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Old 04-03-2008, 09:44 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post

It really is amazing how much some folks will pay to go to an expensive college, yet are unable to capitalize on any of the expenditure (in many cases).
That's my sister in a nutshell. She's an acting major at a private university (upwards of 40k a year). Acting! Yes, she might be one of the lucky few who make it on Broadway or in Hollywood, but the odds are stacked strongly against her.

My parents gave us money for college and she could've gone to a state school (like I did) and graduated debt free, but instead she's graduating with tens of thousands in student loans. It makes me very worried for her future (or my parents' future, as my sister might be on their couch forever!)
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:46 AM   #22
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I do not think she did anything irresponsible.
It seems pretty clear - from all her talk about needing to refinance - that she purchased a house that was well beyond her means.

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One has to wonder where the father is.
Indeed.
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:53 AM   #23
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It seems pretty clear - from all her talk about needing to refinance - that she purchased a house that was well beyond her means.
Well... I tried to keep an open mind on this one. We do not know terms of her loan and her motivations. Apparently, she was able and willing to do a refinance before the free-fall, but was advised to wait for better rates. In retrospect, big mistake.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:05 AM   #24
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Take a look at this one: America's Money: In their own words - Shannon McCauley: Burned by fuel costs (44) - CNNMoney.com.

In a nutshell: 20-something couple operates a low-end snack shop that is losing money. Their response is to obtain and max-out new credit cards.

Not only does the closing sentence ("The answer is obvious: CUT FUEL COSTS NOW") come as a complete non sequitur, but she doesn't identify who she expects to implement the desired cut. Presumably the feds are supposed to step in and force OPEC (at the point of a gun) to lower the price of crude.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:08 AM   #25
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The thing that gets me about most of these stories is how very few of them actually have anything to do with anything particular about the current state of the economy. It seems that even if the economy were humming along normally, these people would still be in the situations they're in. People lose their jobs all the time, in good economies and bad. They learn to be better prepared for it next time. People find fuel and food getting more expensive all the time too. It's called "inflation," and it's not unique to a credit crunch.

It almost seems as though these people are just using the fact that the economy has slowed as an excuse to complain about their lives that were already stretched to their financial limits, even in good times.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:20 AM   #26
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I think you got it right. Kids just think they should go to college no matter what it costs and then get a job. They don't ask how much does the career pay once I get out of college.
When I went through school I always wondered about the folks that were getting their "liberal arts" degree. Now do not get me wrong, if you have a burning passion to be a teacher, then that is a great decision. But otherwise I sorta just scratch my head about it. I can remember talking to people in college that were still undecided majors two years into it. Something about "still deciding what they wanted to do". I was always of the opionion that you have better have a half way decent idea when you first get there, or it is a huge waste of time and money.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:21 AM   #27
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The thing that gets me about most of these stories is how very few of them actually have anything to do with anything particular about the current state of the economy. It seems that even if the economy were humming along normally, these people would still be in the situations they're in. People lose their jobs all the time, in good economies and bad. They learn to be better prepared for it next time. People find fuel and food getting more expensive all the time too. It's called "inflation," and it's not unique to a credit crunch.

It almost seems as though these people are just using the fact that the economy has slowed as an excuse to complain about their lives that were already stretched to their financial limits, even in good times.
Yep, people have a tendency to blame others for their choices.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:25 AM   #28
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I think we should all get off our high horses once in a while


Pleeeze.......... Every forum has its own unique personality. This forum distinguishes itself by the large percentage of members whose sh*t doesn't stink!

Why give up the forum's primary, unique, distinguishing factor?
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:33 AM   #29
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See generally Tavris and Aronson, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts (2007).
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:42 AM   #30
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Take a look at this one: America's Money: In their own words - Shannon McCauley: Burned by fuel costs (44) - CNNMoney.com.

In a nutshell: 20-something couple operates a low-end snack shop that is losing money. Their response is to obtain and max-out new credit cards.

Not only does the closing sentence ("The answer is obvious: CUT FUEL COSTS NOW") come as a complete non sequitur, but she doesn't identify who she expects to implement the desired cut. Presumably the feds are supposed to step in and force OPEC (at the point of a gun) to lower the price of crude.
For these folks, there quality of food and/or service is most likely to explain the drop off in business of their catering and a 50% reduction of sales. Restaurants don't lose 1/2 their gross sales because the economy decelerates a little. The area they are in isn't being hit that hard by housing collapses, and if it is like what I have seen around my location, restaurants are keeping busy. These folks are probably serving crap food w/o good service and wondering why no one wants to eat there. Maybe they jacked their food prices up to cover the lost revenue. This story lacks any real indication that the overall economic downturn is to blame.
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:19 AM   #31
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one of these stories had someone spending $170 a week on gasoline to get to work and wondering why they don't have money for anything else
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:33 AM   #32
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Al, I wrote a post on my blog about the $170 a week gas man (with the second job), who is a Vice President of a company. I tried really, really hard not to judge him since there's very little information in his profile---I wasn't very successful.

