Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Old 01-08-14, 08:43 AM
  #1  
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 21,582
Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

This morning on Washington Journal discussing the 'war on poverty', Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Cal.) stated that, in some parts of the U.S., $20-$25 per hour minimum wage would only be enough for people to 'barely survive'.

By my estimation, $25 x 8 hr. shift = $200; $200 x 20-day month =$400; $400 x 12 months = $48,000.

I didn't want to waste a one-per-thirty-day call to ask her, but just wondering where in the U.S. $48,000 per year is 'barely enough to survive'.

Anybody have any experience living somewhere in this country in which her statement would be true (without added caveats of large family, huge debts, etc.)?
creekdipper is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 08:52 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hero
 
inri222's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 45,369
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

http://www.epi.org/publication/ib368...amily-budgets/

The following is a sample of findings from the 2013 update of EPI’s Family Budget Calculator:

■ The basic family budget for a two-parent, two-child family ranges from $48,166 (Marshall County, Miss.) to $94,676 (New York City). In the median family budget area, Topeka, Kan., a two-parent, two-child family needs $63,364 to secure an adequate but modest living standard. This is well above the 2012 poverty threshold of $23,283 for this family type.

■ For a two-parent, two-child household, housing ranges from 10.7 percent to 26.1 percent of a family’s budget. Housing for this family type is most expensive in Nantucket, Mass.,($1,877 per month), and is least expensive in both Macon and Smith counties, Tenn. ($570 per month).

■ Across regions and family types, child care costs account for the greatest variability in family budgets. Monthly child care costs for a two-parent, one-child household range from $334 in rural Mississippi to $1,318 in Washington, D.C. However, in the latter, monthly child care costs for a two-parent, three-child household are $2,114—60 percent higher than for a two-parent, one-child household.

■ Even in the best of economic times, many parents in low-wage jobs will not earn enough through work to meet basic family needs. Annual wages for one full-time, full-year minimum-wage worker total $15,080, far below what is necessary for a one-parent, one-child family to live in even the least expensive family budget area.
inri222 is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 08:57 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 38,401
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Yeah, I could survive on it. I make a good bit more, but thanks to taxes, it's a pretty narrow margin. ie:

$48,000 a year? Pay $5429 in taxes
$70,000 a year? Pay $10929 in taxes

Seems fair. 50% pay raise, 100% tax increase.

It all just depends on debts due, and if you're trying to raise a family on that much or not. In states like Florida where there is no State Income tax, you definitely can make it. Other states may be a little more difficult.

Last edited by RichC2; 01-08-14 at 09:05 AM.
RichC2 is online now  
Old 01-08-14, 08:58 AM
  #4  
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 21,582
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Originally Posted by inri222 View Post
http://www.epi.org/publication/ib368...amily-budgets/

The following is a sample of findings from the 2013 update of EPI’s Family Budget Calculator:

■ The basic family budget for a two-parent, two-child family ranges from $48,166 (Marshall County, Miss.) to $94,676 (New York City). In the median family budget area, Topeka, Kan., a two-parent, two-child family needs $63,364 to secure an adequate but modest living standard. This is well above the 2012 poverty threshold of $23,283 for this family type.

■ For a two-parent, two-child household, housing ranges from 10.7 percent to 26.1 percent of a family’s budget. Housing for this family type is most expensive in Nantucket, Mass.,($1,877 per month), and is least expensive in both Macon and Smith counties, Tenn. ($570 per month).

■ Across regions and family types, child care costs account for the greatest variability in family budgets. Monthly child care costs for a two-parent, one-child household range from $334 in rural Mississippi to $1,318 in Washington, D.C. However, in the latter, monthly child care costs for a two-parent, three-child household are $2,114—60 percent higher than for a two-parent, one-child household.

■ Even in the best of economic times, many parents in low-wage jobs will not earn enough through work to meet basic family needs. Annual wages for one full-time, full-year minimum-wage worker total $15,080, far below what is necessary for a one-parent, one-child family to live in even the least expensive family budget area.
So a 2-parent, 2-child family living in NYC needs a monthly salary of around $8,000 just to get by?

