It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck

page: 10
38
<< 7  8  9    11  12  13 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 02:42 PM
link   

originally posted by: face23785
a reply to: Aazadan

If you have to have roommates until you can work your way up into a better situation, get some roommates. Honestly in the choice between living in a violent neighborhood and living with a roommate you choose the former?


I don't like the concept of roommates. It's a substitute for what used to make for independent living.




posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 02:53 PM
link   

originally posted by: face23785
a reply to: LungFuMoShi

This is something a lot of people in many Western countries should take to heart. You're doing about right as far as what you rent, around 1/3rd of your income. I know people that their rent or mortgage takes up more than half their income. That's ridiculous. And they absolutely do not need such an expensive place, they could rent or buy something more modest and still live comfortably. They just have the attitude of "I shouldn't have to". Nobody is entitled to their dream home, dream car, dream job, etc etc.


A few years ago, the traditional budget held that 21% of your income should be rent/mortgage, 7% bills, 9% transportation.

Problem is, if you live in a place like I do which is $450/month including all utilities, that suggests you need an income of $2142/month to afford the place. And I'm already living as cheaply as possible. The median income in our town is about $700 per month. $2142 is out of everyones price range, that would require 3 people living in a 1 bedroom apartment. Transportation is similar, a $100/month car payment suggests an income of $1111/month. Again, far out of range of what people have access to here.

The budgeters have been moving slowly, but surely every year the percentage of income they suggest for rent ticks up another percent or two, same with the car, while they suggest lower and lower savings, food, and entertainment.

This is one of the issues with being poor, it has gotten so bad that expenses which should qualify as catastrophic in terms of the percent of budget they require, a common place. Rent at 1/3 of your budget s a luxury that many simply don't have these days, especially people in the lower two quintiles of income, and especially all of the bottom quintile. Think about the average town in the US. Not an expensive city, not a dirt cheap town like I live in. Just average America.

The 20th income percentile, and therefore the top of the bottom quintile is $17,000 per year pre tax. Post tax that's about $15,500. 1/3 of that is $5166.67, and translated to month that's $430. What you're suggesting at the 1/3 rate, is that rent should be $430 per month. If I were to live with roommates, in what is essentially the lowest COL in the US I would pay $350/month. My current apartment is $450/month. $430 is simply not a realistic expecation.

1/3 of income quite simply, is not reasonable right now. Any realistic budget has to assume that rent is going to take 50% of income. Even for those who are better off, it often translates into a 1 hour unpaid commute each way to get expenses down, or to still be paying 50% of income.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 02:57 PM
link   

originally posted by: MOMof3
a reply to: LungFuMoShi

We don't have mass transportation. Just in a few cities. Rent is 3/4 of most working people income. Not much left for drugs, medical or illicit. My three kids work and try as hard as they can.


Sorry to hear that, I can only really speak from my own experiences.

To be honest if I was in a position like that I'd move elsewhere, I know that isn't always possible - especially when you have kids. But if your kids are of working age then maybe it shouldn't be your worry? Sorry, don't mean to be rude and I dunno you or your circumstances...my parents had 3 kids, my mother is retired and my father still works but they're doing pretty well. I try to give them what I can but I live 90 miles away from them so don't see them as much as I used to.

There has to be some alternative...but to be fair I don't have it exactly how I want it, either. I stayed with my parents well into my mid 20's, so did my brother and sister...we never really wanted for anything. Perhaps I'm more fortunate than I realise, don't mean to be a dick.

I intentionally relocated when I was offered a promotion, it meant moving away from family and friends. I did have to make sacrifices and do things I wasn't initially happy with. It wasn't easy moving so far away from my comfort zone but it ain't so bad, I see them when I can.

But I appreciate that not everyone has the luxury of being able to do that. I don't have kids, though, so I can't say our lives are comparable in that regard. I know not everyone is living a lavish or luxurious lifestyle, some people genuinely struggle despite living within their means so I hope I don't sound rude or ignorant in any way.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 03:08 PM
link   
a reply to: Aazadan

$450 a month including utilities whaaaat?

Is that the truth?



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 03:09 PM
link   
It was actually the decision to accept the job and move that forced me to make a lot of changes.

At that point in my life I was in debt and had so many bad habits. I started working as a kitchen porter and struggled from month to month. It was a hard job but I hated being a burden on my parents, and I was. I was selfish and lazy, they gave me everything I wanted and I was spoiled.

I worked as a KP for just over a year and was offered a better job in the hotel where I worked, and although my wage increased I still struggled and accumulated debt. I was to blame, though...my attitude was always "I work therefore I deserve" and I wasted what I earned on bad habits and junk.

I was then offered another promotion but had to relocate and I saw it as a blessing and a curse. I could change my life for the better but it meant making huge changes to my life, it wasn't an easy decision to make since I'd spent a large part of my life relying on my family to help me.

