broken-piggy-bankA Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada couple maintains that they are struggling to make ends meet on a combined annual income of $450,000. Before you start crying buckets of tears for them, keep reading because it gets better.

Eric and Ilsa are married and have five children. The ages of their children range from infancy to 9 years. Eric is a 42-year-old physician that has two part-time jobs. He works one day a week at a medical clinic, and he also works one day a week lecturing a class at a local university. He knows that he could earn a lot more money as a physician, but his true love in life is teaching.

Ilsa is a 39-year-old dentist. She is currently on maternity leave; however, she’ll be returning to work shortly. Ilsa has to go back to work soon because three of her five children attend private school, which costs the couple a whopping $5400 per month.

They live in a relative’s house free of charge; however, they do pay the property tax on the home. Unfortunately, they can’t stay. You see, their relatives have decided to sell the property. Apparently, they think Eric is no longer sponge-worthy, so they want their home equity in the bank. Nevertheless, after they notified him that he would get the boot, Eric bought a $1.1 million dollar building lot. He wants to build a house that’s big enough for his family and a live-in nanny, which are the concerns of every struggling family, right?


Eric and Ilsa’s current monthly expenditures are as follows:

  • Mortgage $3,800
  • Property tax for both properties $1,000
  • Utilities $490
  • Insurance $90
  • Maintenance/garden $190
  • Transportation $800
  • Groceries: $2,000
  • Clothing $520
  • Children’s activities $1,000
  • Tuition $5,400
  • Summer camp $600
  • Child care $2,800
  • Charitable gifts $320
  • Vacation/travel $2,000
  • Dining/entertainment $200
  • Sports and hobbies $200
  • Miscellaneous $400
  • Health insurance $50
  • Cellphones $220
  • Internet service $80
  • RRSP $3,000
  • Professional associations $500

Total: $25,660

Eric and Ilsa have become resigned to the fact that they are not doing very well financially, and they just don’t understand why. The mortgage payment on the building lot seems to be taking a large chunk out of their monthly income, but they feel they should be able to afford it without struggling. Don’t bother to gasp; everyone who has ever heard this story has already done it for you. Instead, let’s review several of Eric and Ilsa’s special problems, shall we?

The house, which will go on the newly purchased building lot, will cost an additional $1 million. Of course, since Eric admitted that he only has $6,000 in his savings account, he’ll have to borrow the money. Borrowing more money is the perfect response to this whole financial nightmare, isn’t it? Hang in there; it gets even better.


Somehow, one of their parents heard about the couple’s failure to procure another $1 million in debt, so mom and dad are going to save the day by offering to extend Eric and Ilsa the credit to build their new home. In order to give them the money they need, they are going to mortgage their own property. Eric is not sure how he will be able to afford the payments because he and Ilsa are in the red each month.

It seems as though Eric and Ilsa have made some bad financial decisions. Currently, they admit to spending $660 per month over their combined monthly income. By the way, do they still teach math to doctors and dentists?

Neither of them have a life insurance policy. Therefore, if one of them should meet with an untimely death, the other would have an enormous financial burden placed on their shoulders. This probably isn’t a big concern for Eric because he is still relatively young. It’s unlikely that he’s experiencing visions of dramatically clutching his chest and having a stroke while waxing philosophical at the lectern. Still, if he should die, who will pay for the $2000 per month vacation expenses? Where will Ilsa get the $2800 per month for the live-in nanny?

The couple believes the $2 million dollar home they want is modest. They also believe that they should be able to afford it on the income they are earning.

Eric and Ilsa are currently seeking advice to solve their financial debacle. Amid all the struggling and scratching their way up from oppression, maybe they can find the strength to figure this whole thing out on their own before someone loses an eye!