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(CNBC)   In today's most relatable personal finance story, here's how a pair of married ballet dancers making $178k/year get by in Chicago   (cnbc.com) divider line
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3064 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Oct 2020 at 1:20 PM (28 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-10-29 2:05:54 PM  
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My first question is food, that's nearly $50 per person per day. I get that they are very physically active and thus require more calories than a normal person but my fat ass can stretch $50 into about a weeks worth of food if I'm smart about it so how much and what are they eating.

The rest of it looks reasonable enough, utilities are a bit high and I'm not sure why they are keeping a pet around that is clearly near death since it must require monthly operations. Regardless it is a personal choice they are making.
 
2020-10-29 2:06:19 PM  

astelmaszek: baronbloodbath: GBmanNC: baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?

That's around $50 a person a day. WTF indeed, I could barely manage that if I tried. Maybe eating out for steak every meal?

My guess is they are also counting alcohol as food.

Even so, my liquor budget has never exceeded $100 for a month. They must be eating at top tier restaurants like Olive Garden.

[Fark user image image 425x318]Started this one Saturday night. Been working long days and late nights all week long. Going to need a refill. There goes another 100.


Maybe you should cut back
 
2020-10-29 2:13:22 PM  

baronbloodbath: GBmanNC: baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?

That's around $50 a person a day. WTF indeed, I could barely manage that if I tried. Maybe eating out for steak every meal?

My guess is they are also counting alcohol as food.

Even so, my liquor budget has never exceeded $100 for a month. They must be eating at top tier restaurants like Olive Garden.


And other drugs. 100 bucks a day? Surely they could save a lot on bulk purchases and preparing ahead on weekends.

As an aside, I've never been prouder of my dumpster diving habit. Better produce than most people eat by the time they get around to pulling it out of the fridge; free but for the price of dignity and occasional holey shirts.
 
2020-10-29 2:15:40 PM  

mrmopar5287: funemploymemt


This could have been a nice intentional misspelling, "Funemployment" : When you've been laid off and spend your days getting high.

But instead you had to add an extra typo and now it's just the result of a howler monkey banging on the keyboard.
 
2020-10-29 2:19:45 PM  

Rev.K: They are spending $3,941/mo on food and their pet.

If they can't solve this problem, there are very few problems they can be counted on to solve.


Their pet had chemo treatments.  I can relate.  We spent more than the cost of a new economy car on cancer treatments for our dog to allow her to live to middle age.  Yeah, we should have gotten pet insurance, but that lesson was learned too late.
 
2020-10-29 2:21:13 PM  

Pocket Ninja: So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.


I don't think subby knows anything about this.
 
2020-10-29 2:25:05 PM  

chitownmike: astelmaszek: baronbloodbath: GBmanNC: baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?

That's around $50 a person a day. WTF indeed, I could barely manage that if I tried. Maybe eating out for steak every meal?

My guess is they are also counting alcohol as food.

Even so, my liquor budget has never exceeded $100 for a month. They must be eating at top tier restaurants like Olive Garden.

[Fark user image image 425x318]Started this one Saturday night. Been working long days and late nights all week long. Going to need a refill. There goes another 100.

Maybe you should cut back


Lol
 
2020-10-29 2:25:13 PM  

astelmaszek: baronbloodbath: GBmanNC: baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?

That's around $50 a person a day. WTF indeed, I could barely manage that if I tried. Maybe eating out for steak every meal?

My guess is they are also counting alcohol as food.

Even so, my liquor budget has never exceeded $100 for a month. They must be eating at top tier restaurants like Olive Garden.

[Fark user image 425x318]Started this one Saturday night. Been working long days and late nights all week long. Going to need a refill. There goes another 100.


Either that's a HUGE bottle and you're probably going to die soon, or you're paying way too much.

The last 1.75l bottle of Maker's Mark I got at Costco was about $35.
 
2020-10-29 2:25:17 PM  

FLMountainMan: Lochsteppe: halifaxdatageek: Unlike most millennials, they don't have decades of career advancement ahead of them - at least not as professional ballet dancers. Most dancers retire by 35 or 40, and with that in mind, the couple is diligently saving a big chunk of their $178,000 combined annual income in anticipation of their next act.

That.

That was supposed to read "exactly like most millennials, they don't have decades of career advancement ahead of them."

Why do you think that?  GenX is the smallest generation, so you'll have more opportunities to move up in management.  Additionally, COVID is doing you a favor in some sense in that it's killing off a lot of old people.

Your biggest threats are automation and economic stagnation.  One's a training/career choice issue and the other is largely a political issue.


I'm not a millennial. However, I can recognize long-standing trends toward vigorous corporate over-farkery of its employee base. It's not likely that we'll return to the long-gone days of employers treating their workers well or thinking of them as lifelong partners in the company's growth, at least not without a medium to large revolution.
 
