Here Is Your Open Thread

longhorns

“The institutionalization of foster care is so detrimental to a young person’s mind. It’s like a prison. Education is key. It is key for understanding yourself, for improving your future, for rising out of the socioeconomic status of poverty. And as we know, poverty is the key to recidivism, the key to drugs, to pain and hatred and not understanding. I chose to rise above it.” — Corey Vollette

In the Texas Tribune, a brief look at some foster kids who made it to college.

Photo: Roy Niswanger

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22 Comments / Post A Comment

beastlyburden (#6,122)

We might be buying an apartment. By “might be,” I mean our offer was accepted, and our lawyer is reviewing the contract. I feel excited and terrified, but being an anxious person, the terror seems more real. What if mortgage rates spike before we close? What if we both lose our jobs? What if we’re in the middle of a real-estate bubble and we’re buying a place that will lose a chunk of its value in the next few years? What if we’ve fooled everyone into thinking we are Totally Adults, Totally Ready To Adult This Out, but actually we are FRAUDS???

ThatJenn (#916)

@beastlyburden owning a place is a great way to occasionally feel like a fraud but it is also super exciting!! I hope everything goes smoothly!

garli (#4,150)

@beastlyburden I don’t know how it works in your state, but as far as mortgage rates are concerned have your lender lock in the rates for longer than you expect your escrow to last. We were expecting 30 days, and our loan dude set us up with a 45 day rate lock which was good because we needed some extra time for the termite work to get done.

Also the terror goes down to low-level and as far as I can tell will be here until the loan is totally paid off.

beastlyburden (#6,122)

@ThatJenn Thanks! I’m trying to take it step-by-step, but the whole thing feels so surreal.

You own your place, right? Tell me all your secrets to successful homeownership!

beastlyburden (#6,122)

@garli Yeah, it’s just deciding when to lock that freaks me out. Rates have been creeping up recently. We’re expecting it to take 90-100 days from signing the contract to closing, so there’s just more space for volatility.

la_di_da (#1,425)

@beastlyburden Congratulations! Hope everything goes smoothly and quickly so you can get to the more important part of decorating!

ThatJenn (#916)

@beastlyburden I do own my place (I have a bit of a real estate problem, so it’s actually the third place I’ve owned). I have no secrets except keep your emergency fund stocked and remember that home ownership is basically like adding another hobby (sometimes all-consuming, mostly just a regular minor thing you have to do stuff to keep up with) that you can’t easily bow out on. If you are at the moment financially stable then you will almost certainly be fine!

OH and don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know what you’re doing. (I dunno, maybe you always know what you’re doing with home repairs and finances and everything but I sure don’t.)

I never freaked out a lot about rates changing during the process, but then, I also might have just not been savvy enough to care at the time (I bought this house in 2007 and last refinanced in 2009ish). I always just felt like I was getting the house I wanted at the time it was available and the rates just were whatever they were. But then I never had the whole option to lock in, etc. – that would complicate things. I’m the sort of person who would lock it in at the beginning just so I didn’t have to think about it anymore!

Heather F G (#6,074)

Does anyone have any experiences they can share with doing odd jobs to raise extra cash for a really great, really expensive thing (such as, oh, a two-month delayed honeymoon in Europe)? I’m devastated to find that I live in a Task Rabbit free city, and I’ve got pet- and baby- sitting profiles up on Care.com, as well as some in-my-field one-time things, but that really can’t be all, can it?

RiffRandell (#4,774)

@Heather F G I was part intern/ part paid server at a golf course that does weddings. They still offer me occasional gigs, such as Easter and Mother’s Day this year. I guess they are short servers, because I just got scheduled for 5 total times in August. Anything catering tends to be good in avoiding a regular ‘day job’.

LookUponMyWorks (#2,616)

@Heather F G Babysitting! Pretty good money to be made there, and my charges (with one or two exceptions) were usually a lot of fun!

