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Going paycheck to paycheck.......

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45 minutes ago, KCitons said:

Isn't the struggle that they are going through "living in the now". I feel bad for those that have medical issues that put them in a bad situation. Those things can't be helped. I've spent that last 20 years not only making tough financial decisions due to my daughters diabetic needs, but also personal decisions. For 5 years, we didn't trust anyone (and some didn't want to take on the risk) of babysitting our daughter if we went on vacation or out for an evening. They didn't want to administer the insulin shots. 

Everyone has decisions to make each day. Some are good, some are bad, and some are out of our control.

Again, there are always exceptions. Not every situation is the same. Not every solution is the same. I am only speaking of generalities and the statistics. There are plenty of individuals that do not fit the rule and are in a "bad spot" for legitimate reasons. There are also lots of folks there due to self induced crisis - I'm not even judging those people, just stating the facts. Lots of people are sucked into being able to "get it now" but pay much more for it than they should in interest, etc. And then it becomes a cycle.

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3 hours ago, Sand said:

Ahhh - so you drove the fancy car.  I remember guys like you in college.

 

 

If you mean the last 14 years i was fancy I'll TAKE IT  :)

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33 minutes ago, TripItUp said:
38 minutes ago, belljr said:

My instate is 30K :unsure:

 

wowza

Sorry this included room and board which I assume we are all paying in some form.

Out of state for that state school is 17K more for the tuition. 

Still expensive for instate if you are staying at school

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57 minutes ago, fantasycurse42 said:

Asking for a friend:

How exactly does this work? Let's say my friend has an enormously high amount of credit available, no liabilities, no debt outstanding, but funds in different savings accounts, 401k, brokerage accounts, etc. - if he was to run up a $500k bill in credit, could he file bankruptcy and just not pay it back? 

The short answer is that your friend's savings accounts and brokerage accounts would almost entirely be used to pay back his unsecured credit (subject to some small exemptions).  The 401k would be protected up to a cap, then liquidated.  Other assets would be marshalled and liquidated, again subject to statutory exemptions.  Some confusion in the responses as between a chap 13 (wage-earners payment plan) and chap 7 (liquidation) bankruptcies.  In short, the bankruptcy law for the most part makes sense.  Absent fraud, you can't discharge debt while living high on the hog.

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1 minute ago, CletiusMaximus said:
1 hour ago, fantasycurse42 said:

Asking for a friend:

How exactly does this work? Let's say my friend has an enormously high amount of credit available, no liabilities, no debt outstanding, but funds in different savings accounts, 401k, brokerage accounts, etc. - if he was to run up a $500k bill in credit, could he file bankruptcy and just not pay it back? 

The short answer is that your friend's savings accounts and brokerage accounts would almost entirely be used to pay back his unsecured credit (subject to some small exemptions).  The 401k would be protected up to a cap, then liquidated.  Other assets would be marshalled and liquidated, again subject to statutory exemptions.  Some confusion in the responses as between a chap 13 (wage-earners payment plan) and chap 7 (liquidation) bankruptcies.  In short, the bankruptcy law for the most part makes sense.  Absent fraud, you can't discharge debt while living high on the hog.

Don't some states allow you to exempt your home?

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28 minutes ago, ChiefD said:

This thread is so fascinating on so many levels.  

Care to elaborate?

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2 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

  Absent fraud, you can't discharge debt while living high on the hog.

I'm not sure what qualifies as "living high on the hog", but, for example, someone below the median income for their state certainly could consistently overspend with a higher rent that they can afford, a lot of money spent on vacations, dinners and entertainment out, expensive cell and cable packages, etc. and file bankruptcy without much risk of being busted for fraud.  

I agree, though, that fantasycurse's "friend" sounds like a different story.

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5 minutes ago, Juxtatarot said:

I'm not sure what qualifies as "living high on the hog", but, for example, someone below the median income for their state certainly could consistently overspend with a higher rent that they can afford, a lot of money spent on vacations, dinners and entertainment out, expensive cell and cable packages, etc. and file bankruptcy without much risk of being busted for fraud.  

I agree, though, that fantasycurse's "friend" sounds like a different story.

Those seem low risk for a fraud prosecution.  The ones they go for you on are where people build up huge assets and then hide them, contractors buying up a bunch of equipment and then hiding them in storage is a better example.  You can't re-po a hotel stay on the champs.  

