The value of Money. (Or the, what is your minumum living wage thread)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 22, 2013 2:52 AM GMT
    Been awhile since I made a topic, and since I was bored and wanted some feedback, I thought I would post this. (Maybe get a bit if a debate going?) At least read the bold question for the basics, and respond to that.

    The basic question is this: what do you think is the minimum amount of money you would need to survive? Specifically, what pay rate?

    Like the good little math nerd that I am, I was crunching some numbers to see if I could live off of minimum wage. (Which is $8.00/hour down here in so cal) There is a small amount of money for living expenses, transportation, food, savings, etc, but it's obviously not much. I calculated about $1000/month after initial taxes. Obviously it is tight, but it seems doable.

    Now to get more specific, do you think you could live off of $1k a month if you had to? Do you know how much you live off of now? What do you think would be your minimum living wage? (Like what is the minimum amount of money you need to support your lifestyle, including transportation, clothes, etc)

    I don't want to hear all your finances and what you make, just your view of money in general. (Ex, I'd want an apartment where the rent is $1k a month, and a spend $500 on everything else, so I'd need at least $1.5k)

    Alot of people here may have high paying jobs that give you the lifestyle you desire, but can you imagine living off of a monthly salary this low?

    I'll shut up now and hope some people respond.
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    Jul 22, 2013 12:17 PM GMT
    I'm custom to what I make now so anything less would be difficult. My Nana moved in w/ my parents and my parents inturn instead of selling her apt gave it to me. I have lil to no expenses except maintence which is 936.00 a month, gas, light and groceries. I bought my car in full so just weekly gas prices. I still have a lot to play with but the older I get the cheaper I've become and I still spend a lot. God forbid I had a mortgage and a car payment.
  • carew28

    Posts: 661

    Jul 22, 2013 5:56 PM GMT
    It'll be hard to live on $1000 monthly, but it can be done. It's what I'm doing now, and lots of people do it. It isn't easy, though. The minimum wage where I live is also $8.00 hourly, which is about $16,000 a year, and about $12,000 a year take-home, after deductions. For me, health insurance is by far the biggest deduction, followed by federal taxes, state taxes, retirement, medicare, and union dues.

    I live with my brother, who owns the house we live in, but who's out of work, so the monthly rent I pay him ($400, which includes utilities) is his only source of income. I've also given him about $10,000 over the past 5 years, which he'll repay me if he has to sell the house at some time in the future. He's put that towards household maintenance, so it benefits both of us.

    Out of the $1000 monthly income, monthly rent is the biggest expense. Car insurance is about $1000 annually. Gas is about $150 monthly, mainly commuting back and forth to work. Then there are always miscellaneous bills coming due each month (car repairs, car registration, car inspection, medical co-pays & deductibles, triple AAA,auto excise-tax, etc.) And, of course, food.

    You'll have to give up going on vacations and travelling, and you'll have to seek out free forms of entertainment. It helps to have friends whom you can watch television or spend time with. You'll still be able to keep pets, but you won't be able to utilize expensive veterinary services, you'll have to do the best you can to care for them yourself. You'll be eating out mainly at fastfood places, and you'll be clipping, saving, and using all kinds of coupons. You won't be able to maintain a gym membership, so you'll have to stay in shape with pushups, situps, walking, and maybe running.

    The biggest problem for me will come at some point in the future when my car breaks down and will need to be replaced. There's nothing in my budget for savings, or for car-payments, so I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it. The cutoff for foodstamp eligibility is a monthly gross income of about $1100. So if you work fulltime at the minimum wage, you won't qualify for foodstamps. This is unfortunate, because if foodstamps went by actual takehome (net) income, a lot of minimum-wage owners would qualify. However, if your monthly gross income ever dips below $1100,even temporarily, they are certainly worth applying for.

    Hopefully, at whatever point in time Obamacare goes into effect, it will cause the health insurance premium deductions to go down (although don't hold your breath), and that would help. It would be actually great if working people could actually drop their employer-based health insurance and switch over to the public health-insurance where premiums will be based upon income, but I don't think that's going to be allowed.

    So, yes ,it's possible, at least for the time being, to live on minimum-wage. Not sure about the longterm future, though. It would be nice to think that wages will increase in the future. Anyway, good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 22, 2013 7:54 PM GMT
    $1000 doesn't even cover my basic monthly expenses such as rent, car payment, insurance, and cell/data bills.

    I'd have to live and work in a city with a good public transit system to be even able to survive off that little and then it would be a constant struggle.
  • carew28

    Posts: 661

    Jul 22, 2013 9:34 PM GMT
    ATC84 said$1000 doesn't even cover my basic monthly expenses such as rent, car payment, insurance, and cell/data bills.

    I'd have to live and work in a city with a good public transit system to be even able to survive off that little and then it would be a constant struggle.


    I think if you live frugally and budget carefully, it'll cover rent, food, insurance, and cell phone bill. But you're right, there wouldn't be anything left to cover the car-payment.
  • The_Guruburu

    Posts: 895

    Jul 22, 2013 9:44 PM GMT
    The cost of living varies all over the U.S., let alone the rest of the world (I'm assuming you're referring to the global audience here on RJ), so using $1000 as a baseline doesn't make much sense. The price for my small, 2 bedroom town house could get me a 6 bedroom mansion in Texas, so obviously $1k is going to stretch much further in one region than another. it also depends on how much people are willing to compromise: obviously, you can live off of zero income, but you would be probably homeless. That is surviving, but most people wouldn't want to "survive", they want a level of comfort that's as close to the American dream as they can afford.
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Jul 22, 2013 10:07 PM GMT
    Your first question is not a question easily answered:

    The basic question is this: what do you think is the minimum amount of money you would need to survive? Specifically, what pay rate?

    Since my big move last year, various rhings get paid in various ways, considering I no longer do battle with the Infernal Revenue Service a.k.a Obama's IRS. My average monthly outflow would be a big number.

    Now to get more specific, do you think you could live off of $1k a month if you had to?

    No. Wouldn't cover food. Be thankful food is cheap in America and you have Obamastamps (food stamps.)

    Do you know how much you live off of now? What do you think would be your minimum living wage?

    Nope, haven't totaled my "live off." As long as balances are increasing who cares? I suppose there is a reason for our minimum wage being around 50,000 Francs per year for a reason. Seems to work well and unemployment has now fallen to 2.4%. A standard loaf of bread will cost you around 6 USD I think.

  • Apparition

    Posts: 3529

    Jul 22, 2013 10:25 PM GMT
    i dont have to "imagine" living on that at all...

    what is a "car"?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 22, 2013 11:04 PM GMT
    The whole idea of "money" is a sham.