I'm still wondering how my in-laws were able to raise 4 children on one salary (from a high school dropout who was an orphan with zero inheritance), pay for college tuition for the two who wanted to go, and then both die completely debt-free leaving an estate worth around $600,000.
creekdipper is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 09:08 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Hero
 
CRM114's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 42,726
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

The one salary was pretty good?
CRM114 is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 09:13 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hero
 
inri222's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 45,369
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
So a 2-parent, 2-child family living in NYC needs a monthly salary of around $8,000 just to get by?
That is an average, it depends on which part of NYC you live in. There are people who have been living forever in rent controlled apartments located in poor areas in the outer boroughs who pay less than $1000 in rent. Then there are others who live in areas like Soho in Manhattan where the average apartment costs a couple of million dollars.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...icle-1.1390134

Holly Springs, MS vs. New York, NY

inri222 is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 09:17 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 38,401
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
So a 2-parent, 2-child family living in NYC needs a monthly salary of around $8,000 just to get by?

I'm still wondering how my in-laws were able to raise 4 children on one salary (from a high school dropout who was an orphan with zero inheritance), pay for college tuition for the two who wanted to go, and then both die completely debt-free leaving an estate worth around $600,000.
Just a guess, but I bet they also weren't spending $450 every other week for health insurance for their family, or hell, even $8 McDonalds meals. Or spending $700 a year on auto insurance. Or getting regular $250/month utility bills, until a bit later. That stuff hurts, even in these cheaper states.

$48k though is more than a decent amount of cash in most of the US.
RichC2 is online now  
Old 01-08-14, 09:33 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Troy Stiffler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Under an I-10 Overpass
Posts: 20,971
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
So a 2-parent, 2-child family living in NYC needs a monthly salary of around $8,000 just to get by?

I'm still wondering how my in-laws were able to raise 4 children on one salary (from a high school dropout who was an orphan with zero inheritance), pay for college tuition for the two who wanted to go, and then both die completely debt-free leaving an estate worth around $600,000.
First, you never know anyone. Maybe they were drug dealers or something.

Second, living in a city (including suburbia) WILL siphon off tons of your money. If you are comfortable living in a small no-name town, that's awesome for you. Sometimes, I consider moving back to my home town. You can buy a relatively nice older home there for around $45000. Compared to the Phoenix suburbs, that is like living for free. I recently rented a reasonably nice home that was valued around $250k.

[Also, just noticed the graphic above. NYC is an extreme. But yea.]

Third, if you living with anything "good" will leave you upside down. If you raise your kids on the cheapest steaks, mac and cheese, Wal-Mart clothing, etc. - you save tons of money.

I personally don't think that's "living" at all. Though I don't value upscale clothing, I like to get that awesome meal over at Whole Foods, go to the movies a lot, buy quality stuff, etc.

But to each their own. These are my petty observations of how to spend, or not spend, money.
Troy Stiffler is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 09:44 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Troy Stiffler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Under an I-10 Overpass
Posts: 20,971
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

I also had an older friend mention something to me the other day. In the previous generation, life-long jobs (largely manufacturing) paid out a lot of money. You made $17-$20/hr, full benefits, retirement, etc.

Those jobs don't exist anymore (manufacturing went away because of global competition, combined with people's general willingness to fill their lives with low-quality products).

So my buddy was being criticized by his father in law. And his father in law speaks with certainty about how it's my buddy's fault that he's not in a similar position (no debt, cash in bank, etc.).

I can say - the only people around me, who seem to excel in any way, are people who work for themselves. The days of having a lifelong job, where you make a comfortable wage, are gone. You're better off "learning the ropes", networking, quitting, and then coming back as an independent contractor (possibly doing exactly what you were doing). So, say you're an electrician at a factory. The factory pays you a meager wage. You're better off perfecting your job, quitting, and then starting a company who contracts that work to several factories. Then you can say, "well, I'm not full time @ $17/hr, but when you need me, it's $90/hr, and when you don't need me, I'll be in other places making $90/hr).
Troy Stiffler is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 09:59 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
GreenMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 5,290
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
So a 2-parent, 2-child family living in NYC needs a monthly salary of around $8,000 just to get by?

