The Intersection of FIRE and Disney

Mopedmom1

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 21, 2017
My daughter played Club Volleyball for several years with MANY dollars being spent. Being over 6' tall she (and we) hoped for college scholarships. Late spring of her junior year in HS we were in a car accident, resulting in her having back surgery and ending her VB career. Did we waste money on VB? No because she enjoyed the game, but it didn't give us the return on the dollar we would have liked to see. With kids activities it certainly is a slippery slope in regards to time and money invested.

@SouthFayetteFan What do you include to compute YOUR net worth? We live on 20 acres in the country that is close to $1M in value. It has been in my family since the 1940's when my great grandfather bought it. Can I ever imagine selling it to realize the value? Probably not, so I would have to say that it wouldn't be included in MY net worth. Although, neither of my children are interested in living here so unless I am able to age out here, I guess it could be included.
 

SouthFayetteFan

Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
My daughter played Club Volleyball for several years with MANY dollars being spent. Being over 6' tall she (and we) hoped for college scholarships. Late spring of her junior year in HS we were in a car accident, resulting in her having back surgery and ending her VB career. Did we waste money on VB? No because she enjoyed the game, but it didn't give us the return on the dollar we would have liked to see. With kids activities it certainly is a slippery slope in regards to time and money invested.

@SouthFayetteFan What do you include to compute YOUR net worth? We live on 20 acres in the country that is close to $1M in value. It has been in my family since the 1940's when my great grandfather bought it. Can I ever imagine selling it to realize the value? Probably not, so I would have to say that it wouldn't be included in MY net worth. Although, neither of my children are interested in living here so unless I am able to age out here, I guess it could be included.
Your net worth is your net worth so I'd include it at market value for that purpose alone. That said, it's ill-liquid and priceless so it's probably not a portion of your assets that you can leverage for FIRE (and you already realize that).
 

1st*toright

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
this isn't about can I spend $1,000 for some 6 week winter season - this is about should I spend $1,000. (I use that as an example but it seems that it is a constant barrage of financial commitments). I think most of the other parents believe we are poor because it's easier to act like it's too much money than to try to convince them of the logic that little Suzi isn't going to make the pros and they should save their money for something else.
Good strategy! There were definitely some times when we should have considered the "should" more, but when we only had one kid and plenty of income, we were too much in a fog of working all the time to really consider the "should" of many spending decisions. We are trying to be more deliberate about kid activities this time around.

Its funny, my older kid used to be self-conscious about our relative wealth (back to the small house/cheap cars/not keeping up with Joneses) especially when she was in private middle school. Then she figured out that we could always afford a trip, tickets to the theater, pretty much anything we really wanted to do (including sending her to private school). When her dad left his high-paying job, she was worried about whether we'd have to move or change our lifestyle. When nothing really changed, I think she finally figured out that we were making different choices about money than her classmates families, not that we had less money to work with.
 
  • SouthFayetteFan

    Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2014
    Good strategy! There were definitely some times when we should have considered the "should" more, but when we only had one kid and plenty of income, we were too much in a fog of working all the time to really consider the "should" of many spending decisions. We are trying to be more deliberate about kid activities this time around.

    Its funny, my older kid used to be self-conscious about our relative wealth (back to the small house/cheap cars/not keeping up with Joneses) especially when she was in private middle school. Then she figured out that we could always afford a trip, tickets to the theater, pretty much anything we really wanted to do (including sending her to private school). When her dad left his high-paying job, she was worried about whether we'd have to move or change our lifestyle. When nothing really changed, I think she finally figured out that we were making different choices about money than her classmates families, not that we had less money to work with.
    My problem is I consider "should" over any financial decision. I can agonize over $0.50 - it's a gift and a curse. (My wife would so mostly curse, haha!)

    Kids definitely struggle to understand the "different priorities/choices" thing. I know I had my moments as a child and I KNOW my sister struggled with this mightily. It's really hard when they see their friends getting things that they don't have to not just assume we're poor and I think that can affect their mindset. I try to frequently talk to my girls about choices with money and how everybody has their own priorities. I think it's had some (positive) affect on their mindset, but it's probably still too early to tell.
     