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27 minutes ago, The Iguana said:

A topic like this is only going to fit "the majority" of a population. There are always going to be some people that do things "right" but still struggle. It totally happens. I think the idea that stats say that like something like 80%+ are living paycheck to paycheck shows that the "majority" are making poor decisions. Any individual may have a different situation but as a "generality", a bunch of those people are in that spot because of not thinking long term and/or making poor decisions.

There are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule, imo.

It's an issue with me because I don't think it's the exception to the rule anymore.  I think it's developing into the rule.  

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1 minute ago, derek245583 said:

Care to elaborate?

Just there really are no "rules" to this paycheck to paycheck phenomenon. It crosses so many boundaries, social classes, education levels, etc. Nobody here has any idea what's going on in the households around us. And we really shouldn't care. It's none of our business.

Just like someone else's religion, or politics, or whatever is none of our business. And honestly, what I say doesn't really matter either. Yet folks will argue to the death about topics (in this case the paycheck to paycheck topic) as if it's so simple as people are irresponsible with their money. God if it were only that simple...:lol:

My wife and I save the best we can. We have a small rainy day fund. We used to have more. My child had a bad medical deal when he was two that nearly wiped us out, and it's taken us 9 years to almost get back to normal. So we are close to paycheck to paycheck. But we aren't irresponsible. We don't live extravagantly. We do without.

We like to have iphones. We like cable TV. We don't go out to eat. We are normal people. I have a chronic disease that while under control now may shorten my expected life span years down the road. So if I want an iphone now I'm buying one.

But by definitions by some here, we are irresponsible because we like to have iphones or other creature comforts.

It's just fascinating really. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, MAC_32 said:

It's an issue with me because I don't think it's the exception to the rule anymore.  I think it's developing into the rule.  

In a lot of ways, I can see/agree with that. Especially in some parts of the country - there are plenty of places that cost of living is definitely increasing faster than ability to earn, etc. 

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1 minute ago, The Iguana said:

In a lot of ways, I can see/agree with that. Especially in some parts of the country - there are plenty of places that cost of living is definitely increasing faster than ability to earn, etc. 

Cost of living is one thing, but I think what @ChiefD just said resonates much more loudly.  I don't know what his kid went through and it isn't my business, but it's not unusual.  And most can't budget for that.  Then how do you rebuild?  You cut elsewhere.  And the first to go in those cuts is savings.  Which is why that 6 month worth of living expenses rule makes me laugh.

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4 minutes ago, Foosball God said:

Have we determined that @belljr is exaggerating yet?

YOUR FACE IS EXAGGERATING

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I mean, the guy won't even stop by and have a beer with you when he's like 10 minutes away from your house.

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We have a 15-year-old minivan with 208,000 miles on it. Just needs to last another year or so. Though I'm kind of hoping to make 20 years, so I can tool around town in a Honda Odyssey with a classic car license plate.

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1 minute ago, Foosball God said:

I mean, the guy won't even stop by and have a beer with you when he's like 10 minutes away from your house.

You're no @Bob Sacamano

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23 hours ago, Walking Boot said:

 

I remember one guy on the Mint.com forums was trying to change how his accounts were displayed. Normally, your screen will show your credit card debt as debt, and subtract it from your balances and assets to compute your net worth. So it might show you had a $10,000 car, $3,000 in savings, and owed -$1,000 on your credit card, for a net worth of $12,000. Fine.

This guy, though, wanted it to show his credit limit as part of his net worth, "because that's money that they've given me I have access to." That is, if he has a $10k car, $3k in the bank, and owes -$1,000 on a credit card with an $8,000 limit, he wants his net worth to be displayed as $20,000. 

He's counting credit card limits as part of his assets. 

 

Not only did this guy just not get it, but, he had many people arguing on his side. 

 

Some people just think that way. They're not right but they do.

Yeah, liquidity is not the same as net worth.

Some (err, a lot of) people are really dumb and/or poorly educated about finances. You have to think it's intentional.

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11 minutes ago, The_Man said:

We have a 15-year-old minivan with 208,000 miles on it. Just needs to last another year or so. Though I'm kind of hoping to make 20 years, so I can tool around town in a Honda Odyssey with a classic car license plate.

Another 2 years and that baby will be paid off !!!!

