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Does Your Family Earn a Livable Wage? - Page 2

post #21 of 94

I don't trust the site, but it's interesting to look at.

 

For one, they're off on the minimum wage for our state.  Secondly, it is totally misleading, because they say the numbers are for one person to support the family listed.  BUT, if you had a two adult family and only one wage earner, why would you have (in my area) $1100 of child care costs a month?  Additionally the amount listed for rent is over 10% less than we were paying for a 2 bedroom apartment over 10 years ago.  Good luck finding that now!

 

According to those numbers, though, a two income- two adult family with no kids would have no problems even on minimum wage and even adding a single child you would still be pretty close. 

post #22 of 94

We make less than living wage but more than poverty wage for our family size.  The fact that we don't pay for childcare is huge.  We don't spend nearly what they guess for medical or food.  Housing is about right for us, but I don't believe it would be for anyone else.  So we are happily getting by and saving on less than they recommend.

post #23 of 94

says we need to make $52,904 a year.  my base pay is about 20k but i really make about 35k due to the overtime

 

we dont pay childcare or health insurance.  no car payments and our mortgage with taxes and insurance is $272

post #24 of 94
Thread Starter 

dizzy.gifduh.gifbag.gif

I corrected the link in the OP ladies.  Here's where you can look up your own area: http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/

 

post #25 of 94

DH makes above it for our area. I don't despite my degree, guess that it what happens when you do public health. eyesroll.gif The numbers were still off, I think it cost more in my area then what their calculations were, we are in a very rural, high COL area so it could be difficult to figure out. 

post #26 of 94

According to that site we are a couple of thousands dollars short of what they consider a "liveable" wage. I wonder what that really means though. To me it's exactly that we can live to the penny on that salary as long as absolutely nothing goes wrong and we never save a penny or have anything extra. I would argue that's getting by not living. 

I'm certainly grateful for what we do have, I just don't think these calculators ever figure in the whole picture. 

 

post #27 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by weliveintheforest View Post

According to that site, we don't.  I tend to agree with their numbers as what would be a comfortable living.  Our expenses are broken up differently, but the total sounds right. If my husband had full time work, year round, at his usual rate with no vacations, we would be making just over the 60k they list as being what you need for a family of 4. 



That's us exactly.

post #28 of 94

ummmm, no.  we most surely do not.  However, on another thread I posted what I though a "good" salary would be for this area....and it's right on target with this site.  $75-80k is what's needed to breathe for a family of 5.  We're not even close.  For the site that was linked the expenses in terms of amount were basically right...the allocations were not. 

post #29 of 94

dh got a new job 2 months ago and i can say yesssssss this year we will be earning a living wage. even though it is a tough industry to be in.

post #30 of 94

Yes for where we live now and where we're "from." But some of the prices on there seem off. The food budget is way more than I think is necessary, and the housing is way below anything I've seen. 

post #31 of 94

According to that site, yes, make about double what a "living wage" would be. However, the numbers it's based on, doesn't come close to be realilistic on what those catergories add up too. I couldn't find a shack to live in for the price they qoute on rent in the area or insurance. not realatable at all

post #32 of 94

Yes, DH makes a teeny bit more than the livable wage for our area. We spend a bit less than what is listed for food and a bit more than what is listed for housing, so I guess that evens itself out. I am fortunate enough to stay home with our kids, so we don't pay daycare. Transportation seems accurate given the price of gas right now, and the fact that DH does a lot of driving in his job. So, the site seemed pretty accurate for our city.

post #33 of 94

The site seemed fairly accurate for me, although I didn't do the math to add 2 more kids. We spend less on food than the estimate for a family of 4, no childcare but it seems average. The transportation is way way off, unless maybe they are including car payments? We have 5 vehicles, and are no where near close to $1000 a month in transportation costs. I also wondered about the housing expenses. My apartment is about the same as the Housing amount, but property taxes are high here and the amount listed would not pay for the property taxes and mortgage on even a 50K loan, and a 50k home here is a shack. I think the average home is 150K?

post #34 of 94

I think the problem with the site is that it doesn't take into account non-traditional families. How do I figure one child and 3 adults (my mom lives with us... she consumes a heck of a lot more than a child would in terms of resources, but less with childcare)?  We have dd in private school, which is about double our mortgage payment.  We're older and are working much harder toward retirement than, say, a typical 24 year old couple with a baby and toddler would be.  Building up your lives vs. preparing to coast.  These little things make a huge difference that cannot be accounted for with standard calculations.  I'm sure most people here are in similar situations where it really impossible to use a "rule of thumb" for living expenses.

 

Ultimately, these types of charts cannot take into account the nuances and that pretty much makes them moot.  For example, I SAH (working only 15 hours a week when dd is in school), so I can cook from scratch almost every single day.  Our food expenses are going to be much, much less than, say the single parent with one child even though there are less of them.

 

I just don't like these types of charts because it skews people's attitudes.  Those that are making it work on less suddenly feel they need to earn more and those who are way over might suddenly feel that they have room to spend, when they don't in reality.  Dh makes around 3 times what the chart says we need, but we don't live like that.  Some people make under the number they give, but still manage to live quite comfortably.  I think people just need to budget for their personal situations.


Edited by velochic - 4/24/11 at 7:13am
post #35 of 94

HA!  Maybe that's why I'm always broke.  Supposedly it takes $67k to live here.  I make $18k.  Awesome?????

post #36 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

dizzy.gifduh.gifbag.gif

I corrected the link in the OP ladies.  Here's where you can look up your own area: http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/

 


I guess used the link for your area to answer, which is how a Canadian was able to answer upsidedown.gif  but the closest state to me (WA) looks similar

 

post #37 of 94

We do- for the first time in our lives.  I think it's pretty accurate- with the exception of housing which is very low- I add the childcare to the housing and get a more realistic total. 

 

I've spent many many years living on income that was below or just at poverty levels, and we never suffered, though wow did we ever have to juggle stuff. Now that DH is working and has a fabulous career, it takes the pressure off.  To be able to buy toilet paper when it runs out- HUGE! I mean, it wasn't always that tight, but there were always times that were that tight and I was earning more than minimum wage and have an advanced degree (I think someone else mentioned the Financial Pain that is Public Health?)

 

I would love to see minimum wage be a living wage, but I don't expect that will ever happen. 

 

 

post #38 of 94

Not even close to the livable wages. Oddly enough, this workin mama, with three kids doesn't qualify for any assistance because my 31k a year is "too much"

post #39 of 94

This is one of those charts that is interesting to look at but doesn't mean a whole lot. We have exactly the situation they describe: two adults + one child (one provider) and nothing matches up at all. winky.gif

post #40 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post

This is one of those charts that is interesting to look at but doesn't mean a whole lot. We have exactly the situation they describe: two adults + one child (one provider) and nothing matches up at all. winky.gif



What's interesting, is that I looked at San Diego (I would LOVE to live there) vs. my current city in New Mexico, and that chart says for a family of 4 to have a liveable wage in San Diego it is only like $1 something more an hour.  How could that be, considering housing is so much more and everyone knows California is a more expensive place to live?  I could look at that, and think we'd make it out there - when in reality, we would have to downsize our lifestyle/housing considerably to even barely get by. 

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