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(LA Times)   Four in ten Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. The other six are still asking "What's a paycheck?"   (latimes.com) divider line 89
    More: Scary, Americans, personal finances, Allstate, FTI Consulting  
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1315 clicks; posted to Business » on 14 Feb 2013 at 10:44 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-14 09:15:25 AM
That's as many as 2/5ths.
 
2013-02-14 10:55:00 AM
the other 5 are. 1 in 5 has all the money and ain't letting us have any.
 
2013-02-14 10:57:04 AM
7.6 out of 19
 
2013-02-14 10:59:13 AM
This is the thread where I declare that I have no debt, pay my credit card every month, have a beautiful wife and a penis worthy of copious envy.
 
2013-02-14 10:59:29 AM
Could be a slightly misleading statistic, as opposed to just measuring income. You could have high-earning dudes living paycheck to paycheck because they have to have a new SUV every year and live in a house way beyond their means, while guys on minimum wage eating ramen might actually be able to save up a few months of emergency funds.
 
2013-02-14 11:03:14 AM
If you're having money problems you DON'T need a new plasma tv. Thanks to the recent redistribution of wealth, you know where poor people were supposed to be better off by stealing rich people's money, my paycheck wen't down $160/month and my rent went up $50, and my student loan payments doubled. I'm living paycheck to paycheck because I don't have a choice in how I spend my money. I am not struggling because of a high cost tv/internet/phone bundle. I'm not struggling because in store credit APR I used to pay for my 52" flat panel and new playstation. A lot of these people (mostly middle class) they choose to live paycheck to paycheck and they pass these ridiculous laws to force the rest of us to subsidize their lifestyles. When your daily struggle is your food budget conflicts with the payment on your second mustang, you need to STFU. That's not living paycheck to paycheck, that's just you being an asshole. But when you have to decide between buying a winter jacket and paying for food, and you haven't put gas in your car for two weeks even though you're working over time, well, that's when you have a problem that needs to be fixed.
 
2013-02-14 11:06:50 AM
"Money, money, everywhere and not a drop to drink."
 
2013-02-14 11:07:10 AM

I'll just drop this here.

farm6.staticflickr.com
 
2013-02-14 11:12:16 AM

SilverStag: I'll just drop this here.

[farm6.staticflickr.com image 640x455]


Solution: Be in the top 20%.
 
2013-02-14 11:14:33 AM
Why do people always list the flat screen tv as the example of a thing poor people shouldn't have and that shows that they are making poor financial decisions?

I'm not a lobbyist for the the tv industry and don't have a particularly fancy tv myself but the way I see it, tv's are relatively inexpensive, encourage staying at home rather than going out and spending money, can entertain several people at one time, and can be run for pennies a month.
 
2013-02-14 11:16:38 AM

SilverStag: I'll just drop this here.

[farm6.staticflickr.com image 640x455]


Well there's an apples to horses comparison if I ever saw one.  The per capita GNP in Egypt is less than $3000 compared to nearly $48,000 here.  Our bottom 20% live better than their second highest 20%.

/2011 UN statistics.
//Egypt's probably even worse off now.
 
2013-02-14 11:17:31 AM

xkillyourfacex: If you're having money problems you DON'T need a new plasma tv. Thanks to the recent redistribution of wealth, you know where poor people were supposed to be better off by stealing rich people's money, my paycheck wen't down $160/month and my rent went up $50, and my student loan payments doubled. I'm living paycheck to paycheck because I don't have a choice in how I spend my money. I am not struggling because of a high cost tv/internet/phone bundle. I'm not struggling because in store credit APR I used to pay for my 52" flat panel and new playstation. A lot of these people (mostly middle class) they choose to live paycheck to paycheck and they pass these ridiculous laws to force the rest of us to subsidize their lifestyles. When your daily struggle is your food budget conflicts with the payment on your second mustang, you need to STFU. That's not living paycheck to paycheck, that's just you being an asshole. But when you have to decide between buying a winter jacket and paying for food, and you haven't put gas in your car for two weeks even though you're working over time, well, that's when you have a problem that needs to be fixed.


