Author Topic: The anti-mustachians  (Read 4614 times)

GUNDERSON

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The anti-mustachians
« on: November 19, 2018, 08:56:11 PM »
Here's a story to read if you would like your head to explode.

https://www.wealthsimple.com/en-ca/magazine/money-diary-couple-debt

bacchi

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2018, 09:21:14 PM »
Is that fiction? They let their kid go to Whole Paycheck and order sushi. Ffs.

(This should be moved to the Antimustachian Wall sub-forum.)

brooklynmoney

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2018, 09:21:57 PM »
Mission accomplished!

bacchi

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2018, 09:27:13 PM »
Wealthsimple has high wrap fees, too. It charges 0.5%. Ouch.


wordnerd

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 10:01:37 PM »
That was incredibly sad, and I'm not sure what the point of it was. There was no "here's our advice for Kate and Tom" or takeaways for the reader. Just a drop of a clusterfuck of a financial situation and then fade to black.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 10:39:47 PM »
Holy shit

pecunia

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 10:43:05 PM »
Do you folks think that was real or fiction?  I mean when they talk about the mom being a secretary and shopping at Good Will.  If that was reality, don't you think some of that would rub off?  If she really worked for an insurance company, handling money all day would she really be that bad at handling money?  Would she really be that bad at handling money with a law degree?  If he really worked at an advertising agency, wouldn't he know more than most that the lives people lead of conspicuous consumption is an illusion?

Was it real or fiction?

It did make make for a better feel about our financial situation.

wordnerd

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2018, 11:02:44 PM »
Do you folks think that was real or fiction?  I mean when they talk about the mom being a secretary and shopping at Good Will.  If that was reality, don't you think some of that would rub off?  If she really worked for an insurance company, handling money all day would she really be that bad at handling money?  Would she really be that bad at handling money with a law degree?  If he really worked at an advertising agency, wouldn't he know more than most that the lives people lead of conspicuous consumption is an illusion?

Was it real or fiction?

It did make make for a better feel about our financial situation.
None of those things prevent people from being bad with money (especially a law degree). Spending is often emotional, and denial is powerful. As to whether it's fiction, it's plausible enough I think it could be real (which, of course, doesn't mean it is).

If it is real, they seemingly got jackshit in exchange for sharing their private pain other than a super depressing phone call. If they posted a case study here, they at least would've come away with some solid guidance (whether or not they could implement it).

Tuskalusa

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2018, 11:06:17 PM »
I feel like it’s got to be fiction. It’s so over the top.

I mean jeez...I hope it’s fiction...

marty998

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2018, 12:16:34 AM »
That was incredibly sad, and I'm not sure what the point of it was. There was no "here's our advice for Kate and Tom" or takeaways for the reader. Just a drop of a clusterfuck of a financial situation and then fade to black.

Yes this was my take-out too.

But all that being said, half a million is not an insurmountable amount of debt, provided they immediately do a complete 180 on their financial habits.

It's the habits that have got them into trouble, not the debt (which is the natural consequence).

Linda_Norway

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2018, 02:20:15 AM »
A few things that I noticed:

- They finance their children's unaffordable food habits.
- She comes from a family that knows how to handle money well. Somehow she couldn't apply those habits herself and can't even after a restore.
- If indeed, you decide to help your children financially to pay off a debt, don't ever expect to be paid back. You are only enabling them to do it again.
- The neighbours set their standards for spending (keeping up with the Joneses). But the neighbour who spends the most, goes bankrupt all the time. The rest of the neighbours might also buy everything on credit. It usually doesn't show. Maybe the whole neighbourhood exists of people who are faking it.
- They haven't told their children about their situation. The children learn nothing from this and will probably inherit a habit of spending above your means.
- They are never truly happy because everything they do that is supposed to be fun, is financed by CC.
- They (maybe most she) are very unhappy in their marriage. She is trapped in the marriage, because they can't afford a divorce.

elliha

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2018, 05:11:21 AM »
While the sums are crazy I have a relative with a very similar behavior regarding money so I believe it might be true. Also, he like them don't seem to learn how to change the behavior despite growing up in a family with perhaps not mustachian habits but at least quite reasonable habits. The other children in his family are OK to good with money so I just don't know.

