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Home > Squeaking by on $250,000

Squeaking by on $250,000

December 13th, 2010 at 04:35 pm

The same people that brought us http://bennkar.savingadvice.com/2009/08/16/squeaking-by-on-3... have apparently decided that another in the series is appropriate. It seems this time they couldn't find anyone dumb enough to put themselves up for deserved ridicule, so this one has a hypothetical family making $250,000 and they show how "impossible" it is for them to save. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2010/12/1... The story shows this family of 4 living in various locations around the country, and determines how much they'll spend in each location.

Ignoring the bad math in some spots, they have this family (may as well call them "The Stupids") doing the following:
- Paying extra for a house close to the city center where their jobs are going to be, and then ignore any public transportation. Instead they will use two cars, and then not only pay to drive back and forth, they will also pay an extra $3,000 (in my area) just to park.
- And speaking of cars, they allocate over $7,500 for gas during the year. Ok, lets make gas @ $3.00/gal. That is 2,500 gallons for the year, or 1,250 per vehicle. Assume 15 MPG (pretty poor I know), and that comes out to 18,750 miles per year. Ok, they have a short commute (see above), where the hell are they driving? Are they doing a cross country trip? Who comes up with these numbers???
- They're paying $5,000 just for cleaning, because well... you know... they're so Stupid they can't do any cleaning themselves.
- They have to eat out every day at work for $10 lunches and they eat takeout of $25/week (a meal on the weekend? So we're talking 6 dinners, 7 breakfast, and maybe 1 or two lunches each week. Their food should be less right? The family of 4 pays $13,659, or over $1,100 per month just to eat at home. WTF are they eating????
- Even the dog is costing $1,571 a year. Is the dog having surgery every year? I would have to estimate even with vet vists (admittedly infrequent as my mutt was fairly healthy) I spent no more than $2,000 total over 11 years on my dog.
- Phone, cable, and internet is coming in at $200/mo. Apparently the Stupids never heard of bundled service. And if they're so busy making this great money, why do they even have cable?
- Gas & Electric comes in at $5,280, or $440 per month, every month. Did they buy a home with no insulation what so ever????
- Oh, btw, there is under "Leisure" an entry for "Eating Out". Another $200/mo. for that.

If you go and read it, there's more (really!), but I think I have overwhelmed anyone reading by this point. Apparently the Stupids make an amazing amount of money, yet can't for the life of them figure out how to stop the continual wasting of money. These people would have to be dumber than the average American when it comes to finances, yet in the top 3% earners in the richest country in the world, which is just amazing there could be people like that. In fact, they have them overspending by $5,000 to $24,000 per year!

7 Responses to “Squeaking by on $250,000”

  1. shiela Says:

    hahaha... "The Stupids"!

  2. lartiga Says:

    It is hard to believe there are people making $250,000 a year who are having trouble making ends meet.

    The hypothetical family in this article spends a lot on conveniences: parking near work, eating out, heating the entire house instead of using sweaters, having the house professionally cleaned, $4,000 on "kids' activities," and $1,200 on dry-cleaning. There are lots of ways they could save if they were motivated to do so.

    Or, maybe the real Mrs. Stupid is Karen Hube, who wrote the article and who seems out of touch with the basic needs vs. conveniences/wants of typical American families.

  3. monkeymama Says:

    Having lived in a very expensive area, and knowing how much taxes those with that kind of income pay, I am defensive of these type people, usually. (Depending where they live, of course. Thinking San Francisco or New York).

    That said, everything you listed is ridiculous, and nothing I would defend. Big Grin

  4. Ima saver Says:

    They do sound pretty stupid!

  5. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    That was a stupidly written article.

  6. baselle Says:

    As someone making far, far less: bummer, dude. Big Grin Costs a lot to live wastefully. I'm extra amused that the Washington Post printed the article when taxes, taxes, taxes were hammered on as the problem. Aren't taxes a Washington DC industry?

  7. livingalmostlarge Says:

    My heating in New England is $600/month. Old home and I have blown in insulation,redone windows, etc. But it can't be helped.

    Second I just spent in my dogs last year of life $10k on him or so. I never fully had the guts to add up his chemo. Anyway though I would say I spent around $1200/yr on him with food, grooming, meds, etc and probably still do on my living dog.

    That being said the budgets are out of whack!!! You don't spend $15k/yr on childcare in TX, show me where? You only spend that in HCOLA. Second, you don't spend $400/month in CA heating/cooling! Ridiculous. The homes don't need it. Also eating out in cheaper COLA cost less than more expensive areas. So why is it the same? If it's the same number of times, the amounts should be different. For quick example what does a beer in a bar cost in TX versus NY?

    Stupid writer.

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