But, but, but aren't I entitled to the big screen, Netflix, I-pad, the tv/internet/phone bundle, my daily trip to Starbucks, Lexus and dining out a couple of time a week, and I just couldn't live without my smart phone? I can't help it if my paycheck doesn't cover my lifestyle, it's not my fault! It's the system, and I deserve better. All I want is what my parents have plus some, and I want it now.
 
2013-02-14 11:18:29 AM

JohnBigBootay: Why do people always list the flat screen tv as the example of a thing poor people shouldn't have and that shows that they are making poor financial decisions?

I'm not a lobbyist for the the tv industry and don't have a particularly fancy tv myself but the way I see it, tv's are relatively inexpensive, encourage staying at home rather than going out and spending money, can entertain several people at one time, and can be run for pennies a month.


Smart phone vs. feature phone might be a better comparison, but even that is getting tricky with prepaid plans offering unlimited data whether you need it or not.
 
2013-02-14 11:19:19 AM

pheelix: The per capita GNP in Egypt is less than $3000 compared to nearly $48,000 here. Our bottom 20% live better than their second highest 20%.


http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?co un try1=Egypt&country2=United+States

You forgot part of that equation chief.
 
2013-02-14 11:22:04 AM

taliesinwi: Smart phone vs. feature phone might be a better comparison, but even that is getting tricky with prepaid plans offering unlimited data whether you need it or not.


Yeah. For my money, it's all about the percentage of income spent on automobile (plus financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, etc.) and eating/entertainment/fashion.
 
2013-02-14 11:28:59 AM
wait, there are people who DON'T live paycheck to paycheck?
who are these people?!
 
2013-02-14 11:29:14 AM
I wonder what's the income range for that.  I had someone who was a corporate lawyer for a Fortune 100 firm, who lives in an apartment that her parents bought in the 70's (i.e. pays no rent), tell me that she lives paycheck to paycheck.  I didn't delve, so I suppose it was possible that there were still 401k contributions and whatnot, but people have different definitions of "paycheck-to-paycheck".
 
2013-02-14 11:31:13 AM
I also don't know why people get their panties twisted over what TV's other people may have.  Most TV's are like $500... that isn't even a month's rent for most people.
 
2013-02-14 11:32:39 AM

karmaceutical: I also don't know why people get their panties twisted over what TV's other people may have.  Most TV's are like $500... that isn't even a month's rent for most people.


smart phones can also be free if you get certain plans.  i wouldn't even have one if i didn't mooch off of my brother's military plan.
 
2013-02-14 11:45:01 AM
I don't live paycheck to paycheck. I'm also single with no debt though.
 
2013-02-14 11:45:07 AM
The other six are still asking "What's a paycheck?

hymiesrecords.com

What a Paycheck might look like
 
2013-02-14 11:46:03 AM
Americans like to buy stuff - most of it on credit.  Banks love it when you do that.

The long term economy - not so much.
mortgagedfuture.com
 
2013-02-14 11:51:15 AM

karmaceutical: I also don't know why people get their panties twisted over what TV's other people may have.  Most TV's are like $500... that isn't even a month's rent for most people.


