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Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

Last post Wed, Jun 4 2014 12:29 PM by Maggie Trudeau. 89 replies.
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  • Tue, Jan 14 2014 2:02 PM In reply to

    • Walt34
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Dec 17 2007
    • WV eastern panhandle
    • Posts 1,406

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    I just read this entire thread and what a story that is! It is so great to read of someone who got kicked down and was helped back up and looking to a bright future. A true Horatio Alger story come to life!

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Money Management
  • Tue, Jan 14 2014 6:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

     Maggie ... we're interested!

    I'm delighted to hear that he's continuing to do well (3 jobs and a major in chemistry is a pretty full plate!)  Bless you for being there for him.

    www.dodgeandweave.blogspot.com
  • Tue, Jan 14 2014 7:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

     Thanks to all for the support!   I'll tell him he's still a star in the forums.   He's a great young man.  We're all really proud of him and happy for him.  We're getting a new crop of encouragers too.  My aunt and uncle send him book money each quarter.  My mom sends him notes and cards.   I think that helps too.  He knows people care.  He gets a kick out of the idea that you all are following the saga.    He's making age-appropriate mistakes and dealing with them really well so that in itself is amazing considering how he started out.

  • Mon, Mar 10 2014 12:53 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

     Just a wee quick update on our young man:

    I visited him and his girlfriend last weekend.   They are doing really well.   She's headed to the UK for a quarter starting later this month.   He's about to declare as a chemistry major.   AND in thrifty news...he's managed to save 1600$!   With only a 3800$ loan and a workstudy job for 9 hours a week.   He said that they've been doing all their own cooking and not buying much coffee when out and about (so I treated them to several delicious coffees while I was there...it is Seattle and that is the best coffee in the US).  I took them to Trader Joe's for some groceries and they really must be cooking from scratch.  He got a few mid-level cuts of meat, frozen veggies, and some rye bread for sandwiches.  They have backstock in the freezer.   this is really really good for a young person raised by a spendthrift who lost multiple homes while taking disneyland vacations.   

    He's deciding whether to take a trip this summer or to try to rent a bigger place with his own kitchen (still in the boarding house).   He said the issue is that even if they pool their current rent money and get a 1 bedroom, it's cheaper to stay in the boarding house where they each have their own room and all utilities are paid in the rent.  I think he pays 560$/month and she pays about 55$/month.   So, we'll see.  He's in touch with his mom but he must have learned boundaries in the last few years.  She used to talk him out of all of his money and apparently not this time.   Yeay for him!   We're all really happy for him out here.

  • Mon, Mar 10 2014 4:05 PM In reply to

    • ann
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 25 2008
    • Posts 42

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    Maggie:  I just came across this thread and read the whole thing from start to finish with a lump in my throat.  I also got through half a box of tissues blowing my nose.  I feel we've come through the holding-our-breath stage to see how your young man fares and we are now entering the grown-up "man" phase of his life.  Notice I said "we" because I think everyone who's read your updates is fully invested in him, his girlfriend, his future in chemistry and how he deals with his parents going forward.  Please don't stop sending updates.  As far as I'm concerned you can keep sending them until he has children of his own!  Maybe even after that, LOL.

    Everybody needs a helping hand.  Everybody.  Destiny gave him yours and those of your group.  You did a wonderful thing. 

  • Mon, Mar 10 2014 7:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

     

     You have every right to be proud of him .... delighted to hear he's doing well!

    I'm rooting for him to  keep those boundaries up ... especially once he gets out of school and gets a good job.
    www.dodgeandweave.blogspot.com
  • Mon, Mar 10 2014 8:09 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

     Thanks to you both!  I truly believe that's it's all him.  we can give people opportunities but it's him each day who makes the choice about what sort of person to be, how to handle his money, to focus on school or be a pot head, to stick with this lovely young woman or go tom-catting around...that's all him.  We give him support and encouragement and some nice coffees and groceries, but his accomplishments are all his.  I see his cousins who had lots of help and chance after chance after chance and many of them chose unhealthy paths...so YEAY young man!  (sorry, i don't want to post his name).  

     he also blew my away in the grocery store when he grabbed a bag of brussels sprouts and said "these are good, but the frozen ones don't roast too well"....from a guy who grew up on gas station hot dogs that's pretty amazing.  As one in his cheerleading group put it "brussel sprouts are an advanced vegetable, not like a bag of salad"  

  • Mon, Mar 10 2014 9:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    Maggie this thread gladden my heart we keep him lift in prayer .

