Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Parade Magazine - What People Earn

The PARADE magazine in March 2's newspaper had a feature entitled "What People Earn".  They showed about a hundred people's pictures, along with their age, occupation, income, and location.

One of the faces on the front page was:
Nick Tesi, 40.  Computer analyst. Copper Mountain, Colorado.  $50,000.

What's your take on this?  Is/was he:

1. A real underacheiver
2. Unemployed (or without a contract) for a number of months in the past year.
3. The owner of his own small company, but takes a relatively low salary for now in order to reinvest in the business.
4. Due to age discrimination and the bad economy, he took any crappy job he could get.

T. Norman
Sunday, March 09, 2003

50 grand ain't bad.  I know a lot of people that would be happy with that.

big bob
Sunday, March 09, 2003

$50k only seems low compared to the inflated salaries pre 2002. What's wrong with making $50k doing something you like, as opposed to not having a job at all or making half that doing unskilled work? And he probably isn't required to work 80 hours a week.

The Real PC
Sunday, March 09, 2003

1. What is a "computer analyst"?  Obviously, someone who analyses computers.  Yeah, I'd pay the big bucks for that.

2. OTOH, salary ranges are all over the map.  We paid a young network technicaian $100K/yr the day she came out of the army.  She was 24 in year 2000 - don't get me started.

So I wouldn't get too carried away with rating people by their salary.  It will be years before this begins to straighten itself out.  We'll probably have another transient impulse to the system prior to the natural forces taking over. 

d'oh
Sunday, March 09, 2003

I was going to spout off about how people always ignore cost of living and look at the absolute salary.  But Copper Mtn, CO, doesn't seem like the cheapest place to buy a home, so I would agree that $50k for a 40 year old seems low. 
Underachiever could be a possible assessment. Maybe he went to that area to be a ski lift operator, and eventually stumbled into what he's doing now.  $50k beats $8/hr outside in the snow.

Bella
Sunday, March 09, 2003

He may not be a programmer at all.  "Computer analyst" is vague, and may be misused.  He may be the desktop support guy in a small 15 person office.  Or something.

Bella
Sunday, March 09, 2003

Why does everyone here think $50k is low (even with a maybe slightly higher COL) .  I'm happy to find a job that pays $6.75 an hour where I'm living and that's minimum wage I think.  Granted I'm just out of school, but give me a break, you guys are spoiled as hell.  That makes me sick.  I can't even get a decent job and you guys think $50k is peanuts.  No wonder America is going under.  Greed, greed and more greed.

Pigs
Sunday, March 09, 2003

$50K is a good living almost anywhere in America, except certain places like New York and California.  However, the point is not whether one should be satisfied to live on $50K. The point is that $50K is low for a 40-year-old systems analyst (if that's what is he really is) in Colorado.

Similarly, although $200K is a very good amount to be earning each year, it would be extremely low for the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.  And most people would consider $500K to be low for an Oscar-winning lead actress of a blockbuster film, even though most of us would be more than happy to earn half that much.

Those of us who are commenting are doing so mainly on the basis that we already earn much more than that guy (at least those of us who are employed), so we are wondering why his salary isn't equal to or higher than ours.

T. Norman
Sunday, March 09, 2003

Pigs -- And what if you were 35 years old, married with two kids, trying to save for retirement and college expenses?  $50k wouldn't even cut the mustard then.  Even if husband and wife earning $50k for a combined $100k, you wouldn't be living very high on the hog.  And you surely wouldn't be able to send your kids to a private college, unless maybe you were willing to forget about saving for retirement.  (And no, I'm not necessarily in favor of parents paying for their kids college at all -- I don't have any kids myself -- but this is the position many people are in.)

In any case, you should expect to be making a lot more in 15 years than you are now.  And it's not because of greed.

Herbert Sitz
Sunday, March 09, 2003

give pigs a break, he probably hasn't worked a year or two of 60+ hour weeks, only to give 40%+ of it away in taxes (don't forget state, SS, and Sales taxes for those of you who doubt my percentage).

pigs,
don't judge a man till you've walked a mile or two in his shoes.

