Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hints from heloise

We have a pleasant mix of the young and the young at heart cruise through these pages on a daily basis, so rather than gripe about my misfortune at having to attend an adult birthday party at 9AM ( I normally arise at 10 ) this morning I decided to turn today's post over to you.

I've had the pleasure recently of dealing with several kids creating their first home away from mom and dad's. It's scary, lonely at times, and will become hugely rewarding. There is so much they don't know, yet need to know. We know too much, but since our own kids won't listen to us, hopefully we can tell other kids and they may listen.

So what would you want your younger self to know? I'll help save your kid, if you'll save mine.

I'll begin with a couple of popups.

1. Learn to comparison shop and use coupons. Make a game of it. The couple of bucks you save at the grocery store, can help pay for drinks Friday.

2. Don't put it on your credit card, if you can't pay in full when the bill comes. Compound interest payments suck the light out of life.

3. Learn the difference between needing something and wanting. If you're uncertain, wait a day. If still uncertain wait another day.

4. Save a little each paycheck. Something ugly or extremely fortuitous is likely to eventually happen. You'll sleep better knowing you can take care of it.

Now it's your turn. I look forward to your wisdom.



house things said...

Good advice. May I add that keeping the house clean gives one a sense of order, no matter what.

David said...

There is nothing wrong with the basic cable plan. Without every channel it's still more than you'll ever watch. You DO need DVR so you can watch things on your schedule. If you can, pit competing cable providers against each other then watch them slash their rates.

And you need a basic tool box. It should contain a hammer, tape measure, set of screw drivers and pliers. A small level is helpful, as is a small socket set. Put your tools back in the box when you're done so you don't have to hunt next time you need them.

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

What? Here? Will there be room? Ok, I'll keep it brief: Learn to Do Your Own Laundry. Don't arrive "back home" for a weekend visit or Sunday Dinner with several load of washing for "ma" - it makes you look like an overgrown college kid and her friends will lose respect for "ma" because they're waiting for her at the bridge table, on the links, etc.

LPC said...

For women. I cheated. This is an old post of mine. But I meant it.

1. Don’t diet any more. Please, please, please find a way to eat that can be sustained for years and year and years. 50-60 years. Because your metabolism will slow down. And what you eat now will make you put on weight later. You don’t want to be too heavy because your joints will hurt and your doctor will yell at you. So find a way to eat well. This will include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and chocolate. It will include very little fast food. Just do it. Don’t try to lose weight. Just find a way to eat well.

2. Appreciate your skin and your flesh and your hair because they will change. Put lovely-smelling unguents on them and hope for all that is promised. Spend only as much money as you are comfortable with.

3. Move around more. Don’t start running marathons unless you like them. They may wreck your knees anyway. Fidget. Take the stairs. Tap your feet. Walk to the market. 30 minutes a day of brisk walking ought to keep your body from disintegrating any faster than it will of its own accord.

4. Wear sunscreen. Not just at the beach. Or by the pool. Or in the desert. All the time. If you drive a car, especially wear it on the left side of your face. On your left hand. Car damage. Wear sunscreen on your neck too. Amazingly, your neck isn’t as invisible to everyone else as it is to you.

4. Wear lots of tight pants and teeter around in high heels. Do it now. Go to bars full of people and dance where everyone can see you. Later in life you either will think it’s a really stupid idea and not worth the discomfort and so will have missed your chance, or you will regret not doing it and you will have to try it and you will wander around looking like you don’t know you are 50. You don’t want to wander around looking like you haven’t figured out your age. If you want to look like you like being 50, and think it’s fierce, all the better. But clueless is rarely a good look.

5. Follow fads. Dress as far on the edge as you are comfortable. By the time you are 50 if you dress on the edge people will automatically assume you are either an art gallery owner or a homeless person. By the time you are 50 you will be tiring of scanning your closet. You will be tiring of scanning fashion sites and looking to reinvent yourself. Unless of course you do it for a living. Otherwise you will want to have found a style that you like and you will want to stick to it. So experiment now. Even with perfume.

6. Travel. See the world. Do whatever it takes to realize that there is no one way to do anything. That the question of absolute moral right is a tough one for which many have died unnecessarily. Open your mouth a lot. This will mean you eat many foods, kiss a lot of men, take deep breaths and say what you want to say. And it will means that by 50 you will be spared the closed lip look of a woman who doesn’t like what she sees. Avoid pursed lips.

You don’t want to show up at 50 with regrets. And I find I regret what I didn’t do far more than what I did. After all, there’s almost always a path out of a wrong step, or if not, a way to heal in the days that follow. Whereas you lose the moment where you do not do it forever. In that way moments have of getting lost.

David said...

LPC's advice should be printed out and given to every high school senior along with their diploma, boys and girls alike.

~Tessa~Scoffs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~Tessa~Scoffs said...

Just came back for a visit. Love LPC's advice! Specially No. 4. The Second No. 4.

nanc said...

When deciding on a 'want' purchase, calculate how many hours you have to sit in the lifeguard chair or bus tables to pay for it.

ADG said...

I'm afraid to even attempt anything after LPC offers the best sage play book...shrouded in elegance...that anyone could contrive. But here's my humble one....

Cook at home together. Even if you don't like to cook or think you can' it. First, you'll surprise yourself when you see how easy it is to create something that's at least edible. You'll get better at it and more adventurous with it as time goes on,you can invite friends to join you and amidst a bottle of inexpensive wine, the fellowship is great. And finally, it's CHEAP to do!


Patsy said...

To expand on Toad's #4: start a 401k and have a percentage deducted directly from each paycheck. You won't even miss it.

Don't neglect your teeth - find a dentist that takes a payment plan or a dental school. Your parents will be pissed off (and rightly so) when your teeth fall out.

Travel extensively now, when you're young enough to sleep in crappy hotels and on friend's couches.

Town and Country Mom said...

Turn on the tv only when there is something specific you want to watch (recorded or not). Being intentional in tv watching (and internet surfing) will give you time to do all the things in Toad's and LPC's lists as well as to listen to music and to read.

Karena said...

LPC how great and Toad terrific post. Finally love well, be true to yourself and your passions; find a way to make it work. Determination mixed with genuine kindness goes a long way.

Art by Karena

Shelley said...

Spend your money consciously. Be careful that you spend it to please yourself, not to impress other people.

Find a hobby that you love that involves learning or creating and is nearly free. If you develop your own creativity and curiosity, you'll avoid having to spend money to entertain yourself.

LPC's advice is brilliant. I've just been reflecting on not being able to enjoy the same things (like silly fashions) that I did when I was younger.