Are You Kidding Me?!?!?!?

Lounge By jimandmollie Updated 29 Apr 2009 , 4:18am by cakesdivine

jimandmollie Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 3:35pm
post #1 of 15

Read this article:

http://finance.yahoo.com/retirement/article/106934/Wealth-Less-Effect-Earning-Well-Feeling-Otherwise

I saw this and just had to complain. Since I am on here lurking about, you guys are going to get the brunt of it. Sorry! icon_biggrin.gif

I think it is insane that people so well off are going to complain that they can't make it on $250,000 a year! My family makes it on less than 20k a year with 2 kids! Are you kidding me!?!?!? I know the focus of this article is taxes and I don't even want to open up that can of worms. I am only commenting on these people saying they can't live on that. My goodness. You have got to be joking. Stop spending so much on stuff you don't need. We do just fine on what we make. My kids have all they need and will grow up knowing that you have to work for what you want out of life. Even with our income I am determined to open a cake business in a few years (when my youngest gets into school) with NO DEBT. That way, if it fails, I am not any worse off than I am now. Not that we are bad off. We have more than a lot of people do and, most importantly, each other. Ugh. Thanks for letting me vent that. I feel much better now. icon_biggrin.gif

14 replies
Shelle_75 Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 4:18pm
post #2 of 15

I totally agree! I would LOVE to have the problem of having to "budget" to live on $250,000 a year. It would be nice to change from, hmmm, do I buy the Prada bag or the Gucci dress this month?? from, hmmm, do I pay the light bill or the phone bill this month???

berryblondeboys Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 5:13pm
post #3 of 15

Ok, I'll bite. First, a salary is not the same everywhere. $250,000 in San Francisco, Boston, NY, DC area and the like is not the same as it is anywhere in Iowa, Nebraska, West Virginia (most parts), Idaho, etc. The cost of living varies GREATLY.

I live in an expensive area because my husband works for the gov't. EVERYWHERE here is expensive, so it's not like I picked some elite neighborhood to live. My husband has a PhD., is gone from home 11 hours a day and brings home just under 100,000 a year. We live in a 35 year old townhouse with no garage and nothing fancy. We JUST got a new car, but otherwise before that had a 14 year old car and a 9 year old car. We never eat out, we hardly ever go out and most years we don't go on vacation. Almost all our furniture is used (from craigslist) and I buy all my younger kids clothes from resale shops and we are scraping by.

Our home - this no frills no thrills home cost over $300,000 - 1800 square feet counting the finished basement.

Now, before we lived here, we lived in Iowa (West Des Moines) and he earned about $125,000. We could afford vacations and so on, but our bigger house with double garage only had a mortgage of $150,000 in one of the more "elite" cities of Iowa - HUGE difference and we felt it.

This article wasn't saying that these people felt "poor", but they didn't feel like society's elite either. Sure, they don't need 2500 square foot home, or to take a vacation every year, but in parts of this country, $250,000 does not buy you luxury - it's completely middle class - whcih is what they said they felt like - middle class. You also have to remember, if they have this salary and are a doctor or lawyer, they also have those HUGE education bills to pay off.

I grew up in Iowa on welfare.... so I'm not a person with a silver spoon in my mouth.

Now... I do think taxes need to be raised, but those on that cusp, will feel that sting.

TC123 Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 1:35am
post #4 of 15

Good evening, all! I just wanted to add a twist to the scenario...

Some of the people in that earning bracket are business owners. Their company may earn that amount as income, but that's not necessarily profit after all bills have been paid. For the business there are salaries/benefits, equipment/tools, vehicles, various insurance policies (business and motor vehicle), advertising, rent (building, yard/lot), business loans, fuel, maintenance/repairs, office supplies, telephones, uniforms, etc. THEN factor in the cost of personal living, which we all know about. You'd probably be surprised at what's left. icon_surprised.gif

Of course, I'm not speaking about everyone in that over $250k earning bracket.

