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So what do you recommend doing to NOT be poor? - Page 5

post #81 of 120
Choli - good question. When we got our degrees 25-30 years ago, we were able to get very good paying jobs. I think that's part of my point about college. Even if you get a degree in what's lucrative now, college isn't a guarantee of a future. And some careers require more of a person than is good for a family. Those children are only young a short time, and working hard to pay for a house but never see your kids is what we boomers regretted about our parents' values.

It's tough being old in a world that wants to hire young people. My dad ran into that when he was 55. He developed cancer which he beat in less than a year, but since he'd left his job, he could never get back in the door - too old.
post #82 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa
Not me. I worked my ass off during the summer and during school months, and I barely had enough to live, let alone to pay for school.


Yeah that was me too I worked every summer, had a academic scholarship to a state university adn am STILL paying off loans.(Unfortunately there were several scholarships given and funds cut to smaller amounts per student so that they could give more scholarships out. And also unfortunately I did was not of a minority status that recieved a weath of those scholarships. So my originally promised $6,000 a year (which would have almost covered tuition) was reduced to $500 a year in my second year. I had already put a year in and decided to finish. So that left a lot of debt. Also workign 3 jobs plus going to school full time (didn't have kids yet) and barely could afford rent adn car payment and insurance. Although it was still sheaper than staying on campus and paying an additional $10,000 a year for housing. When rent was only $400 a month.
Also everyone seems to think that public transportation is readily available for everyone everywhere. Well it;s not. We live 50 miles or so from a large city with public transportation. A small city near us has 1 bus route for people at 7 am and it transports once per day to 2 other neighboring towns. for 8 am and back at 4 pm. So if you need to go out for somethign it has to be an all day event and the cost you spend to go and taking all the kids wiht you woudl be more than the cost of gas to run somewhere 5 miles away to get milk or whatever.

Not trying to be pessimistic but the reality that a lot of people who live in or near cities seem to think exists really doesn't for a lot of people.
I do liek teh debt card idea rather than teh credit card idea Makes you a little more concious of what you spend.
post #83 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbithorns
Choli - good question. When we got our degrees 25-30 years ago, we were able to get very good paying jobs. I think that's part of my point about college. Even if you get a degree in what's lucrative now, college isn't a guarantee of a future. And some careers require more of a person than is good for a family. Those children are only young a short time, and working hard to pay for a house but never see your kids is what we boomers regretted about our parents' values.

It's tough being old in a world that wants to hire young people. My dad ran into that when he was 55. He developed cancer which he beat in less than a year, but since he'd left his job, he could never get back in the door - too old.
Well, I'm in my 40s myself (despite being still working on that undergrad degree ), and I constantly keep adapting and adding skills to keep myself employable. Have you thought about researching which skills you could learn to make the knowledge that you already have more marketable? The education you already have is not wasted, you just need to be able to make it have value in the current employment market.
post #84 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli
Hmm, I'm not sure about that. Housing prices are pretty extreme where I live, but if I were to relocate to say, Arkansas where prices would be about 1/3, would I be able to get a job in my line of work? If I did, would it pay anything like it pays here?

Part of the reason that housing is expensive is the availability of well paid work.
I don't agree with this. Yeah, if you are talking moving to Podunk farmland somewhere, but $500,000 houses are not a requirement to have a good paying job. I live in a very large Midwestern city. I'm less than 20 minutes from downtown, and we live in a nice 2000 sq ft 3 bedroom on 1 acre. It wasn't a fixer upper, it was 20 years old and in good shape. We paid $140,000 two years ago, which is about average for a mid level house with a bit of land.

There are plenty of jobs here-we have two of the Big 4 accounting firms, several extremely large banks, a big state university, a large branch of IBM--it's your typical large city. I make about 10-15% less than I would in Washington DC (I looked into moving at one point) and my house cost less than a third of what I would pay there for a home 2 hours out of the city. I make a bit less, but figuring in cost of living I make a *heck* of a lot more than what I would make in a high cost of living city.

I'm honestly with the education thing. If you want to make more money, get a *useful, marketable* technical or bachelors degree. Not art, or business or psychology or history or poli sci or English. If you are getting a degree for the love of the degree, those are great choices! If you are wanting to make more money, go for nursing, accounting, engineering, electrician, plumber, machinist. With an apprenticeship program, you take a few classes and then get paid around $9-11 an hour for a year or two, and then you make really good money. I think a lot of people think "degree=good job" and then when they are working at Mc Donald's with their history degree, they gripe that a degree is worthless. Degrees aren't worthless. Some degrees aren't marketable though
post #85 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by swimswamswum
Poverty isn't an individual choice even though some individuals can get out of it- if a really smart person has a whole lot of misfurtune without much support, it really doesn't matter how smart they are. . . Sometimes individuals can escape poverty, but they are the exception, not the rule.
Maybe we need to agree on what we mean by "can". I do think that it is possible for people to make the choices that will lead them out of poverty. Some people consciously choose otherwise, because they value other things more than they value escaping poverty. Some people don't know that these choices exist, because of bad luck or lack of understanding of the implications of the choices they do make. Many people stop trying, because it just gets too hard to try. I'm not blaming them for remaining in poverty, but I do believe that they can escape.