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    elaine amj

    DIS Veteran
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    Jan 26, 2012
    We chose not to "invest" in multiple activities for our kids because of the costs. Yes, they missed out on some stuff (and yes, it did make high school sports difficult). But they also gained in so many other ways.

    And they did do certain things. My DS played travel soccer for many years (in a cheaper club plus I defrayed half the cost by sitting on the board). My DD took expensive piano lessons for 8 years. And a bunch of different lessons at our rec centre when she was little.

    Also, they have travelled more than most ppl we know. And have had many, many amazing experiences. I just refuse to consider most things to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. They are 16 and 18 now and are happy, healthy, well adjusted kids.
     

    RamblingMad

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2019
    My problem is I consider "should" over any financial decision. I can agonize over $0.50 - it's a gift and a curse. (My wife would so mostly curse, haha!)

    Kids definitely struggle to understand the "different priorities/choices" thing. I know I had my moments as a child and I KNOW my sister struggled with this mightily. It's really hard when they see their friends getting things that they don't have to not just assume we're poor and I think that can affect their mindset. I try to frequently talk to my girls about choices with money and how everybody has their own priorities. I think it's had some (positive) affect on their mindset, but it's probably still too early to tell.
    I did a paper route for two years to get money to buy a guitar. My parents then paid for lessons.

    The sooner kids work for money, the quicker they’ll understand.
     

    elaine amj

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2012
    I too agonize over $0.50 lol.

    I should add that it is cool to see my teens now making financial choices based on the lessons they have learned from us. The other day my DS16 was asking his friend how much he spent every week and after hearing the kid blew $100-200/week, told him he needed to go on a budget lol. When I ask him if he needs to upgrade his aging laptop, he tells me I should invest the money instead.

    DD18 is also very frugal. She recently got a $100 Walmart gift card. Last week we finally stopped into Walmart for her to buy some stuff. I thought she would want to indulge a bit and get some nice school supplies. After throwing all kinds of things into the cart, she was horrified to find out at the cashier that she had spent about $40 and had severe shopper's remorse lol.

    So we went home and she started digging through her desk to see what she had at home. Ended up returning $27 worth of stuff haha - she decided no to the fancy mechanical pencils, no to the multicolored sharpie pens (she has colorful gel pens she will use instead), no to the $5 pad of graph paper (she will hunt for it on sale elsewhere), etc etc.

    She was MUCH happier seeing the money back on her gift card!
     
  • platamama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 6, 2009
    The keeping up with the Jones' has just gotten insane. The area where it is most frustrating to me is with our children. This idea that our kids need to be in all of these activities that apparently now cost THOUSANDS a year is nuts. The days of just playing in the local soccer league are apparently over. The focus on college scholarships is out of control. It's a constant struggle to balance spending reasonably vs. denying my daughters experiences they want. How do you tell a girl her soccer or basketball career are over at 10 because the other parents have ruined it. It has challenged us to continue to be creative in finding activities that are reasonable for her age. I imagine this is only going to get more challenging in the coming years.
    Funny that you mention kids activities, @SouthFayetteFan. I do spend a lot of money on kids activities, and we would miss them if we cut them out. Where I live (like many places), everything is ultra-competitive - not just sports. Its true in music, dance, even chess! I mean, the activities themselves aren't necessarily competitive, its just that everyone is training for whatever their "thing" is like its a job - so if you haven't been acting in children's theater since you were 6, its hard to break in to the high school acting scene. If you don't play soccer year round (and do travel teams etc), you won't get to be on the high school team - I mean, not even make the team as a benchwarmer. I think it makes it a lot easier to get through high school (and college, to some extent) if you have a "thing" that helps you create your own vision of your identity, so I do think its important for my kids to get to try different stuff. There is a significant cost associated with that, even if we are just aiming for regular old life enriching activity and not scholarships or college application filler. It seems like there isn't really any middle ground - you either put in the time/money to excel or you don't get to participate at all.

    For example, many years ago my daughter was taking a gymnastics class one day a week. After a couple of weeks, the teacher said she really should be in their competitive program. She loved doing it, so I said okay, and next thing I know, my kindergartner was spending 6 hours a week in the gym. In first grade, it was going to be 10 hours a week, and she wasn't enjoying it anymore, so we decided to pull her from the competitive program. The problem was that back in the "recreational" class, they just messed around and worked on cartwheels - there was no opportunity for my daughter to continue to learn new skills. You were either in the hard-core program, or really not learning anything.