I'm still wondering how my in-laws were able to raise 4 children on one salary (from a high school dropout who was an orphan with zero inheritance), pay for college tuition for the two who wanted to go, and then both die completely debt-free leaving an estate worth around $600,000.
Gas wasn't $3.50/gal back then? Heating costs are way up also.

One salary makes a big difference also - we've been on one salary for ages, my wife got a job and we were just looking at daycare for 2 kids to cover 7:30a-8:45a and 3:45-4:45pm and it was looking like $30-$55/day.

There's a reason she went to part-time when our first daughter was born and quit altogether after #2...she'd have been working for like $2/hr...even if we could find nighttime babysitting/daycare (2nds and 3rd shift coverage needed).

Here's an article where they break it down for you, in a positive "you can do it" sort of way.

http://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/h...-freedman.aspx

The biggest tool in their frugal arsenals is careful attention to spending. Danny Kofke clears about $2,200 each month. Major monthly expenses include:

Mortgage: $850
Food: $466
Roth IRA: $250
Internet/TV/phone: $160
Utilities: $150
College funds for their daughters: $100
That leaves about $200 a month for everything else, from gasoline to new shoes. The Kofkes are OK with that.
Yeah...$200/mo for everything including gas? Pfft. I went through about $60/month when I had a 1-mile drive to work. Maybe with an emergency fund already in place. I just put a car battery in last week for $90 that died from the cold, I'm ignoring the fact my Stability Control light keeps coming on, and we've got a pile of medical bills in collections :S Their utilities estimate is very low also unless they're living in a well-insulated apartment.

A lot of those families making $40k are making it with two salaries - so it's not really 40k - it's 40k minus several thousand in daycare.

http://money.usnews.com/money/person...t-of-childcare

The cost of childcare for two children now exceeds annual average rent payments in many parts of the country, according to a report released last month by Child Care Aware of America, which works with state and local childcare resource and referral agencies. And in 35 states, the average annual cost for center-based care for an infant exceeds a year's in-state tuition and related fees at a four-year public college.

Of course, as the report points out, childcare costs vary widely, depending on age and geography. A year of full-time childcare in a center for a 4-year-old costs an average of $3,900 in Mississippi, compared to $11,700 in Massachusetts, while care for an infant costs $4,600 in Mississippi, compared to nearly $15,000 in Massachusetts. (Caring for an infant costs more than older children because infants require more supervision and a smaller staff-to-child ratio.)
I personally ran on pay in the 40s for quite a few years with only a recent bump due to taking a new job at my company. Although I pushed more like 50k a lot of years working copious amounts of overtime. It's tough. I'll run a quick sample for you.

48k isn't actually 48k. It's more like $2400/mo after taxes/health insurance/etc.

$2400/mo - $975 house rent or $900 mortgage = say $1500 left.

$1500 - $400/mo in groceries (unless I want the kids growing up on mac and cheese, hamburger helper and hot dogs like I did...maybe you could do on closer to $300)

Leaves $1100.

$200 for one car payment + $150 insurance for 2 cars (I drove my car for 10 years / 160k until it was falling apart. but generally, you end up with at least one car payment).

You're left with $750.

Gas/electric for us was $250/month on the budget plan (older houses). I saw bills in the mid-$300s during the coldest part of the winter before we got on the budget plan. Call it $250. Leaves $500.

Internet (we gave up cable TV years ago) - $50/mo. We ran on Virgin Mobile smartphones for a long time ($70/mo for 2 phones).

Leaves $380 which quickly evaporates to an average month. Like stuff for the kids - kid's birthday, presents for other kids' birthday parties, kids need new boots or clothes they grew out of, kid field trips/school events/etc, an occasional pair of My Little Ponies for the kids for $12. Or stuff the childless still spend- ink carts for the printer, car repairs/maintenance like oil changes, replacing broken hardware, furniture, an occasional meal out once or twice a month at Taco Bell, or Pizza, or whatever.

