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How **NOT** to FIRE
Old 11-22-2018, 11:33 AM   #1
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How **NOT** to FIRE

This couple is pretty much the opposite of financially independent, living way above their means, and will probably never be able to retire until they collect SS (and even then, probably won't be able to survive on it): https://www.wealthsimple.com/en-us/m...couple-debt-us

It was hard being sympathetic, but I practically yelled at my monitor when I got to this part:

Quote:
Kate: Like, when my son went to prom, we didnít rent a tux because we didnít have the cash, but we bought a suit because we have a Nordstrom card.
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Old 11-22-2018, 11:48 AM   #2
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This couple is pretty much the opposite of financially independent, living way above their means, and will probably never be able to retire until they collect SS (and even then, probably won't be able to survive on it): https://www.wealthsimple.com/en-us/m...couple-debt-us

It was hard being sympathetic, but I practically yelled at my monitor when I got to this part:
In the 1980's, a few of my neighbors in Southern California were living like this.
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Old 11-22-2018, 11:55 AM   #3
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Well, I was sympathetic but:

a) Get a handle on the debt;

b) Sell the house, move into a residence with a lower monthly overhead, and decent public schools;

c) Stop the expensive eating out;

d) One car and public transportation;

e) Wifey - look for a higher paying job (or government job that offers loan forgiveness after a number of years) and put increase into paying off student debt;

f) Figure out plan for student loan debt ASAP;

g) Look for a non-profit debt consolidation service with good ratings/ reviews;

h) Be upfront with the kids, they don't need every detail, but Mom and Dad have some loans that have to be addressed, so we are going to have to budget carefully for a few years.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:01 PM   #4
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The numbers don't really add up, they are glossing over a LOT of spending in that article. They are grossing ~$180K. A $360K house, $405/mo car payment (say $800 for two cars), and $15K for private school are quite reasonable at that income level.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:12 PM   #5
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The numbers don't really add up, they are glossing over a LOT of spending in that article. They are grossing ~$180K. A $360K house, $405/mo car payment (say $800 for two cars), and $15K for private school are quite reasonable at that income level.

I agree. Without a complete list of expenses to review, the article doesn't make any sense to me. A $360K house, they aren't paying down the student loans, driving a Corolla, where is the income going?
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:14 PM   #6
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I agree. Without a complete list of expenses to review, the article doesn't make any sense to me. A $360K house, they aren't paying down the student loans, driving a Corolla, where is the income going?
From the sound of it, they don't know, that's the problem. They BOUGHT A SUIT for their son for prom because they didn't have the cash to rent a tux? They don't want to think about it, IMO.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:17 PM   #7
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The numbers don't really add up, they are glossing over a LOT of spending in that article. They are grossing ~$180K. A $360K house, $405/mo car payment (say $800 for two cars), and $15K for private school are quite reasonable at that income level.
We don't have any of those types pf expenses and I can tell you that $70K annually is disappearing from around here.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:21 PM   #8
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It was hard being sympathetic
I find it impossible to sympathize. This is not a couple who did their best and were sideswiped by some contingency out of their control (job loss, medical crisis, etc.). Rather, they candidly acknowledge that they have deliberately made, and indeed continue to make, choices harmful to their financial wellbeing:
  • incurring a huge debt for law school (with little or no intention of actually using that degree)
  • making no effort to pay off student loans
  • conceiving three children, and sending all three to private school
  • accumulating pets (two rescue dogs)
  • buying a large house that "we probably couldn't afford", even though "our first (smaller) house was perfectly fine"
  • spending "insane amounts" on high-priced groceries
  • negotiating a 50% discount on their credit card debt, paying it off using money begged from their aging parents, and then running CC right back up within a few years
I also don't feel sorry for "Tom" being forced to drive a 2012 Toyota Corolla (our car is a 2006 Corolla).
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by The Cosmic Avenger View Post
This couple is pretty much the opposite of financially independent, living way above their means, and will probably never be able to retire until they collect SS (and even then, probably won't be able to survive on it): https://www.wealthsimple.com/en-us/m...couple-debt-us

It was hard being sympathetic, but I practically yelled at my monitor when I got to this part:
So you canít rent a tux using a credit card? Please!

Maybe they planned to return the tux.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:27 PM   #10
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The numbers don't really add up, they are glossing over a LOT of spending in that article. They are grossing ~$180K. A $360K house, $405/mo car payment (say $800 for two cars), and $15K for private school are quite reasonable at that income level.
I agree, there seems to be lot missing. The expenses you cite are not out of line for that income. So just where is the money going?
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:34 PM   #11
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Sounds to me like these folks believe they found out a way to free-load though life:
Rack up the CC and then only have to pay off 1/2 of it. Do it again is their unspoken plan.
Declare bankrupty to wipe out debts, that seems to be the way the Wife is thinking.
They don't pay their student loans because, they are planning/hoping all will be in forgiven by gov't.
Borrow (gift) of money from parents.

These are the type of folks who will demand us "lucky" "rich" savers pay for their retirement..
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:35 PM   #12
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I agree, there seems to be lot missing. The expenses you cite are not out of line for that income. So just where is the money going?
Other bills, taxes, insurance, gasoline, utilities, etc.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:36 PM   #13
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Such 'money diaries' are pretty funny, though I suspect that the anonymous subjects are largely if not entirely fictionalized for dramatic impact. That might explain why the numbers don't seem to fully add up.

By way of contrast, here is a 'good' example of how to FIRE.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:38 PM   #14
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Hey we used to spend quite a bit of our income, but still always saved and never went into debt besides a mortgage.
They made their bed......
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:40 PM   #15
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They are as bad as each other, and this is part of the problem - they are enabling each other's behavior. The worst part of their whole tale, IMO, was taking money from their parents to pay off part of the debt, then running the debt up again.

They're aware of what they're doing, and yet they do it anyway. Completely bonkers. Why are we even talking about this?


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Such 'money diaries' are pretty funny, though I suspect that the anonymous subjects are largely if not entirely fictionalized for dramatic impact. That might explain why the numbers don't seem to fully add up.
Yes, very possible, especially if you look at the products the site that the article appears on is selling. Perhaps our strings are being pulled on purpose!
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:46 PM   #16
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They're aware of what they're doing, and yet they do it anyway. Completely bonkers.
^^^This^^^

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Why are we even talking about this?
Because schadenfreude is fun!
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:50 PM   #17
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^^^This^^^

Because schadenfreude is fun!

Heh! I know enough people in my real life who couldn't handle money well if their lives depended on it, without reading about these (fictionalized or otherwise) goobers!
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:53 PM   #18
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They are as bad as each other, and this is part of the problem - they are enabling each other's behavior. The worst part of their whole tale, IMO, was taking money from their parents to pay off part of the debt, then running the debt up again.

They're aware of what they're doing, and yet they do it anyway. Completely bonkers. Why are we even talking about this?
Because while most of us are very good at LBYM, we occasionally get new members who are asking how to get started, and some even feel like this couple....although probably not nearly as bad, since people who even think about retiring are taking the first step before planning, and the couple in the article seem congenitally incapable of planning!

tl;dr version: a cautionary example for our noobs.
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:13 PM   #19
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Heh! I know enough people in my real life who couldn't handle money well if their lives depended on it, without reading about these (fictionalized or otherwise) goobers!
Sure; but when you actually know someone who is struggling, even though due to their own self-destructive behaviour, it's not very nice to enjoy their misery. Whereas with anonymous / fictionalized accounts, we are free to enjoy schadenfreude without guilt.
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:29 PM   #20
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Good points and well taken, Cosmic and Milton.
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