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Squeaking By on 300K a Year

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Squeaking By on 300K a Year

From this weekends Washington Post, read about the sad pitiful tale of a well to do VP in the financial industry bringing down 150K a year who finds herself “struggling” in the current economy. How can this be?

“Steins takes a breath. Life in this $2.5 million house was built on the premise of two incomes, not the income of a divorced mother of three in a tanked economy. Her property taxes are $35,000 a year, the nanny is $40,000 and the gardener is $500 a month.”

When she pays a nanny nearly the same as an intern and lives in one of the most expensive counties in America is it no wonder? Why do I bring up this story? Because I believe it vividly portrays how one can find themselves in a heap of trouble if one insists on living beyond or even at their means. It also clearly shows how not having satisfaction in one’s life and quelling that emptiness with buying more things can entrap you. This is how you can find yourself mired in a job you hate with merciless hours robbing you of your valuable time and freedom. It appears that just to maintain this woman’s crazy lifestyle is running her 300K a year. So after salary and alimony, she is pulling 50K out of “savings” to stay afloat. This is a clear case of living BEYOND one’s means and is simply not sustainable in the long run. This woman can play pretend with all her peers and friends that she is a somebody, however she will never have true freedom. This is a life of confinement and stress that would choke me of my well being not further it. What is even scarier to me is what would happen if she loses her job? It appears that this is something this woman hasn’t even considered since it is apparent she doesn’t know how to apply the brakes with her reckless financial spending. In medicine, I hear so many stories of physicans making six figure salaries (who are in their 40’s and 50’s with loans long paid off) crying poverty who can’t retire or are stuck and miserable unleashing it on those around them. I sometimes wonder if they are living much like the woman portrayed in the article? I am sorry but I have no pity for such people. My advice for Laura Steins is simple. Sell the house, stop shopping at Saks, ditch the nanny and gardener, put your kids in public school, and learn to Live Below Your Means (LBYM) and start saving for unforeseen life events. Problem Solved. It makes me nauseous that I will be the one stuck flipping the bill to bailout irresponsible people like this. You make your bed and you sleep in it. End of Rant.

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