Author Topic: "We built a luxury dream home but can only afford to have two children."  (Read 8795 times)

mustachepungoeshere

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2384
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
This is being derided on Facebook (largely due to the clickbait headline, I suspect), but it's worth reading the story.

Debates around an excess of luxury (and MMM's own rule that you can have just one child) aside, the author takes pride in having worked and sacrificed to buy the home:

Quote
My husband and I purchased our dream home entirely on our own. Money wasn't gifted for our down payment nor did we expect that. There is a certain sense of pride that comes with saving up, living off canned food for an entire year, buying consignment instead of new, and then making your dreams a reality without any handouts. By our early thirties, we were able to sell our first starter home, to build the fully-loaded luxury home of our dreams.

...

Quote
Our happy children have everything they need (not everything they want) and I am able to stay home with them while they are young because of the carefully premeditated financial choices we have made. None of this just happens. We prioritize, stick to our plans, and are teaching our young children about self-control by living as their example.

The desire for a third child came later, after the house.

Quote
... we would like to have one more child. My uterus literally aches...

But she dismisses downsizing.

Quote
Understandably, something has to give and unfortunately, in this case, it's our mutual dream of having another child. My husband is able to accept this, I am not, and to be honest, this has caused some heartache. I have begun to resent the dream house and our decision to buy it. It's a strange mourning process I can't really discuss openly with others, mainly because people our age often don't plan as meticulously as we do.

I'm less sympathetic about that last paragraph, which paints a very black and white picture. So you planned meticulously but someone moved the goal posts? What a shock.

I would question the relevance of such a column except, of course, that it promotes discussion.

r3dt4rget

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 182
She says "mutual dream" of having another child, but then goes on to say the husband wants the house more than the kid. It sounds to me like they actually disagree with another kid. All that resentment won't help that marriage.

Dr.Vibrissae

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 364
I also went back and forth on how to feel about this author's story and position.  On one hand, great they saved up, budgeted, went for what they wanted and had to make trade offs; that's just responsible living.  On the other hand, it sounds like deep down she's realizing that having the "dream home" and creating the "perfect space" isn't actually necessary or even guarantee fulfillment and happiness, but she can't move beyond the life she envisioned.

I'm also confused about how an infant would break the current budget since there would be no cost for increased child care as she already stays home.  I've found them to be pretty cheap for the first couple years, so maybe they're including 5 and 10 year projections? Or they'll need to shell out for a dream nursery? I'm all for responsible reproducing, but this sounds like a deeper dissonance on what is important in her life.

mustachepungoeshere

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2384
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
I'm also confused about how an infant would break the current budget

Exactly. There's obviously fat to trim in the budget. At a certain point the house sounds like an excuse.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Maybe she Goodwilled all her older babies' clothes pre-menopause like a chump? Not that baby clothes should break the budget - you can buy things at Goodwill, too.

FrugalToque

  • Global Moderator
  • Pencil Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 595
  • Location: Canada
Maybe she Goodwilled all her older babies' clothes pre-menopause like a chump? Not that baby clothes should break the budget - you can buy things at Goodwill, too.
And in their income bracket/demographic, they'd have tonnes of friends who would literally throw boxes of clothing into their living room.

But previous comments are right: if you aren't willing to step the house down to fit in the (supposed) cost of a third child, then one of you really doesn't want a kid that badly.

Toque.

expectopatronum

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Location: Texas
Erm, does anyone actually have the link? I don't have Facebook.

ETA: Nevermind, the quote was a quote and not a summary. I guess I couldn't believe someone would say that word for word.

Article in question - http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/couple-made-huge-sacrifice-make-5952502
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 01:25:44 PM by expectopatronum »

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8492
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
She must be planning for hypothetical future kid expenses outside of insurance and healthcare, which sounds like they are already covered.

Montessori.  Summer enrichment programs in marine biology for eight year olds.  After school tutors.  Dance classes.  Disney vacations.  Space camp.  Fees and dues and equipment for hockey and lacrosse.  Private schools.  COLLEGE.

Kids can be super spendy investments if done a certain way.  The travesty here is that she has decided she would rather not have a child than have a child who doesn't get to go to space camp.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 11:25:07 AM by sol »

NoraLenderbee

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1255
What travesty? It's pretty normal for couples to consider finances when they decide how many children to have. It's not terribly unusual for one or both parents to discover, after having their planned number, that they want another. It's not unusual for parents to disagree. The whole thing about the dream house is a red herring. This is a normal disagreement between husband and wife about whether to have another child.

The travesty is that (a) she made it all about the house; (b) she published this narcissistic, navel gazing article; (c) people are taking it seriously.