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22 hours ago, [scooter] said:

I know several people who work for the government, and they all live paycheck-to-paycheck. Why? Because they know that their healthcare and their retirement is paid for. And they know that they're not at risk of losing their job, so there's no point in having a "rainy day fund". From their point of view, there's no need to ever save money. So they spend every single dime of their check, every single week.  If they ever have an unexpected expense, they'll just put it on their credit card or go down to the credit union and take out a loan.

Replace "know" with "think" because that's where we're headed.

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1 minute ago, MAC_32 said:

Cost of living is one thing, but I think what @ChiefD just said resonates much more loudly.  I don't know what his kid went through and it isn't my business, but it's not unusual.  And most can't budget for that.  Then how do you rebuild?  You cut elsewhere.  And the first to go in those cuts is savings.  Which is why that 6 month worth of living expenses rule makes me laugh.

But if we accept that something like 80% of Americans are living at or virtually at the "paycheck to paycheck", what % is caused by some catastrophic event? What percentage is caused by poor choices? What percentage by lack of ability to earn enough?

Kind of important questions to answer if you want to "solve the problem". I don't know the answers to all of those questions.

From a general point of view, there are a number of statistics out there about how many people are living right at or above their means. And there is a significant number of people that are "middle class" , "upper middle class", etc that do so voluntarily rather than out of requirement. There are plenty of things that help perpetuate that problem - one of the biggest is credit card debt as a whole is off the charts. Some of that may be required because of certain circumstances but statistically there are a ton of people that live under the "buy now, pay later" philosophy. That creates a whole cycle of it's own - interest payments, stretching budgets to the limit, etc. 

So, yes, I totally agree that there is an increasing number of people forced into these scenarios. But there is also a large number of people that are one catastrophe away from total ruin. 

Take @ChiefD's story - he had savings but had an unfortunate event and is working to recover. Imagine if he didn't do that planning to have any savings to start with. That is were a ton of people find themselves - and too many by choice, not by circumstance. I was there and I am potentially one catastrophic incident from being back there.

I don't think it means you can't enjoy the now to some degree but there are plenty of people that do so to the "nth degree" beyond where they should. Personally I think I spend a stupid amount of money going out to eat - that's not to say we eat out every meal or anything but we go out to eat at least once a week. I kind of cringe every time I pay one of those checks, especially if I think about what all I could have bought at the grocery for the same amount. But that's a choice we make. There's so much more I could do with that money if I really wanted to. 

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19 hours ago, fantasycurse42 said:

I was curious, there’s no real way to get a definitive accurate answer, but I’d assume a fairly large number percentage wise.

https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&hl=en-us&ei=Fyo9XL-MA-jl_QaVlavIDQ&q=living+paycheck+to+paycheck+statistics+2018&oq=what+percentage+of+americans+live+paycheck+to+paycheck&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-serp.1.0.0i71l5.0.0..4116...0.0..0.0.0.......0.fSX4lhvBBuE#ip=1

Depending on the source, I see as low as around 35%, but more of the results point to 70-80%. I’d bet the real answer is closer to the higher end of that, but not at the top.

We’re about 6 months away from the longest expansion on record. How about everyone takes their heads out of their asses? If this expansion has been anything more than a mirage, why are the masses paycheck to paycheck?

The boom/bust cycles just condense wealth to the few at the top. Eventually, we’ll see a debt crisis that will create another Great Depression, probably much worse, if we stay in these cycles.

Let that collapse happen sooner, it’ll be less painful. A lot of bad debt needs to come off the books.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnmauldin/2018/11/07/a-worldwide-debt-default-is-a-real-possibility/#7496d66053aa

 

 

This.

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These federal workers shouldn't have been buying ice cream cakes for their kids birthdays.

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1 minute ago, Nugget said:

These federal workers shouldn't have been buying ice cream cakes for their kids birthdays.

They should have saved more money.

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15 minutes ago, The Iguana said:

But if we accept that something like 80% of Americans are living at or virtually at the "paycheck to paycheck", what % is caused by some catastrophic event? What percentage is caused by poor choices? What percentage by lack of ability to earn enough?

Kind of important questions to answer if you want to "solve the problem". I don't know the answers to all of those questions.

How do you control costs without interrupting the free market?  That's the question I always get stuck on.  I'm an anti-regulation curmudgeon, but I also realize the reason so many are stuck in neutral (or worse) are because median wages are not growing in congruence with the cost of housing, child care, medical, education, etc.  Basically the system is progressively more and more disincentivizing having kids.  It isn't a sustainable model.  The free market will correct this sometime between tomorrow and x number of months/years from now, but it's going to be a very painful process for all whenever it actually happens.

