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Chemical X

Going paycheck to paycheck.......

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There but for the grace of god go I.

I take full responsibility for myself.. but I have seen external factors cripple friends and loved ones financially.

Could happen to me tomorrow.

Edited by matuski
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2 hours ago, matuski said:

There but for the grace of god go I.

I don't believe in gods, and I take full responsibility for myself.. but I have seen external factors cripple friends and loved ones financially.

Could happen to me tomorrow.

Could have happened to me for years.  I really wasn't able to really save until I was in my early 30s.  Even then, it wouldn't have taken too many missed paychecks to be at risk.  

It spooked me enough to start retirement planning in earnest.  Well, that scared the living #### out of me. But I knew I had to get on it, even though it seemed impossible.  

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6 hours 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.

I remember learning about interest as a little kid via a savings account in the late 70s/early 80s. I tried to do that with my daughter a few years ago, but rates are so low that literally no interest was deposited in her account on a monthly basis. Now she’s got enough in there to earn a penny or two a month. She’s not impressed. 

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3 hours ago, NutterButter said:

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

Tuition only

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3 hours ago, SFBayDuck said:

I remember learning about interest as a little kid via a savings account in the late 70s/early 80s. I tried to do that with my daughter a few years ago, but rates are so low that literally no interest was deposited in her account on a monthly basis. Now she’s got enough in there to earn a penny or two a month. She’s not impressed. 

Yep

I did the "bank of dad" with mine for a little while. Gave 1% / month. That made an impact. But now that their money is in the real bank their expectations aren't being met. So it might have backfired.

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6 hours ago, -OZ- said:

Tuition only

Ok. Then we are talking differently.

In state turion 14k out of state 29.

Room and board etc 15.

So around 30k

 

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32 minutes ago, belljr said:

Ok. Then we are talking differently.

In state turion 14k out of state 29.

Room and board etc 15.

So around 30k

 

Yeah, Rutgers is a pretty good deal.  I mean its not up there with the cali colleges in terms of ranking, but its in the 50's which is good.   I'm hoping my kids are cool with going there.  

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11 hours ago, [scooter] said:

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

Leasing is the most expensive way to have a car.  You get to pay for the depreciation and then turn it back in - wash and repeat.

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35 minutes ago, NutterButter said:

Yeah, Rutgers is a pretty good deal.  I mean its not up there with the cali colleges in terms of ranking, but its in the 50's which is good.   I'm hoping my kids are cool with going there.  

Unfortunately the schools here are ranked outside the top 100 (unless you're playing football) but with the automatic scholarships, I'm fairly confident our 2nd and 3rd will attend school almost free. 30 on the ACT with a 3.5 gpa receives full tuition. 28 / 3.5 gets roughly half the public school tuition covered. The best school in the area (private) costs $49k in tuition.  I just can't see paying that much even if the brand name is better.

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Just now, Sand said:

Leasing is the most expensive way to have a car.  You get to pay for the depreciation and then turn it back in - wash and repeat.

Sure, but if you're just looking at payments your frame of reference is much different.

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17 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

Sure, but if you're just looking at payments your frame of reference is much different.

Dealerships love those people.  If a dealer ever asks you "What are you looking to pay a month?" the answer to that question should always be $0.   

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22 minutes ago, Sand said:

Leasing is the most expensive way to have a car.  You get to pay for the depreciation and then turn it back in - wash and repeat.

Because financed Cars don't depreciate?  This is a unhelpful way to approach car ownership.   

Financing used cars is probably the best approach. But you can't avoid depreciation being the primary factor out to like year 6-8 of any cost of ownership any way things cut. 

Leasing allows you to finance the depreciation which while the most expensive over 20 years can make sense for short term ownership. Dealer leasing can also be a tremendous deal if you do short mileage.  Things like that can make sense. 

The way I look at it is every mile costs about .65 out to year 4 and then .50 and down to maybe .40 at year 6. Thats the way I budget my car use. 

