If you ever look around and wonder how certain people are able to afford things that are beyond your reach, you're not the only one.
Do you ever look around or scroll through social media and wonder how certain people are able to afford things that are beyond your reach and understanding? We might have come across plenty of individuals or families who tend to live a modest life but then you discover them splurging on expensive activities or items. People often try to wrap their heads around others' income and expense ratio but they fail to do so. u/StalkSmash had the perfect question for the Reddit community where they asked people to share instances where they failed to decode how some can afford things that are too costly. Here are some of the best answers provided in response to the question.
Cosmetic surgery or procedures. Lip fillers, skin peels, lashes and hair extensions. Your husband is a solar salesman and you stay home with kids. How?! u/grannywanda. Fillers are super pricey for something that only lasts a few months maximum! My cousin wasted the remaining of her financial aid on lip fillers and I was horrified. The spa botched her fillers the second time around and she got them redone a third time, her lips ruined. I've always been jealous of her natural California girl beauty, complete with freckles, her lips were always so charming, like Alicia Silverstone but with slightly darker hair. When I went into her room and these deformed, Kylie lips greeted me I died a little inside. u/Misseskat
I've seen plenty of people in their 30s and on minimum-wage jobs post their huge and expensive funko pop, Gundam, vinyl, manga and retro game collections, and I don't know how they do it. u/RegularEmbarrased36. Everyone just assumes a lot of expenses onto other people and then assumes the expense in question is a bridge too far. But if you actually compare the two budgets, it might be the other way around. Some boomers might scoff at my $100 board game. But I don't have cable as they do and have never been to a bar or club in my life. And they might go on a cruise every year. u/Summer_Tea
Eldercare. $300 a day is about typical for most states and it goes up if they need special care (dementia, etc.) 3/4 of Americans who live to 21 live to 65, of which 2/3 will need long-term care for an average of 3 years. Maybe not all long-term care is nursing level, but some of it is even more expensive - memory care, etc. Comes out to roughly $150k per person and almost double that if you limit it to those who need any at all. Somewhere between a generous down payment and a new house. Who can afford that, especially after decades of not working? u/OpeningCellist1093
Vet bills. Even routine care and vaccinations can be $400. Not to mention if there are any kind of unique issues or an emergency, you’re paying thousands and they won’t give care until you pay. u/mattyhealyismydad. Our last two pets who fell ill (a guinea pig and a rabbit, respectively) probably cost us $6k in medical bills, at least. We're still trying to crawl out of the debt, but I'd do the same thing 100 times out of 100. We did what we could to give them the best chance possible. My wife's high school best friend is a vet student at the university hospital nearby and they told us that our guinea pig is even now used as a teaching case (he was with them in the ICU for a few weeks) because most people don't attempt care on them, so they don't have many examples to teach off of. u/RadicalDreamer89
Being a bridesmaid. Weddings have become so much more elaborate, with multiple showers and bachelorette weekends. u/GraceAnne46. Bachelor and bachelorette weekends have just become too much. I got married 9 years ago and we went to a bar for the night and got wasted. Now it seems like everyone has to go for a 2-3 night destination weekend extravaganza. Which cost $1K+ on top of more traditional expenses. So glad almost all my friends are married. u/That-Following-7158
Mental health treatment. u/the_crumb_monster. It was nearly impossible for me to find a therapist who takes my insurance, which is a major insurance company. When I finally did, it was out-of-network billing so I paid and then got reimbursed by the insurance company, but only after all my deductibles were met. I go weekly and it’s very helpful for me—but this is only possible because I had a major surgery in January and blew through all of my deductibles during the first month of the year. It’s ~$400 a session and I pay an out-of-pocket co-pay of $75 a week which my insurance then reimburses me for (usually 2-3 weeks later). u/CuteFunBoyNik
Modern-day house prices. 600K used to buy you a serious mansion. Now, it's an average family home. I make a good income, my girlfriend also has a normal average income. Yet we can barely afford an averagely priced house these days. u/Th3_Accountant. My wife and I were fortunate enough to buy a house about 10 years ago that fit the needs of her mom to live with us as she needed 24/7 care. Her mom no longer lives with us and we have a young daughter with another one on the way and I'd love to get a house that will better meet our new needs. But even with our house appreciating $250k since we bought it, we couldn't afford the houses around us. u/porscheblack
First-class airfare. It’s just so overwhelmingly expensive in comparison to regular seats I can’t imagine anyone ever having that amount to spare unless you’re incredibly wealthy. u/Fit-Vanilla-3405. Also, a lot of frequent flyers get free upgrades! My friend travels 90% for work and her status with the airline is so high she books regular seats but gets bumped to first class almost every flight. u/Hes9023. Aside from the incredibly wealthy, it's just senior business execs. I knew a guy, VP at a big food company, who was flying something like 250 days a year back and forth across Asia. It was first class everywhere, simply to make it bearable. u/HokersTim
Multiple family foreign holidays per year. To be clear, I'm not criticizing anyone on this and I appreciate that if you live in mainland Europe, it's easier than here (Scotland). I am just genuinely amused/bemused when I see people on their 2/3/4 foreign holiday of the year on social media. We went to Portugal last year with 2 adults and 2 kids and it was probably £3.5k and that was done cheaply. We don't go into debt for a holiday ever, though. u/MelmanCourt
Secret hidden families. I can barely afford one. u/judgeeveryonesbiznes. We have two kids in full-time daycare, the daycare that we go to is slightly below market rate for the area and we're going to pay around 25k this year. Thank God my oldest goes to kindergarten next fall. We overpay on our mortgage because we're trying to pay it off quicker but if we paid the actual loan amount, daycare would cost more than our house. And let me be clear, my wife and I are the lucky ones. We waited to have a kid until our late 30s and I was 40 when the second was born. We both have good careers and make good incomes and it's a serious, serious financial stretch for us to be able to afford it, I honestly don't know how other people do it and there's no way I would have been able to afford two kids even 7 or 8 years ago. u/topcide