennies. Really cool!
I wanted my DS to have some understanding of whats going on financially, especially since he's taking "politics and government" for senior social studies. So we saw the movie "Inside Job" that they had at the library. Pretty good at explaining how deregulation occurred, how the fed was complicit, and the disaster that befell us all with thecollapse of the derivitives market -- few people admitted they understood it at the time.
It's sad to us that he's the kind of kid who would master a 1000 page document, but he can't get good grades because he won't just repeat the teacher's opinions. Something is wrong if independent thinking is so punished in all areas. Government has reached deeply into the classroom with high stakes testing affecting the teachers' thought process instead of focusing on critical reasoning. DS did great on the actual tests, but I don't think the teachers or the kids in the classrooms have been able to shift between too many demands upon them.
Yep. That's what I always thought, too. Earth science class had the kids going around and replacing all the incadescent bulbs, but didn't teach them anything about new requirements for recycling because of the mercury in the new bulbs, and so on. So we couldn't put DS into any honors science classes because he'd want things fully examined. He did write a neat letter to the town buildings supervisor about why installing a heat exchanger will be a cost-effective energy-saver in all the new elementary schools, and he got a nice thank you letter back saying they were looking into it. We just have to hope some engineering college will see it our way too because this thoughtfulness isn't reflected in grades.
Not yet. But if we're not happy with the closer ones, we're looking farther away for next year or second semester. He likes having his dad around so they can make mischief together.
Years ago my DH occupied the letter section of the IEEE journal for many months because of the 'Frito Effect' -- the shift in the image you see when you look at an LED light while munching a Frito. You can imagine how long it took the editors to settle down that flood of mail.
Thanks for the idea, Cole. I'll keep it in mind. Maybe he can do this later. Has to focus on the schoolwork and grades above all else for now. He even dropped some activities, including orchestra, where he played well. So many compromises are needed to look good for the colleges.
Rosemary, can't the Advanced Placement Test sbe taken by anyone or does one have to take the course, too? Sounds like you have a critical thinker in your son. Wonder how he would problem solve this one removed an iota or two from the perceived demands to look good or have "curb appeal"
I beleive AP tests require a class taken . THe grades for AP classes are getting younger and younger, making me think they're just being diluted too.
Then some sources extracurriculars are great, and say you have to have three years of one foreign language to be good college material. Its really hard to know what the heck to make of it all. I horribly regret urging our son to take the third year of SPanish (waste) instead of the first year of German (would have loved)
Rosemary, it's really bad to know that the teachers want to program their students and not let them think independently. This country is a long ways away from where it started out. Your son sounds like he'll go far, especially with you to encourage him to questions things and not just accept them at face value. How will kids really learn if they aren't given all the facts as to why things are done? Do they really think kids are lacking in smarts so that they have to 'dumb down' the curriculum? Awful...
I have never heard of that 'Frito Effect'. Interesting.
I love going on 'hopping' sprees, Victor. Wish I had 50K to drop...
AP courses taken in early high school years is now part and parcel of the "looking good" to colleges. Also, it is a way to insure that ones child will primarily associate only with college bound students and their aiming high parents.
MF Global...there are trails, but when like securitized mortgages the funds get mixed/co-mingled and traded via algorythms who owns or owes what can no longer be determined or separated out. It is the farmers who can't buy seed or stock this year that worries me as there are so many more mouths to feed.
My Mom told me that when the soup they ate during the Depression got too thin they added another potato unless they didn't have one .
Thanks for your thoughts, Cole and Karen. I admit I didn't understand the economics problem enough to ask DS.
Fitting into the school's requirements was easy for my daughters, very hard for my son. Spanish was a nightmare until recently. Since he couldn't do well enough to matriculate to the next level, he took a harder course at a private school over the summer, spent last summer doing nothing else, when he'd have liked to develop some science or programming skills. The language department changed their tune, gave him the grade he earned in summer school, and he's sailing through Spanish II. All necessary to be considered for the public colleges. He's proud of what he's overcome, so I can't complain.
I didn't have AP classes in my high school, but the way around it was to take the college's proficiency tests, which only amounted to the tests from the end of the course. It showed me there's always a way around a problem. Then it was possible to enter the graduate courses early, and they were the truly interesting ones. Our DS is saying he'll get a Ph.D., and we think graduate school may be where he gets to shine.
My HS (Catholic) only had two AP courses when I attended. They now have many more. I only took English because the history one, which I would have loved, conflicted with Physics. I scored a 5 on the test and received six credits in college. That helped a lot in freshman year.
By the way 5 is the highest on AP.
My friend who scored a 5 in English, did not get any credit her first year because the community college would not give it. I hope it has changed its tune since then.
CLEP is another test for college credit. I would look into it to get credit for say foreign language when that will be a college required class but not one's major. I got the French 1 practice booklet and tried the pretest. I think I might have squeaked by, even after 30 years since school.
