Cannon Financial Institute

Capital Ideas - July 2016


This issue features pieces on Roth IRAs, Forgotten Funds, and an Investment Reality Check.

                      SCHOOL SUPPLIES

Well, it’s that time of year again to go out with the grandkids and gather up all the school supplies that they need. I must say, I’m overwhelmed with the lengthy list provided by each teacher. The specifics of what to get and what not to get are mind boggling. I never realized there were so many choices of glues (whatever happened to good old Elmer’s school glue, the kind that was safe to eat?), yellow pre-sharpened pencils (I always liked Dixon Ticonderoga #3 Hard), pens (now they need blue, black and red), papers (with just the right number of lines per page), folders (some want paper others want plastic, some with inside tabs some without), crayons (not just the same old pack, but the bigger-than-ever-pack) and a case big enough to carry all of this, but small enough to fit in their desks.

When I was a kid, I went off to school with a small pencil case filled with everything I needed for the entire year. I had two #2 lead pencils (the yellow ones), one black pen, a small ruler, a small box of crayons and a small pack of paper. Now days, the kids need a cart to carry all the stuff they need to provide for their classrooms. Do you ever remember having to bring boxes of tissues for the classroom? How about hand sanitizer (be sure it’s the right kind)?

Both Parker and Kayden go to the same school, but they are in different buildings. Parker is going into 3rd grade and Kayden into 1st. Now, wouldn’t you think the teachers would get together and make the shopping experience a nice one for the parents of more than one child? Apparently that is not the case. Each one got a very comprehensive list in the mail and now it’s time to shop. Since I usually am out of town when this happens, Sue is the one to go with our daughter. She informed me that I need to rest up and get ready for the long-haul of shopping if I’m going this time.

You need to understand how my grandkids shop. Parker is very discerning about everything. He will pick up, examine and put down each item at least 20 times. Sue said it took him 45 minutes to pick out just the backpack the first time he went school shopping. Keep in mind they were all made by the same company and several of them even had the same design, but he had to try on all of them “because they all felt different on his back!” After all his comparing, our daughter finally had to give him three options and five minutes to make up his mind.

Kayden is just the opposite. She will gather up as much as she can carry in her little arms (stuff is falling out all over the place) and load it into the shopping cart. She wants it all, even though it’s not on her list. Whereas Parker wants only what appeals to him and it must be on the list. Boy, are they different or what!

The other thing that bugs me is that each one needs a pair of shoes to be left at the school for gym. What? Why can’t they use the shoes they’re wearing for gym? Do you remember having the need for another pair of gym shoes? Me neither! Since they’re growing fast enough as it is, they’ll end up needing several pairs before the school year is over. They also need new shoes for going to school every day (since they’ve killed their summer shoes), so this really adds up quickly. Don’t even get me started on the yearly enrollment fees for each kid! When did that happen? What are all our taxes for if not to provide public schools? I don’t know how parents with more than one child can afford to send their kids to public schools anymore.

Our daughter is a public school teacher. She too, has a list of things for her 5th graders. But she says she’s not as picky about them as other teachers are. She feels if they come with most of what they need, she’s ahead of the game. I understand that teachers these days have to pay for their classroom supplies, so they need each student to bring as much as possible to defray the costs. There are several 5th grade classes in her school, and each teacher has their own comprehensive list. This is just nuts! Why can’t they all get together and make up one list for the entire school by grade?

I’m hoping that where we shop already has bagged supplies needed for the various schools in the area. I’ve seen that done in other places, but I have a feeling that won’t be the case here. It looks like we’re on our own foraging for needed items.

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