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The Money Diaries: The 29-year-old workaholic who’s counting down the days until he goes into debt

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Today is another post in the Money Diaries series, which is based off New York Magazine’s Sex Diaries. We’ve collected stories from real people about their spending habits over seven days, anonymized them, and posted them here.


This week’s post is by a 29-year-old graphic designer exhausted from trying to hold down his full-time job, grow his part-time freelance work, pursue his artistic goals and help raise a three-year-old. He’s debt-free but saving nothing, and his stress about money is through the roof. What’s the first change this guy should make?

* * *

Day 1

12:45 a.m.:  Good morning! It’s past midnight. That must mean I’m wrapping up another long night of freelance work. Three hours x $70 an hour = $210. Minus about 25% for taxes, so that’s about $157 net. My wife’s been bugging me to review the weekly budget she emailed me several days ago, but I’m still too afraid to look at it. And tired. I can’t stand to recalculate how many weeks or months until we’re in debt. I’m honestly not sure how we still have cash in the bank. She took a couple years off to raise our son and now she’s having a tough time finding work again. I’m trying not to be bitter that I’m burning the midnight oil doing freelance on top of my day job while she goes to bed early because she’s too tired to put in a little time each night looking for work or doing freelance. What am I supposed to do? Part of me says I need to crack down, cut up the credit cards, watch each penny like a hawk. That won’t work, of course. Part of me says fuck it. I buy a song on iTunes that I’ve been playing on Grooveshark nonstop. There goes another buck. Time for bed.
7:00 a.m.:  My son is up. Which means I’m up. My wife is slow to get up in the morning. I gotta start the kid’s breakfast and feed the dog and pack my lunch and shower and get ready for work. I know I should pack a big, tasty lunch the night before. But I’m tired and have to get to work. So I throw in a can of sardines (which I do like) and some carrots and a soda in my lunch bag. I make eggs for my family, but I have to put mine in Tupperware and eat it at the office. I’m running late.
10:30 a.m.:  Morning break. I walk to 7-11 with my cube mate. The maple frosted, cream-filled long johns are calling my name, but I resist. Save myself $1.35.
1:30 p.m.:  Who am I kidding? One can of sardines isn’t going to make me feel better. Plus, I need to get out of the office for lunch or I’ll go crazy. My office is full of idiots. And at $20/hour, I’m underpaid. It’s depressing when I think about it. Off to McDonalds. $4 and change for a McDouble, two small fries and a large Coke (to keep me awake through the afternoon). I know it’s bad for me, but it’s cheap and easy and delicious and the only restaurant close to my office.
9:15 p.m.: My wife went to yoga this evening, so I watched the kiddo. Finally ate my sardines. Had a beer to relax. Now it’s time for freelance. I make another $100.

Day 2

10:30 a.m.:  So much for resisting that long john. I just wish I could get back to the office before it’s all gone. $1.35.
3:30 p.m.:  Thank god for my smartphone. I can keep an eye on my freelance email while I’m at the office. One client drops a couple rush projects in my lap. Altogether, probably $500 worth of work. That’s great, I need the money. But I don’t know if I have the time. Oops. Time for another boring meeting.
10:00 p.m.:  I’ve started outsourcing some of my freelance to a friend of mine. He’s good, but still learning, so it still takes a chunk of my time to explain, review and polish his work. I give him half of the work and pay him $150 (which he’s glad to get). And I do the rest myself. I wanted to start working earlier this evening, but it’s hard to put my son to bed and go straight to work. I need some time for myself. Which isn’t spent painting – what I really want to do. Mostly it’s spent on Facebook and Twitter. Ugh.

Day 3

11:30 a.m.:  My insurance agent calls with estimates for private health insurance. I want to go full-time freelance, but with my wife out of work and no savings, I don’t think we can afford the transition. Right now I’m spending $8,000 a year to insure all of us through my work. And the coverage isn’t that great. Seems like highway robbery to me. Private insurance should be cheaper.
12:00 p.m.: I use my lunch break to take a nap in my car. Kind of helps.
5:00 p.m.:  I get home to find my wife bought a new welcome mat. This is supposed to help our feng shui and improve our financial situation. All I know for sure is that we’re out another $45. What would really help? Her getting a job.
9:30 p.m.:  More freelance. Mostly admin and paperwork. Necessary but not billable time. I manage to squeeze in an hour to update my blog for my painting website. I haven’t sold anything yet. I just started six months ago. It’s hard to find time to market my paintings – or paint – on top of all my work. I feel like everything is backwards.

Day 4

9:30 a.m.:  I use my break at work to visit my son during his gymnastics lesson (down the street). He usually has a good time, and I love that he has these enrichment activities, but $15 for 45 minutes seems pretty steep. I mean, it’s a group class and it’s not like he’s getting one-on-one instruction from an Olympic gymnast. He does love the trampoline, though.
11:30 a.m.:  I was supposed to have a meeting with my boss about a big promotion I’ve been pushing for for six months, but he’s still dragging his feet and putting up excuses for why the timing isn’t right and what about this and that even though he still says I’m good for the job. I’ve been counting on the raise for months to help cover our expenses (we’re about $1,300 in the red each month), but still nothing. Now he’s suggesting the raise that goes with it might not be as big as I may have thought. Why do I bother?
2:00 p.m.:  Back to McDonalds. Another $4 and change for more junk food. This time I actually brought a lunch, but I needed the comfort food. (God, is McDonald’s really comfort food?) I’m embarrassed about eating McDonalds again so I put the charge on my business credit card (for my painting), which my wife doesn’t have access to.
10:30 p.m.: It’s Friday night. Do you know where your graphic designer is? He’s still working. The freelance never ends and never is enough. Another $105.

Day 5

8:45 a.m.:  Saturday morning. I don’t have to rush off to the office, so I can enjoy a nice breakfast with my family. Then it’s off to do more freelance work. I have a full day of work. My wife collects the week’s receipts so she can update the budget. We track every expenditure. There’s some 75 different categories of expenses. The ship might be sinking, but we’ll know exactly where the holes are. (Everywhere!)
12:00 p.m.:  Lunch. I’ve made $140 so far and spent another hour looking at someone else’s painting blog and daydreaming I had more time to paint. When was the last time I actually painted? Now I’m behind at work.
12:30 p.m.: My wife tells me one of my freelance checks arrived ($1,200) and my direct deposit check from work cleared ($1,200 – biweekly). Then she tells me she paid the mortgage ($1,100), HOA ($200), car insurance ($95), nanny ($400 for a few afternoons a week while my wife looks for work) and gym membership ($127). She also says we’re going to be overbudget (again) for groceries. We’re halfway through the month and we’ve already spent $600 on food. If past months are any guide, we’ll definitely spend another $600 on groceries (that doesn’t count eating out) before the month’s over. The budget is always depressing.
1:00 p.m.:  I break down and look at the spreadsheet my wife sent over. We’ve budget $30 each month for personal expenses. I’ve averaged $24 so far this year. She averages $70. Last month she spent $204 in this category. As far as I can tell, this is mostly her eating out regularly because she’s depressed about being stuck at home all the time.
4:00 p.m.:  My wife is asking when I’ll be done with work. I’m pissed off. How am I supposed to pay for all of this shit when she’s constantly asking me to stop working early or to take a long lunch break or skip an evening? I’ve made another $170 (so $310 for the day), but I’ll need to finish tonight after everyone goes to bed.