    It is really hard to strike a balance. Our older kid eventually found her niche, but we are still in the "exploration" phase with our little one.
    I can definitely commiserate. I saw the whole club/competitive league thing happen for DD when she was in 5th grade, and it was so frustrating that there was no middle ground for the kids who were happy playing in recreational leagues but at a higher level. And now in high school, you don't make the cut for the school team unless you've been in the year-round club/competitive/travel league circuit. DD played some intramural volleyball in middle school and decided she liked it, and freshman year made the cut for one of the D teams at her high school. Her teammates from that D team went on to play club for the rest of the year, and this year they made the cut onto the C and JV teams while DD is still on a D team which she is disappointed about but trying to stay positive. The thing is, she could've gone the club league direction too, but we had to make choices - she's in her 6th year of violin, she's a straight A student, and there's a residential summer camp that she LOVES more than any other experience in her life (that includes Disney and international travel). These are time and money choices, there's only so much of each to go around.

    I lament the level of competitiveness kids have to deal with these days. I certainly had it easier when I was that age, so it's hard to compare experiences with DD. Back then it really wasn't that difficult to be on the school varsity team. Of course my varsity teams from those days would probably lose spectacularly to varsity teams these days!

    Based on her strengths, I think she's best served by focusing on her academics. I hope that what she's tried out so far in terms of sports/music gives her a recreational outlet when she's grown-up and on her own.

    This summer, DD worked as a bank teller making minimum wage, and I think she has a new appreciation for the value of a dollar!
     

    speedyfishy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2016
    Suzi isn't going to make the pros and they should save their money for something else.
    I feel like that’s not a fair statement. I don’t have kids, but I do not want to have them make sacrifices so I can FIRE earlier. I’m struggling with this a lot actually mostly pertaining to education. Like if we move back to NY the public school system can be a crazy poopshoot and maybe your kid will get lucky and go to a good public school, but if not a lot of them are awful. And then their are the private schools my SO taught coding classes at where a majority of the kids go to Ivy League schools after graduating. I really think I would work forever to give my kid an opportunity at one of those schools. I’m also conflicted because I believe that in order for public schools to work everyone needs to be attending them, but I also don’t want to experiment with my kids lol that’s a whole other story.


    Anyway, I think sports/music or any hobby is important to the development of a child. Even those crazy expensive travel teams teach them so many life lessons. My parents put me in everything. Im so grateful I got to experience so many different things and develop and explore things that interested me. When I got tired of something we stopped. Eventually, I think kids need to make a decision and pick one or two things when they get into travel sports though. On the other end is my SO. He didn’t get to do anything. He said he wasn’t really interested but when you are younger I believe it’s the parents responsibility to foster learning and new experiences for a kid. I started dating my SO and I’m into basketball so eventually he became interested. He loves it now more than me. it makes me a little sad he never got to play basketball or be on any sport team like who knows what his interests would have been.
     

    BridgetBordeaux

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 27, 2008
    We haven't had a good discussion in here for awhile - we should fix that...


    • The book "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J Stanley came out in 1996. At the time, being a Millionaire was likely a fairly impressive feat. Translated into today's dollars that would now represent $1.6MM to give you an idea of how inflation has impacted that number. If you haven't read this book, it largely speaks about how often the people who "look" like millionaires are in fact not saving money and have very little wealth while people who may not look like they have wealth are actually millionaires as they are more savings oriented and financially savvy. I thought that info might add some interest to the discussion.
    Maybe we can have some fun discussion on this topic to help pass the day (or week) at work.
    This reply is in response to some things said since the above post was made............

    -We're working on being a millionaire family and we drive a Ford (book reference there)

    -50 cents....yep, I sometimes get overly worked up because I had to buy something and knew I had a coupon for it sitting at home but I did not have it with me at the time.............and it certainly was not worth postponing the purchase and making a return trip.

    - our college graduate kid has good financial sense because she lived under our roof and observed our example for over 2 decades. She did not get everything we wanted, but she had everything she needed.