Same thing happened with my daughter with a 5 in English and in Psychology. No credit from three CCs (MD, NY or Vermont) Not only no credit towards graduation requirements, but no credit in terms of required courses or prerequisits for advanced courses. She has had to take Intro English (College Board scores in top 1% in Verbal) at all three CC s because none, I mean NONE of her credits were accepted for transfer! So, she remains 3 credits shy of completing Community College unless she moves again or a 4yr institution sends her back to the beginning again! She has completed enough credits to be one semester shy of a BA degree and is $ 18,000.00 in debt on student loans outstanding beyond the 6K she's already repaid.
The whole student loan/debt thing is outrageous. I put in a private telephone line for my office about 2 months ago, and get dunning calls about student loan repayments several times a week for the gal who had this number before me. Apparently the collection agencies keep "selling" the loan, because seldom does the same agency call more than twice.
People just don't take responsibility. The non-payment and delinquency rates for student loans are sky-high, and they usually get some of the lowest rates.
Re the Fed, housing bubble, etc. - despite the obscene behavior of Congress in pushing these mortgages to people who could never afford them, banks, the Fed, etc., it still came down to the individual. They always had VETO power over all that crap. Seems no one remembered the saying, 'If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.' I always use the analogy of the sucker who plays three card monte and loses his money. Whose fault is it? The dealer? The cops? No - the moron who could not resist.
Of course 'the public' wants paper dollar bills. "The public' is stupid. Case in point: the mortgages. Even in 1989, the bank would have been happy to give us twice the mortgage we thought we'd be comfortable with.
Sally, when I sold my house there in 1980, mortgage money was very tight. The best mortgage rate my Buyer could get was 17˝%, and he was willing to pay it. Of course, he went belly-up within a couple of years.
Now take college finances. There is a lot of encouragement around to take out a home equity loan as part of financing the education. There is no end to how much families could build a house of cards with their finances.
A line of credit is, I believe, cheaper interest than a current student loan. I wonder if we should have taken the student loan when it was just a couple percent, I believe I read it went to about six now.
Its hard to get the old savings 'paradigms' out of ones head. DH started to tell the kids they should start on retirement savings as early as possible. WHY? There's no interest!! No longer assume growth almost every year. Only the IRA tax break could be enticing, I don't foresee them reaching a taxable income for awhile. The only lesson is to "save for a rainy day." Cuz its raining a lot.
I'm in favor of having paper dollar bills over coins in my wallet. Dollar coins would just put a lot of extra weight in my wallet, which I keep in my pocket, as I hate carrying my purse around everywhere. I don't like it when I get too many coins in my wallet. I try to spend them, or I put them in donation boxes or tip jars.
I once weighed the loose change I was carrying around in my shoulder bag...18 pounds!
Dollar bills last about 15 months and then are too worn out and have to be replaced.
More could be saved by eliminating the penny as it costs 1.7 cents to make.
Dollar bills can harbour germs longer than metal coins.
If dollar coins are a bother to tote around , that is another force towards consumers using "electronic wallets" via cell phone or credit/debit cards. All those little transactions add up to profits .
One of the times I was down to my last two dollars, I felt strongly that I should be able to eat my dollar or dip it in hot water , then drink and get the Minimum Daily Requirement in calories and nutrition for one day.
Even a house of steel can fall if it is built on a house of cards foundation! Judy
I think Phil has no shadow- early spring?
coleup, watch that heavy bag, it can hang on your arm nerve. Some small independent business might like to hook up with your loose change. One told me how he has to pay more for change at the bank. Course, 18 lbs, that's way more than a little loose change.
I personally say yes to dollar coins. I usually have only a few dollars at any time. If I get cash its in 20s and they just go so fast. My biggest cash use is at ALDIs which takes cash or debit, no credit. We've never used the debit card, afraid of fees.
If I was really hungry and had one dollar I would get a dollar menu item and lots of mayo packets for more calories.
speaking of elec cash - anyone reading about bit coins?
Sally, Phil did see his shadow this morning so 6 more weeks of winter. Must say phil is looking a lot less rotund than in his movie heyday. No sign of my resident prognosticator here yet. Staten Island Sammy did not see his shadow so Staten Island will see an early Spring. Guess it all depends on when our loans are due!
Fortunately, I learned my heavy shoulder bag lesson back in 1972. Unfortunately, after rolling it all and putting it on the seat of my small sailing dinghy, on the way into shore I nearly capsized and all of my coinage ended up somewhere at the bottom of the Miamarina anchorage, After I finish salvaging the platinum off Cape Cod, I'll head to Miami!
Sadly the "dollar menu" suggestion would only work if there were no tax on that purchase. Mustard seems the least adulterated choice at the free condiment bar.
I try to always use cash unless I buy something online or make a payment on line or I write a check. Using credit cards costs the vendor money which means he must raise prices to cover the credit card fees. I'm thinking that even debit cards cost the vendor a fee.
It is so easy to put down a card and harder to pull out cash - so I think it helps me budget. The one exception is the Vet where even though I save $20 a week - it is never enough - so I give them what cash I've saved and then plunk down my card and carefully avoid looking at the amount when I sign. (Guess I should be looking at it to make sure they deducted my cash from the total . . . )
Ours are bundled through one credit processing company at a fixed rate 3.0 %. The processor does charge extra fees for everything out of the ordinary however so the rate can be higher.
American Express normally charges a higher rate to the businesses that accept it.