This estimate does not include 2 car payments (pretty typical), daycare costs (for folks making $40k on 2 salaries) or any substantial medical bills/student loans (I've been stalling on paying mine for years via forbearances/deferments) or any recurring medical costs (I'm on a drug that's about $100/month right now ) or any credit card debt/other loans whatsoever.

Last edited by GreenMonkey; 01-08-14 at 10:07 AM.
GreenMonkey is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 10:01 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Why So Blu?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 29,225
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

First, you never know anyone. Maybe they were drug dealers or something.
This and/or they could have been on government assistance. I've come across tons of people who look like they're ballers on the outside, shoot their mouths off on how they've made it, but come to find that they get government money in the form of Welfare, Section 8, Food Stamps, etc., or that the husband is on Disability.
Why So Blu? is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 10:18 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
GreenMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 5,290
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

By the way: my short version of the above would be YES, but it's VERY stressful. You make just enough not to qualify for much or any government assistance, but not really enough to reliably pay the bills. It's tough. Singles or couples with no kids? A lot easier.

If you don't have kids, or don't care about their schooling as much as a you should, you can also live in places with terrible schools where the mortgages/rents are a lot cheaper.
GreenMonkey is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 10:50 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,200
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Originally Posted by inri222 View Post
That is an average, it depends on which part of NYC you live in. There are people who have been living forever in rent controlled apartments located in poor areas in the outer boroughs who pay less than $1000 in rent. Then there are others who live in areas like Soho in Manhattan where the average apartment costs a couple of million dollars.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...icle-1.1390134

Holly Springs, MS vs. New York, NY

This is obviously anecdotal, but I once sold a home to a young retired lawyer from Seattle. As we drove around I spoke about how the cost of living was so much lower here compared to Seattle. He finally said, "I don't get it. Your houses are certainly cheaper, but your gas is higher, your groceries are a lot higher, your electric is lower in cost, but because of the weather you need so much more so that it is more expensive. How is it possibly cheaper to live here once you have purchased a house?"

I didn't have an answer. He bought a place and 3 months later called me. He said, "I finally get why the cost of living is so low. You don't have anything for me to spend money on. The two grocery stores close at 10pm and everything else is closed at least 4 hours before that. You only have a few restaurants, and I've tried them all enough that I don't want to continue going all the time. You just don't have anything for me to spend money on."

Anyway, I know that I have seen that most necessities cost more in a small town. But, if you get up to a population of around 20,000 there are probably enough things around that this reverses to the graph you show.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 10:50 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,200
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

And yes, we could live on $48,000 a year with 3 kids here. It would be tight, though. I'd have to give up 2 of my 3 cars.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 10:53 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 25,062
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
So a 2-parent, 2-child family living in NYC needs a monthly salary of around $8,000 just to get by?
Define "just getting by."

I work with someone who's going through a divorce. He has two kids. To stay in his neighborhood, he's probably looking at selling his 2-bedroom apartment for a 1-bedroom. He will sleep in the dining room. If there is one. He makes well under $8000 per month.
Tracer Bullet is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 11:22 AM
  #16  
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: The lonely depths of my mind
Posts: 3,864
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

The people in these studies are extremely stuck up and self important. My family has been getting by with about 20 or 22 thousand a year for as long as I can remember. You can have the sorts of things these snobs want even at that level. Sure, they may not be the big name brands or you may get technology a few years after the fact, but it's doable. I only got a surround system a couple of years ago. Got my first HDtv last year. Didn't start buying dvds until 2000.

It's like Louis CK said, not everything that's available to do is a good thing to do right when it comes out. You don't NEED big fancy stuff. With us, we use things until they just fall apart. As long as something works, there's no need to get a newer version.

As long as a car is safe, and it gets you to where you need to go, that's all that matters.
Spottedfeather is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 11:28 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hero
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 39,126
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
So a 2-parent, 2-child family living in NYC needs a monthly salary of around $8,000 just to get by?

