Monday, March 15, 2010

Financial Comparison

I know it's not healthy to compare yourself to others. I know, I know.


TC and I watched the Suze Orman show on Saturday evening and ended up feeling thoroughly depressed about our financial state. It's not that we are destitute. It's not that we go without food, shelter, clothing (goodness I don't go without clothing). It's just that when people are calling in to ask if they can afford a $35,000/year nanny and Suze Orman says, "Show me the money girl." And then it is revealed that the nanny-wanter has a combined income of $20,000/month I started to feel very, very poor. I know it's poor form to share how much you make, but I'm going to reveal something to you all: I don't make $20,000 a month. Sad, I know.

So it's not that I want to hire a nanny, and it's not that I wish my expenses were less than 40% of my monthly income, and it's not that I wish I had nearly $250,000 in retirement income, it's just that I want to call Suze and ask her if I can afford something, maybe like a new sewing machine, or loads of bias tape and lace. But I think she would tell me to put more money away for retirement, and that I should have some money in investments. And that I shouldn't spend inordinate amounts of money on fabric. *sigh*

Thanks a lot Suze for crushing my whole world.

Can I Afford It? -


  1. I love watching her show, but yes, it is depressing especially when there are people our age calling in saying they already have these large retirement accounts. We're lucky we have one and that it grows from time to time...
    Anyhow, love your post today. I'm so with you!

  2. Oh Kris, I was just talking with Rich about this yesterday.I was like, "Do you ever compare yourself to anyone else?" And he said no:). Why is it so easy for some people to be content with what they have? And then there's me:). No, I'm honestly very grateful for what we have--great marriage, 3 healthy kids, one solid job that provides, etc. But I'd really LOVE to own a house. And living in Silicon Valley makes it really hard to do. Even if we coughed up 20% to buy a 600K house, we'd still have a 480K loan!! And Rich definitely doesn't make enough to afford that. And we definitely don't have 20% of 600K either:). Oh well, I'll just have to learn how to be content with renting for a long time.

  3. So I might not be Suze... but I have an idea:

    I think you should totally advertise to make one of your fabulous, custom-handmade textile creations for someone (maybe someone who does make $20k/month)for a pretty penny... then take the earnings from that and buy fabric and notions to your heart's content...

    just a thought.

    oh, and I would totally hire you to make me a lovely wardrobe when I finally get all this excess baby weight off!! (you would be proud of me, though... slowly but surely I am headed that direction... but that is a note for another day.) :)

  4. Yeah, Suze wouldn't let me have a single skein of yarn. I always felt like the poor one in the ward. Everyone else could buy new shoes and clothes, seemingly whenever they needed/wanted something. They could go grocery shopping, non-grocery shopping, buy craft supplies, buy sporting equipment, and travel, seemingly without even having to think about it. There were quite a few times when we were literally digging in the couch cushions for money to buy a gallon of milk. Forget having a retirement fund. Or insurance. Or a regular paycheck.

    I always comforted myself by thinking about the advantages of our lifestyle, such as having lots of time together, etc. But I'm not proud that my comfort always came from looking at other people and trying to think of what I had that was better than someone else. So I definitely need to work on that.

    But I really would love to have 250,000 in retirement income.


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