Learning from Others' MistakesIn another thread that went way OT, someone apparently was offended when I mentioned that I sometimes peruse the public notices at my county's website to look for signs of financial distress. I suspect that person thought that I was taking pleasure in someone else's troubles (and perhaps I do when that person is a particularly obnoxious poseur); however, I would like to propose a different take on the matter. When I find out that a family who I'm fairly certain has a similar household income to our is in over their heads, it supports me efforts to live a fiscally-responsible lifestyle. My husband (I'm at home) makes a very healthy six-figure salary, we have several hundred thousand dollars in the bank to purchase a house and income-generating investments, yet we live a fairly modestly compared to others in our social circle. I have spent years trying to figure out how they do it. Between college savings, insurance, retirement investments, & healthcare, I can't even imagine going out and buying a $75K German import or a $50k behemoth SUV, much less skiing every weekend or vacationing in Hawaii every fall. So, finding out that some of my peers are living a charade has had a positive effect: it's kept my expectations in check. Anybody else feel the same way?April 11 2008 - US66YesReport a ProblemProblemSelect oneOffensive contentIrrelevant contentSpam (pure self-promotion)OtherDetailsYour emailPlease enter a valid email address.Submit CancelContent flaggedWe will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.