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Three reasons school supply shopping destroys lives

My lack of planning should be a top emergency for the nation’s school supply retailers. With six school-aged kids and their jam-packed lists, I dread this time of year more than any other. I’d rather do 100% of my holiday shopping at a convenience store on Christmas Eve than shop for school supplies. Therefore, I avoid it and don’t make eye contact with school supply departments until the last minute.

It doesn’t help that I must buy 38 glue sticks and nearly 500 pencils, 18 boxes of facial tissue, and enough markers to cover my toddler’s arms in his self-styled, homemade tattoos until he’s an octogenarian. I recently shopped and didn’t come close to completing the lists.

There are three reasons school supply shopping is an almost universally awful experience. If you are one of those parents who adores standing in a crowded aisle at a big-box retailer comparing the prices between one pack of 12 glue sticks and 6 packs of 2 glue sticks, this isn’t the post for you.

1. Teachers create lists of hard-to-find, baffling things

Balancing short-term family needs with long-term retirement planning

The Husband and I were recently running late for a consultation. As we lovingly bickered about the building’s location — he had already turned around twice — he accidentally sideswiped a car.

I share this lovely outtake from our marriage because the person with whom we were meeting was Andrea Blackwelder of Wisdom Wealth Strategies, our certified financial planner. We were en route to discuss how to balance saving for retirement with the real-time demands of kids and life’s unexpected road bumps.

The irony is not lost on me.

For many parents it’s tough to prioritize the future over omnipresent children’s needs, life’s exigencies and, in our case, cars in blind spots.

Lynn Clark, 44, of Denver, has almost drained her retirement account to start her portrait photography business. “As a self-employed person, I can’t currently