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/ Finance

Debt Management By Certified Financial Solutions

Debt management has emerged as one of the major challenges of the modern era. People are looking for expert advice to solve their financial problems and the increased trend of leasing has resulted in issues pertaining to debt consolidation. Certified Financial Solutions is one such company that assists its clients by providing expert advice to meet financial challenges. Certified Financial Solutions

As one of the leading companies with a religious perspective, Certified Financial Solutions has revolutionized the debt settlement and personal finance business. It is a Tequesta based firm that encourages its clients to live debt free. The company offers many attractive packages for the clients to assist them in getting rid of their debts. The company provides expert advice and is known for its excellent customer care services.

Features Of Certified Financial Solutions

The services offered by Certified Financial Solutions have numerous significant features that make this company stand out. The features are both religious as well as of financial nature. Few of these features are:-

Fait Based Packages

Certified Financial Solutions is a company that stresses upon its clients to lead a pious and holy life that is productive for others.

It demands from the clients to get rid of their loans as soon as possible and assists them in debt management and settlement.

Attorney Services

The clients are valued in Certified Financial Solutions and each case is handled by the dedicated attorneys that review the case. These attorneys give their expert advice and ensure that each client gets the due amount of debt relief.

60% Reduction

The experts of the Certified Financial Solutions have earned a repute of lowering your debt to 60% by their negotiations. These experts negotiate with the credit firms and search for the best possible solution for your financial problems.

Procedure For Debt Settlement

The debt settlement offered by the Certified Financial Solutions is done in the following steps:-

1. Discussion of the case with the clients

2. Review of the case by the firm’s attorneys.

3. State-based attorneys ensure that you are a good client to be offered debt settlement.

4. All laws and regulations of your state are taken into account.

5. The acceptance of the case by Certified Financial Solutions and ultimate settlement of your financial problems

Company Contact Information
4167 Russell Street

Tequesta , FL 33469


/ Finance

Some More Easy Ways To Get Out Of Debt

Each consumer wishes to get rid of debt. There is a way to get out of financial distress, which arises due to debts. Individuals can make all possible efforts to achieving financial freedom. It is not an easy task. Some people may take a number of years to eliminate the whole debt. It requires time and determination to become debt free.

Factors Affecting The Financial Freedom

Different options are available to the consumer according to their financial requirements. The time required to achieve complete financial freedom depends on different factors. An individual can slowly find a way to get out of debt. Individuals can start this process by cutting their monthly expense or costs.

Cost Cutting Process

Cost cutting may be started from food or grocery bill. Consumers can save a lot of money by setting a limit on their visits to the restaurant every week.

Research shows that each individual can save 40 dollars per month by eliminating weekly restaurant meals. Family with five members could save 200 dollars each week. This will lead the consumer much closer to get rid of financial obligations.

Saving A Small Change

Though it does not look good to overcome financial problems but is just a beginning towards financial freedom. Personal savings in another field of life may also help individuals to accomplish this goal or process. An individual can save money by changing the small number of purchases over a period of time. This will allow consumers to save more than 100 thousand dollars.

Utilizing Bills Of Purchase

Obviously with a saving of 100 dollars, one can not meet his all obligations but it would certainly help consumers to reduce debt. Bills of purchase can only be used to complete savings in this form. Individuals may provide eleven dollars to the cashier when total saving reaches the amount of 10 dollars and one cent. They will be so close to meet their goal of financial freedom.

Stop Using Credit Cards

Consumers can utilize all practical ways to get out of debt. Remember not to use credit cards. Some consumers use credit cards abundantly without thinking about it. It would be impossible for you to get out of debt if interest rates and other charges are building over time. Remember to stay out of debt than getting in more debt. Money is a blessing and needs careful management.

/ News

‘Mountain men’ to reunite at rendezvous; Participants include star of TV reality show while another network plans to film event

Dressing in mountain-man outfits, trading handcrafts and other goods with one another and testing their rifle-shooting and tomahawk-throwing skills, enthusiasts from a number of states will gather next week outside Raton near the Santa Fe Trail to live as people did — or as close to it as they want to — more than 170 years ago.