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23 minutes ago, Ramblin Wreck said:

Dealerships love those people.  If a dealer ever asks you "What are you looking to pay a month?" the answer to that question should always be $0.   

Yep. :bag: 

I'll always remember my second car purchase with a dealer. I had negotiated well the first time, but with this one he brought out the financing statement, $X per month. I told him with the trade in and zero down payment i wanted to pay no more than $Y per month over 4 years. 

Took him all of two minutes to get the payment one cent less than my stated amount.  Now, the amount was a good $40 less per month, so about $2,000 less than the original offer, but I'm pretty sure I did that wrong. Especially as I lumped the trade-in with the offer.

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When I was younger I thought dealers would give you a better deal if you paid in cash. My mom still thinks that. 

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1 hour ago, huthut said:

When I was younger I thought dealers would give you a better deal if you paid in cash. My mom still thinks that. 

Don't tell Ramsey followers otherwise.

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18 hours ago, dgreen said:

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.

It isn't the bolded.  But again, I'm not focusing on those that ended up in such a position due to their choices.  I'm talking about those that ended up there due to circumstances beyond their control.  Is his specific case unusual?  Maybe, maybe not.  None of my business.  But does a family medical issue materially impact the ability to save now vs. previous generations?  Absolutely.  Like most fixed costs associated with raising a family medical costs have grown at a substantially higher rate than median wages.  Which is why I said it isn't unusual.  A middle class family incurs a significant medical cost?  Instead of saving for your future you need to first save for the next medical issue.  Then hope one doesn't happen before it's rebuilt then hope you're able to do some savings for the future once rebuilt before another one happens.  

Similar story with child birth.  I say similar because it is clearly a choice.  But the sequence of events and associated costs follow the same flow chart.  One that didn't exist in past generations.  I say this only half jokingly, but the fiscally responsible thing for the middle class to do right now is not have kids.  If you do then if you also intend to save then you're going to have to be both disciplined and lucky.

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31 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

Similar story with child birth.  I say similar because it is clearly a choice.  But the sequence of events and associated costs follow the same flow chart.  One that didn't exist in past generations.  I say this only half jokingly, but the fiscally responsible thing for the middle class to do right now is not have kids.  If you do then if you also intend to save then you're going to have to be both disciplined and lucky.

Good points on healthcare cost increases. As for kids, I just look at it as a simple tradeoff. If you really want to build savings, then, yeah, having a kid isn't going to help. But, to many people, having kids is worth having a lower savings. I really haven't met anyone who seriously wishes they never had kids so that their financial situation could be in better shape. However, I will say that just about every parent seems happy when their kids move out and they are no longer financially responsible for them. I've heard several people describe it like getting a big raise.

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3 hours ago, culdeus said:

Because financed Cars don't depreciate?  This is a unhelpful way to approach car ownership.   

Financing used cars is probably the best approach. But you can't avoid depreciation being the primary factor out to like year 6-8 of any cost of ownership any way things cut. 

Leasing allows you to finance the depreciation which while the most expensive over 20 years can make sense for short term ownership. Dealer leasing can also be a tremendous deal if you do short mileage.  Things like that can make sense. 

The way I look at it is every mile costs about .65 out to year 4 and then .50 and down to maybe .40 at year 6. Thats the way I budget my car use. 

The point was the biggest depreciation expense is the first year.  While certainly for short term ownership it makes sense, for a typical car user it's a bad option.  Not the least because the calculations that go into it are purposely obfuscated, making it easy to fleece the customer.  I need to find the article, but it seems the most cost effective ways of owning are to either buy new and run it until it drops or buy a 6 year old car, run it for 6 years or so, sell it, and repeat.

Right now on my vehicle I'm in the .12-.15 per mile range, counting gas, taxes, and upkeep.

 

2 hours ago, huthut said:

When I was younger I thought dealers would give you a better deal if you paid in cash. My mom still thinks that. 

