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Hope’s Anticipated Spending – Week of 10/12

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Life has taken on a bit of a predictable routine that we do not typically have. Work and school, dinner as a family and then everyone retires to take care of their own business – homework, preparing for work the next day or just relaxing. For the first time, maybe ever, I feel like we are a “normal” family.

Anticipated Spending - Week of 10/12

DescriptionAnticipatedActual
Income *after taxes$524
Gas($35)
Auto/Renter's Insurance($267)
Justen (car insurance)$100

Total$322

It’s what each of my kids has always dreamed about, or at least spoken of as a goal. But the reality is not everything they thought it would be. I think they are getting a little bored.

I, for one, am enjoying the chance to breathe. No running from place to place. No rushing meals. Plenty of time to prepare for the next day and spend time with the kids. I’ve even gotten some reading time. And I know this won’t last forever, or even for long!

Work Update

My client base continues to grow steadily. I am ALMOST full as far as weekly clients go, but continue to apply to avoid what happened a few years ago. And I have left room to pick up one time projects which I really enjoy.

I am starting to think of ways to scale my business as I only have some many hours in the day that I can sell myself. But really don’t have any firm ideas. I do still continue to deliver groceries and continue to put out feelers for more of that type of work.

Kid Update

I am in talks with the local parks and rec department and another select volleyball team for Princess and friends for the spring. I hope to have a solid plan this coming week. And today I will meet with her high school guidance counselor to plan out her remaining high school year and making sure she gets the most out of it.

Gymnast is still homeschooling. And going to gymnastics one day a week. I have high hopes that he will get the opportunity to try public school again, but I believe I will wait until the next school year. There are a lot of bad habits and experiences from time at the local middle school that I am working out how to get past and undo.

History Buff started a job with a tree service this week. It will be hard and he will have to get up early. But it’s a big step in the right direction. We will finalize his school registration for the spring next week, and he will continue to work on the basic subjects as refresher to prepare for next year.


Dual Enrollment – Here We Come!

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How perfect for us to find out that not 1, not 2 but 3 of my kiddos will be attending college with NO out of pocket costs beginning in January during No Spend Month!

Sea Cadet

Sea Cadet will continue with his Advanced EMT program at the local technical college. He has completed the basic EMS courses and could technically get a job in it now. But plans to complete the Advanced Certification, which will take through August.

Sea Cadet and Hope

Sea Cadet and I at a recent family wedding

Because he (and History Buff) were a special needs adoption, the government kicks in to help pay for his college. Thusfar, the amount provided per semester has covered ALL expenses including tuition, books and even supplies (uniform, stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, etc.) We anticipate that he will be able to complete this program with no out of pocket costs.

Princess

Most readers know that Princess is exceptionally bright AND she works very hard on her schoolwork. In preparation for what I thought would be a Fall, 2019 entrance to the dual enrollment program, I had her take the entrance exams (taken if the student has not taken the SAT or ACT yet.) I figured it would give me a baseline on what we needed to focus on to get her ready.

The advisor called last week with the surprise news that not only did Princess complete the normally 3-4 hours test in 1 hour and twenty minutes, but she passed at the highest level. She can begin taking Diploma level courses immediately. Can you say Proud Mom!?!

Princess ready for homecoming

I immediately registered her for two of the local colleges, because she is interested in two different programs. We received her acceptance email to one of them this past Friday and she will be registered for the Spring, 2019 semester as a dual enrolled high school student. She will be earning both high school and college credits and IT’S FREE!

Dual enrolled students can be registered for two different colleges and take up to 15 hours per semester during this dual enrollment time. She won’t graduate from high school until May, 2021. Just think about how much college she can have under her belt by then?

History Buff

History Buff has one more year of high school. He dropped out before completing the 1st semester of his senior year. While he has taken the ACT, he didn’t score high enough on the math part to presume acceptance to the dual enrollment program. He took the entrance exam for math last night and did well enough to start!

We have applied to the same two schools for him as we did for Princess. (Yes, I am definitely thinking about transportation for Princess.) Barring any problems with grades over the next couple of semesters, History Buff will graduate from high school December, 2019. And he could potentially have 30+ hours of college completed at no out of pocket cost.

Financial Goal

Since hearing about the opportunity for free dual enrollment in Georgia, it was an important factor in my decision to move and now stay here. Having my own student loan debt, I have always had a personal goal to get my kids through their advanced training (college or otherwise) with no debt.

And I realize that as a single mom and with my current financial status, I will not be able to really help them financially. But what I can do is guide them through wise financial decisions, apply for scholarships and grants and minimize the costs as much as possible.

The basic steps I/we are taking towards this are:

  • Encourage the kids to live at home as long as it makes sense logistically while in school.
  • Take advantage of as much FREE dual enrollment for each child as we can.
  • Apply for scholarships year round.
  • Make the kids be responsible for some part of their living expenses, and thus work a job. Learn to manage their money now before it becomes solely up to them.

Does your state offer free dual enrollment? Tell me your success stories when it comes to minimizing college costs.

 


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