Dgibs

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2018, 06:10:41 AM »
That must be fake?

Their examples of how it went wrong are so specific and cover every mistake you could make. Its like each paragraph is an individual lesson on what NOT to do.....including getting a pet!

soccerluvof4

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2018, 06:32:55 AM »
Seems like they took a story and exaggerated it. In any case there are a lot of people that seemingly don't think twice ever about spending money.

SwitchActiveDWG

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2018, 06:33:01 AM »
That was incredibly sad, and I'm not sure what the point of it was. There was no "here's our advice for Kate and Tom" or takeaways for the reader. Just a drop of a clusterfuck of a financial situation and then fade to black.

This is exactly what I thought... at the end I came away with nothing more than these people are screwed.

dude

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2018, 07:31:12 AM »
WOW. I know some people who I suspect are very much in Kate and Tom's situation. All the toys, the major home renovations, the cars, the vacations -- it just doesn't add up based on what I suspect their household income is. I would fucking die of ulcers before I turned 60 if I lived my life this way. I cannot imagine the background level of stress operating on their bodies every single day.

TheContinentalOp

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2018, 07:36:13 AM »
What is the point of having an expensive house in the suburbs surrounded by people you can't keep up with, if the schools aren't any good/safe and you have to put out $32,000 for private tuition?

talltexan

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2018, 08:38:41 AM »
The cashing out of the 401(K) sounded so tragic, including getting hit with the IRS bill for it.

bacchi

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2018, 08:56:31 AM »
The cashing out of the 401(K) sounded so tragic, including getting hit with the IRS bill for it.

A guy I worked with did this right before the GFC. Luckily, the tech field wasn't hurt too badly and he kept his job.

I can't remember if he was upgrading the house or car.

dcheesi

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2018, 09:14:11 AM »
What is the point of having an expensive house in the suburbs surrounded by people you can't keep up with, if the schools aren't any good/safe and you have to put out $32,000 for private tuition?
Yeah, this jumped out at me as well. They built their house, which means that they picked their location, yet they didn't investigate the local schools?

Maybe they just assumed that since it was rich-ville that the schools would be good? But probably all of their neighbors' kids go to private school anyway.

In any case, it definitely sounds like the house is an albatross around their necks. The husband mentioned that they should have moved, and later that they don't feel like they fit in their neighborhood. But given their debt situation, I imagine it might be difficult to get a new mortgage on a different place(?).

JAYSLOL

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2018, 09:54:09 AM »
I got a couple paragraphs in and couldn't take it anymore.  I don't doubt that it's real, I know people like this, they can't seem to step back and look at the big picture without shutting down, giving up and going back to minimum payments.  Change would mean they would have to sacrifice something, and if they have to do that then they've failed in their minds, so that only leaves one option - digging deeper. 

AMandM

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2018, 10:15:42 AM »
The really weird thing is that they know where a lot of their problems come from. They call themselves out for using credit cards, letting kids get $15 Whole Foods takeout, going on vacations, etc. Yet they don't seem motivated to stop doing any of those things.

wordnerd

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2018, 10:25:15 AM »
The really weird thing is that they know where a lot of their problems come from. They call themselves out for using credit cards, letting kids get $15 Whole Foods takeout, going on vacations, etc. Yet they don't seem motivated to stop doing any of those things.
I imagine a certain amount of fatalism sets in. "Well, this $15 doesn't matter when I'm $500k in the hole."

