36% of employees earning $100,000+ living paycheck to paycheck

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by AsianStew, Jun 17, 2022.

  1. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    Really? That's interesting to see, I am close to that amount but hardly "splurge" to be living paycheck to paycheck. I'm frugal (not cheap, yes, I tip people more as they provide good customer service when we dine out), we don't really save much either, but at the same time, we don't spend well above our "means". And for those who in the article that are the 36% who make $250K/year living paycheck to paycheck (it's not just because of inflation), get out of that city, revamp the way you do things! Seriously!

    Link: Amid record inflation, 36% of employees earning $100,000 or more say they are living paycheck to paycheck (msn.com)
    Dustin likes this.
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I guess $100,000 isn't what it used to be. It hasn't been, for a long time. Back in the 80s, billionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt ran into some choppy waters. His fortune collapsed when he and his brothers tried unsuccessfully to corner the silver market. He said then, "A billion dollars isn't what it used to be."

    Bryan - you seem to be following the absolute first principle - don't spend more than you earn. Any reduction in buying power hurts more now than it used to; part of the reason is - there are so many more danged things to buy. Our Canadian money doesn't buy much at all - just out of curiosity, I looked at new pickup truck prices yesterday in the paper. A full-load Dodge 1500 Ram - $102,000 Canadian! Never thought I'd see the day. Wonder what the 2500 costs...

    (I'm not going to buy one. I still have a valid licence but people of my mindset shouldn't be driving.) I don't think I can really afford a car, even though I have enough in the Credit Union for a couple of Cadillacs plus - so I walk a lot, take the bus (cheap for the elderly) and have some REALLY great shoes!! Suits my style. Next year (80) the buses are free!
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
    Rachel83az and Dustin like this.
  3. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I'm not at 6 figures yet, but it takes responsible budgeting even in a LCOL area with my better-than-average salary. It wouldn't be so tight except that I'm trying to include retirement contributions (a compound interest calculator suggests I should have $2 million in retirement if I keep this pace up), but with ~2.5% inflation that will be worth more like $842,000 today - meaning I could withdraw around $34,000 a year in today's dollars. $34K isn't poverty here, and hopefully Social Security will still be around to supplement, but I can definitely see how people can struggle. Healthcare expenses also takes a big bite out of my disposable income.

    I don't know how those making less are scraping by.
    Rachel83az likes this.
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Probably by not making retirement contributions, not saving - and paying the minimum when the credit card bill comes. And praying their ten-year-old car lasts another while and the landlord doesn't raise the rent --- again. These are the more fortunate ones.

    The others? They are the new homeless, the beggars, people who sell blood - many forced by circumstance to steal or deal drugs. Many steal food or they don't eat. It's a new world. Entire families homeless, people in their 40s and 50s who never had addictions or mental illness - always worked while there was work to do, yet here they are -on the street for the first time. They're justifiably bewildered. It's Bobby Blue Bland's "Wilderness With No Money Down."
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    My wife and I gave ourselves a backdoor raise by transitioning to permanent remote work and moving where its less expensive. Otherwise, we might have been lacking budgetary wiggle room despite making above average, but nowhere near six figure, wages.

    I imagine those scraping by on $100k are either living in places where high income is offset by high expenses (NYC, for example) or who have multiple children. I don't know how anyone does afford, or has ever afforded, having children. I admire those who make it work.
    Rachel83az and Johann like this.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yeah - so do I. I know what that takes. Somehow, my kids have survived well into middle age - they're counting down till retirement. And all except one of my grandchildren are adults. I'm glad many people are still able, with effort and ingenuity, to "make it work." The alternative - empty playgrounds, no children at all - is too horrible to contemplate.
    SteveFoerster and Maniac Craniac like this.
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Well, I can tell you how one guy gets by. Me. I retired early (50) and lived on my own saved own money till it ran out when I was 64. It was supposed to last till 65. Dang it - had to go and work for a year... Then I turned 65 and got pension etc. About 16,500 a year in 2008. Now that's up to about $22,000 Canadian a year. I've managed to save - on average, a few hundred dollars a month, pretty consistently for the last 13-14 years. . I could NEVER do that in my working days! And what I do won't work for everybody - but here it is if you're interested.


    (1) I don't run up any debts over 30 days. I have only one credit card and I use it solely on the internet, because it's the only thing that works there.
    (2) That $22K is mine. I pay no taxes. The standard exemptions coupled with old-age exemption keep me income-tax free.
    (3) I have lived in a rent-controlled apartment for 17 years. About $650 a month. If I leave - I can expect to pay about double. So I stay. Only reason.
    (4) I don't smoke or drink. Marijuana is legal here but I don't buy it. If I liked it, I could grow my own legally - but nah.
    (5) I don't eat out -except maybe on Father's Day when my sons pay. Most coffee- at home.
    (6) As an old guy with this income, there's a Provincial scheme that pays my electric bills. Phone and Internet are on me.
    (7) Nobody here pays for health insurance. And there are virtually no deductibles.
    (8) I gave up my last car about 23 years ago. That's saved me a bundle.


