By Chel on Open Thread: Parental Assistance

I moved in with my Grandma for a year and a half when I was 18 since she lived close to the state university I was attending. I was informed that this was going to happen when my mom saw me looking over the dorm options. Mom gave Grandma some money for that each month, I don’t know how much but it was more an excuse to get Grandma to accept some money rather than helping me out. My dad took a small loan from his boss to buy me a ten-year old car and a used computer for school. The boss went out of business about six months later and forgave the loan. So thanks, Dad and Bob! I left school extremely depressed and moved to an apartment by myself in a crappy complex across town. It was walking distance from my job. I lived there for a year and then moved back to my parents’ house and lived there rent free for the next 8 years while I worked an assortment of low paying jobs and attended community college off and on. I paid for my own groceries and most of the household supplies and did all the housekeeping. At the time my dad was on the road a lot as a cross-country truck driver so it was mostly me and Mom. Nothing about this situation helped with the depression. When I was 25 I got a full-time admin job through a friend of my mom’s and started saving money to move out and buy a better car. When I was 28 I moved into the apartment I still live in. My mom paid the pet deposits, I had a cat and two dogs but one of the dogs was my dad’s and the other she adopted from a co-worker of hers because she felt sorry for them. She doesn’t actually like animals and told me to take them with me when I moved out. She also gave me some money each month towards pet expenses until Dad lost his job about six months later. In the two years before I moved out she spent a couple thousand on vet bills for the dog we got from her co-worker. Now I am at the same company in a non-admin position I occasionally give my dad money. Usually he asks if he can borrow $20 or order something for him when he doesn’t want to argue with my mom about taking money out of the bank. He always says he’ll pay me back and then doesn’t. It’s probably about $150 a year so I don’t worry about it. A little more than two years ago I changed my cell plan to a family plan and added both my parents and my Grandma. Mom pays about half of it. My mom has a lot of control issues that are mitigated by not living with her. Dad would love it if I moved back in. It’s weird but it takes a lot for me to ask my mom for financial help even now. A couple of years ago my credit card put a freeze on my account while I was traveling for work and I couldn’t check into my hotel. I sat in the courtyard for about 20 minutes wondering if it was worth sleeping in my rental car for a night before I called and asked my mom to loan my $100 for one night until I got paid so I could check in because a part of me feels like any sort of weakness, especially about money, is going to be held up as an example of my failure. Dad’s on a VA disability pension and Social Security now. Mom still works and makes about half what I do. Dad probably isn’t going to make it until she retires. Their house is paid off and I think she will stay there for a few years past retirement and then sell it and move to a retirement community. She always says that she isn’t going to avoid asking me and my sister for help like her mother does and her grandmother did and I don’t have a problem helping out financially but we are never going to live under the same roof again. Wow, that was long. Money and family issues are fun!

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 6:53 pm 3

By Changeling on Open Thread: Parental Assistance

My mom could only give me minimal help during college, like scraping together $100 for a housing deposit, and driving me 7 hours to campus. I lived with her for a year after college, and I helped pay utilities, cleaned, and cooked sometimes. I lucked out when my grandmother gave me her old car after she couldn't drive anymore, so I could save for a housing deposit while my partner was still in school. Two weeks after he graduated, we got our own place, and his parents bought him a used car (which he will repay... sometime). My mom lost her house to foreclosure, and I've sporadically given her money ($20 to $100) when she has literally $2 in the bank and needs to buy toilet paper. My mom tells me that when her father dies, she will be set financially and will help me a bit with my student loans, which would be cool. My dad on the other hand, would for sure be able to give me money if I needed it. Before I worked full time, he used to give me $100 when his wife wasn't looking, and he still insists on buying our firewood for us (around $600 every year). He also lets me work for him during the off-season (I work on a vegetable farm), and I can work however many hours I want. He's given me work with his business since high school (house painting).

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 6:19 pm 2

By Literary Sara on So You've Decided To Join The CSA

I know CSAs aren't for everyone, and that it takes some practice to develop vegetable habits that aren't wasteful, but I clicked this post expecting some helpful, constructive advice along with the gentle poking of fun. I'm in my 5th season of CSA with the same farm. I love it. The food is great, the price is low in the long term (although steep up front), the labor varies. I find it economical in terms of time and money. If anyone wants to talk about that, you can join me over here.

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm 1

By apples and oranges on The Selfie as Class Signifier

@WayDownSouth Don't worry. You definitely did not understand the article correctly.

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 4:09 pm 5

By BlackCoffeeWithSugar on Computer Predicts the Balance of Your Bank Account

@Changeling Don't worry, it's judging me too. It asked how may pairs of shoes I own, and apparently my true answer is "outside the acceptable range."

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 3:49 pm 2

By Changeling on Computer Predicts the Balance of Your Bank Account

It doesn't believe me that it's been 84 months since my last appointment with a dentist, so it won't let me answer that question!

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 2:42 pm 1

By aetataureate on Things Work Out

Love MIHH so much, so glad to see it come up here!

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 11:31 am 1

By KingCash on How Much Do You Spend on Electricity Each Month?

@KingCash Also, the EIA's data browser lets you dig into average retail electricity prices throughout the country since 2001. It's pretty fascinating (and fun to play with!):,0&geo=g&endsec=8&freq=M&start=200101&end=201303&ctype=linechart

Posted on June 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm 2

By BellaLincoln on That Thing, That Thing, That 1 Thiiiiiiinnnnnnngggggg

Wells Fargo zombie accounts: officially closed. Again. The good news is they waived the (zombie) maintenance fee in the process?

Posted on May 30, 2013 at 7:28 pm 1

By MilesofMountains on Okay, But What Do You Actually Do?

Summer: walk around, count fish. Winter: write hundreds of pages about the fish I counted.

Posted on February 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm 2