2020-10-29 2:27:41 PM  

JesseL: astelmaszek: baronbloodbath: GBmanNC: baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?

That's around $50 a person a day. WTF indeed, I could barely manage that if I tried. Maybe eating out for steak every meal?

My guess is they are also counting alcohol as food.

Even so, my liquor budget has never exceeded $100 for a month. They must be eating at top tier restaurants like Olive Garden.

[Fark user image 425x318]Started this one Saturday night. Been working long days and late nights all week long. Going to need a refill. There goes another 100.

Either that's a HUGE bottle and you're probably going to die soon, or you're paying way too much.

The last 1.75l bottle of Maker's Mark I got at Costco was about $35.


.25l a day is not going to kill me anytime soon. Granpa easily managed a liter of vodka a day and died at 78. Never seen Makers for 38 bucks anywhere for 1.75.
 
2020-10-29 2:31:19 PM  

hlehmann: mrmopar5287: funemploymemt

This could have been a nice intentional misspelling, "Funemployment" : When you've been laid off and spend your days getting high.

But instead you had to add an extra typo and now it's just the result of a howler monkey banging on the keyboard.


Ever since the LA Times called it funemployment for the Obama years, it's in my autocorrect.
 
2020-10-29 2:33:48 PM  
Curious how they plan to pay $7000 in monthly expenses when they retire in a few years.

Doing the math on the condo, it seems they are 3 years into a  30 year mortgage.

Seems to me to have any chance of they will need to pay off the mortgage (somehow) and switch to a much cheaper diet.

Good synergy would come with eating their $1056/month pet and any leftover food it has.
 
2020-10-29 2:35:17 PM  

astelmaszek: JesseL: astelmaszek: baronbloodbath: GBmanNC: baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?

That's around $50 a person a day. WTF indeed, I could barely manage that if I tried. Maybe eating out for steak every meal?

My guess is they are also counting alcohol as food.

Even so, my liquor budget has never exceeded $100 for a month. They must be eating at top tier restaurants like Olive Garden.

[Fark user image 425x318]Started this one Saturday night. Been working long days and late nights all week long. Going to need a refill. There goes another 100.

Either that's a HUGE bottle and you're probably going to die soon, or you're paying way too much.

The last 1.75l bottle of Maker's Mark I got at Costco was about $35.

.25l a day is not going to kill me anytime soon. Granpa easily managed a liter of vodka a day and died at 78. Never seen Makers for 38 bucks anywhere for 1.75.


https://www.totalwine.com/spirits/bour​bon/makers-mark-bourbon-whisky/p/37001​75
 
2020-10-29 2:39:00 PM  
I have a cousin in law, great gal, and very good dancer. Not ballet but everything else. She's been in this and that and spent a lot of years performing with Andy Williams in Branson, MO. She gave it up eventually and became a nurse. She couldn't go her whole life basically making minimum wage. Most dancers aren't paid squat.
 
2020-10-29 2:40:46 PM  

Pocket Ninja: First of all, they're not married, they're engaged.

Second of all, they're making (under 10-month contracts), $77,000 and $66,000, respectively. This is working as full-time dancers who are, from how they're described, at the very top of their game. The bigger question I have is why he is earning $11,000 more than she is, but maybe there's a perfectly legitimate reason for that. But while both of those salaries certainly put them comfortably in the middle class on any scale, they're certainly not exorbitant. I doubt either of them would have been able to afford an apartment in Chicago on their own -- it's only by combining their incomes that they can.

The rest of their income (beyond the $143,000 they bring in together, which presumably is before taxes) is earned through what are essentially side hustles. And, apparently, they also draw on some unemployment during their two months of down time each year when they're not being paid from their contracts. Some people may take issue with that, but, as with the apparent gender gap, that's a side issue.

So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.


$143k plus side hustle and they are collecting unemployment at any time in that year?

fark that. That isn't relatable, it's systemic abuse.
 
2020-10-29 2:40:57 PM  
I imagine it's a far more difficult field to break into with making far less than the usual careers.   And as the article mentioned, with a window of opportunity where you're physically done in a couple decades, or much sooner due to injuries.

I can't relate because I don't have an iota of dancing talent in my body or any other talent for the arts or sports. Good for them on their financial planning.
 
2020-10-29 2:42:21 PM  

baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?


This.

I'm feeding 2 adults and 2 teenage kids and we aren't sniffing that number.
 
2020-10-29 2:43:54 PM  
My wife and I make around 200K between the two of us, in Chicago, and those numbers are roughly in our range - other than the food and the pet costs. But we did eat out a lot before the pandemic so while right now we're spending about 500-1000/month on food, beforehand we could easily drop another 500+ or so in a month on eating dinner out or picking up lunch and/or breakfast at places near our work (loop for her, west loop for me). If eating out at nice places is part of their career path, I'm not going to begrudge them spending that much more.

