Lifestyles with Boomerang Children

The concept of the Boomerang Children or KIPPERS can be viewed in two ways:

  • Kids that move out initially, however, due to any of 100 reasons move back in with you.
  • While kids are at University they go away for 8 months (you get used to a certain lifestyle) and then they return and muck it all up.

In the first case, the kids move back in and you create a different lifestyle while they live with you (my suggestion would be to make sure that they give to the home, don’t just let them live with you “gratis” (unless you want them to never move out)).

Lew Zealand famous for His Boomerang Fish (not his Boomerang Kids).

The second instance is an issue we have run into the past few years. Here are a few of the interesting issues that arise when kids “come home” from being away at school:

  • They stay “at home” for the summer, however, they don’t manage to sublet their apartments at school, so you end up paying rent on an empty place. This one makes you wonder if the high price you pay for residence might not be bad, given you only pay fees while your kids are living there. My kids have been good at helping pay for this as well (or getting sub-letters).
  • Blossoming food costs, thanks to more mouths to feed around the house. Kids come home and wonder why there is no food around the house? Here is a hint, you are eating it all!!!
  • Vehicles suddenly disappear, or there is an assumption that cars are available all the time. You know which car you can have access to when you want? Your own damn car (so go out and buy one, or stop grousing about cars not being available).

The main issue however that my wife and I have found is the cost of utilities suddenly exploding. Our electric bill goes up a little, our water bill goes up a fair amount (when did a normal shower last 45 minutes long?), but the Internet costs are what really drive me insane.

It seems young folk believe that Internet is free, and unfortunately with my current service provider, their overage fees are astronomical. Both my kids seem to have access to other folks’ NetFlix accounts and download a great deal of stuff, and two years ago I actually had $120 of overage fees from Rogers one month. I did call Rogers and got that lowered, and also got a cheaper rate (after complaining about the overage charge), but even when my kids visit for a week, that month we almost overrun our Internet Cap.

The easiest solutions from what I can tell are:

  1. Change the locks and don’t let anyone move back into my house, but that does seem a little bit harsh
  2. Make kids pay for the overages (which will be happening this summer, if they occur)
  3. Find a better service provider that does not gouge their customers like TekSavvy or use Bell Fibe and pay the extra $10 which is allegedly unlimited.


Taxes: When Should They Start?

Mrs. C8j came up with this one, an interesting question too (actually a group of questions):

  • When should you start filing tax returns for your kids?
  • When should the kids start doing their own darn taxes?

For us, we started filing tax returns for our kids as soon as they started earning money.  They already had their own SIN numbers, so submitting it was not an issue.

The question that arises now is when do I hand over to them their tax files and say, “Go Be Free!” ?

I must admit that doing their taxes while they are at University was an advantage for me, since it was much easier to then transfer their tuition credits to my own tax return, however, eventually they are going to have to figure out how to do it themselves (I suppose).  It’s funny that schools never really offer courses on doing your own taxes, not even seminars or the like.

I think Universities and Colleges would do well to teach this, since even with software (I learned on those darn long forms, with pencil and pen) it can get intricate quite quickly (especially if you are carrying tuition credits from University and even more Loan Repayments for school as well).

When is the best age to get kids to do their own taxes, or should the parents just keep doing them until the child asks to do it?


High price of Parenting

I have ranted about this before, but I figure I’ll continue this given it is the start of another school year/sports year for the kids.

I have four kids and two of them are competitive basketball players with a local team. I am proud of their accomplishments, as I am proud of all of my kids, but the cost of playing sports is becoming more and more expensive each year. We pay about $400.00 or so just in team fees, which is actually a little cheap in comparison to what I hear other parents are paying for competitive hockey (and on the plus side, Gyms don’t open before 8:00 AM, so I am not spending early mornings in cold hockey arenas).

That price wouldn’t be too bad, except that, that is not the only expense:

  • Out of town tournaments are like mini-vacations, with their associated costs. You can spend anywhere between $300 and $800 for a weekend, depending on the distance, the price of the hotel to stay in, and how much you eat out. I have heard some parents say their kids won’t play competitive sports just for this cost alone.
  • Equipment, for basketball, it’s pretty cheap, just running shoes, but again, those are not cheap any more (what happened to the $10 Converse All stars I used to play in?). Lebron James is a bit richer thanks to me right now.
  • Meals, this is an interesting one, but how many times last year did I end up buying “take out” because we hadn’t planned correctly, or were just too darn tired from running around to cook? This is not an insignificant cost either. This is one, that can get out of control quickly if you aren’t careful.
  • Team jerseys and memorabilia for games and such are another added item that adds up (team bags, team t-shirts, etc.,)

Am I lamenting and complaining about this, I will paraphrase a VISA commercial all this time watching my kids have fun is priceless (I just wish it wasn’t so pricEY).

Might be worthwhile keeping a budget here too!


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