Author Topic: What are we doing wrong?  (Read 1722 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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What are we doing wrong?
« on: April 23, 2017, 01:45:33 PM »
37 y/o male with wife and 2 young kids. After relocating to a big city for a job, we really don't like the lifestyle and have fallen behind on out financial goals. Through a combination of high housing costs + child care since we both work + my employer switching to a high deductible health plan that also managed to increase monthly premiums + diagnosis of a chronic condition for my youngest shortly thereafter + city taxes on top of state and Federal we are both extremely frustrated that we have so little so show for the long hours we work while both earning six figure incomes.

Were pretty frugal, and if you can name it we have cut it if it is a discretionary expense. We don't even go out on dates, much less take any vacations and have downsized to a small apartment, yet still are only able to inch toward saving for a down payment for a house with a yard, which is what we'd really prefer.

Obviously what we're doing now isn't cutting it and, with all respect for people who enjoy all the cultural, food etc, things city life has to offer, we don't like it enough to be paying such a premium just to tread water. Maybe this is a question for the relocation thread, but we're trying to figure out how to make a break from the current situation. My job can be done remotely or in a different location but just trying to figure out what's prudent. Finding some random place we have no connection to that has a lower cost of living?

Just kind of putting this out there in case we're making some kind of giant misstep that we're missing. I don't know how the hell people have the incomes to live the way they seem to up here, but it feels a lot like we are the only people whose lifestyle is getting progressively worse the longer we stay.

Sorry if this just amounts to venting, but has anyone seen overcome any similar situations? Thanks so much in advance.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: What are we doing wrong?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2017, 02:19:05 PM »
One person's "living simply and modestly" is another person's "Versailles palace".

Look up the "how to do a case study" instructions and post one.  Then we can help.


  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: What are we doing wrong?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2017, 03:22:38 PM »
+1 to doing a full case study.

If you aren't willing to do that, I'd strongly advise that you take an afternoon adn compile the last several months worth of expenses and make a detailed list of where your money went.  Programs like mint (free! can help auto-import from your checking accounts.
Sit down and figure out exactly where your money is going - almost everyone finds categories that cost far more than they thought.

Finally, instead of comparing your spending habits to your peers ('keeping up with the joneses') ask yourself how someone who makes considerably less than you in your same city makes ends meet. 


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: What are we doing wrong?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2017, 06:23:10 PM »
You guys must be exhausted.  Having two young children is wonderful, but exhausting.  A diagnosis of a chronic medical condition had to also be stressful, and probably requires more juggling to accommodate.  It can be hard to make a plan for change when you have to use your time and energy to keep up with the day to day.  I'm just writing to say that it will all get easier.  One day you'll realize that the children can go to the bathroom on their own, brush their teeth, eat the same food as you....etc, etc. 

For now just start brainstorming.  Maybe put a piece of poster board on the fridge and just write random ideas of what you want in a place to live.  Maybe start naming cities.  Do you have friends or family you would like to be near?  Or pick one hour a week to daydream about the possibilities when the kids are asleep.  Once you have some ideas, start checking them out.  You can travel hack to travel cheaply.  Since you don't own a house, you will be able to move quickly once you decide where to go.