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Monday, October 27, 2008

Call me crazy, but. . . . .

I find it difficult to feel much sympathy for the wives of husbands who work on Wall Street, who have seen their incomes shrink significantly. For example, in this LA Times article, one woman's husband was making $400,000 a year ($200,000 base salary, and, I presume, $200,000 in bonuses). Now he's down to "just" $200,000 a year. No bonus, poor guy.

Am I seriously supposed to feel bad for people who were earning---on one salary---more than I'll make in ten years?? I'm usually not this snarky on this blog (I'm plenty snarky in real life), but $200,000 is a ton of money. If you move out of your giant house with the giant yard in the great neighborhood, and maybe trade in your giant cars for one efficient one, and consider NOT spending $500 on a 3-year old's "back to school" clothes, perhaps, just perhaps, it won't hurt so bad.

Now, I know everything's relative. My salary is pretty good, and my income is actually right at the median for Portland when I include the earnings from my second job. I've got it pretty good, in spite of the crazy fun I've had with credit cards in the past (one more month to the Big Payoff, folks!). There are people out there who would look at my life and think it's pretty luxurious, frugality notwithstanding.

Truly, though, I don't think I can stand to read too many more articles about Wall Street wives (or employees, or whatever) who were making upwards of $200,000 and more a year, who are now forced to (gasp!) clean their own houses and make their own meals.

There. That's my rant. I hope to be less snarky as the week goes on!

5 comments:

ed said...

I agree with you. But it's all perspective, I think. You and I look at these folks and shudder with annoyance.

I make about $35,000 yearly in the real estate industry (not an agent, just an executive assistant). Dropping down to $30,000 would hurt me a significant amount. But to one of my less than successful class mates earning $15,000 a year they'd rail against me going out to eat once a week or having the luxury to maintain Mr. and Mrs. cars.

It's easy to attack the 200k folk. And I agree they shouldn't whine. But decreased income is hard to deal with mentality, no matter how big your savings account is.

The only difference is these folk will go right back into the swing of things when the market gets better and won't give a crap about folk like us.

marci357 said...

If they made $400,000 in one year, why they heck aren't they already retired and living off their interest income??? I sure as heck would be. I'd spend under $15,000 for the year, and invest the $385,000 and call it good :)

One can feel sorry that they are not smart enough to figure out how to make it on under $20,000 per year, like so many of the rest of us.... who are doing just fine, by the way :)

As I don't have TV, only read the local weekly rural paper, and only selectively view the internet news, these kinds of 'stories' don't reach me :) Lucky me!

Feel free to rant and be snarky all you want! I needed the chuckle! And I totally agree!

M3isMe said...

LOL! Don't we all wonder things like that? I guess the thing is that they are so defined by their things and the material representations of their lives that they are scared without them. Imagine the feeling of not knowing how to do anything for yourself and finding yourself in a position that those things are now required of you...where would you start?

FrugalMomLA said...

Totally agree! And, I live in LA and it just frosts me that these same people can't "afford" to give $400/child to their local public school even though they drive their big cars, live in gigantic homes, etc. They are slaves to image! Don't get me started on how violated I feel about the government bailout (I mean, my money) going to the money market manager year-end bonuses, paying for AIG spa retreats and possibly paying off credit card debt of those who just couldn't control their spending. Egads!

Merry said...

I totally know what you mean. The ecess! I can't even imagine how youy could spens all of that up besides big cars and homes.

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