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Tiki dreams, and then there's reality

February 10th, 2009 at 08:32 am

Hubby and I went away for the weekend while his parents looked after Beanman. It was the first time we seriously talked about my tiki bar. It ended in a fight. The fight stems from our differing views of work.

Hubby comes from a family of salary people and has been taught to get a job, work hard at it, make money at it, then retire.

I come from a family of entrepreneurs, who believe you need to work hard-- at something you create- and you need to be boss if you really want to get ahead.

Long story short, Hubby is afraid to invest any of our money in a business venture. He thinks we'll be better off if we just both work 9-5 jobs for salaries and that's that.

The thing that upset me most was his suggestion that by opening a business, I would be taking money away from the Bean's college fund. Um, what???

We save and save and save. We're doing everything right. If anything, owning a business with a modicum of success will generate money to help pay for college.

Maybe this hit a nerve with me. Hubby's parents paid for all of his college. Mine paid for nothing. I had to drop out after two years due to lack of money, and go work in a bar for 7 years before I could afford to go back. I worked 60 plus hours a week and went to college full time, I paid as much in cash as possible to tuition every semester and still graduated with 40,000 in loan debt.

It's a sore subject to me. Obviously, I am still paying for that college education.

And, to make it worse, I got a journalism degree, took a 50 percent pay cut from working in a bar to take my first journalism job AND now, eight years after graduation, the industry has completely fallen apart. No ones hiring, no one is making money.

So, I guess it made me extra upset to hear that I had to supplant yet more of my dreams for yet another college education. I feel like I have been paying for one college education or another since 1993, and it's gotten me nothing but heartache. Is my whole working life, from age 18 to 65 only about paying for college degrees?

I am hurt and angry.

14 Responses to “Tiki dreams, and then there's reality”

  1. Koppur Says:

    I'm sorry that your and DH have different views on it and you are upset. Maybe little beaner will get himself a sports or academic scholarship.

  2. mom-sense Says:


    I'm sorry that things didn't go well in your conversation with your hubster about your future goals. It sounds to me like he might have to shake the thinking he acquired during his upbringing; it is obvious that it is his comfort/safety zone. I don't think you should give up your dreams (you seem far too strong to even consider it). I would keep working on hubster to challenge his thinking. I don't know how many children you plan on having, but perhaps you could do some sort of compromise on your baby's college education.

    DH and I have a large family (5 and counting). We could never afford to cover college for all of them, and have agreed to prepaid college tuition for two years at a community college for each of them. If they are not college bound, they can get degrees for some sort of job (health care services or mechanic or whatever). If they are college bound (which of course we hope they will be as both DH and I are BA and MS college educated), they can take their basic ed courses at the community college. They have money from grandparents for funding anything past that.

    Good luck to you! You've been working hard to fund your dream of a tiki establishment. That has to speak volumes to DH about your seriousness of heart.

  3. Analise Says:

    I am so sorry about the disagreement you had with your dh... I would be hurt and angry, too. Don't give up your dream. Perhaps your dh will be more open to the idea when the economy improves. Right now things are so bad all around that people are hunkering down and not venturing out of the safety of the "known," and starting a business has risks. The future will bring opportunities for you to earn from your journalistic skills and your creative talents... and you will find a way to achieve your dream, it may just take a little longer.

  4. thriftorama Says:

    Paying 100 percent of Beaner's college, and one more potential sibling, is the No. 1 priority, hubby says. I do want to pay for college. I don't want my kids to have to go through what I went to to get a degree, or to miss out on the career opportunities that I did.

    However, I don't think that that's the only goal and must supplant all others. Nor do I think that starting a business means we magically are taking money away from our kids' college.

  5. LuxLiving Says:

    Try not to let your dream die. If you did it would likely create resentment that could cause a serious rift.

    It sounds as if your husband was slinging some mighty broad strokes around...try getting him to see that you've no intention of touching their college money and ask him to come along side of you to help you meet your dreams. What I'm trying to say is to not let it be your only conversation about it and more of a growing closer to each other. You share your concerns, he shares his, you both work together to figure it out. Teaming up.

    I've killed a few of my dreams over the years due to how Hubster would like me to NOT do those things. As I've aged, I think I'd be much less likely to acquiese now. If I had it to do over I'd talk and reason more and maybe even take notes when we discussed those things so I could be sure to address his concerns yet make sure I got all my own talking points out there.

    Good luck. I hope you find a way to make both of ya'lls dreams come true. How about a percentage point of all profits go to the beanbabies college ed fund?

  6. monkeymama Says:

    I just had to add - I am a salaried person and I come from a salary family for sure. (No one in my family had their college paid for but no one paid THAT MUCH for college. So it wasn't a biggie. No one in my family has had a student loan, for one. We are well paid professionals).

