living paycheck to paycheck

An article today in the Washington Post was enlightening regarding People in our country living paycheck to paycheck, and on the brink of financial disaster if they face a loss of income, such as trump shutting down the government and taking away the pay for thousands of federal employees and thus the people affected in a domino effect He and his never suffer. Ivanka’s children still suffer no consequences, unlike my neighbors children who, in a few months will have no guarantee of a regular meal every day, or even a car, or a home if it goes on. I’m going to venture a guess and say that most people agree Trump is deranged and would ruin our Democracy to get his way. I live in fear of him. I guess our Constitution left that part out. No protection from evil if he is elected president by lying and cheating his way to being elected. In any case, my son, single, no children lives paycheck to paycheck largely due to rent, heat, state taxes, and huge student loan payments. They take out 40% of his pay and this year, thanks to the new tax plan, will owe taxes instead of getting a refund. He makes $82,000/year and is poor. that salary is based on over 9 years experience in his area of expertise. It has occurred to me that people who make less and have children, well I don’t want to imagine the details, must be living this awful life where a decent life and even any retirement are pipe dreams. Is there anyone who has their story to tell of living on an income that just does not pay for what used to be a middle-income life? Is it the overall picture of this country now or just a few?

I take it that you’ve changed your mind about Donald Trump? Because not so long ago, you thought he was great.

Moderator Action

Since you are looking for personal stories, this is better suited to IMHO.

Moving thread from GQ to IMHO.


Moderator Note

Feel free to express your opinions about Trump (this is in IMHO now, so of course opinions are welcome), but keep in mind the OP is looking for stories about living paycheck to paycheck or what might happen if someone’s source of income is removed. Things like fears about economic uncertainty due to Trump and his policies are on-topic, for example, but rants against Trump for other issues like immigration are not on-topic for this thread. Let’s not drown out the thread topic with posts about Trump.

We tend to forget how hard the winter is for people with meager incomes. The cost of heating the most modest home can quickly eat up what a person may have saved over the rest of the year. I recently watched a video about people who struggle to pay their heating bill. Imagine paying $400 a month to heat a poorly-insulated trailer when you’re only making $9 an hour. That’s almost paying rent on another apartment for three-four months out of the year.

Of course, people are quick to blame poor spending habits, and I have no doubt that some people suffer from this affliction. Maybe even a lot. But our society runs on overconsumption. Lots of people have jobs because lots of people like to eat out, buy clothes and gadgets, and have fun experiences. Someone’s debt is someone’s else’s paycheck.

I think this is all the more reason why we need a stronger social safety net. Spend-thrifty people will pay their taxes before they deposit money into their savings account. We could make it so that living paycheck to paycheck wasn’t so perilous by providing guaranteed food, shelter, and health care. If the masses really are stupid enough to spend all their money on shiny objects and playpretties, then the masses should not be entrusted with providing their own “general welfare”. I think a solid safety net is only fair given the disproportionate amount of power corporate entities have over all of us.

Another part of it is, those better spending habits need to be learned. And from whom? If your parents didn’t know any way but living paycheck to paycheck, and likewise their parents, that’s probably going to be all you know, too.

Umm, if he does income based repayment, that’s about 10% of his income. He can tax-deduct the portion of his money spent on the student loan payments because it was probably all interest. His average tax rate on 82k, including federal and state, is probably about 30%, I could work it out exactly if you wanted.

Anyways, the only reason he’d be living paycheck to paycheck is if he’s in a high cost of living area. I make almost exactly the same (85k instead of 82k) and I am also single, and I also have more student loans than I can repay at this rate. I live in a 2 bedroom apartment with a roommate. It works out that I “clear”, after taxes and rent and loan payments, 2500/month. That’s my discretionary income after paying for food, gas, basic supplies, and rent. So I don’t live paycheck to paycheck although I suppose only having 30k out of 85k to “show for it” isn’t amazing.

Does he live in California or Seattle or NYC or somewhere else the rent is obscene? Because that’s the problem, if so.

