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(ABC)   Americans are in such lousy financial shape that 4 in 10 say they could not come up with $2,000 if their lives depended on it   (abcnews.go.com) divider line 424
    More: Sad, Americans, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Pew Charitable Trusts, Sufis, confidence interval  
•       •       •

6743 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Apr 2014 at 10:16 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



424 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-04-08 10:43:00 AM  
Failure to raise $2000 for a down payment on an attorney causes students and young adults to plead guilty in cases where they really shouldn't.  Over their lifetime this simple mistake will lower their lifetime earning potential by several hundred thousand dollars.  The mistake is magnified when you consider that they probably COULD have sold their car or borrowed the $2000 from GrandMa if they were not embarrassed to admit they got busted with drugs or for petty theft.
 
2014-04-08 10:43:11 AM  
i512.photobucket.com
 
2014-04-08 10:43:14 AM  

Wasilla Hillbilly: SpectroBoy: If you can't scrape together $2K with a gun to your head one of two things is true.

A) You are truly very poor

B) You prioritize badly.

Hint: If you have cableTV, or a smart phone, or Netflix, or recent nice clothes then B is probably where you are at.

Although I don't have any of the things mentioned in your hint, I have to admit that both A and B apply to me and yes, B is the main factor in A. My only 'luxury' is my 3mb DSL connection, which I think would actually end up costing me more if I didn't have it.



I purposely didn't list an internet connection. Having internet can save people a tons of money shopping and also helps with finding a job (or doing a job). I sort of consider internet a staple at this point. It's hard to be a part of society without it.
 
2014-04-08 10:43:30 AM  
I need to call the Wu and diversify my bonds.  I could produce $2k right now, but I really need to start saving for retirement.
 
2014-04-08 10:43:31 AM  
This should be as good a time as any to correct our culture of consumerism, but parents need to buy their kids a $200 pair of headphones because fark you, that's why.
 
2014-04-08 10:44:29 AM  
I won't make wild accusations.  I'll just CSB for you.

I was there, broke, living paycheck to paycheck, sometimes borrowing from a future paycheck just to have money now to pay bills I thought I couldn't pay.   One day I woke up and said I can't do this anymore.  I stopped going out if I didn't really have the money.  I stopped all the extras that I really didn't need.  I put myself on a budget.  I sold some stuff and paid the lowest balance credit cards first just to feel better about my situation.  Then I just kept working to pay off stuff one at a time.

10 years later I have a better job, money in the bank, more money in another bank, a new house, money to blow on fun things,  only two credit cards with zero balance on them,  and still following a budget.

It takes some sacrifice, but you can do it.  I know, I've been there.

WRITE IT DOWN.  Just shutup with the excuses and WRITE IT DOWN.  You'd be surprised at the amount you piss away and not know it.
 
2014-04-08 10:44:41 AM  

SpectroBoy: If you can't scrape together $2K with a gun to your head one of two things is true.

A) You are truly very poor

B) You prioritize badly.

Hint: If you have cableTV, or a smart phone, or Netflix, or recent nice clothes then B is probably where you are at.


I don't think those things are universally bad ways to prioritize spending. If I go on a job interview in an old, wrinkly, holey, poorly-fitting outfit, that will inevitably leave a bad first impression on the interviewer and make them think less of you before you even get to shake their hand. Netflix is a super-cheap entertainment source compared to a lot of alternatives. A smart phone may be a bad option, but people at least need a phone today, so buying a cell phone is a pretty good idea.
 
2014-04-08 10:44:51 AM  

Dadoody: I have about 250k I could pull out and still be debt free.

I know people my age who've worked the same jobs as me and have made as much or more, and can't seem to save a dime of it, so unless you've got mental disabilities, there is no reason you couldn't have worked and saved or invested money in a way to grow it and have some for a rainy day unless you've made some poor life choices, and let's face it.....4 in 10 Americans usually do make some pretty lousy life choices.


Poor life choices, such as a major medical expense, divorce where you're wiped out completely by you're biatch of an ex-wife and her farking man-hating lesbo attorney, and having to file for bankruptcy to clear the remaining debt so you can buy some food and pay rent at the same time.

/Still happier than I've been in a long time./
/why is divorce so expensive? Because it's WORTH IT!/
 
2014-04-08 10:45:07 AM  

Slypork: Geoff Peterson: The Muthaship: And 8 out of 24 can't reduce a fraction.

4 in 10 sounds worse than 2 in 5, I guess, but to me 2 in 5 sounds worse.

[the more you know.jpg]

Fractions speak louder than words


Booooo.
 
