We know a friend who makes about $150,000 a year which is a SOLID INCOME. Before he was married, he had lots of savings and worked really hard to get there, living frugally.
He got married and bought a house, two kids later, his in-laws and his own parents moved into the house to help take care of the kids (they’re all retired).
Everything was going great and his wife made the most amazing lunches we salivated over when we all ate together, I almost wanted to ask if she would make me one too. Haha.
Fast forward 5 years and we happened to meet at the market, and started to catch up.
He confided after about a half hour of casual chatting (we are good friends) that he was about to drop $15,000 on a vacation for the entire family but was heavily in credit card debt (not sure what the number is).
Also, he revealed that his wife after going through and expensive education which he funded, has still yet to find a job (refuses to?) so he is the sole breadwinner. She also stopped cooking, and they have someone to clean the home now because she doesn’t want to do that either. This is without a question, a case of someone taking complete advantage of someone else; there are no health problems or any critical issues that would factor in whatsoever.
As it stands, he is fully supporting 5 adults and 2 kids on his income and her extended family back home.
We sat there, sort of stunned. We didn’t say anything naturally, as we don’t dispense unwanted advice to those who haven’t asked for it, but there is a saying in France that sums this up perfectly:
Trop bon, trop con
(Roughly translated: Too good, too idiotic, meaning that you’re so nice that people take advantage of you.)
He is really a good guy. A rarity, as he is so generous and works really hard as well.
He makes a shed load of money, but after taxes it is $80,000 or approximately $6667 after taxes, which normally would be enough but only if you don’t save anything significant and everyone sticks to a normal budget for eating and so on.
We’re not sure if he even has his place paid off (it isn’t super expensive), but what struck us was the extravagant spending, coaxed on by his wife to ‘treat’ her family to a vacation when they can’t afford it.
All I could say was: He needs to grow a backbone.
It is hard to see the forest for the trees when you’re in it (you don’t realize you’re lost), but the main red flag for me was the lack of savings, the heavy credit card debt, and the overspending to help family members when you frankly can’t afford it.
I already know what I’d do if I were in that situation and made aware of it, and it would be to start cooking again (they eat out for all three meals a day for the entire family), firing the housecleaner, and going on vacation and having mini luxuries (you have to live after all) but not at the expense of $15,000.
His entire family would get off scot-free because he is the only one who is in debt (in name), and making the money. What would happen if something happened to him? No idea, but I’m scared for him.
I surely spend a lot of money. A TON of money each year, and I don’t need to, but I have savings, I am not going into debt for it, and I have a solid 30+ years ahead of me to make more money, which is a good thing because I enjoy my career and seem to have found a good groove in working then taking time off as a freelancer.
His situation scares me.
I hope things work out for him but I am not so optimistic as I once was.