Monday, November 01, 2004

The MasterCard's

I just finished a meeting with a young couple referred to me by a CPA who’d had enough. The MasterCard’s. They live and die by MasterCard, dwelling on today and to hell with tomorrow. I guess he thought I could talk some sense into them.

The husband had a job making $180k a year until January. The wife is a new mom and an “Image Consultant.” That’s bullshit. She’s got a fucking Master’s and she puts baskets together with miscellaneous crap in it and sells them for $85 each. I know this because she brought one trying to sell it to me. There’s the advantage to being publicly single. I can’t be persuaded into sucker purchases on the spot.

They’ve got $40k in student loans, $50k in credit card debt, they owe $20k to her parents and they wanted my help trying to work a Mercedes into the budget to replace her current one which has become too small now that they are a family. You know, with ONE damn infant and all. Not to mention a savings account with $25k in it despite all of the debt as a safety cushion.

But like I said, the husband had a job paying $180k a year. He lost it and took what he could get, an admirable move, but at a $130k loss in salary per year. Ouch. The house they bought last summer is just over $300k and the pretentious wife “simply adores” it. Well, shit yeah! But a house in the $90k price range is just as good, in my opinion. It ain’t fancy, it ain’t ghetto. It’s juuuuust right.

I gave them my advice, told them how it would work and explained to them that it will hurt more to step down a class, from upper middle to working middle, than anything else they may ever do. Sell the house, sell the car, buy a small house, American made car, pay back your parents, and for the love of god cut up the credit cards and get a debt consolidation loan. After a stunned moment of silence the wife closed her gaping trap and told me how unacceptable my proposition was.

“Well then you should stick to what you’re doing. The bankruptcy will be off your record by the time junior enters high school.”

My guess? She’ll leave him. That’s why she’s got the Master’s, I’d bet. To cover her ass when husband #3 lets her down like the two before him did.

Big house in The Heights --------------$300,000
Mercedes E-Class ---------------------$65,000
Brand new infant to feed --------------$1,000,000
Leaving hubby with all of the bills -----Priceless
For all other things, there’s MasterRuptcy.