I'm like you, though, jimandmollie... My dream would be to have a small cake/bakery business that I started with no debt. Best of luck with your endeavor!!! icon_smile.gif

shannon100 Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 1:56am
post #5 of 15

jimandmollie, I completely agree! My husband and I read that article this morning and were so frustrated by it! I was especially frustrated in the last sentence of the 2nd-to-last paragraph when they said that after ALL their bills are paid (including house payment, tithe, insurance, college funds, utilities, food, etc) they still have $1200!!! My entire month isn't even twice their leftover! I get so frustrated when I see people complaining about it. Maybe it wouldn't be so rough if they didn't have TWO mortgages and a land payment!!! I'm sorry, but if you can afford all that, and you make more than 98% of Americans (far more according to the article), you have no business complaining! Do you know how mad that makes those of us who are really stretching our money to put food on the table? Come live my life for a month and then see if you want to complain! Hey, there's an idea for a new reality show!! "Rich" people, trade places for a while with me! I'll take your life, you take mine! Have fun!

(Now, I do understand that $250K doesn't stretch as far in some places as it does others, but this obviously stretched very well for them.)

I'm not against people making money. If you work hard, you should get rewarded. Some people choose lower income jobs for the love of the job, like teachers. I get that. I'm just saying don't complain that it's so hard for you when so many people have it so much harder.

dldbrou Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 2:22am
post #6 of 15

Why cann't we all pay the same flat rate percentage? No matter what you make you would pay the same percent as everyone else? Why couldn't that work? Oh, no loop holes for anyone. Okay it's just a dream, I'm awake now.

xstitcher Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 7:12am
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dldbrou

Why cann't we all pay the same flat rate percentage? No matter what you make you would pay the same percent as everyone else? Why couldn't that work? Oh, no loop holes for anyone. Okay it's just a dream, I'm awake now.





I've thought the same thing for years. Your still going to get more $$ from the higher income earners. Let's say the tax was 10% (I know wishful thinking icon_lol.gif ) but if you earn $20,000 your tax amount would be $2000 and if you earned $200,000 it would be $20,000 and yes absolutely no loop holes or writing things off. I think there would be less cause to complain if it was same across the board. Just my opinion. icon_smile.gif

luvsfreebies72 Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 7:38am
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by berryblondeboys

Ok, I'll bite. First, a salary is not the same everywhere. $250,000 in San Francisco, Boston, NY, DC area and the like is not the same as it is anywhere in Iowa, Nebraska, West Virginia (most parts), Idaho, etc. The cost of living varies GREATLY.

I live in an expensive area because my husband works for the gov't. EVERYWHERE here is expensive, so it's not like I picked some elite neighborhood to live. My husband has a PhD., is gone from home 11 hours a day and brings home just under 100,000 a year. We live in a 35 year old townhouse with no garage and nothing fancy. We JUST got a new car, but otherwise before that had a 14 year old car and a 9 year old car. We never eat out, we hardly ever go out and most years we don't go on vacation. Almost all our furniture is used (from craigslist) and I buy all my younger kids clothes from resale shops and we are scraping by.

Our home - this no frills no thrills home cost over $300,000 - 1800 square feet counting the finished basement.

Now, before we lived here, we lived in Iowa (West Des Moines) and he earned about $125,000. We could afford vacations and so on, but our bigger house with double garage only had a mortgage of $150,000 in one of the more "elite" cities of Iowa - HUGE difference and we felt it.

This article wasn't saying that these people felt "poor", but they didn't feel like society's elite either. Sure, they don't need 2500 square foot home, or to take a vacation every year, but in parts of this country, $250,000 does not buy you luxury - it's completely middle class - whcih is what they said they felt like - middle class. You also have to remember, if they have this salary and are a doctor or lawyer, they also have those HUGE education bills to pay off.

I grew up in Iowa on welfare.... so I'm not a person with a silver spoon in my mouth.

Now... I do think taxes need to be raised, but those on that cusp, will feel that sting.


I had to laugh at this post, cause I saw that article, too.

Berryblondeboys - so right!! I live in Southern California - Can we say high-cost area? My house is 1425sf, 4 br, 2ba. Built in 1962 and never been updated. Absolutely nothing fancy about it, run-of-the-mill California Ranch. Guess what the houses in my heighborhood go for? $400,000. and that's a very solidly middle-class section of my city. Some would even think it's a lower-income area. There are gated community estates in my city that are multi-million dollar homes, even in this crappy real estate market. (Homes are sitting on the market up to a year in my price point)

Sales tax is currently 9.25%. Gas is $2.31/gal. Eggs are about $3/dozen. (Not organic ones, either) Our vehicle registration just got doubled vs last year. Our income taxes just got raised to the tune of at least $1200/year per family. We are the most highly taxed state in the nation, per capita. $250k a year here lands you squarely middle class. If you were to make less than $20k a year, you would starve. $60k a year here is not enough.

