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-   -   How many families out there can live on ONE SALARY? (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/other-talk/492453-how-many-families-out-there-can-live-one-salary.html)

Buttmunker 02-13-07 08:27 PM

How many families out there can live on ONE SALARY?
 
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.

I had to do it for awhile, and it got so nuts that I had to take on a second job in order to make ends meet. We just had our first baby, and my wife got sick and was trying to get disability. We was living in Westchester County in New York, in a co-op, and the 2nd job I took on was delivering newspapers from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. (I chose that particular job so I could spend my evenings with my family). After about two years of this, thankfully, my wife was granted her disability, and we became a two-income family once again.

I don't know what entertainer Nick DiPaolo was talking about, but in this day and age, you need two incomes just to live comfortably.

It was my desire to have my wife stay home to raise our son, and through divine fate, she got her disability and became a stay-at-home mom. There's nothing more important than having a wife/mother who can stay home to raise the children, but our society is making it so difficult for this to be.

I'm no doctor or lawyer - I make $45,000 a year with my main job, and it just isn't enough by itself to own a house and two cars and to put food on the table. Every family, I believe, is entitled to own their own home. And two cars are essential - it isn't a luxury to have two cars, but a necessity. I need one to get to work, and she needs one to take the kid to school and to do the shopping and whatever.

Anybody out there who is fortunate enough to make enough money to keep the wife at home? If my wife didn't get her disability, I'd have no choice but to fine alternate means of raising my own son because my wife would have to work. Have to. When I had that 2nd job way back when, it only allowed me to pay the bills on time. I had no extra money at all.

kenbuzz 02-13-07 08:31 PM

Living outside of DC, two salaries was a requirement.

Living now in Indiana, one salary is MORE than sufficient.

We're doing great on one. We could probably get by on one-half. :) It's true what they say -- location, location, location. Let me know if you're willing to give the Midwest a try.

Nazgul 02-13-07 08:34 PM

We're doing it. It was a tough decision, however it was more important for my wife to stay home with our kids than have her work and see most of the money she would have earned sent to daycare.

Venusian 02-13-07 08:36 PM

Couldn't your wife drop you off at work and then keep the car the rest of the day? Or couldn't you carpool or take mass transit?

Kittydreamer 02-13-07 08:36 PM

We live on one salary. It costs too much for me to work.

Venusian 02-13-07 08:37 PM

btw, I'm single and don't have to deal with this but it did come up in conversation this weekend. I said it was possible but it required sacrifice.

Shazam 02-13-07 08:38 PM

My wife just needs to make about $10K a year, and we're fine.

I'm thinking of moving to a satellite community. It would wipe out my mortgage, and then we would have no problem living on just my salary.

Red Dog 02-13-07 08:42 PM

I didn't know living = home ownership + 2 cars. rotfl

4KRG 02-13-07 08:56 PM


Originally Posted by Red Dog
I didn't know living = home ownership + 2 cars. rotfl

:lol: I was thinking I was the only one that saw that. Things listed in the OP are luxuries and not necesseties. Re-evalutate and I think you will see you can live on less.

Your kids would much rahter have YOU around than material goods.

jw2299 02-13-07 09:10 PM

My family's living on one salary right now (my wife's) because I'm in school. We're doing just fine. We're not saving much (or anything), but we're getting all of our bills paid and our kids are great.

It's been a real eye-opening experience for me, seeing that we're able to live comfortably and happily on significantly less money.

I own my home and two cars, btw. :)

Cool Kitten 02-13-07 09:25 PM


Originally Posted by 4KRG
Your kids would much rahter have YOU around than material goods.

i didn't know your wife was a stay-at-home Mom.

DVDsAreMyLIFE 02-13-07 09:29 PM

Its funny that probably more than half of the US population makes less than you and has 2.5 kids and live perfectly fine.

VinVega 02-13-07 09:32 PM

We could probably live on my income alone, but it would cause some serious scrimping, that's for sure.

Numanoid 02-13-07 09:35 PM


Originally Posted by 4KRG
Your kids would much rahter have YOU around than material goods.

Are these American kids you're talking about? If it is, I've got news for you (you may be able to claim that for years 0-10, but after that, good luck).

And yeah, the topic is meaningless. What is a "salary"? Surely any family can live on one salary, if the salary is $100,000. Then again, most families couldn't live on two salaries, if each salary was only $12,000. Then again, what is a "family"? One kid, two kids, three or more kids? Then again, what is the incoming versus outgoing dollar amount of said family? See my point?

And the other thing, as others have noted, is that we fat Americans LOVE to believe that luxuries are actually necessities. They're not. Most of the world lives in the dirt and goes to bed hungry each night. You really don't need two cars so that your wife can stay home with the kids and run errands while you're at work.

kantonburg 02-13-07 09:37 PM


Originally Posted by kenbuzz
Living outside of DC, two salaries was a requirement.

Living now in Indiana, one salary is MORE than sufficient.

We're doing great on one. We could probably get by on one-half. :) It's true what they say -- location, location, location. Let me know if you're willing to give the Midwest a try.

My ex's parents' neighbor has lived in Fairfax (Chantilly) for the past 15 years on one salary. He make's 70k a year. They have a mortgage and a daughter in private school. It can be done. You just know how to do it.

When our son was born we lived on one salary for 18 months. I didn't save beforehand. You just have to know how to live. This was in VA Beach btw.

