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September 02, 2008


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Totally agree. The couple is 24 years old and they felt they needed a house. I didn't have a house at 24, I rented a one bedroom. How many people here had a house at the age of 24?

When I rented out my previous condo, I rented to a young couple. I don't know how much money they made; I know he had a very high salary, easy 6 digits; I don't know if she worked. They were thinking of buying a house in 6 months, and they asked for a 6 months lease. Because I liked them, and my property was easy to rent out, I agreed. In 6 months the prices on houses went up. They ended up renting a one bedroom for 4.5 years. In the meantime she had two kids, but they still stayed in one bedroom until they had money to buy a house. They moved before the top of the bubble when the prices still were OK and below where they are now. At any rate - here is a couple that had a high salary; yet even with kids they rented a one bedroom until they saved enough for a house.

A couple of weeks ago while a friend of mine was getting a cup of coffee in our cafeteria, we started a conversation with a Mexican woman working there. She told us that she was tired because she had two jobs - the one in our cafeteria and another one on evenings and weekends in a store. She also told that her husband had two jobs and her son who was studying banking had a part-time job in a bank as well. It was tough, but she was upbeat and optimistic, proud of working hard, and not complaining about how poor they are.

This couple has three basic problems that could easily have been avoided: (1) Getting married way too young (age 19); (2) popping out two kids way too soon; and (3) taking on too much mortgage.

Because of these poor decisions, their American dream was a non-starter. Too bad the reporter didn't mention that.

Between my wife and I, we make less than $40K per year and I'm hoping to be debt free (including my mortgage) within the next 5 years. I'm doing this by being frugal and using self control. I have the qualifications to get a $50K salary, but I chose less than half the pay to work at my church because I would rather help people than waste all sorts of money on myself. Yet we still can survive and do so very well on such a small income.

We make almost three times what this family makes but out mortgage is $650 and our gas bill is $100 in the coldest month. I don't know how they expected to be able to make ends meet in their situation. Not that $42,000 is too small of a salary. Plenty of people raise families on that and do just fine. The problem comes when you buy the same lifestyle as someone earning much more.

I think it is a little harsh to judge someone for getting married and having children young and staying home with them if that is their choice, provided they can afford it. And on their salary, they should be able to afford it with a few sacrifices. It's their financial decisions that derailed them, not their personal ones.

Well done. Great article and I love the "financially smart" comments. People don't realize: It's not how much you make, it's how you handle it.

The second comment is perfect. Too many people have an idea in their head about what they "deserve" as Americans, and it is often tied to material things. Being an American is a wonderful blessing, but it does not mean you deserve financial and material things. But it does mean you should have certain rights and opportunities. America is the land of opportunity - if people are willing to work for it.

I liked how the woman in the article is going to school to improve her professional prospects. She is working toward improvement. It just appears as though they bit off more than they could handle. Perhaps selling their home for more affordable housing would be a good idea to free up some cash flow. I don't know enough about their financial situation to recommend anything else.

They got a mortgage that was over 4 times their annual income. Mistake number one. And why is the county giving subsidized mortgages out to people without better checks and balances on what they can afford? We, the taxpayers and thus the government, owe this family nothing. They could easily get by if they were smart about it, but instead of SACRIFICING they expect everyone else to make their life easier for them.

There's nothing at all wrong with wanting to be better off than your parents. But most kids don't realize the "good life" they lived at home came at the cost of their parents working for YEARS to attain that way of life and even then was far from being guaranteed.

But most young people don't care.

I don't feel sorry at all for these folks; they want everything NOW. I've worked all my life, saved and didn't buy my first house till I was 45. I'm 55 now and can pay the house off tomorrow if I want. But...I watch what I spend and don't consider extras as "necessities". They need to learn money management and learn to get along without every single thing their parents had. Plain and simple. They're spoiled just like most of their generation.

The article doesn't really go too much into their finances. So its hard to know where the money went exactly. But with a family of 4 its not hard to spend $42k especially with that mortgage. But it does say the wife works part time so they probably make over $50k total.

Their mortgage is almost double what I think they should be spending. Thats the big obvious problem in my opinion. I think a home loan of 2 or 2.5 times your annual income is affordable. That puts your payments at around 25% of your take home give or take.


Ditto on the mortgage.

And let's be honest here: She is 24 with 5 y/o. That means she had the child when she was 19. I'm more than twice that age and the idea of paying for kids AND a mortgage scares the heck out of me!!

Too much mortgage, did not try to live on one income before buying home... uneducated winers.

Let me clarity, they were uneducated on financial matters (but then again, most of the country is).

Emily - That is clearly true. But it is also not an excuse.

For Heaven's sakes! These people were "smart" enough to have kids, "smart" enough to apply for a mortgage, "smart" enough to buy a house - seems they have the IQ to go out and learn about personal finance.

They are LAZY and WHINERS.

But like you said, most of the country is too. :-(

Wow. I've been reading the comments, and it's especially interesting, because the lady in the story keeps making replies back. One type of response seems to point out the financial aspects of it, and the other type of response claims that it's rough right now, god bless, and boy aren't the other posters mean!

Here's a response from her when someone points out that money being spent towards Internet access and cable could be cut and instead spent towards true necessities like gas:

Actually look how far cable television and internet access has got me. I am smarter for the history shows I just happen to watch on the history channel, science channel, so are my girls they watch them with me. We also love to go to the library down here. I do love books, so does my daughters. Together we learn. As for my internet access, that's how I went to school in the first place, I actually might need it to go back...
Plus we just feel upon hard times, we are getting on our feet again. That's why, I'm working evenings now as much as I can. I hit rock bottom and now getting stuff together. I just let the Pioneer Press write about it.

* * *

In another post, she explains who she blames (since it's not the terrorists):

You know who I blame...myself for ever starting this but I also blame negetivity.

* * *

My goodness. She's just one of those people who doesn't get it. She doesn't understand that she has a LOT of control over her family's situation. And if she really is getting her stuff together, a better article would be one that explains the steps she's taking to get on top of this, rather than borrow from family.

I see friends of mine who are similar to her, and just don't understand or don't want to admit that they can't manage finances. Yes, gas prices are going up. Yes, food prices are going up. It does suck and it does hurt the most to those who feed more mouths and work farther away.

However, people need a lesson in what is a necessity. Having a bed to sleep in counts. But do you need a matching bedroom furniture set? I am 10 years out of school, and still do not have bedroom furniture like that. I cut cable to reduce expenses. Cable does NOT make you smarter. I recently switched internet providers from a $50 service to a $35 service that is actually higher speed. People did not have cable, internet, cell phones, two cars, etc. in our not too distant past... and they seemed to survive just fine. :)

I took the time to read a several pages of comments at that site...

Boy the political bickering was ridiculous, but I agree with Julia. She keeps skirting around the issues and not responding directly to criticism or comments, and keeps playing the victim. I wonder how much longer she will continue to play the victim before she decides to take a true look at her situation.

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