Ok, I'm just gonna drag this thing back on topic:
I had a conversation with a woman who I am friendly with after a concert we played together on Saturday where, in the natural course of things, I mentioned that I wanted more paid gigs because I have $30k in student loans to pay (closer to $22k now but I still use the $30k number in conversation for some reason).
Her: "Don't talk to me about student loans, I owe $200k!!" (From previous conversations, I know that these are loans she took out for her kids who are a hair younger than me.)
Me: "Who's fault is that?!"
Her: "My kids!"
Me: "Different choices could have been made."
Her: "They refused to go to Front Range [Community College]!"
At that point, I abandoned ship because what person in their right mind says to mom and dad, who are prepared to pay your full tuition, apparently without scholarships, that they refuse to consider a reasonably priced option.
Other things I know about this woman:
1. When I first met her, she was devastated because her husband's truck had just broken down irreparably and she didn't know how they were going to afford the payment on the new car. Model year of dead truck? 1985!!!!! Who doesn't at least acknowledge that they SHOULD have planned for a 30 year old vehicle to break down even if they didn't ACTUALLY plan for it.
2. She mentioned on Saturday that she wouldn't take a job in a city about an hour north of us because she didn't trust her minivan with 287k miles to make the drive. (The job in question is a position with a part time orchestra. This is a perfectly reasonable expectation in this line of work.) I'm not sure she's good enough to get a job with this particular orchestra and she may just be saying that to lessen the blow of not getting the job but still, if you honestly think your vehicle is holding you back in your career, REPLACE THE VEHICLE.
3. She's taken a second job although I'm afraid to ask why exactly. I do know that she used the first check from the second job to buy Halloween costumes for the whole section (4 in total) for the Saturday concert at, I think, $40 a pop. I tried to pay her for mine and tried to suggest cheaper alternatives. She wouldn't hear of it.
4. To cap it all off, she was trying to talk another musician into going with her this week to get a foot massage (I didn't know you could pay to get just a foot massage) because "I deserve it after all the work I've been doing".
She's a substitute teacher and DH is a Senior Software Engineer. She probably doesn't make much but he and my DH are in similar work except he has boatloads more experience than DH so I can guess what he makes and it should be $100k-$120k as a conservative guess; in a highish COL area but not insane.
I've been saving this up for a while, thanks for letting me getting it out!