    Anyway, dh and I are very fiscally conservative, as you know. But I had to say I am very comfortable in my W-2 job, it's pretty secure, and it pays pretty well. I know my dh's dream is to be a film maker or something along those lines that will probably never pay much. I am very okay with that. I am not sure if he is, but I am okay. We make a good team. Who knows, he may blow my income out of the water if he makes it big someday.

    I understand your spouse's conservativeness and concerns, but it seems to me one steady job in the family should be enough. While 2 entrepeneurs would be hard for him to swallow, it seems like a decent compromise. Just some thoughts that will maybe help you to sway him.

    & really, does college have to cost $40k+? (I don't think so, not at all). Do you guys have to pay for ALL of it? There is middle ground. & even so, can you commit to work a W-2 job when the kids are in college? Or long enough to save up for their college? Just seems like there are a lot of options to settle it so you are both happy. I kind of hope my spouse goes back to work full-time for a few years to pay off the mortgage and fund the kids' college. But, you know, just a few years of work would pay for all that. He'd still have a lifetime to follow his dreams. We've also talked about him working a bit to build up a film fund. These are the kind of things you may need to compromise on, but I don't see why you would have to give up your dreams. Just some of the thoughts I had as I read your post.

    You've already got the mortgage taken care of, so what more does your hubby want? That's my other thought. Boy, I thought we were conservative. Wink I just don't get the feeling you will be struggling to fund college, tiki bar or not...

  7. thriftorama Says:

    He wants 100k in each kid's college fund.

  8. LuxLiving Says:

    Holy cowpies!!! That's a LOT of money - what kind of schooling does he want them to have??

  9. scfr Says:

    I'm sorry to hear the talk went badly. Good like working out a compromise.

  10. thriftorama Says:

    He wants them to go to a school like Carnegie Mellon or Stanford. Like he did.

  11. mooshocker Says:

    Okay, so I am going to be the bad guy here! First of all, WHY ARE SO MANY PEOPLE SAVING TO PAY FOR THEIR CHILDREN'S COLLEGE EDUCATION?????????? Why, why, why????????

    Kids can BORROW for their college education and pay less interest than most 30 fixed mortgages. Retirees CANNOT BORROW for their retirement.

    Deferring tuition repayment is a gift from the Feds that does not roll over into the lives of retirees.

    Help the kids out. Stash away Christmas and birthday money into a nice money market account. By the time they are ready to head off to college, put a nice down payment on a new, reliable, safe car for them. Or dole it out for books. BUT DO NOT FALL INTO THE TRAP OF PAYING FOR THEIR EDUCATION. We all want to give our kids the best, but NEVER at the expense of our retirement years coinciding with their greatest years of earning potential. God bless.

  12. baselle Says:

    I'm sorry that you and your DH aren't seeing eye to eye. Because people will always want to celebrate or drown their sorrows, I would think that a tiki bar would be one of the more recession-proof small businesses out there, while a salaried job ... not so much.

    100K/each is a lot of money. I understand the idea to make the college education bullet-proof, but please put it in something that if, G*d forbid, the children don't want to go to college, then you can use the money.

  13. thriftorama Says:

    I insist on paying for college. My parents took your line of thinking, Moo. It sounds great, but the reality is that the kids -- like me-- who worked hard to pay for college have a great disadvantage. I couldn't take unpaid internships that would have given me a leg up in my field. I couldn't do extra curricular activities because I was busy working two or more jobs, or 60 plus hours at one job each week to pay for college and rent. And, I missed out on 7 years of career because I had to drop out of college because I couldn't afford it. Also, as a 26 year old, for some reason, I qualified for nothing but loans. I graduated valedictorian of my college class and yet I had no grants and no scholarships. I was given zero consideration by my college's financial aid office. I even appealed to the Dean and met only with closed doors. It was the only journalism program within 200 miles of New Orleans, so I had little choice. Moving wasn't an option because I was an adult with a home, job, and a life in that city.

    As such, I graduated with 40,000 in loan debt. This is small compared to many people. But it is still crushing. It means you can't take the job that might get you where you want to go in the long run, you have to take the job that pays the most so you can pay your loan. My payment is $300 a month. And I am lucky. If I had private student loans OR had a normal interest rate (I locked in at a low 4 percent) it would be much more.

    As a personal finance writer, I have seen study after study that shows that people who start adult life with student loan debts delay marriage, home buying and children, because the loan debt is out of control.

    That said, I want my kids to have an easier time at college than I did. Sure, they'll still have to work to pay for fun and stuff, but I am covering that tuition bill. (Of course I won't tell them this until college, because I don't want them to go crazy...)

  14. thriftorama Says:

    It looks like $100k in 18 years is $385 a month. (assuming a 2 percent return every year, which used to seem conservative, but not any more...) We already save $200 a month, so it'd be just $185 more. I am sure hubby will see that a tiki bar isn't going to supplant that.

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