@MollyculeTheory I wonder this as well. Also, how much do taxes factor into "giving?" It's compulsory giving, but you're still contributing a % of your income toward the health and wellbeing of the nation. In fact, giving to charities is a kind of a la carte distribution of income - you are paying for services that the government cannot (or won't) support. I mean, I'm all for it, but it's ultimately such a huge question and I'm not sure how to answer it. My gut says that rich people SHOULD contribute something in addition to taxes or any other services they (we?) already provide. I think that if you benefit from a system, you should also give back to it. I don't know how much. I DO know that I need to follow my own moral leanings more often.
@beastlyburden But later on, they say that a promotion brought their "pre-tax income" up to 80K. Now I'm confused about whether that 75K was gross or net. Not that it matters that much. I'm mainly impressed with anyone who can throw a 135-person wedding + honeymoon for 11K.
@andnowlights The only way I was ever able to save 10K (or around that) a year was BECAUSE I had no student loans. I'm not saying this to brag, I'm just re-stating the common knowledge that student loans are deeply limiting. It's not something you can just go fix. I couldn't have made many lifestyle changes that would have made a difference the way being debt-free did.
@siege91 You don't need life skills if you went to Princeton. That's the whole point of going to Princeton.
@Josh Michtom@facebook I would be very interested in this kind of discussion.
This is relevant to my interests, as I'm about to marry a trust fund kid. It raises a lot of questions I never thought I'd have to consider, like how we expect to share the money with our hypothetical future children, and how we share our own finances as a married couple. It's interesting, actually! The prenup process was fascinating. I feel like my own struggle to work and save and build a career (out of necessity) has shaped me in a good way, and I want our kids to experience some of that. It's also inspired me to think about our country's values with regards to work, because clearly we respect people who work regular jobs even if they don't need the money. Why is that?
I'm getting a pre-nup because my future husband has a lot of family money and it's what family money people do. We're about to combine our lives, and his money is about to change my life in a big way. Suddenly the imperative to "work to survive" will be completely gone, and I'm still coming to terms with that. But if I decide to take any leaps of faith and start a business or become an artist or something risky like that, I want to know what I'm risking. I like the idea of a pre-nup because I'll KNOW what will happen if we divorce, and whatever that is, I can make a plan to avoid the poorhouse.
I think this idea is probably the most apt when you have kids, and I can't speak to that now. Right now I can focus on all of those things (family, friends, career, health)–I just can't give 100%. I don't consider that "failing," though. There's a lot of middle ground between being wildly successful at something and failing at it.
Our wedding cake is one of the few purchases I feel conflicted about. It's not 3K, but it's more than $7 a slice ($8.50, I think). I worry that it's too much in general, but we can afford it. I worry that we're feeding the wedding industrial complex monster, but we're also supporting a small business owner who works out of her own home. The one thing I don't worry about, though, is whether or not it will be good. It will be delicious, and delicious dessert is important to us.
@ATF Ohhh, hang on! I totally understand your pain as I'm in wedding planning hell, too. I am also 35! A big part of the problem is just all the STUFF there is to do and all the brain power you have to spend making decisions. Who knew that one party was so hard to pull together? We actually hired a planner to take care of a lot of that stuff, and while she's been super helpful, she can't make our choices for us. In fact, I think that sometimes she gives us additional choices to make that we wouldn't have considered otherwise. But the families. The families! Everyone is so happy and so excited to help and so sure they know exactly how everything should be. I am getting so many "you must's" and "helpful suggestions" that it's making my head spin. Also, it's tough because both families want to contribute something. The wealthier family (his) is just overwhelming us with contribution (a fancier rehearsal dinner than we'd do ourselves, a brunch, a wedding gift already, contributions for flowers) and my parents are feeling a bit left out of the process, so now I feel like I need to come up with something for them to do, even though they've actually helped a ton. And, like you, my retired teacher parents just gave me a too-big contribution that was super generous and concerns me, though to be fair, they will be well cared for by their children. Some of it is fun, though. There is a lot of joy in my life right now, and I do love pretty things.