Daniel Shchyokin
Sunday, March 09, 2003

Please, let's not be too hard on Mr. Tesi.  The same issue of Parade Magazine said that Elvis Presley made $37M last year.  And the guy's been dead for 25 years.

Given the right frame of reference, we're *all* underachievers.

Hardware Guy
Sunday, March 09, 2003

My general impression of life in resort areas is that wages tend to be low, even if  some significant fraction of the housing is expensive and owned by outsiders.  I have no specific knowledge of Copper Mountain.

Some people will prefer living in the mountains with a low paying job over living in the big city with a high paying job.  I find it interesting that he found a "computer analyst" job at all in such a place.  I wonder just what it is that he does.

None of the original four options sound likely to me.  Here are a few more:
5.  Chose quality of life issues over high salary.
6.  There isn't enough information here.  This is all idle speculation.
7.  None of the above.

mackinac
Sunday, March 09, 2003

I've worked 80+ hour weeks before and I do know what Uncle Sam takes away.  Where do you guys get off correlating salary with age.  There is no relationship there.  You might correlate salary with experience, but not age.  I could be 40 years old and just have gotten a BS in CS.  FYI: I have walked in many a mans shoe, I can say without a doubt that if you are making $50k a year, then you have it good.  It's the people who make this much a year that get used to extravagent lifestyles,  New cars, new houses, luxury items such as boats, motorcycles, new everything and it's these very people that can't seem to remember what living on $25k a year is like.

Pigs
Sunday, March 09, 2003

Have you considered the possibility that he might be new to the career?  Maybe he decided to go for a midlife career change and is fresh out of college.  Regardless, he's apparently happy enough with his income to appear on the cover of a nationally distributed magazine, instead of arguing about it anonymously on some internet message board.

Somebody
Sunday, March 09, 2003

I feel sorry for people that measure their self worth by how much money they are paid.  I couldn't imagine a more shallow, futile and ultimately soul destroying existence.

limited edition life
Sunday, March 09, 2003

Pigs,

Again - it is not about the quality of life that $50K can bring.  The question is why isn't he making more than that, given his age and given that "analyst" is usually above "programmer" on the pay scale.  If the CEO of IBM made $250K, you would wonder why his salary wasn't much higher than that, even though $250K is more than enough to have a high standard of living anywhere.

So we have to wonder about things like whether it is because Mr. Tesi doesn't have as much experience as his age might indicate, or is it because he took a relatively low paying IT job due to the crappy economy (and have others here done a similar thing), or is it that his actual job may not have the type of responsibility normally associated with the title, etc.

T. Norman
Sunday, March 09, 2003

$50k and happy, living in the mountains, possibly skiing frequently, healthy etc, sounds good to me.

I only earn $50K now, and it's been hard to achieve (I was earning $200K+ in the stupid ole days). Now I 'try' to have at least 3 months off a year, which thankfully seems to be getting easier. My wife and I both work part time, she studies as well, I want to study next year.

Never lose site of 'why'.

Why
Sunday, March 09, 2003

Unforutnatly, the price of something doesn't really depend on what it costs to make it. So if you have 2 kids to put through college, your employer doesn't get more out of you than if you just got out of college yourself. You may of course have more experience and thus value than the new grad. It is possible that people will pay you more due to social desires (raising a family has social value, so we'll pay you to do that), globalization and other forms of competition work against this and thus you need to save early and often to build your own defenses.

Personally I see a future at least short term of deflation, especially of salaries (definately mine right now though I hope to change that).

mb
Sunday, March 09, 2003

50k/yr is a decent salary imo. i think the issue here is that many computer people are spoiled due to the dot.com boom and have no idea how much what they do is actually worth. myself, i will feel lucky merely to get a job post graduation. and if i made 50k/yr then i would beat the avg salary of last term's grads by about 5k (those 3 that got job offers out of 33). also, my parents both have masters in their respective fields (social work/psychology and english/teaching) and they make about 40k each. consider that an average teacher these days is lucky to make $35/year. janitors at schools sometimes make more than teachers.  maybe 50k is low for someone who has a lot of experience in our field, but maybe 100k a year is actually way too much for someone in this field. not that we shouldnt make big bucks, but if i'm not getting more out of my job than the salary, then the salary is pointless imo. just my thoughts

Tim
Sunday, March 09, 2003

Tim: janitors at schools sometimes make more than teachers.