Now though probably 90% of our meals our made at home - we'll probably order something delivered about once a week.

(Yes, I have lost 30 pounds since the start of the pandemic, why do you ask?)

The things we have that they don't are two car notes (we used to live in California) and we're also paying down old debts (like I said we used to live in California) to the tune of about 4K a month.

/those wrap up over the next year or so
//then it's mortgage savings time
///whether we buy in Chicagoland or not depends on how long COVID sticks around
 
2020-10-29 2:47:30 PM  

italie: Pocket Ninja: First of all, they're not married, they're engaged.

Second of all, they're making (under 10-month contracts), $77,000 and $66,000, respectively. This is working as full-time dancers who are, from how they're described, at the very top of their game. The bigger question I have is why he is earning $11,000 more than she is, but maybe there's a perfectly legitimate reason for that. But while both of those salaries certainly put them comfortably in the middle class on any scale, they're certainly not exorbitant. I doubt either of them would have been able to afford an apartment in Chicago on their own -- it's only by combining their incomes that they can.

The rest of their income (beyond the $143,000 they bring in together, which presumably is before taxes) is earned through what are essentially side hustles. And, apparently, they also draw on some unemployment during their two months of down time each year when they're not being paid from their contracts. Some people may take issue with that, but, as with the apparent gender gap, that's a side issue.

So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.

$143k plus side hustle and they are collecting unemployment at any time in that year?

fark that. That isn't relatable, it's systemic abuse.


No it's not. They pay into the unemployment fund, they get to collect when they are unemployed. Doesn't matter how much they make. I happily collected covid unemployment this summer when I laid myself off due to covid and having have to take care of kids. Paid into for 23 years without ever collecting. Screw your line of reasoning.
 
2020-10-29 2:48:09 PM  

chitownmike: astelmaszek: baronbloodbath: GBmanNC: baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?

That's around $50 a person a day. WTF indeed, I could barely manage that if I tried. Maybe eating out for steak every meal?

My guess is they are also counting alcohol as food.

Even so, my liquor budget has never exceeded $100 for a month. They must be eating at top tier restaurants like Olive Garden.

[Fark user image image 425x318]Started this one Saturday night. Been working long days and late nights all week long. Going to need a refill. There goes another 100.

Maybe you should cut back


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-10-29 2:49:12 PM  
iamskibibitz:

Then you see that Cirque went bankrupt about five months ago.  I seem to recall it was yardsale bankruptcy rather than here's our new plan
 
2020-10-29 2:50:14 PM  

italie: baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?

This.

I'm feeding 2 adults and 2 teenage kids and we aren't sniffing that number.


Maybe they shop at Whole Foods.
 
2020-10-29 2:56:03 PM  
Give me a break. In '96, my late wife and I and the kid had a house in Chicago, and when I got the raise to just under $54k/yr, she went part time, so she could write. And we could afford to eat out more than once a month.
 
2020-10-29 3:04:23 PM  

Pocket Ninja: First of all, they're not married, they're engaged.

Second of all, they're making (under 10-month contracts), $77,000 and $66,000, respectively. This is working as full-time dancers who are, from how they're described, at the very top of their game. The bigger question I have is why he is earning $11,000 more than she is, but maybe there's a perfectly legitimate reason for that. But while both of those salaries certainly put them comfortably in the middle class on any scale, they're certainly not exorbitant. I doubt either of them would have been able to afford an apartment in Chicago on their own -- it's only by combining their incomes that they can.

The rest of their income (beyond the $143,000 they bring in together, which presumably is before taxes) is earned through what are essentially side hustles. And, apparently, they also draw on some unemployment during their two months of down time each year when they're not being paid from their contracts. Some people may take issue with that, but, as with the apparent gender gap, that's a side issue.

So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.


tldr; this is just a specific case of two people, both of whom are in very unique circumstances, and who are not representative of anything, regarding the other millions of people in this country, good or bad.
tldr2; this is a useless article and a waste of a click
 
2020-10-29 3:18:54 PM  

astelmaszek: italie: Pocket Ninja: First of all, they're not married, they're engaged.

Second of all, they're making (under 10-month contracts), $77,000 and $66,000, respectively. This is working as full-time dancers who are, from how they're described, at the very top of their game. The bigger question I have is why he is earning $11,000 more than she is, but maybe there's a perfectly legitimate reason for that. But while both of those salaries certainly put them comfortably in the middle class on any scale, they're certainly not exorbitant. I doubt either of them would have been able to afford an apartment in Chicago on their own -- it's only by combining their incomes that they can.