While many of the participants of the Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous are usually store owners, lawyers, electricians, office workers, government officials, housewives and representatives of many other modern occupations, one week each year they are fur trappers, buckskinners, seamstresses and other types of mountain men and women.

Every June, a few hundred men, women and children re-create life on the famous trail as it was from about 1825 to 1840. This year’s rendezvous begins Sunday and runs through Saturday.

A special feature of this year’s event will be a buffalo feast scheduled for Wednesday. Organizers plan to skin, butcher and cook a whole buffalo, which is being purchased by rendezvous organizers from the Spahn and Friends ranch east of Raton. The process of preparing the buffalo is expected to begin about 11 a.m., and portions of the estimated 300 pounds of meat will be served throughout the day as it is taken off the buffalo and cooked in a wood smoker being provided by the Colfax County Fair Board. The feast is open to the public free of charge.

Among the participants at this year’s rendezvous will be Montana’s Tom Oar, one of the stars of the History Channel’s Mountain Men reality show. He is coming to enjoy the week with his longtime friend Kyle Bell of Folsom, who is serving as this year’s rendezvous “booshway” — the man in charge.

In addition, a crew from the Outdoor Channel is planning to film some of the action at the rendezvous for potential use on one of that channel’s shows.

Since its inception in 1975, the Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous — held in a canyon on NRA Whittington Center property west of Raton — has drawn participants from throughout the country. The event is sponsored by the Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous Association and the Southeast Colorado Council of Buckskinners.

In much of its history, the rendezvous has averaged about 160 campsites, with multiple people usually occupying each campsite. Drought and the resulting fire danger in recent years caused participation to fall off, but attendance has been growing again the last few years, reaching 96 camps last year after attendance dipped to 55 a year earlier. For those who come, the event is a week of living a part of the history on the Santa Fe Trail that brought pioneers of all sorts through northeast New Mexico as they arrived in the West.

Based on the information he had as of Thursday, Bell said he is hoping for perhaps 150 campsites to be set up next week.

This is one of the few rendezvous throughout the country that is open daily to the public. Admission is free for visitors, who can stroll through the temporary community of white canvas campsites and visit with people dressed much like the early travelers on the Santa Fe Trail.

Throughout the week, participants can often be seen cooking meals over a campfire (although fire restrictions may limit that), gathering equipment for friendly competitions or haggling with one of many traders who offer a variety of goods that recall the historic days on the trail.

From 1825 to 1840, fur trappers in the Rocky Mountains would meet fur traders at a pre-determined time and place. The primary purpose of the gathering was for the mountain men and Native Americans to trade their year’s catch of furs for the supplies needed to live and trap for the next 12 months. Additionally, the trappers would visit with old friends and meet new ones. This “rendezvous” was a time to relax and celebrate. This was also a time when men with big egos made challenges to see who was the best shot, or the best knife thrower, or who had the fastest horse.

The last known original rendezvous was in 1840. The meetings came to a halt after that because of a depleted beaver population and a drop in the demand for beaver fur.

Visitors to next week’s rendezvous can hear the noise and see the smoke as mountain men re-enactors compete in muzzle-loading rifle, pistol and smoothbore (today’s shotgun) matches. There are knife and tomahawk matches that require precision cuts be made by throwing the weapons from a distance.

There are other unique contests, as well, such as those for costumes, cooking, and individual campsites.

Wandering among the individual camps, visitors can watch skilled hands create bead work, or observe a deer hide being tanned, or see the many steps needed to create an arrowhead from a piece of flint.

The rendezvous site is about 10 minutes outside Raton. In south Raton, go west on N.M. 555 for five and a half miles. Watch for the rendezvous signs and turn left through the gate. Follow the gravel road less than two miles to the rendezvous site. This is private property, so visitors are asked to stay on the main gravel road.

/ Finance

China investors scouring for gold, copper, infrastructure assets

A growing number of private sector Chinese investors are on the hunt for gold and copper resources in countries such as Australia and Canada, advisers and analysts said on Monday.Growing investment abroad has been identified by Beijing as a strategic priority as it looks to slow the rise of its foreign currency reserves and help its firms climb up the global value chain.