RFAAOATB

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 602
With two children, you have an heir and a spare.  If you're that good at long term planning, you can wait until you're holding an infant grandchild in your arms in your luxury dream house and be just as happy.

onehair

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 372
If they want a third baby they can make it happen.  I don't see the difficulty myself.  The child couldn't fit into the luxury home?

gReed Smith

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Ugh.  To be frank, that's an incredibly stupid blurb.  It contains no actual details and is just full of irrational angst.  How much does this third child cost that you would have to sell your house, get a full-time job and sell your timeshare?  Just have the kid.  I'm betting it won't starve.

mskyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 693
This seems like another instance of people acting like their prioritization decisions are TERRIBLE SACRIFICES. Own your decisions, people! I've pretty firmly decided against having children, and part of the reason for that was the expense.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 01:05:27 PM by mskyle »

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14182
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
If you sold one of the excess children you currently have, could you retire earlier?

RFAAOATB

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 602
I'm betting it won't starve.

Probably not, but there's a big gulf between full belly and enriched in the lifestyle a family that can afford a luxury dream home is accustomed to.  Like the difference between state school and Ivy league.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3699
  • Location: Chicago, IL
If her uterus literally aches as she states, that's something that needs to be checked by a doctor...

Complainy-pants.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4628
I'm sympathetic to the desire for the a third child. I never expected it myself, I thought I only wanted two, but then I just didn't feel done after Little Brother. (But since Mr. FP was ready to be done, well, before we even had Big Brother...)

But yeah, sounds like they could make it work if they reeeeally wanted to. Probably without even selling their stupid house if they don't want to.

mustachepungoeshere

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2384
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Sorry for not posting the link in the original post; that's my bad.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
I'm also confused about how an infant would break the current budget since there would be no cost for increased child care as she already stays home.  I've found them to be pretty cheap for the first couple years, so maybe they're including 5 and 10 year projections? Or they'll need to shell out for a dream nursery? I'm all for responsible reproducing, but this sounds like a deeper dissonance on what is important in her life.

My husband thinks we need to fully fund college education, $250k at today's dollars.  (We disagree on this point.  I think there's room to help w/o fully funding - and ways to help beyond giving money, such as help applying for scholarships.)  She may think the same.

gReed Smith

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
I'm betting it won't starve.

Probably not, but there's a big gulf between full belly and enriched in the lifestyle a family that can afford a luxury dream home is accustomed to.  Like the difference between state school and Ivy league.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, that was state-school educated scream of disbelief.  I might have been able to come up with amultisyllabic scream if I were educated in the Ivy League.  Thank god my small mind was at least able to graduate from state school, attend a highly ranked law school and make it into the 95th percentile of income in my state by the age of 28.

slugline

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1172
  • Location: Houston, TX USA
That piece was so bad I can't believe it was sincere and not written as "hate-bait" for the web traffic.

mustachepungoeshere

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2384
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
I'm betting it won't starve.

Probably not, but there's a big gulf between full belly and enriched in the lifestyle a family that can afford a luxury dream home is accustomed to.  Like the difference between state school and Ivy league.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, that was state-school educated scream of disbelief.  I might have been able to come up with amultisyllabic scream if I were educated in the Ivy League.  Thank god my small mind was at least able to graduate from state school, attend a highly ranked law school and make it into the 95th percentile of income in my state by the age of 28.

*slow clap*

Tabaxus

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 458
I'm betting it won't starve.

Probably not, but there's a big gulf between full belly and enriched in the lifestyle a family that can afford a luxury dream home is accustomed to.  Like the difference between state school and Ivy league.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, that was state-school educated scream of disbelief.  I might have been able to come up with amultisyllabic scream if I were educated in the Ivy League.  Thank god my small mind was at least able to graduate from state school, attend a highly ranked law school and make it into the 95th percentile of income in my state by the age of 28.

I did this too.  And I didn't even go to a good state school, I went to a crappy non-flagship.

You know what?  I certainly wish I had gone to an Ivy League.  Our rainmakers pull in 50% of their work from college buddies that they went to Ivy League with, and another 25% of their work from prep school buddies.  Like it or not, it makes a difference at the ceiling, even if you manage to get your way in the door. 

expectopatronum

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Location: Texas
I did this too.  And I didn't even go to a good state school, I went to a crappy non-flagship.

You know what?  I certainly wish I had gone to an Ivy League.  Our rainmakers pull in 50% of their work from college buddies that they went to Ivy League with, and another 25% of their work from prep school buddies.  Like it or not, it makes a difference at the ceiling, even if you manage to get your way in the door. 

Depends. Depends on the industry, depends on the company, depends on personal circumstance...

I went to a state school and got my first job networking through it. If I wanted to stay at my company, I'd have just as much earning potential as someone who went to an Ivy (or some other fancy private school).

foobar

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 731
I'm betting it won't starve.