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1 hour ago, Nugget said:

These federal workers shouldn't have been buying ice cream cakes for their kids birthdays.

A ruggedly self-reliant individual would have seen that ice cream cake coming from a mile away.

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2 hours ago, MAC_32 said:

Cost of living is one thing, but I think what @ChiefD just said resonates much more loudly.  I don't know what his kid went through and it isn't my business, but it's not unusual.  And most can't budget for that.  Then how do you rebuild?  You cut elsewhere.  And the first to go in those cuts is savings.  Which is why that 6 month worth of living expenses rule makes me laugh.

I guess that depends on what you mean by "not unusual". I'll agree that "it's been known to happen" and probably even "we all know someone who has gone through something like that", but I'd still say it's "unusual" for someone to have a large enough medical bill that it derails their financial plans for a decade. I don't think it's the leading cause of living paycheck to paycheck.

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On 1/14/2019 at 11:46 AM, El Floppo said:

I'm pretty much the same... minus sunny warm socal and starbucks. but nyc has almost as bad real-estate I guess. 

I was out of work for three months last year and that just about did me in. after that hit to savings, I'd be in trouble if work stopped again for any lenght of time... outside of tapping into retirment.

 

On 1/14/2019 at 11:48 AM, nirad3 said:

Yup I was out of work for a good portion of 2017 which just did us in.  Been playing catch-up ever since.

Basically same here, but was out of work for longer(well over a year) and while the wife doesn't work at a Starbucks it's probably only slightly more than the equivalent for salary.  Didn't tap into retirement, but basically burnt through most everything else.  Finally landed a job with a good salary, but in an expensive market (because that's where good paying jobs in my industry are) and started to dig out of the hole. 

14 months later, I'm rolling into month #3 of another period of unemployment.  Missing "one check" wasn't the end of the world, but missing six in this market?  It's an issue.  I don't even want to think about what it'd be like if we had kids, but I feel you. :(

Edited by 5-ish Finkle

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3 minutes ago, dgreen said:

 I don't think it's the leading cause of living paycheck to paycheck.

The leading cause of living paycheck to paycheck is 25-30 years of wage stagnation in the U.S. that ignored (and continues to ignore) the rocketing cost of living here.

I've twice looked into trying to work abroad because of it.  Was never able to pull it off though.

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1 minute ago, 5-ish Finkle said:

The leading cause of living paycheck to paycheck is 25-30 years of wage stagnation in the U.S. that ignored (and continues to ignore) the rocketing cost of living here.

I've twice looked into trying to work abroad because of it.  Was never able to pull it off though.

Is there data showing households didn't live paycheck to paycheck 25-30 years ago?

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9 minutes ago, dgreen said:

Is there data showing households didn't live paycheck to paycheck 25-30 years ago?

I doubt there is data like that but the personal saving rate was better decades ago. (It did get considerably better after the recession for obvious reasons.)

Edited by Juxtatarot
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2 hours ago, The Iguana said:

But if we accept that something like 80% of Americans are living at or virtually at the "paycheck to paycheck", what % is caused by some catastrophic event? What percentage is caused by poor choices? What percentage by lack of ability to earn enough?

Kind of important questions to answer if you want to "solve the problem". I don't know the answers to all of those questions.

From a general point of view, there are a number of statistics out there about how many people are living right at or above their means. And there is a significant number of people that are "middle class" , "upper middle class", etc that do so voluntarily rather than out of requirement. There are plenty of things that help perpetuate that problem - one of the biggest is credit card debt as a whole is off the charts. Some of that may be required because of certain circumstances but statistically there are a ton of people that live under the "buy now, pay later" philosophy. That creates a whole cycle of it's own - interest payments, stretching budgets to the limit, etc. 

So, yes, I totally agree that there is an increasing number of people forced into these scenarios. But there is also a large number of people that are one catastrophe away from total ruin. 

Take @ChiefD's story - he had savings but had an unfortunate event and is working to recover. Imagine if he didn't do that planning to have any savings to start with. That is were a ton of people find themselves - and too many by choice, not by circumstance. I was there and I am potentially one catastrophic incident from being back there.

