[quote="EasterJoy, post:17, topic:211585"]
It's a fun burden? If you think living poor is less fun when you're 53, suffice it to say you're going to really hate it when you're 73. If you think the schools that can be had for those who have no money stink, you ought to see the nursing homes they get. Those, unfortunately, are paid for by the taxes you don't want to pay. You had better hope there are a few bleeding hearts left to keep those in operation when you need them.
I hope your kids, after their skating lessons and prep schools, make enough to support you in your age, but ask yourself: is it fair to ask them to do that? What you put into your standard of living now is going to come out of the standard of living they could have had, unless they abandon you to poverty in your old age. It is going to come out of your kids' abilities to send their own kids to prep schools and college. If not, either it will come out of the pockets of the customers of the banks you jilt (the nearly-usurous rates you are probably paying on any credit card debt, notwithstanding) or out of the tax general funds that will be have to tapped to feed you instead of someone who really could not have done better.
IOW, someone has to foot the bill for your debt eventually. You are probably not the only ones who are going to see the day when your "oh, well" becomes "oh, h---!"
Oh, well, you're in the company of some otherwise brilliant people. Thomas Jefferson did the same thing. He, too, liked fine things, much finer than what you describe. Although he was able to free a few (now believed to be his children), 130 other men, women, and children from Monticello who had been his slaves still had to be auctioned off to help pay the debts of his estate after he died. It had been his hope to have freed all of them.
Someone pays, in the end. Ask yourself: If not you, then who?
Do yourself a favor. At least learn to cook so as to feed your family for less. More importantly, make sure your kids learn with you. If they're dedicated enough to be ice skaters, they can do it. It is amazing how much money you can save. Maybe you won't be debt-free, but as I posted earlier...."A thousand here, a thousand there, and pretty soon, you're talking real money."
My kids are grown up and moved out of the house, living on their own and doing well. The prep school was more than worth it. In fact, my older daughter graduated college a year early, saving tens of thousands of dollars, because of her AP classes from the prep school.
A superior education is worth going into debt for. If that's foolish, well, then I'm foolish and proud of it. A superior education is an investment that will last a lifetime.
As for the skating, our family was and still is the epitome of "cheap" ice skating, saving thousands each year by avoiding such money-traps as "photos" and custom-made costumes. My daughters even wore the same competition dress to the same competitions. The skating was worth it. Both of my daughters were members of Team U.S.A., and earned the privilege of representing the United States all over the world in competitions. That's the kind of life experience that most people never have--my kids had it and it was worth it. You see, our "debt" did not finance shoes and silly stuff--we financed life.
And the skating paid off financially, too. Both of my daughters coaches through college, and made $34.00/hour, much more than they would make wearing a pink dress and a hairnet. They also met great families at their college town rinks, learned to work with small children, and the discipline of getting up at 4:00 A.M. to get to the rink and coach little ones helped them to work harder in school. One of the families that my younger daughter met at the rink was so grateful to her that they donated twenty thousand dollars towards her college tuition. I'd say that pretty much paid back what we spent on her skating.
I know how to cook after 31 years of marriage. I'm just not one of those people who can feed a family of 8 a delicious meal with one chicken raised in their own backyard, like some of the amazing full-time moms on CAF.
And we pay our debts. Never once in the 31 years that we have been married have we ever "jilted" someone and we never will. We both work at good-paying jobs and we make substantial payments towards our debts. If needed, we would work more than one job. And if we die with debts unpaid, our insurance and assets will pay off anything that we owe. We're not freeloaders and you don't have to worry about getting stuck with our expenses.