That's because the janitors perform a more valuable service. Take away the janitors and everyone wallows in trash. Take away the teachers and we might actually be able to teach our kids to think again. It's moreso the system that sucks than the individual teachers, but they're just glorified government employees in a scheme to teach conformity, deference, and destroy the ability to think independently.

Troy King
Sunday, March 09, 2003

Pigs et al,

You all are right - anyone making more than minimum wage doing computer analyst work is greedy and doesn't even deserve to have a job. People who work as programmers shouldn't even accept a salary if they REALLY enjoy what they are doing. In fact, any one who accepts a salary is obviously incompetant. The real experts do it for the sheer joy and refuse compensation. They are simply happy to help. Thanks for pointing out these obvious points. We pigs need to stick together and make sure the other barnyard animals are contributing their fair share

Some Pigs are More Equal than Others
Sunday, March 09, 2003

troy - you sound like someone who is bitter b/c of a bad experience in school. not all schools/teachers are bad. sure not all of my time in school was useful, but i had enough teachers that cared and that were willing to challenge me to do my best that i dont regret a bit of it. you can say that schools suck, and many do, but like most things, you can't say that getting rid of the teachers would make things better. what needs to change is the attitude many kids have towards school/life in general. i'm not happy about the state of america's future (aka the people i've played against on xbox live, who seem blissfully ignorant) but the problem can't be blamed on one source.

Tim
Sunday, March 09, 2003

Don't even get me started :)

'Nuff Said
Sunday, March 09, 2003

This thread is degenerating.  While I personally believe that programmers have been very overpaid, I am also curious about market rates.  The world works in strange ways.

anon
Sunday, March 09, 2003

Someone, quick, be sure to hop right on it and tell this guy that he's an underachiever, after all, we have a mission here:

http://www.markwatson.com/

Except:
>>Mark Watson: Consultant and Author
I am a consultant specializing in Java development, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing.
>>I also am fluent in C++, Smalltalk, Common Lisp, and Python. I charge $20/hour for my time.

Wow, he must SUCK! That's only $40K/yr if you annualize the hourly rate.

Oh yeah, right.

For my money, some of the worst (arrogant, snide, anti-teamwork) pieces of s*** for developers that I have run into in this industry have been grossly overpaid - due to personality and PR, and *no* other reason.
Besides - many here are taking Parade Magazine's assigned title of their one subject as an "analyst" as the gospel. That must be right - after all, Parade is the preeminent IT publication, right? (My point, of course, is that Parade is mass market pap and the guy profiled as an "analyst" could be  anything - a LAN technician, a PC technician, a programmer, or yes, an honest to god analyst in the old "big company" sense.)

Myself - I recall back during the big internet boom reading posts on NGs and forums; I recall one in particular where this guy was talking glibly about "losers doing loser work for $60/hour." (uh, guess what rate I was getting...) Today, 2002, that infant/prima donna is probably engaged in a rewarding career as a Starbucks barrista while I still earn my conservative, Midwestern rate of ... er.... $70/hr....


Techies doing the "my money weenie is bigger than yours" thing are repulsive and should be used for SDI target practice.

Bored Bystander
Sunday, March 09, 2003

When I read these threads where people describe their own situation -- as in, how much they make, how much money they have in savings, how they spend their free time -- I always have to take it with a grain of salt.  Make that a Mount Everest-sized mountain of salt.

Why?  Because the people who are responding to these threads are predominantly a self-selecting group of people who are highly pleased with themselves.

I remember reading the thread a while back, concerning how much money people had in savings, and people were throwing around preposterous numbers like $50K and $100K.  Even if they were telling the truth, I would wager that for every 1 person who named a figure like that, there were 99 who had a couple of thousand in savings, who did not respond to the thread.