So I can't say it has always been easy, I didn't fall into what you might consider to be a reasonably privileged position, it took some hard work. 10 years ago I was a dishwasher.

But you're right...your location is probably a large part of it, living in big cities can be a huge advantage. I wish you well and hope your life changes for the better. Look for opportunities and be prepared to make changes...if you want something bad enough you can and will get it.

All the best.
edit on 25/8/2017 by LungFuMoShi because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 03:17 PM
link   
a reply to: Aazadan
good for you 5 degrees wonderful but sadly most of the country does not have the ability to go to college because college money is not always easy to get if you are not a minority. i know i tried to get money for emby riddle back in the90sbut was turned down every place i applied



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 03:17 PM
link   

originally posted by: toysforadults
a reply to: Aazadan

$450 a month including utilities whaaaat?

Is that the truth?


100% truth. It's a 2000 sqft apartment, plus a yard. All utilities included for $450.

The tradeoff is that it's in a bad neighborhood in a bad town (see my description a couple posts up).



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 03:25 PM
link   

originally posted by: proteus33
a reply to: Aazadan
good for you 5 degrees wonderful but sadly most of the country does not have the ability to go to college because college money is not always easy to get if you are not a minority. i know i tried to get money for emby riddle back in the90sbut was turned down every place i applied


Pick a cheaper school then. You can do two years of Community College and get an Associates for about $10,000. Then, at a lower priced school (exact amount will vary by state) you can do another 2.5 years (an AS is rarely a clean transfer) for $9000/year. That's $32,500 for a degree. If you're actually poor you can get Pell Grants which will cover about 90% of that. If you can't get Pells (you really have to have no income for them), and your income is $20k/year or less, you can likely get about $7000/year in subsidized federal loans (basically, no interest loans) and another $6000/year in unsubsidized loans.

If you pick schools in low COL areas, you can live on $15k/year. So living expenses plus tuition over 4.5 years would run you just about $100,000 or $22,222 per year. After federal loans you would need to come up with $10,000 on your own, which would translate to a 25 hour/week job at minimum wage. You can usually knock out about 15 hours/week of that on a work study grant through the university (easy jobs, they like to give you paid time to do your homework), and after your first year, if you did well... tutoring is a great way to reinforce knowledge in yourself while getting paid on a flexible schedule.

This will all depend on your aptitude and your program though. I've been in some programs that strongly advise you to not work while taking classes.

I don't believe the argument that college is out of reach for anyone. Harvard might be, but not everything worthwhile has to be Harvard.

Do note, this plan would have you graduating with student loan debt (something I've personally been lucky enough to avoid thanks to Pells, and then some other grants once I ran out of Pell money) but, if you pick a program that has good employment prospects when you graduate, chances are it won't be much of an issue. If you're capable of working more, or work for a higher wage, you would also be able to reduce your loan burden. For example, this plan would have you graduate with $45,000 in debt. If you could work for $10/hour though opposed to $7.40 you would graduate with $15,000 in debt.
edit on 25-8-2017 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 03:57 PM
link   
I don't like the concept of roommates either. I like the concept of getting robbed or murdered even less. If it was as violent a neighborhood as you say, and you could've moved somewhere else but the big downside was you would've had to get a roommate, I'd have to question your priorities. If your risk vs reward assessment is similar on that issue to what it was on your financial decisions, that's great you straightened your financial reasoning out. Now you might wanna work on your personal safety decisions.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 04:04 PM
link   

originally posted by: Aazadan

originally posted by: face23785
a reply to: LungFuMoShi

This is something a lot of people in many Western countries should take to heart. You're doing about right as far as what you rent, around 1/3rd of your income. I know people that their rent or mortgage takes up more than half their income. That's ridiculous. And they absolutely do not need such an expensive place, they could rent or buy something more modest and still live comfortably. They just have the attitude of "I shouldn't have to". Nobody is entitled to their dream home, dream car, dream job, etc etc.


A few years ago, the traditional budget held that 21% of your income should be rent/mortgage, 7% bills, 9% transportation.

The median income in our town is about $700 per month.


$700 a month puts you in the 10% tax bracket. That means your gross is about $780 per month. If you're working 40 hours a week, times 4 weeks per month, you're getting paid $4.87/hr to gross $770 per month. Where the # are you working? The federal minimum wage is $7.25/hr, or $1160 per month if you're working full time.
edit on 25 8 17 by face23785 because: (no reason given)


Edit: admittedly I didn't take FICA and state tax into account. If your state is killing you that bad on taxes you really need to move.
edit on 25 8 17 by face23785 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 04:04 PM
link   

originally posted by: face23785
I don't like the concept of roommates either. I like the concept of getting robbed or murdered even less. If it was as violent a neighborhood as you say, and you could've moved somewhere else but the big downside was you would've had to get a roommate, I'd have to question your priorities. If your risk vs reward assessment is similar on that issue to what it was on your financial decisions, that's great you straightened your financial reasoning out. Now you might wanna work on your personal safety decisions.


