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Old 05-20-2011, 11:09 PM
 
100 posts, read 187,648 times
Reputation: 90

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I admit I was wondering the same. We have decent savings while earning significantly less than $200,000+ a year, and I assume our mortgage must be higher than Christine's.

How have we saved money? We don't yet have children, and we have very little fun: we never go on real vacations, we very rarely eat at "expensive" restaurants, we see perhaps one movie in the theater a year. Also, I work from home, so I don't have commuting expenses, and I don't buy work clothing. We have one moderate car payment, and that car is almost paid off.

What's the point of this relative austerity? We're saving to make up the loss on our condo and put down a decent down payment on a house. If the stars ever align properly, someday it will be worth it.
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:42 AM
 
10,593 posts, read 12,076,421 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michgc View Post
Hmmm...wonder where your money is going. With two six-figure incomes and the lifestyle you describe, I would think you'd have a lot more disposable income. But maybe the taxes are doing you in. We probably make about half of what you do and live a similar lifestyle without feeling any worse off than you do. Perhaps your older children are just that much more expensive? Or maybe you have some other high expenses that we don't have. Or as someone else suggested, if taxes and commuting costs are taking a big part of the second income, I guess that might make the difference.
I've never been able to figure it out.

We have no debt. I do MAX out on my 401K plan and have for many years (that't $16,500 right now).

I have no daycare/camps at this point. My son can be a bit "pricey" with some of his medical issues--he sees a specialist for asthma that is out of my plan.

I don't do Starbucks, I don't have a fabulous wardrobe, hardly dry clean, carpool. My one daughter is in college but that started in 2010 and my son takes piano at $100 a month. Both kids now drive so, yeah, my insurance bill is a tad hefty...
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:44 AM
 
10,593 posts, read 12,076,421 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOVA_almost_native View Post
I admit I was wondering the same. We have decent savings while earning significantly less than $200,000+ a year, and I assume our mortgage must be higher than Christine's.

How have we saved money? We don't yet have children, and we have very little fun: we never go on real vacations, we very rarely eat at "expensive" restaurants, we see perhaps one movie in the theater a year. Also, I work from home, so I don't have commuting expenses, and I don't buy work clothing. We have one moderate car payment, and that car is almost paid off.

What's the point of this relative austerity? We're saving to make up the loss on our condo and put down a decent down payment on a house. If the stars ever align properly, someday it will be worth it.
Smart moves.

I had my kids before we ever had any money and for many years it was such a struggle. I do have some friends that did what you were doing. Heck my friend had $300,000K in his 401K before he ever had kids. He got a nice "base" going before the two "money suckers" came along.

It's only been in the last 4-5 years that I started to feel, financially, that I had some breathing room. I couldn't even save form my kids' college funds. I do look forward to the day that I can actually enjoy my own money but I might be about 60 then!
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:45 AM
 
10,593 posts, read 12,076,421 times
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Originally Posted by Yankeesfan View Post
I was wondering the same thing. Not being critical, Christine, just kind of puzzled.
Me too.
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:47 AM
 
19 posts, read 33,058 times
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I think there are a lot of SAHP in NOVA.

It really differs as you move further outside the beltway. Further outside the beltway (PWC and beyond) you see more traditional families where usually the father is bringing home the bacon. You can pick up a pretty nice house in the exurbs for 400k. Older stuff goes as low as 200k, 15 miles beyond the beltway.

Its definitely doable to raise a kid on 1 income but the less income and financial preparedness will push a family into lower price ranges and further out.

A lot of parents have kids really late around here. In most areas of the country 30 is late to have a first child. Here you find a first child routinely at 40 because it takes a decade at least for people to get into their peak earning years.

Even if you move into this area at age 30 with as a newly graduated PhD making 75,000 a year you aren't really anywhere because you haven't made a dime. It takes years of saving, getting your finances in order before you are prepared to have a family. DC is an area full of people like that.

In a mid sized metro market, one can be quite prepared with a nice 250k house in hand working out of college by age 25. The age of 25 around DC is supposed to be roomate/party stage.
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:24 PM
 
100 posts, read 187,648 times
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Originally Posted by Southside906 View Post
Even if you move into this area at age 30 with as a newly graduated PhD making 75,000 a year you aren't really anywhere because you haven't made a dime. It takes years of saving, getting your finances in order before you are prepared to have a family. DC is an area full of people like that.

In a mid sized metro market, one can be quite prepared with a nice 250k house in hand working out of college by age 25. The age of 25 around DC is supposed to be roomate/party stage.
So, so true. I've lived here almost all my life, and I still can't believe how long it takes to "get it together" in this area. And I'm pretty amazed when I meet or hear of someone around my age (33) who's settled in a nice house with a family.

Even so, I wouldn't say that being a stay-at-home parent is untenable here if you fall into one of four categories: spouse earns a higher-than-average income; you're older and have been saving for eons; you're older and bought your home before 2003 (even better, before 2000); you're willing to live in a small, "cheap" place.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:29 AM
 
28 posts, read 42,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alltheusernamesaretaken View Post
The term "stay at home mom" always irked me.
As if I were chained to our four walls all day!

I technically am a SAHM however, I am never home! I am constantly out trying to get things done or running kids, or something somewhere. I am one of the only SAHM in my area. I wish there were more telecommuting, SAH etc. here.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:21 AM
 
Location: northern Virginia
204 posts, read 590,411 times
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Must agree with the last few messages. When I was 25, it was the roomate/party stage! Same with my husband. Had my first child in my late 30s, after working many years. We bought our house in 1999, still live in it, out in western PWC. For these reasons, I was able to stop full time work after our second child was born. No regrets at all, just now looking to get back into the workforce as we see college tuitions and retirement on the horizon.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:26 PM
 
20 posts, read 36,966 times
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I'm late to this post but I'm a fellow single parent. I've read this thread and how the SAHP are saving money and making it easy for a parent to stay home. Thats great.

Single parents and both parents working, what are you doing? (I read Christines-good info) I am always interested in seeing what changes I can make. I work full time, try to live within my means, my son will be starting Kindergarten and I am concerned about possibly needing a nanny for before and after school due to the commute, not to mention summer care (Will be working at the Pentagon starting this summer). I do not have the option to stay home.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:16 PM
 
Location: No VA
224 posts, read 477,745 times
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I just moved here a year ago from southern CA and back home, most mom's are stay at home moms. I have noticed here, that it's very uncommon! I have had the hardest time making friends and finding other moms who stay home. People look at me like I'm from another planet when I tell them I stay home, lol!
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