    Gayla57

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Frugal Food and Cooking and in Slow Cooker Foods



  • Fri, Mar 14 2014 2:42 PM In reply to

    • Walt34
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Dec 17 2007
    • WV eastern panhandle
    • Posts 1,406

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    On another forum I follow a lot, early-retirement.org, a bunch of the members there had similar issues growing up, some having to eat out of dumpsters and the like, but just as the young man you are helping is they stayed the course, went to school or learned a trade and used that to bootstrap themselves an education, and learned how to handle their money for the best value.

    Most important, they had a plan, the self-discipline to follow it, and the maturity to defer immediate gratification for long term gain. It appears that your young man has those traits and will do well for himself.

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Money Management
  • Wed, Jun 4 2014 12:29 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

     I'm replying to this in both this and the new forums with a link in case anyone is following our ongoing saga!

    Location in new forums:  http://social.stretcher.com/forums/topic/82/continuing-saga-of-the-young-man/view/post_id/449

     


    So, our young man has good timing!  He and his lovely girlfriend (been together 3 years!) decided to get an apartment together and move out of the boarding house where he's been 2 years and she's been 1 year (actually...she was only there part of the year because she's in Europe right now on an exchange program!  Very smart young woman.  I like her a lot.)

    He found a great 1 bedroom which will cost about the same as the total of their costs at the boarding house.  He's been able to save his entire share of the rent for the summer, and a bit for food and utilities as well.  He moved in June 1 and she will join him when she gets back in the country. 


    As timing/luck/fate would have it, I'm downsizing from a single-wide mobile home to an 18 foot camper so...have plenty of stuff that needs a new home.  I managed to get a couch, dining table and 4 chairs, and a basic kitchen set  (place setting for 4, a few pots, pans, appliances) and odds and ends into the vehicle (I don't have a truck...just a subaru) and took it to him over the weekend.   We unloaded, put the couch back together (it is a flat-pack deal I got off the internet), set up the table and chairs all in a couple of hours.  I suggested we start putting things in cupboards but apparently he is under STRICT orders to do no arranging or decorating until she's there.     She has definite opinions and is the more organized of the two.


    I didn't have a crockpot to pass on (I won't have electricity but will use the crock parts in the camper oven and as fermentation vessels for my home-brewed vinegar).   To my surprise, he was disappointed to I texted a few of his supportive middle-aged women and they agreed we should just get him one.  I got it while I was there and gave it as his apartment warming gift along with basic instructions on simple soups.


    I also got him a shower curtain liner so he could at least take showers.  The girlfriend can get something in her colors when she gets back.  I think it's more that they want to decorate their first place together, than that she is so bossy or controlling.  They are a very good couple.  Very compatible and both frugal.


    He just turned 21 a week or so ago.  I had texted him to have fun but please be safe.  He texted the next morning that he did NOT overindulge in alcohol...too frugal for that.  He said he's finding frugality is good for his GPA. 

    He was super grateful for everything and excited to have enough, but not too much, to get started in the apartment.  He's a very sweet man really.

    The apartment is a 1 bedroom, but with a long entrance hall so it actually seems bigger and more private than many college-type apartments.  It has really nice east picture windows and one south window.  It's in the city, about 2 blocks from the university and on the top floor, BUT it's built into a hill so we had a parking spot right behind his door for unloading!  I appreciated that.  The only shared wall is the kitchen/dining area and the street in front of the building is a dead end.  It's extremely quiet.  They had been living on fraternity row and it was driving both of them to distraction to have noisy parties going on most nights and people on the streets being loud at all hours all days.  This building caters to graduate students so I think they will really enjoy being around a more studious group.   I was one of the references for him and vouched for his ability to budget and pay rent on time.  He's been doing it for 3 years now! 

    So...congratulations to our young man on continued success!

     

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