You are never going to be able to save as much money as you might be able, if you are incapable of doing without an au pair, even on a conceptual level. Your idea of what is a "necessary" expense is not consonant with what you claim you wish to accomplish.------------------------------------------------------This will be my only reply to you and is made not so much to you but to anyone new to this board who might be misled by your post.My most important goal in life is not to wind up with a lot of money when I retire. I do want financial security. If I never saved another penny we would not starve during retirement. We already would have more money than either my parents or my husband's parents have had during retirement and were comfortable with.As a parent of a child with a serious special need, I feel it is important to do the things that are vitally important to his well being. The au pair (as explained in other posts so I won't go into it in detail) is necessary at this point to his being in a therapeutic school that he needs. I am comfortable with the hit that takes to saving money.I respectfully submit that investing money now to see to it that your child develops to the fullest of his ability and, even more important, to the point where he is no longer dependent on you, is an excellent investment for money that will pay off handsomely in the long run. The au pair is cheap at twice the price.--Booa (mother of a special needs child, and often tries to project how much money I'd have to leave in my will, and how, to take care of him after I'm gone, though he's doing very well--I'm just paranoid. But it's a large number. It will be much easier if he is able to earn money to support himself someday.)
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