So, the fact that a lot of blowhards are on this thread laughing at this analyst's salary, does not suggest that his salary is unusual.  Given the overabundance of programming talent out there, I would suggest that that's about right -- and people making more may very well see their salaries take a plunge in that direction.  But for now, these overpaid types are looking for a chance to brag about what they make.  That's who you're reading on this thread.

programmer
Monday, March 10, 2003

Before I criticise someone, I walk a mile in his shoes.  That way, if he gets mad, I'm a mile away, and I have his shoes.

Jack Handey
Monday, March 10, 2003

Just to clarify ... the 4 points I put in the original message were "OR" choices, not "AND".  #2-4 have nothing to do with him being an underachiever. #3 in particular implies he is probably a HIGH achiever.

T. Norman
Monday, March 10, 2003

I agree with T. Norman when he said that salaries are relative to where you live.

At my previous company junior programmers Right out of school start at $45,000. An average mid level programmer makes between $65,000 - $75,000 & project leaders go up from there.

It may seem a lot, but to buy a house on long Island you're looking at:

small house $250,000 +
regular house $350,000 +
larger house $400,000+

Taxes on LI are astronomical from 7,0000 +

KenB
Monday, March 10, 2003

Yeah, to get back to the point somewhat...  I live in a quiet little mountain town.  Lots of little software companies, big college, cheap just out of college employees.  I get to distinguish myself easily, just by not being one of them, which is cool, means I have greater than average mobility than expected when considering the region I'd be willing to commute to contains at most 200,000 people.

I get paid slightly less than $50k.  I'm married, my spouse is a support tech who gets paid somewhat less than I do.  I save compulsively so I can put my feet behind it when my mouth walks out the door ahead of me.  My dad was a very specialized engineer, did research, but only had a two-year degree, and they jerked him around all my young life.  That had a real impact on me.  He's finally retired and we're trading notes on small company life now.

There is some possibility I'll get a raise of significance.  I'm almost afraid of that; I don't know quite how to invest it without changing my lifestyle.  I'm already maxed on IRA, guess I'm hoping the difference for a 401k would soak it all up so I won't notice.  I know a lot of people would probably love to be where I am and want me to stop complaining now, so I will.  (Well, at least they'd love to be maybe getting a big raise, that is, and employed; not making less than $50k, although at the age of 25, as a frugal individual, as part of a dual-income couple who never want kids, it's really good enough.)

Mikayla
Monday, March 10, 2003

"... at the age of 25, as a frugal individual, as part of a dual-income couple who never want kids ..."

I'm happy to see it is still as hard for a 25 year old  to imagine the further stages in live as it was back when I was that age :-).

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, March 10, 2003

...maybe Mr. T is just an introvert and doesn't like the confrontation of asking for a raise....  OR

...mabye Mr. T a leftist bedwetter who thinks everyone should have an equal share of the pie, thus giving his share to junior analysts.....  OR

...maybe Mr. T does suck at his job, and works for a company who actually takes job performance into account when determining raises (do companies like that exist?)...  OR

...maybe Mr. T does make much more money but is a independent contractor and a tax evader....

....who knows.....

apw
Monday, March 10, 2003

... or maybe Mr. T is the highest paid computer analyst in copper mountain ...


Monday, March 10, 2003

Just me - rare personal note, a random offering of my whimsical good mood, as it's none of anyone's business and normally I'd be polite and keep my mouth shut.  But no, I see my future pretty clearly...

I was just planning this weekend how I might "refactor" the house's floor plan to accomodate one or two more folks...  I anticipate 3 people / 3 incomes would need another living space, since we have one semi-open living room - dining room - kitchen now.  New living room would probably contain the, well, by that point "computer lab" would be the appropriate title.

And at 4 people, who knows whether it'd be 4 people / 4 incomes or 4 people / 3 incomes, and what the expectations of the two new people would be.  At the point of having a four adult household, it would actually be quite reasonable and efficient for one of them to do most of the household chores as their contribution....

