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March 14, 2007


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Although if you are paying $50K a year onto your mortgage - you're at least hopefully adding some value to your NW there...

$10,000 a year on restaurants!? Yikes. I don't undestand how you can drop that much money of eating out. Even if was making $150,000 a year, I don't know if I could spend that much on food.

Sounds like an illustration of "expenses expand to fill all available income and then some" if you're not watching that is.

I guess that if you eat out in nice restaurants 3 times a week, it'd be not too difficult to spend $10,000 a year. Thats $65 (£40) a meal.

Just wondering, would you say that someone who earns $10,000 a year and spends $11,000 could make progress if they could just control their spending?

At some point, there's going to be no room to cut and the person needs to focus on increasing income.

But since the average family in the US makes $50k a year, most people have more than enough room to cut expenses and spend less than they earn.

I have no marketable skills and no money to pay for education or training to acquire marketable skills. A coin hobby doesn't facilitate making money since I'm not allowed to make my own (LOL).

Then you need to figure out a way to get an education/training -- even if it takes you a decade to do so. Otherwise, you'll be in the same situation for the next 50 years.

I think I have a creditor determined to make it impossible for me to pay for education or training (unless I file bankruptcy) and I literally do not have 50 years unless life expectancies are increased at a greater rate. (LOL2)

I think the only item I have a real problem with here is the $10k/mo for the summer home.

$15K for private school is a lot, but well worth it. It's a deal for NY, since schools here in NC are anywhere from $8K for a Catholic school to over $20K for the ritzy day schools.

If they have a family of 4, $200 a week for dining out isn't unrealistic. It probably includes a few business meals for the parents (coworker lunches, etc) plus average meals out with the kids. $500 a month for trainers & beauty treatments also breaks down to $125 a person. Considering a gym might be $50 of that, and a cut and color can be anywhere from $40-150, I also don't think those numbers are outrageously "spendy".

They need to get over the idea of having a summer home at $10K/mo, and just go for a week like normal folks do. After the kids are finished with school, they'll have the cash freed up to do the summer home again. [or build savings, but that might be asking too much]

Summer home and private school? I agree the eating out could be work lunches not reimbursed. And the mortgage is not crazy for NY. But still.

It's amazing how many people fail to realize this blindingly obvious fact. Thanks for pointing it out.


Obviously, if you keep creating excuses, you will never find solutions. As bad as it may seem to take on debt for education, it is much less expensive (in terms of quality of life) than it is to pass it by. As a matter of fact, you may benefit from looking into some private universities. Many offer accelerated programs for adults. The courses are typically one night a week for five weeks, with a few exceptions. Also, since these are evening courses, many private universities price these competitively with public universities, since the major overhead of the university is covered by full-time day students.

In addition, they have test out programs where you can study or apply life experience to help test out of some courses. This can reduce your overall time and cost.

Many employer offer tuition assistance, and there are grant and scholarship programs available. FedEx has an excellent tuition assistance program, and they offer insurance to part-time staff.

They are only one example, and I know there are others.

The opportunity is there, take advantage of it.

In my case, there are no grants or even loans available; I have student loans in default (making payments but loans not rehabilitated), so there is nothing available to me. And even if I were able to go back to school and get a useful degree, what are the chances a 50-year-old would get hired for an entry level position these days?

Well, since you have convinced yourself that it is impossible, I would have to agree that it is impossible. If you really want to change your situation, you will find a way. Many student loan programs have stipulations that will let you take out loans to better your situation, if that is what is holding you back... even if you are in default. If getting a degree is really going to be it takes for you to earn more money, then they will help you out... it is the only way they are going to get any of their money back, you know.

I tend to agree that these people aren't quite as outrages as some may think. If I lived in New York City, I probably wouldn't want to send my kids to the public schools there. And the cost of groceries and eating out in New York is generally a lot more expensive than in other parts of the country--even more than most higher cost areas. However, I do agree that the summer rental house is outrageous. And they could curtail at least some of the eating out as well as the beauty treatments.

Or they could move outside the city and probably save a huge chunk of change on housing costs.

When we decided to buy a house, a 60-minute commute for my husband vs. a 15-minute commute made about a $200K difference in home costs. And property values are still climbing in our area, rather than being seriously inflated to begin with.

And before someone points out that time is money too, the extra 7.5 hours per week will take almost 14 years to add up to $200K in money at his current salary.

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