Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Angry rant: CEOs and greed.

NY Times article.

Lets start at the top, shall we?

Private school. Not a necessity. There are a lot of good public schools out there. Perhaps it would be good for your children to be surrounded by a diverse population of kids anyway.

I went to a public school. I turned out alright. So, there's a way to cut $32,000 out of your overinflated budget.

Mortgage/Co-op maintenance fees. I'll give you that one, but I'll also give you this. For the cost of the mortgage alone ($96,000), I could buy an entire house here where I live. If I wanted a nice upgrade, it would probably pay for at least HALF of the house. So... move somewhere cheaper.

Nanny fee. Most likely, your wives don't work. So, I suggest making them be mothers. My mom raised me and worked full-time. So, if your wives *do* happen to work... I suggest a daycare. There are some really great ones (just like the public schools), so you could easily cut that bill, at least a little. I understand that daycare is also fairly expensive... but like I suggested above. Exposing your children to a diverse population of kids will only make them more rounded and likable.

Now, the thing that is most irritating.

Barbara Corcoran, a real estate executive, said that most well-to-do families take at least two vacations a year, a winter trip to the sun and a spring trip to the ski slopes.

Total minimum cost: $16,000.

A modest three-bedroom apartment, she said, which was purchased for $1.5 million, not the top of the market at all, carries a monthly mortgage of about $8,000 and a co-op maintenance fee of $8,000 a month. Total cost: $192,000. A summer house in Southampton that cost $4 million, again not the top of the market, carries annual mortgage payments of $240,000.

Really? They need this salary because they, um, take vacations? Ok. So I suggest this. Don't go. Or go somewhere different. My family, if we are lucky, takes one vacation (as in traveling away from home) a year. We usually end up at Ocean City, MD. It's always a ton of fun. We don't go skiing. If we would, however, it would probably be to Ski Roundtop. Not exactly Colorado, but hey... it's snow and it's skis. Vacations are what you make them, you should be able to have fun regarless of where you are.

So, don't BUY a vacation home. Rent a beach house for a week. Go mingle with people. I have absolutely no sympathy here because my last vacation cost me approximately $500 and I still managed to have fun and make memories.

More suggestions?

Drive yourself.

Don't hire a personal trainer (just buy a gym membership, the local Ys tend to be affordable). You can take one or two PT sessions and then work out on your own. I work out on my own. It's fulfilling.

Don't buy $15,000 dresses. I bought a fantastic red dress recently for $20. I look just as good in it as I would look in a $15,000 dress. (Besides, I clicked on the link in the article (something about a social diary) and none of those dresses look like they're worth that amount of money. I'm just saying. I could dress myself better than that for much less.)

I'll concede on the tutoring, if you feel it's necessary. Education is important.

Eat out less (just like the rest of America tries to do). Buy store brand rather than name brand foods where you can. You don't need summer camps, or spas, or fancy salon treatments. You don't need god-awful fancy drinks (the ones at Starbucks can easily satisfy a sweet-tooth, for half the price).

What I'm trying to say is... stop whining and start living.
It turns out that living costs less than this ritual you feel you "need."

Get over yourselves.

I can't believe this article was supposed to invoke sympathy.
My parents are up to their necks in debt. They also only make approximately $50,000 a year. Combined.
If they made twice that, they'd be estatic. They'd be fine and they'd be a lot less stressed.

Give them $500,000 and they wouldn't know what to do with themselves. In fact... they'd probably not know what to do with all that extra money.

Maybe they'd donate to charity.
Maybe we'd take an extra vacation.

But I can tell you this, we'd appreciate that a lot more than you apparently do.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Words that want to die with me.

"Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so." (David Grayson)

I've learned. I say so now.
But pride and vulnerability will not allow me to say it to you.

I'm sorry.

Sometimes I cry because the words will not come out.
Other times, I'm relieved they don't.
Most of the time, I'm upset.

I should have just said it.
It likely would have changed nothing.
But at least you would have known.

Maybe you already do.

{I hope you do. It's ok if you didn't love me back.}