2014-04-08 10:45:27 AM  

fireclown: [www.mamascritics.com image 850x625]
Baby step 1:  set up an emergancy fund of $1500.

The guy is occasionally kind of nutty, but the bones of his plan are pretty sound.


QFT.  Step 0: Stop spending more than you earn.
 
2014-04-08 10:45:31 AM  

SpectroBoy: Wasilla Hillbilly: SpectroBoy: If you can't scrape together $2K with a gun to your head one of two things is true.

A) You are truly very poor

B) You prioritize badly.

Hint: If you have cableTV, or a smart phone, or Netflix, or recent nice clothes then B is probably where you are at.

Although I don't have any of the things mentioned in your hint, I have to admit that both A and B apply to me and yes, B is the main factor in A. My only 'luxury' is my 3mb DSL connection, which I think would actually end up costing me more if I didn't have it.


I purposely didn't list an internet connection. Having internet can save people a tons of money shopping and also helps with finding a job (or doing a job). I sort of consider internet a staple at this point. It's hard to be a part of society without it.


Also if you're living on your own, you're wasting money.
 
2014-04-08 10:46:24 AM  

doglover: Serves those stupid poors right. They should take better care of their trust funds.



lol.   maybe we should ask some folks where all that middle/working class wealth went these last few years??   methinks, no, meknows it went upstream to its owners where it belongs.
 
2014-04-08 10:46:26 AM  

JusticeandIndependence: 10 years later I have a better job, money in the bank, more money in another bank, a new house, money to blow on fun things,  only two credit cards with zero balance on them,  and still following a budget.

It takes some sacrifice, but you can do it.  I know, I've been there


PRIVILEGE!!!
 
2014-04-08 10:47:08 AM  

Dimensio: SlothB77: I doubt that.  4 in 10 americans don't have $2000 worth of stuff they can sell if their lives depended on it?  If you own a flat screen tv, a couch and a bike or a car, you are getting pretty close to that number.  throw in a gun, computer and cell phone or other random appliances and you can get there.

but yeah, after you sell all that stuff, you don't have much left.

In fact, the firearm may be the most effective tool for obtaining $2000 in a short time period.


Only if you put careful thought into whom to burgle.  I mean, 40% of us can't come up with that much to save our lives.
 
2014-04-08 10:47:44 AM  

hej: What, are they too lazy to rob a bank, too?



the bank is robbing them.  most just don't know it.
 
2014-04-08 10:48:10 AM  

Serious Black: SpectroBoy: If you can't scrape together $2K with a gun to your head one of two things is true.

A) You are truly very poor

B) You prioritize badly.

Hint: If you have cableTV, or a smart phone, or Netflix, or recent nice clothes then B is probably where you are at.

I don't think those things are universally bad ways to prioritize spending. If I go on a job interview in an old, wrinkly, holey, poorly-fitting outfit, that will inevitably leave a bad first impression on the interviewer and make them think less of you before you even get to shake their hand. Netflix is a super-cheap entertainment source compared to a lot of alternatives. A smart phone may be a bad option, but people at least need a phone today, so buying a cell phone is a pretty good idea.


Most jobs you can only apply online for. A smartphone (or laptop) is pretty much a necessity now.
 
2014-04-08 10:48:37 AM  

skozlaw: svanmeter: This should make our elected officials nervous.

Nah, they're fine.

[cloudfront.mediamatters.org image 636x480]

doglover: If they just ate beans and lived in shared apartments, they could save up enough to get out their situations.

The funny thing is, your sarcasm works on multiple levels. If they really did try to get into hostel-type living arrangements and the whole thing took off, landlords would just jack up the rates or buy laws making it illegal for more than two unrelated person to live together in a single residence.

/ it's almost like something is draining the pockets of the low and middle working classes
// like... like some sort of upward trickling effect centered on people without the means to fight back


Saw a documentary on Housing Projects in the '60s. Very interesting. Basically it was a Republicans wet dream. If the family had a man who was of working age, he couldn't live with the family. That's right, they would separate families. Control was absolute, you were not allowed to have TVs or much of anything that would make you not poor.

There's a reason the projects became breeding grounds for drugs and gangs and most of it stems from the 1960s and the idea of being forced to stay in poverty in order to have a roof. The GOP would love to return to that standard, it seems.
 
2014-04-08 10:48:55 AM  

TheShavingofOccam123: Wages have fallen and prices have risen to the point where Americans are in such lousy financial shape that 4 in 10 say they could not come up with $2,000 if their lives depended on it.

Fixed that for you Wall Street.



well done.  Great repair job.
 