Unfortnately, most will buy that  $500 TV with a credit card and ends up costing $1000 instead by the time you include interest.

static5.businessinsider.com
 
2013-02-14 12:00:02 PM

xkillyourfacex: If you're having money problems you DON'T need a new plasma tv. Thanks to the recent redistribution of wealth, you know where poor people were supposed to be better off by stealing rich people's money, my paycheck wen't down $160/month and my rent went up $50, and my student loan payments doubled. I'm living paycheck to paycheck because I don't have a choice in how I spend my money. I am not struggling because of a high cost tv/internet/phone bundle. I'm not struggling because in store credit APR I used to pay for my 52" flat panel and new playstation. A lot of these people (mostly middle class) they choose to live paycheck to paycheck and they pass these ridiculous laws to force the rest of us to subsidize their lifestyles. When your daily struggle is your food budget conflicts with the payment on your second mustang, you need to STFU. That's not living paycheck to paycheck, that's just you being an asshole. But when you have to decide between buying a winter jacket and paying for food, and you haven't put gas in your car for two weeks even though you're working over time, well, that's when you have a problem that needs to be fixed.


I would like to welcome, or in this case, re-welcome you to modern serfdom.  Kick off your shoes because that is the last pair you will be able to afford.  Sit back and relax and wait until death. We, the collective lower and middle class, have lost.
 
2013-02-14 12:01:32 PM

Scoot951: Could be a slightly misleading statistic, as opposed to just measuring income. You could have high-earning dudes living paycheck to paycheck because they have to have a new SUV every year and live in a house way beyond their means, while guys on minimum wage eating ramen might actually be able to save up a few months of emergency funds.


Came here to say this.  All this statistic shows is that 4/10 Americans don't know how to save.
 
2013-02-14 12:01:45 PM
www.hollywoodrepublican.net

But I was focused like a laser on jobs!  Like a LASER!
 
2013-02-14 12:02:56 PM

grinding_journalist: SilverStag: I'll just drop this here.

[farm6.staticflickr.com image 640x455]

Solution: Be in the top 20%.


It's a shocking low number, since most people have never saved a nickel. As a kid on a 25 cents/week allowance, a nickel is exactly what I saved.

/retired early and in the top 20%
 
2013-02-14 12:12:07 PM

xkillyourfacex: If you're having money problems you DON'T need a new plasma tv refrigerator.


FTFY
 
2013-02-14 12:14:17 PM
Good thing Obama got the payroll tax increased so people make even less money.  That and his focus on increasing inflation is swell.
 
2013-02-14 12:15:19 PM

natazha: /retired early and in the top 20%


I doubt I'll be able to retire early, since my salary is what I consider modest, but my saving and investing of my savings guarantee that I'll retire a millionaire, and probably more than once over.

It's almost like financial responsibility will pay off long term, but too many Americans are too busy living in the now to realize it.
 
2013-02-14 12:17:46 PM

lordaction: Good thing Obama got the payroll tax increased

took the payroll tax to precisely what it was before it was temporarily lowered.

Fixed - and just so you know Einstein, the tax holiday was announced as temporary with a definite expiration date when it was rolled out.
 
2013-02-14 12:22:55 PM

xkillyourfacex: If you're having money problems you DON'T need a new plasma tv. Thanks to the recent redistribution of wealth, you know where poor people were supposed to be better off by stealing rich people's money, my paycheck wen't down $160/month and my rent went up $50, and my student loan payments doubled. I'm living paycheck to paycheck because I don't have a choice in how I spend my money. I am not struggling because of a high cost tv/internet/phone bundle. I'm not struggling because in store credit APR I used to pay for my 52" flat panel and new playstation. A lot of these people (mostly middle class) they choose to live paycheck to paycheck and they pass these ridiculous laws to force the rest of us to subsidize their lifestyles. When your daily struggle is your food budget conflicts with the payment on your second mustang, you need to STFU. That's not living paycheck to paycheck, that's just you being an asshole. But when you have to decide between buying a winter jacket and paying for food, and you haven't put gas in your car for two weeks even though you're working over time, well, that's when you have a problem that needs to be fixed.


You're living paycheck to paycheck because the system screwed you. Everyone else is living paycheck to paycheck because they're assholes. Interesting view you have there.

You sound bad with money.
 