EdTheRipper 02-13-07 09:40 PM

My wife works part-time and made a bit over $11,000 last year. Combined with my income, we didn't really have any issues.

DVDpackrat 02-13-07 09:52 PM

We live on one income just fine, we had only one car until 2 years ago. Kids can ride a school bus and errands can be run at night after you get home. Cut off the cable and cell phones. I see this kind of stuff all the time though. Another family of 4 living in the same place we are and making almost twice as much, never have money and knock on my door to borrow tiolet paper.

Nazgul 02-13-07 09:53 PM


Originally Posted by Numanoid
And the other thing, as others have noted, is that we fat Americans LOVE to believe that luxuries are actually necessities.

Is this a problem nowhere else?

Red Dog 02-13-07 10:05 PM


Originally Posted by kantonburg
My ex's parents' neighbor has lived in Fairfax (Chantilly) for the past 15 years on one salary. He make's 70k a year. They have a mortgage and a daughter in private school. It can be done. You just know how to do it.

When our son was born we lived on one salary for 18 months. I didn't save beforehand. You just have to know how to live. This was in VA Beach btw.


I assume they bought their house some time ago, correct? That makes a big difference.

It is unlikely that you can make $70K and have recently bought a house in Fairfax Co. in recent years, whether you are married w/kids or single. In this respect, I agree with the poster - if you want to have a family and a recently-bought-house and 2 cars in Fairfax Co. on one salary of under $100K, you're probably living in a dreamworld.

tasha99 02-13-07 10:17 PM

I was a stay at home mom till I got divorced. It was a matter of prioritizing, and for us, we didn't have 2 cars. Between my carpooling and driving my husband to work if I needed the car for the rest of the day, we managed.

Living on one income meant buying things used, buying a house in a cheaper area than we'd hoped for, one car, and not going out all that much.

I'm a single mom now, and things are kind of the same except I rent instead of own (hey, at least I don't have to share the car). I could work more and have more money, but I choose to work 4-6 hours a day and have less. That way I can drop my kids off and pick them up from school, which really seems to matter. To me, time is worth more than money in the long run.

cdollaz 02-13-07 10:20 PM

We could probably do it on one, but my wife's billing rate is too good to pass up. She works about 20-25 hours a week.

arsmith7 02-13-07 10:33 PM

While I just recently graduated college and am not in a place to really comment on how easy it is to live on one income, consider these facts:

* There were 37 million people in poverty (12.6 percent) in 2005. Both the number and rate were statistically unchanged from 2004 and marked the end of four consecutive years of increases in the poverty rate (2001-2004).

* There were 7.7 million families in poverty in 2005, statistically unchanged from 2004. The poverty rate for families declined from 10.2 percent in 2004 to 9.9 percent in 2005. The poverty rate and the number living in poverty both declined for married-couple families (5.1 percent and 2.9 million in 2005, down from 5.5 percent and 3.2 million in 2004). However, the poverty rate and number in poverty showed no statistical change between 2004 and 2005 for female-householder-with-no-husband-present families (28.7 percent and 4.0 million) and for male-householder-with-no-wife-present families (13.0 percent and 669,00).

* As defined by the Office of Management and Budget and updated for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, the average pov0erty threshold for a family of four in 2005 was $19,971; for a family of three, $15,577; for a family of two, $12,755; and for unrelated individuals, $9,973.

SoSpacey 02-13-07 11:13 PM

I think the question needs to be amended to include where people live as well.

Live 10 minutes outside NYC in NJ.
Make 6 figures.
Live in a modest house by anyone's standards.
Me - BA
Wife - MA

Could never live on one salary.

4KRG 02-13-07 11:31 PM


Originally Posted by Cool Kitten
i didn't know your wife was a stay-at-home Mom.

She is as much as she can be :) Since she is a PT, the state requires that she works 200 hours a year to keep her license and take 16 hours of continuing training. She meets the min and maybe a little bit more to keep her license current. The money from that doesn't make a difference in our daily lives.

4KRG 02-13-07 11:32 PM


Originally Posted by Numanoid
Are these American kids you're talking about? If it is, I've got news for you (you may be able to claim that for years 0-10, but after that, good luck).

I have only made it to year 7 :)

M2theAX 02-13-07 11:56 PM

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.

4KRG 02-14-07 12:27 AM


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 :lol:

danegger 02-14-07 06:53 AM

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.

cdollaz 02-14-07 07:11 AM

Anyone who makes $250K and isn't putting a serious chunk away into investments for the future is an idiot.

The Bus 02-14-07 07:36 AM

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.

Brian Shannon 02-14-07 07:47 AM

I guess the would depend on the salary, the number of people and the expenses.

4KRG 02-14-07 07:51 AM


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.

Hiro11 02-14-07 08:03 AM

:wave:

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.

cdollaz 02-14-07 08:06 AM

I think that is pretty common as most people think that pay increase = standard of living increase.

Patrick G 02-14-07 08:13 AM


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.

M2theAX 02-14-07 08:28 AM


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.

Vibiana 02-14-07 08:36 AM

I can live on one salary, but I'd prefer two. Would anyone like to help support me and my five cats? :D

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.

cdollaz 02-14-07 08:47 AM

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.

al_bundy 02-14-07 08:55 AM

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.

4KRG 02-14-07 09:01 AM


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 :confused:

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


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