“In the past year, we saw almost $8 billion dollars of dedicated equity money organised into funds that are based in Hong Kong,” Jorge Ramiro Monroy, managing director of Hong Kong-based adviser Emerging Markets Capital, said at a mining conference in Melbourne.

“These funds by and large haven’t started investing yet. The effect that will have on the market could be quite significant,” said Monroy, adding that the bulk of the funds came from Chinese financial institutions.

Canadian asset manager Sprott Inc and Chinese gold miner Zijin Mining Group launched an offshore global mining fund a year ago with an initial seeding of $110 million to invest primarily in gold and copper mining companies. It has a target size of $500 million, according to its website.

China investors were “hugely bullish” gold, in part a strategic push to underpin the yuan as it becomes more freely tradable, said Monroy.

State-owned enterprises, in the midst of an anti graft crackdown, are more cautious, having been badly burned on deals such as Australian iron ore in the past. But they are still looking for projects near completion and are increasingly teaming up with local partners.

“Particularly the bigger ones are looking for sizable projects with cash flows. If it’s a greenfield project it needs to ramp up in a one-to-three year horizon,” said Helen Cai, a managing director of research with China investment bank CICC.

China this month simplified rules to make it easier for domestic companies to invest overseas. Its outbound direct investment by non-financial firms hit $90.2 billion in 2013, up 16.8 percent from the previous year.

Jia Yu, a director at a unit of state-owned China Power Investment Corporation, said that each year at least 30 percent of the company’s total revenue has been targeted from overseas investment. “The Chinese government has strong motivational policies and we have strong pressure,” she said.

Baosteel Resources, working with Australian rail operator Aurizon Holdings Ltd, took control of the West Pilbara Iron Ore project in July after sealing a $1 billion takeover of Aquila Resources.

“There is a greater interest from Chinese companies to work together with local companies … Particularly around risk identification, risk management and interaction with local stakeholders and government,” said Paul Glasson, chairman of advisory firm Satori Investments Greater China.

Assets that could attract bids from China state-owned firms or their local joint ventures could be the upcoming sale of Australian ports in Queensland and Melbourne, said Scott Gardiner, managing partner at law firm King & Wood Mallesons. (1 US dollar = 6.1380 Chinese yuan) (Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

/ Attractions

Costa Rica: Things to Do

Tourists will have no trouble finding something to do in Costa Rica, which can accommodate an adventurer’s request or a relaxation request. The attractions can take place on land or in mid-air. There are also plenty of water activities to keep visitors entertained.

Bungee Jumping
Arenal Bungee, located in La Fortuna, is a thrill-seeker’s dream or a feat to be accomplished by those who want to overcome a fear of heights. Those who dare will leap into the air at 40 meters. Arenal Bungee allows adrenaline-seekers to harness the bungee around the waist or ankles and allows jumpers to be immersed in water when they leap. As of May 2009, the cost to jump is $50 per jump/person.

Arenal Bungee
La Fortuna, Costa Rica
011 506 2479 7440

Horseback Riding
Serendipity Adventures offers horseback riding through Costa Rica. The horses and a tour guide will take riders to mysterious places, on mountain trails, and across jungle rivers. The horses will also take riders through sugarcane fields and small villages. Serendipity Adventures doesn’t just cater to riding; it requires people to sign up for additional activities, such as hiking and climbing. As of May 2009, horseback riding with Serendipity Adventures costs between $500 to $900 for a full day for a group of one to five people.

Serendipity Adventures
Turrialba, Costa Rica
(888) 226-5050

Whitewater Rafting
Costa Rica Expeditions offers whitewater rafting on the Pacuare and Reventazon rivers. Typically, there are two types of whitewater rafting experiences in Costa Rica: premium and conventional. Costa Rica Expeditions offers premium trips aimed at satisfying those that don’t want to deal with large groups and want gourmet food. Conventional rafting experiences have more people on the trip and regular meals. Costa Rica Expeditions doesn’t usually offer conventional rafting trips. As of May 2009, the cost of the premium experience is $129 to $149 per person.