Debit cards are also higher through some processing companies.
Sad thing is, the rate is on the total sale amount which includes sales tax.
The sales tax amount is remitted (not discounted) to the state which means the fee is actually larger as it comes out of the merchandise only... if that makes sense.
It is the cost of doing business and we've seen that we do less in sales when we don't provide the option of accepting credit/debit cards.
I agree, there are times I want that convenience also.
When traveling, there is no way I'd carry money or flash it.
Also to document purchases made for business use, far easier to keep track of...
But I really love the cashback bonuses which are mine to spend as I wish... fun, fun, fun!
Plants... I buy plants and fertilizers and fungicides and pots... you get the picture.
When I can buy green stuff, who needs clothes.
I actually take advantage as we use the card for business purchases which allow the cashback bonuses to add up fast.
I consider it a gratuity for this employee (me) seeing as it is only the two of us.
no sales tax in NH sherrie is true - however, the property tax is out of control to make up for it - i live in MA on the NH border and my property tax would be 4X for the same home across the border, the home price may have been slightly higher although that difference was made up in a couple years (i do shop in NH from time to time or is that day to day?, to take advantage of the no sales tax) and then NH towns have the local "view" taxes - so if you have a view of say mount monadnock from your home you get get charged a view tax - hard to believe and true.
Our sales tax (in this county) is 6.5%, except groceries are only 2.5%. Fast foods VAT are 10-12%. Virginia has a state sales tax and then each county adds their own sales tax, so sales tax varies everywhere. The closest big city for shopping is 75 miles, down in Tennessee. I try not to go there, as their sales tax is 10%. Might be okay for the locals since there's no TN income tax. I plan my shopping trips a little farther away, but in Virginia, so I use more gas to get there but pay less sales tax, probably making it a wash.
Most of my non-food shopping is all online, and even a bit of food shopping for things I cannot get locally.
Very true, Bill. They have to bring in the tax money somehow. Of course, here in NY, you get killed in every direction. Sales tax over 8.5%. High income tax. Out of control property tax. Goes on and on.
Encouraging jobs number this AM, but again the number of people in the labor force has fallen to a 30 year low. Of course Wall St just reacts to the headline number.
I just overheard that a major shoe manufacturer is bringing some of it's manufacturing BACK FROM CHINA to the US! And this is the new trend! Seems that if the construction can be automated - there are not people in China with the skills to handle the automation so the manufacturing has to come back to the US because we have that skill set. Best news I have heard - like - forever!
I can tell you from the college hunt that mechanical engineering is by far the most popular engineering major, with new specializations within still popping up. I doubt the current climate of development will be able to offer work to all those grads. Not to mention the number of kids going into computer software work which can be suddenly routinized with successful software products. It's clearly hard to be starting out with the uncertainty. The First robotics contests have been pretty successful at stimulating some of the interest. Let's hope there will be a new generation for manufacturing.
And here, for years of my kids growing up, I hoped they'd go into engineering, a 'sure thing'. Now my DD is talking graphic arts- gotta admit, its a graphic world out there, everywhere. Animated movies have huge lists of animators and artists in the credits. - though I expect they are contractual and have to work movie to movie unless they get very good or lucky.
My guess is mechanical is popular now due to the new sub-fields of nanotech and micro electromechanical systems. Can't remember which discipline had the most students when I was in college. Way more dropped OUT of EE than any other one.
Technology, including software, will be in demand for years and years. Who foresaw the need to write software for apps just a few years ago?
My DS investigated graphic arts. Then he investigated architecture. Now he hopes to do mechanical design. It seemed so cool to be able to work on animation projects, but once you ask the colleges about jobs and wages after their degree, it suddenly doesn't seem as much fun anymore. I posted his website about how to use public domain 3-D animation software a month ago, but here it is again. Maybe Sally's DD will be interested:
Podster, speaking of the government keeping track of our dollars spent via electronic purchases, and thus taxed, and the fact that you mentioned sales tax as being the fairest of all taxes, brings to my mind what I fervently wish the government would do: institute a fair tax and eliminate the IRS. If people paid a federal sales tax, there would be no need for the IRS, as there would be no way for people to avoid it. And it's fair, because people would only be paying tax on how much they spend on consumer goods and services.
Sally, I have to agree with you, 18 lbs. of change is way more than a little loose change. I can't imagine having that much change in my wallet.
A dollar menu loaded with mayo would not fill you up for long. I think you'd be hungry again in just a few hours.
Memory, you're right about vendors having to pay a fee for credit/debit purchases. I use mine anyway, as I get cash back when I do, and the vendor already accepts, them, so they've accepted the fact that they will be paying a fee and have already raised their prices accordingly.
So Rosemary, what are they paying for animation jobs these days? I had wanted to get into it back in 1999, but I was not able to continue in the graphic design school I was in due to financial troubles.
Well, Karen, it may depend upon the college's success in placing kids. One well regarded college we looked at reported less than 50% success in placing any job, and those that did ended up primarily doing things like architectural drafting for a large firm in Canada, for maybe around $20,000 to $30,000 tops starting salaries. The open house to that particular college was standing room only for animation majors. Compare that to a major in engineering likely to start at closer to $40,000 with a higher rate of employment, and perhaps still doing similar work, although more math, with more autonomy.
