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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 884555  
Subject: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 2:38 PM
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MSNBC has been running a series about Americans struggling in this economy. Some of the people really were sympathetic and seemed to be in trouble despite not having done anything extremely stupid.

However, today's version just made me wish we could give this woman an LBYM lesson:

http://inplainsight.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/22/17404578-sp...

She QUITS her job last year, in a weak economy, and is shocked, shocked that she couldn't find another job that paid as much (it doesn't appear that she is particularly skilled).

She rents a house ($1,125/month) in an upscale neighborhood so her daughter can go to the "right" school. Apparently, she was managing to get by on her old salary, but now is failing to pay her bills despite receiving charity, child support, government assistance, and free money from her boyfriend. It didn't occur to her to move a few miles away to a less swanky address, or even just downsize to an appartment (it's just her and one daughter)?

"She took out an $800 payday loan, and she estimates that it will end up costing her $1,600 to pay it back." She's also paying lots of overdraft fees. Yet still has $400 to pay for her 14-year old daughter's club lacrosse fees?

They show a picture of her going to a job interview. I'm no expert on women's fashion, but she's wearing a pair of knee-high, high heeled leather boots. I wouldn't be surprised if those boots cost more than she owes on that pay day loan. Also shown in the first picture is a large leather hand bag (I'd be shocked if it wasn't "designer") and a smart phone (really? You need a smart phone when you are drowning in debt?

She's almost a walking advertisement for bad money management, but we are supposed to feel sorry for her?
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Author: tconi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872587 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 3:22 PM
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she's wearing a pair of knee-high, high heeled leather boots. I wouldn't be surprised if those boots cost more than she owes on that pay day loan. Also shown in the first picture is a large leather hand bag (I'd be shocked if it wasn't "designer") and a smart phone (really? You need a smart phone when you are drowning in debt?


I am not saying that I agree with all (or even many) of her choices/money management, and I am not defending them, but what if she purchased those items when she had a job, and a decent income.
Should she be required to sell those things now?

Even if those boots cost $400 - that does not mean they are new and were purchased last week...
If she bought them, say, 2 years ago, she probably could not get more than $40 for them now. It makes more sense for her to keep those utilitarian things (shoes & purses) and not have to get new ones.
Especially if they are quality items that will last.

As for her phone, it may actually be cheaper to just keep whatever phone she has than to change phones, especially if she is under contract. Even if she isn't under a phone contract, if it was something she already had, and it is over a year old, the resale value is probably pretty low, and maybe she has no home phone?
lots of people are "cell only"

The difference between West Hartford & Hartford (or East Hartford) is not just the "right" school, but truly a matter of safety. and at $1125/month rent, she is living in the cheap end of WH.
(it isn't like she is living in Avon or Simsbury...)

A school in West Hartford, is a school where a child WILL achieve academically, and not just learn how to help her friends take care of their babies, or from whom to buy the good weed. It is a town from which colleges will actively recruit.
Several years ago a couple of the Hartford high schools completely lost their accreditation...think about that.
A school performing so poorly that a diploma from it just does not count.

But there is some long term thinking there - lacrosse may seem pricey, now, but $400/year (or even a season) might pay of in $4000/year (or more) in college scholarship money down the road.


peace & gray areas
t


knows Hartford

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Author: wasmick Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872591 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 3:36 PM
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She's almost a walking advertisement for bad money management, but we are supposed to feel sorry for her?


Yes. Yes, we are.

Because it's the banks' fault, everybody knows that.

If you are unconvinced I can link you to about a dozen boards that will validate that.

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Author: cabinsmama Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872592 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 3:36 PM
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I don't begrudge her the boots, bag, etc. Losing your job, even downsizing to a cheaper place doesn't mean the nice stuff you bought when you were working vanishes.

I'm trying to think what the pay would have been for someone working for a rug retailer and i'm coming up blank. Would it be that much more than $14 an hour?

Wonder what happened to the roommate?

I do think it's a bad idea to talk about your humiliating situation and identify yourself and your daughter by name in this day and age. At 14, her kid has to go into school Monday with all her friends knowing she's broke, on "welfare", her mom has to get gas money from her boyfriend, how much child support her father gives, her lacrosse fees are unpaid, etc.

The more I think about it, that's the part that bothers me the most. I guess her daughter's okay with it, since she's in the pictures, but this looks like something she may regret having out there later.

cm

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872594 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 4:00 PM
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"I'm trying to think what the pay would have been for someone working for a rug retailer and i'm coming up blank. Would it be that much more than $14 an hour? "

It may have been a fair amount above $14 given that it's a high cost of living area, but probably nothing more than $25/hour (and I'd be shocked if it was even close to that). She was probably living on the ragged edge before, and as soon as the quit her "good" job, she was up the creek without a paddle. I keep emphasizing that she QUIT her "good" job in the middle of a recession.

How freakin' stupid is that for someone who clearly had little or no savings and no back up plan? She keeps mentioning how she does everything for her daughter. Well, if that's true, wouldn't it have been better for her daughter if she was to suck it up and stay on the job until she found something better?

Someone else pointed out that she may have bought her $400 boots and expensive smart before she quit her job. But it how smart was it for her to buy those things given that she almost certainly wasn't making good money even before quitting?

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Author: StockGoddess Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872595 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 4:05 PM
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There are sooooo many days I want to quit my job, but I wouldn't do it without a backup job ready. I have worked under angry and hostile managers but I suck it up till I find a better spot .