The rest of their income (beyond the $143,000 they bring in together, which presumably is before taxes) is earned through what are essentially side hustles. And, apparently, they also draw on some unemployment during their two months of down time each year when they're not being paid from their contracts. Some people may take issue with that, but, as with the apparent gender gap, that's a side issue.

So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.

$143k plus side hustle and they are collecting unemployment at any time in that year?

fark that. That isn't relatable, it's systemic abuse.

No it's not. They pay into the unemployment fund, they get to collect when they are unemployed. Doesn't matter how much they make. I happily collected covid unemployment this summer when I laid myself off due to covid and having have to take care of kids. Paid into for 23 years without ever collecting. Screw your line of reasoning.


Abuse of the unemployment fund to take a vacation is one reason unemployment insurance is so high, thus causing companies to avoid hiring more workers, or moving to other places to hire.   But you got yours, so it's all good.
 
2020-10-29 3:59:56 PM  
The thing about Chicago restaurants, and this was before covid and probably much worse now is that there are no "affordable" places to eat anymore that have decent food that are not so mobbed that you can get a table during normal eating hours.

The celebrity chefs and foodie scene in the city made everything either very very expensive or way overly mobbed...and all that is left is crappy chains/dive bars/counter places. There is no restaurant "middle class."

My bet is that these two don't eat at crappy counter places or chains much, don't have the time to wait 90 minutes for a decent burger or tacos and have too unpredictable of a schedule to get a reservation at Girl and the Goat or Frontera or Monteverde 3 months in advance.

As "big" as Chicago is and great as it is from a restaurant standpoint, the missing thing is that having all that greatness doesn't rub off in bringing the competition up to a better level like in other great foodie places like NYC and New Orleans.  There isn't any restaurant in the West Loop that they are getting out of for less than $150 after tip before drinks where one can get a table between 6-9 Thur-Sun.  It's either great and pricey, great and mobbed always, or kind of crappy (and likely still pricey).

Sure there are a few gems here and there, but few were left when I lived in the city 2 years ago, there are even fewer now and most will be gone after covid I am sure.  And many of the gems got mentioned as being reasonable and good on some TV show and then they move into the "mobbed" category for a while (then they change something or expand and over extend themselves, then they get into trouble and institutions that were around for 50+ years have 2 great years and then flame out and are gone forever).

While $1500/person sounds like a lot, I can see people in their shoes hitting that pretty quickly.  2 date nights a week for $150 each is $1200.  Add in $60 in take out one night a week and it gets you half way there (hell, I live in the burbs and a large pizza and wings here gets you to $50 pretty quickly if its not from dominos).  Groceries at $700/month for two people isnt ridiculous at Whole Foods or city Marianos if you buy decent stuff.  These people are dancers, not home cooks so I don't see them stretching a 50 lbs bag of rice.  Then there is the alchohol.  They likely drink decent wine and go to bars with $8 craft beers, which is basically every bar that one would actually want to go to in Chicago.

They can definitely cut back, but I know when I was single in the city, there were many months that my restaurant and bar tab were much greater than $1500.  Hell, when I started working in the city, a decent lunch out was $6-8 all in for one step above fast food.  That number was $18-20 two years ago at the same places.
 
2020-10-29 4:13:44 PM  

baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?


Yup.  That was my issue here.  That's a daily food bill of just under $50 a person.  That's a lot of farking money just for food.  That's $34k a year.  Some couples live on $34k a year, total.
 
2020-10-29 4:21:36 PM  

italie: Pocket Ninja: First of all, they're not married, they're engaged.

Second of all, they're making (under 10-month contracts), $77,000 and $66,000, respectively. This is working as full-time dancers who are, from how they're described, at the very top of their game. The bigger question I have is why he is earning $11,000 more than she is, but maybe there's a perfectly legitimate reason for that. But while both of those salaries certainly put them comfortably in the middle class on any scale, they're certainly not exorbitant. I doubt either of them would have been able to afford an apartment in Chicago on their own -- it's only by combining their incomes that they can.

The rest of their income (beyond the $143,000 they bring in together, which presumably is before taxes) is earned through what are essentially side hustles. And, apparently, they also draw on some unemployment during their two months of down time each year when they're not being paid from their contracts. Some people may take issue with that, but, as with the apparent gender gap, that's a side issue.

So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.

$143k plus side hustle and they are collecting unemployment at any time in that year?

fark that. That isn't relatable, it's systemic abuse.


This is not uncommon for jobs that have regular, seasonal down time, no matter how much their salaries are.

Another good example: Detroit 3 auto workers.  They might be making $100k, but every year they also file for unemployment for the three week down time when the plant retools for the new model year.

I do think, even if common, it is abuse-you are supposed to be looking for a job to get unemployment, and obviously neither the dancer nor the auto workers are for these brief, scheduled down times.  Heck, in the case of the dancer couple, it looks like they do Uber or something during the down time (side hustle), which means they aren't even unemployed during that time.
 
