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Old 04-22-2014, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,336,499 times
Reputation: 13779

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
not very good music friend. if i had allowed myself to think or talk like you do when i was in trouble i would have perished long ago.
Another arrogant person who smugly thinks he is better off than other people because he's "better" than they are. Unless you are a trust funder or a multi-millionaire several times over, a serious illness or an accident could easily wipe out your nest egg and leave unable to work for the rest of your life -- and that could happen at 25 or 45 or 55. Remembering that "there but for the grace of God go I" is a good motto to live by.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,336,499 times
Reputation: 13779
Quote:
Originally Posted by westender View Post
Your example actually sounds like he might be able to make it. Cut the newspaper and the internet and reduce on groceries (a single person should be able to live on 100/ month for groceries), and you've got a good example of a frugal saver.
Sorry, but that was gross. 8+% of his gross wages go to payroll taxes. There goes his savings pretty much, even if you assume he pays no federal or state income tax.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,336,499 times
Reputation: 13779
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
Well, first - I have renter's insurance because if I get displaced because my senior neighbor upstairs floods the building or burns it down or whatever, my renter's insurance covers $2,000 to get a hotel, etc. And you may think that you can replace all of your thrift store stuff for free, but I bet everything in your house wasn't free.

See, for poor people, we don't have the resources to replace stuff. Hence, insurance makes really good sense.

Just looking around my 250 square foot studio, and there are just a couple of things I bought new - my pressure canner which cost me about $60, the canning jars I have, most of which I bought at thrift stores, still cost me at least 50 cents a piece, probably about 5 dozen. There's $30. Used bed - about $200 with mattress (daybed), curtains bought on Ebay ten years ago for about $60, my wicker chair, my computer, my printer, my kitchen table with the stools underneath, big dresser, pots and pans, dishes, silverware, lamps, cupboard, microwave, shelving, tupperware for my canning jars, prints for the walls, dog crate, medications for me and the dog, dog food, people food, all my toiletries, all my clothing, shoes...

Try replacing all of that if there's a fire. And my coverage includes earthquake insurance, which is separate in CA. So, for $25/ month, if anything happens, all of my stuff gets replaced, and I get put up in housing until the $2,000 runs out.

Insurance for poor people is basically a savings account you can never touch. The money will always be there, for that particular purpose, if something goes wrong.

So, I heartily disagree on cutting the insurance.

As for all of the other ideas on how to save money, how about a breakdown like I did. You can cut here and there (and I knew some posters would lol!), but look at the overall picture. Including when things go wrong, and unexpected expenses.

If you look at the list of potential extra expenses I listed, you'll see that there isn't enough money. I keep thinking of other normal expenses since I wrote the post, like toiletries - toothpaste, shaving cream, shampoo - what about haircuts? Razors?

Put together an actual budget to prove your point. And it's really not fair to expect the guy to live in his car, so he can save 10% of his wages. This could prove your point - yes he could save 10% if he lived in his car. But, really? If you had the choice of having internet at home and Netflix, or saving $36/month, when you're already eating Ramen for dinner, would you really?

Personally, I've tried living without internet and Netflix at home and it's thoroughly depressing. Some things are worth the money. I wouldn't go so far as to spring for cable, but life without internet at home just truly sucks! And I get the cheapest internet service possible.

I'd rather cut back on the food and have my internet and Netflix. And note, I don't spring for the additional DVD service from Netflix.

At $20/hour, yes it's more possible. But my response was to the person who said that someone should be able to save 10% of their income, even if they made $1.25/hour, if I remember correctly. I still, respectfully, disagree.
Excellent post! There are a lot of sanctimonious people around, most of them who have never faced living on/near minimum wage.

Another item you didn't mention was laundry. That's going to cost you probably $5 a week/$20 a month because you either invest in a washer (and maybe a drier) or you use pay laundry facilities in your complex or in a laundromat. Either way, you have to buy laundry soap and fabric softener every so often.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,124 posts, read 23,000,049 times
Reputation: 35319
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
So then I guess the answer is . . . people who have always lived in poverty will just continue to live in poverty, using government resources to "get by."