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872596 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 4:19 PM
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She has also made good moves like looking hard for work, downsizing from a rental house to a cheaper apartment, taking advantage of available assistance, making sure her daughter has health insurance. She doesn't appear to be wasting money on junk food, given how slender she and her daughter appear to be. And how do you know her boots are expensive? For all you know they're cheap knock-offs from Wal-Mart. And how do you know she's unskilled? She presumably has sales skills at least.

I think keeping her daughter in school with her friends is a good way to keep them both from imploding from the stress of reduced circumstances. Mom sounds like a hard-working woman who's made mistakes (quitting a job without another lined up being the worst) and is down on her luck, but is trying to keep it together. I hope she finds a good job soon. Maybe the publicity will help.

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872597 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 4:31 PM
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"lacrosse may seem pricey, now, but $400/year (or even a season) might pay of in $4000/year (or more) in college scholarship money down the road."

My guess is that this girl is just some ordinary player who dreams big, like most kids do. So her mom indulges her. That's fine, if she can afford it, but she clearly can't.

These "club" sports have become big in the past 20 years. Parents forking over big money so that their (alleged) future star athletes can get pursue college athletic scholarships. The overwhelming majority of them, of course, they won't even come close to getting that scholarship.

Aside from the fees for these "club" sports, there are tons of other cost generally involved. Parents can spend hundreds or thousands of additional dollars on uniforms and equipment, travel costs (don't laugh, some of these "travel" clubs will make long trips to tournaments, costing tons in gas and lodging, just to see their mediocre kids compete), and more.

Less than 2% of high school varsity athletes will get even a partial athletic scholarship- and the number of full scholarships is smaller still.

Unless this girl is the LeBron James of lacrosse (and I'm betting she's not), she's probably wasting her time and money. It's fine if she plays for free at school, but silly to blow the rent money on her Hoop Dreams, er, Lacrosse Dreams. It's highly unlikely that her participation in "club" lacrosse will be the difference maker.

She goes to an upscale school in the NE. They almost certainly have lacrosse teams at the school. If she really has talent and drive, she'll get a scholarship based on what she does there, with or without spending the rent money on "club" sports.

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872599 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 4:42 PM
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I think keeping her daughter in school with her friends is a good way to keep them both from imploding from the stress of reduced circumstances.


This.

When things were so bad for me and C, and we lost the nice apt we had and were staying with a friend, and then could only afford to rent a room in someone else's home. . .

I did everything I could to keep her in the same elementary and middle school with her friends. That was her stability when everything else was going to sh!t.

And I think that was the best thing I could do for her, and it seems to have worked.

Ishtar

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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872600 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 4:44 PM
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Losing your job, even downsizing to a cheaper place doesn't mean the nice stuff you bought when you were working vanishes.

Except, she didn't lose her job. She quit her job. That's the only thing that bugs me. She claims that she doesn't want help but she's perfectly happy to accept it if it means she doesn't have to do anything she doesn't feel like.

$1125 is cheap rent in most places I've lived.

6

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872602 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 4:47 PM
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Except, she didn't lose her job. She quit her job

That part bothers me, too; quitting without having something lined up.

I mean, take a bunch of personal time to go on interviews, get the new job, then quit.



Ishtar

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872603 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 4:48 PM
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I really have to wonder how hard a clean-cut white woman is looking for work if she can't even find a crappy retail job.

In 2006, Target wouldn't hire me.

Ishtar
(just sayin')


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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872605 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 4:50 PM
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In 2006, Target wouldn't hire me.

Ishtar
(just sayin')


NFW??? Did they say why, if that's not a personal question?

6

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872606 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 4:55 PM
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I really have to wonder how hard a clean-cut white woman is looking for work if she can't even find a crappy retail job.

Screw that, if you're white and in CT you should be able to find some nanny job. Even if you'd rather work for a company - if you took a lower paying job do some babysitting on the weekend.

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872607 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 5:02 PM
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"downsizing from a rental house to a cheaper apartment, "

Whoops, I missed that. Apparently, she took a handout from the city (I'll give her credit, she's working hard to get freebies from everyone- state, ex-husband, boyfriend, the city, charities) and moved to an apartment.

Seems like that would have been a perfect time to move to a lower cost of living area. I'm pretty sure you can find an apartment in Connecticut for well under $1,125/month that is not in an area infested with gang bangers and has decent schools.

So I'm looking at her budget. She takes home just north of $2,400 per month (income plus child support). She spends $1125 on rent. If she's even halfway trying, she can cover food and utilities (electric, phone, internet, water) for another 675/month. She's getting medical coverage from the taxpayer (medicaid).

That leave's $800 at the end of the month (plus whatever her boyfriend gives her). She drives and old car so there should be no car payment.

Even if she spends $300 on gas/maintenance and entertainment, she has $500 to play with.

That should be enough to cover clothing, leather boots, and the like.

Why does she seem to owe money to everyone?

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Author: tconi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872608 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 5:05 PM
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Aside from the fees for these "club" sports, there are tons of other cost generally involved. Parents can spend hundreds or thousands of additional dollars on uniforms and equipment, travel costs (don't laugh, some of these "travel" clubs will make long trips to tournaments, costing tons in gas and lodging, just to see their mediocre kids compete), and more.

Don't lecture me on travel sports - my kids were those mediocre athletes of whom you write...