Podster, I agree, I would not want a federal sales tax instituted unless the federal income tax was abolished at the same time. Get rid of the IRS. Would be nice to get rid of state income tax, too, for that matter, and they can just raise our state sales tax accordingly. I don't mind paying more sales tax if I don't have to have a tax taken out of my pay before it's even spent.
As for what you wrote on the other stuff, about how the businesses have to pass on the extra cost to the consumer, well, it's to be expected. I do understand that they have a lot of overhead, and they aren't trying to scalp on on their prices. I understand how difficult it is to keep a business running and still make money, especially when places like Walmart are undercutting them. I can't argue about it too much, not being a business owner myself and having to deal with that makes me not knowledgeable enough put forth a good argument. I've thought about turning my hobby of selling plants into an official business. My mother had done it at one time. But then there's a lot of headache that goes with it, and really I don't make all that much in sales. What I do make goes straight back into plants and gardening supplies. I would have to have a lot of upfront money to really get it off the ground, and I just don't have it, so it will remain a hobby.
Thanks for answering that question, Rosemary. That's a small amount for a starting salary, though I have to admit my current salary is rather small, so for me it wouldn't be any different, only that I would have a degree and possibly make more money in the future. As things stand now, I don't stand to make anymore money in the future, as I am not management material, nor would I want all the stress and headaches management in my field entails. I had thought about it several years ago, but when I found out everything that was involved, I realized it wasn't something I could do.
Darius, I'm not sure how the feds would have more control over each state's share of the pie. If it's a federal sales tax, it should go all to the federal pot. That state has their own sales tax (except certain ones), so they have their own piece of the pie already. Isn't that how it works. Please excuse my ignorance. Just trying to understand.
Karen, you might get some good information from a placement counselor at the local junior college. They tend to do a lot to guide people who already have work experience, and they are getting state support to do that in Massachusetts, with more anticipated. You might find you can raise your sights higher than you realize.
Karen, I'm not too educated on how each gets a piece of the federal pie even now. For example, I know that to get some of the federal highway money, states have to issue a certain amount of tickets on the interstates. To be sure, interstate-posted Troopers tend to impede speeders, but I believe there's a LOT more to highway safety than just that...
which begs the question of "is the safety important, or the money from tickets"??
I suspect what little is known would only scratch the surface but all federal funding assistance has strings attached, be it schools, roads, etc.
An example is regulating speed limits. Over the years, a few states had the gumption to set their own speed limits and tell feds to butt out. The feds then cut off funding for new highway construction and repairs. It is rather like jerking a chain on a dog to get their attention.
Oh, I see what you mean now. The states get funding from their own sources, plus funding from the feds. Gotcha. That's crappy when the feds do that to keep the states in line. Reminds me of something, though it's not the same thing. What I'm thinking of is how in CA they have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, and people are allowed to grow it up to a certain amount. However, it is still illegal with the feds, so while the state will allow you to grow it and sell it and use it (with a prescription), the feds can still bust you. Something to think about it. I'm not a marijuana smoker, but if it were ever legalized in the same way here, then I would be growing some myself. With my experience growing all kinds of plants, I imagine marijuana would be a breeze. I could make a killing.
Rosemary, I'm not meaning to say I'm looking for another job now. I have to stick with what I have. I like it, for one, and it's only the second job in my life that I ever really liked enough to stick with (9 1/2 years now). Two, it has really great benefits, which is hard to find in many companies. I can't work in as a manager because it's just too much for me. I hate paperwork for one, and managers in my job have a lot to do. I have paperwork myself and I struggle to keep up with it. We don't have time built into our shifts to get our paperwork done, so I end up doing in on my own time. It's something I've always resented, but one of the few things I don't like about my job. I'm the kind of person who just likes to do my job at work, and leave it all behind when I go home. I don't want to have to take it home with me. Plus I'm so forgetful all the time, and I've been in trouble many times at work because of it. I've tried everything, reminders, notes, etc. It all helps to some extent, but I still forget too much. I just get distracted so easily, and I'll forget something that was on my mind all day at the drop of a hat. I've been diagnosed with ADD. I suppose if I really wanted to I could really play it up and collect disability, but I don't want to play that card, so I do the best I can.
Karen, sounds like you're doing fine. I don't like what's involved with being management either, even though it would be neat to have real authority to manage well. You're not alone wanting time at work for paperwork, either. Marijuana extracts a huge price from the user, especially if there's any kind of attention thing going on, so I'm glad for you that it's off the table.
yep with any cuts the $ has to come from somewhere else...robbing peter to pay paul but peter is quickly becoming broke
Closed on the refi for our house. Nice that the title agent came to our house to sign all the paperwork. went to a 15yr, 3.25%(the lowest she's seen), rolled in our former home equity loan and all closing costs and with the taxes we are paying $100 LESS a month!!!!! woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Crazy thought- the year we pay off our mortgage my son is going to be 24! but will be years before retirement age for hubby
I didn't want to be but hubby does...we had a plan when starting the business that if it didn't take off in 5 years then we'd close it up and move, and if it did good we'd be here at least for 15 years. We've been doing very well so I guess we're here for now. The next step is do enough that we can get the office out of our house and I can get this space back
Just read the 'how typical' link. I doubt that many people outside this forum will even know about this.