2014-04-08 10:49:22 AM  
I am in the 60% of us who can come up with $2,000.
 
2014-04-08 10:50:25 AM  

PanicMan: Serious Black: SpectroBoy: If you can't scrape together $2K with a gun to your head one of two things is true.

A) You are truly very poor

B) You prioritize badly.

Hint: If you have cableTV, or a smart phone, or Netflix, or recent nice clothes then B is probably where you are at.

I don't think those things are universally bad ways to prioritize spending. If I go on a job interview in an old, wrinkly, holey, poorly-fitting outfit, that will inevitably leave a bad first impression on the interviewer and make them think less of you before you even get to shake their hand. Netflix is a super-cheap entertainment source compared to a lot of alternatives. A smart phone may be a bad option, but people at least need a phone today, so buying a cell phone is a pretty good idea.

Most jobs you can only apply online for. A smartphone (or laptop) is pretty much a necessity now.



computerized applications are much easier to delete than a bunch of paper applications.  its much more convenient.
 
2014-04-08 10:51:16 AM  
That still counts as change.
 
2014-04-08 10:52:38 AM  

PanicMan: Most jobs you can only apply online for. A smartphone (or laptop) is pretty much a necessity now.


Anyone who thinks you can apply for a job with a smartphone hasn't applied for a job in a while.
 
2014-04-08 10:53:36 AM  

trotsky: Saw a documentary on Housing Projects in the '60s. Very interesting. Basically it was a Republicans wet dream. If the family had a man who was of working age, he couldn't live with the family. That's right, they would separate families. Control was absolute, you were not allowed to have TVs or much of anything that would make you not poor.

There's a reason the projects became breeding grounds for drugs and gangs and most of it stems from the 1960s and the idea of being forced to stay in poverty in order to have a roof. The GOP would love to return to that standard, it seems.


Sounds like pretty much every social program that came out of LBJ's war on poverty.
 
2014-04-08 10:53:37 AM  

PanicMan: Serious Black: SpectroBoy: If you can't scrape together $2K with a gun to your head one of two things is true.

A) You are truly very poor

B) You prioritize badly.

Hint: If you have cableTV, or a smart phone, or Netflix, or recent nice clothes then B is probably where you are at.

I don't think those things are universally bad ways to prioritize spending. If I go on a job interview in an old, wrinkly, holey, poorly-fitting outfit, that will inevitably leave a bad first impression on the interviewer and make them think less of you before you even get to shake their hand. Netflix is a super-cheap entertainment source compared to a lot of alternatives. A smart phone may be a bad option, but people at least need a phone today, so buying a cell phone is a pretty good idea.

Most jobs you can only apply online for. A smartphone (or laptop) is pretty much a necessity now.


I sort of agree on that but the data plan quickly gets more expensive than the phone.

And libraries have free computers too.
 
2014-04-08 10:53:37 AM  
If I had $2k laying around I'd be $2k closer to being out of debt by tomorrow.  You don't save money when trying to get out of debt in a hurry.
 
2014-04-08 10:55:04 AM  

GoldSpider: PanicMan: Most jobs you can only apply online for. A smartphone (or laptop) is pretty much a necessity now.

Anyone who thinks you can apply for a job with a smartphone hasn't applied for a job in a while.


Anyone who thinks you don't need one hasn't worked in awhile.
 
2014-04-08 10:55:44 AM  

GoldSpider: PanicMan: Most jobs you can only apply online for. A smartphone (or laptop) is pretty much a necessity now.

Anyone who thinks you can apply for a job with a smartphone hasn't applied for a job in a while.


I wouldn't say it's the only way, but it does make the process a lot easier.
 
2014-04-08 10:56:06 AM  

doglover: GoldSpider: PanicMan: Most jobs you can only apply online for. A smartphone (or laptop) is pretty much a necessity now.

Anyone who thinks you can apply for a job with a smartphone hasn't applied for a job in a while.

Anyone who thinks you don't need one hasn't worked in awhile.


If you're working a job that  requires a smartphone, you shouldn't be part of this article
 
2014-04-08 10:56:31 AM  
Yes, I'm basically in that group. And yes, it's my fault.
 
2014-04-08 10:57:26 AM  

Smeggy Smurf: If I had $2k laying around I'd be $2k closer to being out of debt by tomorrow.  You don't save money when trying to get out of debt in a hurry.


This doesn't make any sense.  You don't just have "$2K lying around"  You set it aside and tell yourself it's off limits.