2013-02-14 12:32:22 PM
I am personally against being dead between paychecks, so I'm OK with this

/I just cringe at that phrase
//Spent a year dead for tax purposes
 
2013-02-14 12:33:27 PM

JohnBigBootay: lordaction: Good thing Obama got the payroll tax increased took the payroll tax to precisely what it was before it was temporarily lowered.

Fixed - and just so you know Einstein, the tax holiday was announced as temporary with a definite expiration date when it was rolled out.


You didn't fix anything.  You just played a word game.  Definite does not mean inflexible. He chose not to extend it which means he chose to raise the rate.  Logic, how does it work?
 
2013-02-14 12:36:19 PM
We made it to Thursday this week without this thread again? Someone is slacking.
 
2013-02-14 12:42:56 PM

JohnBigBootay: pheelix: The per capita GNP in Egypt is less than $3000 compared to nearly $48,000 here. Our bottom 20% live better than their second highest 20%.

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?co un try1=Egypt&country2=United+States

You forgot part of that equation chief.


Basic necessities are affordable, I'll give you that, but the GNP disparity has more to do with standard of living.  Life expectancy, access to health care, literacy rate, access to higher education, air and water quality, and racial/gender equality also need to be considered.  The US is ranked 4th, Egypt is way down at 113.  Our bottom 20% live better than their second highest 20%.
 
2013-02-14 12:43:37 PM

lordaction: You didn't fix anything. You just played a word game. Definite does not mean inflexible. He chose not to extend it which means he chose to raise the rate. Logic, how does it work?


Jesus you are thick. I know it doesn't fit your narrative but Congress decided to not extend the holiday for a third year. Congress is made up of 535 elected individuals. Congress is not spelled O-B-A-M-A.
 
2013-02-14 12:53:46 PM

pheelix: The US is ranked 4th, Egypt is way down at 113.


Absolutely. I just wanted to say that GNP is alone not enough to make the determination.

Our bottom 20% live better than their second highest 20%.

I honestly don't know about that. I'd be pretty sure our bottom 20 lives better than their bottom 20 for sure but I think their second 20 % lead lives that look a hell of a lot like the lives a shiat load of americans lead. I'm no egypt expert. Oh, and that's for when everything is not on fire and the fundies aren't trying to kill them.
 
2013-02-14 12:53:51 PM

JohnBigBootay: lordaction: You didn't fix anything. You just played a word game. Definite does not mean inflexible. He chose not to extend it which means he chose to raise the rate. Logic, how does it work?

Jesus you are thick. I know it doesn't fit your narrative but Congress decided to not extend the holiday for a third year. Congress is made up of 535 elected individuals. Congress is not spelled O-B-A-M-A.


Riiiight.  It was the Republican majority in Congress that chose to do this.  How much further are you going to reach?
 
2013-02-14 01:02:32 PM
4,000 out of every 10,000 you say? ee gads, boot strap time
 
2013-02-14 01:07:55 PM

lordaction: Riiiight. It was the Republican majority in Congress that chose to do this. How much further are you going to reach?


I'll just reach to right here to congratulate you on starting to finally get it. Yes, there was a one year tax rate holiday passed a couple of years ago. Yes, they (congress) ultimately voted to extend it for a second year. Yes, there is a republican majority in congress. Yes, they could have voted to extend it for a third year, but they chose not to do so. Frankly, I take my hat off to the Republican controlled congress for doing the right thing. Talk to the Boehner if you don't like how congress is conducting their business.
 
2013-02-14 01:11:22 PM

talulahgosh: wait, there are people who DON'T live paycheck to paycheck?
who are these people?!


Grown ups that wear suits to work...
 
2013-02-14 01:13:31 PM

JohnBigBootay: lordaction: You didn't fix anything. You just played a word game. Definite does not mean inflexible. He chose not to extend it which means he chose to raise the rate. Logic, how does it work?

Jesus you are thick. I know it doesn't fit your narrative but Congress decided to not extend the holiday for a third year. Congress is made up of 535 elected individuals. Congress is not spelled O-B-A-M-A.