When I moved to this place, I looked at two other apartments which involved roommates.

The town is in bad shape, so they were only marginally better neighborhoods. Trading occasional crime for busy streets, no off street parking, lots of noise, and still some crime. The bigger factor in my decision though was space. Moving here, I had just finished spending 4 years living in an apartment in another town that was roughly 110 square feet, not much larger than a prison cell for my living quarters (though I had a small kitchen and bathroom too) and I wanted a space of my own. Living with a roommate would have given me a roughly 10x10 room for my own space, and everything else would be shared. Those places ran around $350/month plus 1/3 of the utilities. So, for $50 extra per month, I reasoned having some additional space would be better for my mental health, and it was.

The bigger personal safety decision is choosing to live in this town at all. However, it's one of the top schools in the world for my degree and it's quite inexpensive. Therefore, I can subject myself to high crime for a few years to knock out the schooling, and then never return. Worth noting, property crime is very high here, roughly 6 times the national average. Violent crime per capita is pretty low though, we're actually below the national average there. Most of the criminal element is in non violent drug offenses.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 04:06 PM
link   

originally posted by: face23785
$700 a month puts you in the 10% tax bracket. That means your gross is about $780 per month. If you're working 40 hours a week, times 4 weeks per month, you're getting paid $4.87/hr to gross $770 per month. Where the # are you working? The federal minimum wage is $7.25/hr.


You're assuming people work full time. The local economy doesn't support that. Most work minimum wage at 20 to 30 hours per week.

I have a rather nice job working remotely, so I make far more than that, but most of the local residents don't have that option.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 04:08 PM
link   
a reply to: Aazadan

I realize a lot of people aren't working full time, but a lot of people also work more than 1 part time job so they get over 40 hours. That sucks, but if that's what you have to do to get by, you do it.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 04:10 PM
link   

originally posted by: face23785
a reply to: Aazadan

I realize a lot of people aren't working full time, but a lot of people also work more than 1 part time job so they get over 40 hours. That sucks, but if that's what you have to do to get by, you do it.


I don't think you understand. It's not that people are unwilling to work, if the jobs existed I bet they would. It's that they're unable. There are no open positions for them to fill. In towns like this, there simply isn't an endless supply of employers.

Walmart employs 60% of the town, where else are people supposed to go in order to get their additional hours? Even the fast food places aren't hiring.
edit on 25-8-2017 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 04:12 PM
link   
a reply to: face23785

What do you do with your kids when you work 7 days a week or 12 hours for 2 jobs.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 04:19 PM
link   
a reply to: MOMof3

Did you consider your financial situation before you made the decision to have kids? Because that's what responsible adults do.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 04:28 PM
link   
a reply to: Aazadan

Actually in some places it is that people are unwilling to work. I'll give you an example. In the late 2000s after the crash and the recession, my hometown was in one of the areas that didn't do so well. In the middle of this the textile plant my dad was employed by closed its doors. He worked there since he was 17. That was the only thing he'd ever done unless you count delivering newspapers when he was in junior high school. No college, no trade schools, no certifications, he doesn't even know how to turn on a computer. His job description was "laborer".

Over the next 6 months he went through five jobs until he found something he liked and stuck with. None of them were very good. At one point he worked for the borough picking up trash. Meanwhile, a number of people I had gone to school with, most of whom had college degrees, were either perpetually unemployed or would start jobs and then quit them because they didn't like them. I know a girl that's 32 and still lives with her parents in this area and won't take certain jobs because they're "beneath" her. That's not an economic problem, that's not a "capitalism sucks" problem or a "# the rich" problem, that's an attitude problem.

Now, I realize this doesn't describe everyone. I acknowledge there are some people who genuinely want to work more but where they live it's hard to find things. But you also have to acknowledge there are people who are in their financial situation because they refuse to work their way out of it. It's not one or the other. As usual, the truth lay somewhere in the middle.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 04:30 PM
link   
a reply to: face23785

My kids are grown. I'm just trying to get my husband well from cancer. Then we will probably lose our home to medical bills. Oh well, easy come easy go.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 04:34 PM
link   
a reply to: MOMof3

I would genuinely like to help you figure out your financial situation because it's something I'm good at, but you don't seem to want help. As a more practical matter, I wouldn't expect you to give all your personal financial details to some guy on an internet forum. My best advice is to scrape together the money to research and consult an independent financial advisor.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 04:38 PM
link   
Live within our means.
Very sensible!
In fact, so sensible that I can honestly say that is the one and only solution when living paycheck to paycheck.
And that goes for any income.
I have the absolute minimum and I'm doing fine.
I even get to save up a little for rainy days.
In fact ... there's enough savings now to even start spending a little on frivolous things now (like a tv and a car).
That being said: there is light at the end of every tunnel.



new topics

top topics



 
38
<< 7  8  9    11  12  13 >>

log in

join