Also--and I alluded to this upthread--people have a lot of emotion around money. My dad, for instance, grew in a poor family. As a reaction, he has always refused to give up luxuries or shop for deals even when our family was closing in bankruptcy. Doing so, I think, would have been an admission that we were not rich, that he hadn't progressed far enough up the economic hierarchy for his liking. ETA: in his defense, he also wanted to give us kids everything he didn't have and for us to not have a sense that our family was struggling financially. I think feeling financially insecure as a child affected him deeply, so he tried to keep things "normal" for us kids as much as possible.

In fact, this week, he was doing mental gymnastics to justify using retirement money to buy a Mercedes (he's 76 and my mom is 64). Fortunately, he's not buying the car, and they're doing well financially these days.

Sorry, everyone. Apparently, I have a lot of feelings about this thread.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 10:31:26 AM by wordnerd »

dsw

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2018, 11:20:49 AM »
That must be fake?

Their examples of how it went wrong are so specific and cover every mistake you could make. Its like each paragraph is an individual lesson on what NOT to do.....including getting a pet!

Yeah, I strongly suspect this is made up. There are definitely people in this type of situation, but to have them very clearly lay out a laundry list of poor choices in that manner makes me think the writer has essentially constructed a morality tale and sold it as an interview so that there are more clicks. People don't really talk like that, especially when they're in that sort of situation. It reminds me more of the way "everyday people" talk in political ads.

Nicholas Carter

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2018, 01:52:23 PM »
If she really worked for an insurance company, handling money all day would she really be that bad at handling money?  Would she really be that bad at handling money with a law degree?  If he really worked at an advertising agency, wouldn't he know more than most that the lives people lead of conspicuous consumption is an illusion?
My mother is an accountant. She constantly suffers from cut off utilities and creditors calling me all hours of the night. Why am I the one getting these calls, you ask?
Because my mother's professional training was good for one thing: She's stolen my identity twice to take out credit cards in my name.

Just Joe

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2018, 03:27:16 PM »
Credit freeze I think they call it. Have you done this?

ysette9

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The anti-mustachians
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2018, 03:58:06 PM »
Filing a police report and reporting the crimes your mother has committed I think they call it. Have you done this?

pecunia

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2018, 04:46:48 PM »

-SNIP-

My mother is an accountant. She constantly suffers from cut off utilities and creditors calling me all hours of the night. Why am I the one getting these calls, you ask?
Because my mother's professional training was good for one thing: She's stolen my identity twice to take out credit cards in my name.

unbelievable - I'm beginning to think the linked story may be true.  Try to love her any way.

jinga nation

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2018, 05:51:11 PM »
I couldn't read more than 30-40% of that tripe.
Utter laziness to get out of debt.
Fatalism as @wordnerd pointed out.
Their kids will never learn about money management.
Oh well...
Probably a fake. If it is, they've trolled well.

briesas

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2018, 06:34:38 PM »
+1 for the “Holy Shit!” Comment.

But, but...how can they possibly be getting financial hardship forebearance on student loans when they make 160k+ a year? Am I missing something?

JAYSLOL

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2018, 09:41:00 PM »
+1 for the “Holy Shit!” Comment.

But, but...how can they possibly be getting financial hardship forebearance on student loans when they make 160k+ a year? Am I missing something?

Because in today's economy life is hard and 160k is like lower-middle class and regular families can only scrape by on it... or at least that's what articles like this sometimes steer people to believe

ixtap

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2018, 09:47:30 PM »
+1 for the “Holy Shit!” Comment.

But, but...how can they possibly be getting financial hardship forebearance on student loans when they make 160k+ a year? Am I missing something?

Perhaps you can get your debt burden high enough to forebear on that debt??

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2018, 10:24:37 PM »
+1 for the “Holy Shit!” Comment.

But, but...how can they possibly be getting financial hardship forebearance on student loans when they make 160k+ a year? Am I missing something?

The evidence suggests that at least one of them is lying about something, to someone.

The question is, to whom, and about what?

Might it be us?

180_FromEvil

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2018, 01:46:36 PM »
That must be fake?