And as far as this board is concerned, I do think that anyone who has regular access to the internet and is literate (as are all of the posters here) and isn't struggling with a serious health issue can escape poverty and have the resources available to do so. Of course, people often choose otherwise, again, because they value other things more right now.

dar
post #86 of 120
Great question. I recommend always living off of one income even if both partners are working. We have always done this and thus it was easier for me to become a SAHM. I see too many friends that buy a house based on 2 incomes and then have kidsa nd that can't stay at home because then they would not be able to pay the mortgage. We never factored in the second income when making financial decisions - it went into savings and now we have a (6 month rainy day fund) to live off of if Dh ever gets laid off.

Also, never buy things on credit or pay off your cards every month. If you can't afforf it then don't buy it kind of thing.

Also, have a house paid for by the time you retire. If you don't then retirment will not be enjoyable and you might have to work. Both of our parents are in this situation.

Track your spending through Quicken or some other software. We track almost every dime and can tell you where our money goes. We also try to stick to a budget every month.

That is all I can think of.
post #87 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by boingo82
Actually I think a lot of times, college is a ticket to more poverty. You incur massive amounts of debt, often for a degree that gets you nowhere.
I prefer self-teaching for technical trades, college for things it's necessary for. (Like being a doctor..obviously..) but for computer related trades, you're often spending megabucks to learn old technology.
: I was reading an article that broke down using money for college or using it for buying a house without a mortgage. I don't remember the exact numbers anymore, but you save more money by buying a house mortgage free rather than using that money for college and a slightly higher paying job. If you have a mortgage free house, you no longer need that higher paying job to pay the bills. Think about it, how much easier would life be if all of your housing needs are already paid off? My dh and I are getting out of a vicious cycle of not having enough money to buy a house mortgage free because we put all of it to our current mortgage by building our own house. I kick myself for all the money I wasted by going to college (even more so that I'm a sahm now). If I used my college fund for a house instead of college we would have been in a much better place now.
post #88 of 120
WOW! I totally disagree about college not being worth it. I value education so much and my degree has opened up so many doors for me both financially and to make me a better person. Plus, without a college education your earning potential is so much less.

My Dh struggled for years to get a college education (10 years to be exact - working his way through with no loans). After he graduated he went from making $28,000 to double that overnight because he could get a better paying job. It was so worth it for us! Now he has Master's Degree and makes even more.

I have a Master's and I am a SAHM and I don't regret my education for one minute! It was worth every dime!
post #89 of 120
I still think that college is a waste of money in general, but espically for my career choice. I went to a private college for 12,000 per 3 months to get a certificate in training horses. Before I went I already had 10 years of experience doing that same thing and I had even worked at that job. I also did web design which I taught myself. Both my dh and I have taught ourselves everything we need to survive. Sure if i wanted to be a dr i need college, but for most jobs, you can teach yourself.
post #90 of 120
I don't think college is always a waste of money - just that it's not the be-all end-all means of learning, and it's certainly one of the more expensive means.
It's not necessarily a huge waste of $$$, but it is also NOT a guarantee to financial freedom and can definitely put you more in the hole than you would've been without it.
post #91 of 120
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post #92 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleOven
If you are coming from one of THE most expensive areas in the country to live (N. NJ/NYC, DC/N.VA/parts of CA,etc), the huge difference in housing prices will make up for the salary reduction.

I'm not saying it will enable somebody to live like a king, but in terms of the op's question, it can ease a family's financial burden.
Maybe, but maybe not. If you are living in a high housing cost area, and are an IT manager, and you move to a low cost housing area and work for Walmart at their entry level wage, you are not going to be better off. Otherwise, we would all be out of here Having said that, nearly everyone who had left the company I work for over the past 2 years has left the state - moved to Atlanta, or Heuston or other parts...so I guess it was worth it to them...
post #93 of 120
What is poor? We made the move to northeastern Vermont last fall and are living off of a very modest amount... less than $25,000/year yet we are renting a single family home, have plenty and most importantly have each other and time. We hope to buy our homestead and when that happens our housing expenses should actually be reduced.

Warm wishes,
Tonya
post #94 of 120
I think one's financial goals must depend on what your life goals are. To be honest, I think this is about the scariest thing I've ever heard:

"Also, have a house paid for by the time you retire. If you don't then retirment will not be enjoyable and you might have to work."

And I mean absolutely no offense here because it might be someone else's dream - it's just that I never had dreams that included that. I just can't imagine trading my lifetime for a thing. I mean, maybe there's something wrong with me, but the very idea of a mortgage makes me feel sick and trapped.
post #95 of 120
So what is the alternative to a mortgage rabbithorns? I don't want to spend my life paying rent (in essense paying for someone else's mortgage). Few people can buy a house outright - especially in the very expensive city I live in. Plus, buying our house has been an investment. We could sell it tomorrow if Dh got laid off and make a lot of money.