I'm still wondering how my in-laws were able to raise 4 children on one salary (from a high school dropout who was an orphan with zero inheritance), pay for college tuition for the two who wanted to go, and then both die completely debt-free leaving an estate worth around $600,000.
By doing it decades ago.
JasonF is online now  
Old 01-08-14, 11:53 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Unknown
Posts: 4,091
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
And yes, we could live on $48,000 a year with 3 kids here. It would be tight, though. I'd have to give up 2 of my 3 cars.
Must be nice...
dave-o is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 12:30 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,200
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

kvrdave is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 01:12 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Formerly known as "orangecrush18" - still legal though
Posts: 13,846
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
By doing it decades ago.


What I am getting from this thread is that child care is expensive. I think that most people could actually live pretty comfortable lives in most parts of the country on $48,000/year. I also think that the question itself reveals just how rich we are in America compared to so many other parts of the world.
orangecrush is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 01:22 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Shoveler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA, USA
Posts: 4,710
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Would it be considered poor form to suggest that kids are expensive and that maybe, just maybe, people should think about the long term cost before popping them out and complaining about how hard it is to "just get by". Its a lot easier to play offense and prepare financially before having kids, as opposed to having the kids first and then constantly trying to dig yourself out of a hole.
Shoveler is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 01:34 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Hero
 
CRM114's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 42,726
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Anyone consider the "universal basic wage" that's been floated around recently? Everyone gets some basic amount, say $20K a year, no matter if you work or not. Then eliminate most social welfare programs. You can choose not to work and live a destitute but sustainable life or you work and use that $20K for whatever you'd like. Apparently, this is a conservative idea but floated recently in Rolling Stone by an Occupy guy:

2. Social Security for All

But let's think even bigger. Because as much as unemployment blows, so do jobs. What if people didn't have to work to survive? Enter the jaw-droppingly simple idea of a universal basic income, in which the government would just add a sum sufficient for subsistence to everyone's bank account every month. A proposal along these lines has been gaining traction in Switzerland, and it's starting to get a lot of attention here, too.

We live in the age of 3D printers and self-replicating robots. Actual human workers are increasingly surplus to requirement – that's one major reason why we have such a big unemployment problem. A universal basic income would address this epidemic at the root and provide everyone, in the words of Duke professor Kathi Weeks, "time to cultivate new needs for pleasures, activities, senses, passions, affects, and socialities that exceed the options of working and saving, producing and accumulating."

Put another way: A universal basic income, combined with a job guarantee and other social programs, could make participation in the labor force truly voluntary, thereby enabling people to get a life.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politic...g-for-20140103
CRM114 is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 02:55 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Ash Ketchum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 11,450
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
So a 2-parent, 2-child family living in NYC needs a monthly salary of around $8,000 just to get by?

I'm still wondering how my in-laws were able to raise 4 children on one salary (from a high school dropout who was an orphan with zero inheritance), pay for college tuition for the two who wanted to go, and then both die completely debt-free leaving an estate worth around $600,000.
No internet, no cell phones, no cable TV, no car, no home entertainment system...etc.
Ash Ketchum is online now  
Old 01-08-14, 02:59 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Hero
 
inri222's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 45,369
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
No internet, no cell phones, no cable TV, no car, no home entertainment system...etc.
No DVD/Blu-Ray collection.
inri222 is offline  
Old 01-08-14, 03:44 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 16,173
Re: Could You Survive on $48,000 per Year?

As others have said, it depends on what you mean by "survive".

I am sure that one can survive in ANY town with 48k

rent a room in someone else's house would be a huge cost saver
do not own a car, use the bus, bike or walk would be #2

living on 48k per year, especially with 2 kids, where I live would be pretty tough if you wanted to at the very least rent your own apartment (2 bedroom) and have a functional/reliable insured car that could hold 4 people (and put the area average of 15k miles per year on said car)



Life these days is very expensive to keep up with what are considered the new basics

Cars (usually at least 2 for a family and one must be large)
Cable TV with high def
Cell Phone with unlimited data (must be something like a samsung s4 or iphone)
Food better than mac-n-cheese every meal
Eating out
Pets (expensive vet bills these days)
kids need braces or something, ouch


If you cant' afford all that (even on credit) then you do what you can do on the 48k and get by
4KRG is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.