Do you have adblock enabled?
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(The Atlantic)   A look at how Americans spent their money in 2012, all broken down by income disparity   (theatlantic.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, income disparity, Americans, pie charts, Bureau of Labor Statistics  
•       •       •

17209 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Sep 2013 at 12:35 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Archived thread
2013-09-16 09:47:54 PM  
7 votes:
This should not surprise anyone. If it does, you're one of those people who think that it's silly that people claim to be "poor" and yet have refrigerators.
2013-09-16 10:20:21 PM  
6 votes:
intobolivian.files.wordpress.com

Which was also Barbara Ehrenreich's opinion at the close of "Nickel and Dimed" as to why it's so hard to get ahead in America.  In order to get and keep a job, you absolutely have to have a physical address. And sure you'd save money by having 10 roomies, but no landlord in his/her right mind is going to allow that many people to share a dwelling. Prices on gas may drop every now and then, but prices on rent always go up.
2013-09-16 11:14:39 PM  
5 votes:
Poor people can plan for the future. They just can't afford to save for it.
2013-09-17 01:37:10 AM  
3 votes:
Percentages are misleading because cost of living doesn't adjust medially with income. There is a relative maxima to the kind of life that exists, and anything you earn beyond that doesn't improve your living standards.

For instance: Say taxes are 50%. For a person earning a billion dollars, that's 500 million, which may sound like a lot but it doesn't impact his standard of living because there is no standard on the planet that requires 500 million to live. There is barely any standard on the planet that requires more than 5 million to live. Taxes could be set at 90% and his lifestyle would still be unaffected. He can still eat gourmet steaks at 5-star restaurants every night.

But for someone earning $18,000, 50% is literally cutting their standard of living in half. It's the difference between slums and a decent apartment. Between rent and electricity. It defines whether he can spring for new socks or eat mayonnaise sammiches three times a week.

This illustrates why the flat tax is such a stupid idea, because it looks strictly at income and doesn't factor cost of living.
2013-09-17 02:07:42 AM  
2 votes:
mrswoodThe american dream is real. If you don't believe it then you are part of the problem.

Spoken like someone who has never had less than $100 in her pocket at any time in her life. Besides, if it is real, what difference does it make whether or not I 'believe' it? The reality is that the 'American Dream' is for those who have something to put into it. If you don't, then it is truly a 'dream'.

/some of us are just not lucky, mrswood, and luck is a major factor in finding any kind of success. Should you deny this is true, then it is you who are part of the 'problem'...
2013-09-17 01:33:53 AM  
2 votes:
i1048.photobucket.com
2013-09-17 01:33:00 AM  
2 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: Looks like rich people spend less of their income on housing and food. Poor people ought to take note.


Well, when your house is paid for, it's pretty easy to not spend much of your income on it.
2013-09-17 01:08:22 AM  
2 votes:

LordJiro: 1nsanilicious: I don't understand the value of posting these news articles. It's the equivalent of standing outside the houses of others and despising them for being better off than you.

Seriously folks, let ... It ... Go...

Yeah, the American dream is dead. Get over it.


No, I think he's referencing the Librul obsession with other peoples stuff.

cloudfront.mediamatters.org
2013-09-17 01:04:52 AM  
2 votes:
You know what the difference is? That big chunk labeled as "housing"? The rich are spending it on property, and the poor are spending it on rent.

Guess which one of those two has a positive return-on-investment.
2013-09-17 12:58:19 AM  
2 votes:
the only thing this graph shows us is that the amount of money it takes to stay alive is fixed, and if you don't have more than X dollars, you'll never be able to save

...and the wages in this country aren't solving for X, if you know what i'm sayin'

/and i think you do
2013-09-17 12:57:25 AM  
2 votes:

doglover: Poor people can plan for the future. They just can't afford to save for it.


Or take risks with their time and money, like "Going to college so you have a chance of getting a job that actually pays decently".
2013-09-17 07:31:21 PM  
1 vote:

WordyGrrl: I don't understand why so many people insist that "entertainment" is a valid budget category. There are plenty of ways to amuse yourself and/or your family that do not cost $300 a month, though I would understand if that $300 a month was being saved up for a big vacation once a year.

I get most of my entertainment from the internet at a flat $36 a month: free movies, tv, Fark, email, Skype, college courses, bill-paying, etc.


To a certain extent, it's MISC, but slightly more explicit.  Doing NOTHING but work, even when it's NOT physical or backbreaking just sucks.  Especially if you're dealing with shiatty mass transit.