$85 dollars every two weeks for one year and you would have $2K "lying around"
 
2014-04-08 10:58:03 AM  
Why is this sad? I say it depends on the demographics the question was asked to. I mean are we talking about a bunch of 20 yr olds or a bunch of 50 yr olds? if the latter than yes sad indeed but 20 yr olds...not only is it not sad but to the contrary and actually amazing if 40% of 20 yr olds can come up with $2K on a whim. I sure as heck couldn't when I was 20 or even at 25 w/o borrowing.

If it's evenly spread across the board across all racial, social and age groups than 40% is probably 'normal'.

Article is a false flag and sensationalism for the sake of sensationalism. If you want to find root cause you need to dive deeper and more granular. Break it down by age groups, by race, geography and other factors instead of just a blanket 40% of Americans.
 
2014-04-08 10:58:37 AM  

Serious Black: I wouldn't say it's the only way, but it does make the process a lot easier.


Around this time last year I was looking for work and applying for a lot of jobs.  Most of the sites I applied on were kludgy and confusing and poorly-designed, and that was from a laptop!  No way in hell most of them would have worked from a smartphone.
 
2014-04-08 10:58:38 AM  
I just had a friend (who I haven't really talked to in years) ask to borrow $500.00.  I felt so bad telling her "no" because I knew it would ruin our friendship and be awkward.  It makes me feel bad to say no, but I'd feel worse asking for it back.
 
2014-04-08 10:59:06 AM  
Good thing my life doesn't depend on coming up with $2000 on the spot.

Got a credit account good at doctors, dentists and veterinarians. Plenty of room on it, and I always pay it off in 6 months.
Got another credit account good at my mechanic, same deal.
Stray cash gets spent on better food and "necessities", so I send a painful amount to my 401K, where it doesn't get raided. (Why yes, I'm married.)

Hold a gun to my head and demand $2000? Yeah, I'm phoning a friend. Several people I know have more than $2000 cash and would part with it to keep me alive. Barring asking for help, how poor would you have to be to not even know a loan shark?
 
2014-04-08 10:59:31 AM  
Count me among that number.

If I liquidated all my assets, including my car, furniture, and the box of computer parts in the garage, I might be able to get 2000 if I had to have the cash today.

I'm thankful every day for the insurance plan that keeps the kids healthy.
 
2014-04-08 11:01:42 AM  

SordidEuphemism: Count me among that number.

If I liquidated all my assets, including my car, furniture, and the box of computer parts in the garage, I might be able to get 2000 if I had to have the cash today.

I'm thankful every day for the insurance plan that keeps the kids healthy.


See my wife and I had a slightly different financial plan. We didn't have kids until we had a good $20k of liquid assets in case of emergency.

12 in one hand... etc
 
2014-04-08 11:02:11 AM  
I like to think of it more in terms of "how much could I disappear with within a few days?"  You know, cash out the IRA, CDs, 401k, max out the credit card cash advances, drain the checking and savings, and sell the house for cash.

Makes me feel more secret agent and less poor.
 
2014-04-08 11:04:54 AM  

SpectroBoy: PanicMan: Serious Black: SpectroBoy: If you can't scrape together $2K with a gun to your head one of two things is true.

A) You are truly very poor

B) You prioritize badly.

Hint: If you have cableTV, or a smart phone, or Netflix, or recent nice clothes then B is probably where you are at.

I don't think those things are universally bad ways to prioritize spending. If I go on a job interview in an old, wrinkly, holey, poorly-fitting outfit, that will inevitably leave a bad first impression on the interviewer and make them think less of you before you even get to shake their hand. Netflix is a super-cheap entertainment source compared to a lot of alternatives. A smart phone may be a bad option, but people at least need a phone today, so buying a cell phone is a pretty good idea.

Most jobs you can only apply online for. A smartphone (or laptop) is pretty much a necessity now.

I sort of agree on that but the data plan quickly gets more expensive than the phone.

And libraries have free computers too.


Gotta agree with this.  I don't have cable TV, or a smart phone and it's accompanying ridiculous fees and just by eliminating those two things, you too, could easily come up with $2,000.00.
 
2014-04-08 11:05:36 AM  
I'm poor and I could come up with 2k if I had to.  I would go to prison afterwards, but yea $2k wouldnt be an issue.

One of you would be out $2k though.
 
2014-04-08 11:06:11 AM  

lennavan: More than one-third of workers (36 percent) have only $1,000 saved for their later years

I really wish we could have a (D) Medicare / Social Security and a (R) one.  If you vote (R) consistently, then upon retirement, you get the (R) plan.  And yes, that means all along the way you get to pay whatever the lower tax rate associated would be.  We'll see how well that plan works out for you.


I'll take a stab at it.

