On When Your Paycheck Is What Keeps You From Achieving Your Goals

@SterlingCooper05 Well, that manager who comes in on her day off to help, who has 4 children of her own and 2 of her partner, is only making $20,000 a year. Her partner can't find work. Even for a family of 4, she's making less than the poverty rate, working full time, as a manager. The problem is that the achievable dreams don't seem worth it. Those kids that got there late. If they showed up on time and saved money instead of getting tattoos, what would happen? They'd probably be able to get an additional $150 a month/ $1,800? Eventually they too could be the manager making $20,000 a year? Yeah, they could fix the truck. And in 5 years, they could save $10,000. It can be hard to really be sufficiently motivated when that is the only possible outcome you see.

Posted on March 27, 2015 at 5:02 pm 3

On In Which I Answer a Question About Marriage and Finances That 'Call Your Girlfriend' Asked Us in October

@Kimberly Alison Well, "entitled to each other's money" maybe not. I've always thought it should be seen as "we are in the same boat, and I'll sink if you sink, and we both need to row." So, maybe that means that one of you rows by working for pay and the other rows by caring for home and children with less/no working for pay. In that case it is obvious that the home carer gets to spend the "worker's money." It just feels a lot more complicated when it isn't 100%/0% or 50%/50% on income and home duties.

Posted on March 22, 2015 at 7:41 pm 0

On Where To Buy Ilana's Bras And/Or How To Live In A Cave

@lisaf Well, I think she means "a color close to your actual skin tone" whether that be dark brown, mocha, tan, beige, light pink, or cream.

Posted on March 13, 2015 at 4:41 pm 1

On Talking to a Millennial Homeowner

@Beaks Also it doesn't mean the owners bought it "all by themselves." I'd guess about 5% of millennial are part of families in the top 5% of incomes. And therefore maybe don't have school debt, and perhaps were gifted a down payment. Then, there are the millenials who are themselves earning a high income. Perhaps another 10-15% of them. And there you are at 20%!

Posted on February 8, 2015 at 5:45 pm 0

On Open Thread: Parental Assistance

My parents provided a car + insurance for me from age 16 to age 27. They gave me $1,500 for the down payment of the first car I bought myself. They gave me about $7,000 over the course of college and law school for room/ board, and dental work. Basically, they were my emergency fund for the first 10 years after high school. I always assumed the help I had was about "average" and assumed that only top 5%s had their parents pay for room/ board/ or tuition at college. Apparently that "suggested family contribution" is actually something some families do!

Posted on January 21, 2015 at 4:18 pm 2

On How Living at Home at 31 Taught Me Nothing and Everything About Saving

@Christy I define being an adult, at least in part as having the ability to "support him or herself or make hard decisions that put practicality above dreams." I think that in many circumstances, moving back home, or having never left home fails to prove those two skills. I'd add the ability to keep up one's self, one's possessions, and one's home. I am (perhaps unfairly) suspicious of the ability of people who have never not lived with their parents to do all of their own laundry, cleaning, and providing of food. It isn't impossible for people living with their parents to be an adult. It is possible for people living on their own to not be adults. But there is correlation.

Posted on January 21, 2015 at 12:52 am 1

On Parents Send Invoice After 5-Year-Old Misses Their Child's Birthday Party

@gyip Yeah, in my family we did not have a van. So we could have a party someplace, so long as we only invited 3 friends. So, we got 3 presents, and we went roller skating/ to the movies/ to the mall/ to the pizza place whatever. Obviously, as an adult I see this is an arbitrary rule. They could have driven two cars. Other parents could have driven kids to the location, etc. The 10-20 people invited, 10-20 presents, gift bags, activity shebang seems insane to me.

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 1:52 pm 0

On How Living at Home at 31 Taught Me Nothing and Everything About Saving

@Christy Yeah. I'm 31. My younger brother is 24. He just moved out. And since then my parents appear to be having so much fun they should be in a car commercial. They save hundreds on food each month, spend less on utilities, etc. Also, I feel like I don't want to date anyone who hasn't proven they can be an adult. I know not everyone wants to date me (or anyone), but I do wonder how other potential partners feel about someone who has so far proven a complete inability to support him or herself or make hard decisions that put practicality above dreams.

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 1:41 pm 2

On Michael Keaton/Douglas, Hollywood, and the Empathy Gap

@Mike. A Richish people (like me, too) sometimes forget that there is a used market for things, as well. So, a used iphone 5s in my neck of the woods is going for $300 up front, or for 0 down at Tmobile (+$24 a month). AND, forget that sometimes very poor people receive gifts. Maybe the other three went in for Christmas to get that one used iPhone for their sister. But yeah, you're right, sometimes poor people make nonoptimal decisions. Maybe she used last year's tax refund/ credit to get that phone. Sometimes teenagers get control over money their family could use, and use it for what they want, rather than helping with rent/ dialysis. But that $300 for the phone doesn't even pay for one Dialysis session or one month of rent. We can be concerned about two problems at once. Just because we are concerned about poor people in America doesn't mean that global poverty and starvation aren't also a problem, and vice versa.

Posted on January 12, 2015 at 12:13 pm 6

On The Internet as Safety Net

The real "emergency fund" for fires is insurance. Homeowner's insurance covers fires, including additional living expenses and personal property. As more people rent, that might be a problem. However, Renters insurance covers the same stuff. It just seems to be that fewer people pay the $10 a month for renters insurance. And, most insurance companies are pretty quick to give money when there is a fire- like $1,000 on the day of or the next day.

Posted on January 9, 2015 at 4:17 pm 1