Less than 2% of high school varsity athletes will get even a partial athletic scholarship- and the number of full scholarships is smaller still.

really?
I think that is more the statistic for Division I & II Football
The Big Sports at the Big Name Schools...
Probably a full ride is out of the question, but (benefits of participating in a team activity aside) it is not something that should be completely taken off the table.

She goes to an upscale school in the NE. They almost certainly have lacrosse teams at the school.

I think both West Hartford school actually do have school lacrosse teams, but that is FAR from a given.
Have you ever been to New england? It isn't all Fairfield...


peace & when is somebody poor enough?
t

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872610 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 5:33 PM
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"I think that is more the statistic for Division I & II Football
The Big Sports at the Big Name Schools...
Probably a full ride is out of the question, but (benefits of participating in a team activity aside) it is not something that should be completely taken off the table."

Actually, for the big sports like football and basketball, the odds are significantly less than 1%. That's for all scholarships, for basketball, that covers the power schools all the way down to SIU-Edwardsville, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (yup, that's really the name of a school), and Division II.

Some of the more obscure sports are up around ~1.5%. I figure women's lacrosse is pretty obscure, so it's probably in that 1-1.5% range.

I have no problem with sports. I played sports in HS and college. But too many people are deluded into thinking their kid is going to get an athletic scholarship. A lot of really talented and athletic kids fail to get scholarships (hence, my "Hoop Dreams" reference), so unless your kid really shows extraordinary talent at a young age, it's probably not the best place to "invest" your money. Odds are, if both parents are average sized people with no real athletic accomplishments, their kid isn't going to be a LeBron James-like super athlete and get showered with scholarship offers.

So play FREE High School lacrosse or basketball or football or whatever, but investing rent money you don't have in expensive club sports when you owe money all over town is pretty ridiculous.

Take that time you would have spent chasing hoop dreams and study- an education will help you for the rest of your life, even if you don't get a full ride academic scholarship, but those hours spent on a (likely failed) attempt at an athletic scholarship are going to be of little value when you are 30 years old.

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872612 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 6:11 PM
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I hope that playing lacrosse is providing this girl not vain hopes of an athletic scholarship, but self-esteem, discipline, skills including teamwork and how to prepare for the future through practice and training, as well as coordination, grace and strength--including mental toughness. Qualities that nobody can take away from her (unless Mom stops paying for it).

I got similar benefits from playing the fiddle.

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872613 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 6:11 PM
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So play FREE High School lacrosse or basketball or football or whatever, but investing rent money you don't have in expensive club sports when you owe money all over town is pretty ridiculous.

I don't know about CT, but here in MA, it is common practice for the kids to have to pay to play sports at the public schools, so I'm not seeing a difference in playing on the travel team vs. the school team. In addition, the travel teams around here tend to have the higher skilled players on them because these kids are playing their sport of choice all the time, and that's the only way they can do it.

Take that time you would have spent chasing hoop dreams and study- an education will help you for the rest of your life, even if you don't get a full ride academic scholarship, but those hours spent on a (likely failed) attempt at an athletic scholarship are going to be of little value when you are 30 years old.

Everyone is not a scholar, and telling a child to not chase their dreams seems completely wrong to me. It feels too much like declaring failure before even trying, and that is never a lesson I would like to be teaching.

In addition, my experience was that the colleges were looking for kids who did more than just study, and were bringing some talents to the table, whether those talents are athletic ability or some other area (community service in my DD's case). They seemed to want to find kids who had a passion for something, and followed it. That is opposite to what you are espousing, as it is frequently the athletics or other interest that gets the kids into college so they can get that education to serve them through life.

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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872614 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 6:17 PM
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The quickest data - http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/Test/Issues/Recru...

Had kids offered athletic and academic scholarships - they took the academic ones.

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872616 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 6:59 PM
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NFW??? Did they say why, if that's not a personal question?

Nope, I just got a little postcard in the mail with a polite "no".

Micheals and Joann's also turned me down. They DID tell me why. It was because they were paying about half of what I made at [major silicon company] and thought I wouldn't be satisfied, even though I addressed that in my interview. [I'm a student now, I need something part time, this is perfect, not to mention the million and one crafts I do]

Ishtar

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872617 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 7:03 PM
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And I wanted to say, believe me, in 2006, I would have taken that, or a janitor job, or almost anything.

Ishtar

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872618 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 7:14 PM
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" The quickest data - http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/Test/Issues/Recru...

Interesting.

However, this chart is about playing college sports, not getting a scholarship to play college sports.

Lots of us played sports in college, but did so with no scholarship.

There's a big difference between playing football at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute or Marist or one of the thousands of Division III schools (that offer no scholarships) and playing for Alabama, Texas or USC on a scholarship.

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872622 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 7:31 PM
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"I hope that playing lacrosse is providing this girl not vain hopes of an athletic scholarship, but self-esteem, discipline, skills including teamwork and how to prepare for the future through practice and training, as well as coordination, grace and strength--including mental toughness"

Again, there is nothing wrong with sports. In fact, playing sports is a good thing. Kids can play sports at a competitive level for free in high school. Go for it.

However, it's another thing entirely to rationalize spending money YOU DON'T HAVE- money that could be paying the rent, or paying off debts, on expensive club sports chasing what is likely a pipe dream, as so many parents do.

If you have money, go ahead and spend it on club sports, even if your kid is a clutz, its no big deal, because no one is going to go hungry because of it.

