The Dashed Dreams of Wall Street Wives

In today's economic turmoil, won't someone please think of all the Wall Street wives?

There's a little (okay a lot) of schadenfreude going on about Wall Street, but I still find this article by Geraldine Baum for the Los Angeles Times about dashed dreams of Wall Street wives very interesting:

Fran Alvarez rarely spent lavishly, as she describes it, during the five years her husband, Carlos, 43, was making $250,000 writing software programs for Credit Suisse. He will be earning half that in his new job away from Wall Street. It was either that or sell the house with its $3,000 monthly mortgage.

At 41, Fran is the caretaker of their daughters, Gabriella, 6, and Isabella, 4. In the last five months she has gone back to her daughter-of-a-mechanic mentality. She canceled magazine subscriptions and expensive cable -- and stopped buying soft toilet paper.

"Growing up, my mom used to buy the scratchiest toilet paper, and when we complained she would say, "When you get your own job, you buy the expensive type,' " Fran says. "Well, we're back to the scratchy stuff."


(Photo: Carolyn Cole / LA Times)

Oh how my heart aches so, for these poor and unfortunate people. It must be so absolutely devastating to walk through a mall and not be able to purchase what strikes your fancy. And no more soft toilet paper? Incredible, I truly hope these women can find some inner strength in order to get through this crisis.

Sniff, sniff.
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Wow, they were spending $125,000 a year on magazines, cable, and toilet paper? Oh to live the glamorous life of a Wall Street housewife....
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My gf is currently in medschool and we live off my salary only (no extra taken out in student loans.) Come live with us for a week and I'll show you how to keep your fancy buttwipe and your cable at the same time. NOOBS!
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This... this is satirical right? This is supposed to be funny? Oh God, it's serious??

My parents BOTH work, as LAWYERS (supposedly the rich bastards right?) and together they don't make $200,000... I don't think they even make $150,000. We consider ourselves well-off... really well-off.

People suck. This is what I've decided.
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Geesh, what horror at living reasonably, no longer able to buy what ever strikes your fancy and living high above everyone else. And here I thought a strong work ethic was the proclaimed reason they were rich, not fool's luck.

I've always wondered why no one ever seems to sincerely believe that economies will go down or crash eventually. It doesn't take much of a look over history to notice that little pattern.
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i don't care how many times your toilet paper is quilted, nor how fluffy it is when you rub it against your cheek - if you're not wetting it before you use it, you may as well use nothing.
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There are too many people who drive new cars, have a too big house, and then wonder why they can't afford other things or have to sell if the income slows.

It is the American dream to succeed, but you have to actually succeed before you can afford all your stuff. If you risk everything with credit, don't complain when it doesn't pan out. We believe in rewarding hard work and risk-taking, but we don't guarantee anything. (Unless our government decides to put its big, clumsy hands in to save the stupid.)
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I know so many people who are desperately looking for regular jobs, who can't even get temporary work. These people are skilled, some have degrees, but it doesn't matter.

The people in this article threw money around. The Monds obviously felt some need to impress everyone with their money. The Alvarezs obviously have no clue as to what is a necessity and what isn't. Instead of focusing on the essentials (place to live, food, children's needs), they whine about the luxuries they don't have anymore, and the inability to just buy whatever they want.

Bummer. Welcome to the real world. Sucks, doesn't it.
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So one of the couples went from a $400,000 income down to a pauper's $200,000, and the other went from $250,000, to a welfare-needing $125,000? Now they have to live on a budget? The horror. They'll have to shop at Wal-Mart and Target with the peasants? That's unbearable. They should all commit suicide, as it's dishonorable to live like the common masses.
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Wow, I live off about 3k a month, only 1.5k this month, and I can afford soft toilet paper AND satellite tv pay channels. I overall, agree with Persephone.
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Dear Fran Alvarez:

Fuck you, you rich, rich, rich idiot. You STILL make more money than most people in America. You don't have to buy scratchy toilet paper. You just need to stop buying things without thinking about them. Quit acting like you're poor. You're still very rich.


Everyone who makes like 1/4 of what your husband currently makes, but still buys nice toilet paper
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It looks as if she it attempting to fashion a meal from raw materials using her own hands! GAH!! Such menial labour is fit only for swine! To what depths will the nouveau poore sink to? It's disgusting.
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but remember, their $3000 mortgage payment is for a house that lost 30% of its value. Its that they CANT sell the house because they are so upside-down in it.

They still are whiny brats.
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Oh, be-still my f-ing heart.


I wonder if the wives will cheat on the husbands now that their reason for marrying him (wealth) is gone.

(and i'n not saying all women do that, but the ones who marry high paid software techs? yeah... and that's speaking as a software geek - although not a high paid one. :( ).
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Look at that sad face in the pictures! Ho hum, no lobster today. Really?? And to feel sorry for yourself you're going to stop buying soft toilet paper even though that's ridiculously unnecessary?