Probably not, but there's a big gulf between full belly and enriched in the lifestyle a family that can afford a luxury dream home is accustomed to.  Like the difference between state school and Ivy league.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, that was state-school educated scream of disbelief.  I might have been able to come up with amultisyllabic scream if I were educated in the Ivy League.  Thank god my small mind was at least able to graduate from state school, attend a highly ranked law school and make it into the 95th percentile of income in my state by the age of 28.

I did this too.  And I didn't even go to a good state school, I went to a crappy non-flagship.

You know what?  I certainly wish I had gone to an Ivy League.  Our rainmakers pull in 50% of their work from college buddies that they went to Ivy League with, and another 25% of their work from prep school buddies.  Like it or not, it makes a difference at the ceiling, even if you manage to get your way in the door.

Being in the top 5% is good. But the difference between the top 5% and top 1% is huge. And lets not talk about the .1%
25k: 50%
100k: 95%
200k: 99%

Can you get those levels without the ivy league education. Sure. But it is harder in general. And it has nothing to do with the quality of education. The real big bucks have little to do with education as they are all about starting a company and growing it. But the number of people making 10 million+ years is small enough that you should pretty much ignore ignore it. If you want to be in the top .5% or so making 500k/yr, the Ivy league is a nice step up.

capital

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
I'm betting it won't starve.

Probably not, but there's a big gulf between full belly and enriched in the lifestyle a family that can afford a luxury dream home is accustomed to.  Like the difference between state school and Ivy league.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, that was state-school educated scream of disbelief.  I might have been able to come up with amultisyllabic scream if I were educated in the Ivy League.  Thank god my small mind was at least able to graduate from state school, attend a highly ranked law school and make it into the 95th percentile of income in my state by the age of 28.

I did this too.  And I didn't even go to a good state school, I went to a crappy non-flagship.

You know what?  I certainly wish I had gone to an Ivy League.  Our rainmakers pull in 50% of their work from college buddies that they went to Ivy League with, and another 25% of their work from prep school buddies.  Like it or not, it makes a difference at the ceiling, even if you manage to get your way in the door.
Also, if you can get into many Ivy League schools, you're essentially guaranteed to graduate without debt. Which is nice.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
I'm betting it won't starve.

Probably not, but there's a big gulf between full belly and enriched in the lifestyle a family that can afford a luxury dream home is accustomed to.  Like the difference between state school and Ivy league.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, that was state-school educated scream of disbelief.  I might have been able to come up with amultisyllabic scream if I were educated in the Ivy League.  Thank god my small mind was at least able to graduate from state school, attend a highly ranked law school and make it into the 95th percentile of income in my state by the age of 28.

I did this too.  And I didn't even go to a good state school, I went to a crappy non-flagship.

You know what?  I certainly wish I had gone to an Ivy League.  Our rainmakers pull in 50% of their work from college buddies that they went to Ivy League with, and another 25% of their work from prep school buddies.  Like it or not, it makes a difference at the ceiling, even if you manage to get your way in the door.
Also, if you can get into many Ivy League schools, you're essentially guaranteed to graduate without debt. Which is nice.

*scratches head*
Ivy League schools generally don't grant scholarships based on academics, only "need".  There idea of need is not my (or likely most peoples) idea of need, so I walked away with quite a lot of debt actually. For one example, the idea of considering my parent's income when calculating my grad school scholarship - when I had been out of school and on my own for a few years - was ridiculous, as was their refusal to consider expenses of a business (they just looked at income).

I think the top schools provide a better caliber education.  While some rare few are able to get just as good an education attending the local college as compared to a top school, most people will do better (considering they are challenged by peers, have better networking opportunities, more companies recruiting, top notch professors, etc.) at the top school.  The question just remains for everyone to answer whether it's worth the extra cost.  For some it is, for others it's not.

That all said, my state school refused to give me in state tuition (going against their own published rules for military dependents) so it was no hardship to go to the Ivy instead.

foobar

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 731


*scratches head*
Ivy League schools generally don't grant scholarships based on academics, only "need".  There idea of need is not my (or likely most peoples) idea of need, so I walked away with quite a lot of debt actually. For one example, the idea of considering my parent's income when calculating my grad school scholarship - when I had been out of school and on my own for a few years - was ridiculous, as was their refusal to consider expenses of a business (they just looked at income).

I think the top schools provide a better caliber education.  While some rare few are able to get just as good an education attending the local college as compared to a top school, most people will do better (considering they are challenged by peers, have better networking opportunities, more companies recruiting, top notch professors, etc.) at the top school.  The question just remains for everyone to answer whether it's worth the extra cost.  For some it is, for others it's not.

That all said, my state school refused to give me in state tuition (going against their own published rules for military dependents) so it was no hardship to go to the Ivy instead.