I don't think it means you can't enjoy the now to some degree but there are plenty of people that do so to the "nth degree" beyond where they should. Personally I think I spend a stupid amount of money going out to eat - that's not to say we eat out every meal or anything but we go out to eat at least once a week. I kind of cringe every time I pay one of those checks, especially if I think about what all I could have bought at the grocery for the same amount. But that's a choice we make. There's so much more I could do with that money if I really wanted to. 

The bolded made me think of our kids growing up. There would be times that we would decide we could either go out to eat or we could go to the grocery store and buy something, plus ice cream and toppings. The grocery store usually netted leftovers of both the meal and the ice cream. We left it up to the kids and, 99% of the time, they chose the grocery store because they, in the end, they got more out of it. 

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The only thing I've learned about money management is that it's similar to dieting. Diets never work because you go on some fad meal plan, loose a few pounds, and then stop dieting. Next thing you know, you've gained all the weight back (and then some) Healthy eating has to be a lifestyle. So does money management. 

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3 hours ago, The_Man said:

We have a 15-year-old minivan with 208,000 miles on it. Just needs to last another year or so. Though I'm kind of hoping to make 20 years, so I can tool around town in a Honda Odyssey with a classic car license plate.

30 years driving and spent a combined total of 34k on my vehicles.  One was 13k new and I'm hoping I can get it to 20 years (10 now).  I expect it will be the only new car I'll ever have.  Not sure which will be more cache' - your Odyssey or my Fit with a classic plate. :P

 

3 hours ago, ChiefD said:

We like to have iphones. We like cable TV. We don't go out to eat. We are normal people. I have a chronic disease that while under control now may shorten my expected life span years down the road. So if I want an iphone now I'm buying one.

But by definitions by some here, we are irresponsible because we like to have iphones or other creature comforts.

It's just fascinating really. 

People seem to harp on phones as luxury items, but for most folks that really isn't where the money floats away.  It floats away on the big stuff - house and car.  Folks will tend to spend to the limit of what they are pre-approved for in a house. That's bad, but at least it tends to appreciate.  But cars - man this is where people just hemorrhage money.   Here in 'Bama I see so many new (as in 45k sticker) trucks on the road and know of folks who have spent almost a year's salary on them (IMO, it should be no more than 20-25% of gross salary).  You know they probably have a 7 year loans on them.  And some 70% of luxury vehicles are leased.  No wonder I see so many of those on the road.  It's pervasive, and it kills savings rates. The payments on these vehicles are huge.  Massive unforced errors.

So when I make snap judgments about how frivolous folks are I look at what they drive, not if they have a nice phone.  $300/yr on an iPhone isn't some ridiculous expense.   

Edited by Sand
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5 hours ago, belljr said:

My instate is 30K :unsure:

 

That's insane. The school i wanted to attend is currently $15,262 - $17188 in state, $49,350 - $52,814 out of state. I don't go there because I took a scholarship offer elsewhere. 

1 hour ago, 5-ish Finkle said:

The leading cause of living paycheck to paycheck is 25-30 years of wage stagnation in the U.S. that ignored (and continues to ignore) the rocketing cost of living here.

I've twice looked into trying to work abroad because of it.  Was never able to pull it off though.

Honest question - is wage stagnation a cause or an effect of something bigger?  Seems to me wages would rise if the demand was there, but the demand isn't as big due to technological developments, international trade, and other stuff.  In a free market economy, wages only rise when the demand calls for it. 

I don't know if that's the root cause of people living paycheck to paycheck. 

It's easier for many of us to assume it's personal choices. Especially when you see people making choices you disagree with.

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1 hour ago, Juxtatarot said:

I doubt there is data like that but the personal saving rate was better decades ago. (It did get considerably better after the recession for obvious reasons.)

Decades ago people were actually making about 5% interest just sticking their money in the bank or cds. Of course the inflation rate was higher then but  people still did it because it seemed to make enough sense.

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23 minutes ago, Leroy Hoard said:

Decades ago people were actually making about 5% interest just sticking their money in the bank or cds. Of course the inflation rate was higher then but  people still did it because it seemed to make enough sense.

No doubt interest rates impact the savings rate but I assume you’ll agree that there are many other factors too.

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What I find interesting in this thread is how many folks spend time pointing the finger versus how many show any empathy for someone being out of work or working without pay. I find that to be a growing trend in this country. We've lost any sense of compassion for anyone other than ourselves, and love to focus on the shortcomings of others. It's quite sad really.

