When I entered the workforce, Baby Boomers were in charge of everything, so I had all the accouterments of a job you planned to stay in until the day you turn 65. The Gen-Xers in the office designated our life insurance policies to Elizabeth Wurtzel and Mike D. Our workers compensation was so broad that it covered a broken heart, which meant dating co-workers was strictly forbidden. The company matched our retirement savings each month, and our CFO recited reminders like he was doing penance for the social security sins of his generation.

This is all to say I was never keen on all the assurances adults fawn over to create a stable life. Until I had kids. At that point, I asked my brother if I could leave my kids to him in case of death.

He said, “How much life insurance do you have?”

I bought a policy for as much as I could afford. The price starts getting really high per dollar once you get into a range where it looks like someone is about to kill you.

When I started homeschooling I told myself that if I died no one would keep doing it, but it’s okay. My kids will have bigger problems than school if their mom just died. But by the time the kids were in middle school, there was no way someone would get them back into school. Their lives were on track for other things. Everything they had worked for would be dislodged if I died and they had to go to school.

You can’t really pay someone to homeschool your kids. The value of a parent is not their teaching but how much they care. I realized that the most high-risk thing I was doing on a regular basis was driving 20 hours a week for cello lessons in Chicago. I totaled two brand new BMWs. My kids are experts on the temperament of an airbag. So I hired a driver. A driver is expensive but it’s cheap if you think of it as a substitute for life insurance.

I was thinking about this today. My kids are so old that if I died now they would probably keep doing exactly what they are doing. Someone who is not volunteering now would end up moving into the apartment with them. Probably their dad, actually. Things will be fine. Which is good, because I have moved onto other worries, like how even kids who get full scholarships to college end up needing a truckload of money.

It’s difficult to get a real number for how much homeschooling costs. The answer is: it depends. It depends on a lot of things: your income, family size, location, etc. But the real question parents are asking is “Am I doing okay?” Read more

I have been adjusting nonstop since we moved to Swarthmore in December. There are things that seem small, like getting my son onto a basketball team. But nothing is straightforward. I didn’t know how things work here so we were so late in signing up that they said my son could only be on the team if I’d coach. Read more

This is a guest post from Sarah Faulkner. She is a homeschooling mom in Washington state. She has five kids, ages 14, 13, 10, 7, and 3.

We spent our first 7 years of marriage just floating around having fun.  Well, it really wasn’t fun, because being poor is never fun.  Once you start to make money, it seems you look back at the time of being poor and think “Those were good times”.  I wish I didn’t distort my memories like that. Read more

To understand why art is art, you need to be open to seeing things in different ways. A lot of people respond to art with “I don’t get it” but that’s just because someone doesn’t want to spend the time to get it. It takes time to see things differently. Read more

A big reason conversations about our school choices often turn controversial is that education and money are closely related. And money has replaced sex as the topic we most like to keep secret from our friends. So a lot of the education decisions we make based on money are not topics we will freely discuss in the world. Read more

I have a lot of ideas for saving money. A lot of them don’t work. I had this idea for wallpapering my dining with the pages of Moby Dick. I got the idea from an Anthropologie store. Read more

So many people tell me they want to get paid to do what they love. But if you need to be paid to do it, you probably don’t really love it. People do what they love whether or not they get paid, which is why highly rewarding jobs don’t have rewarding salaries. This makes sense. It would be a really sad world if we all had to get paid before we would do what we love. Read more

I have linked to a million articles about why rich kids grow up to be rich and poor kids grow up to be poor. If you want a nice summary of that data, check out this article in the Atlantic. The big takeaway is that the reason rich kids grow up to be rich is that they don’t have debt. Read more