I disagree. I don't think you have to keep a foot in the game to stay secure. If a certain sort of lifestyle is very important to you, then yes, but if you make sure you maintain skills that will under most circumstances allow you to get SOME job when you need one, then you're okay, at least insofar as we can say anyone is okay at current unemployment rates. Staying at home with kids and working part-time or hustling on the side is in many ways more difficult than staying home full-time or working full-time. I do it because it's my preference, but I absolutely understand why someone would opt not to based on personality and family needs. And in many cases women home with their kids are doing a lot of work that increase family wealth and provide them with skills that will allow them to live on less income in the future... cooking from scratch for example.
I'm with Jane Marie- I've never expected to have sex with a penis and not had condoms handy. People do that? If you're not into snagging free ones then buying in bulk is the way to go... so much cheaper. Example: http://www.amazon.com/Lifestyles-Sensitive-Condoms-Condom-Lubricated/dp/B000ZO0ADS/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1345570517&sr=1-1&keywords=lifestyle
Not disagreeing that it’s near-impossible to find a job these days even if you did everything right and unemployment sucks and all that. But I want to talk about the “my skill set is well worth an $80,000 salary” bit. I’ve heard this sort of thing from a number of friends, who sometimes while on unemployment turned down jobs they didn’t feel paid as much as they “deserved.” Not focusing on Deji in particular, but in general: what does it mean to be “worth” a certain amount of money if no one is actually willing to pay you that?
I hope you pass this on to future employers, so they know that you want them to monitor you closely to ensure you fulfill the responsibilities you've agreed to at the wage you agreed to. Some folks aren't self-motivated, and I understand that, and it's good that you recognize it I suppose?
It’s awesome to be able to spend money like it doesn’t matter when you’re trying to cheer yourself up and live life to the fullest! But in order to do that you need to be more mindful when your life ISN’T falling apart. (And if your life is always falling apart, you should be making some big changes.)
The trick is to (a) only buy a house where you want to live, rather than one you can afford but don't want to live in; (b) avoid buying in enormously inflated markets (and yes, it's possible to tell when an area is overpriced); and (c) buy a house with payments/ utilities that are equal to or cheaper than renting. This means it doesn't make sense for most people to buy if they don't like to settle down or if they want to live in a city with a crazy housing market. (Or, for that matter, if they hate thinking about home repairs, have unstable incomes, or don't care about having a space they can modify as they'd like.) But buying was an incredible deal for my family, and now that we've paid off the mortgage early the financial peace of mind we have is amazing.
@franklinmonster If it makes sense to itemize deductions, that is. It only made sense for me to do so the first year I owned my home and in a year when I had enormous medical expenses. For those of us who didn't take out really big mortgages, taking the standard deduction is often a better deal.
@cynicalsunshine I agree. I'm an avid reader but feel no guilt about using the library and used books to get my fix. I don't WANT books I won't re-read multiple times hanging about my house. I also feel that new books are overpriced, and that the industry could use a better business model. And I'm an environmentalist- I don't want to encourage the production of more copies than are necessary to meet the true demand. Also, re-sale prices are for some people factored into their decision to buy new books, especially textbooks. Publishers know that the used market exists and price accordingly.
B: it sounds like having the loans hanging over your head really impacts your life. PAY THEM OFF RIGHT NOW. Seriously, it's so freeing. With your current earnings you can live super-cheap for the next three years, put everything into them, and they will be GONE. It's so worth it. My husband and I did this for both his student loans (which we paid off while living on a grad stipend and as a VISTA volunteer, respectively) and our mortgage (which we paid off in 10 years despite one of us being home with kids for much of that time). It is AWESOME. Going back to school and taking out more loans to get a brief respite from the ones you have: that's just plain dumb. Don't do it. I went to grad school for a bit because my program covered tuition and gave me a living stipend. I don't think it's ever a good financial decision to pay for grad school.
It's hard for me to feel a whole lot of pity for rich people paying taxes... maybe, for the sake of equality, spouses of either gender should not be exempted from estate taxes.