So you take $X/month, and say "This is mine".  And then when the new movie comes out, you can say "Do I have $5 to go see the matinee?".  Or the new Dresden Files book comes out for $8.99 on Kindle and you can get it without feeling guilty.

And it just makes life a little easier.
2013-09-17 12:50:36 PM  
1 vote:

dletter: Everyone who is mentioning the taxes... obviously since they didn't list that, I am assuming that this is assumed to be spending on your "post-tax" income.  So, we have to start there.

I see a few people harping on that the poor still spend around the same 5% on entertainment as the rich.  A poor person making $15k a year post taxes.... that is $750 a year on "entertainment" (or roughly $15 a week).  I mean, come on, $15.... if you are harping on them for that, then, you are basically saying you can't have any "entertainment".  Which is fine, but, realize what you are saying.

The other thing I would say is that the definition of these categories leaves a bit of interpretation.  Is "food" strictly "food" (ie, groceries AND eating out, both fast food and "sit down" meals), or is food just your "grocery bill" (which includes other necessities around the house that are not food... paper products, toiletries, etc).    And if "food" is just "any food"... you can make the argument that going out to eat "extravagantly" (ie, bill comes out to higher than $20/person at the meal) constitutes as much "entertainment" as it is "food"... you could have made a similar meal much more inexpensively at home.... you wanted someone else to cook for you, many times to make something better than you could make it, and you wanted someone to wait on you and bring you your food and drink.... that to me to a degree falls under "entertainment".  But, is that being considered entertainment here?  I have no idea.


Because I am fortunate enough to have a job where i can slack off on Fark during lunch, i did the math. Top end of the bottom quintile comes out to an annual income of $24,217 as of 2005 (per wikpedia). That means, 1 out of 5 households in this country spends about $2.65 of their pre tax gross a day on entertainment - and only about a third of those households are comprised of a single person.

Damn.
2013-09-17 11:49:44 AM  
1 vote:

dletter: Pangea: Get your farking priorities straight.

Hey, as long as they aren't directly bothering you or me to be "kind soul's" to their vagabond ways, more power to them.

/I say directly, since, I'm sure in the grand scheme of society/government/etc, we've "supported" them in some way.


You're right in several ways. It doesn't hurt me, plus I don't really think of it as costing me anything. I used to smoke a lot, now I don't, don't care if anyone else smokes, I support legalization, it's none of my business, etc.

I just expressed an opinion because he lamented about it being really hard to feel like he should be the bread-winner and not being able to buy things for his wife, shortly after saying that a good portion of any money gets spent on weed.

No one should feel obligated to refuse the kindness of others when it's offered, I just chose to put my financial priorities in a different order.
2013-09-17 10:35:50 AM  
1 vote:
Everyone who is mentioning the taxes... obviously since they didn't list that, I am assuming that this is assumed to be spending on your "post-tax" income.  So, we have to start there.

I see a few people harping on that the poor still spend around the same 5% on entertainment as the rich.  A poor person making $15k a year post taxes.... that is $750 a year on "entertainment" (or roughly $15 a week).  I mean, come on, $15.... if you are harping on them for that, then, you are basically saying you can't have any "entertainment".  Which is fine, but, realize what you are saying.

The other thing I would say is that the definition of these categories leaves a bit of interpretation.  Is "food" strictly "food" (ie, groceries AND eating out, both fast food and "sit down" meals), or is food just your "grocery bill" (which includes other necessities around the house that are not food... paper products, toiletries, etc).    And if "food" is just "any food"... you can make the argument that going out to eat "extravagantly" (ie, bill comes out to higher than $20/person at the meal) constitutes as much "entertainment" as it is "food"... you could have made a similar meal much more inexpensively at home.... you wanted someone else to cook for you, many times to make something better than you could make it, and you wanted someone to wait on you and bring you your food and drink.... that to me to a degree falls under "entertainment".  But, is that being considered entertainment here?  I have no idea.
2013-09-17 10:16:04 AM  
1 vote:

radarlove:Yeah I think ours breaks down to about 1/3 weed, and 2/3 food.  We rarely have either of those things because we rarely have money, but when we do, that's generally how we spend it.

radarlove: Homeless person and spouse relying on kind souls.  Sooooo...sorta, from a Kenobiesque point of view.  =)


Get your farking priorities straight.
2013-09-17 04:18:35 AM  
1 vote:
The only reason I have never been homeless is because my parents are rich.

