In other news, I have been on my antibiotic since Friday but still have a plugged ear. I've also been dealing with unusually pronounced shortness of breath this whole week so am going back in to the doctor again today. Good times.
Last night, Steve and Sarah sat down to talk about money. And savings. And rates of return. And demand accounts. And—excuse me while I shudder—m a t h. Because it appears that you cannot talk about loans and savings accounts without the subject of math coming into the equation. (Get it? Equation? I just made a math joke!) Since mathematic terms were being bandied about with some abandon, I stayed clear of the room pretty much the whole night. (I didn’t want to catch any math cooties.) However, I did creep in there long enough to take a few photos, which I will post in just a moment. The main purpose of this important Father/Daughter Meeting was to fill out the paperwork that would transfer Sarah’s savings from our account into her own personal account since she is now eighteen. And on that subject: Over the years, we have told both Nathan and Sarah that we would match whatever they put into savings for their first car. Our first goal for the kids has been to pay for their first car in cash so that they don’t have any car payments as they get started into adulthood. Our second goal has been to help them buy a good enough vehicle that they could drive 5 or 6 years without needing to replace it. Nathan has always been good with money and saved a good chunk of change for his first car. He bought the vehicle when he was a college sophomore and is still driving it, five years later. Thankfully, he married a woman who is also good with money and the two of them keep to a strict budget; they aren't afraid to make hard choices when it comes to spending so that they can live within their means. (They actually went without Internet for a while which I thought was pretty amazing for such a technological couple. I would break out into actual hives if I didn't have Internet.) As with many young couples, their main challenge is paying off student loans and they are working as hard as they can to do that as quickly as possible. They also give generously and sacrificially to the church and to different needs that they become aware of. Steve and I could not be more proud of the two of them. Sarah has said many times that her husband will have a lot to live up to with Nathan as her example, and the area of finances is yet another place that he has been influential. She has followed his example and has already saved a significant amount of her own. (And considering she only works part-time during the summers, what she’s saved is even more amazing.) And so all of that background brought us to last night. The appointment with car savings accounts and numbers. (And math.) Here is the accounting team of Smith and Smith, hard at work. At one point in the discussion of high finance, one member of the aforementioned accounting team got tickled with the whole process and started smirking. And also giggling. I told her, “No grinning allowed, young lady. This is serious. This is about math. You do not mess around with math.” Look at that face. That is her, "I will not giggle. I will treat math with respect," face. But I don’t know. It looks to me like another grin may be threatening to break out. I must say that anyone who has a proclivity toward giggling at the same time that they are dealing with numbers has my heartiest approbation. If it had been me sitting next to Steve in that chair, I would have been either crying or eating large amounts of chocolate in order to deal with the stress of it all. But I'm happy to report that everything went well during Steve and Sarah's financial session. Steve said that Sarah grasped the concepts very well and seemed to have a good handle on it all. I told her I was so proud of her for digging into finances early on in life, something I didn't do and now regret, since I still struggle with balancing a checkbook. I am making progress though, and am further down the track of dealing with finances then I was last year at this time. Baby steps!