Or did I miss something . . . ?
LOL, well, this is true. But, let's not assume they never worked. Which means they paid into the "insurance" of those government resources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Does the concept even exist for those living at or below the poverty level who have lived with varying degrees of government intervention for much of their life or with shared benefits and multiple generations of the family living together.
This is an example of my point - you can't assume that poverty = unemployed. Or that they didn't pay into the system that "supports" them in their old age. This OP is about low-wage earners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDesertBrat View Post
Not so. I have worked for over 50 years of my life and my SS in under $600 month. I worked in restaurants and hotel front desk for most of that but also worked in bookkeeping/accounting for a few years. This is why I will be working till I drop dead, unless some kind of disability hits me first! My mom and dad were self employed for many years and she gets less than $700 month. She owns her home outright, and everything else she has, plus I pay her rent for her guest house. We both do okay. She does get some food stamps...about $70 month...and our church has a really good food pantry.
Case in point. Same for me. I did become disabled when I was 49 years old. I worked most of my life, paying taxes since the age of 16. But, taking time off for school, being married and a mom, etc., and the fact that I "only" worked as a secretary and other lower-paying jobs, means that my SS will be around $830 last time I checked - starting at age 64.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post

Another item you didn't mention was laundry. That's going to cost you probably $5 a week/$20 a month because you either invest in a washer (and maybe a drier) or you use pay laundry facilities in your complex or in a laundromat. Either way, you have to buy laundry soap and fabric softener every so often.
Oh, gosh, forgot about laundry. The machines here in my low-income senior building cost $3.00 for one load to wash and dry! And they're those small stacked washer/dryer units, too. So, I tend to wear the same clothes until they start to stink or get stained lol! I just rotate them in the closet to minimize the number of loads I wash, and so the other tenants and management don't realize I'm wearing the same clothes over and over .

Plus, our machines are the low water use type that have to take a special low-suds soap with the "he" symbol. Fortunately, I found some at Grocery Outlet at a reasonable price. But I was hand washing for a while there, because I didn't want to spend the money on the expensive "he" soap until I found some on sale.

I'm not whining here. I do okay. It's a challenge for sure. But, the thread was about how do we do it, and then it morphed into why people can't save 10% of their income when they're really low income. Hopefully, the point has been made that yes, we can survive, but, we probably can't save any money that won't end up being used for some necessity, eventually.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:49 AM
 
Location: SoCal
6,074 posts, read 9,538,346 times
Reputation: 5822
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
... if you can not afford your property taxes, then your not living within your means. ...
I live in California, and we have prop 13 so I don't need to worry about my property tax rates going through the roof, unless we move.

But what do people do when the property tax rate gets raised outside of their control? Technically they're now "not living within" their means. But it's not their doing.
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:02 AM
 
Location: SoCal
6,074 posts, read 9,538,346 times
Reputation: 5822
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
not very good music friend. if i had allowed myself to think or talk like you do when i was in trouble i would have perished long ago.
That's a false binary. There is a wide range of opportunity and resourcefulness. Some people are better than others at making use of it. Some people just never get a chance to even try.
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:15 AM
 
1,153 posts, read 1,058,957 times
Reputation: 1899
I'm a low-wage worker, and I'll be working up until I die if I don't do something soon. I live paycheck to paycheck and have no savings. I hope I don't end up living too long.
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:28 AM
 
109 posts, read 126,361 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
They don't. They work until they die or until they can't get a job and are often in public housing living on beans.

I'd have to agree here. The majority of the ones that I know
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,623 posts, read 9,692,127 times
Reputation: 11000
Quote:
Originally Posted by maniac77 View Post
I'm a low-wage worker, and I'll be working up until I die if I don't do something soon. I live paycheck to paycheck and have no savings. I hope I don't end up living too long.
I don't live paycheck to paycheck and my savings would support me for about a year, but that's it. I'd be in big trouble if I manage to live to at least 85! Even so I'm just selfish enough to want to live as long as I can and, hopefully, I'll continue to have my good health. However, I'm not really counting on that and being pretty careful about it all.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:25 AM
 
Location: USA
1,815 posts, read 2,244,798 times
Reputation: 4139
Quote:
Originally Posted by oddstray View Post
I live in California, and we have prop 13 so I don't need to worry about my property tax rates going through the roof, unless we move.

But what do people do when the property tax rate gets raised outside of their control? Technically they're now "not living within" their means. But it's not their doing.

Many states have a "Homestead Act" for seniors over 60-something. Depending on their income, their property taxes can be reduced as much as 70%.
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