Financing offers used to be more prevalent.  For my wife's last car we financed the minimum (10k) to grab the $500 bonus.  We paid it off early and pocketed ~$400 on the deal.  This can definitely be worked if there are good offers around.

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15 minutes ago, dgreen said:

However, I will say that just about every parent seems happy when their kids move out and they are no longer financially responsible for them. I've heard several people describe it like getting a big raise.

I'll be incredibly sad when mine leaves the house, but since he's a healthy teenage boy I expect my food budget to plummet after he goes.  I have two of those monsters and it's terrifying what they can do to a fridge in an afternoon.

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18 hours 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 don't think selfishness is a growing trend.  I think everyone is selfish, but to a degree.  When I lost my job and my banks merged and I got thrown out, no one gave a rats #### about me.    I didn't get offers to defer required payments, no one set up the customary go fund me.  Buckled my pants, got unemployment and trudged thru.  But being fiscally responsible when those events occurred helped me immensely.  Not having CC debt, owning my vehicles, using my wife's income, etc. gave me the means to survive.  Just because you take home $4000/mo. doesn't mean you need to spend $3900/mo.  You can have savings to carry you thru hardship, but being fiscally responsible month to month.  I see some posts quoting averages too.  I don't look or factor in anything average.  I think everyone has a different situation and no two are alike.  Maybe you have 4 kids.  Maybe your wife/husband stays at home cause daycare is stupid high.  Can't tell a spouse to get a job if it actually costs the family money.  Etc Etc.  As I've gotten older, I've become more charitable and empathetic, but I also do believe that everyone is in their own position by choice.  If that makes sense. 

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59 minutes ago, Sand said:

I'll be incredibly sad when mine leaves the house, but since he's a healthy teenage boy I expect my food budget to plummet after he goes.  I have two of those monsters and it's terrifying what they can do to a fridge in an afternoon.

There will be mixed emotions for most. I think I'll only be incredibly sad when our youngest, the only girl, moves out. 

I never thought I'd be that way, but while the boys are great and all, that's my princess :boxing:

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1 hour ago, Sand said:

Right now on my vehicle I'm in the .12-.15 per mile range, counting gas, taxes, and upkeep.

 

What is your depreciation factor, or do you have one of those collectors cars you plan on actioning off to Otis someday?  

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5 hours ago, Sand said:

Leasing is the most expensive way to have a car.  You get to pay for the depreciation and then turn it back in - wash and repeat.

In the end. Yes. I think there is a difference between leasing a luxury suv or pickup vs leasing a compact car. Looking at the terms and payments, it's pretty obvious. Lease a luxury sedan or suv for $3k down and $450 dollars a months vs putting zero (or $1000) down on a subaru forester for $235 a month. Both cars are brand new, both are under warranty. (Both get you from point A to point B). Both are for 3 year terms and have the same 10k mile a year restriction. In the end you end up paying double for the luxury suv vs the subaru. ($19200 vs $9460)

That's how you have your cake and eat it too. Over the same 3 year period, I can sock away an extra $10k for retirement, education, or rainy day savings. But, for some reason people can afford the $450 a month payment and they want the status symbol. :shrug:

The only reason we lease our Subaru is because we need one good car for road trips. We've gone across the country (technically) 3 times in the last 2 years. (Round Trip to S.D. and twice to N.C.) I seriously considered buying a used vehicle and just renting a car for trips. But, since we have no mortgage, no credit card debt, and healthy savings plan, we splurged. 

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2 hours ago, dgreen said:

Good points on healthcare cost increases. As for kids, I just look at it as a simple tradeoff. If you really want to build savings, then, yeah, having a kid isn't going to help. But, to many people, having kids is worth having a lower savings. I really haven't met anyone who seriously wishes they never had kids so that their financial situation could be in better shape. However, I will say that just about every parent seems happy when their kids move out and they are no longer financially responsible for them. I've heard several people describe it like getting a big raise.