    - we do all the thrifty things so we can offset the cost of Disney trips and gas for our boat.
     

    SouthFayetteFan

    Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2014
    I feel like that’s not a fair statement. I don’t have kids, but I do not want to have them make sacrifices so I can FIRE earlier. I’m struggling with this a lot actually mostly pertaining to education. Like if we move back to NY the public school system can be a crazy poopshoot and maybe your kid will get lucky and go to a good public school, but if not a lot of them are awful. And then their are the private schools my SO taught coding classes at where a majority of the kids go to Ivy League schools after graduating. I really think I would work forever to give my kid an opportunity at one of those schools. I’m also conflicted because I believe that in order for public schools to work everyone needs to be attending them, but I also don’t want to experiment with my kids lol that’s a whole other story.


    Anyway, I think sports/music or any hobby is important to the development of a child. Even those crazy expensive travel teams teach them so many life lessons. My parents put me in everything. Im so grateful I got to experience so many different things and develop and explore things that interested me. When I got tired of something we stopped. Eventually, I think kids need to make a decision and pick one or two things when they get into travel sports though. On the other end is my SO. He didn’t get to do anything. He said he wasn’t really interested but when you are younger I believe it’s the parents responsibility to foster learning and new experiences for a kid. I started dating my SO and I’m into basketball so eventually he became interested. He loves it now more than me. it makes me a little sad he never got to play basketball or be on any sport team like who knows what his interests would have been.
    You're taking that snippet out of context though. This is the additional $1,000 for the 6 week winter indoor soccer league and private instruction which was on top of the 8 week spring and 8 week fall session and the 1 week camp in the summer that I had already paid for. And oh it conflicts with basketball on 2 out of the 6 weeks but that's ok, she'll just have to miss one or the other. But wait...didn't I pay for both. But if I don't put my daughter in it, I'm bringing the team down...

    Even right now, Somehow my 9 yo daughter is supposed to make 2 soccer practices a week for travel plus highly encouraged to attend the additional skill-building for travel teams, play her travel soccer game on Sunday, make 4 out of the 6 swim practices offered each week if she wants to compete at the bronze level (and silver is more serious than that), prepare for her basketball season with some open gym nights, practice her trumpet 20 minutes a day, practice her piano 30 minutes a day and attend her weekly lesson, oh, and I was a bad parent for pulling her out of the coed rec soccer program on Saturdays (which also has a once a week skills-building session for rec teams) because I think it'd be good for her to go support her younger sister at her cheerleading... It is absolute MADNESS! I just want her to be able to be exposed AS A 9 YR OLD, to swimming, soccer, basketball and music. And we aren't going to sacrifice church either (which REALLY annoys some parents when you miss a game for that). As @platamama said - some areas can REALLY amp it up too early.

    Like I said...it's easier to just be too poor when some of these things roll around... LOL!
     
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  • SouthFayetteFan

    Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2014
    I can definitely commiserate. I saw the whole club/competitive league thing happen for DD when she was in 5th grade, and it was so frustrating that there was no middle ground for the kids who were happy playing in recreational leagues but at a higher level. And now in high school, you don't make the cut for the school team unless you've been in the year-round club/competitive/travel league circuit. DD played some intramural volleyball in middle school and decided she liked it, and freshman year made the cut for one of the D teams at her high school. Her teammates from that D team went on to play club for the rest of the year, and this year they made the cut onto the C and JV teams while DD is still on a D team which she is disappointed about but trying to stay positive. The thing is, she could've gone the club league direction too, but we had to make choices - she's in her 6th year of violin, she's a straight A student, and there's a residential summer camp that she LOVES more than any other experience in her life (that includes Disney and international travel). These are time and money choices, there's only so much of each to go around.

    I lament the level of competitiveness kids have to deal with these days. I certainly had it easier when I was that age, so it's hard to compare experiences with DD. Back then it really wasn't that difficult to be on the school varsity team. Of course my varsity teams from those days would probably lose spectacularly to varsity teams these days!

    Based on her strengths, I think she's best served by focusing on her academics. I hope that what she's tried out so far in terms of sports/music gives her a recreational outlet when she's grown-up and on her own.

