Bra Money – The Lessons of a Summer Job – Part II
Last month’s newsletter article discussed summer jobs for the two teenagers living in my house. Both were looking for their first ever jobs and both secured them without even needing to interview. This development left me questioning the earlier enthusiasm I had for summer jobs and all of the discipline, responsibility and fiscal sense they would bring. This ‘real-world lessons’ thing did not start the way I expected – or wanted. So, let’s find out how those lessons went.
First, my daughter’s nanny job has proven to be every bit the responsible caretaker our neighbors (and my wife and I, for that matter) expected. The first day ended with the child seats left in my daughter’s car at dance class half way across the metro area, meaning a certain seven year old missed t-ball practice, but that’s likely survivable and fits into the ‘lessons learned’ category that my wife and I were thinking of when summer jobs were contemplated. My daughter’s other job is similarly going well. She has spent a surprising amount of time at home trying to learn to differentiate various produce to make her cashiering less eventful, and making cheat sheets she can use to key in the codes accurately. Again, the sort of ‘responsible behavior’ stuff my wife and I were thinking of.
As for my son, it’s a bit more uneven as far as lessons learned. Let’s start with fiscal responsibility. A key to this summer job thing was, in his mind, having his own money. We played that up, and told him he would have to save up to buy what he wants, maybe not blowing his money at the gas station on junk food, and to consider saving some, too. His first purchase was to be an inflatable float tube so he could go fishing on his own at the neighborhood lake. We considered that a responsible sort of purchase and he would understand how long he had to work to earn enough to buy it. Unfortunately, he effectively traded his sister’s electric scooter to a neighbor for a ten year old float tube the neighbor had never used. The battery in the scooter was dead, but that didn’t deter the neighbor, one thing led to another, and a deal was struck. So much for a life lesson, as the obvious disconnect is that the trade was his sister’s scooter for this float tube that said sister will never use.
Follow this up with a broken retainer. My wife was more than a bit frustrated with this development and, in no uncertain terms, let our son know he was paying for what was understood to be a $250 bill. Unfortunately, and for some unknown reason, the orthodontist decided to take care of this for him at no charge. So much for life lessons.
To round out a trifecta of ‘where’s the lesson in that’ sort of developments, he actually received his first paycheck before he worked his first shift. I am still unclear on exactly how this happened, and while it was a pretty modestly sized check, still…
After all of these, I was pleased to hear he didn’t get a check one pay period. Turns out he is in the union, and that means union dues. He only worked one shift this particular pay period because of a family trip, and it seems his pay didn’t cover his dues. Finally a life lesson I could feel good about, even if he didn’t.
But the lesson the whole family learned, and even enjoyed, dealt with bra money. You read that right, and no, it doesn’t even involve my 17 year old daughter. On my son’s first day bagging groceries, a young lady brought her merchandise to the checkout, and proceeded to pull her cash out of her bra to pay the cashier. My son said the girl cashiering that day got a bit stiff, and nervously told the customer that she couldn’t take bra money. It had to come for a purse, a wallet, or a pocket. Apparently shoes and waist bands are bad, too. So, after all of this, the summer job takeaway we will all remember is bra money…
Who even knew that was a thing?
Term of the Month
By Ny Lee
An air loan is a type of mortgage fraud in which a broker makes a loan to a straw buyer (or non-existing buyer) to buy a non-existing property. The scheme typically involves the creation of fake phone banks, addresses, employment status, credit history, and appraisals in order to fool the lender. Invariably, upon default, the lender will lose everything as there is no payer and no real collateral. Most air loan schemes are small in nature and do not get the attention of federal regulatory agencies. Some, however, are rather significant and may involve multiple people working together to perpetrate upwards of $100 million in fraudulent loans.
Key characteristics of an air loan:
- Typically involve straw buyers
- No real estate agent is involved in the transaction
- Mortgage payments, if actually paid, are made by an entity other than the borrower
- Common payer among multiple loans
- Common mailing address (or work address) among multiple loans
- Difficulty in validating the chain of title
Sources: Investopedia, Fannie Mae
Bits & Pieces
By Jeff Torrison
- When socialite Eliza Jumel was in the process of divorcing former US Vice President Aaron Burr in 1836 she was represented by Alexander Hamilton whose father, also named Alexander, died of a wound suffered in a duel with Burr in 1804.
- Alcatraz was first used as a prison for civilians in August of 1934 after serving in that role only for the US military beginning in 1868. Its use as a prison ended in 1963 due to high operating costs and in 1973 it became a tourist attraction operated by the National Park Service. It draws about 1.5 million visitors annually.
- The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota turned 25 years old this month. It draws approximately 42 million visitors per year, has 2.5 million square feet of retail space, and approximately 530 stores.
- About 30,000 people died of disease while building St. Petersburg for Russian Tsar, Peter the Great, according to historian Jonathan Miles.
- Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections operates three dairy farms and a dairy processing facility which sells milk, ice cream, and sherbet (per the August 7 issue of the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal).
- Americans spend two times North Korea’s annual GDP on their pets each year (per the August 5 issue of The Economist).