We Cannot Afford to Buy Red Meat

My wife and I earn a gross income under $120,000. After paying our mortgage, school tuition and some other basic monthly bills towards food, electricity, hydro, insurance and our car, we are left with almost nothing.

It seems that many of our children’s friends at their day school have a higher standard of living than ours. It is very hard to have to constantly remind my children that we cannot afford to do or have like many of their friends.

My wife and I work hard and we are dedicated to Jewish education. Sometimes, we imagine together about some of the things we could have if we didn’t have to pay $24,000 for our children’s Jewish education. Things like a second car, a family vacation, a house cleaner and other items that are pretty basic for a middle-class family.

We are very appreciative of the subsidy we receive for our children’s tuition, however outside of our 3-bedroom house and rich Jewish education, we live a lifestyle of a lower-class family. We always shop with food coupons, we cannot afford to buy red meat, we receive clothes second hand, we occasionally shop at garage sales, we rarely spend money on entertainment (the library is free!) and we keep our house between 14 and 19 degrees in the winter and 24 in the summer (our hydro bill is very low due to our careful use of it).

The high price of tuition relative to our net income basically turns our middle-class salaries into a lower-class lifestyle. It is very difficult to live like this. We value Jewish education, but the price is simply way too high. We have no idea how we will afford tuition once our children enter high school and the prices increase.

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We are sharing personal stories about how the affordability issue affects families in our community. We are posting these stories anonymously.

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We would like to share personal stories about how the affordability issue has affected families in our community. We will post these stories anonymously on our Facebook page and on our website.

We will not include any personal information such as names, schools, other institutions, or any other identifying information. We reserve the right to edit all submissions.

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