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How many families out there can live on ONE SALARY?

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How many families out there can live on ONE SALARY?

Old 02-13-07, 11:56 PM
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I make about around 45k a year right now (just above starting salary right now), my girlfriend just got accepted into grad school, and then is planning on going for Phd, so I guess one salary will have to do. Moved back in with the parents when I got the job with the FD, hopefully will move out soon.
Old 02-14-07, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
Then again, most families couldn't live on two salaries
This is funny, I know people that combined income make $250,000 year and are broke with regards to monthly cash flow.

McMansion
2 large SUVs
fuck $75 dinners, they are on $150 + dinners
own 12 dogs - vet bills over $10,000 year
2 vacation homes
boat
the list goes on

and they don't at all see anything in their budget that can just be cut, they do complain about money and not being able to retire, etc, etc, how rough
Old 02-14-07, 06:53 AM
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We get by just fine on my salary alone. I've been married now for 9 years. My wife only worked the first two years of our marriage. We decided that when we had our first child. She would stop. We didn't want others to raise our kids and I think we made a great choice. We have a house, 3 cars, internet, cell phones, satellite, HD, etc, etc...We have no problems making ends meet even with all the non-necessities we have. We've got 3 kids and everything works out great for us.

Besides, it would be cheaper for her to stay home, child care would wipe any check she would get out.
Old 02-14-07, 07:11 AM
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Anyone who makes $250K and isn't putting a serious chunk away into investments for the future is an idiot.
Old 02-14-07, 07:36 AM
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The answer, to the OP is apparently: plenty, just not yours.

I always love these complaints about income followed by people mentioning two cars, or country club memberships.

Oh, but we "need" HDTV. Oh, but we "need" the $120 gym membership. No, you don't. If you want to make more money, more power to you. Make it a goal. I hope you hit it. Just don't act so foolish that you declare your $45,000 income is on the starving level of poverty.
Old 02-14-07, 07:47 AM
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I guess the would depend on the salary, the number of people and the expenses.
Old 02-14-07, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
Just don't act so foolish that you declare your $45,000 income is on the starving level of poverty.
That $$ amount does depend a lot on where you live. $45k for much of the US is liveable, but in any major city, no way.
Old 02-14-07, 08:03 AM
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I have a good paying job but even so, it's a bit of a challenge supporting four people on one income in the Chicago area. The real trick is being able to save the large amounts of money needed for college and retirement while still paying for two cars and a mortgage.

For me, the problem isn't so much getting by, it's the fact that I tend to re-baseline my expectations based on my income. In other words, I think I have a subconcious urge to consume exactly at my income level. Every time I have an income increase, my mind wants to believe that the increase in entirely disposable. Living below your means seems to be the key to wealth but I'm constantly fighting that little voice in my head telling me I need that new 67" DLP...

This is obviously , in the grand scheme of things, ridiculous.

Last edited by Hiro11; 02-14-07 at 08:05 AM.
Old 02-14-07, 08:06 AM
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I think that is pretty common as most people think that pay increase = standard of living increase.
Old 02-14-07, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by 4KRG
$45k for much of the US is liveable, but in any major city, no way.
Again, another funny statement. Perhaps we need to define what "liveable" is here.
Old 02-14-07, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by M2theAX
I make about around 45k a year right now (just above starting salary right now), my girlfriend just got accepted into grad school, and then is planning on going for Phd, so I guess one salary will have to do. Moved back in with the parents when I got the job with the FD, hopefully will move out soon.

Originally Posted by 4KRG
That $$ amount does depend a lot on where you live. $45k for much of the US is liveable, but in any major city, no way.

Agreed, or a major suburb of a city, I live in westchester county, the second if not the first most expensive place to live in the country, and when I say I live here, I mean I live in my parents house at 26 years of age. I could not afford the property tax alone on my parent's house and we live in a raised ranch. Expenses have been going through the roof, every year EVERY tax, fees, costs, etc... are raised. Every new store, or shop that opens in the village, is some posh new restaurant, store, or what not.

To sum it all up if you made 45k where I live this is what your exp would be

15k year in property taxes (and this is being conservative)
$2600 in grocery ($50/week)
$1200 electric (ConEd, biggiest racket ever, 100/month)
$2600 gas ($50/week small car not an SUV)
$500 water

This alone the bare necessities, not even counting heat comes to around 30k, this leaves 15k, which has probably been taken out of your salary for state and federal taxes.
Old 02-14-07, 08:36 AM
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I can live on one salary, but I'd prefer two. Would anyone like to help support me and my five cats?