Even though my two youngest are in high school and seem to be almost out the door to college, this is realistically a ways off for me still as I assume they will spend at least a little time back home after college mooching. 

My step daughter just graduated college.  She went to school five hours away.  We assumed she'd move back home while she looked for work so we'd get to see her regularly again for a while.  She was offered a job at her college town before graduation, so she stayed there and never came home.  It was like her moving out all over again since we planned on her coming back home, but it never happened.  I'm not looking forward to my boys moving out by any stretch of the imagination.

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2 hours ago, MAC_32 said:

Similar story with child birth.  I say similar because it is clearly a choice.  But the sequence of events and associated costs follow the same flow chart.  One that didn't exist in past generations.  I say this only half jokingly, but the fiscally responsible thing for the middle class to do right now is not have kids.  If you do then if you also intend to save then you're going to have to be both disciplined and lucky.

I wouldn't trade mine for anything. When we got married, we never wanted to have kids. Not sure what changed. Occasionally we talk about how things would have been different financially. The house we were living in would have been paid off within 8 years after our first kid. (we ended up moving to a bigger house when the twins were born)

Who knows. We may have ended up divorced. Good thing we had kids.

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1 hour ago, culdeus said:

What is your depreciation factor, or do you have one of those collectors cars you plan on actioning off to Otis someday?  

Car is 10 years old, was in a pretty good accident recently (shocked it didn't get totaled), with 140k miles.  I'd say it's worth 4k-ish right now.  I didn't take into account depreciation as there probably isn't a whole heck of a lot left there.

 

1 hour ago, KCitons said:

I wouldn't trade mine for anything. 

:yes:

Of all the things I'd change in my life (you know, lots), the kids are the very last thing on that list.

 

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5 hours ago, Chemical X said:

I don't think selfishness is a growing trend.  I think everyone is selfish, but to a degree.  When I lost my job and my banks merged and I got thrown out, no one gave a rats #### about me.    I didn't get offers to defer required payments, no one set up the customary go fund me.  Buckled my pants, got unemployment and trudged thru.  But being fiscally responsible when those events occurred helped me immensely.  Not having CC debt, owning my vehicles, using my wife's income, etc. gave me the means to survive.  Just because you take home $4000/mo. doesn't mean you need to spend $3900/mo.  You can have savings to carry you thru hardship, but being fiscally responsible month to month.  I see some posts quoting averages too.  I don't look or factor in anything average.  I think everyone has a different situation and no two are alike.  Maybe you have 4 kids.  Maybe your wife/husband stays at home cause daycare is stupid high.  Can't tell a spouse to get a job if it actually costs the family money.  Etc Etc.  As I've gotten older, I've become more charitable and empathetic, but I also do believe that everyone is in their own position by choice.  If that makes sense. 

I understand your point, and everyone else's, I didn't mean to imply otherwise. My point is simply, I feel empathy for these folks without any clue what their situation may be fiscally. And had I known your situation at the time, I would have felt empathy for you too, as well as your fellow workers that lost their jobs. As to your particular situation, I'm understand it was harsh, but it isn't applicable, or apples to apples, to many of these folks. The young E-1 and E-2 Coast Guard guys for instance, maybe with a kid or two, can't leave and go get another job. They are expected to serve their commitment. They can't just up and quit, it isn't even an option. Many of the 800k are in such a position. They are fully expected, or required even, to continue to work without pay. They are young, not paid that well, and probably had no opportunity to build any sort of nest-egg. But that is neither here nor there to the point I am making. Which is, I feel bad for folks that have a crappy thing occur to them, without feeling a need to immediately judge them. And I feel this was way more prevalent in my youth than it is in today's world. I just feel that's a bit sad.

Edit to add: I really don't want to keep harping on this point so I'll stop. Thanks for the civil replies. I wouldn't have been surprised if I had gotten skewered for my opinion.

