Friday, November 22, 2013

Right From Wrong

I enjoy talking to children, more then I do, most grown up people.
Somehow, little ones seem to be born knowing right from wrong. They seem to have morals and dignity, immediately, and I am trying to pinpoint where it is, that this starts to change in some children?
I like to start conversations about all kinds of things with my kids, and a lot of the time, they end up coming up with some of the most fascinating ideas and stories all by themselves.
I am amazed at their imaginations, the things they come up with and they always seem to shock us, with what comes out of their little mouths. Most of which is basic, common sense.
The other night, our 10 year old son, Aaron, came into the kitchen, with a notebook and a pencil, and asked, "Mom, how much is an average monthly rent payment for a house or an apartment for one person, until I get married and have somebody else to help pay the bills?" Of course I laughed, and he just sat here at the table, with his pencil in hand, staring at me with his sweet, big, curious, blue eyes.
So, I figured we would do this from an average for our area, and for what the prices are now, and replied with, "I think $600 a month is a fair price, Aaron." and he started writing this down, and asked about monthly bills, utilities, car payments, groceries, spending money for video games and cell phone bills. This was getting to much in depth for me to continue with dinner, so I sat down next to him and helped him with his list. I went by averages, again, for our area, and for present time:
Phone $50
Internet $50
Heat $350 a month for oil/$400 3 times a year for coal
Cell $100
Car payment $400
Car insurance $100
Groceries avg $300 (for 1)
Video games.....ZERO
Electric $150 (for 1)
Cable or satellite $100

Repairs/Upkeep $0 (so far)
And so, he added these up, and started freaking out, and said, "How am I supposed to make enough money to pay for all these bills? OMG"
$2200 est monthly bills....
So, he said, "well, I'm crossing out the car. I can't afford that yet.....and the insurance"
So now we are down to $1700 and he said, "well, I'm going to cut out coupons, how much will my groceries cost?"
I underestimated those, as I hope my kids would shop frugally, like we do now...but I said, "we can cut $50", so, $1650....not good enough yet....
So we cut the tv out, the cell phone, now we were down to $1450......and he said, "how much will I earn to start?"
So, we went into that a bit, and we did an average of $10/hr to start, @40 hrs per wk, $400 a week, or $20,800 a yr or $1730 a month...
So he said, "oh cool! Ill have $280 a month leftover after I pay my bills! I'll use that for video games!"
And I said, "NOT SO FAST! You owe $300 in taxes, per month, for local, state, federal, SSI, Medicare, occupation, per capita, etc etc"
And now you're at -$20 a month and you don't have a car, a tv, a cell phone, video games, what would you do, Aaron?"
My 10 yr old said, "Well, i'll be getting a second job, or a better paying job, that's for sure!"

Oh, the crazy things that children come up with!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Reliable, Safe, and Cool Vehicles for Busy Moms

I love when all the ads come out each year for the new vehicles!
I usually look at the ad from a mom kind of angle, and I am a sucker for clever advertising. (The Superbowl ads are great, of course!) But there are witty ads out there.
I also love paging through magazines, like, Car and Driver. I was a subscriber for many years! The same with, Motor Trend.
I know the "dads" are usually the ones who seem to be targeted, and they are the "decision makers" for vehicle purchases, according to some, "old fashioned" people, but that isn't the way it is so much anymore.
Moms like cool cars too! Even soccer moms seem to want something cooler then just the typical, minivan, that we are all associated with. I know I do!
I end up falling in love with a lot of new vehicles each year, I love my pick up the best though. (Although, a newer one would be nice!)
One in particular that I have been paying attention to, a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Big and bulky is what I need for our family! Daytrips, vacations, errands, groceries, (especially groceries!) and just to go shopping with! Lots of room is always important to me.
I have read a lot of reviews of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and I am loving the interior and all of the room inside! (Especially with my kids, constantly bickering!) Oh, and the most annoying of all, "MOM!! Deegan is touching me!" 
With this extra, roomy interior, there is plenty of room for them to move around and NOT touch their brother's or sister's arms, or breathing air from their space. It does seat 5, so the "space" for the 3 little ones to breath air from in the back seat should be enough... and there is more legroom in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, then in other SUV's in it's class.
One of the sweetest things I noticed about this SUV, are all of the mommy friendly options! A heated steering wheel?? Now, I have never had that luxury, but I'm thinking a heated steering wheel would be a blessing, while running in and out of stores all day, in the middle of a cold, windy day.
There is also a power adjustable driver seat, which is always helpful!
Leather seats would be gorgeous, but maybe not as "mommy friendly" or I guess I should say, "kid friendly" , but it's still a nice option.
Heated front AND rear seats! Now that is another I have never had the opportunity to try, but I would love too!! The kiddos would be grateful too!
Oh, and did I mention, the front seats are roughly the size of living room recliners?? (as per Motor Trend)
So far, this sounds pretty nice!!
The Jeep Grand Cherokee, also is rated #2 in it's class for affordable, midsize SUV's. That brings me to price...
Price range for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is between: $29,107-$62,728. Of course it would be nice to opt for everything they have to offer, but base price is nice and you are still getting the super spacious interior to fit all of your kids, bags, diapers, groceries, and anything else you can fit inside!
Miles per gallon are going to be a little lower, since it is an SUV, but for somebody like me, I am mostly highway miles, so it isn't so bad.
City 17mpg/highway 25mpg. Which is kind of where I am now, so, that is fine by me! Besides, I love using my shopper cards for gas points, and if I do it right, I can manage a full tank every month or 2 at $30! (This is attainable for our family, especially with all the room inside for groceries!) Less grocery trips per month! What more could you ask for?
Warranty information:
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic limited warranty and a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
I would be curious to know what types of vehicles you are interested in?
What is catching your eye?
I have been driving a Ford F150 for about 6 years now, and love it! But, I could definitely go for one of the Jeep Grand Cherokees!
Just in case my husband is reading this, I would like the Maximum Steel Metallic Clear Coat for the exterior, and the heated steering wheel and heated front and rear seats!