    (1) I've always known how to cook. Well, not quite always. At least for 43 years since I got divorced. I eat healthier and it saves a TON of money.

    (2) This whole thing only works if I live alone. Not a good plan for 2 or more, though you might take pieces.

    (3) I like to look sharp. I know labels and clothes in general. I buy most things from thrift shops. I have three closets full of clothes that look right on me.
    Pants I buy new. Black dress pants have long been a sort of uniform, with me. I have plenty. Cheap as I can as long as they have good fit and appearance. Most don't wear well, so I don't buy used. Shirts - I'm flexible. I've bought bargain new ones - and a couple of second-hand ones that were $250 new for maybe $6. I have THREE perfect leather jackets I bought for $10 each. A leather sports coat I bought new for $49 - original price $450. I hunt. One of my sports jackets is Italian. Cost $1700 new. No discernible wear. I paid $2 - that's right - two dollars. I have 55 ties bought for peanuts, including Calvin Klein, Perry Ellis and - you know, all those Italian guys - The whole works including nine jackets hasn't come to a hill of beans in the last 10 years.

    (4) I like to keep clothes and shoes in shape. Oh yeah - I didn't tell you about the $300 shoes for $10 in the Thrift Store. Know labels and look. Anyway, I spend probably more than average in the cleaner's. I do have an iron and know how to use it for pressing and touch-ups, but I still like the crispness of laundered shirts. That costs money - I gladly pay it. I dress WAY better than I did at the office years ago.

    (5) I have several thousand books. Again, bought for peanuts over a 40+year period. Same with my music collection, only that's fewer items - maybe 1200 vinyl, cds and tapes -over the same period. I have a modest guitar collection - 8 of them. Some real bargains, collected over a 10-year period. One that's expensive - my recently-completed Fender Telecaster "Partscaster" built over a two year period. Expensed over that same time-frame, piece by piece. I waited 55 years for "Miss Vanessa." She's here to stay, now. When I'm gone, my son will play her -better than I did. (All my guitars have ladies'names - because they all have distinct, lively personalities and I totally love them - for always.)

    (6) College and Uni was paid as I went, while I worked, and after retirement, till age 62. No education debt ever. I can afford to take whatever courses I want nowadays. Just finished fashion design, did Islamic Finance a year ago, couple of Psych. courses and will be doing serious Dressmaking and a language, likely Yoruba, shortly. My plan: just go till I stop.

    (7) Start your Christmas shopping in Feb. Sporadically, as values occur. You should be done by Sept - Oct. at latest.

    Oh yes - a final "don't." Don't buy crap on a whim that you won't use. I know a lot of people who've wasted a lot of money. They have garages and/or basements filled with stuff waiting for the dump. Tablets with Android 2.0 etc. Broken bikes, scooters etc. Avoid the crap.

    I hope somebody, somewhere, finds even one thing that's useful to them. I hope good things for everyone.
    Dustin likes this.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I would have a lot more money if hadn't had four kids, but I would have been impoverished in every way that matters to me.
    Vonnegut, Dustin and Johann like this.
  9. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Well, what about teachers, social workers etc with graduate degrees and making 50 to 60k?
  10. Vicki

    Vicki Active Member

    I used to process the free and reduced lunch applications for a school where I used to work. I saw applications for households of 4 people living off of $20,000 a year. Sometimes less. I’d bet they would love to have $100,000 a year.
  11. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    For the most part, it's s not what you earn but how you spend. I've survived on 42k while living in Philly. I know of someone who was struggling while earning 90k. They have no spouse or kids. Some people simply live above their means. It's sad that the more some people earn, it's the more they look for additional debts or things to spend the extra money on.
  12. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Well-Known Member

    Inflation in BE is currently at 9.75% and expected to rise to 20% by next year.
    Indexation of salaries is fortunately happening around January.
    I'm able to save well but am going to use it for a down payment on a house soon.
    It's now or never regarding owning a house.
    A own house will be nearly impossible in the near future.
    People will have to live in rented homes, trailers or other tiny houses.
    I don't want to end up like that so will be buying a house soon.
    Working 2 jobs, studying but making it all possible.
    There's 168 hours in a week.
    With good will, lots is possible.
  13. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Cost of living is high, it was rising in many areas.
    100+ K in cities like San Francisco, LA, NY were rent in sky rocketing and owning a home is challenging due to the sky rocketing prices can be check to check.

    Its not surprising me at all.
    Each persons situation is different but basics like eggs, bread vegetables almost doubled it price.

    Still I'm sure its as blessing to be making 100K +

    One of my kids is a HS Teacher and lets say if this is going to be his life time occupation then 100K at this time is not going to happen unless high inflation and major changes.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member


    I grew up really, really poor in San Diego. Now I'm not poor and I don't have a clue how I could possibly live in San Diego.
    Vonnegut and Maniac Craniac like this.
  15. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Lifestyle creep is real… but the cost of living a comfortable middle class lifestyle has skyrocketed.

Share This Page