Edited by DallasDMac

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I will stay off all of your lawns.  Sheesh.  Some serious grumpy old man stuff going on in here. 

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The main issue for me is you can't claim unemployment if you are working but still not getting paid

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1 hour ago, belljr said:

The main issue for me is you can't claim unemployment if you are working but still not getting paid

the “president” has brought back slavery.  sure the base loves this.

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FFA thread on the shutdown:  discussion on financial responsibility. 

PF thread on the shutdown:  complaining about what Rush Limbaugh has to say about it. 

Edited by tonydead
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40 minutes ago, tonydead said:

FFA thread on the shutdown:  discussion on financial responsibility. 

PF thread on the shutdown:  complaining about what Rush Limbaugh has to say about it. 

just so glad there is a political forum ...

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On 1/14/2019 at 2:43 PM, Fishboy said:

I moved the goal posts, as TSA was brought to the forefront immediately and repeatedly. 

My question still stands though on how many people outside of those in government would have actually noticed the (full/partial) shutdown w/o the constant news coverage?  I can only speak for myself, but if lived in a bubble with no media coverage that I wouldn't have known, as it hasn't affected me in the past 3 weeks.  Obviously if you live in DC it was immediately evident, but that's a small sample size when you factor in that I was asking the greater question. 

Ironic part is that I agree with many of those that were quick to pile on my question. 

i understand the point and i kinda felt the same way.  it’s likely because i don’t live the lifestyle that would encounter fed stuff on the reg.  national parks, airport, v.a. hospitals?, etc.  i heard today that school lunches are effected, since the fed gov subsidizes meals.  

i also agree with an earlier post about gov employees saving less as a trade off for benefits and pension comfort.  

i got, in my dept, a memo from senior mgmt on how to assist gov employees with obligations during the lockdown.  i am really not sure how i feel about from a business standpoint.

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10 hours ago, Chemical X said:

the “president” has brought back slavery.  sure the base loves this.

He signed the "government employee fair treatment act of 2019", thus guaranteeing employees get paid.

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7 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

He signed the "government employee fair treatment act of 2019", thus guaranteeing employees get paid.

I saw that.....I wonder if they now can access pay day loans? 

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6 minutes ago, Chemical X said:

I saw that.....I wonder if they now can access pay day loans? 

Sure, or any of the various resources the banks are providing, or their savings, or take a loan from the TSP. 

This debacle is many things, but there's no need to bring "slavery" into it.  

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4 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

Sure, or any of the various resources the banks are providing, or their savings, or take a loan from the TSP. 

This debacle is many things, but there's no need to bring "slavery" into it.  

Well, people being forced to work for free is a bad look for this country.  I understand its an oversimplification, but I don't think anyone, in any line of work, would be thrilled to do this. 

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31 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

This debacle is many things, but there's no need to bring "slavery" into it.  

And it's nothing new. Some employees are required to work without pay (until they later receive back pay) every shutdown. It's how shutdowns have worked under every President.

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16 minutes ago, dgreen said:

And it's nothing new. Some employees are required to work without pay (until they later receive back pay) every shutdown. It's how shutdowns have worked under every President.

Yep. 

Including people we've sent to Afghanistan, the space station, etc. 

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45 minutes ago, Chemical X said:

Well, people being forced to work for free is a bad look for this country.  I understand its an oversimplification, but I don't think anyone, in any line of work, would be thrilled to do this. 

But they're not. That's the point.

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I know all our schedules have now been shot to ####

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1 hour ago, Chemical X said:

Well, people being forced to work for free is a bad look for this country.  I understand its an oversimplification, but I don't think anyone, in any line of work, would be thrilled to do this. 

Think of it as deferred compensation.  Because that's exactly what it is.  Oh, and you should take the slavery comment and deposit it directly into the PF; it's puerile and inappropriate and thus fits right in over there.