2020-10-29 4:27:18 PM  

astelmaszek: italie: Pocket Ninja: First of all, they're not married, they're engaged.

Second of all, they're making (under 10-month contracts), $77,000 and $66,000, respectively. This is working as full-time dancers who are, from how they're described, at the very top of their game. The bigger question I have is why he is earning $11,000 more than she is, but maybe there's a perfectly legitimate reason for that. But while both of those salaries certainly put them comfortably in the middle class on any scale, they're certainly not exorbitant. I doubt either of them would have been able to afford an apartment in Chicago on their own -- it's only by combining their incomes that they can.

The rest of their income (beyond the $143,000 they bring in together, which presumably is before taxes) is earned through what are essentially side hustles. And, apparently, they also draw on some unemployment during their two months of down time each year when they're not being paid from their contracts. Some people may take issue with that, but, as with the apparent gender gap, that's a side issue.

So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.

$143k plus side hustle and they are collecting unemployment at any time in that year?

fark that. That isn't relatable, it's systemic abuse.

No it's not. They pay into the unemployment fund, they get to collect when they are unemployed. Doesn't matter how much they make. I happily collected covid unemployment this summer when I laid myself off due to covid and having have to take care of kids. Paid into for 23 years without ever collecting. Screw your line of reasoning.


If you collect unemployment benefits, you are supposed to be actively looking for work (note: looks like there may some temporary Covid related exceptions to this rule in some states).  Also, you can't be working and collect benefits (doing a "side hustle" as these two apparently do during these periods is work).

They have been committing unemployment fraud.
 
2020-10-29 4:35:21 PM  
A few things:

1.  These kids are with Joffrey Ballet - a top ten company in the US.
2.  Their ages/titles make them the equivalent of "starters" in the major league of your favorite sports ball.
3.  While it might be possible to avoid eating out while not involved in a performance run (hours might be 8-5 during prep times), theatre schedules are insane and make it hard to bring food from home.  Theatres also tend to be in expensive areas of the city.
4.  Dancers at this level report all of their 1099 income.  I've hired folks like this for our little company's side gigs, and they're always on me to get them the 1099s as soon as Jan 1 rolls around.
5.  I'm not an expert, but I believe unemployment for people who work on partial year contracts (like a lot of artists) allow them to collect when off contract provided their side gigs don't amount to a certain % of their regular contract income.  You may not like that, but it's not fraud.  For a lot of artists not even making minimum wage it's a life saver.
6.  They'll go on to teach, choreograph and/or dance at a less demanding level.  Or maybe they'll go back to school and get started on a second career.  I've seen retired dancers do all of that.  I wish them luck!
 
2020-10-29 4:36:39 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-10-29 4:37:59 PM  

astelmaszek: They pay into the unemployment fund, they get to collect when they are unemployed.


They aren't unemployed. They're making (unreported) scratch on side hustles.
 
2020-10-29 4:41:17 PM  

Geotpf: Detroit 3 auto workers.  They might be making $100k, but every year they also file for unemployment for the three week down time when the plant retools for the new model year.


The big 3 have job banks as part of their contract. Downtime is compensated at something like 75% of wages, so they aren't laid off and don't get funemployment.

The UAW plant in my town had the two-week summer shutdown as paid time off. Any downtime during retooling was often spent training.
 
2020-10-29 4:59:33 PM  

Geotpf: you are supposed to be looking for a job to get unemployment, and obviously neither the dancer nor the auto workers are for these brief, scheduled down times


There are exceptions. For some people that are furloughed, the requirement to search for work is waived because you have a job that might have a firm callback date, or even an indefinite callback date. The idea is that they don't want to fark around wasting people's time with auto workers filling out applications at McDonald's only to tell the shift manager at an interview "I'm only doing this for a week and then I go back to work at the plant." No one is going to hire them, it's a joke to make them search for work, and the people running funemployment recognize this and offer waivers for these circumstances.

Geotpf: it looks like they do Uber or something during the down time (side hustle), which means they aren't even unemployed during that time


This is where they are committing fraud. Illinois funemployment benefits is designed to replace 47% of your weekly base wage (calculated from work quarters prior) up to a maximum of $484 with no dependents, $577 with a dependent spouse, and $699 with a dependent child or children. If the two of them file, the absolute most they can take home is $968 a week (both getting $484 each).

However, Illinois offers partial funemployment for people who do some work while they qualify for benefits. It's replaced on a dollar-for-dollar basis. That means if someone goes out and earns $200 one week, their weekly funemployment benefit is only $284 (if they are drawing the maximum of $484). Illinois does this to "top up" people who work and you can do this right up to where you could make $483 one week and get $1 in benefits.

So, if this couple is working on side projects during their two months of off season, are they making more than $484 each week? If so, they don't qualify for any funemployment benefits.

