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Maxed Out 2008-03-24 09:23:42

Maxed Out: City to Suburbs Doesn't Always Save

This episode of Maxed Out is about Kirk and Lenka, a couple who recently moved from the city to the suburbs because they're trying to save money and get out of debt. Instead of seeing their debts reduced, they're adding to it every month and Lenka isn't happy in the suburbs. She was financially independent in the city, and now she's completely isolated with her 11-month old without a car or anything to do within walking distance.

Kirk commutes to the city each day and spends about 3 hours in the car, and then when he finally gets home he spends all evening on his home based business. They have over $40,000 in debt and Kirk doesn't have a clue about how much income he's earning. To see if financial guru Alison Griffiths can help get them on track just

Kirk and Lenka are in a financial and an emotional predicament — they have a cloud of debt hanging over their heads, aren't happy in the suburbs, and hardly see each other. Alison gives them a plan that involves cutting back expenses by $600 a month, putting Lenka in charge of all personal bills including giving Kirk an allowance, and Kirk figuring out exactly how much he's earning.

The couple moved to the suburbs to save money, but the amount that Kirk was spending on his commute each month is the equivalent to the rent of a two-bedroom apartment in the city. By cutting back their expenses and applying the difference to paying back debt, they'll be able to move back to the city and repay their debt in four years instead of eight. Before making a huge decision like moving, it's important to run all of the numbers to ensure you're making the most sensible choice.

Join The Conversation
raieven raieven 9 years
this sounds like a good show.
nancita nancita 9 years
Wow, a three-hour commute would be so emotionally draining! It's interesting that it could cost that much too.
DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
why would you commute 3 hours????
Smart-Living Smart-Living 9 years
cubadog- They live in a Canadian suburb, not NYC.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
What I don't understand is why he has to drive to work. If they live in NY why can't he take the train instead of the car. What an ass. I learned quick when I moved to NYC and did the reverse commute that it was dumb and found a job in the city as soon as I gave them a year!
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
commuting like that is EXTREMELY expensive. a 3 hour/day commute is easily $400/mo on gas alone. not to mention wear and tear on the car, frequent oil changes, etc.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
They obviously didn't think things through before moving. He doesn't know how much he's making and she has nothing to do and no car to do any errands if needed. Stupid!
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 9 years
a 3-hour commute? gross.
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
I agree, how do you not know how much money you are making? and did they not think about the expense of paying for gas 3 hours of driving a day? with the price of gas that has got to be costing them a small fortune.
kissmesteph kissmesteph 9 years
It just seems like such common sense to think about the money (and time) you would spend commuting, BEFORE you choose to move further away. Not to mention, wouldn't you check out the amenities in your neighbourhood beforehand to avoid isolating yourself? Like they say, common sense isn't always common practice.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
How do you not know how much money you are making. I just don't understand how you continue to spend and not know.
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