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Middle School (Age) Doings

May 13th, 2016 at 12:37 pm

My dh has a phone obsession (no idea why; I don't think he really even uses his phone much). But, anyway. Bought some phone "for BM some day maybe", which is ridiculous since I've lost track of how many phones we have. & they will all probably be obsolete before BM ever needs a phone.

All is well that ends well. I just grumbled at dh initially. But I told him today that I wanted to take a phone inventory and to get rid of some of the older phones. He agreed and I think in the end we don't have any more phones than we need. & most were bought as incredible deals, so maybe it's not all bad.

Our plan hinges on one phone that LM is using at current. We are supposed to be able to use it with Ting, but it's a little iffy. So we might test it out this weekend just to see if we should keep it (for the kids). If that phone works okay, dh has agreed to get rid of our first two smart phones. Then this phone would be our backup phone. Which we have already promised to his aunt when she is in the States this summer. & lord knows every once in a while we need to activate an extra phone. Like when I have to air out my phone for several days. Wink I am fine with the *one* backup phone. (& we could always activate short-term if the kids need cell service, so it certainly gets used).

This new phone will be dh's "insurance" phone and maybe the kids could use it some day. I think that's fine and reasonable if we only have *one* future phone. A full-on replacement if we have a phone die prematurely, something like that. (Which we would never use because we'd just buy a phone that we actually want. But, whatever dh. If it makes you sleep better at night).

Dh has another recent hand-me-down from his mom that he doesn't need after all (new "future" phone will take care of what he wanted this other phone for). So... We suddenly have a phone available for LM. The timing kind of works because I recall it was 6th grade when a lot of the kids got phones. So though he's been using a more cheapie phone for games, this will be a nice step up. IT's not Ting-compatible, but once he wants to start calling and texting his friends we will just set him up with google voice number.

BM's phone is not Ting compatible either, but getting cell service doesn't seem to be on his radar. I expect we will be good for a while. If not, we have "backup" phone and "future" phone. If we suddenly feel like the kids need cell phone service. I haven't ruled it out for next year since it will be different and chaotic. Until then...

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In other news, I am questioning my planning skills. I guess I am just in denial that my baby is getting older!

We've been discussing the whole 8th grade big trip for a while, but it never occurred to me I'd have to pay for that trip this year. I had some kind of a mental block about that. Well, technically the payment is due around January 1, for a March 2017 trip. Duh!

Dh has already given me fair warning on this issue. As it turns out, his parents planned a big trip to D.C. the summer before his 8th grade. So of course they were not interested in paying a bajillion dollars to send him again with all of his classmates. I think it probably didn't help that he went to a small private school, so probably felt a little more left out than I imagine our own kids would.

{I don't know that my 8th grade class even had a big trip. So none of this means anything to me. Lord knows my parents would never pay for a trip like that, when I Was a child}.

So, dh tells me about how upset he is about this and how he wouldn't do the same for his kids. So... He plans a big trip to D.C. *during* 8th grade. Don't ask me!

Since both our parents gave us large cash gifts last year, I basically told him, "Whatever." I honestly don't care. *I* am not paying for it.

I think if the trip was *just* D.C., we'd have to admit that this is pretty redundant. Dh may have his personal feelings on the subject, but he's also a really cheap guy. So I don't even know if he would be pushing for this.

But... They are also going to NYC. They had me at Broadway!

BM hasn't decided yet if he wants to go. But we got the information this week. Cost is $2,500-ish. We told him we had the means, and it's just up to him if he wants to go.

The way I am compartmentalizing this in my brain is mostly, "The grandparents have this covered." Whether they know it or not. Without their generosity, I don't know that I would feel so blase about this expenditure.

But, that said. It seems we have been throwing around the idea of a lot of big expenses, and this did throw me off a wee bit.

I don't know how much of it is "13 years of unemployment" thing or just that dh and I have never spent his income. I mean, we might save it for later and spend it down. But 100% of his income has always gone to savings of some form. At some point it hit me that we have dh's income to cover this. It just took me a long time to get there. & now I'd like to kind of forget that I ever thought about it. But yeah, that does makes this trip "no big deal" from a financial standpoint. I think I will continue my thinking as always. All of dh's income will go to savings. In turn, your assets get bigger and you more seriously consider splurges like this. I guess was kind of where we were, but I wasn't fully realizing how quickly we should be able to replenish this savings.

Dh and I did also discuss that we would not offer this trip to BM unless we felt we could offer the same to LM. OF course, LM could currently care less. Which is why BM tend to be so spoiled on the travel front. He's the only one in our house that cares about this stuff at all. Is not personally how I would spend my own money. But, I can appreciate the ying and the yang of it. I would bet money that LM will never ask us to send him on the 8th grade trip. Will see...

4 Responses to “Middle School (Age) Doings”

  1. Buendia Says:

    Yikes! I just looked up to see if F's future middle school has an 8th grade trip... there are both 7th grade and 8th grade trips each Spring... but the fee for the 7th grade one is $35 and the 8th grade one is $200. I am assuming these are heavily subsidized by tuition! Or maybe they're camping? F has a 4-day, 3-night trip next year (6th) but it's free. I am feeling very grateful, because there's no way we could scrounge up $2500 and tuition. I think it's partly that we're so remote from everywhere, there's nowhere to go in any reasonable distance. Even by plane, trips take all day because you have to drive over an hour to airport, and then there really aren't many direct flights anywhere. Certainly not to NY or DC... or anywhere on the East Coast. I hope BM has a great time on the trip, and I think it's great that the finances work out, however it's paid for!

  2. My English Castle Says:

    DD had her 8th grade Washington DC trip this year. I thought it was sort of stupid and expensive--I think it totaled about $1120. The school raised some money which brought the outlay down a bit, but we went on the no-interest payment plan for 8 months. They flew to DC, had four nights in a hotel and really packed their schedule full. Despite my feelings, we did it, she loved it, and about 98% of the kids went. That said, my DH has never been to Washington, and I'd love to go again. I would have rather done it as a family trip, but oh, the pressures of the school system.

  3. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I've never even heard of eighth grade trips, but I might be a bit isolated. Even high school group trips seem exotic to me. Here, when there is a mere field trip to a movie, the school asks for donations for the tickets for students who can't afford even that. So, no 8th grade trips.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    I'd have no problem saying no under other circumstances. I expect the participation rate to be pretty low at this school. Which makes me feel kind of weird about it on other levels. I don't know why you offer things that most people can't participate in. (They do have a much cheaper 8th grade beach trip that everyone can participate in. The school might even just cover it, which is their general field trip policy).

    Oh, and I didn't mention that the chaperone cost is more like $2,900!! We will definitely not be chaperoning.

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