QUOTE FROM ARTICLE: Last year, Gutierrez earned an additional $15,000 through work outside his Joffrey contract, while Mendoza brought in an extra $20,000.

How much of this work outside their contracts is/was done when they were "unemployed?" That's a huge question. Eight weeks of being unemployed means a maximum of $484 in funemployment, or $3,872 overall. Are they each pulling in $4,000 during their period of "unemployment?" How is that income spread out over the weeks where they are "unemployed?" The answers to those questions would be nice to know, and the assumptions point toward fraud.
 
2020-10-29 5:07:12 PM  

mrmopar5287: astelmaszek: They pay into the unemployment fund, they get to collect when they are unemployed.

They aren't unemployed. They're making (unreported) scratch on side hustles.


They are "under" employed and the side gigs are not unreported.  This is legal.
 
2020-10-29 5:35:03 PM  

badplaid: The thing about Chicago restaurants, and this was before covid and probably much worse now is that there are no "affordable" places to eat anymore that have decent food that are not so mobbed that you can get a table during normal eating hours.

The celebrity chefs and foodie scene in the city made everything either very very expensive or way overly mobbed...and all that is left is crappy chains/dive bars/counter places. There is no restaurant "middle class."

My bet is that these two don't eat at crappy counter places or chains much, don't have the time to wait 90 minutes for a decent burger or tacos and have too unpredictable of a schedule to get a reservation at Girl and the Goat or Frontera or Monteverde 3 months in advance.

As "big" as Chicago is and great as it is from a restaurant standpoint, the missing thing is that having all that greatness doesn't rub off in bringing the competition up to a better level like in other great foodie places like NYC and New Orleans.  There isn't any restaurant in the West Loop that they are getting out of for less than $150 after tip before drinks where one can get a table between 6-9 Thur-Sun.  It's either great and pricey, great and mobbed always, or kind of crappy (and likely still pricey).

Sure there are a few gems here and there, but few were left when I lived in the city 2 years ago, there are even fewer now and most will be gone after covid I am sure.  And many of the gems got mentioned as being reasonable and good on some TV show and then they move into the "mobbed" category for a while (then they change something or expand and over extend themselves, then they get into trouble and institutions that were around for 50+ years have 2 great years and then flame out and are gone forever).

While $1500/person sounds like a lot, I can see people in their shoes hitting that pretty quickly.  2 date nights a week for $150 each is $1200.  Add in $60 in take out one night a week and it gets you half way there (hell, I live in ...


If you're talking downtown, or on the Mag Mile, yeah. The rest of the city? Not so much.
 
2020-10-29 6:04:58 PM  

MZach42: the side gigs are not unreported


Yeah, right. It's 1099 income and they aren't reporting that to the weekly funemployment check-ins.
 
2020-10-29 6:19:58 PM  

whitroth: badplaid:

If you're talking downtown, or on the Mag Mile, yeah. The rest of the city? Not so much.


Well, downtown, mag mile, west loop, south loop, river west , bucktown/wicker park, lincoln park, pilsen, lakeview, north center, lincoln square and logan square. To me, Chicago ends at about the 7th L stop from downtown. Beyond that are high density suburbs and rarely do those people go to other neighborhoods not immediately surrounding their since its not practical.  When I lived in the West Loop, dating someone in Rogers Park or Jefferson Park was like dating someone on the moon.

Take the 3-5 best restaurants in each of those neighborhoods...either $$$$ or mobbed during dinner hours.

Then move down to the next best 3-5 restaurants...the quality drops off fast. Most neighborhoods don't even have a decent backup in the same cuisine as the good restaurants.

10-12 years ago, I could name 8 or 10 places in each of those neighborhoods that had decent food at decent prices and tables on weekends. Bucktown is a shell of itself food-wise, Lakeview lost 6 or 7 great places, Logan has a lot of good options, but you cant get in to most.  By the end of my days in the city, downtown options were more affordable and accessible and decent than the collar neighborhoods, especially outside of tourist season.
 
2020-10-29 6:34:11 PM  

badplaid: whitroth: badplaid:

If you're talking downtown, or on the Mag Mile, yeah. The rest of the city? Not so much.

Well, downtown, mag mile, west loop, south loop, river west , bucktown/wicker park, lincoln park, pilsen, lakeview, north center, lincoln square and logan square. To me, Chicago ends at about the 7th L stop from downtown. Beyond that are high density suburbs and rarely do those people go to other neighborhoods not immediately surrounding their since its not practical.  When I lived in the West Loop, dating someone in Rogers Park or Jefferson Park was like dating someone on the moon.

Take the 3-5 best restaurants in each of those neighborhoods...either $$$$ or mobbed during dinner hours.

