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Old 01-19-2015, 08:25 PM   #1
I STILL don't get it
 
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Can't make ends meet with $25000 a month?

Is this for real?

Vancouver couple struggles to make ends meet on only $25,000 a month | canada.com

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Vancouver couple struggles to make ends meet on only $25,000 a month
Shed a tear for Eric and Ilsa, the one-percenters who can't catch a break
This destitute doctor has so little money he\'s turned his pockets inside out. How will he find cash for coffee on those rare days he heads to work?
This destitute doctor has so little money he's turned his pockets inside out. How will he find cash for coffee on those rare days he heads to work? Photo: Fotolia
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Ishmael N. Daro
Published: January 18, 2015, 7:30 am
Updated: 6 hours ago
A A A

Meet Eric and Ilsa.

Eric, 41, is a physician who works one day a week in a medical clinic, for which he earns $200,000 a year. He works one additional day at a university, for which he makes another measly $100,000 annually.

Ilsa, 39, is a dentist currently on maternity leave who will bring in another $150,000 when she returns to work.

And yet, despite their seeming prosperity, this Vancouver couple can’t make ends meet. What’s to be done?!

The doctor and dentist wrote in to the Globe and Mail recently and their story was featured in Friday’s “financial facelift” advice column, in which experts weigh in on how regular folks can balance their budgets.

According to the Globe:

They are living rent free in a relative’s house (they pay taxes, utilities and upkeep) and “regret not having bought a house years ago,” Eric writes in an e-mail. Houses in their Vancouver neighbourhood have doubled in price in the past two years. The house where they live is going up for sale soon, so they need to move quickly.

Last fall, they bought a building lot for $1.1-million and are planning to build a house large enough for their family and a live-in nanny. But with a combined income of $360,000 ($450,000 when Ilsa returns to work) and an $800,000 mortgage, can they afford the builder’s $1-million price tag? Who will lend them the money?

That is quite a pickle, but in addition to long-term problems around securing enough money to build their Versailles, Eric and Ilsa also have more immediate problems. They seem to be about $6,000 in the red each month, on a net income of $25,000. And despite this alarming deficit, they still plan to send all their children to private schools at a cost of $5,400 a month, just one of their many expenses.

Monthly disbursements: Mortgage $3,800; property tax (both properties) $1,000; utilities $490; insurance $90; maintenance, garden $190; transportation $800; groceries $2,000; clothing $520; children’s activities $1,000; tuition $5,400; summer camp $600; child care $2,800; gifts, charitable $320; vacation, travel $2,000; dining, entertainment $200; sports, hobbies $200; miscellaneous (furniture, toys) $400; health insurance $50; cellphones $220; telecom, Internet $80; RRSP $3,000; professional associations $6,000. Total: $31,160

“Two professionals should be able to afford a modest house, but we can’t get the numbers to work and would appreciate some help,” Eric wrote to the Globe.

To solve their money woes, the newspaper’s expert financial planner, Warren MacKenzie of HighView Financial Group, offers some rather unorthodox advice: namely, Eric working a second day at the clinic, which would boost household income to $500,000 a year and solve all the family’s problems.

Other ideas might also have included working three or even four days a week, not sending the kids to snooty private schools, not sending the kids to snooty summer camps (every month of the year, apparently?), spending less than $4,000 a month on groceries and vacations, or maybe not building a million-dollar mansion before you’ve mastered basic addition.

How Eric and Ilsa didn’t manage to reach any of those same solutions remains a mystery. Then again, nobody said Globe readers had to be particularly bright. They just have to make more than $100,000 a year, so at least Canada’s paper of record is reaching its target demographic.

UPDATE: The Globe added a correction Monday that only makes this couple’s finances more confusing. We are now told their memberships in professional associations only cost $6,000 annually, not monthly, which significantly alters their financial picture. The doctor also says he works “more than 100 hours a week” at both jobs, which would only leave the poor man another 68 hours to eat, sleep, transport himself between jobs, and hug his children. And yet, the Globe’s financial advice remains the same: work more.

UPDATE II: The Globe corrected its correction. Eric now works “up to 80 hours a week,” apparently.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:30 PM   #2
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Lol I read that article today. I'm honestly surprised the globe and mail ran such crap. News must be slow.

$2000 a month on vacation funds
5 kids in private school.