We do not drive brand-new cars. We have 1 car payment. one car is 10 years old, the other is 4 years old. we do not carry a massive amount of credit card debt, we owe $200 total between 2 credit cards. Vacation? What's that? Last vacation we had was to go be with DH's Dad while he had quintuple bypass last spring.

I've lived all over the country, so I know what the cost of living is in various locations. And in some areas $80k gets you a nice house, in some areas it wouldn't buy a closet. Just the way it is.

7yyrt Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 2:05am
post #9 of 15

It's the change in income that hurts.

We have ladies coming on some of the frugal sites who don't even know how to buy groceries! Yes, seriously. We calm them down and show them step by step what to do.
If all you do is pick up prepared food, or go out to dinner; of course it hurts when you have to figure out a budget. If you never go out to dinner yourself, it's difficult to understand the problem.

I remember the series 'Bewitched'. Endora lost her powers, and had to do things by hand. Darren couldn't understand why she acted like she'd been paralyzed.

Texas_Rose Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 3:54am
post #10 of 15

I know there's a huge difference in cost of living in different areas, but that makes me wonder how the people with menial jobs...custodian, cashier, dry cleaning clerk, fast food employee, etc...afford to live there, because there have to be people doing those jobs in any area, and they probably aren't making $50K a year just because of cost of living.

7yyrt Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 2:27pm
post #11 of 15

They take the bus to get there. Sometimes for an hour each way.

Deb_ Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 8:21pm
post #12 of 15

The family tithes $1,300 a month at their church. Their mortgage, second mortgage and payment on land they bought is nearly $4,000 a month. Other expenses, including their family car payment, insurance and college funds, as well as basics like food, utilities and donations to charities, leave them with about $1,200 left over each month.


The above was taken from the article.................am I reading correctly that they donate $1300 a month to their church? icon_eek.gif What!! Is that possible? Wow, I thought I was being generous putting a 20 dollar bill in the basket each week icon_rolleyes.gif

If their car is 10 years old why do they still have a car payment? icon_rolleyes.gif


Anyway........it doesn't matter if you earn 20k a year or 250k, it's all relative...........just that the people earning 250k, their bills are a lot larger then the ones earning 20k, but they still have bills.

What this tax increase will accomplish is people in business for themselves will try to keep their income to just under the 250k cutoff and I wouldn't fault them that. icon_wink.gif 250k is really just 2 well paid jobs, it's a lot more common then some would think.

It's like telling people who are flirting with that number, "don't set your goals too high because if you do and you succeed......Uncle Sam will bite you in the a$$ and take off a huge chunk"

adonisthegreek1 Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 1:52am
post #13 of 15

Berryblondeboys, thanks for being the voice of reason.

The more money you make the more privileges your family can enjoy, from vacations to extracurricular activities. Who wants to just get by? When I was first starting out, I had a 1200 sq. ft. home. Now my house is nearly 3000 sq. ft and I don't want to go back to where I used to be. Having said that, I live in Michigan and our future is bleak. Who knows what the future holds?

cakesdivine Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 4:15am
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dldbrou

Why cann't we all pay the same flat rate percentage? No matter what you make you would pay the same percent as everyone else? Why couldn't that work? Oh, no loop holes for anyone. Okay it's just a dream, I'm awake now.




Because 10% from a person who earns 10000.00 a year hurts that person much more than a person paying 10% of 250000.00..

So now the person earning only $10000 has to make ends meet on $9000 and the person earning $250,000.00 still has $225000 to live on. Definately NOT FAIR! to do a flat percentage. Not everyone has the same opportunities or life experiences and luck as others. A flat tax puts already struggling poor, low income, and mid income families in further financial stress that they can ill afford.

cakesdivine Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 4:18am
post #15 of 15

Also wanted to add, this couple admitted that after all their need and wants each month were met, they still had $1200 left at the end of each month to "play" with. That is more than half my monthly income! If I had an extra $1200 each month I could afford to give myself and my son the medical, eye, and dental care we both so desperately need. I have no sympathy for those who just don't get it!

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