Congress and the President almost always have to agree to change the law. Trying to pin something on Obama, Boehner, or Reid specifically is idiotic.
 
2013-02-14 01:13:55 PM

lordaction: Good thing Obama got the payroll tax increased so people make even less money.  That and his focus on increasing inflation is swell.


you do know that it was not Obama that increased but a Bush tax bill that expired and congress didn't reapply..i mean you do know that right??

you have to be trolling, but what is so sad is a lot of people feel this way..so much derp
 
2013-02-14 01:26:12 PM
What weirds me out are people like my friend (name redacted) and my relative (name redacted). Both have six-figure jobs, but sometimes can't even make it through the month without taking a payday loan or borrowing money from friends/relatives. I just don't get it. In the case of my relative it's because they have a severe "must buy the newest gadget as soon as it comes out and eat out for every meal and drive more car than they need" mentality. It's almost insulting to the people who really just don't make enough to get by.
 
2013-02-14 01:31:15 PM

HeadLever: karmaceutical: I also don't know why people get their panties twisted over what TV's other people may have.  Most TV's are like $500... that isn't even a month's rent for most people.

Unfortnately, most will buy that  $500 TV with a credit card and ends up costing $1000 instead by the time you include interest.

[static5.businessinsider.com image 610x407]


Seriously? Am I reading that right? People have a debt-to-income ratio of 10 or 12? How do you even do that? Even including my mortgage, my debt-to-income ratio is about 1 and that's because my yearly income is almost exactly equal to what's left on my mortgage.
 
2013-02-14 01:46:55 PM

Arkanaut: I wonder what's the income range for that.  I had someone who was a corporate lawyer for a Fortune 100 firm, who lives in an apartment that her parents bought in the 70's (i.e. pays no rent), tell me that she lives paycheck to paycheck.  I didn't delve, so I suppose it was possible that there were still 401k contributions and whatnot, but people have different definitions of "paycheck-to-paycheck".


If she is young, tuition (and thus student loans) are slightly insane at the moment.  4 years of private undergrad and then 3 more years of private law school eat up a lot of money.

And the phrase "coporate lawyer for a Fortune 100 firm" is odd, but if you mean she is in-house somewhere, that salary can range a lot.
 
2013-02-14 01:59:23 PM

bacongood: Arkanaut: I wonder what's the income range for that.  I had someone who was a corporate lawyer for a Fortune 100 firm, who lives in an apartment that her parents bought in the 70's (i.e. pays no rent), tell me that she lives paycheck to paycheck.  I didn't delve, so I suppose it was possible that there were still 401k contributions and whatnot, but people have different definitions of "paycheck-to-paycheck".

If she is young, tuition (and thus student loans) are slightly insane at the moment.  4 years of private undergrad and then 3 more years of private law school eat up a lot of money.

And the phrase "coporate lawyer for a Fortune 100 firm" is odd, but if you mean she is in-house somewhere, that salary can range a lot.


I meant in-house.  I know it's not big-law money, but I figure her income should put her in the top quintile or at least in that neighborhood.  And she's about ten years older than me, so I doubt that student loans are still an issue (or I should say I would sincerely hope that they are not).

And then there's my friend who's a mutual fund manager (last I checked) who spends most of her disposable income on coke.  That's a special case.
 
2013-02-14 02:00:32 PM

HeadLever: Unfortnately, most will buy that $500 TV with a credit card and ends up costing $1000 instead by the time you include interest.


They're not even 500 anymore, at least for ones that wouldn't be too big for small living rooms.  Wal Mart has a 46" RCA for under 400.  32" ones are under 250.  But a lot of them are putting it on credit.
 
2013-02-14 02:11:10 PM

Lord Dimwit: People have a debt-to-income ratio of 10 or 12? How do you even do that?


No, that is the growth in the debt using a 1980 baseline, not the debt itself.
 
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