Day 6

10:00 a.m.:  Sunday is my wife’s day off. I spend the day with my son and she goes to yoga then can do what she wants in the afternoon. I wish I had a day off.
3:30 p.m.:  I take my son to the gym. For $3.50, he can play in the gym nursery – a great deal! – and I can work out for an hour. Afterwards, I take him swimming at the gym pool. Lots of fun.
4:45 p.m.:  We stop by Sam’s Club on the way home to pick up a few items. They don’t have much organic food (we shop at Whole Foods almost exclusively…when we’re not eating at McDonald’s, I guess). Another $44 at Sam’s. I also stop at the liquor store for a $22 handle of Jim Beam. Helps the medicine go down.

Day 7

7:00 a.m.:  It’s Monday and I’m somewhat rested. I decided against doing freelance last night and just went to bed. I’ll pay for that tonight, but for now I’m rested. Time to start the work week over again.
8:45 p.m.:  My wife tells me we should be contributing to our IRAs. I tell her I don’t know how that’s possible since we’re losing money every month. She says it’ll work out and that I’m supposed to get another freelance check this week. So we have cash in the bank. What about keeping some set aside for freelance taxes? I can’t talk about it. I have work to do. Two hours I have to get done before tomorrow. That’s $140.

In Sum

Freelance income: $1,215
Day job income: $600
Expenditures (bills/family): About $2300 (but that includes some monthly expenses)
Expenditures (personal): About $35

Endless work. With all my freelance, I’ve almost doubled my income over the past year, but I’ve also increased my hours 50%. Thinking about money still gets me upset, and I don’t know how to deal with it with my wife. I’ve been just hoping that she’d get a job and things would get better with the thought that it’s easier to make more than save more. But I’m not sure how long we can keep going before we’re screwed.

* * *

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126 Comments on "The Money Diaries: The 29-year-old workaholic who’s counting down the days until he goes into debt"

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Brian
Brian
4 years 10 months ago

Man, this guy can’t seem to catch a break. Working non-stop and still getting behind. I’d like to donate $25 towards the cost of Earn 1K for this guy, and then see an update a year later. That would be a really interesting study. Who else is with me?

Julius
Julius
4 years 10 months ago

Ditto Brian! This guy works his self to the bone. I’d be up for donating $25 to the cause of affording Earn 1K for this chap…

Ted
4 years 10 months ago

Counseling.

Julius
Julius
4 years 10 months ago

I would talk 1-on-1 first about the financial situation before counseling. You never know, the 1-on-1 talk could turn out really well. That way you’re not having to pay for the professional counseling they probably can’t afford…

MJ
MJ
4 years 10 months ago

I’m the software developer version of this guy: bigger income, but bigger debts, too. I can relate to his situation, down to the significant other trying to get a job and spending money on the sly.

I want to know what happens to this guy. Hopefully there will be an update? Otherwise, best of luck to you, brother–you have my empathy and I’m rooting for you.

Mike
Mike
4 years 10 months ago

Sounds like he and his wife are not on the same page financially. Key phrase “she took a couple of years off” — probably always a bad financial decision for a family. How could you not have seen the red ink before that decision was made. Tell her to get a job in fast food or Starbucks. She should swallow any pride she has and take anything she can get.

Jenn Mc
Jenn Mc
4 years 10 months ago

As a mom I agree. If I were to stay at home & then couldn’t find a job when I decided to go back to work, I would take almost anything until I could find the right one. She spends so much….I agree with poster above on counseling.

liss
liss
4 years 10 months ago

“Tell her to get a job in fast food or Starbucks.” Isn’t necessarily a viable solution. They will need some sort of daycare solution for their child. It’s unlikely that a minimum wage job would cover daycare expenses. Thus they would actually be more in the hole.

John
John
4 years 10 months ago

Exactly, I have never understood why people do not take the low paying jobs while they look for work in their field. The only reason I can think of in this example is maybe she is watching the son at home during the day and paying for a nanny with a low paying job does not make sense.

Greg
4 years 10 months ago
Looks like this guy is able to find some decent freelance work if he has to outsource some of it to others. Here are a few of my ideas: 1. If the new promotion doesn’t carry any hope of a raise, perhaps it could work with flex hours or maybe one Friday off a month. He could then focus more hours on more profitable (over 8x his hourly pay) freelance work. (~8 hrs @$70/hr- $560). 2. $600 for two weeks of the free-range, fair trade, organic, non processed, crunchy food from Whole Foods? They already have a membership to Sams… Read more »
Greg
4 years 10 months ago

Err..actually the freelance only pays 3x his base hourly wage, don’t know where that 8x figure came from. Haven’t had enough coffee yet…

Kristal
Kristal
4 years 10 months ago
First thing he should do is have a loooong chat with his wife. She seems to be getting her relaxation in while he works himself to death. This is very unequitable and unfair. How about they stop shelling out $400 for a NANNY (seriously!?!?) and she looks for a job on Sunday instead of “taking a day off”. She gets a day off when her husband gets a day off. They should be in this thing together, if he doesn’t talk to her about this he’s going to end up resenting his wife + money problems = divorce. Instead of… Read more »
K00kyKelly
4 years 10 months ago

I 100% agree about swapping babysitting hours with other families.

I’m not sure I agree with his wife skipping her days off…. it might be the only thing keeping her sane. That said, he should find a way to get some time to himself as well.

His wife seems depressed yet they don’t seem to be addressing the issues that are causing it. There may be ways to aleviate her depression without spending more money. As many other commentors have noted… the resentment is building up. Resentment = doom, relationship wise.