Then move down to the next best 3-5 restaurants...the quality drops off fast. Most neighborhoods don't even have a decent backup in the same cuisine as the good restaurants.

10-12 years ago, I could name 8 or 10 places in each of those neighborhoods that had decent food at decent prices and tables on weekends. Bucktown is a shell of itself food-wise, Lakeview lost 6 or 7 great places, Logan has a lot of good options, but you cant get in to most.  By the end of my days in the city, downtown options were more affordable and accessible and decent than the collar neighborhoods, especially outside of tourist season.


I broke up with someone when they messed with the 11 bus route on Lincoln Avenue.

Sorry, not walking 5 miles to your apartment to hang out.
 
2020-10-29 6:37:03 PM  

mrmopar5287: Geotpf: you are supposed to be looking for a job to get unemployment, and obviously neither the dancer nor the auto workers are for these brief, scheduled down times

There are exceptions. For some people that are furloughed, the requirement to search for work is waived because you have a job that might have a firm callback date, or even an indefinite callback date. The idea is that they don't want to fark around wasting people's time with auto workers filling out applications at McDonald's only to tell the shift manager at an interview "I'm only doing this for a week and then I go back to work at the plant." No one is going to hire them, it's a joke to make them search for work, and the people running funemployment recognize this and offer waivers for these circumstances.

Geotpf: it looks like they do Uber or something during the down time (side hustle), which means they aren't even unemployed during that time

This is where they are committing fraud. Illinois funemployment benefits is designed to replace 47% of your weekly base wage (calculated from work quarters prior) up to a maximum of $484 with no dependents, $577 with a dependent spouse, and $699 with a dependent child or children. If the two of them file, the absolute most they can take home is $968 a week (both getting $484 each).

However, Illinois offers partial funemployment for people who do some work while they qualify for benefits. It's replaced on a dollar-for-dollar basis. That means if someone goes out and earns $200 one week, their weekly funemployment benefit is only $284 (if they are drawing the maximum of $484). Illinois does this to "top up" people who work and you can do this right up to where you could make $483 one week and get $1 in benefits.

So, if this couple is working on side projects during their two months of off season, are they making more than $484 each week? If so, they don't qualify for any funemployment benefits.

QUOTE FROM ARTICLE: Last year, Gutierrez earned an additional ...


I didn't know about the furlough exception, but it makes sense.  Still seems weird that you can collect unemployment if you are guaranteed (or almost guaranteed) a job back in x weeks, but whatever.  The side hustle then is the problem.
 
2020-10-29 6:38:50 PM  
Nice article...IT'S ALL IN THE SHIMMY!
 
2020-10-29 6:42:47 PM  

Geotpf: mrmopar5287: Geotpf: you are supposed to be looking for a job to get unemployment, and obviously neither the dancer nor the auto workers are for these brief, scheduled down times

There are exceptions. For some people that are furloughed, the requirement to search for work is waived because you have a job that might have a firm callback date, or even an indefinite callback date. The idea is that they don't want to fark around wasting people's time with auto workers filling out applications at McDonald's only to tell the shift manager at an interview "I'm only doing this for a week and then I go back to work at the plant." No one is going to hire them, it's a joke to make them search for work, and the people running funemployment recognize this and offer waivers for these circumstances.

Geotpf: it looks like they do Uber or something during the down time (side hustle), which means they aren't even unemployed during that time

This is where they are committing fraud. Illinois funemployment benefits is designed to replace 47% of your weekly base wage (calculated from work quarters prior) up to a maximum of $484 with no dependents, $577 with a dependent spouse, and $699 with a dependent child or children. If the two of them file, the absolute most they can take home is $968 a week (both getting $484 each).

However, Illinois offers partial funemployment for people who do some work while they qualify for benefits. It's replaced on a dollar-for-dollar basis. That means if someone goes out and earns $200 one week, their weekly funemployment benefit is only $284 (if they are drawing the maximum of $484). Illinois does this to "top up" people who work and you can do this right up to where you could make $483 one week and get $1 in benefits.

So, if this couple is working on side projects during their two months of off season, are they making more than $484 each week? If so, they don't qualify for any funemployment benefits.

QUOTE FROM ARTICLE: Last year, Gutierrez earned a ...


fyi, many many contract teachers survive this way
 
2020-10-29 6:45:05 PM  

astelmaszek: italie: Pocket Ninja: First of all, they're not married, they're engaged.

Second of all, they're making (under 10-month contracts), $77,000 and $66,000, respectively. This is working as full-time dancers who are, from how they're described, at the very top of their game. The bigger question I have is why he is earning $11,000 more than she is, but maybe there's a perfectly legitimate reason for that. But while both of those salaries certainly put them comfortably in the middle class on any scale, they're certainly not exorbitant. I doubt either of them would have been able to afford an apartment in Chicago on their own -- it's only by combining their incomes that they can.