Ever worked as an "election judge?" Its a whole long day of inconvenience and possible near to tears boredom. 150$ in this county. I expect our primary is going to be very boring, since we are heavily democrat in this area, and they hardly have a reason to come vote in the primary this go round. And by April 4th, its looking like the repubs might be all over but the shouting. It costs the gov a lot to run an election.
We really should try not to be so overtly political. I '*try* not to mention names or parties, etc., but just kvetch. We have to draw the line somewhere or we will get in trouble. It is tough to avoid altogether when money/finance/economy is the subject.
I'm working on them. It takes me awhile to enter in the charity deductions because I give a little bit here and there - a lot! Looks like I will get refunds - I never plan on that. Looks like I have to adjust down my witholding now that I only teach one class a year instead of two.
I think there was a reference a bit earlier about the Bush tax cut. It can't be political to call it that, it's what eveyone calls it. It enabled money to be made in stocks that pay high dividends, even in 2008. Even if the Obama administration renews the same or a similar tax plan, a family's needs may change. We probably have to spend the money.
It's irritaing not to have the 1099's for the stocks but I called and found out mid February is their goal. Some colleges want our 2011 tax returns by then, so we REALLY want to finish our taxes.
On another financial subject, if our kids go to state schools, they get to waive the $1500 tuition per year because of high scores on the state's MCAS competency test (just found the letter) . Times three, we could save $18,000 over four years making total cost about $258,000 plus other general expenses. Of course if they raise tuition even more, we might qualify for aid because we'll have less money! On this one, the pols who talk about college finance reform are talking about how tuition gets raised because federal aid makes up the difference. College costs keep going up because they can!
The sad reality is that whenever the gov gets involved in anything, costs go up. Simple reason - those charging for the good or service know they have pretty much a guarantee. Happened with loans - student and mortgages, healthcare - both for care and prescription drugs, construction, you name it.
Yep. But that price is over four years for 3 kids with state scholarships. This is Massachusetts and lots of funding is going into the state schools. There's little public impetus to keep public prices lower. That's why we're bargain shopping, because publics might not be the best value after all. Every kid we know that applied to Harvard, Brown, Wellesley, Brandeis or MIT early decision got in. Either their parents are professors or they can affort it. Just about everybody's parents are professors or there's a legacy in some school for that matter. And the kids know exactly where they stand because these days it's all put on scattergraphs before they apply.
What's scary is that with all the applications it's hard to keep the kids applying for scholarships. One of my DDs got tired, so she didn't get the academic scholarhsip applications to some colleges done in November when they were due, so those colleges came off the list. College success comes from what used to result in a Ph.D---the one with the most perseverance succeeds.
We're still hoping all 3 can close the deal with a college. Right now they're having to check their college applications online because odd requests come back. Now DS has to go ask for a reference from his physics teacher becaus WPI sent an email that they wanted it. Other colleges didn't even say what they meant on their sites when they said they wanted another letter. DD had to send in an agreement twice. Things get lost before they're acknowledged.
We have kids and some (little ) experience with private Xtian colleges. The two with higher tuition 'on the books' seemed to come back very easily with 'scholarship' making the costs 'surprisingly' comparable between them. I think they all know what the market will bear. That state school price sounds comparable to the christian college price, which does seem too high for state school. I am talking MD VA PA area.
Of course we use our states tuition savings plan. We can put up to 5000 a year into each kids college plan and knock the amount off our income for state tax. But then this big dedicated savings account might be "hurting" us at FAFSA time. If you can manage to have most of your savings in retirement accounts, those do not count as usable income on FAFSA. If you have college savings plan, the full amount I believe had to go on the application for aid for just the one student, but our full amount is supposed to cover three kids.
My daughter is 4 years old but I started saving for her college a couple years ago. I figured the sooner I start the easier it would be. After doing some research I decided to put her college savings into a 529 Indepedent plan which basically allows me to purchase "tuition certificates" at today's rates. That allows me to figure out exactly how much I need to put away each month to have her college paid for by the time she turns 18.
The major drawback is that not every college participates in this program (only 270 do as of right now) so in order for her to have her tuition fully paid for through this program she would have to select one of the participating schools and then be accepted by that school. If she decides to go to a different school we can still use the money we saved up toward the tuition but we would be paying whatever the going rate happens to be in 2026.
our financial advisor told us unless we can save the entire tuition don't save any, student's tuition will be based on the $ you make and the money you have, so say you have $72,000 tuition per year will be total $96,000 and your take home is 60,000...they will say oh that student will not have any problem paying so they charge you the full 24,000 per year
next student comes in has no $ saved and take home is 60,000, they will give that student a break on tuition because taking 24, 000 out of the 60,000 would be a hardship...Princeton is one of those colleges that does lower tuition like that -my bookkeepers daughter will be going there instead of paying the same amount for The College of NJ(formerly Trenton State) which doesn't lower the tuition cause it's a state college
Lowes is having an Auction Sat. & Sun. They closed 3 stores in NH and moved all the inventory in my town :-) There is tons of stuff outside in the Nusery - From birdbaths to ferilizer and lawn mowers, Oh boy.