Charlie
4 years 10 months ago
I feel for him. I think most of us who work a lot and try to manage families who may not see everything the same way can relate. based on this diary, I definitely see a few areas for a very fast improvement, coming from the outside. 1) Cut the nanny and 120/month gym. My gym is $10/month. That’s 500/month savings right there. Have the Mrs. search for work at other times, when you can watch the kid. Maybe that means asking the boss for work at home some days privileges, which it sounds like you have earned. 2) Cut… Read more »
Amy
Amy
4 years 10 months ago

It’s sorta hard to suss this one out, partially because I think it’s pretty clear that we’re getting only one side of the story.

Regardless, however, it is VERY clear that there’s some resentment building up on the part of the author here against his wife. Whether her expenditures are necessary or not, whether her attempts to find a job are enough or not, they need to have a serious sit-down to discuss their respective perspectives on the situation and figure out how to find a happy medium where neither of them feels resentful of the other.

Shannon
Shannon
4 years 10 months ago
How the hell are they spending $600 on food? They need to start cooking at home, with groceries not bought at Whole Paycheck, because it literally is that. I would say he needs to raise his freelance rates some, which would help bring more money in, and then have a serious discussion with his boss. Boss needs to know that if he’s serious about keeping him at the agency, he needs to become competitive with the freelancing rate. I’m also seeing a lot of avoidance, he and his wife need to have a serious talk about money, and expectations. They… Read more »
Jess H.
Jess H.
4 years 10 months ago
God, this was painful to read. Money, stress, relationship problems – each piece makes the others worse. I think it’s clear that this guy is underpaid at work. If he’s able to charge $70/hr for freelance work and get repeat clients, it’s ridiculous how little he’s making in his day job. Now that $20/hr figure doesn’t include taxes or benefits, so the disparity is less than it seems. But still, it’s a big difference! Under other circumstances I might suggest he try to make the freelance transition. He’s making so little at his day job that with 40 hours a… Read more »
Sarah
Sarah
4 years 10 months ago
So much going on here – but it looks like there’s a real lack of communication between him and his wife. And the resentment is just building up (probably on both sides). Looks to me like they need a lifestyle downgrade. Perhaps they can’t afford that $1100 mortgage. And what’s with $1200.00 per month on Food? For 2 adults and one child? Why Whole Foods? All those conflicting choices make no sense to me. He has to be honest with himself that he’s making these odd upscale choices. It’s him and his wife who spend $400 on a Nanny. And… Read more »
Stephen
Stephen
4 years 10 months ago

He should:

Raise his rates on freelancing immediately.
Allocate more hours to his buddy.
Renegotiate his salary. It may help him to do this by getting other full time job offers on the table that his boss can match or lose him.

He’s almost home, so much of the really tough stuff he’s already done.

Brian
Brian
4 years 10 months ago

Good thoughts. But remember, with behavior change, any time you say “should,” you’ve already lost.

Nick Fox
4 years 10 months ago

Everyone really should have seen Brian’s comment coming by now.

…see what I did there?

Paul
4 years 10 months ago
My sympathies to this guy. I let my ex-wife become a SAHM and it was a financial disaster. Not only lost her income (Which would have been OK) but she seemed to have to spend an extra $1000-$2000 per month just to counteract her boredom. This young man needs to take some leadership and take charge of the finances. The wife is just giving him S#!t tests and he’s failing. 1 – I feed a family of 6 on $700/mo – I don’t shop at Whole Foods 2 – A SAHM does not need a nanny 3 – When you’re… Read more »
theluckykiwi
4 years 10 months ago

I completely agree. No one needs to spend $1200/mo on groceries alone!

theluckykiwi
4 years 10 months ago
@Ramit – I’m sure you can – daycare! That’s our largest expense at $800/month. I just came off of the Dave Ramsey debt snowball, am down to about $6k in debt to be paid off this year, and working to build a solid emergency fund and savings. I paid off $25k last year, by way of renting a basement apartment from my dad (so 90% of income could pay off debt). When I got married this year, we spent $175 on the marriage license and $90 on the ceremony (which we only did to get the license signed so our… Read more »
Claire
Claire
4 years 10 months ago

When I shopped at Whole Foods, I fed myself on $200/mo., bought whatever I wanted, and I eat a lot. People who spend X amount at Whole Foods will easily spend the same X amount at Safeway. The overall price differential of the brands is really not that much. I bet 80% of their food goes in the trash.

E
E
4 years 10 months ago

Better to get some counseling now than end up paying alimony and childsupport later. This guy seems afraid of confrontation (at home and work) and is avoiding the larger issue. Seems like this money diary is a step in the right direction. Good luck!

I really like the idea of him outsourcing some of his work to his wife–she can dust off her skill set, free up some time for him, they can spend more time together and start communicating more. Great idea @JessH!

Josh
Josh
4 years 10 months ago
Okay, there are few things going on here 1) The wife, taking time off to spend with the spudnik. Great idea, yes that could be a financial red flag, but in the long run the time spent with junior could be beneficial years on down the line when he isn’t sniffing coke off a strippers ass. But then again he may end up that road anyway. Too many people these days let others raise their children, so this is a good to see. 2) The wife not really (from his perspetive) spending fuitful hours searching for a “job”. Okay, what… Read more »
Marilyn
Marilyn
4 years 10 months ago
I feed my family of five on 360 a month. 1,200 for 3 people? It’s astonishing. I agree with the Sarah that he is making very strange upscale behaviors, like astonishingly expensive food, a rather expensive nanny, and somehow all that food doesn’t include going out to eat repeatedly. Instead of a nanny, get a cheap high school baby sitter. They’ll do the same work for much less, and if you need odd hours, find a homeschooled highschooler. Change the grocery and going out to eat budget to just cash. It’ll take a month or two to adjust, but then… Read more »
Chris
Chris
4 years 10 months ago

I think everyone so far has hit on the salient points: cut the luxury food, cut the luxury nanny, cut the lifestyle perks. Add them back in once you’ve added the income to support it.

I just find it hard to believe that someone who focuses so hard on personal finance doesn’t look at the Whole Foods budget and say, “Well there’s our problem right there.”

Dana
Dana
4 years 10 months ago
I don’t think it’s ever that simple. There are often reasons people make the choices they do regarding spending more in one category. In our household, we don’t buy all of our groceries at Whole Foods, but we will often go there to get things for my husband who is gluten-free (allergy, not just a preference) and a vegetarian to boot. Whole Foods, though expensive, has cheaper GF options than many of our local groceries. (GF foods are dreadfully expensive.) I’m not saying the guy shouldn’t spend at least part of his food dollar elsewhere – get your organic produce… Read more »
Paul
Paul
4 years 10 months ago

Whole Foods and McDonald’s don’t add up. There’s some lying to oneself going on here: the desire to eat healthy/socially responsible/whatever, but then the impulse to eat crappy low quality fast food.