I think it is important to have a house paid for when you retire because my mom makes $1100 a month in retirement but has a $700 a month house payment. That does not leave much to live off of. But she has little choice since rent would be higher than her house payment and she can't work anymore due to having had cancer and the complications of it (she only has one usable arm now).

But I do agree that life goals and financial goals are tied together. My sister values travel and I do not. I would rather spend my money on other things but it is all a matter of what means more to you. I am a homebody and so I don't look at it as being tied to a mortgage - I love my home. And I will pay it off oneday! it is actually the only type of debt my Dh and I allow ourselves to carry.
post #96 of 120
We pay LESS in the apartment than we did on the maufactured house we bought for $4K down on $40K, and we don't have to pay to fix things here, have a pool and hot tub, landscaping, security, private courtyard - when our AC went out, guess what it cost to fix: $0. But when our AC broke at our home, it cost: $1450. Why? Because though it had one month left on the warranty, we weren't the original owners.

What's the alternative to a mortgage? FREEDOM. We can go where we want, live where we want. If the neighborhood turns to poop, we can go to another one.

My parents live in a great house on 2 wooded acres on the prairie. Two years ago it was assessed at $400,000. They paid 1/4 of that to buy it 30 years ago. But oops, I forgot, the neighboring suburban sprawl just annexed it. The traffic is so backed up on their country road, they had to get a PO box because the postman can't even stop there, the mailbox has been run over 3 times in 2 weeks anyway, and my younger brother has to leave the driveway to the right and drive 4 miles out of his way to get to work because he can't even turn left out of the driveway without getting hit.

They loved their home, too. But they tried to sell it but no one wants it because of the road situation. And it isn't zoned commercial yet so they can't sell it to a developer. They worked all their lives to make this home a place to be for the rest of their lives. Now they are miserable.

Consider that a mortgage is paying for something you think you'll have. But it's something that doesn't exist now and you can never know how it will really pan out.

I'd rather work less, pay less, and see what I'm getting when I do pay for something. As long as I can't see the future, I won't bank on it.
post #97 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbithorns
..
What's the alternative to a mortgage? FREEDOM. We can go where we want, live where we want. If the neighborhood turns to poop, we can go to another one.
...
Consider that a mortgage is paying for something you think you'll have. But it's something that doesn't exist now and you can never know how it will really pan out.

I'd rather work less, pay less, and see what I'm getting when I do pay for something. As long as I can't see the future, I won't bank on it.
I see it opposite from you. Our mortgage is cheaper than rent. And Mortgage = money you might see again, whereas rent = money you will never, ever in a million years recover.
post #98 of 120
I agree with Boingo. Our morgage is WAY cheaper than rent for the same size house or apartment. We consider it a savings account of sorts, especially because it is likely that we will have to relocate to a much more expensive part of the country once we finish school and this will let us buy a (similar size but more expensive) house there.
post #99 of 120
Our mortgage was half what our rent was, but with all the other costs of owning a home, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc. living in a house cost $400 more per month. Are you adding in all those other costs?

And as for mortgage being money I'll see again, I just showed how it isn't necessarily so. People lose their houses all the time because of weather damage, fire, loss of employment. It may work out very well for some and I say - go for it. If you WANT a home to take care of, then that SHOULD be your passion and the very way you show love to your family.

But for me it's a waste of my time. I want to be a leaf on the wind. And that's one way not to be poor.
post #100 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbithorns
Our mortgage was half what our rent was, but with all the other costs of owning a home, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc. living in a house cost $400 more per month. Are you adding in all those other costs?
Taxes = $35/month. Insurance = $30/month. Both are in escrow- that is, they are IN my mortgage payment, so yeah, I'm including them. Maintenance - nothing broken so far, but we're saving up in case.

Quote:
And as for mortgage being money I'll see again, I just showed how it isn't necessarily so.
Don't misquote me. I said money you MIGHT see again, vs rent which is money you will never see again.

Quote:
People lose their houses all the time because of weather damage, fire, loss of employment.
All of those things would result in you "losing" your rental/lease too, with nothing to show for it. With a mortgage, you could file insurance in the first scenarios, and sell before the foreclosure in the 2nd. (Usually foreclosures take at least 6 months to go through.)

Anyhow, if we want to play worst-case scenario, I could come up with plenty for rentals too....

Quote:
It may work out very well for some and I say - go for it. If you WANT a home to take care of, then that SHOULD be your passion and the very way you show love to your family.

But for me it's a waste of my time. I want to be a leaf on the wind. And that's one way not to be poor.
Nothing wrong with valuing the freedom to pick up and leave at any time above the possibility of recovering your housing money spent someday. But don't categorize mortgages as a colossal waste of money - it's not true.
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