I assumed smart people were the ones making $25,000 a month. apparently I was wrong, even stupid people can get lucky I guess.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:35 PM   #3
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Reading this kind of shit makes go WTF. How is this even "news"....$350K combined income isn't enough
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:38 PM   #4
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For anyone that's NOT read the Globe / National Post, they run a review of your financial situation/retirement plan in a "help me" column. People write and the "pro's" help out. So it's not that news was slow, the editors of that column just happened to pick these people. And most of the people they pick have very high net incomes based on their previous columns.

Don't bash the newspaper for selecting their "help me" request.

actual article from the globe's personal finance section - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...ticle22496585/

Here is another example from G & M - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...ticle17721517/

Note that it's not in the "NEWS" section...

Sensationalism at it's finest..
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:43 PM   #5
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:46 PM   #6
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This couple should be called the "350K ballers" with their crazy spending habits:

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Old 01-19-2015, 08:48 PM   #7
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I totally need a lavish vacation that costs me $2000 a month
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:15 PM   #8
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:19 PM   #9
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Don't bash the newspaper for selecting their "help me" request.
True, I shouldn't have said news is slow, but they certainly could have picked a less retarded ask for help. Cause the one they ran almost looks like a horrible joke.

I mean you really can't feel too bad for the people who are putting away 36k a year for RRSP, spending 24k a year on vacation, and still managing to only work 2 days a week...
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:41 PM   #10
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Wont lie... I first saw this on Facebook. I had to take a second look to make sure it wasn't a link to a bad The Onion knock-off website.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:50 PM   #11
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I make way less yet I live just fine. Sure I won't be sending my kids to private house(if I do have any), sure I won't need to save $2k each month for vacation or build a 1million house but my life is pretty a lot happier than these ppl. I have my parents, my sister and my gf a roof over my head, decent food and warm clothes.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:53 PM   #12
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They are living rent free in a relative’s house (they pay taxes, utilities and upkeep)
a physician and dentist living rent free?

dude includes RRSP contributions...and apparently sends his kids to summer camp each month.
He works 2 days a week (1 day in the clinic 1 day teaching) yet he says it works out to 80 hours/week
let's say he sees 30 patients in one day, all the charting in the world still wouldn't amount to 80 a week

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Old 01-19-2015, 10:04 PM   #13
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Im betting the numbers are heavily skewed...or the entire story is fake...its does its job to outrage you, and get your facebook shares. how does a doctor working one day a week in a clinic make 200,000/year? thats ~4000 in a day...he must be doing botox and upselling some fancy face cream.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:44 PM   #14
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Only reasonable cost there was the telecom/Internet at 80 a month
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:13 PM   #15
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it seems fake or someone wrote this as a joke and the paper actually believed them. You can't make 200K a year working one day per week as a physician. No way. Then suddenly saying he works 80 hrs per week. lol
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Old 01-20-2015, 01:25 AM   #16
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smell like the troll who posted that he is living off his gf and claimed he is 6ft tall lol
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Old 01-20-2015, 01:30 AM   #17
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I have this exact problem. I am very thankful they picked up the story to give attention to this matter.
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:03 AM   #18
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Only reasonable cost there was the telecom/Internet at 80 a month
no, actually that's still a rip off.
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Old 01-20-2015, 03:44 AM   #19
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I assumed smart people were the ones making $25,000 a month. apparently I was wrong, even stupid people can get lucky I guess.
If there's one thing I've learned in the last 8 years, it's this.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:58 AM   #20
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:18 AM   #21
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What I thought of when I saw the story and the comments

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Old 01-20-2015, 09:24 AM   #22
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What I thought of when I saw the story and the comments



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Old 01-20-2015, 09:25 AM   #23
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:44 AM   #24
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dude includes RRSP contributions...and apparently sends his kids to summer camp each month.
He works 2 days a week (1 day in the clinic 1 day teaching) yet he says it works out to 80 hours/week
let's say he sees 30 patients in one day, all the charting in the world still wouldn't amount to 80 a week
Yeah something doesn't add up. I hate poorly written articles!
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Old 01-20-2015, 10:10 AM   #25
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I think G&M ran some updates to say that the Dr. dude actually works 3 days a week at his doctor job, in addition to an extra day of teaching. Additionally, G&M also seemed to have ran a few updates on other minor stuff as well.

But as I have mentioned elsewhere, the first thing the couple needs to do to save themselves from financial ruins is to start using some goddamn birth control, and I don't just mean this as mockery (although that is certainly part of it). Kids are just so incredibly expensive every step along the way. To start things off, the mother will easily lose 3 - 6 months of salary, if not more, due to the pregnancy. And then you have the costs of raising the kid.
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