Their examples of how it went wrong are so specific and cover every mistake you could make. Its like each paragraph is an individual lesson on what NOT to do.....including getting a pet!

This article makes a couple points about the story. Mostly corporations are there to help you spend your money, they make more off of you that way!
https://slate.com/business/2018/11/tom-kate-personal-finance-diary-capitalism-credit-sad.html?via=homepage_taps_top
« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 01:51:22 PM by 180_FromEvil »

babybug

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2018, 02:47:40 PM »
And here I was, feeling bad about splurging $63  on 2 pairs of cute shoes ...

Sent from my KIW-L24 using Tapatalk


ducky19

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #35 on: November 24, 2018, 07:31:17 PM »
I was hoping someone would post this story! I hope that it's fiction, but I know well enough that it could totally be true. I know plenty of people who are in similar situations, although not quite as bad as this. That said, it would only take a few more missteps for them to find themselves in this shape. I do agree that fatalism is contributing to their situation - before I found "the way" back in my twenties, I found myself up to my eyeballs in debt and felt the same way. "What difference will $50 spent here matter when I'm $20k in debt?" It's a vicious cycle, but some people choose not to educate themselves on how to get out.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2018, 09:50:58 AM »
Seems like they have good intentions, e.g., sending kids to the best school possible but they got started down the wrong path and never recovered.  They could do worse if the baddest thing they are doing is leasing cars and buying sushi. There is still hope for them but they still have many working years ahead of them.

kite

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2018, 08:18:20 AM »
I don't think it's fake at all.  It's not a complete picture of their situation. It reads like a 3 way phone conversation and every detail sounds exactly like others I know in the same situation. 
Something, most likely a health problem, will tip them over the edge and bankruptcy will be their only option.  And then their story, like scores of others will get chalked up to student loans & healthcare costs driving people to financial ruin. 

aasdfadsf

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2018, 08:20:38 PM »
What is the point of having an expensive house in the suburbs surrounded by people you can't keep up with, if the schools aren't any good/safe and you have to put out $32,000 for private tuition?

I strongly suspect that there's nothing wrong with the public schools in their area, they just send their kids to private school out of status anxiety and rationalize it any way they can.

pecunia

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2018, 06:48:22 AM »
It would be nice if there was a follow up article.

Did they "crash and burn?"

Did they see the light and "reform" their financial ways?

We'll never know.

jengod

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2018, 11:15:46 AM »
What is the point of having an expensive house in the suburbs surrounded by people you can't keep up with, if the schools aren't any good/safe and you have to put out $32,000 for private tuition?

I strongly suspect that there's nothing wrong with the public schools in their area, they just send their kids to private school out of status anxiety and rationalize it any way they can.

I completely agree. They don’t have the bandwidth to raise their children or support their education so when the going gets tough, they switch to private e

I suspect in a couple of years they’ll find something wrong with their current private school and have to upgrade their tuition bill.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: The anti-mustachians
« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2018, 07:06:58 PM »
What is the point of having an expensive house in the suburbs surrounded by people you can't keep up with, if the schools aren't any good/safe and you have to put out $32,000 for private tuition?

I strongly suspect that there's nothing wrong with the public schools in their area, they just send their kids to private school out of status anxiety and rationalize it any way they can.

I completely agree. They don’t have the bandwidth to raise their children or support their education so when the going gets tough, they switch to private e

I suspect in a couple of years they’ll find something wrong with their current private school and have to upgrade their tuition bill.

Earlier this week I was talking to a fellow at work who explained to me that in the wealthier parts of the city the public schools really do struggle because the richer parents put their kids in private school, thereby depriving the PTA of volunteers and fundraising options. Also, the remaining kids are apparently disproportionately from families that don't care about education. The kids therefore aren't exposed to a wide variety of other people and high-performing kids are shunted into gifted programs early. Of course, his kids have never gone to public school at all. What he described also didn't match our experience at my daughter's high school, but then again I have the sense to not live in a high-cost-of-living part of the city.