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Maxed Out 2008-04-29 04:18:48

Maxed Out: Family Stresses and Debt Become Overwhelming

This episode of Maxed Out is about Yvonne and David, a couple who spends more time in the red than in the black. Their heavy debt load and stresses of caring for David's elderly parents make it difficult for them to even enjoy spending time with their kids. While they'd like to be in a position to help his parents financially, they need to help themselves before they can even think about helping anyone else. Fearing bankruptcy, Yvonne and David can't figure out a way to continue living with the emotional stress of debt and call on financial guru Allison Griffiths to get the family on track. With a monthly shortfall of $2,300 and an amassed debt of about $35,000 Allison has her work cut out for her. To see how she helps them just

Allison studies the couple's spending habits and finds a red flag number of $188 — that's how much they're paying in bank fees every single month. She shows them that in eleven years, the same amount of time their first child will be ready to go to college that compounded $188, would amount to $24,800, which could be used toward educational expenses. Their young daughter was attending daycare that cost $700 a month, but Yvonne decides to stay home and pursue her business full time while saving money on daycare. Another big expense they're able to cut out is the $240 per month French tutor for their son — since David is bilingual he replaces the tutor and is able to spend additional time with his son.

Yvonne and David say they feel more in control by the episode's end and this sentiment is truly believable. They seemed so overwhelmed and overextended when Allison first met them and they weren't making time to have any fun together. Being pulled in many directions made them think there wasn't any time left in the day for each other, but Allison made them see that depriving themselves of time together was just creating additional stress in their lives. David says that they'll always find a way to be able to pay for a babysitter, and I think that's definitely an important thing to include in a couple's budget.

Danzsyco Danzsyco 9 years
If you're not looking - things can really get the better of you - the reason people get so in debt is because they just keep adding things and not looking at the true cost - most everyone has a leak or ten somewhere and since financial planning isn't taught in school - or adequately enough we see things like this - I feel for anyone who doesn't have control of their situation and feels helpless.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Wow, a French tutor. Seriously, the money is short and he is taking lessons.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I too think that they should have been able to see this for themselves. All you have to do is write down all of your expenses for the month and see what isn't needed or what you could cut down on if you did things differently.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
on the all time list of important things.....the french tutor didnt put a red flag as NOT ONE OF THEM?
md12398 md12398 9 years
while i agree that saving for retirement is important, i think you're downplaying the importance of saving for college. i also had to pay for school all by myself, which left me with tens of thousands of dollars in crippling student debt (even though i had loads of scholarships and grants). having been through it, i never want to pass that burden on to my children, and i think with some responsible planning, you can find a way to save for both.
arbywhopper arbywhopper 9 years
I agree. I had to put myself through collage. My parents didn't help, kids these days have more resources and more ways to get the money they need to go to school.
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
I have never seen the show but I am curious. They're talking about saving for the kid's education but are the parents saving for themselves? Their retirement? It would make sense to me that they save for emergencies then save for their retirement before their kid's college (I'm assuming that's what it is). Making sure they have an income when they're too feeble to work is more important than saving for their kid's college. The kids can find a way on their own.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
it's easier to see things on the outside...
imLissy imLissy 9 years
they couldn't figure those three things out themselves?
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