Back to the regularly scheduled earning rant.  Not expecting a lifestyle flamewar here on JoS, but I guess we'll see what we get. ;)

Mikayla
Monday, March 10, 2003

Hehehehe..Money discussions are always fun here.

I think some folks need to be reminded that the bubble has burst. If you landed a job fresh out of school a few years ago making 80-100K a year, then you were *LUCKY*. I think we've all gotten a little spoiled by the inflated salaries in our industry.

Oh and Pigs....If you think that people that make 50K are living the "extravagant" lifestyle buying "new cars, new houses, new luxury items such as boats, motorcycles, new everything" then have I got some *really,really bad news for you.*

Sure, maybe if you're a 22 year old kid with no responsibilities then 50K might seem like a huge amount of money. But if you're a 30-40 year old guy with wife and kids, then 50K won't buy too many new boats, motorcyles, etc.

Go Linux Go!
Monday, March 10, 2003

I don't know any specifics about Copper Mountain, but, as mackinac pointed out, resort areas tend to pay low. The past few years, some of the Colorado ski towns have had trouble because cost of living in or near the town has gone up so high that the minimum-wage people are starting to have hour-long commutes from where they can afford to live.

A couple decades ago, I worked in Boulder. The stated position of the company I worked for, as well as several others at which friends of mine worked, felt that living in Colorado and having the mountains available for recreation was enough of a benefit that it justified them offering lower-than-expected salaries.

There were enough people coming out of college who just wanted easy access to skiing/climbing/other that it worked.

Steve Wheeler
Monday, March 10, 2003

Perhaps the problem was in the reporting...

"What do you do?"
"I'm a computer analyst"
"And how much do you make?"
"Around fifty, usually"

And right now that guy's reading Parade and screaming "that was DOLLARS AN HOUR, you jackass!!!"

Philo

Philo
Monday, March 10, 2003

According to Salary.com, $50k is about right for an "Application Analyst II" in Copper Mountain, Colorado.

http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layoutscripts/swzl_compresult.asp?zipcode=80443&metrocode=217&statecode=CO&state=Colorado&metro=Boulder&city=Copper+Mountain&geo=Copper+Mountain%2C+CO+80443&jobcode=IT10000066&jobtitle=Applications+Systems+Analyst+II&search=&narrowdesc=IT+--+Computers%2C+Software&narrowcode=IT05&isforcompanalyst=1&geocode=&geotypecode=geometro&prevgeotypecode=geometro&prevnarrowcode=IT05&isrefresh=1&r=saltitleselectbasic&p=&jobcodeedit=IT10000066

anon
Monday, March 10, 2003

> In any case, you should expect to be making a lot more in 15 years than you are now.  And it's not because of greed.

Do you see what I see?  If anything, you just backed up the greed argument.    All the reasons you gave were b/c the person NEEDS more more, not b/c his WORK deserves more money.  You never even mentioned a thing about WORKING. 

Bella
Monday, March 10, 2003

Why,
My wife and I both work part time, she studies as well, I want to study next year.


Do you use your nestegg built from from the good old days to finance this part time lifestyle or leisure, or are you living off your current salary?

Bella
Monday, March 10, 2003

At my previous company junior programmers Right out of school start at $45,000. An average mid level programmer makes between $65,000 - $75,000 & project leaders go up from there.  It may seem a lot, but to buy a house on long Island you're looking at:  small house $250,000 + 
regular house $350,000 +
larger house $400,000+
Taxes on LI are astronomical from 7,0000 +



Well, here's a simple solution.  If you're a programmer, don't live in Long Island.  Any other questions? 

PS: Who ever said you need to put down 10% and take a 30 year loan?  If you want, you can pay cash for a house.  A new college grad living on a planned budget can easily pack away a 50% downpayment for a LI house long before his 35th birthday.  Perhaps houses are reserved for people with longterm planning abilities. 

Bella
Monday, March 10, 2003

"Well, here's a simple solution.  If you're a programmer, don't live in Long Island.  Any other questions? "

Wow. Your keen insight into difficult matters continue to amaze us, Bella. Do you ever have anything worthwhile to contribute, or do you simply just snipe at others?

