Author Topic: "We can't make ends meet"  (Read 4378 times)

AFrugalGuy

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"We can't make ends meet"
« on: July 08, 2018, 11:07:14 AM »
My husband and I visited friends yesterday evening for a home-cooked dinner and catch up. We arrived and noticed that they have completely re-done their kitchen and ground level hardwood flooring since we last visited - I would estimate about $40k renovation cost.

Over dinner, they proceed to share that they are having trouble making ends meet (on their $220k/year household income) and that they cannot pay their LOC and CC bills.

Their two children are now three years old and they paid $70k for them via surrogacy (plus additional costs - probably total $100k), then proceeded to sell their two-bedroom condo and purchase a larger home so that each child could have their own bedroom (clearly necessary at age 2?) in one of the hottest real-estate markets in Canada.

Of course, they also want their kids to attend religious summer school and religious day school in the next few years.

So, they are now considering a move to the USA (we live in Canada) so that one of them can make more money to fund these choices. Which is fine, except all of that extra income is clearly going to be hoovered up into lifestyle inflation.

After leaving, we could not stop talking about the financial entitlement that sometimes comes with having children - and the want to give them "everything", which is completely unrealistic.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 11:08:45 AM by AFrugalGuy »

bpolson2

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Re: "We can't make ends meet"
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2018, 11:41:46 AM »
So many of the people we know are just like this. In fact, this was us up until I found MMM last year! It's amazing how much money people just spend frivilously as they earn it.

One couple we know from work is still paying off a credit card for the furniture they had to update in the house they sold last year, and now they are paying a credit card for the NEW furniture they just had to have for their NEW house!

Always have to keep up appearances!

ysette9

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Re: "We can't make ends meet"
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2018, 04:11:47 PM »
I am curious how you responded to them saying these things. Have they changed, or did you used to be worse with money? It seems more likely you would be friends with more aligned values, though I realize that isn’t always the case.

AFrugalGuy

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Re: "We can't make ends meet"
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2018, 04:38:49 PM »
I am curious how you responded to them saying these things. Have they changed, or did you used to be worse with money? It seems more likely you would be friends with more aligned values, though I realize that isnít always the case.

We aren't incredibly close, so didn't say much, other than to ask them questions about their circumstances and choices (e.g. could you live in Hamilton instead of Toronto, where housing prices are cheaper?).

One (my old friend) is more frugal and less extravagant and married the other (higher income), who has more expectations. The latter personality is now more dominant in the decision-making, while the former is less flexible about change (e.g. would not consider moving to Hamilton if it was cheaper/better for the family because he went to university there).

AMandM

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Re: "We can't make ends meet"
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2018, 08:15:19 PM »
(e.g. would not consider moving to Hamilton if it was cheaper/better for the family because he went to university there).

My husband and I went to university in Toronto and we wouldn't consider moving there because it's too expensive!

sapphail

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Re: "We can't make ends meet"
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2018, 04:16:35 AM »
It seems more likely you would be friends with more aligned values, though I realize that isnít always the case.

Friends with a mustachian mindset aren't easy to come by, sadly :(

LiveLean

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Re: "We can't make ends meet"
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2018, 12:05:18 PM »
On a positive note, they had you over for dinner rather than going out somewhere.

Silverado

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Re: "We can't make ends meet"
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2018, 08:35:55 PM »
It seems more likely you would be friends with more aligned values, though I realize that isnít always the case.

Friends with a mustachian mindset aren't easy to come by, sadly :(

Yeah, this sounds like a 'no thanks, no dessert, got to get home' discussions. Might as well try to sell you some Amway.

obstinate

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Re: "We can't make ends meet"
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2018, 03:01:01 PM »
After leaving, we could not stop talking about the financial entitlement that sometimes comes with having children - and the want to give them "everything", which is completely unrealistic.
I wonder if it's really true that parents are less financially responsible than non-parents. I honestly kinda doubt it but I suppose it could be true.

cats

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Re: "We can't make ends meet"
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2018, 03:35:22 PM »
After leaving, we could not stop talking about the financial entitlement that sometimes comes with having children - and the want to give them "everything", which is completely unrealistic.
I wonder if it's really true that parents are less financially responsible than non-parents. I honestly kinda doubt it but I suppose it could be true.

Here's my viewpoint as a parent:  As with any other thing in life, there are outside pressures and expectations to spend money on certain things/experiences for your kids.  However, because raising a kid is a long-term project and you aren't necessarily getting immediate feedback on what your long-term result is going to be, it's harder to definitively say "no, that expense is not worthwhile".  And you're also much more emotionally invested in the outcome of your kids than of other long-term projects so you tend to second-guess your decisions a lot.  Producers of kid-related items (from baby gear up to private universities) know that parents are an especially vulnerable group and use that to their advantage.  The end result is (I think) that yes, parents can wind up doing more emotionally-driven spending than non-parents.  That said, I also feel MUCH more motivated to build financial security for myself now vs. when I did not have a kid, and also much more motivated to FIRE so I can spend more time with my kid.  So I think that somewhat balances the occasional stupid spending on kid stuff.

reeshau

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Re: "We can't make ends meet"
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2018, 06:39:54 AM »
After leaving, we could not stop talking about the financial entitlement that sometimes comes with having children - and the want to give them "everything", which is completely unrealistic.
I wonder if it's really true that parents are less financially responsible than non-parents. I honestly kinda doubt it but I suppose it could be true.

This is exactly what I thought: water always finds a level.  So, spendy-pants spending always finds an outlet.  I would suspect novelty helps non-parents spot it, because it's otherwise unfamiliar.  I would suspect a discussion among NFL season ticket holders would be just as easy to spot for non-fans of football.  (i.e. seat reservation, tickets, parking, tailgate spot, Big truck / RV for tailgating, food, clothing, equipment just for game days, away game expeditions, playoff tickets, etc.)

obstinate

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Re: "We can't make ends meet"
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2018, 06:45:22 AM »
This is exactly what I thought: water always finds a level.  So, spendy-pants spending always finds an outlet.  I would suspect novelty helps non-parents spot it, because it's otherwise unfamiliar.  I would suspect a discussion among NFL season ticket holders would be just as easy to spot for non-fans of football.  (i.e. seat reservation, tickets, parking, tailgate spot, Big truck / RV for tailgating, food, clothing, equipment just for game days, away game expeditions, playoff tickets, etc.)
I tend to agree, although possibly more financially conservative people have kids at a lower rate, which would imply that parents are more spendy-pants. It would be interesting to know.