The rest of their income (beyond the $143,000 they bring in together, which presumably is before taxes) is earned through what are essentially side hustles. And, apparently, they also draw on some unemployment during their two months of down time each year when they're not being paid from their contracts. Some people may take issue with that, but, as with the apparent gender gap, that's a side issue.

So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.

$143k plus side hustle and they are collecting unemployment at any time in that year?

fark that. That isn't relatable, it's systemic abuse.

No it's not. They pay into the unemployment fund, they get to collect when they are unemployed. Doesn't matter how much they make. I happily collected covid unemployment this summer when I laid myself off due to covid and having have to take care of kids. Paid into for 23 years without ever collecting. Screw your line of reasoning.


They chose seasonal work. Do adjunct faculty collect unemployment during semester breaks? Do MLB players collect unemployment during the off-season?

You do you, if you is a greedy bastard.
 
2020-10-29 6:47:19 PM  

cyberspacedout: italie: baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?

This.

I'm feeding 2 adults and 2 teenage kids and we aren't sniffing that number.

Maybe they shop at Whole Foods.


One of my kids has dietary restrictions. Our grocery bill is nearly double what it should be.

We aren't even close to their number.
 
2020-10-29 6:58:16 PM  

Geotpf: I didn't know about the furlough exception, but it makes sense.  Still seems weird that you can collect unemployment if you are guaranteed (or almost guaranteed) a job back in x weeks, but whatever.


Another thing that Illinois allows with funemployment is intermittent furloughs. For employers who are going to reduce their workforce and it can be something that is temporary for whatever reason, they are allowed to alternate laying employees off.

Example: an employer has 100 employees that will only be doing part-time work for 4 months due to a downturn. Rather than cutting everyone to 20 hours each week (from 40 hours), the employer can alternate work. They can cut half the workforce to 0 hours and keep the other half working a full 40 hours. In this way, employees can draw a paycheck alternate week and receive funemployment benefits on the alternate weeks.

If the employer were to cut everyone to 20 hours each week, it's possible that no one would qualify for funemployment due to making too much money. By alternating working employees each week, they can have employees qualified for funemployment on the weeks they are furloughed.

For some people during the pandemic, that means up to $484 in funemployment benefits and then the extra $600 from the government. People could receive $1,084 on their furlough weeks and whatever their regular pay was on the working weeks.
 
2020-10-29 7:03:39 PM  

italie: Do adjunct faculty collect unemployment during semester breaks?


Depends. There are separate rules for teachers. Teachers (K-12) are paid one of two ways: 1) They are paid for 12 months, or; 2) They are paid for 9 months. The individual teachers choose how they want their paychecks paid out. Either way, teachers in Illinois are prohibited from collecting funemployment over summer breaks.

If you are a teacher that is not being rehired in the new school year, your eligibility for funemployment begins on the first day you would have worked.

Don't know about college teachers, though.
 
2020-10-29 7:05:35 PM  

italie: Do MLB players collect unemployment during the off-season?


The Federal Unemployment Tax Act stipulates that professional athletes cannot apply for funemployment benefits if they are in between seasons as long as they have reasonable certainty that they will be employed in the following season.
 
2020-10-29 8:31:29 PM  

baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?


Ummmm....I don't know about now, but I do know that back in the 70's - 80's ballet dancers did a LOT of blow & smoked to keep their weight low. Those things might be counted as "meals", possibly.
 
2020-10-29 9:06:20 PM  

badplaid: whitroth: badplaid:

If you're talking downtown, or on the Mag Mile, yeah. The rest of the city? Not so much.

Well, downtown, mag mile, west loop, south loop, river west , bucktown/wicker park, lincoln park, pilsen, lakeview, north center, lincoln square and logan square. To me, Chicago ends at about the 7th L stop from downtown. Beyond that are high density suburbs and rarely do those people go to other neighborhoods not immediately surrounding their since its not practical.  When I lived in the West Loop, dating someone in Rogers Park or Jefferson Park was like dating someone on the moon.

Take the 3-5 best restaurants in each of those neighborhoods...either $$$$ or mobbed during dinner hours.

Then move down to the next best 3-5 restaurants...the quality drops off fast. Most neighborhoods don't even have a decent backup in the same cuisine as the good restaurants.

10-12 years ago, I could name 8 or 10 places in each of those neighborhoods that had decent food at decent prices and tables on weekends. Bucktown is a shell of itself food-wise, Lakeview lost 6 or 7 great places, Logan has a lot of good options, but you cant get in to most.  By the end of my days in the city, downtown options were more affordable and accessible and decent than the collar neighborhoods, especially outside of tourist season.


Horse hockey. But are you saying, for example, that Rogers Park is a 'burb? How about Clark St.? And you think Indian restaurants downtown are better than on Devon?
 
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