Costa Rica Expeditions
San Jose, Costa Rica
(800) 886-2609

/ Health & Wellness

Products That Kill Nail Fungus…

Toenail fungus products are big business in the United States because more than 35 million people are known to deal with this problem daily. You have probably landed on this site because you are also trying to finally get rid of nail fungus.
Toenail fungus, which is also known as Onychomycosis, is caused by a small organism that likes to live in dark, damp places and the insides of shoes is perfect for them. They are very hard to kill because they tend to live beneath the nail and are therefore somewhat protected from soaps, powders, and other things that you might try putting on the surface of your feet and nails.

However, there are some toenail fungus products that have shown to be effective in killing the fungus. We are going to make it simple and break them down into 3 basic categories.

1. Natural Toenail Fungus Products
2. Over the counter or Prescription Products
3. Home Remedy Products

Most Popular Toenail Fungus Products
When it comes to getting rid of yellow toenail fungus, natural antifungal products like Zetaclear or Fungisil are two of the most popular. The reason that these types of products are consumer favorites is that they contain powerful anti-fungal oils like oregano, melaleuca, thymol, and others to help kill annoying nail fungus and recondition your nails and skin.

Another great thing about Zetaclear and Fungisil is that they contain another strong fungus killing natural ingredient called undecylenic acid. Unlike several prescription remedies, these products do not produce dangerous side effects or damage to your liver.

Prescription Fungus Products
After checking with your doctor to confirm that you have toenail fungus and not some other skin condition, they might be inclined to recommend some type of over the counter or prescription drug like Lamisil.

There are others but Lamisil is one of the more visible ones and you have probably seen their gross commercials with little cartoon dermatophytes (an organism which causes toenail fungus) crawling under your toenails to have some kind of feast. It’s actually kind of gross but like most pharmaceutical companies, they try to lessen the impact of the side effects in creative ways.

Lamisil is well known to have the potential to create dangerous side effects. In particular, it could cause some forms of liver damage even when used per the instructions.

Home Remedy Products
Home remedies for toenail fungus are all over the web and you see everyone from Grandmas to doctors giving hints on what might kill nail fungus. The general consensus is that many of them don’t work, and when they do, it is for rare cases of surface nail fungus that has not yet penetrated the nail bed.

With that little warning in place, here are a few of the most often shared home treatments.

Listerine: Listerine, which has been marketed over the years as an antiseptic and floor cleaner, is also shared by some as a fungus killer. Does it work? You will have to be the judge. However, it does contain an active ingredient called Thymol that has known antifungal properties and was used by the Blackfeet Indians for wounds and mouth problems.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Vinegar, whether it be apple cider or not, is thought to work for some people because it creates an environment that is not friendly for the fungus to live. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which gives it a strong smell and sourness, and some think this is the key ingredient that works against fungi.

Vicks Vaporub: Like Listerine, Vicks also contains the antifungal Thymol. It also has menthol which may or may not do anything against fungi. The makers of Vicks Vaporub have never marketed this product for toenail fungus so the question still exists as to whether or not it has any effect.

/ Health & Wellness

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Statistics for breast cancer are frightening. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in American women, second only to lung cancer. Hlt is the most common malignancy in North America and in Europe. Your chances of getting breast cancer are one in eight. Fortunately, there have been outstanding strides made in breast cancer treatment in the last few years. No longer is breast cancer considered a death threat. Unlike twenty years ago when my cousin died at the age of 35, many more alternatives and treatments are available. Now your risk of dying of breast cancer is less than one in twenty-eight. That is good news as more and more women join the ranks of “survivor” of breast cancer.

Risk factors for breast cancer include some that you can change and some that you cannot change. A trait that cannot be changed is the fact you are a woman, you are aging, and you have a family history of breast cancer. If you have a close family member with breast cancer, mother, sister, or daughter, your risk doubles. Other risks that can’t be changed are if you started your periods before you were twelve years old, or if you started menopause later than normal (after fifty.)

