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Squeaking by on $300,000. It must be tough.
Old 08-16-2009, 12:56 PM   #1
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Squeaking by on $300,000. It must be tough.

Squeaking by on $300,000
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:38 PM   #2
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As a divorced single Mom, I understand she wants to try to keep some stability in her kids' lives. However I think it sounds like the family was stretching to afford the $2.5 million house, nanny, gardener, pool boy, lavish parties in the Hamptons lifestyle before the divorce. Keeping that up now takes double her salary. And that's without saving much for the future. This is not the stability she wants.

She makes a great salary at a great job, has $75,000 additional child support per year, and instead of living a worry free LBYM (with generous means) lifestyle with savings for the future, lives a life of stress and constant financial worry to stretch her dollars, where financial constraints are part of everyday life and interactions with her kids.

Whether she can keep hanging on by the thinnest of margins or not, I'm not sure she's really getting what she wants. Her kids are surrounded by rich friends and becoming ever more accustomed to a lifestyle she can barely support - and they are unlikely to. Seems like the kids' worldview will be pretty distorted. Unless there's more to the story (Daddy is super-rich and supporting them, there is an inheritance expected, she has a really big nestegg offstage she can use if needed) this family doesn't seem likely to be able to sustain this spending twice her salary for long.
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:45 PM   #3
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I'm slightly sympathetic to her in the short term based on a desire to not uproot the kids and circumstances surrounding the divorce, but she needs to make some tough decisions fairly soon.

If nothing else it's a lesson to people who would live at the edge of their means as a two-income couple. Maybe that's not such a good idea...
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:21 PM   #4
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I have never been terrbly sympathetic when some folks make judgements about how "the rich" (whoever "the rich" are) spend their money---$100+ jeans for 12 years olds, expensive mobile phones for kids, etc. Its their money, they've earned it, and far be it from me to say how they should spend it. I guess I have lived a sheltered life, and I cannot comprehend spending money like this ($10,000 a month to maintain a home)---maybe I would if I had it, but the point is moot as I never will have these kinds of resources. But I digress--so while I am not sympathetic to those who judge how the affluent "waste" thier money, I am also not terribly sympathetic when the people (especially the affluent) get in financial distress because of circumstances well within their control. This woman could easily have accumulated sufficient assets (and perhaps she has them now) to live a very comfortable life (by the standards of 99% of the world population) and not have a worry that many of us here probably have to deal with on a regular basis. Having to lose a nanny, move her kids form her prefered school district, selling her house for a loss and moving into housing thaat is more modest are not things that I am even slightly sympathetic about. Whether you make $300,000 per year or $30,000 er year, you need to LBYM--otherwise sh*t happens.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:06 PM   #5
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I am familiar with this area and the high standard of living that goes along with it by observation, way back when and now am updated by the article.
A huge reality check is a-comin' down the road.
If her job goes away, it's all over financially unless she can petition for more child support based on a zero income for her. Even so, trying to maintain that house as a domicile would cause any judge's eyebrows to raise. NY law for child support is crystal clear in this area.
I did note she is still lusting after the high lifestyle and that will be her financial downfall. It is what her children have learned from diapers.
The kids will have the largest culture shock, but they are young and they WILL get over it.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:24 PM   #6
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Maybe she figured that being featured in this article would be better than registering at eHarmony? It's probably not a bad way to find a like-minded soul mate.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:31 PM   #7
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Maybe she figured that being featured in this article would be better than registering at eHarmony? It's probably not a bad way to find a like-minded soul mate.
Spending money like a drunken sailor, couple of kids, all wanting the latest of everything, yeah!!! - a real find. NOT.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:44 PM   #8
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But I digress--so while I am not sympathetic to those who judge how the affluent "waste" thier money, I am also not terribly sympathetic when the people (especially the affluent) get in financial distress because of circumstances well within their control. This woman could easily have accumulated sufficient assets (and perhaps she has them now) to live a very comfortable life (by the standards of 99% of the world population) and not have a worry that many of us here probably have to deal with on a regular basis. Having to lose a nanny, move her kids form her prefered school district, selling her house for a loss and moving into housing thaat is more modest are not things that I am even slightly sympathetic about. Whether you make $300,000 per year or $30,000 er year, you need to LBYM--otherwise sh*t happens.
I think this could very well be the motto of the forum. Great post.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:58 PM   #9
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Well, if she's planning to use eHarmony, or some other way to marry herself out of this mess, she will need to find a mate with either: $300,000+ income and no house or lifestyle of his own to support so he can support hers, or someone so asset rich that he can buy her out of this mess. Those kinds of guys are not likely to be jumping into relationships with middle aged single moms (in debt, with a proven affinity for spending more money than they have) when they can be choosing from the usual golddiggers, aspiring actresses and future trophy wives. Maybe she's hoping for a career miracle for herself? Otherwise, she needs to make adjustments and they just get worse the longer she waits.