Tra
Tra
4 years 10 months ago
I agree with the others. All this building resentment = impending divorce. Show the MRS this blog post and the comments as a way to start that conversation you have been avoiding. What field does the MRS work in? Maybe she can do freelance work from home too? If she is having all this difficulty landing a position, maybe this is a sign to switch careers entirely? Cut the nanny immediately. Instead have the MRS make money by watching other people’s children. She is already watching only 1 child. This should be a no-brainer. Instead of paying $400 wk for… Read more »
Lisa
Lisa
4 years 10 months ago
Although I also bristled at the thought of his wife hanging out at home being “bored” while he’s working night and day to support them, it might not necessarily be the best idea for her to find full-time work. I don’t know where they live, but in many cities daycare costs so much that it doesn’t make sense for one parent to go back to work. Now – she certainly shouldn’t have a nanny if she’s also not working in this situation. Perhaps the best solution is for her to also find part-time/freelance work that she can do around their… Read more »
Christina
4 years 10 months ago

“I work so hard, I deserve it.” Goes both ways.

Stephanie S
4 years 10 months ago
He doesn’t want to disappoint his family. He wants to believe that he can have a wife who is a SAHM, all of the luxuries in life (gym, $1200/mo grocery bill, Nannies, etc) The truth is, he can, there just need to be some changes…such as raising his freelance rates. He billed ~20 hours in this diary. If he charged $85/hr he would have brought in about $200 extra (~$800/month) that could cover half of his nanny expense. The man doesn’t want to do without! He doesn’t want to tell his wife and his child no and he’s frustrated because… Read more »
Stephanie S
4 years 10 months ago

He could also forget about the subcontractor he’s hiring and hire his wife instead…It’d probably be just as easy to train her.

Dana
Dana
4 years 10 months ago

Exactly. On this, and hiring his wife as a subcontractor.

Jessica Rudder
Jessica Rudder
4 years 10 months ago
It can suck to work as hard as this diary makes it sound like he’s working and have to cut back on every single luxury – which is why I wouldn’t recommend that he cut everything. He does need to figure out which things are important to him and cut the rest though. The biggest win seems to be in the Whole Foods budget. Does he shop there because he really prefers organic food? If so, he should slash the hell out of his dining out budget. If not, he should consider shopping at a cheaper grocery store. Additionally, $1200/month… Read more »
Cristina
Cristina
4 years 10 months ago
I really feel for his wife. I can totally understand how she might feel trapped at home and frustrated that she can’t find a new job. Here are a few suggestions for her: * Pack your husband’s lunch the night before. That way you can sleep in while he takes care of the baby and feeds the dog, but he still feels taken care of and won’t buy lunch. * Find another mom who you can trade a few hours of childcare with. Even if it’s just a few hours a week and you still have to pay a nanny… Read more »
sooz
sooz
4 years 10 months ago

man thank you for being the only person not blaming this on his wife.

Al
Al
4 years 10 months ago
It sounds as if the poster and his wife are taking all the expenses out of a single joint bank account…he might want to try separating that into 3 accounts: one for their joint expenses and one for each person’s singular expenses (i.e. gym, yoga, “personal expenses”). Doing their banking this way allows each of them to spend their personal allowance guilt-free, because they won’t need to worry about going their budget (you should only transfer your budgeted amount to your personal accounts, no more). It also has the benefit of creating a barrier for anyone going over their personal… Read more »
Cristina
Cristina
4 years 10 months ago
One more idea that would take longer to implement, but sounds good in theory–Could your wife find a job that doesn’t pay as much as she’s used to or justify the cost of child care on its own, but that would provide free/low-cost insurance? Say she made $15/hour plus free insurance, and you built up your freelance business to where you could bill 30 hours/week. You could quit your regular job and bill $2100/week, plus she would earn $600. You would be earning more than now, not paying so much for health insurance, and your childcare expenses would be minimized… Read more »
Ray
Ray
4 years 10 months ago
I’m surprised at how many commenters went straight to cutting spending. Yes, there are some seemingly obvious opportunities to cut expenses, but I’d say the number one thing he needs to do is get a new full time job. Some reasons why that’s my first choice: 1. Cutting spending is hard (as we all here should know) and many of these expenses aren’t entirely in his control. It’s hard enough to change your own habits, it is absolutely impossible (or very nearly so) for a husband to change his wife’s habits no matter how rational and good intentioned he may… Read more »
Ray
Ray
4 years 10 months ago

7. I would otherwise have suggested going freelance full time to increase income. If he’s already outsourcing some of those hours, he could probably make the jump, but there seem to be some barriers preventing him from doing so.

Ray
Ray
4 years 10 months ago
@Ramit – wrt to jumping at cost-cutting. I wonder if it starts with the fact that we humans are pretty terrible at empathizing with others. Rather than imagining what it’s like to be him and why he/they make the choices they do (hard/foreign mentally), we just take the basic facts and stick them in the context of our lives (easy/familiar). So, it becomes “if this were my income and my expenses… well, I never spend that much on food, and we get along fine without a nanny so that’s the easy and straightforward way to solve this (and I don’t… Read more »
Joseph Buchignani
4 years 10 months ago

His overspending is tied to willpower fatigue and bad diet and logistics imposed by work.

Her overspending is created by bad game and insufficient time with husband and need for specific personal development knowledge and demoralization.

Neither can be directly altered without addressing root causes.

Lisa
Lisa
4 years 10 months ago

@Ramit, yes, of course you’re right about cost cutting. I guess the reason why I went to that immediately is that none of his current expenditures really seem CONSCIOUS or INTENDED – he doesn’t indicate that he’s chosen to spend money on all the things he and his wife are spending on…so I guess if he had said “but we want to be able to afford a nanny, and/or buy all our food at Whole Foods” – he seems more an unwilling/unknowing participant in these outlays.

Kristal
Kristal
4 years 10 months ago
So what do you think will happen if he earns more money and does nothing to control costs? His costs will grow to match his income. Yes it’s easy to harp on cutting costs. But that is a FAST way to see results. That’s GUARANTEED money in the bank that you can see. You don’t have to wait on the next raise/freelance job, etc to see a rise in income. You are correct that he cannot change his wife’s habits. But he CAN talk with her about changing both their habits and together they can make a plan to actually… Read more »
theluckykiwi
4 years 10 months ago

@Ramit – Because psychologically, it’s much easier to stop doing something than to start doing something else.

Especially if “something else” is new and different. Bills are something we’re used to, and challenging yourself to do more is scary because it’s different. We are always afraid of change in some way, even if it’s good change. I was terrified the day we signed our mortgage, but it was the best change I’ve made yet!