A newly found genetic mutation is being researched. This genetic mutation may increase your risk of breast cancer. The gene BRCA1 or BRCA2 may be inherited mutations and may cause an increased risk of developing breast cancer. If you have a strong family history of breast cancer, especially if they are under the age of 50, you may want to talk to your doctor. Genetic testing can be performed to see if you are a carrier of this mutated gene.

You can reduce your risk of breast cancer by being aware of the factors that increase your risk of cancer and the ones you have control of. You will slightly increase your risk of this disease if you are taking estrogens with progesterone for symptoms of menopause. If you are taking birth control pills, they also increase your risk. Studies show this risk is reduced if a woman has not taken birth control pills for ten years. Other risks that you can control are, drinking, being overweight, not getting the proper amount of exercise, and not breastfeeding.

Remember, anyone can develop breast cancer, including men. We are all at risk of developing malignancy in our breast, and statistics are based on probabilities and risk factors. You can control and reduce your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health, getting the proper exercise, and losing weight. Some risks are not under your control such as age, family history, early periods, and late menopause. Knowing what the controllable risks are, and working to keep your body healthy can reduce the other risks.

If you are aware of being at high risk of developing cancer, you should have regular breast screenings, and practice self-examination every month. These two items can greatly reduce your risk of breast cancer.

/ Health & Wellness

How to Reduce Double Chin Fat

Do you have a double chin? While that extra fat beneath your chin can be distressing, you can minimize it, if not get rid of it altogether. Although it won’t be overnight, you reduce a double chin by losing fat all over. This is made possible by the timeless advice of eating a healthy diet in moderation, and by exercising more. But no need to torture yourself. A healthy lifestyle is about moderation, so don’t buy into the idea that you need to spend hours at the gym each day or go on some strict diet to reduce double chin fat.

Fat burning foods
When it comes to foods, you have two kinds-fat promoting foods and fat burning foods. The fat promoting foods are obvious. Processed foods and beverages (most canned and packaged foods) are the main culprits. Along with a whole host of other harmful ingredients, including loads of sodium, most of these foods contain the wrong kinds of carbs which lead to weight gain. A carb is a bad one when most of its calories come from refined sugar or refined white flour.

On the other hand, fat burning foods can help you lose weight, reduce double chin and promote good health at the same time. Take low-fat dairy for example. Studies show that consuming three servings of dairy each day helps you lose more weight. And contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad. Healthy fats are a fit body’s best friend. Eating foods like nuts, olive oil, avocados, salmon, and unsweetened cocoa powder speed up your metabolism and keep you full longer, which helps prevent you from bingeing. And let’s throw away another tired old dieter’s myth. Like healthy fats, healthy carbs are something you should embrace. They keep your energy and motivation high and fuel a more active lifestyle, which is something you want to promote to burn fat and reduce double chin. Good carbs come from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Crazy fad diets that promote low-carb meal plans don’t work, and they’re not something you can sustain over a lifetime. Avoid them at all costs.

Want another way to burn extra fat? Stop drinking toxic beverages like diet sodas and powdered drink mixes, and less than worthy beverages like coffee, and opt for unsweetened tea instead. Green tea has been shown time and again to help burn fat faster. Whether hot or cold, tea stands next to water as one of your best allies for losing weight.

Exercising to lose fat
Cardio exercises are wonderful for burning calories. Whether it be running, swimming, cycling, or the like, it’s hard to go wrong. However, many do follow a less than ideal path when undertaking a cardio regimen. You may notice at the gym that your fellow members often get on cardio machines and go at the same pace day in and day out. You may be doing this as well. Understand though that your body gets very good at adapting to a consistent exercise routine and will start to burn less and fewer calories as time goes on. You can literally spend hours a week working out and more or less wasting your time-at least when it comes to any significant weight loss and therefore, reduction of a double chin.

To keep this from happening, you must incorporate interval training into your workouts. This type of training involves bursts of intense activity mixed with periods of light activity. For example, you would run at an intense speed for 45 seconds, walk for one minute, and then repeat. Compared to jogging at the same pace for an hour, interval training allows you to get four times or more the heart-health and fat-burning benefits in only around 15 minutes of total activity. You can read more about interval training by clicking here.

