Anyone Else Feeling Budget Fatigued?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Anyone Else Feeling Budget Fatigued?
13
Sat, 05-11-2013 - 4:27pm

Someone please remind me how to stay on track!  

I'm just so sick of "splurging" on things like car repairs and flea and tick meds. . . I want makeup . . . and a new dress and shoes . . . and I want to go on a long road trip to the dessert, or in the mountains . . . or anywhere that isn't a city (the last few years I always seem to end up spending my vacation time in cities - next month we are "vacationing" in Philly/NYC due to family obligations - blah).

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Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Wed, 05-15-2013 - 10:35pm

The sad thing is that college education doesn't have to be so expensive. First, we professors don't make very much. While biology courses are expensive because of required equipment, the vast majority of course can be taught cheaply. If students are willing to forego parts of the "college experience" like varsity sports, fancy gym facilities, frat life, etc., they can probably reduce tuition by a lot, perhaps up to 75%. But who today wants to return the the monastic ideal, the root of the university system? A life of quiet contemplation and study, sleeping in crowded dormitory, having few personal possessions, spending all your time buried in books? No, thanks.

Besides, at the end we in the educational business know that we're also selling prestige, not just actual knoweldge, and that's what the society wants. Graduates from top universities are often very, very good, but we also want them to come from schools that have poured millions of dollars in resources into them. As a society we like getting a whiff of that posh. 

As for the examples you mentioned, Princeton is a progressive university with the "graduate with no debt" policy. I think Harvard is moving in that direction as well. I used to think I'd marry a fellow Ivy Leaguer, and send our kids to either mommy's school or daddy's school. But now the degree isn't that important anymore, and who knows whether I'll ever find someone. But -- skipping forward in my train of thought -- what if our kids can't get into our almae matres? Maybe by then I'll be mature enough to accept that not everyone can do that, and I'll discover that my love is not conditional.

Avatar for mahopac
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Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 05-17-2013 - 11:39am

But -- skipping forward in my train of thought -- what if our kids can't get into our almae matres? Maybe by then I'll be mature enough to accept that not everyone can do that, and I'll discover that my love is not conditional.

As to your first sentence, what we and our peers have found is that our kids are actually quite a bit smarter than we were at the same age, and that there are far more resources to help them succeed.  My kids' SAT scores were much higher than either mine or DH's.  DD is graduating in the top 10 in her class of 425, better than I did.  They are simply getting a much better education.  DD has taken 12 AP classes and has a better liberal arts education (in the sense of general knowledge of English, history, government, math, and the sciences) graduating from HS than I did graduating from my "public Ivy."  My kids go to better universities too - one is at a top northeastern liberal arts college and the other is going to NYU in the fall.

My friends are finding the same thing.  The only reason that our kids aren't *all* going to Ivy League universities is that there are too darn many kids applying to them.  25,000 kids applied for 1500 spots at Columbia this past year, and they were about all equally qualified. Ditto for every other Ivy.  Cornell was the only Ivy that accepted any of DD's graduating class (for science & math, not hotel management ;)).

Besides, Poorboy, don't be a snob - not everyone wants to go to an Ivy.  DD would have been happy at Brown but if she'd gotten into Brown as well as NYU she might very well have chosen NYU anyway.  We know other kids who were accepted to Ivies and chose not to go because they didn't care for the environment.  You never know what your future wife might be like.

As for your last sentence. . . I hope you're being tongue-in-cheek, because if going to an Ivy League U is conditional for your finding someone to love, then you could be looking a long, long time.

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Fri, 05-17-2013 - 1:26pm

The degree isn't some sort of requirement. It's just that because of my life path, most of my social interactions are with people who have such degrees or some foregin equivalent. So I kind of assume that whichever eligible bachelorette I meet will have the same, and it is true that all my past girlfriends have all come from this small world where an elite educational background is taken for granted.

I'm open to other possibilities, but they have never materialized. 

Maybe there is some sort of misunderstanding. What I was trying to say is that I (and my DW) will probably be concerned with where our kids end up. I wasn't saying that I want to see the transcripts of my potential dates.

When you are always at the very top of the ladder, there is no way for your kids to go but down. Some of my friends get very stressed out wondering whether they'll be able to send their kids to the schools they went to. When the kid doesn't get in, you wonder whether you've failed in some way. If you had taken a more lucrative career path, would you have been able to give your kid all the advantages possible? 

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