Joseph Buchignani
4 years 10 months ago

“Because psychologically, it’s much easier to stop doing something than to start doing something else.”

That’s backwards

theluckykiwi
4 years 10 months ago

@Joseph – is it? How many times has Ramit talked about passive vs active change? Humans are innately lazy as well as afraid of change, therefore it is easier to do nothing than to do something.

Joseph Buchignani
4 years 10 months ago

I believe it’s generally easier to instill a new habit that overrides the old habit than to continuously exert willpower to prevent an old habit, yes.

Joseph Buchignani
4 years 10 months ago

You may be thinking of passive barriers e.g. “losing” the password to his photography blog.

theluckykiwi
4 years 10 months ago

@Joseph – I think you are the only one who thinks that. For most of us it is difficult to replace an old habit with a new one. It takes 30 days of continuously practicing something, in order for it to become a habit. Because most people will not practice consistently for 30 days, they will not succeed in creating the new habit.

theluckykiwi
4 years 10 months ago

@Joseph – not thinking of passive barriers. Thinking of passive action. As in, it is easier to continue doing what you are doing now (passive), rather than think of a new way to do it (active). Things like willpower fatigue come into play here and demotivate a lot of people at this point. Therefore most will continue to do what they are doing now, rather than attempt to change, because they lack the time/energy/motivation to do the necessary work to complete the change.

steve ward
4 years 10 months ago

Lol, was going to say the same thing, Cutting cost good but if your making $70 and hour. Raise that rate up too at lest $100 and hour, ask for referral’s and looking at the end result.

Expenditures (bills/family): About $2300 (but that includes some monthly expenses) that would be what 23 people a month? maybe a little to many people.

Joseph Buchignani
4 years 10 months ago

not doing something as in doing the same thing != stopping doing a habit

I’m not the only one: “For every single trigger, identify a positive habit you’re going to do instead. ”

http://zenhabits.net/the-habit-change-cheatsheet-29-ways-to-successfully-ingrain-a-behavior/

Claire
Claire
4 years 10 months ago

Perhaps the people who suggest cost cutting find it easy to cost cut. But getting people who don’t already cost cut to cost cut is a different story.

asrai
asrai
4 years 10 months ago
I see an eventual divorce in this guy’s life if his wife doesn’t clue into the fact that she cannot have the lifestyle she wants on the income they have. I suggest Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s books. The stress of carrying the whole load is going to drive this guy to leave her. She wants to buy organic foods (it’s her, because he hides his McDonalds from her). She has a nanny. She has yoga classes. She has alone time. She wants a lifestyle she sees on TV. He has his work and his child. Sit her down and tell her that… Read more »
poor guy
poor guy
4 years 10 months ago

True. She is one of the main causes of their financial situation. She is SAHM and they pay 400 for a nanny? 1200 in grocery store for 3 (2 adults 1 child?), how come she doesn’t cook or prepare his meal?

Thank god i won’t marry. Miss the good old times.

Arti K
Arti K
4 years 10 months ago

Like everyone else, I find the nanny expense odd too considering she is a stay-at-home mom. But, why is she looking for a job in this economy? Why doesn’t she start freelancing just like him, and all her daycare + days-off expenses can come out of that? Like Ramit says, there’s something she can do. Maybe teach yoga.

Becky
4 years 10 months ago

It seems that he’s making all the money, while the wife does the “budgeting”. He needs to suck it up and set some time to sit down with her and see what they can do. It seems like if she’s bored at home, she can take some of her time to help out with his freelancing.

liss
liss
4 years 10 months ago
It’s probably not fair to blame the wife when we only have his side of the story. He is working like mad, no doubt, that doesn’t necessarily mean that what she is doing is nothing. Such a swirling vortex of pain for both of them it looks like. Realistically, looking at the actual tone of the reports this guy is happy when he eats well, gets some sleep, and does something besides work – even his “non day off” with his son seems to be rejuvenating for him. Without adding a ton more “to do”s to their list it seems… Read more »
Brandi
Brandi
4 years 10 months ago
I am a SAHM and my husband is full-time freelance. Part of our “agreement” is that I do all of the administrative tasks. It took about two weeks to fully understand everything I needed to do but was a huge help for my husband. Another thing we do is take our “allowance” out in cash – so her yoga and meals out, etc. would have to come out of the allowance so if she runs out it is all gone. On a health insurance note: we are able to get insurance for both of us and our kids for about… Read more »
Joseph Buchignani
4 years 10 months ago
His two biggest problems are the following: 1. Unmanageable wife. Solution: Learn LTR Game. Read Athol Kay, Daniel Rose, RSD Blueprint and Flawless Natural, and Narciso Babaero. 2. Low paid time-sucking day job with no room for advancement. Solution: Quit and go freelance. You earn 3x more per hour and have more work than time right now. Secondary issues: Wife doesn’t know how to find work. Solution: Buy Earn1k for himself and wife. Bad diet leads to low energy and willpower failures for both of them. Solution: Start eating paleo and force wife to do the same. Cut expensive whole… Read more »
theluckykiwi
4 years 10 months ago
How exactly do you “force” someone to do something when they do not want to or do not know how to do it? Also, you don’t just quit something you’re passionate about. Everyone needs and deserves time for a hobby, something they enjoy doing *outside of* work. Where do you suggest they come up with $2000 to purchase Earn1k when they can’t keep their grocery budget in line? You don’t go into debt to buy anything. You get out of debt first, and then have discretionary spending later. Right now they need to stop spending more than they earn immediately,… Read more »
Joseph Buchignani
4 years 10 months ago

wife changes may not be possible without game, as mentioned.

the paleo change is easier cuz you can just throw out non paleo food, hence “force”. but it may still fail without game.

it needs to be read as a whole. quitting the painting was short term. and quitting refers to up time, he can still do it when he lacks energy for productive stuff.

some solutions obviously require getting out of the money hole first. not all can be acted on immediately. enough of them can though, including both main ones. ergo it solves.

Anne
Anne
4 years 10 months ago

Dude you are never going to keep a woman around with that attitude.

Relationships are a game of give and take.