you should be maxing out your 401K first (20% of your income) for your own retirement and paying down your home, never take a loan on the house to pay for kids education. if you have extra money to put towards kids education after that then go ahead and help - otherwise let them take out loans.
i basically went for free too - the cost of today's education is so expensive people can not be risking the future - or is there a deal when you lose the house you can move in with the kids? I am sure the kids would not be up for that:)
My reason for wanting to save for my daughter's tuition in full is that I don't want her to have to take out loans for an undergraduate degree. I had student loans after I graduated and even though the interest rates were low compared to other kinds of debt, it was a burden that I couldn't handle very well as a 22-year-old and it kept me from getting to do a lot of the things I think people in their 20s should get to experience.
The literature I read on the 529 Plan says that the money I contribute to the plan will be considered my asset and that when it comes to federal financial aid, the formula they use considers 5.6% of my assets and 20% of my daughter's. The way I read that, even if I contribute $125,000 to the 529 plan, the federal government would only say that $7,000 of that should be considered when determining any financial aid. Does that sound right?
I'm not a certified broker or anything like that, but I have been learning a lot about college financing. You'd think because the government offers something nice sounding like a 529 that it would benefit you, but in many cases, it doesn't. In my state it really doesn't because there's no tax advantage to 529 in Massachusetts as there is in some states such as New York. On a 529, if you make the kid the owner, it's part of THEIR assets which are hit harder than if you are the owner and the kid is the beneficiary. Then it's counted as one of your assets. Moeover, the little money in our 529's for over ten years performed abysmally. When I stopped contributing, I found a better route in stocks, but that's a longer story.
I agree with Bill's sentiments entirely. Paying for college is a lot like having the airplane buck , so you put the overhead oxygen mask on yourself before you fasten it on your kid. It's no benefit to the kids to go broke paying for their college.
I also detected some confusion about state vs. the private schools. They have different formulas for aid. If you want to look it over, check out the FAFSA for state schools and the CSS for the private or "profile" schools. College board administers the CSS profiles for private schools. Both kinds of aid based upon something called the Expected Family contribution or EFC. Depending upon which type of school you are applying to, the number can come out differently. Then each college makes its own offer. That's why I've been saying I'm looking for a bargain. You don't really know who's going to give the best advantage financially until the offer comes, though you can make educated guesses. These days, it is a practical requirement for your kid to apply to about 10 schools as a minimum, because there can be 9 expensive offers and the tenth could offer a scholarship, and everyone uses the Common Application now. To make it harder, some schools automatically process applications with scholarships in mind, and others, such as Vanderbilt and Wash U. want the scholarship applications separately from the financial aid packet.
The best endowed schools may give the most aid to a talented student they want. Maybe they need a kid who plays the oboe and yours has won state competitions. Also, most privates have a presidential scholarship. Worth getting if your kid is academically inclined. We took a risk that one DD could apply for early decision II to go where there's a decent package, because it's the school with the best reputation in the country for her academic interest. She was almost promised the presidential scholarhips at one or two other colleges, so we had to maintain our focus. If she gets denied her first choice in a week or more, then she's free to consider all actually tendered offers. Be prepared for a roller coaster ride!
Fo anyone who doesn't know it yet, I have triplets all applying to college. So if I make a mistake, it will be a biggie!
Oh, and as for MIT. Check out the vibes there before getting too excited about it. They have a very small undergraduate program, and it's best for a very specific kind of kid with interests that match their faculty interests.
So, Expected Family Contribution or EFC is kinda like credit scores: determined by some undisclosed formula, and all we have figured out is that some things we do can raise or lower it.
Additionally, there is a certain distribution of allotted funds that works on a Federal level (like Highway funds)that are then apportioned to each state with their own maximization of assistance funds for their state coffers and then each college's own individualized funding, (stay in business), viability priorities. Very similar to the mortgage industry, the more students (consumers) you can generate through grants and loans the more profitable for lenders (brokers) even if many drop out and default (foreclose) down the line as "profit taking" is up front (tuition) and funds loaned and granted are immediately reinvested in what ever financial institutions hold their funds.
A difference is that playing in the educational financial consumerism system isn't covered if an individual loses. One can't discharge in bankruptcy or sue for "false advertising" when value estimated is not value received for investment ,( 50 MPG , increased income over a lifetime) The odds of coming out on top, breaking even, or being "under water" financially and educationally are shifting sands.
I haven't looked into student health insurance, but I think that you are right that it would be best to stay on the parents' plan. Of course, the one thing you'd want to look into is whether your health plan would cover routine things like an office visit if your kid goes to college outside your health plan or medical group's service area. Most health plans will only cover emergencies if you are using out-of-network providers but it would be worth checking to see how your plan handles college students. My hunch: keep them on your insurance but look into whether the college offers a supplemental insurance that would cover things like going to the on-campus health center for cold medicine and ace bandages.