BTW -- why does a stay-at-home mom need her own car? My mom drove my dad to work, or he took the bus, for years so she could have the car during the day. It's stupid for a car to sit in a parking lot all day if the other spouse needs it.
Old 02-14-07, 08:47 AM
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Most stay-at-home moms I know use their car much more than their husbands. Shopping for groceries, driving the kids around, etc. Basically doing all of the household errands and most of the kid-related stuff.
Old 02-14-07, 08:55 AM
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if i had bought my place back around 1998 or 2000 instead of wasting my time in the army i could easily have have lived on one salary since the mortgage would have been next to nothing after a refinance in 2003. since i bought in 2003 we could still live on one salary but nothing would be left over for fun.

if a few RE markets around the US really crash badly and NYC stays flat i will be able to sell here and buy somewhere else and easily live on one income.

since they changed the CPI it's hard to keep track of real inflation, but it's been pretty bad lately if you count housing as part of it. living on one salary depends mostly on when you buy a home and the current inflation environment more than anything.
Old 02-14-07, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Patrick G
Again, another funny statement. Perhaps we need to define what "liveable" is here.

Funny in what way? $45k is too much or not enough

are you talking family of 4 or just 2?

Liveable means all basic needs met, food, clothing, shelter, heat, one car

It does not mean, cell phone, cable-satelitte, 2 cars (or one BMW), $75 dinners etc
Old 02-14-07, 09:03 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by 4KRG
Funny in what way? $45k is too much or not enough

are you talking family of 4 or just 2?

Liveable means all basic needs met, food, clothing, shelter, heat, one car

It does not mean, cell phone, cable-satelitte, 2 cars (or one BMW), $75 dinners etc
I guess "$75 dinners" will soon be joining "pee in the butt" and "take the lump sum" as Otterville classics?
Old 02-14-07, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Buttmunker
I was listening to the Nick DiPaolo Show yesterday on the radio and he said something to the effect that families can live on one salary if they don't try to live lavishly or "compete with their neighbors."

Let me tell you, from my own experiences, living on one salary is damn near impossible, unless you're willing to live as a renter in a slum.

Well I make about the same as you, and there is no way in heck that I could afford what I did right now with out the salary from my better half.

My older brother though, Brings in about 250k, which is more than in enough so that his better half does not have to work.
Old 02-14-07, 09:33 AM
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Until recently, I was the sole breadwinner in the family. (My wife just started a part time job working at my kids school that will bring us in a small amount of cash -- about $500 a month -- plus an annual bonus.) My income has doubled since we got married, bought the house and had kids, so I know both extremes -- barely scraping by month-to-month vs. having the opportunity to catch your breath now and again.

Yes, it can be done. Yes, it is tough. When you have little kids, I think it's a lot more imperative to have at least one stay-at-home parent -- otherwise, your kids end up being raised by day care workers and don't get that one-on-one attention. But once the kids get to school age, that need shrinks, although you still have to weigh the pros and cons of adding in a second income. (Would your spouse make enough money to cover the cost of afterschool care, a second car, business expenses, etc.? Then too, would your spouse be moving into a professional career, or just working at a pointless hourly wage job?)

For me, it's worked out, but I have been extremely blessed in life.
Old 02-14-07, 09:36 AM
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My dad did it. My mom never had to work. I'm from CT.

I have zero idea how much he made...but I guess with having 2 kids, it couldn't have been that bad.
Old 02-14-07, 10:10 AM
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I work with lots of guys who raise a family on a single income.

My cubicle mate has a 12 year old car. His clothes come from K-Mart or Target. He has cousins and uncles who help with his home improvements. He has the kids' grandparents do babysitting. Relatives give him boxes of used children's clothing. Some of the baby food comes from WIC.

But he has a good house and he bought his father a computer for christmas.
Old 02-14-07, 10:18 AM
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We can, but have decided not to. If we ever want to own our own home , put back for college and what not, then we both need to work. If we just want to get by, pay the bills, then yes, we can live on my salary alone.
Old 02-14-07, 10:18 AM
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I'd be willing to live on one salary...but my wife better have a great job!

-p
Old 02-14-07, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 4KRG
That $$ amount does depend a lot on where you live. $45k for much of the US is liveable, but in any major city, no way.
Yep. In San Francisco, if you only make $45k, you will need to have at least two roommates, and not own a car if you want to get by.
Old 02-14-07, 10:37 AM
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A quick calculation of a lean bare bones expenses from our 2006 budget is $30,000. We own one 12 year old car (wife and I work at the same place and car pool), also this figure does not include medical or dental expenses, car repairs, vacation expenses, cable (we live in a hilly area- would get one channel without cable), retirement savings, or investments. So, is it doable with one 50K salary? yes, but add children, car payments, etc, depending on when you bought your house or cost of housing in your area, I donít know how one would save for college and retirement with one income.
Old 02-14-07, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by 4KRG
That $$ amount does depend a lot on where you live. $45k for much of the US is liveable, but in any major city, no way.
Yeah, because there are no poor people in the major cities.

Come on.

You guys are defining "liveable" as "living the way I want to". You can easily get a shitty apartment in "the wrong part of town", a beat-up old clunker of a car (if any), and be able to live off less than $20K a year. MILLIONS of people do it every day.

Again, necessities and desireables are not the same thing.

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