It's another thing entirely to spend that money when you are in debt up to your eyeballs when there are much more rational things to spend the money on- food, bills, rent. You have to think rationally and make rational decisions.

If you are an average sized individual without great athletic skill, and your husband/wife is similarly undistinguished, and your kid is of average size, and you are drowning in debt and begging everyone in town for money, spending big money on chasing Hoop Dreams on the one in a million shot that some college is going to offer your kid an athletic scholarship probably isn't very rational.

Take the hundreds (or more likely, thousands) of dollars you are spending on club sports every year and save them. By the time your kid is 18, its possible that the money you didn't spend on Hoop Dreams will be enough to send your kid to a low cost school.

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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872623 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 7:55 PM
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However, this chart is about playing college sports, not getting a scholarship to play college sports.

Send contract and retainer and I will be happy to do more research into the topic and provide you with the number you would like to have.

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872624 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 8:18 PM
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Kids can play sports at a competitive level for free in high school.

At least one other person has already said that in their area, HS sports aren't free.

I'll add mine in here, too. In my area, HS sports aren't free.

Ishtar

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872627 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 9:26 PM
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"Send contract and retainer and I will be happy to do more research into the topic and provide you with the number you would like to have."

Doesn't require a contract and retainer.

Clearly, mere participation in college sports is not the same as getting a scholarship to play college sports.

The overwhelming majority of kids who play college sports are not scholarship athletes.

To put it in perspective, there are well over 4,000 colleges in the USA. Almost all of them have football teams.

However, only 120 schools play Division I FBS football (where most, but not all, players are on scholarship). A slightly larger number play FCS (with less scholarship players). A small number of schools play DII football (with far less scholarship players). Altogether, there are less than 300 schools offering playing Division I or II football (the only Divisions that offer scholarships). And of those 300, some do not offer any scholarships (the Ivy League, the Service Academies, and a few others).

So the overwhelming majority of college football players are NOT on scholarship. The same is true in other sports. For every kid playing college sports on scholarship, there are many playing just because they love the game.

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Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872629 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 9:35 PM
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Doesn't require a contract and retainer.

Clearly, mere participation in college sports is not the same as getting a scholarship to play college sports.


You do know that rad is an expert in college admissions.

PSU

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Author: MissEdithKeeler Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872630 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 9:39 PM
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You know, when I first read that article today, I had some of the same reactions, becoming a little exasperated with this lady. I get aggravated with some of the articles I read like this, because everyone seems to have done, or be doing, something stupid.

But then I realized: I've done stupid stuff, too. I quit a job without having a backup--but luck and the economy were in my favor and I found a good job really quickly. I had parents who weren't always the pictures of fiscal responsibility, and I haven't always been either. I've been saved from some of my stupid choices by more luck, good friends who talked me out of doing some things, my own innate interest in checking stuff out... lots of things.

Some people can do everything wrong and still end up on top. Some people can do everything right and still end up on the bottom. Most of us, if we're really, really honest, fall somewhere in between.

Some of us are assuming she's carrying a really expensive handbag, but we don't know. I can't blame someone for wanting to live where she can be reasonably assured that her kid will be safe and will get a good education. She's working--it's not like she's home collecting a welfare check. And as for the club lacrosse--well, maybe it is a luxury, but it's apparently important to her and to her daughter.

I guess my point is, are we supposed to expect "the poor," however it is that they might have gotten there, to live in cast off rags from the 70's, eat only beans and rice and potatoes, to never have a single luxury, live in a hovel, and work three jobs until they get back on their feet?

We have created this whole society in America based on consumption, consumption, consumption. We're not citizens, we're consumers. We're bombarded with advertisements telling us to buy stuff, that we're not good enough unless we upgrade our clothes, our sunglasses, our computers, our appliances, our countertops--and we extend super easy credit so everyone can do it. When the Twin Towers were hit, our president exhorted us to go shopping, because it's all about keeping the economy going, isn't it? This push to consume is thrown in our faces ALL THE TIME. Ads. The news ("growth 'only' increased 2%"). We all must do our part to keep America on a paying basis.

But then we punish people for being poor. We punish them when they buy stuff they can barely afford. We skewer them on message boards for making bad economic decisions. We say we want parents to really parent their children... but we expect them to work multiple jobs to rectify their money situation, too. Because, you know, this country is STILL all about the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. If you're poor, you must be a slacker, because God rewards those who work hard with money.

I think it's exhausting to sit in judgment of people all the time.

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872631 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 9:40 PM
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You do know that rad is an expert in college admissions.

And she asked for the retainer because analyzing this kind of data is what she does for a living.

Ishtar

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Author: ramsfanray Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872632 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/22/2013 10:06 PM
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I think it's exhausting to sit in judgment of people all the time.

Until I read that I thought I was gaining wisdom and compasion as I got older. Now I realize I'm just tired.

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Author: tracyll Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872643 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/23/2013 8:52 AM
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Missedithkeller, what a thoughtful, compassionate post. I always enjoy reading what you have to say. Thank you for sharing!

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Author: crassfool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872667 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/23/2013 1:26 PM
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Commodore64 says

They show a picture of her going to a job interview. I'm no expert on women's fashion, but she's wearing a pair of knee-high, high heeled leather boots. I wouldn't be surprised if those boots cost more than she owes on that pay day loan. Also shown in the first picture is a large leather hand bag (I'd be shocked if it wasn't "designer") and a smart phone (really? You need a smart phone when you are drowning in debt?

Surely she should have gone to a job interview in sweatpants and flip-flops.