Strength training is also excellent for burning fat and feeding muscle. That’s because every bit of muscle you build burns fat and helps speed up your metabolism. Lift three times a week for optimum benefits. Yoga and pilates can be nice additions, or even outright alternatives, to strength training as well.

Eat less sodium and refined carbs
Sodium and sugary carbs cause bloating, which only promotes and not reduces double chin. Carbs attract water, which causes muscles and fat deposits to swell-hence, bloating. Sodium cause inflammation and the body holds onto water to dilute the excess sodium, and once again you get bloating. You can help reduce the unsightly appearance of your double chin and the overall appearance of your body by significantly decreasing the added sodium and sugary, refined carbs (processed foods, sweets, and white flour products) in your diet.

Drink more water
Staying fully hydrated with fresh water, which most people do not, does more than just keep you feeling full, thereby helping you to avoid eating more. It also helps dilute excess sodium, pushes out toxins, and helps your metabolism work at its best.

By using these helpful strategies you’ll turn your body into a fat burning furnace, and be well on your way to reducing double chin fat.

/ Finance

Home Loan/Mortgage Advertising Mail

As a homeowner, I get tons of mail related to that. The most annoying of which is the refinance offers. There is big money in the refinance market, so these outfits work particularly hard to get your business. Aside from just the fact that tons of paper and resources are wasted on these marketing efforts, there are several of their tactics that really annoy me though.

First, and perhaps foremost, is the reminder that so much of my information is of public record. When these mailers come in, they have not only my name, address, and phone information, but also my loan amount. I hate that they know this much about me and can mail to their heart’s content. They mock me and rub it in by printing that loan amount right in the letter!

Second is the fact that they are so quick to mail and so plentiful for that matter. I get tons of them, then repeats and follow-ups from the same people. I have worked for companies that have done a mass mailing, so I understand the practices and proven patterns of success with follow up mailers, but it still bugs me. I had outfits mailing me within a couple of months of my initial home purchase. If I am that hard up to refinance already, then I really botched my initial loan negotiation.

Third, and this goes for mass mailing in general, I hate knowing how much waste is taking place with such marketing attempts. As I have mentioned, I have some understanding of what goes on behind the scenes on this kind of marketing. It is a pure numbers game, and the numbers may surprise you. If they get even a 1% response rate on their mailing, that is typically considered a successful campaign. That means that 99% of the people receiving that mailer are chucking it with no interest.
Fourth, and now that I think about it definitely foremost, is the tactic to try and trick you into these interest-only loans. Interest only seemed like a good idea for a bit, but the reality has quickly sunk in for millions of now homeowners. These loans were incorrectly used to get unqualified people in way over their heads with immense loans. We have an incredible beginning to burst of sub-prime loans about to foreclose because of this situation. Our current housing market is artificially lifted to astronomical levels, and everyone now realizes we are headed for an abrupt and painful correction.

We can’t all blame the deceitful tactics of the lenders that got people in the bad situation. People should be intelligent enough to read the terms and understand the implications of that 3 or 5/1 ARM loan that is going to raise your monthly payment over time. If you had to pull trickery to qualify for your loan at the outset, there is a good likelihood it is going to come back and bite you later on. If you were counting on a fortuitous financial future (that sounded kinda cool now that I wrote it out) and extended yourself into a better home, as so many realtors and lenders encourage you to do, you have taken a risky step. Best of luck to you that everything works out as you have hoped.

I have to admit I first had an interest only loan on this new home when I bought it. I quickly saw where the market was headed and in a couple of years converted it to a fixed rate. There are reasons to use various loan types, but as an average homeowner, those reasons are not for me.

Those emails for incredible loan rates sound too good to be true…trust me, they are. I have actually seen what happens to people that respond to that kind of emails. Your contact info gets sold 4-20 times to various loan officers hungry to sell you a refinance or new loan. They pay upwards of $30-60 each to get your info too. You will be called by tons of people trying to sell you on their services, but you are no better off than simply talking to any local lender and educating yourself on what is currently available.

Don’t fall for the tricks of “get a 200,000 loan for only $500/mo payment!” There is a trick, and it is being played on you.