    This summer, DD worked as a bank teller making minimum wage, and I think she has a new appreciation for the value of a dollar!
    I think what I'm finding and what I see here in your comment is that parents (and kids) are being forced to pick a direction far earlier than they want to these days. Since everything is so competitive you have to pick "your thing" at a younger age. (Well unless you're the super talented athlete, then the coaches don't care if you miss all the time because they just want you on their team, LOL!)

    We had to cut something this year unfortunately and it was so sad to see my daughter crying when I forced her to pick one to eliminate between piano (which I won't let her quit anyways), soccer, basketball and swimming.
     

    speedyfishy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2016
    You're taking that snippet out of context though.
    I just mean like maybe parents aren’t spending this money because they think their kid will be a pro one day. I mean maybe some are but I would spend the money if my kid was growing and getting value out of it.

    It sounds to me like your daughter is in a lot and I think you should probably have her pick what she wants to do. Maybe even incorporate a budget with her? It sucks but you can tell her she could always try something else next year if she wants. Or maybe she can do a summer camp next summer that has a lot of those activities and she can do something different everyday?
     

    Southernmiss

    I am hazed everyday
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2011
    OP I am glad to see your update that your daughter is involved in activities.

    For us, under 12 was too young for travel and several activities at once.

    We had 4 kids in 7 years and DH worked out of town and I often worked evenings as they were growing up. We limited the kids to one activity at a time due to financial and time commitments. They got to do scouts, play baseball, play soccer, middle and high school marching band and high school soccer and a variety of clubs and have been very active in our church.

    Our youngest is 17, a senior in high school. She (after 3 brothers) is our natural athlete. She has been in travel soccer since 8th grade. The travel coaches tried recruiting her at about 5th grade with the line of scholarships, blah, blah, blah. We already were focused on encouraging academic scholarships and did not buy into it.

    Daughter has become one of the better high school soccer goal keepers in our area. It is true that the influence of travel team gets the kids spots on the high school team. The more competitive high school teams in our area have the biggest number of experienced travel players on their team. DD's high school team is not one of these. However, she has been selected the last 2 years for the high school all star team for our region by votes of other coaches. It is so much fun to watch her. She now has a part time job training younger kids in travel ball in goal keeping skills.

    Fast forward to this year. Out of the blue, daughter started losing weight at Easter. By May 15th, she had lost 20 pounds in 3 weeks. My kids are the kids that were considered "new patients" every year at the pediatrician for their annual sports physicals, because we never needed the doctor. I self treated them at home and we did fine.

    On May 15th, she was diagnosed with a chronic life-long medical condtion and is now being treated for the disease. Many strides have been made in treating this disease in the last 20 years and what would have been an early death sentence for her is hopefully now something that she can manage and live a long full life with. However, it is still a scary disease that can affect every aspect of her body.

    All the $$ we spent on travel soccer was so worth it to see her do what she loves, especially now that she is almost living like she was dieing. No regrets at all.

    I again, caution all to not live for today in the hope that you can retire early. Because early retirement for you or your loved one may never come.

    Daughter is at the top of her high school class and well on her way to great academic scholarships for college and is still being sought to potentially play soccer in college. But she is declining those offers. Watching my daughter face this is making me want to live my life more intentionally and sure dh and I hope to retire early, but we will not regret anything if we don't.
     

    SouthFayetteFan

    Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2014
    I just mean like maybe parents aren’t spending this money because they think their kid will be a pro one day. I mean maybe some are but I would spend the money if my kid was growing and getting value out of it.

    It sounds to me like your daughter is in a lot and I think you should probably have her pick what she wants to do. Maybe even incorporate a budget with her? It sucks but you can tell her she could always try something else next year if she wants. Or maybe she can do a summer camp next summer that has a lot of those activities and she can do something different everyday?
    I don't want to hijack the thread and make it all about kids activities but I'll give you a little more here:

    It's wild the things these parents will say - I had 2 of the moms from our soccer team ask how we can skip winter soccer and expect her to make the high school team, let alone play in college. (I'm thinking...I'm just hoping she plays in 5th grade...) And then of course another dad who said that we're letting the whole team down by not playing (they were tight on numbers)...and this was not necessarily said in a gentle/nice manner - it was confrontational.