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Author: crassfool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872669 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/23/2013 1:32 PM
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Commodore64 says

... Apparently, she took a handout from the city (I'll give her credit, she's working hard to get freebies from everyone- state, ex-husband, boyfriend, the city, charities) and moved to an apartment.

As many Republican governors have pointed out recently when applying for Federal "handouts," if the money is offered it would be stupid not to take it.

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Author: reader99 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872674 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/23/2013 1:55 PM
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NFW??? Did they say why, if that's not a personal question?

Nope, I just got a little postcard in the mail with a polite "no".

Micheals and Joann's also turned me down. They DID tell me why. It was because they were paying about half of what I made at [major silicon company] and thought I wouldn't be satisfied, even though I addressed that in my interview. [I'm a student now, I need something part time, this is perfect, not to mention the million and one crafts I do]

*************8


When jobs are scarce, employers don't need much of a reason. A recent job opening here atracted 60 applications PER DAY for one position. Many of the hundreds of people who didn't get the job were qualified too. I unfortunately have two degrees but no supervisory experience, so employers assume that I will want more than the worker bee jobs pay and they can hire someone with experience for the supervisory jobs, so they do. Being over 55 doesn't help either, altough they can't say that out loud.


Reader99
retired by default

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872675 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/23/2013 1:57 PM
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retired by default

Me too.

Nancy
IRA, Roth IRA, 2 401(k)s

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Author: CCinOC Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872677 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/23/2013 2:22 PM
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I do think it's a bad idea to talk about your humiliating situation and identify yourself and your daughter by name in this day and age. At 14, her kid has to go into school Monday with all her friends knowing she's broke, on "welfare", her mom has to get gas money from her boyfriend, how much child support her father gives, her lacrosse fees are unpaid, etc.

Notice the difference in attitude between the mother and daughter depicted in the article and this family...

Scott Pelley brings "60 Minutes" cameras back to central Florida to document another form of family homelessness: kids and their parents forced to live in cars.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7389750n

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872678 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/23/2013 2:28 PM
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And as for the club lacrosse--well, maybe it is a luxury, but it's apparently important to her and to her daughter.

If the kid has potential, club sports will develop it. This can lead to college scholarships. I know of several kids who have gotten scholarships that way (mostly soccer, but also one lacrosse player as it happens). And one thing to remember is that it doesn't have to be a division 1 school. There are a lot of good schools in "lower" divisions, and there's a huge amount of scholarship potential for a competent player.

If the kid is mediocre (a little honesty with oneself is helpful), then it's just "for fun".

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Author: scarybrat22 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872702 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/23/2013 10:09 PM
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"Whoops, I missed that. Apparently, she took a handout from the city (I'll give her credit, she's working hard to get freebies from everyone- state, ex-husband, boyfriend, the city, charities) and moved to an apartment."

How do you account her ex-husband's payment of child support as a freebie? Child support is not a freebie, it is the price one pays for being divorced and having kids. If I am misreading you on this, my mistake.

As far as the hand bag and shoes, that's really a matter of speculation. You can get some nice designer looking shoes/hand bags at places like Target, Kohl's, TJ-Max, etc.

I don't blame her bit one bit for keeping her daughter in a decent school district. The money invested will pay off down the road, assuming her daughter stays on a good path.

As far as the boyfriend, so he gave her gas money. I look at it as investment in the job search.

As far as all the freebies are concerned, the lady is working. Granted, she shouldn't have quit her job without another one lined up, but you don't know what was going on behind the scenes to lead to such a "permanent" decision.

Also, if you have been employed for a zillion years and are suddenly unemployed, it is a bit of a shock to not have another one almost immediately.

I have had an interview a week since being unemployed in January. So far no dice.

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872707 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/23/2013 11:51 PM
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"You do know that rad is an expert in college admissions."

I'm not sure if you are being facetious or not. In any event, "college admission expert" or not, I shouldn't have to explain the difference between those who merely participate in college sports and those who are on athletic scholarships.

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872708 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/23/2013 11:58 PM
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"the lady is working."

Yes, she is, and is was interviewing for a better job. That's good.

But she's only in that position because she made a rash and foolish decision, one of many she's made in recent years that only make a bad situation worse.

I hope she did get the better job that she interviewed for and is able to get off public assistance.

Hopefully, she's learned something from her mistakes and won't be so quick to quit this job.

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Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872711 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/24/2013 12:25 AM
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I'm not sure if you are being facetious or not. In any event, "college admission expert" or not, I shouldn't have to explain the difference between those who merely participate in college sports and those who are on athletic scholarships.

I'm not. She is an expert in the field. I'm sure she knows the difference. So far you have not presented any facts yourself. You just made a guess.

PSU

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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872716 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/24/2013 10:48 AM
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She is an expert in the field. I'm sure she knows the difference.

The field is institutional research* covering all higher ed data at all levels. And I do. I also learned to quit doing research for free so I posted what was easily grabbed. Otherwise, it's $1500/day for anything more.(yes, really)


*but most people don't know what that is.

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Author: tconi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872717 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/24/2013 11:13 AM
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Otherwise, it's $1500/day for anything more.(yes, really)




$1500/day is not a lot of money.




peace & saving PSU the trouble
t

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Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872732 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/24/2013 2:42 PM
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peace & saving PSU the trouble
t


peace & darn it

PSU

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872757 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/24/2013 8:08 PM
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"I'm not. She is an expert in the field. I'm sure she knows the difference. So far you have not presented any facts yourself. You just made a guess."

