Times are hard — have some napkins

I visited my aunt, uncle and cousins for a birthday party yesterday. They live in a very nice area in a relatively nice house for said very nice area, and, while they’re probably among the poorest in said area, they still are somewhere in the upper middle class, lower upper class. (I’m not really sure where that cut off is). Regardless, they’ve been living a comfy life until the recession hit.

Now, times are hard. Well, they aren’t that hard, but hard in the sense that their mortgage is a fortune and to keep up with the quality of life they’re used to living, and fit in with their neighbors, it costs a lot. My uncle runs his own business and his clients have been drastically cutting back. Once you get used to living a certain lifestyle, it’s hard to reduce your spending. I’m almost hoping to never let myself make that much money – because I think it would just get out of hand.

Then again, I think about having children, and the kind of life I want my children to have. I was very fortunate to grow up in a house where we could afford luxuries like summer camp, art lessons, etc. I don’t mind being frugal when it comes to clothes and things, but the extracurriculars add up. I want to have a decent income to spend on my children, if I have children, and looking at my aunt and uncle who are struggling on their current salary cuts (even though jointly they still make well into the 6 figures), I wonder what sort of salary I’d have to make to be able to give my hypothetical kids a life at least comparable to the one I had as a child.

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One thought on “Times are hard — have some napkins”

  1. Summer camps don't have to be that bad, though of course it depends on where you are. Our local rec center has a HUGE variety of summer camps available at $40-$60 each.With three summer-and-holidays-only kids and a lot of careful shopping around, we manage to get season passes to an amusement park and a (separate) water park, swimming lessons, two summer camps per kid, and two trips to Build-A-Bear per summer for ~$1250 total, including the adult passes. It's no small potatoes we spend, to be sure, but for the amount of ACTIVITY we're able to give those kids on their Texas summers? $410/kid isn't such a high price to pay…

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