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How does an American family live on $50,000 a year?

dstarkdstark Posts: 28,475Registered User Senior Member
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Replies to: How does an American family live on $50,000 a year?

  • LongPrimeLongPrime Posts: 5,208- Senior Member
    ans. Don' live in the Bay area?
  • dstarkdstark Posts: 28,475Registered User Senior Member
    Lol...................
  • catahoulacatahoula Posts: 2,882Registered User Senior Member
    Short answer would be - with the multitude of local, state, and federal programs that are in place to make sure they are able to.

    I'm curious though: what do we assume the student loan debt is for, since they seem to be working at the Golden Arches?
  • BigGBigG Posts: 3,885Registered User Senior Member
    That's where a lot of college grads will be working.

    When the quality of life in American society degrades to the point where patriotism fails, then its all over.

    We are seeing a widespread failure of business and political leadership as individuals focus on short term goals and bonuses at the expense of long term viability.

    If anyone had earned their bonus money, why is the S&P flat for the last ten years?
    No one has created any real value, it has all been funny money shuck and jive.
  • catahoulacatahoula Posts: 2,882Registered User Senior Member
    Yea to all the above, BigG but closer to the subject: other than the perpetual unemployment benefits, the net's been there for years.

    Other than the fact our nuclear family might just find lodging nearer their McWorkplace...
    To demonstrate this, let's do a little exercise. Let's set up a monthly budget for an average American family of four. Both parents work either in or near a big U.S. city, so they both need cars.
    ... which would illustrate their college years weren't a total waste of time, why, with freely available contraception (and abortion, in the event they skipped Sophomore Lit classes) they felt compelled to bust the budget by having two more of the same?

    Math was too intimidating?
  • soccerguy315soccerguy315 Posts: 6,665Registered User Senior Member
    If you only make $50,000 between two people you shouldn't have any kids.

    A family with 2 teachers as parents (I chose teachers b/c they are always pointed to as underpaid) will bring in over $80,000 in their first year.

    What jobs do these people have that only earn them $25,000 near a big city?
  • Mr PayneMr Payne Posts: 8,850Registered User Senior Member
    Pro-Life? Pro-Choice?

    How about Pro-Death? Mandatory abortion for idiots who can't afford kids. About 41% of our children born are illegitimate. I suspect a significant other portion can't afford their kids. I have nothing but absolute disgust for their parents.
  • busdriver11busdriver11 Posts: 7,894Registered User Senior Member
    50K can go pretty far, if you live modestly and in a low cost area. You sure aren't paying much in taxes, and probably get a fair amount in child tax and earned income credits. I figure that's what we live on, after paying massive amounts of taxes, mortgage, ungodly school bills, 401K and union dues. So if someone isn't paying for those....they might do okay. Of course, most of us pay for mortgages, but in a low cost area you could pay reasonable rent and if you have an inexpensive house, interests rates are very low. It's not that small a sum, really, depending upon where you live (and if your job pays for health insurance). If you have to purchase your own health insurance, you're screwed.
  • poetgrlpoetgrl Posts: 12,646Registered User Senior Member
    It probably depends on where that family lives, actually. The Cost of Living variance can be relatively high in the US. Cost of living: Compare prices in two cities - CNNMoney.com
  • dstarkdstark Posts: 28,475Registered User Senior Member
    poetgrl, that's a nice link.

    Briefly..looking..housing seems to make the big difference.
  • SamuraiLandsharkSamuraiLandshark Posts: 3,392Registered User Senior Member
    I just used that calculator. Pretty cool.

    I plugged in 50,000 for my current home city and then put it for my previous home city. Housing costs are 66% lower and the calculator says that we could earn a paycheck of 20,000 less for the same stuff.

    It makes sense from looking at our housing costs.

    So much depends on where you live. If you need one or two cars - how far do you travel for work? Can you rely on public transportation? Will you have to heat or cool your home to make it liveable in the winter or summer?

    At my previous home, it cost a fortune to heat/cool the home, but even taking that into consideration, it was still unbelievably cheaper to pay rent. No question about it.

    But wages were lower, too. Bigger jobs weren't the norm, because of location and opportunities.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
    The median household income where are apartment is located is under $40,000. Clearly people do live on less than $50,000. Our apartment rent is $1,000 per month - the place was completely redone a few years ago and it is comfortable and nice. I'd guess that a family of four could find something quite a bit less nice for $700/month. Maybe even lower in the areas of the city with a lot of guns and drugs.
  • BogneyBogney Posts: 2,364Registered User Senior Member
    Detroit has cheap housing these days.
  • BigGBigG Posts: 3,885Registered User Senior Member
    My cousins.

    Rural Georgia.

    Dad is a bus mechanic for the local school system. The job has excellent health and retirement but the salary is in the mid $40's.

    Mom stays at home.

    Inherited a house. (If the population isn't growing why do we need more housing?)

    Two kids go/went to State U's on the Hope. Dad pays cash for room and board from savings.

    There is life, and very nice life, in the United States outside of the Eastern Megalopolis.
  • JordcinJordcin Posts: 457Registered User Junior Member
    "Short answer would be - with the multitude of local, state, and federal programs that are in place to make sure they are able to."

    What specific programs are you talking about that help people making $50,000 per year. Most assistance programs use the poverty guidelines which is not $50,000 per year for a family of four.
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