Incidentally, I'm doing okay right now, but I am also have a lot of student loans that are unpaid as of yet (they haven't come due). I will likely get on the "pay as you go" plan (no more than 10% of income) or some sort of income based plan, unless I suddenly fall into a pile of money.

It is possible to get a decent lifestyle together, but you have to constantly be looking for ways up and be willing to be poor. I don't have a car, and I don't plan on buying one, even though the bus kinda sucks much of the time. I have a roommate and don't plan on living alone unless my income were to double at least. I buy virtually nothing outside of groceries and some resturant food (either when I go out or when I am too tired to eat at home). At least I can afford clothes - when I got this job, I was super happy to be able to go and buy underwear.

There are things I want, but I understand that $50 here and there very, very quickly adds up to being poor forever. And it's very easy to be poor forever.
2013-09-17 01:34:39 AM  
1 vote:

ausfahrk: I spent 80% of my  pre-tax salary on housing over the last two years.

/Finally paid off the f-ing mortgage, though.


80% of my pre tax salary couldn't buy a house. Nor could I live on the remainder.
2013-09-17 01:33:36 AM  
1 vote:

1nsanilicious: I don't understand the value of posting these news articles. It's the equivalent of standing outside the houses of others and despising them for being better off than you.

Seriously folks, let ... It ... Go...


Hey look, a Mormon being a condescending asshole. Where have we seen that before? Oh right, what's his name... ...Spit Chimney?
2013-09-17 01:11:46 AM  
1 vote:
I spent a ton of money of hookers and blow. The rest I wasted.
2013-09-17 01:10:03 AM  
1 vote:
I'm a little nutty when it comes to the detail of tracking my expenses and investments. Here's how my expenditures have been over the past 12 months (this doesn't include the 16% gross placed into 401K & 2% into fed savings bonds.

scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net

-Business services: expenditures for work, which I'm reimbursed (and gives me "free" cash rewards on my credit card - about $500 a year).
-Home: mortgage: solar panel install & waterfront property purchase
-Auto & transport: fuel, car lease, insurance for 5 cars/motorcycle, boat insurance, marina
-Travel: a cruise to the Mediterranean, trip to Iceland, cruise to the arctic, cruise to Tahiti, Disneyworld, and Disneyland a few times.
-Heath and fitness: I include my hobbies in this, so it includes Scuba equipment, marathons, mountain climbing gear, and expense to hire mountain climbing guides.
Food: self explanatory. I eat out a lot, at least once a day.
Bills: power, water, internet
Shopping: shoes, clothes, etc.

Overall I'm pretty happy with this profile. Nothing goes to fees or interest, other than the 3% interest on the mortgage, which works out to be about $200 a month.

/no wife, no kids, no student debt, no credit card debt = has a lot of fun
2013-09-17 01:04:50 AM  
1 vote:
The "average" chart is misleading. The BLS stats show that the "average" he's using as the baseline has an income of $65,596, expenditures of $51,442 and is around 50 years old.

Nothing lies like graphs made from statistics.
2013-09-17 01:00:40 AM  
1 vote:

1nsanilicious: I don't understand the value of posting these news articles. It's the equivalent of standing outside the houses of others and despising them for being better off than you.

Seriously folks, let ... It ... Go...


Yeah, the American dream is dead. Get over it.
2013-09-17 12:51:31 AM  
1 vote:
Would a car elevator be housing or transportation?
2013-09-17 12:49:24 AM  
1 vote:
I spent a shiatload on pie this year, but I don't know how to visually represent that.
2013-09-17 12:44:25 AM  
1 vote:
Spend more than 1/4 of your income on housing, nearly lose your house, come to the rest of us for a bailout, rinse, repeat.
2013-09-16 11:30:54 PM  
1 vote:

doglover: Poor people can plan for the future. They just can't afford to save for it.


Basically this.... that insurance column REALLY shows the disparity, and that doesn't even show what people are able to actually "save" (either directly or into investments), which would look pretty similar to that insurance column I am guessing.

It is interesting though that "entertainment" is more or less the same % of your income, no matter what your income level.

I do have to say, housing at 30%, even with including all my utilities in "housing" (it isn't clear if "housing" for this meant just your rent/mortage, or was supposed to include utilities) is at 24% over the past year.  Seems like most people, even in it the "Top 20%", way overspend what is "necessary" on their housing (although, I live in one of the lowest cost of living metro areas in the country, so, obviously that helps in that regard).
 
Displayed 27 of 27 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter






In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report