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10 minutes ago, DallasDMac said:

What I find interesting in this thread is how many folks spend time pointing the finger versus how many show any empathy for someone being out of work or working without pay. I find that to be a growing trend in this country. We've lost any sense of compassion for anyone other than ourselves, and love to focus on the shortcomings of others. It's quite sad really.

I've seen people show empathy and point the finger at bad decisions.  It's amazing to me how many people refuse to take responsibility for their choices.

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17 minutes ago, DallasDMac said:

What I find interesting in this thread is how many folks spend time pointing the finger versus how many show any empathy for someone being out of work or working without pay. I find that to be a growing trend in this country. We've lost any sense of compassion for anyone other than ourselves, and love to focus on the shortcomings of others. It's quite sad really.

Empathy won't help some people. I feel bad for anyone that struggles. Life is hard enough just making it day to day. I try to help people that truly want to help themselves. I don't have empathy for someone that has the means and ability to prevent those struggles. But chooses not to. I would compare it to a career criminal. They may have screwed up once and paid their dues. To do it again and again, they have nobody to blame but themselves. 

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21 minutes ago, KCitons said:

Empathy won't help some people. I feel bad for anyone that struggles. Life is hard enough just making it day to day. I try to help people that truly want to help themselves. I don't have empathy for someone that has the means and ability to prevent those struggles. But chooses not to. I would compare it to a career criminal. They may have screwed up once and paid their dues. To do it again and again, they have nobody to blame but themselves. 

I find it easy to have empathy for those that are currently furloughed or being forced to work without pay without even knowing them or their current financial situation. I don't feel the need to even worry about whether they "did it to themselves" or not. That's actually my entire point. But here we are, with what is easily a 20-1 ratio of "those people deserve it!" replies versus "yea, I feel bad for someone losing their job even if it is only temporary" replies. Which is exactly my point.

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9 minutes ago, DallasDMac said:

I find it easy to have empathy for those that are currently furloughed or being forced to work without pay without even knowing them or their current financial situation. I don't feel the need to even worry about whether they "did it to themselves" or not. That's actually my entire point. But here we are, with what is easily a 20-1 ratio of "those people deserve it!" replies versus "yea, I feel bad for someone losing their job even if it is only temporary" replies. Which is exactly my point.

Link?

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On 1/14/2019 at 8:17 PM, fantasycurse42 said:

I was curious, there’s no real way to get a definitive accurate answer, but I’d assume a fairly large number percentage wise.

https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&hl=en-us&ei=Fyo9XL-MA-jl_QaVlavIDQ&q=living+paycheck+to+paycheck+statistics+2018&oq=what+percentage+of+americans+live+paycheck+to+paycheck&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-serp.1.0.0i71l5.0.0..4116...0.0..0.0.0.......0.fSX4lhvBBuE#ip=1

Depending on the source, I see as low as around 35%, but more of the results point to 70-80%. I’d bet the real answer is closer to the higher end of that, but not at the top.

We’re about 6 months away from the longest expansion on record. How about everyone takes their heads out of their asses? If this expansion has been anything more than a mirage, why are the masses paycheck to paycheck?

The boom/bust cycles just condense wealth to the few at the top. Eventually, we’ll see a debt crisis that will create another Great Depression, probably much worse, if we stay in these cycles.

Let that collapse happen sooner, it’ll be less painful. A lot of bad debt needs to come off the books.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnmauldin/2018/11/07/a-worldwide-debt-default-is-a-real-possibility/#7496d66053aa

 

 

Well, hasnt the adjusted median income decreased over the past 40 years?

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12 minutes ago, DallasDMac said:

I find it easy to have empathy for those that are currently furloughed or being forced to work without pay without even knowing them or their current financial situation. I don't feel the need to even worry about whether they "did it to themselves" or not. That's actually my entire point. But here we are, with what is easily a 20-1 ratio of "those people deserve it!" replies versus "yea, I feel bad for someone losing their job even if it is only temporary" replies. Which is exactly my point.

I don't dislike you because of your opinion. And I'm not trying to change you. Honestly, I wish I was more like you. We are all shaped through a lifetime of experiences. And our behaviors are conditioned. It takes reverse conditioning to correct.

