Friday, April 10, 2015

Would You Give Her Your Money?

I saw this article over on Yahoo the other day and it got my hackles up.........

Article HERE.

While I am glad that there are generous people in this world, who will give money to a complete stranger this article bothered me on many levels.

Your life, my life, everyone's life is made up of little decisions.  String together these decisions and it forms the basis of what becomes your life.

Where you choose to go to school....if you chose to go to school.
Which career path you choose.
What job you take which leads you to live in a particular area.
If you choose to marry or remain single.
If you chose to have kids.
And on and on.

Likewise all your financial decisions also lead, one by one, to where you are with your money today.

This woman made decisions in her life that led her to where she was, up to when this accident befell her.

She chose to get a degree that led to her working in a hospital and earning a pretty good salary from the sound of it(average wage for a child psychiatrist in NY is $160K yr.).
She chose to remain in her parent's rent controlled Manhattan apartment after they died.
She chose to either adopt or have IVF/etc.(both are costly) and have 3 children at an advanced maternal age as a single parent.
She chose to spend her money on nannies for these kids(and I assume they go to private school).
She chose to not get any sort of renter's insurance.(One wonders too if she has life insurance for these kids sake.)

And then her apartment and it's contents was destroyed in this terrible accident.
And she wants others to cough up $200K so she can resume the life she was leading.

I am sorry. 
But my wallet won't be opened for this lady.
Who I DO feel sorry for are those kids.
They are the victims in this scenario.

She made lots of bad or at the least questionable money decisions up to this point.
With her large salary she made a conscious decision NOT to get renter's insurance when she KNEW full well if something ever happened to her apartment that she'd have to pay a HUGE amount to replace it with a market rate priced apartment.
Let her move to Jersey or Brooklyn and commute into Manhattan for her job.
These kids are young and it won't do them any harm to change schools and move out of the city.

Or maybe I am just being an old scrooge.....
We need to help our fellow man on one hand.
But on the other hand, our fellow man needs to live with the consequences of the choices they have made.

What do you think?
Would you give someone like this money?



  1. for an educated woman not to buy cheapn (about $300/year) to cover the appartments contents is unfathomable. agree-does she have life ins? so, they need the basics for a gome-no way does one need $200,000 to furnush 3 bed, kit, lr plus linens, dishes etc. hit the thridy shops, prioritize must haves and save for wants. I divorced 2 years ago, taking 1/2 of the hh goods with me. I did just as I suggest, filling needs quickly and on a budget. Sorry this happened, luckily all are unharmed. and no, no donnations from me either

    1. I reread the article, noting this direct quote, "I never made the steps to buy rental's insurance because I needed to raise my kids." Needing to raise your kids includes making reasonable efforts to protect them. It easily is done on line, paying in full (cheapest) for an annual premium. Can do that while kids are asleep, paying w/a cc. Not really an issue of money or time, just like not paying the electric bill, just gotta get stuff done. Wish her luck, hers isn't the only family impacted and I see that there are links to other gofundmes. Already $96K in her coffers,

  2. Well, I started reading the comments and most of them were of your opinion. I don't understand how someone with her salary and knowledge would not have renters insurance. I personally would never go without it. We even had it when we were living in our BIL's house. It's very cheap. That being said, losing all your possessions is traumatic, but losing a place to live is also really terrible. I don't know if renter's insurance pays for a temporary place to live, but the money raised will at least pay for a security deposit, and a few months rent. I'm sure those that are giving are thinking about the kids more than they're thinking about her doctor's salary.

  3. I would guess that much of the money came from colleagues. Would it be a tax write off? It isn't a tax break to contribute to a go fund me here in Canada.
    So foolish to not have insurance. I Would not contribute. But I must say I am more inclined to give to something like that than a person on the street with their hand out, or a huge "charitable " organization.

  4. She had to rent storage to hold all the donations? I think she could start over with a lot less since she makes a very good salary. Is she replacing the antique heirlooms?

    I could start over without hitting thrift stores and still need less money to do so. I could buy all she needed brand new by not buying top of the line. Mid-ranged goods are still good quality. I recently had to buy sheets. No, I cannot shop in thrift stores because I cannot walk of stand that much. I bought $30 and $35 sets that are fine. I know that I can pay $300+ sheet sets, but I did not even consider those. No, I don't think I would donate if I could.

  5. Sluggy,
    Being a New Yorker, I can tell you that this gas explosion was a devastating incident in NYC. The owner of this building was illegally tapping into live gas lines so as not to pay for the gas. This criminal act caused 49 families to lose their homes for pete's sake! Do you have any idea what it is like to be homeless in NYC, through no fault of your own on top of it! Homelessness in NYC is up 933%. That is not a typo. To fault this 58 year old woman, with 3 kids, for whatever reason, is insanity on your part. So, she didn't have renter's insurance. Don't we know loved ones, who also foolishly reduced their life insurance policies only to lose a spouse several months later? People make grave errors. Best to forgive. New Yorkers are very generous people. If they want to donate and share, then so be it. NYCers suffer greatly. I can attest to that! It's a tough city to live and work in, let alone raise children. I see more and more homeless people living in the subways, Times Square and interior parks then every before. Cut the woman some slack. She made a mistake. She doesn't have renters insurance. I'm certain she never thought her apartment building would explode either!
    Be thankful you have a roof over your head, money in the bank and food on your table, a car in the are very blessed but if you think for one second badness can't happen to you......think again. Since she lost her rent controlled apartment, starting rents on 2+ bedrooms in NYC is $4,000 a month. Brooklyn is no better. She needs security, 1st and last rent=$12,000 just to walk in the door, then the broker takes a percentage of 1st year's rent, usually8%=another $3840 for a total of $15,840 just to get an apartment. Granted she can furnish with consignments, I estimate $10K to $20K. Then they need clothes, dishes, blankets, towels, pots and pans...the whole kaboodle. Does she need $200K, not unless she plans on buying something, which is ludicrous.
    I wish the woman well. I wouldn't want to go through what she is going through. I lost all my possessions in a flood. You have no idea what it is like to lose everything.
    End of my two cents.