/ News

Questioning Back-to-School Supplies

Mary, the “mom”

It’s that time again…time for back-to-school shopping. I don’t mean the new outfits my daughters just have to have. No, I mean the school supplies. It’s not so bad in our high school, but the amount of supplies required at the middle school is blowing me away this year.

I had a supply list for my fourth grader and I figured my other daughter, as a 13-year-old, eighth-grader, could decide how she wanted to organize herself and select the appropriate materials. Which she did…and quite well, in my opinion. (One binder for her morning classes, one binder for afternoon classes and a separate small binder for French.) Then, a few days later, the letter arrives indicating the eighth grader’s homeroom assignment and a list of required supplies. It includes 8 ½ inches of binder! (That’s three – 2-inch binders, one – 1 ½ inch binder and one – 1-inch binder.) In addition, she needs a three subject notebook and a marble composition notebook. I guess she’s going to be doing a lot of writing this year! Of course, there are many other things on the list including index cards, post-its, mechanical pencils, pens, crayons! and more.

Besides the issue of expense (this stuff really adds up!), and, besides the issue of wasted paper (how many years do they come home in June with three pages used in that marble composition book?), there’s the practical issue of how does a 5’ 2 1/2” (can’t forget the 1/2″!), 90 pound girl carry around 8 ½” of binder?

Is the supply list this big in your schools? Do you always follow the list? Or, do you just say “this is crazy” and buy what makes sense?

Rach, the “teen”

I hate binders. The last time I used one was in middle school when all my teachers demanded that we have separate binders for every class (and they took off points if you didn’t have one). I think middle schoolers should be able to make their own choices about their supplies. And most middle schoolers are totally capable of doing that. But, there are those kids who stuff everything in their backpacks. The kids that don’t care about the papers or the kids who just don’t know how to organize stuff. Those kids are incredibly common in middle and high school, and it makes sense that teachers want to correct that.

When it comes to carrying all that stuff around, there is a very simple solution. Getting quality backpacks and wearing them right. Getting a real backpack (not a tote bag, or-or messenger bag), and wearing it with both straps will all of a sudden, make all that stuff you have to carry seem a lot lighter.

Here’s another hint: it’s a back-pack, not a butt-pack. Wear it on your back, not bumping around on your butt.

Brad, the “dad”

Yes, I have tried my own little rebellion against the Paper Avalanche. I’ve even contacted teachers and said, “Look, I priced this out: you’re talking $150 if I buy everything every teacher is asking for. How about this idea instead…?” And I’ve had very, very little success. Most of the teachers just look at me like I’m from Jupiter for even suggesting a change to the lesson plan. The others shrug and then have the kids do their dirty work. The poor li’l girls have both come home teary-eyed on more than one occasion, convinced they will be flunked, flunked if they don’t have EXACTLY the right three-ring two-inch double-pocket, lime-green, slip-covered binder that EVERYbody has.

And trust me, you want to have real fun, get your kid into a “project-based” school. There were times, I swear, when “project-based” seemed to mean little more than “spend another $50 on art supplies, binders, presentation boards, Styrofoam, and other stuff you thought you’d stopped buying when your kids got out of elementary-school art class.” They know me by name at Michael’s Art Supplies. I think they jack up the prices when they see me hit the parking lot.

My only line of defense: we stockpile like a son-of-a-gun. I scan the school-supply-and-stationery ads every week like a hawk hunting a bunny, and if anybody’s putting three-ring binders, notebook paper, gel-pens or pipe cleaners on sale, I am there. I’ve even been known to stop by the local stationery chain when it looms large in the windshield just to dredge through the “clearance” bin. And we’ve reserved a large chunk of closet space for inventory. We also have a standing rule: throw NO school supplies away until Dad’s had a chance to forage for re-useable (like the binder that’s broken after a week but has an inch thick of PERFECTLY USEABLE paper inside.)

Does it really save us much money, especially given the time Daddy spends harvesting staples? Probably not. But it does make me feel better – the illusion of control over one of the many leaks in the financial pipe that defines Parenting: The Teen Years.