Looks like it was a pretty good "guess."

Only 2% of HS athletes get any sort of athletic scholarship to college, and most of those are not full scholarships, many are very minor scholarships.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-57516273/8-things-you...

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-37242245/6-ways-to-wi...

Small percentages of HS athletes that go on to play any college varsity sports (a small fraction of HS athletes- from rad's post/source). Of the thousands of colleges in the USA, only a small percentage are DI and DII schools (from my previous post)- the only schools that offer any sort of give any athletic scholarship.

As an engineer, I assumed you had the mathematical chops to deduce that the percentage of HS athletes that go on to receive full scholarships is therefore extremely small.

Looks like I was wrong.

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Author: ed1007 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872784 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/25/2013 10:53 AM
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>>Should she be required to sell those things now?<<<

In my humble opinion, yes.

What if an owner of 10,000 acres of land suddenly could not pay his bills. Are you saying that he should not sell any land because he purchased it when he was flush with cash?

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Author: GardenStateFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872785 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/25/2013 11:12 AM
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In my humble opinion, yes.

What if an owner of 10,000 acres of land suddenly could not pay his bills. Are you saying that he should not sell any land because he purchased it when he was flush with cash?


First: is it the land he can't pay the bills on? Or something else?

If it's the land, then yes, he can no longer afford it.

However, he has the option to sell part of the land. And keep some, no matter how modest, to live on/in.

With things like the boots, first, the moment they are worn they have utterly plummeted in value. Housing bubble notwithstanding, there's a difference between something being worth 5-10 cents on the dollar and being upside-down (especially if you didn't refi-cash-out subsequently).

Second, she has to wear something on her feet. Seems even more irresponsible to say "Oh, I'll sell these boots for a fraction of their worth and now I have to go buy something else because I have nothing suitable for an interview."

You can sell some land. You can't sell one boot.

GSF

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Author: reader99 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872792 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/25/2013 2:23 PM
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With things like the boots, first, the moment they are worn they have utterly plummeted in value. Housing bubble notwithstanding, there's a difference between something being worth 5-10 cents on the dollar and being upside-down (especially if you didn't refi-cash-out subsequently).

Second, she has to wear something on her feet. Seems even more irresponsible to say "Oh, I'll sell these boots for a fraction of their worth and now I have to go buy something else because I have nothing suitable for an interview."

You can sell some land. You can't sell one boot.


**************

Furthermore, so many people are selling things that you don't get as much for it as you might hope. I took my grandmother's chiming shelf clock to a clock shop. They told me that in a normal economy they could give me $200 for it, but so many people are selling clocks that the most they could offer was $50.



Reader99

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Author: Lea77 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872803 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/25/2013 3:46 PM
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Aside from the fees for these "club" sports, there are tons of other cost generally involved. Parents can spend hundreds or thousands of additional dollars on uniforms and equipment, travel costs (don't laugh, some of these "travel" clubs will make long trips to tournaments, costing tons in gas and lodging, just to see their mediocre kids compete), and more.

My coworker has kids in club softball and it is unreal the amount of money and time they spend traveling. I do think there daughter will likely get a scholarship out of it (but it probably won't return half of what they've paid on it over the years). They do it because they love it.

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Author: ed1007 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872887 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/27/2013 9:43 AM
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>>>You can sell some land. You can't sell one boot. <<<

You seem to be assuming that she only has one pair of shoes. While I seem to be assuming otherwise. (Based on my life experiences I have a feeling that I am closer to the truth, but I could be wrong.) Of course she needs something to wear to job interviews, but the cheapest serviceable option is fine. Most, but admittedly not all people, could go through their closet and sell get rid of 50 to 75% of what is there and still have plenty of clothes and shoes for day to day living.

As for what she will get for selling the boots, phone, etc. Anything is more than nothing. They have value now that could go toward daily living expenses.

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Author: MissEdithKeeler Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872916 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/27/2013 8:35 PM
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You seem to be assuming that she only has one pair of shoes. While I seem to be assuming otherwise. (Based on my life experiences I have a feeling that I am closer to the truth, but I could be wrong.) Of course she needs something to wear to job interviews, but the cheapest serviceable option is fine. Most, but admittedly not all people, could go through their closet and sell get rid of 50 to 75% of what is there and still have plenty of clothes and shoes for day to day living.

As for what she will get for selling the boots, phone, etc. Anything is more than nothing. They have value now that could go toward daily living expenses.


I'm sorry, but shoes, to me, represent a sunk cost. The money's been spent, the shoes have been worn. I would think that a better return on investment would be to use the shoes for job interviews to obtain a better job than to spend the money evaluating the value of the USED shoes (even if they were purchased for $1000, and of course we are assuming here) the market for used shoes is quite small, and time spent evaluating that market, perhaps listing them on ebay (and paying listing fees) , selling them, packaging them (and spending money for packaging), taking them to the post office to be mailed... I'm guessing her time really would be better spent. In our hypothetical used shoe example, for the $1000 pair of barely-worn... what, Prada? I have no idea shoes, she MIGHT be lucky to recoup $200 on those shoes.

You know, if she had a closet full of 500 pairs of barely-worn Prada shoes, it probably would be worth it.

But I doubt the boots in question were purchased for $1000, and I doubt she could get $200 for them.