Grad school is a bit different than undergrad.  For undergrad for the average family (makes less 100k, has <200k in taxable,...) the amount of scholarships that schools like stanford and Harvard hand out is enough to drop the price below most state schools. And those are grants not loans. The middle upper class (call it 100-300k) has it a bit rough (the rich just write a check) but they also have the income to save for college. Obvously you need to run your numbers.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386


*scratches head*
Ivy League schools generally don't grant scholarships based on academics, only "need".  There idea of need is not my (or likely most peoples) idea of need, so I walked away with quite a lot of debt actually. For one example, the idea of considering my parent's income when calculating my grad school scholarship - when I had been out of school and on my own for a few years - was ridiculous, as was their refusal to consider expenses of a business (they just looked at income).

I think the top schools provide a better caliber education.  While some rare few are able to get just as good an education attending the local college as compared to a top school, most people will do better (considering they are challenged by peers, have better networking opportunities, more companies recruiting, top notch professors, etc.) at the top school.  The question just remains for everyone to answer whether it's worth the extra cost.  For some it is, for others it's not.

That all said, my state school refused to give me in state tuition (going against their own published rules for military dependents) so it was no hardship to go to the Ivy instead.

Grad school is a bit different than undergrad.  For undergrad for the average family (makes less 100k, has <200k in taxable,...) the amount of scholarships that schools like stanford and Harvard hand out is enough to drop the price below most state schools. And those are grants not loans. The middle upper class (call it 100-300k) has it a bit rough (the rich just write a check) but they also have the income to save for college. Obvously you need to run your numbers.

I went to Ivy undergrad and Ivy grad, so I was actually referring to both, I just have less knowledge of how I ended up with the package I did at college and didn't have a conversation with the Finance Dean on it.  Not sure on Stanford (and it's technically not an Ivy, but I get we're talking top schools and not just the football conference), but Harvard is in a league of their own.  At $37+ billion, they have an endowment large enough to support paying the full ride of every student.  They're really not comparable to the other top schools.

My folks earned at the very bottom of upper middle class (living in a HCOL location), and I didn't overlap much time with my siblings while at college.  When I did, I received a few thousand in grants - not nearly enough to drop it to a state level, or to the places where I had academic scholarships.

Again, I think it's worthwhile, it's just that the middle class has it tough - not enough money to write the check, and not enough in need to get scholarships so you walk away with a lot of debt when you go to these places.  I don't mind paying for my education (and it was me paying - my folks gave me a set amount for college, well below the amount the college deemed "their" responsibility), but I just wanted to correct the idea that "you're essentially guaranteed to graduate without debt".  (I DID mind having a job lined that disappeared 10 days before I was to start because I graduated into a recession both times.)

And it's not just me.  My friends who weren't well off had the same issue.  Some like my college boyfriend (dad was a full prof at Harvard) had no issues - rather they even gave him $50k nest egg when he graduated from college - but others were "middle class" and graduated with debt ranging from large to huge.

foobar

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 731


I went to Ivy undergrad and Ivy grad, so I was actually referring to both, I just have less knowledge of how I ended up with the package I did at college and didn't have a conversation with the Finance Dean on it.  Not sure on Stanford (and it's technically not an Ivy, but I get we're talking top schools and not just the football conference), but Harvard is in a league of their own.  At $37+ billion, they have an endowment large enough to support paying the full ride of every student.  They're really not comparable to the other top schools.

My folks earned at the very bottom of upper middle class (living in a HCOL location), and I didn't overlap much time with my siblings while at college.  When I did, I received a few thousand in grants - not nearly enough to drop it to a state level, or to the places where I had academic scholarships.

Again, I think it's worthwhile, it's just that the middle class has it tough - not enough money to write the check, and not enough in need to get scholarships so you walk away with a lot of debt when you go to these places.  I don't mind paying for my education (and it was me paying - my folks gave me a set amount for college, well below the amount the college deemed "their" responsibility), but I just wanted to correct the idea that "you're essentially guaranteed to graduate without debt".  (I DID mind having a job lined that disappeared 10 days before I was to start because I graduated into a recession both times.)

And it's not just me.  My friends who weren't well off had the same issue.  Some like my college boyfriend (dad was a full prof at Harvard) had no issues - rather they even gave him $50k nest egg when he graduated from college - but others were "middle class" and graduated with debt ranging from large to huge.

Stanford just happens to be the school I am most familiar with. The Ivies are  all similiar these days. Note that your experience might not be relevan.  I want to say it was in 2009 that they got rid of loans and the like. Odds are if you have an undergrad and a graduate degree, you started school before then:).  The general outline is that school is basically free if your parents make under 100k/yr (i.e. average family) and if you are in the 100k-200k of income, your parents are expected to contribute ~10% and the student is supposed to contribute 3k (work studies). Those are rough numbers so don't take them as gospel but they pretty much make the cost of an Ivy the same as going to a state school.

And again people earning 100k+/yr like to think they are middle class. They aren't:)