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1 hour ago, Sand said:

Think of it as deferred compensation.  Because that's exactly what it is.  Oh, and you should take the slavery comment and deposit it directly into the PF; it's puerile and inappropriate and thus fits right in over there.

You forgot "pathetic"

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1 hour ago, Sand said:

Think of it as deferred compensation.  Because that's exactly what it is.  Oh, and you should take the slavery comment and deposit it directly into the PF; it's puerile and inappropriate and thus fits right in over there.

Understand its deferred compensation now, though I'm not sure its what these workers signed up for, nor does it help in the moment.  I don't understand why the federal government doesn't have a law in place that basically says if no new budget is passed, the old one is automatically enforced, so we can avoid these situations as a nation.  I think some states have this type of law in place.  Also, sorry, I don't trust the current President or administration.  Having people work for free might be one of their agendas for all I know.  Call it what you will.  Just my opinion, but I do understand your point and respect your position.   I don't want to make this political. 

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On 1/15/2019 at 5:31 PM, 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.

When I moved out on my own the rent for my apartment was $250 per month. I was making 8$ per hour.

My daughter recently moved into her first apartment...$1,000 per month. She makes $16 per hour.

She makes 2x as much as I did and pays 4x in rent.

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18 hours ago, DallasDMac said:

I understand your point, and everyone else's, I didn't mean to imply otherwise. My point is simply, I feel empathy for these folks without any clue what their situation may be fiscally. And had I known your situation at the time, I would have felt empathy for you too, as well as your fellow workers that lost their jobs. As to your particular situation, I'm understand it was harsh, but it isn't applicable, or apples to apples, to many of these folks. The young E-1 and E-2 Coast Guard guys for instance, maybe with a kid or two, can't leave and go get another job. They are expected to serve their commitment. They can't just up and quit, it isn't even an option. Many of the 800k are in such a position. They are fully expected, or required even, to continue to work without pay. They are young, not paid that well, and probably had no opportunity to build any sort of nest-egg. But that is neither here nor there to the point I am making. Which is, I feel bad for folks that have a crappy thing occur to them, without feeling a need to immediately judge them. And I feel this was way more prevalent in my youth than it is in today's world. I just feel that's a bit sad.

Edit to add: I really don't want to keep harping on this point so I'll stop. Thanks for the civil replies. I wouldn't have been surprised if I had gotten skewered for my opinion.

You know, I also think this country confuses, necessity, right and privilege.  We have simply been conditioned to spend.  I just wonder how many posters here spend on Christmas gifts for adults.....adults that can theoretically buy their own stuff? 

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1 hour ago, boilerdave said:

When I moved out on my own the rent for my apartment was $250 per month. I was making 8$ per hour.

My daughter recently moved into her first apartment...$1,000 per month. She makes $16 per hour.

She makes 2x as much as I did and pays 4x in rent.

Also, dont forget everybody basically needs to have a phone and internet nowadays. So that's at least $70/month in an additional two expenses that did not exist "in the old days".

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3 hours ago, shadyridr said:

Also, dont forget everybody basically needs to have a phone and internet nowadays. So that's at least $70/month in an additional two expenses that did not exist "in the old days".

We had land lines and sports illustrated/columbia house subscriptions.

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Contract employees currently furloughed will NOT receive back pay. Just thought that needed to be pointed out. It isn't 100% of these folks that will receive back pay.

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4 hours ago, shadyridr said:
5 hours ago, boilerdave said:

When I moved out on my own the rent for my apartment was $250 per month. I was making 8$ per hour.

My daughter recently moved into her first apartment...$1,000 per month. She makes $16 per hour.

She makes 2x as much as I did and pays 4x in rent.

Also, dont forget everybody basically needs to have a phone and internet nowadays. So that's at least $70/month in an additional two expenses that did not exist "in the old days".

Everybody doesn't need the latest smartphone with an unlimited plan.

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