The Expected Family Contribution or EFC figures aren't that hard to estimate. There are estimators on-line at the official FAFSA site and on College Board's website. In order for parents to have a better idea of actual cost of each college, starting this year, each college has to post an "estimator." Even the "profile" schools, which are the private schools that use the CSS figures, will usually ask for the FAFSA or its equivalent eventually. What you can't anticipate is the institutional grants or scholarships, or how a financial officer might adjust your data to give you a break.
The question of best student health insurance may depend upon what your employer offers to compare to the college's offering. In my case, I'm waiting to learn whether my kids will be attending college out of state and where, because if so, I'll change to a more expensive health insurance that has out of state benefits.There's no wiggle room to decide. College decision day is May first, and that's when we have to make coverage changes too where I work. I doubt that any college health center will cover as much as a parent's plan, but maybe I'll be surprised. People really didn't ask about this at the twenty or more college sessions I've attended. They were all preoccupied with their kid getting in.
Victor, you mentioned maybe we shouldn't be overly political. We must not be, as I have not seen any editing going on here.
I'm with you on the cats thing, Memory, no schooling, though with me it's dogs. Not that they're cheap, mind you, when you think about the vet costs, toys, high quality food, etc., but not near as pricey as kids. I get dog hair dust bunnies, though.
Yeah not NEAR as costly as kids!! Until they invent orthodontics for pets. No, I'm sure it's invented but not as popular as it is for kids...
Reason we're looking at college health plans is, we won't have employer health plan a few months from now- we aren't going to pay the Cobra cost to keep the current plan.
Our agent for Erie Insurance where we have car and home, has been a good resource for us. He referred us to a guy in Towson MD who deals with health insurance. We'll see.
I think I'll post it here, it's financial. DD didn't get into Middlebury College. She got her rejection online today. She's dejected. They accepted 41% of their early applicants, and everything on her application was strong. Goes to show, you can't predict what the colleges are considering. It probably didn't help that she wants to study Spanish, not Arabic or Mandarin.
It's mixed for us, because her next two choices are in-state, meaning she might get her teaching license in Massachusetts. Still, we have to submit tax data or additional financial aid forms to 33 schools, now. We were hoping to knock a dozen off that list. We're back to working on getting 3 kids accepted in college. DS asked his physics teacher for a letter since one school wanted it. No idea if the letter will be favorable enough, since the teacher isn't releasing it to us.
Now we have no idea what our costs could be. The state schools are competitive for admissions, also, so no guarantees there, since people want to apply to the state programs and they have limited slots in their majors. Apparently, as shown by our web searches, the business of matching kids to colleges has meant that there are no secrets about where the most financial aid gets offered, and the applicants line up for those well-endowed schools. Middlebury wrote that they had the highest application pool in terms of scores and academic standards in their entire history.
Sorry your DD didn't get accepted, Rosemary. I didn't know what a pain it was to have to go through all that to get a kid into college. It's a lot. I hope she finds something soon and can feel better about things.
Sorry about that news, Rosemary. Best wishes to all three. Any considering RPI, my DH's alma mater?
We were glad when one of our sons went to the USCGA in CT. He was a twin and then 2 yrs later our youngest entered college. it was kind of like having all three in diapers at once again.
so sorry I remember that feeling when I didn't get into Rutgers, found out AFTER THE FACT that I should have gone in for English major then switched to communications...who knew? Maybe apply for something different then switch majors?
Thanks for your kind words, Jan, Karen and Jenn. I took DD out for lunch and to buy books since she's a reader. She's handling the lesson in humility very well but feeling lonely because she feels separated from a place where she'd feel she belonged. Turns out her next choice is now Oberlin, so no in-state school on the horizon at the moment.
My DS did apply to RPI. We visited a year ago in the bitter cold. I was very impressed. He's tall and he was wearing his track Sweatshirt over the chinos, so it was fun to watch the admissions people checking him out and asking for his name. I'd go there in a second if I were attending college in technology today. I read about their involvement in the genome project and other research. However, it might be a bit too big for him, and a bit far from home. They did want to see his portfolio of graphic art, but he's applying in engineering. .
It's been interesting to read all the posts about college stuff.
The sole family contribution to my college education (in 1958) was $10 from my grandmother, for a dictionary. I turned down a full music scholarship to U. Miami (for bassoon) because I knew I was no musician. Turned down a teaching scholarship to a state teacher's college because I didn't want to be a teacher... plus my waitress mother didn't have any money for dorm housing, food, etc. and it was 400 miles away.
Instead, I went to school at night after work for most of the next 10-12 years, in 2-3 different states. I was making more money as a R&D tech than graduate engineers, so I finally gave up on a degree. Since I'm an autodidact, it really didn't matter in the long run anyway.
I'm of the opinion that there are many financial opportunities to be created that require a skill, often lost skills, that do not require a degree. Too many people with advanced degrees are flipping burgers in a large portion of our country.
Maybe a combo graphic arts/engineering. If they seemed interested...
Hubby worked very hard there. He did the 5 yr nuclear engineering and had his master's at the end . He left the industry in 90 to start teaching.
Doesn't sound like you needed college, Darius. It takes a lot to know what you like and what you need to do to be your own person, but that's clearly the best way.