Melissa
Melissa
4 years 10 months ago
Wow, I feel bad for this guy, but it seems like a lot of it is his own problem. Obvious issue – communication with his wife. Some husbands really wants wives to a SAHM mom, while others are very against it. Since we don’t have the back story on why his wife decided to become a SAHM, it’s hard. I can definitely see why resentment on both sides can build up. Him: I’m doing all the work and I don’t get any free time. Possible additional resentment if he didn’t want her to become a SAHM Her: “I gave up… Read more »
liss
liss
4 years 10 months ago
One more note: I don’t know their monthly expenses … that said. My husband and I have a (happy) situation that is similar to this guy. I don’t currently work (in school) and husband works a full-time job (he enjoys) which is salary + commission. He is also a freelancer, and he has a creative hobby he loves (acting). I manage our budget and other book-keeping needs. Our monthly expenses are based on his salary. Everything that can be is paid automatically. After months of tracking expenses I figured out that we could save an additional chunk from his salary… Read more »
Joseph Buchignani
4 years 10 months ago

By the way Ramit of the game gurus I mentioned Athol Kay is the least offensive and most mainstream acceptable, and also the most relevant to your oevre since he focuses entirely on LTR (Long Term Relationship) game. He has a book out called Married Man Game. I’m internet-acquainted with him and can introduce if you want. Obviously the strength of a marriage is of extreme relevance to personal finance, even more so than a live-in girlfriend.

JaneR
JaneR
4 years 10 months ago
I hate to say it, but it seems like he’s taken on a martyr role and is more comfortable in that position (as much as it sucks at times) than he is actually taking bold actions to improve the situation. Like others have suggested, he needs to talk honestly with his wife to get to the bottom of their problems–which seem to be more emotional than anything else. (Buying Whole Foods when you can’t afford it=a status symbol emotional crutch to maintain the lifestyle you’re accustomed to…etc.) I don’t buy into the idea that his wife is the root of… Read more »
Stef
Stef
4 years 10 months ago

Guy needs to invest a few bucks in marriage counseling before that bitter angry streak gets out of control. Oh wait, he just published 18 wife insults on the internet. So I guess he’s already there.

Russ Thornton
4 years 10 months ago
A couple of ideas: This dude needs to raise his freelancing rates immediately. I would suggest he double his rates. He can do half the work and make the same amount of money, or he can find better workload and pocket more. Perhaps more importantly, he needs to have a “values and priorities” discussion with his wife. Why is his wife “emailing him a budget?” They need to make the time to sit down and go through it together. Highly recommend they use Ramit’s system to automate their money and leave less up to “in the moment” decisions. If it’s… Read more »
shotgunner
shotgunner
4 years 10 months ago

Uhh… sell the condo.

Jason D
Jason D
4 years 10 months ago
The one major thing that jumped out at me–they have a nanny despite the wife not working yet. This isn’t explained fully, so I have made a few assumptions (the kid is at least two years old since the wife took 2 years off, the wife is actively looking for work but isn’t successful due to the current economic woes, etc.) The diarist (OK, not a word but I like it) mentions the nanny is so the wife has time to look for work. One thing I have noticed while my wife and I have raised our daughter (she’s 4.5… Read more »
theluckykiwi
4 years 10 months ago
@Jason – I can watch my 2.5 year old while I write my blog, cook in my kitchen and generally do anything else I need to do. Children do not need 100% attention all the time, like you said. I don’t understand why she needs a nanny, *except* for when she goes to an interview or meeting with a prospective employer or networking contact. I have written multiple resumes, cover letters and networked extensively while watching my son, it’s not difficult. I guess it depends on your ability to multitask, but I could (and do!) analyze results, consider new tactics… Read more »
Adam
Adam
4 years 10 months ago
@ramit – I think most of the posters jumped to cutting spending because of the overworked tone of the post. The poster is also taking advantage of freelancing to create on the side income. Finally, he’s also jockeying for a raise/promotion. Between all of these, it doesn’t seem like there is much more that he has time for. With that being said, I do agree with most of the posters here that it would be beneficial to spend time building some leverage in the promotion negotiation, whether that is other job offers or freelance work. In terms of the spending,… Read more »
Tyler F
Tyler F
4 years 10 months ago
This was hard to read. I really feel for this family. My 2c is that the rates seem out of whack. Job @ $20/hr vs consulting @ $70/hr? Makes me think I could charge twice what I am for consulting and have no problem with clients, as that’d bring it to the same ratio as this guy. But that would require leaving my comfort zone of existing clients and finding new ones at the new rate… (mental barriers impeding my own growth) With regard to Whole Foods…yeah, they’re crazy pricey. If it were that important to me, sure, I’d keep… Read more »
Laura in Cancun
4 years 10 months ago
I have to agree with the people focusing on cutting costs. If the author wants to go freelance full-time, they have several areas where they can cut HUGE amounts that would make the switch possible right now. If they reduce their grocery shopping by half and make do without a nanny, they’d be saving $1000 a month! If they’re very brave, they could even get a less expensive home. I’m not sure how much he makes freelancing per month, but I wouldn’t be surprised if just a few big cuts would allow him to cover household expenses on his current… Read more »
Krista
Krista
4 years 10 months ago

Ramit talked about barriers in his webcast last week, and this story brought up that idea to me, over and over again. This family seems to have all sorts of barriers in their budget and relationship. I hope they are able to access what is holding them back so they can make the needed changes.

-rob-
-rob-
4 years 10 months ago
It sounds like this guy has plenty of freelance work; even more than he can handle with his full time job. Since he seems to be getting nowhere with his boss on the pay raise side, perhaps he should negotiate for time. He could try and work from home a few days a week, if only to cut out the nanny expense. That’s assuming he couldn’t already make up the difference by focusing on the freelance side, which it sounds like he actually could. As far as the wife thing, silent resentment is dangerous. She doesn’t feel the same guilt… Read more »
Ben D
Ben D
4 years 10 months ago
The first thing he needs to do is stop feeling guilty about his spending.  1.35 long johns and 4.00 McDonald meals?  Where is that link to who cares about saving money on lattes? The second thing he needs to do is accept reality that they are spending money and actually look at the spreadsheet or whatever program they use to manage their finance. You have to know what you are spending your money on in order to know where to focus your energy. If you deny it or push it off then you are just only making things worse for… Read more »
Ryan
4 years 10 months ago

I think his issues are more marital related than financial related. Good luck, buddy.

Brendo
4 years 10 months ago

Beh….tactics galore here and everyone is saying the same thing.

This guy is really focussed on the negative – without a focus on where he actually wants to be he’s never going to get there. He needs to sit down and work out what he actually wants, where he wants his life and relationship to be, decide to go after it and then starting taking small little steps to get there.

Tactics are a means to an end – if you don’t actually know what the end goal is the tactics are worthless

Iris_Eben
Iris_Eben
4 years 10 months ago

Why is that whenever a Money Diaries post is published, the comments volume triples at IWTYB? Every other post averages about 20-40 comments including high quality case studies with clear action steps. Perhaps it’s easier to critique than it is to act…hmmm.

liss
liss
4 years 10 months ago

Easier to critique AND easier to get emotionally involved. There is a genuine belief that what you say might affect the actual person in this post.