As for the schools - is EVERY house in the district $2.5million or more. I doubt it. Or maybe they are already in private school anyway. It's hard to justify spending money on a gardener and pool boy, because she thinks the kids have to stay in the same schools and (somehow) they cannot stay in the same schools without the hired help. Huh?
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:32 PM   #10
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"We might live in nice houses and drive nice cars, but we're just holding on," she says
I hear this kind of statement quite often from my friend who is a physician making over $400K a year. He lives in a multimillion home, drives a $80K car, buys a pair of sunglasses for $100, etc. Every time when I see him, he would say that he's barely hanging on. I simply shake my head and tell him he should reduce his expenses and save for retirement. Obviously, he ignores my advice.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:49 PM   #11
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I always tell people "I'm just holding on." Don't you?


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Well, if she's planning to use eHarmony, or some other way to marry herself out of this mess, she will need to find a mate with either: $300,000+ income and no house or lifestyle of his own to support so he can support hers, or someone so asset rich that he can buy her out of this mess. Those kinds of guys are not likely to be jumping into relationships with middle aged single moms (in debt, with a proven affinity for spending more money than they have) when they can be choosing from the usual golddiggers, aspiring actresses and future trophy wives. Maybe she's hoping for a career miracle for herself? Otherwise, she needs to make adjustments and they just get worse the longer she waits.
Oh, I dunno. I hear Edmund Andrews might be looking. He is certainly attracted to this kind of women.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:19 PM   #12
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Mr Andrews may find her type "fiery" and appealing, but I doubt he has the financial clout to be much help to her. It didn't seem to work out that way in his earlier marriages.
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:14 PM   #13
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Maybe she figured that being featured in this article would be better than registering at eHarmony? It's probably not a bad way to find a like-minded soul mate.
Although she is not bad looking, I kind of doubt that many men with their own resources would be lining up to shoulder her many problems and attitudes.

Not when they could move to Miraflores and get a 22 year old that would be at least entertaining.

There is one interesting thing in the pics that accompany the article. Her ex's new wife could be her clone! A couple of thin horse-faced middle aged blonds.

Ha
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:19 PM   #14
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The Washington Post seems to love these kinds of stories, where you just can't quite feel sorry for the subjects. Reminds me of that story we ran across about the poor family with the beer and smokes habit and the chronic unemployment problem. For Many Americans, Nowhere to Go but Down - washingtonpost.com

It elicited the same sort of reaction as this story. Wonder if that is the goal? Kinda like when people watch daytime talk shows and say "wow, my family is screwed up and all, but at least we aren't as bad as those people". Or as Daniel Patrick Moynihan said: "we are defining deviancy down".
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:59 PM   #15
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...buys a pair of sunglasses for $100, etc.
I got a set of Oakleys when I was a teenager that were between $100 and $200 and they lasted nearly a decade. I kept the receipt and exchanged them several times under warranty. The last time they broke, I could no longer find the receipt, and I was ready for something different anyway, so I bought a pair of Versaces on eBay, also just over $100. No lifetime warranty. The thin metal frame around the lenses broke when they were about two years old. I sent them to Luxottica and asked if they could be fixed. I sent a couple of follow up letters and never received the courtesy of a response. Sucks because those were the best looking sunglasses I've ever had. I haven't found anything from another brand that resembles them, and I don't want to drop $100+ on an identical pair from a company with terrible customer service. I guess my point is that expensive sunglasses aren't always a waste of money.
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:28 PM   #16
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The Washington Post seems to love these kinds of stories, where you just can't quite feel sorry for the subjects.
I know a Rye resident. I suspect that he and his neighbors are pretty ticked off at the manner in which the town's residents are "represented" by this woman.

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I got a set of Oakleys when I was a teenager that were between $100 and $200 and they lasted nearly a decade.
I guess my point is that expensive sunglasses aren't always a waste of money.
I bought a pair of wraparound UV-filtering sunglasses at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet in the early 1990s that I still wear today.

$5.

Here I am hanging out with the celebrities attracted to my shades:
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:35 PM   #17
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There is no "squeeking by" about this, IMHO. Whatever it is, there is enough lubricant to stop any squeeks. Problem is more like trying to put a 1" peg into a well lubricated 3/4" hole. No amount of lubricant will help that...

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Old 08-17-2009, 12:27 AM   #18
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I will never understand people who live like this. It almost makes me angry that most of our financially uneducated society strives for the lifestyle that the woman in the story represents.

Ever see that show on MTV..."My super sweet 16" Its the same thing here.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:31 AM   #19
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I know a Rye resident. I suspect that he and his neighbors are pretty ticked off at the manner in which the town's residents are "represented" by this woman.

Here I am hanging out with the celebrities attracted to my shades:
I was thinking the same thing. Besides the 15 minutes of fame factor, what was her motivation for going public with her story? My guess is the party invitations are going to dry up pronto.

So who is the flaming redhead (redbody) ?
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:32 AM   #20
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This couple decided to "LAYM" (Live At Your Means). There is no factor of safety to LAYM - these people knew that.

Now her "means" have changed - and she needs to swallow the consequences and make required changes.

I have no patience for these spoiled whiners. There's too many people who have real problems.
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