I'd like my kids to all get jobs this spring. Right now my DS and his dad are in the garage doing body work on the car (the other DD drove into a teacher's car last week). At least he's learning practical skills. They have the entire front end of the body off, pounding it out, using body compound, epoxying new headlights in. We made her help for a while.
Some schools permit both in a double major. WPI started a new architectural engineering program. Don't know if they're hard up for any applicants to transfer over, though.
DS had a very bad personal interview there where they told him not to even apply because his grades weren't in the "required" A-minus range. It took half a year to recover from it and to decide to apply anyway. He's barely able to shop around given the attitudes he's encountered saying he won't even get in. I was there. He does nothing to deserve the wrath that gets directed at him sometimes. Then a daughter goes in a bit unsure, and it's all about offering encouragement and dangling their number of Fullbrights or presidential scholars when she says her grades. Grades aren't the only measure of a person's academic worth, although they do show a willingness to work hard.
Ha, my message got lost, and then posted later. Never saw that before!
As for changing majors to get into a school, we're not up to that kind of strategy. When people do that it often backfires anyway. RPI warned people not to do that in their meeting because they don't permit switching to the popular major, mechanical engineering.
Re: grades and ability. Sometimes great grades but kid never studies, so when they get challenged with something more difficult, they struggle as compared to kids who have learned to work hard from the git go. Perseverance is important.
I remember a meeting at the Coast Guard Academy where an officer told the kids if they really didn't want to go there, but the parents did, then just misspell Coast Guard Academy. That was a sure way to be rejected.
Okay, I looked up autodidact, and looks like I'm one, also. I have taught myself to do many things. Gardening, photography, etc. Whenever I was very interested in anything, I've always spent lots of time reading up on it and putting it into practice, as well as doing some formal classes and such.
Maybe autodidact is another name for "quick study."
About finding a way to go where you're most comfortable, DD wonders if she can transfer to her first choice college if she does well at a different school. But it's likely she'll be happy somewhere else.
Our pediatrician was telling me he was worried about his daughter's struggles to find the right job, even after getting a Fulbright scholarship and going to (his birth country) Korea. If his kids and their great academic record can't find a 'good' job, what hope do we have? His son got a history degree, and Dad said if he wanted to take MCAT that Dad could at least be able to help him in the medical field.
The young adults still have to wait for the baby boomers to retire. Many hoping for academic jobs, for example, will have moved on to other fields by the time the positions open. I for one didn't want to have to do that, and did move on. In my case it was during the last recession and subsequent un- funding of human services research. They still haven't restored the mandates for evaluation research and accountability that were begun in the 70's when there were also federal grants to train the researchers.
My kids were telling me more stories about who got in to different top colleges for early decision. Not necessarily the brainiest, most academically oriented, or even the nicest people. The admissions offices are flooded, and can generally only go by the paperwork they receive. It's just an increasingly impersonal process in many cases.
Remember Joni Mitchell? What song said "Heart of humor and humility will lighten up a heavy load" ? The road ahead is full of twists and unexpected turns, and we use our abilities in all sorts of unexpected ways.
The NYT carried this interactive map this morning... sure points out the differences in how I experience the economy from here, and how you experience it from DC up the east coast to NH. My own county (according to that 2009 map) gets almost 33% of total income from government programs like unemployment insurance, veterans' benefits, Income benefits (low income support like aid to families with dependent children, food stamps, disability, earned income tax benefits, and of course, Medicare and Medicaid. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/02/12/us/entitlement-map.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=thab1
Another question for you, Rosemary. From my magazines, websites, etc., on photography, it's apparent that senior portraits are a MUCH bigger thing now than when I was that age (actually, seems everything is a much bigger deal now). What is your experience? Are you shopping around, interviewing, checking websites and portfolios, etc.??
Senior High school portraits are just ungodly expensive!!!!!
I've always bought one of the cheapest yearly packages of school pics anyway. My DD's best friend is a serious amateur. We paid her to take photos of DD in our backyard which we could then print thru online or whatever. can't find one right now but I thought it every bit as good. We had the cap and gown at home and did some with gown some wtih casual dress.
Interesting map, Darius. I hadn't realized unemployment was THAT high in much of Pennsylvania, so I can see why fracking is getting some traction.
There is a HUGE markup in senior class pictures, Victor. In our case, one company got the contract, but of course we were only obligated to have them for the yearbook. Around Christmas I was thinking about going somewhere else when a salesperson called and offered a huge discount because of the three kids. Just shows how much mark-up there is. Still cost more than I care to think about. But the bright side is the kids don't want so many wallet photos anymore. They have all their electronic media instead.
And I can't imagine what Darius was researching when she located that map. I'd bet no one else here comes is close to what our county ranks as dependent. 41.6% And it isn't a retirement community. Sheese... and it has always been noticable at the time of the month when the checks would hit.
Currently, we have major gas exploration in this area as well as fracking. I am less than enthusiastic but it has brought more money into an economically deprived area.
Finished my taxes. I need to replan my deductions because I got a refund - need that money during the year instead of letting it be borrowed interst free. Guess the difference was the class I didn't teach in the Fall - would have rather had the money from the class instead of the refund.