I am having a fantastic holiday season. I am very fortunate to get off from work the week between Christmas and New Years, so I am having a great time just lounging around, watching movies, taking a nap every day and doing fun things. Pure heaven. I hope you are all having a nice holiday season too.
On Saturday night, hubby and me went to see the film Doubt (good film, by the way). Before the movie, we stopped at the concession counter to get some popcorn and a soda. There was a family of 4 ahead of us and it seemed like it took forever for them to get served. We stood there impatiently as the mom pointed at this candy and that candy (one for each kid), added a soda and then a gigantic popcorn. When all was said and done, I looked at the cash register and the total was $44.00!!! For concessions! This does not include the movie tickets (which are $9.75 now). So add it up: 4 tickets at $9.75/piece is $39.00 PLUS the $44.00 in concessions, for a grand total of $83.00. For a 2-hour family outing at the movies!
Hubby and I just looked at each and said "yep, another reason we're glad we don't have kids." I mean, honestly - how in the world do people afford it? Here I was, cringing at paying $11.00 on our concessions (which, in my opinion, is outrageous for a soda and a popcorn) and these people were not blinking an eye at $44.00.
Maybe I am cheap, but I was watching this mother order all these $4 boxes of candy and I was thinking - why don't you just bring your own? I mean, they are easy enough to toss in your handbag and you can get the same boxes of candy for $.89 at the drugstore. I guess people enjoy throwing money away. Either that, or they are doing their share to kick-start the economy.
They were probably affluent and didn't care, but in other situations, they'd definitely bring their own or stay home.
Kids are certainly EXPENSIVE! If I'm ever jealous of how much someone with children makes, I just think they have kids - that's gotta be like between 10-20k less a year depending upon how frugal they are.
Kids ARE expensive. In response to eyemandy's comment about kids cutting into your salary by $10 - $20k a year, I agree. I actually think it's a lot more than that, but like you said, it depends on how frugal you are.
A few months ago, I was having a conversation with my boss. He makes about $300k+ a year. His wife is a partner in a law firm, and I know she brings in at least that much. Yet they blow sooo much of their combined salaries on kids that I know my DH and I are actually living just as well if not better (and we can sleep at night not worrying about bills).
His two girls go to an exclusive private school ($30k for tuition only per year, per kid..and it goes up every year). Plus they take the girls on expensive vacations and have them in every imaginable activity. They are so heavily scheduled that they really have very little time to play (even that is scheduled). He actually sat down with me and detailed out all of the expenses they incur just because they want their kids to have THE BEST...and the cost was literally more than his salary. He was telling me that he's getting seriously overwhelmed with it. Well, no shit.
DH and I make a very decent living (especially when you combine our salaries). But there is no way we could afford to raise two kids in that kind of style. Nor would we want to. It's insane. Plus, if one of us lost our job, there is no real worry. We could live off either salary. There's no way my boss could ever do that without making serious concessions. But I actually think he and his family would be much better off and much happier if they did cut way back.
It's been my obsevation that most of the people who have kids can't actually afford them.
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