This gets back to my whole argument that when we say things like "something's better than nothing," and the "poor should even sell their shoes if they will get out of their hole," we are being unrealistic, uncharitable, and judging that people are somehow not entitled to have nice things---EVEN if they purchased them before the bottom fell out of their finances--because they are BAD PEOPLE who fell on hard times and God, who rewards his good people with riches in this life, has passed his righteous judgment upon these poor people and leveled his punishing wrath upon them.

Sell the new Lexus and replace it with an old, reliable Honda--sure, that probably makes sense. Sell your shoes, not so much.

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Author: Lea77 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872917 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/27/2013 8:57 PM
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I think most people are going to wear the nicest stuff they have to an interview, so judging her on that is doubly harsh. If you have a nice pair of boots and you take care of them and don't wear them every day they might last you years. (Not only that, she might have bought them on clearance, used coupons, or even have had them given to her by a friend. )

If you know for a fact that she bought them yesterday, then you might have some sort of point in criticizing.

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872918 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/27/2013 9:02 PM
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Not only that, she might have bought them on clearance, used coupons, or even have had them given to her by a friend.

And there are some brands of shoes and boots that are cheap, but look really good. The boots might not have cost anything near what we're guessing. Same with the handbag.

Nancy

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872926 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/28/2013 9:00 AM
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Having good, professional clothes that can help land you an interview or job is a heck of a lot better than selling them. You get practically NOTHING for used clothes. And used shoes? $10? $20? Way less than is worth it to sell them.

There's a limit to what is worthwhile to sell. You can sell your body too, but most people would put that in the "not worth it" category.

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Author: toberead Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872931 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/28/2013 10:50 AM
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And there are some brands of shoes and boots that are cheap, but look really good. The boots might not have cost anything near what we're guessing. Same with the handbag.

I think people are vastly overestimating the cost of the boots and handbag. I have a really nice pair of leather boots and they cost under $300. (And I had to buy a more expensive brand because I wear an unusual size - you can get nice looking boots in the $100-$200 range if you wear a normal size). It's possible they're "designer" boots but I think it's unlikely. And you'd be lucky to get $20 for used shoes of any kind, unless they were some really fancy brand or brand new.

Karen

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Author: ed1007 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872944 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/29/2013 9:32 AM
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>>>>This gets back to my whole argument that when we say things like "something's better than nothing," and the "poor should even sell their shoes if they will get out of their hole," we are being unrealistic, uncharitable, and judging that people are somehow not entitled to have nice things---EVEN if they purchased them before the bottom fell out of their finances--because they are BAD PEOPLE who fell on hard times and God, who rewards his good people with riches in this life, has passed his righteous judgment upon these poor people and leveled his punishing wrath upon them. <<<<


Talk about putting words into someones mouth. I never said anything of the kind you note above.

I still am unclear what the difference is between someone with a lot of assets being asked to sell some of those assets to pay for his or her upkeep when they run into financial trouble and asking others to do the same. Yes of course a person looking for a job needs cloths, shoes, makeup for job interviews and day to day living. Of course they need a source of transportation, of course they need shelter. However, we talk all the time about the difference between a need and a want on this very board.

The fact that she can not obtain what she paid for the shoes seems an unreasonable justification for just keeping them. (Would you apply that logic to a new car paid for in cash a couple of years ago when things were good? You obviously could not get what you paid for it so just keep it and ignore the fact that you could cash it out and get a cheaper serviceable auto.) Yes selling items second hand is a pain. I recall doing it at a yard sale when I needed funds to make a transition years ago. The ~300 dollars from selling clothes, bedding, etc. was a fair amount for an hour or two effort on a Saturday.

I have said, and I think even the rest of you would admit, that we do not know the full circumstances of this particular women. If this is really her last pair of shoes suitable for a job interview, or she has already tried to sell them only to find they are worthless, then I heartily apologize. If you were / are offended that I would suggest a LBYM approach for her (which I freely admit she may already be following to some degree) or to those in a similar situation I apologize to you as well.

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872946 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/29/2013 10:38 AM
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(Would you apply that logic to a new car paid for in cash a couple of years ago when things were good? You obviously could not get what you paid for it so just keep it and ignore the fact that you could cash it out and get a cheaper serviceable auto.)

Even this isn't as easy as it sounds. A new car often has an underwater loan. After losing your job, paying to sell the "new" car and pay cash for a replacement car could drain already limited cash. Not buying too much car in the first place obviously is the much better choice.

Unused shoes and especially unused designer shoes can be sold on ebay. Once they have been worn their value drops significantly. We don't know if she has a closet full of stuff she has bought and never used or a few nice items to use for interviews. It also depends on the position for which she is interviewing.

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Author: ramsfanray Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872955 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/29/2013 7:41 PM
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The fact that she can not obtain what she paid for the shoes seems an unreasonable justification for just keeping them. (Would you apply that logic to a new car paid for in cash a couple of years ago when things were good? You obviously could not get what you paid for it so just keep it and ignore the fact that you could cash it out and get a cheaper serviceable auto.)

Actually I would. If it's paid for, I don't see a reason to get rid of it. Well, one reason. If I were selling a used Bentley.

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Author: MissEdithKeeler Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872957 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/29/2013 9:15 PM
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Talk about putting words into someones mouth. I never said anything of the kind you note above.

I still am unclear what the difference is between someone with a lot of assets being asked to sell some of those assets to pay for his or her upkeep when they run into financial trouble and asking others to do the same. Yes of course a person looking for a job needs cloths, shoes, makeup for job interviews and day to day living. Of course they need a source of transportation, of course they need shelter. However, we talk all the time about the difference between a need and a want on this very board.

