Downward Dog…Right Into Debt
Wela Financial Advisors on what we saw, what we learned, and what we should do on this week’s episode of Life or Debt on Spike.
Living in a suburb of Baltimore, MD, Courtney and Luke Miller have a great marriage and raising their four wonderful children is the center of their universe. Running a holistic wellness studio, they enjoyed working together helping people improve their most valuable asset, their health. They taught yoga and nutrition, something they practiced in their own lives… but then the economy took a nose dive and so did their studio.
Next thing they knew, they found themselves filing for bankruptcy and having to find new jobs in order to generate income. With rent where it is, three of four kids in private school and a passion for organic eating, they need to generate $9,000 to just make ends meet, and that doesn’t include saving or paying down any debt. SO, they’ve got three options:
- Move to a new home to reduce their rent
- Increase Courtney's income
- Take the kids out of private school
In reality, they need to do all three, not a combination of the three because there’s not a world that exists in which their current situation is sustainable. So they have to figure out a way to make sacrifices in each area. Not to mention, the current $36,000 in credit card debt will easily crest $150,000 by the time their kids finish high school. Then they will be in an even worse position. In fact, the credit card debt may eat them alive and force them into bankruptcy, again, before the kids even finish school.
So they really have no choice but to do all three. A complete holistic revamp to their perceptions about money, school, and life. Some tough love from Victor may be just the ticket as he calls in a favor to a friend who has fallen on hard times. She and her husband were blindsided by two job losses and found themselves splitting up and homeless… with children in the picture! This hits home to the Millers who love their kids more than anything and will do whatever necessary to get their finances on solid footing.
Taking the kids out of private school may feel like a disservice, but sinking your family into financial disaster will prove much more devastating in the end. The public vs private debate is very polarizing. Parents that send their kids to public school have a visceral reaction to other parents who insist on private, especially when they can’t really afford it. It’s like these parents are saying, “I’m sacrificing for my kids, and you’re not… so I’m a better parent than you!” What a debate. Sounds like a recipe for great television…!
If you related to what this family is going through, here are a few blogs you might find helpful.