Instead of sapping you for 12.5% and the promise of giving you some back later, you
keep your 12.5% and invest it in some nice trustworth S&P500 IRA.

So you are not a dumbass, and you make 100k just for giggles and it is near the cap for SS anyway.
using this tea part website
https://www.investor.gov/tools/calculators/compound-interest-calcula to r#.U0QMQPldXrQ

we assume historical average of 8% in the market.  None of that 25% that obama gives us.
You now have
$1,427,368.46   for retirement after 30 years.

30 years, mind you, not working until you are 70

That gives you about $5000 a month to retire on , assuming you back off the stock market and move to bonds and dividend stocks, and your money is only making 4%, and you don't take some of that and buy income generating rental properties. etc.

Or.. you can take the $1700 a month that Social security will give you.


Oh yeah, if you die when you are 61, on the R plan, your kids get all your money.  They can use it to pay off their student loans, which I hear that people have a hard time paying nowadays.  Or they can buy a decent small house and one of those small income generating rental properties.

But if you signed up for the D plan, you get $1700/mo.   And if you die at 61,
YOUR KIDS GET DICK.
 
2014-04-08 11:06:44 AM  

MugzyBrown: If you're working a job that requires a smartphone, you shouldn't be part of this article


You'd think that, but then you'd be wrong.

And to be fair I COULD get by without a smart phone. I'd just have to print out a million documents each week like maps and schedules etc.
 
2014-04-08 11:07:14 AM  
Then let's do the environment some good, and demand an immediate $2,000 tax payment for carbon offset, with lives depending on it.

We could stand to lose about 40M slacker loser parasite pieces of shiat around here. We would lose the anchors and albatrosses around our necks, and nothing of value.
 
2014-04-08 11:10:06 AM  

doglover: SlothB77: Serious Black: So people should sell their primary source of transportation when they have an emergency? Wouldn't that impede them from making more money in the future and, thus, prolong the emergency?

well, if the option is sell your car or bike or die right now, does the future really matter?

No it doesn't. Which is why:

Dimensio: In fact, the firearm may be the most effective tool for obtaining $2000 in a short time period.


Finally, we are getting somewhere!
 
2014-04-08 11:10:54 AM  
How do we rank against other countries in that regard.  Could people in Germany come up with $1450 euros just as easily?
 
2014-04-08 11:11:07 AM  
So with Microsoft abandoning support for XP, are people going to go out and buy a tablet? Are they going to go out and buy a new OS and try to install it on their old desktop? Are they going to buy an off-lease or refurb desktop with a newer OS? Are they going to buy a new desktop with a new OS then pay to upgrade 8.1?

Can 4 out of 10 Americans scrape enough money together to do any of those things?

/apparently, 75% of the ATMs in the US use a flavor of XP....
 
2014-04-08 11:11:27 AM  

Serious Black: So people should sell their primary source of transportation when they have an emergency? Wouldn't that impede them from making more money in the future and, thus, prolong the emergency?


Making money, huhwut? If you can't cough up 2K, then you clearly aren't driving that car to a job anyway. Not driving to the liquor store is the only downside to selling the car.
 
2014-04-08 11:12:55 AM  

SuperNinjaToad: If you want to find root cause you need to dive deeper and more granular. Break it down by age groups, by race, geography and other factors instead of just a blanket 40% of Americans.


Yep. There's got to be some way to classify people so that you can safely say this is a problem for "them", not for "us".
 
2014-04-08 11:13:03 AM  

Cold_Sassy: Gotta agree with this.  I don't have cable TV, or a smart phone and it's accompanying ridiculous fees and just by eliminating those two things, you too, could easily come up with $2,000.00.


When I finally figured out I needed to budget a few years ago, the first thing to get cut was the cable and phone.  Dropping the digital package and going to just-Internet and basic cable (cheaper than without any cable package) took my bill from $110 to $50.  Dropping my AT&T contract and switching to Virgin Mobile dropped my bill from $85 to $25.

Not counting any other re-prioritization, that was an extra $120 per month to put away.

15% of Americans live in poverty.  The remaining 25% are doing it wrong.
 
2014-04-08 11:13:28 AM  

SevenizGud: Serious Black: So people should sell their primary source of transportation when they have an emergency? Wouldn't that impede them from making more money in the future and, thus, prolong the emergency?

Making money, huhwut? If you can't cough up 2K, then you clearly aren't driving that car to a job anyway. Not driving to the liquor store is the only downside to selling the car.


Not really, at least you couldn't get an OVI.
 
kab
2014-04-08 11:16:26 AM  
If only poor people would stop buying stuff, it would fix everything, including unemployment!
 
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