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Childcare & Stocks

August 15th, 2012 at 06:41 am

**Interesting observation: Paid $0 for babysitting or childcare in the prior 12 months. {May have paid cash once to teenaged neighbor - but don't particularly track cash purchases, since very rare for us}.

This may be dumb and a waste but we decided to use drop-in place this month for Back to School night, though not needed. IT secures our registration for another 12 months, in case of emergency. We only need about 1/2 hour of care for BTS night, so no biggie. Maybe $20-ish when you factor time to drop off and pick up.

This reminds me, I was also going to sign up the kids for before and after school care, in case of emergency last year, but never did. This year they made us fill all the paperwork anyway, but not required to pay a registration fee unless you utilize more than twice. SCORE! So, it's available if needed, but no financial commitment if we never end up needing it. This is really nice.

On the drop-in place, if we don't utilize again in the next 12 months, we will let our registration lapse next summer. BM will be 10, and all this is getting to be pretty moot. {& if we ever actually do need it - we just sign up again, then}.

In order to cut babysitting costs, dh and I have been meeting for lunch dates (taking advantage of lower lunch costs and the kids being in school). Most the neighbors are out of work so there is always someone to pick up the kids from school or take them for a couple of hours if need be (dh has had a lot of random Doctor appointments the past couple of years - usually when this comes in handy). Kids are often away at playdates anymore. & this does not factor that my MIL begs to watch the kids here and there and sometimes sends us off on vacation just so she can get the kids for a week.

This is an expense that seems to be mostly gone from our lives. Phew!

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I mentioned the kids were into money-making schemes lately.

I have no idea how it came up, but we got on the subject of stocks yesterday. So, I ended up having the kids pick about 10 stocks and we set them all up in yahoo finance as if we had bought $100 of each stock. This way, BM can look every day when he does homework and checks his yahoo e-mail. It's easy to see if his stocks are doing well or poorly, based on if his balance is over or under $1,000.

BM is now a whiz at researching the stocks on yahoo. We looked at graphs and dividends and all that jazz. I explained the Dow Jones to him. He soaked it up pretty quickly. I figured we would have to track dividends (at least input them into yahoo as they accumulate) so will give us a project to do. This is probably a good challenge for him since he is way into math these days. Just another way to make math interesting and useful. Heck, he also got a fair lesson on public and private companies since we looked up quite a few things that were private companies that they could not invest in (Legos, Minecraft, etc.). So that means I had to explain to them the difference, and so on.

I figured we could track through the end of the year and maybe for next year we can do some actual pretend stock trading. This year is more learning about it and next year can be them actively participating a little more. Might as well learn the hard lessons while young and with nothing to lose. If they do well, I would probably pay them the profits. I'll have to think on it, because I wouldn't ding them for losing. I think they'd get the point though. When I think back to money lessons of my youth, my parents always over-rewarded me too (like 100% match for meeting a savings goal).

Mental Note: Must look into DRIPS - might make sense for some real investing for the kids.

7 Responses to “Childcare & Stocks”

  1. ThriftoRama Says:

    I'm jealous! My bill is $785 a month for two kids for 12 hours a week or so. The price of toddlers and work.

  2. Londynsmom Says:

    Thats awesome on your childcare expense. I'm very grateful also as I have client who charges $80/weekly so $320 monthly for my one year old. This includes all meals and snacks and there is no time limit stipulation either.

  3. baselle Says:

    Re stocks: Also want to point out where the companies they invest in intersect with their lives. I've been getting a little thrill when I go into Target, another thrill when I pass the 3M (office supply aisle), another thrill when I pass the KO refrigerators, a little thrill looking at the cardboard sleeves on my paper coffee cup (IP), another thrill eating at the Saturday breakfast place (SYY). When I go to the farmette, another thrill passing by the WEC windfarm ... well, you get the Peter Lynchian idea.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    That is too cool that your kids are getting into stocks. Certainly any amount of financial ed can't hurt, and I don't know anything about stocks even after 3 years or so of reading Kiplinger! (I do try and read the stock articles but my eyes tend to glaze over. Wink )

    We consider ourselves VERY lucky that our full-time daycare is $1050 per month for two kids. Very hard price to find good quality child care in Minneapolis, and ours is VERY good quality.

    Babysitting, however, is more of an issue. We like to use friends, and we try to pay a decent wage so they won't feel used. We used to pay $40 for 4 hours with one kid, now we've raised it to $60 for the two. Needless to say, this has cut way down on date nights (at least on date nights where we all get out). We don't have any family in the area; if we did, they would gladly watch our kids for free, as everyone in our family loves kids. Oh well.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I think that is a really cool thing your doing with your boys.

  6. Looking Forward Says:

    What a great way to start learning about stocks. I think DD would enjoy doing that too.

  7. Jerry Says:

    That is really cool that you have the insurance of pre- post- care for your kids, but are not on the hook for it unless you actually need it. You never know when an unexpected event will occur that leads to needing something like that. I can't believe they don't charge up front!
    Jerry

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