The fact that she can not obtain what she paid for the shoes seems an unreasonable justification for just keeping them. (Would you apply that logic to a new car paid for in cash a couple of years ago when things were good? You obviously could not get what you paid for it so just keep it and ignore the fact that you could cash it out and get a cheaper serviceable auto.) Yes selling items second hand is a pain. I recall doing it at a yard sale when I needed funds to make a transition years ago. The ~300 dollars from selling clothes, bedding, etc. was a fair amount for an hour or two effort on a Saturday.

I have said, and I think even the rest of you would admit, that we do not know the full circumstances of this particular women. If this is really her last pair of shoes suitable for a job interview, or she has already tried to sell them only to find they are worthless, then I heartily apologize. If you were / are offended that I would suggest a LBYM approach for her (which I freely admit she may already be following to some degree) or to those in a similar situation I apologize to you as well.


I never said you said that, and I'm sorry that you inferred that. I was referring to a prior post that I had made. It was rhetoric.

There is some point where it may make sense to sell something when you hit hard times. It's HIGHLY dependent on the situation and the something that you're selling.

Going back to my example, let's assume they are $1000 shoes. (We know they're not, but it's an easy, round number). If you absolutely knew that you could get $200 for them AND you had other shoes available to wear AND you had exhausted all options for getting money, AND that $200 would make a significant difference in your situation, then yeah, perhaps it makes sense to sell them.

But realistically we know they're not $1000 shoes, and we know that the chances of her getting $200 for them are pretty darn slim. Just for fun I checked ebay for used shoes, and some are specifically advertised as "Smelly and well-worn" which suggests to me there's some marketing to foot-fetishists going on... but I digress. Sold listings reveal sales prices between $3 and $40. Even at $40, it may be worthwhile to sell your shoes, depending on your situation.

But $3? How about $2? how about $1. If you're struggling, is it worth it to sell the things you own for pennies on the dollar?

I think there's some point--that all of us, even those most hardened penny pinching LBYMer would say that it's just not worth it.

As to the car example: no, I probably wouldn't sell it. It's paid for, in cash, so I don't have a payment. The insurance is likely higher than on an old vehicle that I wouldn't have to carry collision, so depending on my situation, that might make a difference. But if I had a 2011 Camry that I bought for cash, unless I had no other choice, I would not sell it. It probably still has some of the manufacturer's warranty left on it, so if I have mechanical issues, I can take it back to the dealer versus buying a used older car with an unknown history that could potentially cost me a lot more money if something went bad on it.

And... glad you had good luck with your garage sale. I have had 2 and determined it wasn't worth the time and trouble to do it ever again. When I moved recently, the stuff I didn't move I either donated or threw away and gave away more stuff after I got here. It wasn't worth much and I didn't need it. It would have been a whole of trouble to sell it.

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872958 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/29/2013 9:22 PM
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And... glad you had good luck with your garage sale. I have had 2 and determined it wasn't worth the time and trouble to do it ever again. When I moved recently, the stuff I didn't move I either donated or threw away and gave away more stuff after I got here. It wasn't worth much and I didn't need it. It would have been a whole of trouble to sell it.


To add to that, in all the apartment complexes I've lived in, I have not been allowed to have a yard sale.

In order to have a yard sale with more than a few items, I'd have to rent a truck to haul the stuff and rent a booth at a flea market.

Last time I tried it, I still owned a truck, but I barely made over what the booth rental was, like maybe $20. And unless you have a seller's permit from the state, you're only allowed to do that once a year.

Ishtar

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 872964 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 3/30/2013 10:04 AM
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And... glad you had good luck with your garage sale. I have had 2 and determined it wasn't worth the time and trouble to do it ever again. When I moved recently, the stuff I didn't move I either donated or threw away and gave away more stuff after I got here. It wasn't worth much and I didn't need it. It would have been a whole of trouble to sell it.


___________________________________________________

Here I totally agree with you. I have had to move 4 times in the past ten years due to job losses, job changes. I hauled lots of stuff to the Salvation Army. The really good stuff I gave away. People were simply astonished that I gave things away. I look at it this way. If I don't need it and someone else can use it, I am happy!
As for shoes, I have bought very gently used designed shoes on EBAY that I know cost %500-600 new. I have never spent more than $50 on them.
Even at $50, I found them to be overpriced.

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Author: xtn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 873032 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 4/3/2013 4:35 PM
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They show a picture of her going to a job interview. I'm no expert on women's fashion, but she's wearing a pair of knee-high, high heeled leather boots. I wouldn't be surprised if those boots cost more than she owes on that pay day loan. Also shown in the first picture is a large leather hand bag (I'd be shocked if it wasn't "designer")...

Really? At first glance I would have assumed the boots and bag are Walmart fare. Were you able to see something I couldn't?

xtn

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 873061 of 884555
Subject: Re: Struggling in America? Date: 4/4/2013 5:05 PM
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Really? At first glance I would have assumed the boots and bag are Walmart fare. Were you able to see something I couldn't?


_____________________________________________

I'm with you on this. Also, the amount of speculation that has been going around regarding a woman that we don't know is just plain silly.
I know as I have been married for 40 years and have experienced the very lean times and some very good times.
We cannot and should not judge someone according to how much they paid for their boots or handbag.

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