I'm a college educated citizen working part-time no benefits at a grocery store and taking my time not working to hit the pavement to apply for jobs hundreds of others are applying for. I barely have money to feed myself but I'm still not the worst nor should I be pitied..I'm not a single parent. You on the other hand, wow. SHUT. UP.
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I wrote the author of the article my thoughts about her piece. Not only is it asinine to have to know that these women are whining about their circumstances, but the woman who wrote this article gives them a forum to do it! I live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Where all the huge floods happened this summer. I know people who are facing a winter living in apartments or FEMA trailers because their homes were washed down river. Or they were damaged so badly the homes are being bulldozed. And I would really be interested in someone could find anything about the people in Cedar Rapids looting, raping, or murdering anybody because of this tragedy. We are so fortunate to live in such a prosperous nation, we are just unfortunate to have to listen about whiny brats like these people. These people have been dropped a few pegs, but they are far from hitting bottom.
My friend is a single mom, lost her home and belongings in the flood and got hit with colon cancer two months afterward. And she still has a positive outlook on life. More power to people like her! Like twoeightnine, thank you that there are people out there that are GRATEFUL (yes, I'm shouting) for what they have, not whining about what they don't.
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Mmmm... $250000/2-12*$3000 = $89000 net!
I take it, thank you.

The 6 figures as a professionnal / life style achievement looks to me as an essential American value. So I guess I understand why people would go upset loosing that number 6.

Poverty is in the eye of the beholder.
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That mortgage doesn't really seem /that/ bad, most couples in the uk are paying at least $2000/mo on their mortgage. As for the rest of their problems (points and laughs).
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I buy the scratchy one ply not cause it's cheap. (it is but not where I'm going with this.) But because a roll for one person lasts damned near a month.

When we were young tweeners and teens we would change twice a day and go thru towels like we lived in a hotel. Mom would go ballistic about it.

Now an old fart I hang that puppy and try for 4 days usage.
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i live on less than $1000 a month. i have netflix, and the internet. i have a warm bed to sleep in, and food to eat. i am surviving and happy to be where i am. when i read stories like this i just want to throw up all over the place. what a shallow country we live in... why do we always hear about these rich people who have to cut down on their luxuries as if it's an epidemic? as if we have to bail THEM out? as if they are entitled to the empty possessions they charged to their mastercard? as if we're supposed to feel sorry for their mistakes? what about those of us who have no credit cards and are living paycheck to paycheck? what about those of us who are building our lives with honest principles and look passed all this hub-bub about "i can't borrow any more money! i can't buy a new car! i can't get a second mortgage on my huge house i couldn't afford in the first place!" but i can't get started... i'll just take up the rest of the page with my ranting about the hypocracy of the economy. grr.....
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I may be only one person (not a family of 4), but I work as an office admin on Wall St and I gross about $60 a year. After taxes it's MUCH less than that. I live in NYC, have Netflix, Cable, Cable modem and buy soft toilet paper by the case (saves a few bucks). So...I guess the key to survival is to just not have kids? Sounds good to me!!
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At least some good things come of this kind of crisis. Pampered mallrat soccer moms get a small reality check. Welcome to our world. If you want real tragedy, try the Zimbabwe recession.
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*urge to rant rising* But I won't. I think it all comes down to how one was raised and their belief in how to deal with money. I have a part time job to help my dad pay for the daily stuff. If Fran is having such a hard time doing things maybe she should get a job. Extra earners in the family do help in the long run.
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New York City is currently the most expensive city in the United States. In Manhattan, the average 2 bedroom apartment (between 1000-1200 feet) can average approximately 1.2 million dollars.

Even in the outer boroughs such as Brooklyn, the average 2 bedroom (between 1000-1200 sq feet) can average approx. 500K.

In terms of rental, a $2000- $3000/month equals a decent 800 sq feet apartment with a flushable working bathroom.

One reason why prices are so high is because, the best jobs are concentrated in Manhattan. As a result everyone tries to live really close to Manhattan to ensure a reasonable commute. Given the fact that many New Yorkers (Wall Streeters and non-Wall Streeters) work 60-80 hour weeks, the commuting time becomes extremely important. When you're burning the midnight oil, the last thing you want is a 2 hour drive home.

Also, because the U.S. dollar was so low, many Europeans sought to buy up real estate in New York, keeping the prices very high.

So yes, a six figure salary looks like a lot of money on paper, but in reality, it really depends on where you live. A six figure salary may buy you a lot of nice things in one place, but in NYC, it can buy you a lot of scratchy toilet paper.

Hey, but it's better than being in London, where 2 movie tickets cost $30-40.

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