    There's just a lot of pressure around here (and I'm sure in many suburban areas) to be over the top with all the activities. The thing is, she really isn't in a lot, a kid her age should be able to be involved in 4-5 things IMO (if they weren't so structured and over the top).
     

    speedyfishy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2016
    It's wild the things these parents will say - I had 2 of the moms from our soccer team ask how we can skip winter soccer and expect her to make the high school team, let alone play in college. (I'm thinking...I'm just hoping she plays in 5th grade...) And then of course another dad who said that we're letting the whole team down by not playing (they were tight on numbers)...and this was not necessarily said in a gentle/nice manner - it was confrontational.
    This is so bizarre. It really should come down to what your daughter wants and if you guys can manage the time commitment imo. Who cares about HS or letting the team down. And really maybe give your daughter a budget for activities and let her pick within that budget.
     

    SouthFayetteFan

    Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2014
    I also think that $2M sounds like a good "comfortable" number.
    Hey - glad to see we both are at $2MM. (sorry I use the 2 M's due working in finance, haha).

    Do other folks have a number in mind or an age in mind or what is your goal/focus? I know there are people who chase FIRE with no goal (I'll get there when I get there) but then there are others who are intensely focused on a number of metrics(Savings Rate, $2MM, control expenses, ahhhh!), and of course some people in between those two extremes.

    I think I started on the intense side and have since moved back towards the no goal side a bit more, lol.
     

    speedyfishy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2016
    Hey - glad to see we both are at $2MM. (sorry I use the 2 M's due working in finance, haha).
    My thoughts from your question earlier.

    Yes, one million dollars is a lot of money. Half the worlds population lives on $2.50 a day. So many people will never have the opportunity to have a million dollars and while it’s smaller than my FIRE number I try to focus on how lucky I am that even without adding anymore to investments by the time SO and I are 65 we will have over a million.

    My FIRE number could be a million if we moved to a LCOL area and didn’t have kids. I don’t have a set number because it depends on where we are living and how many kids we have. I think 2-3 million is what we are shooting for and hopefully a paid off house and money for our kids education.
     

    QueenIsabella

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2016
    We looked at accumulating $$ a little differently. We had reasonable expectations that DH would inherit 7 figures from his mother (which did happen). Because of this, our goal was to hit $1M on our own, which we did. We were 401k millionaires, as we called it--we had the money, but it's not like we were living the high life. Even now, with the inheritance, we're not living the high life. For one thing, we've always been frugal, and that's not likely to change. For another, the way we inherited wasn't like you see on TV--one large check to deposit and then take our private plane to our villa in Tuscany. He inherited IRAs, life insurance, and appreciated stock. He gets RMDs from the IRAs--this allows them to continue to appreciate, and minimizes the tax bite. The rest of the money is earmarked for college (1 down, 3 to go) and retirement, with a relatively small portion going for travel and remodeling.

    As far as kids and activities--for better or worse, I've been blessed with the 4 least competitive children on the planet! They're just not interested in beating anybody else out, at anything. Even my oldest, who ran cross-country, didn't like the competitive aspect of it. Dance is their sport of choice, and the younger two are very involved with strings. DD16 has the talent that could have led to a career as cellist, but she wasn't interested in the thousands of hours of practice that would entail. So, we continue to pay for lessons, knowing it's not a future career.

    BTW, she started begging for strings lessons, right around her fifth birthday. Like a good slacker mom, I didn't take her seriously--I figured, she'd take three lessons, then decide she wanted a pony. Go figure. Cello lessons are probably my highest per-hour activity purchase, but I think it's worth every penny. She's developed so many skills related to it, and she'll always be able to have the cello as a stress reliever, alternate activity type of thing.

    We also find Scouting to be a good all-around activity. DS13 is in a more STEM troop, but they still do hiking, camping, etc., that takes them out of their comfort zone.
     

    Frwinkley

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2016
    I think very often parents spend money on things for their kids (brand new cars upon high school graduation, expensive private colleges for a kid who wants to major in Philosophy, etc.) because it makes the parent feel better--"hey, look what I can do for my child". What's best for the child may not even be a consideration. Too many people still keeping up with the neighbors.
     

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