Greg
Greg
4 years 10 months ago

I think we’re going to have to hear more about his wife’s level of attractiveness before we jump to any conclusions on whether or not it’s her fault for their financial problems.

Kate
Kate
4 years 10 months ago
At different times in my marriage, my husband and I have each dramatically out-earned the other. Sometimes we were in great financial shape, sometimes not so much. Here’s what NEVER works when you want to tell your spouse you have a problem with the current financial situation: 1. “We can’t spend X on Y.” Instantly makes the other person question why you have the right to say this, debate you, waste time not solving the problem. 2. “How can you spend X on Y?” Instantly shames the other person into thinking of themselves as someone with poor judgment, poor self-control,… Read more »
Marguerite/chicspace
Marguerite/chicspace
4 years 10 months ago
Ok, if we listen to Ramit: Mistakes: Making a budget Telling him what he should be doing (Well, Ramit did ask what he’s doing wrong) Telling them to cut down on expenses we think are important “Should do”: Decide which items are worth spending on to them. Which ones aren’t. Who among us knows which are important, but they must know. Increase income: Figure out how to get THE WIFE into Earn1K. Let her freelance/come up with a business. Keeps her happy, which then helps with her depression. Have her work with her husband for him to pick up salient… Read more »
Tim
Tim
4 years 10 months ago
Money is not your main problem. I’m not qualified to offer advice, but seek out some help to become more confident and assertive in your communication with your boss. But I would probably just get a new job though if you are afraid to freelance full time, your boss is stringing you along and may not change his interactions with a confident you, he likes the old passive you. I understand difficult topics can seem impossible to bring up with your spouse, but you’re being really passive aggressive with your wife. Killing yourself working isn’t the right way to send… Read more »
Stanley Lee
4 years 10 months ago
Here are my suggestions for this gentleman: 1) Get well-rested. He really needs it in order to think properly, draw out his cash-flow diagram properly (http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/automating-your-accounts-video/), address the family financial situation with his wife rationally (and also respond to her emotional reactions). 2) Talk with his wife about the financial situation face-to-face. Go through the cash-flow diagram with his wife together. At that point, both of them should be scared about the potential consequences shall they continue with this path. I call this getting out of denial. At the same time, realizing some of those mistakes are irreparable sunk costs… Read more »
jkaleidoscope
jkaleidoscope
4 years 10 months ago
A lot of people are saying he should cut spending and get a better paying job. What I’m seeing is two people whose lives are out of balance. He’s working all of the time, and resents his wife for not earning any income. Meanwhile, his wife is working full time to manage the entire household and raise their kid. I’m sure there is some resentment on her side that her husband has almost no free time for either of them. She must feel very lonely. Yes, she doesn’t have a job, but how can they afford daycare right now? How… Read more »
kate
kate
4 years 10 months ago
He makes 3Xs as much freelancing than he does at the ‘day’ job and says he is only there for the insurance. He met or setup a meeting to discuss private insurance. What was the outcome? This seems to be the only tether to his current draining situation. Insurance! Once he has insurance on his own he has freedom to do whatever they want to meet whatever goals they have. This gives him options: 1. Quit the full time job and freelance full time 2. Look for another job (making a lot more, he’s worth it, freelance work says so)… Read more »
Pam
Pam
4 years 10 months ago
It seems like the guy’s biggest issues are being the sole breadwinner and maintaining his freelance work. Perhaps instead of outsourcing extra work to a friend, is there anything his wife could do? Graphic design is a specialized skill, but maybe she can assist in the administrative and less-specialized tasks with his freelance work. That way, he would get to keep ALL of the income instead of paying someone else to do what he can’t handle, AND his wife will be helping to bring in money on some level. That might be an option while she is still looking for… Read more »
rachel T
4 years 10 months ago
1. Depression. Your wife is skipping out on a lot of her own duties because she is depressed. You’re picking up the slack and resenting her for it. Instead you need to support her and ask her to take on her own responsibilities. -she needs to find a playgroup for her son. Then she can dress up and visit with moms in her own situation. This will help her adjust and she won’t feel so in over her head -husband needs to give up on “this is all my woman’s fault because if she would just/if she had just..” and… Read more »
Rachel
Rachel
4 years 10 months ago
What a depressing post! The day to day of work, freelancing, job-hunting, and child rearing has them both stuck in a serious rut. I also think they both are having feelings of loosing themselves, he by not having time or energy to devote to his true passion (painting), and she by feeling a career demotion by taking time to care for their son. Since they are feeling like they are not where they want to be financially and it spills over into feeling like they are not where they want to be in their marriage. So my response is to… Read more »
Anastasia
Anastasia
4 years 10 months ago
After thinking about the guy’s challenges in my opinion the answer would be for him to quit his day job and take on freelancing as his full time occupation. It looks like he (a) makes 3 times more money freelancing; and (b) does not enjoy or gets motivated by his day job. Taking this route would allow him to make more money and have flexibility in his hours, which would in turn allow his wife to look for her job while he could babysit their son. In my opinion cutting his food expenses is not the answer. I think everyone… Read more »
Sherif Koussa
Sherif Koussa
4 years 10 months ago
I didn’t read all the comments. I disagree with those suggested that the wife is not on the same page or she is a wreck financially. I think she is sounds financially and trying to do her best, the yoga and nanny and whatever are just her way of trying to vent, I think she is really depressed because she thinks that she is the reason she put the family in that situation. My suggestion is that the wife should take EARN1k to start some kind of a business to support the family. The guy is doing the right thing… Read more »
ARC
4 years 10 months ago
I’m late to the party but really feel for this family. I think the VERY first thing he and his wife need to do is talk about how they’re feeling and what their goals are. The resentment just builds up over time and at some point you can’t fix it. The money stuff will follow once they’re on the same page relationship-wise and *understand* the other one’s perspective and goals. I also wonder what kind of company they’re keeping. Are their friends one-income families, with SAHMs who shop at Whole Foods and have nannies? Maybe that’s where the pressure to… Read more »
Greg C
Greg C
4 years 10 months ago
While there are many other issues at play here, the root cause of this problem is the wife’s depression. They need to focus on how to get her out of her funk and productive again. Raising his freelance rates or getting a salary increase or cutting back on finances will not solve the wife’s problems, which will likely result in divorce. This is 95% of their battle. She needs to build her confidence and meet people, particularly people that can help her get working. She should choose something that makes her feel good and can be a decent thing to… Read more »
jesus
4 years 10 months ago

Start your own business, not just as freelance, get your own design firm (You could be a provider to your current office). Tell your wife to get a job, or assign a job to her, but make that woman to produce money (not just wasting it in eating out and yoga, come on)

Felicity Fields
Felicity Fields
4 years 10 months ago

In case you haven’t been paying attention, it’s not a simple as “go out and get a job.” If it were, the nightly news wouldn’t be full of the highest unemployment rates in decades.