Not Bella
Monday, March 10, 2003

Mikayla,

My remarks were not intended as derogatory. I do believe that it is "a good thing" to at any stage in life have a long term plan. I also believe that plan should be discarded and made anew every day.
The plan gives you a long view, a direction to aim for. Yet every day we learn new things, that possibly invalidate the assumptions on which our plans were based.
I personaly discovered that most peoples imagination of what their later stages in life will be or feel like is dramatically different from the future reality. Your "never kids" struc a cord with me, as I remember very clearly that back when I was 25, this was a very deep feeling not only I had but most of my friends as well. When I visit them now, X years later, >all< of them have a family.
Changing never stops. A 6 year old has no clue about the reality of being a 15 year old adolecent with puberty raging through every nerve and fiber, even though he sees some of them every day. The same thing holds for the later stages of life.

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, March 11, 2003

"$50k beats $8/hr outside in the snow"

I'd rather be out in the snow.


Tuesday, March 11, 2003

I do believe Mikayla is real about the "no kids" thing.  I can tell Mikayla is a long-term thinking individual.  Most 25-year-olds can't see past next month, and aren't thinking about putting a lot of money into 401Ks and IRAs etc.  When the typical 25 year old says they don't want kids, they really mean they don't want kids *right now*.  Mikayla isn't the typical 25 year old.  Of the various life goals such as owning and paying off a house, or retiring by 65, etc.,  to have or not have kids is one of the few that a couple has near 100% control over.

Believe it or not, some people really don't want kids - ever.  Myself included - and still thinking that way at 32 after deciding it at 21 (and I only seriously date women who are on the same page).

T. Norman
Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Granted the house was only a 20% down payment (enough to avoid PMI) not 50%, but yeah, some of us get pretty organized.  The world doesn't owe me "a fat salary" by any means, only what my work is worth, and I'm glad something I enjoy doing is worth this much right now.  Won't be forever - easy come, easy go, the joys of capitalism.  I figure it's up to me to take advantage of it while I have it.

I wonder how/when I'll ever start my company, this way...I guess most likely it'll happen when I am jolted by events to remake my plan, and it makes a lot more sense than the alternatives.

Yeah, Just Me, I do change my plans over time, but not all of them.  I recently got one of those jolts and had to decide between quality of life now and ability to have children later, and since I've had an unwavering desire to not have kids for as long as I can remember, it wasn't a hard choice. :)  That preference has been enshrined as fact now, much like I can't change the years I spent on my CS bachelor's degree into something else at this date.  Like you, I've got friends who don't want kids now that I think eventually might...but no, like the previous poster, I'm pretty sure I'm not one of them.

Mikayla
Tuesday, March 11, 2003

>> don't judge a man till you've walked a mile or two in his shoes.

That way, when you DO judge him, you'll be a mile or two away, and, you'll have his shoes!

GML
Thursday, March 13, 2003

problem is, most people are just plain broke and too lazy to do much about it.  its about having more that what you are just willing to settle for. Most of you reading this arent willing to work hard and work smart.  Why not make $200,000 per year and like what you do. Why not strive to be the best that you can be and have the things that most people dont have.  Most people are willing to say, "I make $55,000 to $65,000 per year and I am happy.  But, in my spare time I watch 6 hours of TV per night or rent videos and live vicariously thru the few exceptional people who are Lucky enough to have made it or inherited it...."
So go ahead and just be an average JOE.... make all the excuses you want and continue on your path...all along hoping that things will get getter, when you keep on doing the same old stupid things... how can you get any other results if you never change the input....???  NSM