    1. My daughter rents in a very nice area of Brooklyn--$1,700 fir three bedrooms, washer and dryer hookup dishwasher.

    2. Thrifty, this is not a NY issue, rather it;s an issue of a parent not making appropriate plans to best protect herself and her children. Tragedies happen everywhere and many respond to help, such as the profiled woman's children's school community collecting items for the kids.Sorry that you also lost your wordly,material goods. Did you have rental or home owner's insurance?
      Life circumstances find me a single parent, with all 4 of my children (late teens-early 20's) living at home. I have always saved and planned for emergencies. I do this on a teacher's salary with just some c/s for the youngest for another year. No alimony. All of my affairs are in order, living will, will, trust for the kids upon my death, guardianship, and yes, life as well as currently rental ins.

  6. I am sorry she lost everything, but l like you am REALLY tired of people expecting others to pay for their own mistakes. Renters insurance is one of lifes necessities, and you are right, all her choices led her to this place in life. That kind of money could feed hundreds of homeless - those truly in need who might have mental health issues/health issues driving them into the streets.

  7. I am going to refrain from beating the woman up because she had no rental insurance. Even if she had it, it would not make up the difference in a the monthly rent for a rent controlled building vs. a new rental.
    We have just helped our college student rent an apartment there. In addition to the brokers fee, deposit, and first moths rent, we had to supply bank statements verifying that we had x amount available and liquid. You also have to be ready to commit immediately. ( Son found 3 apartments and they were taken before 10 am the next morning.)
    I would not want to move my kids to a different school right now. They have lost enough and don't need to lose any more familiar surroundings.
    Do I think her 200K request was high? Yes
    Did I send money to her Go Fund Me account? No, but I don't fault anyone who wants to help.

  8. I would not donate to her as I can think of a lot more people or causes I would rather support. I also hope that I'm never in her situation.

  9. The fact that she didn't have some renter's insurance is crazy. It isn't that expensive and you can buy a policy that cover temporary housing. I had to make extensive use of a policy once - so glad I had - but so few did. The $200K she is asking for makes no sense. It won't take that to furnish a place and is she couldn't afford the minimal cost of renters insurance before the fire she won't be able to afford market rents in NYC. Even if the money gets her in a place - she won't be able to afford it. There are generous people everywhere (not just NYC) but this isn't something I would contribute to. This is a woman who has designed a life around what she wants (three kid under 8 at 58?!) and I wish her the best - but I save my contributions for people who can make good use of them. $200K sounds like a lot and in many ways it is - but if she still wants to live in the city - it won't scratch the surface of cost. BTW - I lost much in an apartment fire 20+ years ago - over $20K to replace things (and we didn't buy top of the line anything and didn't have to replace everything) - even shopping lower end will be expensive when you have to buy it all at once. BTW - gofundme is NOT tax deductible - another reason I hesitate to fund via that site.

  10. On that kind of salary, I wonder if she had any savings to fall back on. She SHOULD have, but she also SHOULD have had renter's insurance. She SOUNDS financially irresponsible, but that doesn't mean we couldn't help her if we were so inclined. We also don't know her whole story. Any of us who give to charity, give to people whose circumstances we don't know. I suppose if we knew, some of us wouldn't donate. We all must give to charity for several reasons. I think karma is a good reason. We might find ourselves in need someday. Another reason is that with a flow of money out, money comes in. Giving makes us feel good that we are helping others who have less than we do. There is no such thing as true altruism. Most of us have enough to share. I have to believe that the money and goods I donate go to those who, through no fault of their own, need help. These would be children and animals. By their very nature, they are dependent on others for their care. If I knew the woman in the article, I would have a better understanding of why she is in need, but I don't. Instead, I can continue to contribute locally to programs that I believe do good for the community in which I live.

  11. You are completely right.
    I got good grades, went to college, and still had to move cross country to get a decent job when the economy tanked. So I did. I got the best job I could find with good insurance and 401k because I was thinking ahead. I kept my credit immaculate. I had only one child because I needed to keep working. When my husband got us in a financial jam due to job changes and overspending I scrimped, saved and got us out of it with hard work and sacrifice.
    I have savings, insurance, and stored supplies to protect my family from disaster.
    People make terrible decisions because those decisions have no consequences anymore. I am compassionate, but too many able bodied people live without a safety net because they know the rest of us are good for it. I am sick of it.

  12. I think yes, she could have made wiser decisions, but I don't think it's the worst "cause" to donate to at the same time.

  13. Not having renters insurance was a really stupid decision for a person with that much "education." Stupid choices - no I wouldn't.


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