Craig
Craig
4 years 10 months ago

Is he an Earn1k grad by chance?

Mike
Mike
4 years 10 months ago
Work with what you alone can control first: Renegotiate the day job to be part time and/or work some/all from home to cut out travel time/car expenses and the cubicle drag. Focus the new found extra time (from going part time at your day job) on the freelancing work – test rate increases (especially for rush jobs) look at your point of differentiation/solving your clients’ real problems, fire your difficult clients, explore getting a retainer from your better clients. Get the day job to pay your medical insurance. Put the painting career on hold until you get the big stuff… Read more »
Jay
Jay
4 years 10 months ago

This guy needs to snap out of it, realize what’s happening and make some decisions.

He’s avoiding his financial situation, working for work’s sake, and blaming his wife that things aren’t going the way he’d like. Blaming other people for your situation is a surefire way to ensure things don’t get better.

The only advice is to step back, look at the big picture, make some decisions about where he wants to go and what he’s prepared to sacrifice to get there, and execute!

Felicity Fields
4 years 10 months ago

I have to say, I sympathize with both sides. Having been out of work, and having worked my butt off for a lifestyle I wanted but could barely keep my head up, I get it.

So here’s a question: can his wife help him out with his freelance business? Maybe she can do some administrative work for him, or find new clients, or maybe she has design skills of her own? Working together, especially given his building resentment, might be difficult at first, but it might also be what they need to get back on track.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years 10 months ago
Wow, this hits home. Sounds like he needs to reboot his life and get his ducks in a row for going solo if his wife isn’t on board. I don’t view his situation as a budgeting failure – it’s more of a failure of him and his wife to communicate their goals and desires and make appropriate decisions based on their financial resources. It really depends on how the problem is framed: if you think in terms of “SAHM needs occasional alone time” instead of “I need $400/month for a nanny” it opens up possibilities, some of which may be… Read more »
Natalie @ Mango
4 years 10 months ago
On a positive note: I love this series! Keep the stories coming! On a more somber note: Poor guy. I know a lot of people are in this situation– some people who are on their own, some people who split costs with roommates, but honestly, I think the most difficult situation is this one. This guy is supporting his family on his income alone, and doesn’t seem to be discussing his fears or concerns with his wife. If I can give some very general advice: talk to your wife! Even if she doesn’t end up getting a job, she’ll at… Read more »
Emily
Emily
4 years 10 months ago
I didn’t read every single comment, but I didn’t see anyone mentioning one of the benefits of having a corporate job vs freelancing – I presume he gets some kind of paid vacation time. Yes, he might get a little behind on work for his regular job if he uses it, but assuming he has it should take a day now and then to either rest, have “me time”, or see how much freelance work he can get done in a day to judge what that life would be like. It’s like free time to explore options, since he will… Read more »
Paris Hunter
Paris Hunter
4 years 10 months ago
Don’t know if it has been said but ignoring the obvious of the wife getting a job why can’t she help sell paintings and line up more freelance work for the guy? She can be a liason since she has time during the day. That would be a big change for both parties. She can be active again and he can get a little less stress. It will also keep her skills sharp or sharpen them and he can teach he things here and there about freelancing and managing it. Its not an instant or big win but she can… Read more »
K00kyKelly
4 years 10 months ago

I’m reading Spousonomics and a lot of the material in the book would be a great starting point for the kinds of discussions this guy needs to have with his wife. A lot of the other commentors have touched on the tactics side of them – Can his wife help with the freelance? Can he take on the food shopping? Allocating self time, etc.

lisa
lisa
4 years 10 months ago
I don’t know if anyone will read the last post but here goes. Procrastination is usually fear of failure. Or it can be related to not knowing how to do something. On top of that there may be the martyr thing going on. Taking a wild stab, he does not know what to to to fix his life or talk to his wife. Even though he is slowly sinking, to others he looks fine. Figure out what you can’t live without, and figure out what your bog problems are. Write down some suggestions or brainstorming for solutions. At this point… Read more »
christiana
christiana
4 years 10 months ago
THis guy is never going to get out of this hole unless he gets on the same page as his wife. Yoga? A nanny? Afternoons doing what she wants? He’s working two jobs, so she should be too – watch the kid and look for a job, or utilitze the nanny while working at Target and looking for a job. Seriously. Also, news flash – with the exception of meat, everything you buy at Whole Foods can be found much more cheaply elsewhere. Though I am not sure why you’re going there while eating at McDonald’s…
marina
marina
4 years 10 months ago
Am I missing something? If this guy can get at least 40 hours a week doing freelance, it could be his full time job. If he raised his rates to $80/hour and got the 40 hours a week, he would be making $3200/week, which is over 500% higher than his day time job. Granted, he would then have to get his own health insurance and cover his own taxes, but if he is as good as it sounds, raise his rates even higher. He is making $600/week at his job with a foot dragging boss. Either really push the raise… Read more »
CL
CL
4 years 10 months ago
He and his wife need to have a solid talk about their priorities. They are heading down the road to divorce. A SAHM does have to spend money to take care of the household, but spending $2300 to take care of 3 people seems extraordinarily excessive, if he’s making $1815. He’s right that he also needs a day off or some free time where he doesn’t have to work or worry. I agree with all of the posters who believe that the mom should trade babysitting or play dates with another mom. I highly doubt that there are no moms… Read more »
YOHAMI
4 years 10 months ago

That was very depressing!

Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith
4 years 10 months ago

I feel for this guy, but it seems like if he and his wife don’t agree on a budget/plan of action, their finances (and marriage) are going to keep sinking. This diary reeked of bitterness towards his wife!

Hard to recommend too much without really knowing the family, but they need to sit down & agree on a budget – and stick with it. I would also stop shopping at Whole Foods exclusively – you can get better bargains at another grocery store, and you’re canceling out your healthful grocery shopping with McDonald’s runs anyway.

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Ally
Ally
4 years 10 months ago

1) The wife could be making his lunches for him in the morning, or night before, so that he didn’t have to spend extra money in the day.

2) A high-schooler would cost much less than a nanny for an afternoon or two off for the wife while she job-searched.

3) The wife could be taught to do the administrative/paperwork tasks of the husband’s freelance work, which would alleviate a little of her boredom and take something off his too-full plate.

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