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Wednesday Reading

This article was written by in Career and Work. 8 comments.

Forbes takes a look at what the good life costs, with the “good life” being a nice house, good education for the kids, and a summer home. In the Northeast, my region of the country, it will cost at least $215,000 a year (after taxes and savings). That’s enough to make most families give up on the “American Dream.” View the slideshow for details.

Fast Company asks, Is Your Boss a Psychopath? “There’s evidence that the business climate has become even more hospitable to psychopaths in recent years.”

A quiz accompanies the story, to help workers determine if their supervisor is, in fact, a psychopath. The quiz features questions like “Is he a pathological liar?” and “Is he callous and lacking in empathy?”

I have to say that the latest installment of CNN’s “Millionaire in the Making” series, Denise Vincent, is less than inspiring. She has a good amount of savings built up, but most of her worth is in her home equity. Not to take anything away from Denise, who I am sure has worked hard, but it seems the only reason she’s “on her way” to the millionaire’s “club” is because of her home appreciation; she has only paid off $10,000 of her mortgage in ten years! (Meanwhile, she says, “People with lots of debt are unattractive to me.” I can only assume she meant “credit card debt” and not “mortgage debt.”)

Her spending habits aren’t laudable. She is pleased with her purchase of a new 2004 Mini Cooper for $24,000 without negotiating away from the retail price, and although she works out every day, $35 a month is a lot to spend on a gym membership. Of course, all that matters is her opinion, and she seems to be happy with her choices.

The Carnival of Personal Finance #1 was a success — get ready to submit your articles to Blueprint for next Monday’s edition.

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published June 22, 2005.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

avatar 1 Anonymous

Flexo-I admire Diane for getting off of public assistance. But the cruel myth today is focusing on having a worth of 1or2 million dollars. She should focus on how much Cash flow her investments are generating, in my humble opinion :)

avatar 2 Anonymous

I also found Denise’s situation to be uninspring. Here actual savings are pretty mediocre, and she hasn’t done well paying off her house.

As far as Forbe’s “good life” article… who cares. I don’t think anyone who chases the goal of two houses and luxury cars will ever really be “affluent”. They will be just keeping up with the payments.

avatar 3 Anonymous

Yeah, I agree with you about Denise. Bravo to her for maximizing her options as a single woman on an assistant’s salary (and offloading the irresponsible husband), but yikes. By the time I’m 34, my Roth IRA will be worth far more than $35K and I sure hope to be relying on something more stable than CA real estate to fund my coming midlife crisis. I hope I never buy a car off the lot (no matter how cute it is), and I can do my own oil changes and maintenance, thankyaverymuch. I do feel a little guilty for dropping $50 on a one-month pass to the rock climbing gym, but it is doing me a lot of good right now…