Fiancial Fiascos

Fiancial Fiascos
Working moms and stay-at-home moms go head to head in debating the best way to raise children.
Julie spends most of her income on tap dancing. "My kids have been tap dancing since the age of 3. I spend $1000 month on lessons, $400 on travel and $800 for competition and costume fees," she says. "I've spent so much money over the years on tap dancing that now my financial situation is out of control, but I just have to tap dance, I absolutely have to do it and I will not stop doing it."

Julie thought that making a tap dance workout video would be "a dream come true," but $10,000 later, it's not selling and she has become so desperate for money that she has pawned her jewelry. "I have lost my engagement ring, pearls and ruby ring," she says.

Julie and her two children are close to getting evicted from their apartment. "I can't get a new place because my credit is so bad," she says. "My biggest fear is that we end up living in the car."

Dr. Phil asks Julie, "Do you think that what you're doing is normal and reasonable?"

"I think that it's normal to have a passion," she says. "I don't know at what point I should give the passion up so I can feed my children."

Dr. Phil tells Julie: "You spent $100,000 pursuing this dream and the roof over your head is being taken away. I think everyone should have things that they dream of doing, but you need to be able to afford it. You've been watching too many movies, thinking 'Oh I've got to pay my dues,'" he says.

"I'm a survivor and I will figure that out," she says.

Dr. Phil argues, "But you've got children and they don't want to sing your blues. The difference between a dream and a goal is a timeline and a realistic action plan."

"I've been tap dancing for 25 years," Julie says.

"You do not mean to tell me that you don't know whether it's OK to spend up to $1,800 a month on dancing when you're losing the roof over your head," Dr. Phil says. "Even Lassie could figure this one out."

Julie says that things became really difficult after her tap dance workout video failed to produce the results she hoped for.

Dr. Phil asks Julie if she studied the public to find out if there was a need for a such a video before producing one, but before she can answer, he decides to poll the studio audience.

"If you're someone who has never gone out looking for a tap dance video, raise your hand," he asks.

Hands shoot up out of the audience.

Julie defends herself by saying, "I'm not looking to get rich; I was looking to have a better life."

She has sold just 20 videos.

"I feel like I took a risk and I failed," Julie says.

Dr. Phil applauds Julie for her passion, but adds, "There's a point at which your dream can become a nightmare."

Julie is convinced that she is on the right path. "I really do believe that I'm going to make a lot of money on it."

"That's fine if you can afford it, but you have children that don't get a vote and you have just dreamed away the roof over their heads," Dr. Phil asserts.

Julie is adamant about her kids' love of dance, but Dr. Phil says that she and her kids can dance without paying $1,800 a month.

"Your number one priority is not to turn your kids into dancers but to turn them into adults," he says.

Elizabeth warren, an attorney, bankruptcy specialist and author of The Two Income Trap, shares her thoughts on Julie's situation.

"I think we've got someone who's about to dance her way to the poorhouse," she tells Julie. "You tried to start a small business, and 200,000 people file for bankruptcy because of failed small businesses each year."

Elizabeth adds that being a single mom puts Julie in the biggest risk group.

"Until you have the first and last month's rent in the bank, there is no more money for tap shoes," she says. "It's going to feel good to dance when you know you have a house to go back to and food on the table."

Julie says, "I'm so optimistic that we're going to work through it."

Dr. Phil tells her, "You call it optimistic, I call it irresponsible."