On the other hand, if the government stays shut down for a long time, eventually those people will find other work, and the positions may even be eliminated. That could save all taxpayers some money in the long run, and a lot of people could *stop *living paycheck to paycheck.

These people still get paid … it’s just down the road is all. Payday loans are available even it is is a couple of more weeks. These are strange times and the wall is Trump’s private war against the in coming Democrats which will be another war for two more years.

This shut down is just a speed bump … more unseen problems than this will arise.

If you believe this, I’ve got a $70 billion wall with $150 million annual maintenance costs to sell you.

This seems strange to me. The entire world’s knowledge is at everyone’s fingertips. Anyone can learn anything they want about any topic just by pressing a few buttons. “My parents didn’t teach me” is not an excuse anymore.

Sure, if it is a couple weeks, it isn’t too bad. Not sure if you know this, but payday loans have an interest rate as high as 400 percent. They are an abysmal idea if you have any other option.

I don’t think “good spending habits” are just something you can look up on Google and suddenly adopt. If you’re already living paycheck to paycheck, it’s not easy to get to the point where you can accumulate savings. And many people in this position have nearby relatives or friends in a similar position. So even if you’ve managed to save a bit, your brother or your neighbor might need $400 to cover back rent, or to get their car out of the impound lot. So there goes your small nest egg.

a big part of it is going to be housing costs. I know people who earn way less than 82k a year and are able to save a significant % of their after tax income because rent is only $500/month.

Yah, the government people have always received back pay. Contractors, not so much. They are at the mercy of their company’s willingness to cover them. Some do, some don’t. At some point, the company will say ‘we have no work for you, here’s your lay-off’. That money isn’t ‘down the road’.

A few years ago I ran a DEFICIT from payday to payday. Being a single mum with four dependents and working 40hrs a week, my life was precarious to say the least.

Nowadays I am actually earning LESS per week, but the kids are grown and don’t rely on me to feed/house/clothe them. I have approximately one-month’s wages aside in the bank in case things go awry.

I buy clothes from the Goodwill store, I always shop for specials at the supermarket, go to the movies maybe twice a year and otherwise live live a pauper at home. A tank of petrol/gas will last me a month.

Living payday to payday sucks. It really does. It means that you live in a state of eternal anxiety hoping like fuck that nothing goes wrong, because if it DOES, you are royally screwed. I’m just a step above that now, and the relief is enormous. If you’ve never been here, you just won’t get it.

Of course “good spending habits” are something you can look up on Google. There are literally 1000s of links. Implementing them are hard, but “I didn’t know because my parents didn’t teach me” is not a reason to remain ignorant about them.

You are so right! I know all about the ‘good spending habits’ and I watch the early shows on the telly that tell me how to avoid cc debt and to economize on my utility bills.

I know all that shit. It makes no difference when you are living on a low income and your essential bills eat up most of that.

Nobody is claiming ignorance. But YOU are displaying yours manson1972


Everyone’s priorities are different as recently shown in the recent thread about layaways. A lot of posters said, “Why don’t they just save up their money in a 1% APR savings account?” Umm…because some people’s priorities are different and having a 55" TV right now is on the top of their list?

Living paycheck to paycheck isn’t anything new and will never go away. Just because you don’t hear about it on the news doesn’t means it’s not happening.

In Hawaii, households with both spouses working, sometimes with at least one working a second job is norm, not the exception. I’m not living paycheck to paycheck right not, but I’m pretty close and have had times were if I hadn’t been living at home, I’d be on the streets. My electric bill is always at least $200/month because I have my A/C on whenever I’m home (my only windows are opposite the tradewinds). I could cut it in half and save the $100/month, but I’d rather be comfortable now and cut my costs elsewhere. The irony is that if I’m not working and just staying home, I’m running up an even larger electric bill when I have no income!

Payday loans? You suggest Payday loans? Those people are worse crooks than Trump is.:smack:

Decent people have been trying to shut those fuckers down for years.

You’re assuming that those new jobs will pay at least as much as the prior one… and that is often NOT the case.

Holy crap! You’re suggesting payday loans? You clearly know nothing about those.