Seconding Riff to say that part-time server positions can be good, too, if you get the right shifts (or, like Riff, work weddings/Mother’s Day/ graduation brunches).

andnowlights (#2,902)

@Heather F G I’ve always heard selling plasma isn’t the worst (a ringing endorsement if there ever were one). I’ve never done it, though!

garli (#4,150)

@Heather F G Tutoring if you can get it. I’ve gotten up to 50 bucks an hour for college level math. Also coaching high school kids in some super specialized sport/position, it’s a small market but you can charge crazy money.

Heather F G (#6,074)

@andnowlights Haha, New Husband and I are actually texting about doing that right now, and my coworker informed me that it’s by body weight so we probably will clear like $25 each for being smallish people (we’re close to the same height)… But it adds up, I’m sure! And @garli, that’s an awesome idea! I am actually super spoiled with tutoring because I tutor whole classrooms of kids who each pay me handsomely by the hour during the school year, but they’ve all got camps and stuff for the summer :(

AM (#6,604)

@Heather F G Not sure if this is your thing, but I’ve been doing tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk (everything from ‘take this 20-minute survey for $1′ to transcription [that's where the 'big' bucks are], to ‘tell me which pic is best for 2 cents) and am about to start doing Leapforce, which is $13.50/hour. It’s all done online, whenever you feel like it. There are tons of scams but these 2 are legit. I found them through http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/04/04/10-great-sites-to-find-gigs-and-part-time-work/ and there are some helpful blogs about what to do/avoid. Reddit forums have been really helpful.

la_di_da (#1,425)

Here’s a question. My COBRA expires at the end of July and my school insurance doesn’t pick up until August 15th. Two weeks isn’t a completely crazy amount of time to go without insurance, right? Are there other solutions for this, because COBRA is way too crazy to do for another month complete.

beastlyburden (#6,122)

@la_di_da I’m not sure if this is still true with all the recent healthcare changes, but the last time I checked, you have 60 days to enroll in COBRA, so if you decide to enroll any time in that period, your benefits are applied retroactively. Worst-case scenario, if you have a medical emergency in those two weeks, you could just sign up then.

la_di_da (#1,425)

@beastlyburden And this is why I come to the Billfold with things I’m too lazy to Google. You’re right, I just checked. I quit work less than 60 days before I start school so I think it’ll be fine, even if the worst happens. I will just be extra careful around scissors and crossing streets during that time.

aardvark (#3,451)

Any Graze subscribers out there today? Do you find you end up getting the same 10 things over and over again, even if you don’t mark them as “likes”? Do I just need to trash things and un-trash things regularly to get variety?

andnowlights (#2,902)

@aardvark Me! I’m expecting my 4th box next week and I haven’t had any repeats at all yet. My theory is that they send you all new stuff until you’ve gotten all of them, but that’s COMPLETELY unsubstantiated. I will telll you to go ahead and trash the things that are southwest inspired, because it’s basically like eating a packet of taco seasoning, but everything else has been AMAZING!

aardvark (#3,451)

@andnowlights I’ve been subscribing for >6 months now, and I get a lot of repeats, even of things that I have kept as “try”, and there’s a lot of things that I haven’t gotten yet. I’m actually a fan of the southwest stuff, but then my household considers red pepper flakes to be as essential as salt and pepper :)

Push It Along (#6,502)

So, I’m trying to find a new approach to getting a new job that’s not so reliant on applying to jobs online and sending my resume down a black hole. I applied for a job and found a recruiter at that company on LinkedIn and messaged him about it, and he scheduled a phone call with me. It turns out that position had closed a few days before I applied, but he gave me advice and said I should let him know if I apply to any others.

Even though that wasn’t a complete failure, I’m still pretty hesitant about contacting recruiters or finding current employees with similar jobs to network with. I have this feeling that I’d be wasting their time. Am I right to feel this way, or should I just suck it up and go for it?

joyballz (#2,000)

@Push It Along I say suck it up and go for it! They can always decline to speak with you if they’re not feeling up for it.

If someone contacted me just to learn about what I do each day and the opportunities within my company it would be a welcome (and flattering) break from my day-to-day.

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