There was so much more I needed to know about his situation! But yeah, that's a lot of money to spend on gas when you're worried about not spending enough time with your child due to the second job.

Then there's the woman who sold her car, because the repairs would cost more than it's worth, but is now spending $200 a week on a car rental.
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:41 AM   #33
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Then there's the woman who sold her car, because the repairs would cost more than it's worth, but is now spending $200 a week on a car rental.
That one caught my eye too.
Let's see. Pay $800-$1,600 to fix my car and keep it running, or pay $800/month to rent one until I can save up the money to buy one.
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:53 AM   #34
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one of these stories had someone spending $170 a week on gasoline to get to work and wondering why they don't have money for anything else
$170 a week is not unusual in areas like Southern California, where workers have to commute 60-100 miles each way to work. They can't afford to live where the jobs are.
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:58 AM   #35
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get a better car

when my wife used to drive to work it was 30 miles roundtrip and we spent around $80 a month including weekend driving when gas was half the price. this was in her honda civic.

if you are that hard up for money do you really need to drive a gas guzzler? and i've driven through denver rush hour. it's no where near as bad as socal or NYC. bad enough you have to literally burn your money when you buy gas, at least try to minimize it
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:13 PM   #36
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get a better car

when my wife used to drive to work it was 30 miles roundtrip and we spent around $80 a month including weekend driving when gas was half the price. this was in her honda civic.

if you are that hard up for money do you really need to drive a gas guzzler? and i've driven through denver rush hour. it's no where near as bad as socal or NYC. bad enough you have to literally burn your money when you buy gas, at least try to minimize it
Speaking of Denver, check out this article:

Mortgage defaults force Denver exodus - USATODAY.com
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:37 PM   #37
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Speaking of fixing the old car, we had a great solution to the agonizing fix it or replace it argument recently. My 1997 Saturn that I bought for $3400 a few years ago had a broken mount on the motor. Easy welding fix, well, except that the shop needed to pull the engine to do the weld job. $1200. wow!
The car has 170k miles on it. Do you do the repair? What we distilled it down to was this: could we buy an equivalent car for $1200? Since it was/is in good shape we decided it was worth it to fix it, and hope we keep it going long enough to get our money's worth out of it. So far, so good.
I've decided that most people's decision-making skills about cars rival their decision-making skills about the opposite sex.
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:41 PM   #38
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why not buy a new car like a honda that will cost you nothing to maintain and will most likely last you for many years
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:46 PM   #39
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$170 a week is not unusual in areas like Southern California, where workers have to commute 60-100 miles each way to work. They can't afford to live where the jobs are.
There are jobs in other parts of the country besides SoCal. Yes, it does not solve the short term problem. However, IMO the high cost of living in SoCal is a long term problem and people should plan according. PLAN? What is that? Our Government (someone else) should be doing that for me.

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That one caught my eye too.
Let's see. Pay $800-$1,600 to fix my car and keep it running, or pay $800/month to rent one until I can save up the money to buy one.
Monthly bus pass $35; bike or walk $0 (also saves the cost of a gym for exercise).

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Yep, people have a tendency to blame others for their choices.
Amen. Too many people in th USA have been conditioned to blame others rather than accepting responsibility for their own actions. This is one of the factors that has led to the extremely high number of lawsuits in our country.
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:59 PM   #40
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One has to consider their age/experience as well. When I was 25 I was living in an apartment, intended to buy a house "some day" but in the meanwhile I was simply enjoying the freedom given by a job I enjoyed and paid more money than I'd ever seen. Learning to fly had been a dream since about age 5, so I bought an airplane, something I had never thought I'd ever be able to do, and put the house-buying plans on hold for a few years.

Financially, it was a dumb move - every nickel of disposable income went to the airplane, and I could have bought a house easily in two years if I had saved the money instead. This was in 1975, not a good year for the economy.

But it was also one of the most fun times of my life, and I figured (correctly) that I'd be 50 before I had another chance to do that. There's nothing like taking two weeks off and lazily flying to Oshkosh, WI to see one of the world's biggest air shows. I camped in a tent under the wing, right on the airport, and woke up every morning at 6:00 AM to the sound of a 737 taking off about 80 yards away. I had a blast and I'd do it again.

But the most costly mistake I made was marrying someone with about zero financial sense. Money burned a hole in her pocket like a five-year-old's. The tuition bill for that error was very high, but I was relatively lucky - no kids and there was time to financially recover.

So you pays your money and takes your chances. I believe a college degree is worthwhile. A lot of employers, especially government, sometimes don't even care what the degree is in, they just want to see the perseverance that getting one requires. Law enforcement is one of those - they want that wide range of expertise.

And considering the compounding effect of even a slightly higher salary over one's lifetime, the payoff for a degree makes it worthwhile, I think, even if it does take ten years to pay off since the benefits are lifetime. That said, it is hard to make a case for an ivy league school when the state school is a quarter of the tuition, or go to a community college first and then transfer. Military service is another option, that's been the ticket out of poverty for millions of people.

Learning to walk, everyone skins their knees more than once. Why would handling money be any different?
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