I remember years ago I was in Vegas. There was, what I thought was, a homeless person asking for money on the Fremont Street. I gave him five dollars and wished him well. An hour or so later, I saw him walking down a side street talking on a cell phone. (this was back when cell phones weren't as common). He got into a car that was nicer than what I was driving. I thought to myself "I'm such a sucker".  I don't give money to people that are asking for handouts anymore. That's a conditioned response. 

Fast forward to 3 months ago. I was walking on the strip and the guy walking next to me was a gentleman in his mid 60's wearing a pair of khakis and a dress shirt. He was also wearing Vietnam veterans hat. I thanked him for his service and we walked for about 10 minute talking about his time in the military. He said he had been trying to get a job in the casinos working security. He had been out of work for awhile, but most places don't want to hire someone as old as him. He wasn't bitter, he didn't blame them. He just kept trying. He said things were getting pretty tough and he hadn't eaten breakfast. I didn't hesitate, I gave him $20, told him to have breakfast on me, and wished him luck on his job search. 

Same situation two different results. One I felt taken advantage of, one I felt like I helped someone in need. The difference is I took the time to learn about someones situation. I probably need to do more of that before making judgments.

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7 hours ago, ShamrockPride said:

I watch a lot of Jimmy Dore, and he consistently quotes (not sure from which report) that 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, along with 63% not being able to afford a $1000 emergency.

I would be curious to know the stats on these things at different points in the past 60 years.

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3 hours ago, Sand said:

Folks will tend to spend to the limit of what they are pre-approved for in a house.

Addendum to this.  Maybe it's a local thing, but if I drive through the sticks I am always stunned by the number of new trucks parked in front of trailers.  Mind boggling, but you can tell what people financially reach for around here.  

Owning a Ford dealership is just printing money in this state.

Edited by Sand
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13 hours ago, ChiefD said:

Just there really are no "rules" to this paycheck to paycheck phenomenon. It crosses so many boundaries, social classes, education levels, etc. Nobody here has any idea what's going on in the households around us. And we really shouldn't care. It's none of our business.

Just like someone else's religion, or politics, or whatever is none of our business. And honestly, what I say doesn't really matter either. Yet folks will argue to the death about topics (in this case the paycheck to paycheck topic) as if it's so simple as people are irresponsible with their money. God if it were only that simple...:lol:

My wife and I save the best we can. We have a small rainy day fund. We used to have more. My child had a bad medical deal when he was two that nearly wiped us out, and it's taken us 9 years to almost get back to normal. So we are close to paycheck to paycheck. But we aren't irresponsible. We don't live extravagantly. We do without.

We like to have iphones. We like cable TV. We don't go out to eat. We are normal people. I have a chronic disease that while under control now may shorten my expected life span years down the road. So if I want an iphone now I'm buying one.

But by definitions by some here, we are irresponsible because we like to have iphones or other creature comforts.

It's just fascinating really. 

 

 

Good luck to you and your family. 

Edited by eoMMan

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3 hours ago, -OZ- said:

That's insane. The school i wanted to attend is currently $15,262 - $17188 in state, $49,350 - $52,814 out of state. I don't go there because I took a scholarship offer elsewhere. 

 

That including room & board?   That's half the cost of what belljr stated.

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3 hours ago, Sand said:

People seem to harp on phones as luxury items, but for most folks that really isn't where the money floats away.  It floats away on the big stuff - house and car.  Folks will tend to spend to the limit of what they are pre-approved for in a house. That's bad, but at least it tends to appreciate.  But cars - man this is where people just hemorrhage money.   Here in 'Bama I see so many new (as in 45k sticker) trucks on the road and know of folks who have spent almost a year's salary on them (IMO, it should be no more than 20-25% of gross salary).  You know they probably have a 7 year loans on them. 

A buddy of mine bought a $60K Ram truck. Then he decided that he needed the dually wheels, so he traded it in for a $70K Ram truck. Then he decided that there was something missing from the 2017 model that he just had to have in the 2018 model, so he traded in again.

The guy makes good money but he leaks like a sieve when it comes to trade-ins.

Same guy bought a Hummer in 2004 but sold it 6 months later because he was sick of paying $100/week for gas. :mellow:

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42 minutes ago, Sand said:

Addendum to this.  Maybe it's a local thing, but if I drive through the sticks I am always stunned by the number of new trucks parked in front of trailers.  Mind boggling, but you can tell what people financially reach for around here.  

That's the thing, though. It's not much of a financial reach for the average person to lease a new truck.

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