NoVOSANKO
Monday, February 09, 2004

It wasn't until a good friend made a comment one day to a group of us grousing about what we made (everything from $10/hour to over $200K per year) that she has always worked at places where there were people who worked less than she did and got paid more (which we all vigorously nodded our heads to in agreement).........and then followed that with "and people who worked a lot harder than I did and got paid a lot less."  Talk about whiplash.  It sobered ME up dam* quick, I'll tell you.  I flounder and fluster over how to "make it" on what I make, knowing (vaguely, because I don't like to think about the truth) that there are so many people who support families on what I make (FAR less than $50K/year!) and who are, in fact, quite happy.....I was never introduced to budgeting or balancing a checkbook and it DOES tend to catch up with you (I'm 44 now and scratching my head trying to figure out how to afford putting insulation in the attic of my house, pay for vet bills and take a vacation without putting any more on my credit card, which I'm trying to pay off).  However, the flip side of those "problems" is that I have a house, I have animal buddies to keep me company, and I have a job that pays me Vacation pay.....

This is a society where grotesque amounts of money are paid to our "heroes" (celebrities, sports players) who have, in fact, jobs that are easy to love in the first place...doing something they pursued out of a desire to do that job.  That's OK, but then let's acknowledge that the man or woman who cleans up at the hospital, toils over a steam cleaner at an industrial laundry, births babies at an Indian reservation, or God forbid, does computer support and/or maintenance for less than $100K per year each has their own expenses and hopes and dreams to tend to.....and may or may not be well-versed in how to get to those goals with the income they earn.  But the growing number of bankruptcies and suicides amongst people who incomes are above $50K/year seems to me to be a testament to the fact that satisfaction with life comes less from having everything we'd like to have than from knowing just how much we really do have.  I am NOT meaning to belittle or negate the fear, frustration or panic that can beset us (I know it well!).......but even if you have no family, no "prospects" and no hope.....there is, within each of us, an ability to rise above the indignities of poverty.  Viktor Frankl, who survived the death camps under Hitler, wrote about the decision to act with generosity and compassion whenever he could while in the camps, as it was the only thing that the Nazis could not take away from him, his Spirit.  I have to believe that in the face of all hopelessness that our salvation ultimately comes from within ourselves as we share the greatest kindness, courtesy and compassion with our fellow human beings and all the other creatures "stranded" on this Earth.

I am trying to get a group of friends together in the Dallas area to start a "Getting Out Of Debt" (GOOD) People group.....dedicated to celebrating together once or twice a month in the least expensive ways we can think of....a picnic at White Rock Lake, a Pot Luck and Video Night gathering at one another's homes, and the chance to trade hints on budgeting, share information on good deals or programs, encourage each other towards sticking to a budget, vent feelings, cheer on a paid-off debt, just BE together....in a not-expensive time-spent-together-with-friends (who won't judge us for not "keeping up".....

I have a good friend who is an excellent money manager; she and her husband have created a home-business that has put them into the millionaires category in the space of about ten years.........and when I talk with her I realize that there are some problems that she doesn't have to worry about because of their income....and that Life still poses its share of challenges to them. 

Money, like anything else outside of ourselves, is not the enemy in and of itself.  It is the lack of self-awareness, the lack of community, and the lack of generosity towards one another...that creates the too-often frightening and cold world that we are living in.  I am not much of an organized religion person, but I believe that we are the miracles in one anothers' lives.  Let's find more ways to seek out and to be available to one another for support rather than always fight the fight alone.

Monica SeMarier
Thursday, April 08, 2004

Wow!  This is this still getting read.  I'm Nick Tesi.  Greetings.  Your speculation regarding my suspicious situation ..."50K and he's an Analyst?"... well, it's pretty amusing.  I would say to you - don't judge a book by its cover. 

So, here's the story behind the cover.  I'm not money driven but I do want a regular income and benefits.  Money for some is an object to obtain and I respect that for those that are working towards their families betterment.  I own my home and my car.  I have no major bills. 

My job with Intrawest (Copper Mountain) affords me the time to race cycles in the summer and compete in downhill nordic (telemark) in the winter.  I feel very fortunate to have the life-style I do.  I ski over 100 days a year and cycle over 5k miles a year.

I place a lot of value on my health and fitness time and where I do it.  Yes, I'm qualified to earn substantially more than my current wage.

I don't frequent this site.  If you have comments then you may email me.

Best regards,
Nick

Nicholas Tesi
Monday, July 12, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home