regfootball

Getting ahead gets harder

43 posts in this topic

I am amazed at how younger folks can get started these days, everything is so flippin expensive, hell and I'm only 36

msn

"Many parents wonder why their kids can’t just grow up, buy a home, start a family and live without debt. They don’t realize how much the economic context has changed."

Edited by regfootball

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'Sixty percent of young adults between 18 and 34 are struggling for financial independence"

"When productivity was increasing, so were wages. We don't have that today. Wages certainly aren't keeping up with the cost of things like healthcare and housing."

"Then there is the high cost of college. A bachelor's degree has become the equivalent of a high school diploma -- essential for basic status in the middle class."

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"The fact is, these are national problems and they require a national solution. But this is just not on the radar of politicians. It's not an issue with which they concern themselves. But it's the issue the American family is concerned with."

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meh, people lack imagination. I was stuck in the cooperate rat race for years getting measly 3% raises. Now that I'm on my own, I have much more freedom, satisfaction, and most importantly :P much more money.

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It isn't from lack of money or opportunities, it is from too many choices of things to spend that money on.

50 years ago -

grandparents bought their first home - no driveway, no cupboards, no appliances, one 4 piece bathroom, no sod....house had one B&W TV, one radio, no stereo, no microwave, no central air, no central vac, no triple pane argon gas windows, they had one single door refrigerator, no icemaker, no flatscreen TV built in, there was no Playstation or MP3 players...grandfather had one Studebaker - no a/c, no power windows, probably didn't even have power steering!

vacations consisted of camping in a tent (no motorhome, no power generator, no satellite TV!)

nobody went to Europe for Spring break, nobody flew to New York for the weekend, kids didn't need $120 pair of Nikes......

I could go on, but I think you get the point. I look around at the toys I have - the electronics, the gadgets, the labor saving devices, and the trips I have taken, and the 200 channels of cable I must have and this computer I am typing on and I realize that if I got rid of all this unnecessary stuff I would have an awful lot of money in the bank.

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Whoever wrote this article is dead on. I'm getting sick of articles dismissing my generation as "lazy" because we aren't out of the house right after college graduation. The simple fact is that while the economy is certainly weak...it hits my generation especially hard.

Wages have stagnated, the job market is bleak, costs of basic living essentials have risen substantially....the list goes on and on.

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Whoever wrote this article is dead on.  I'm getting sick of articles dismissing my generation as "lazy" because we aren't out of the house right after college graduation.  The simple fact is that while the economy is certainly weak...it hits my generation especially hard. 

Wages have stagnated, the job market is bleak, costs of basic living essentials have risen substantially....the list goes on and on.

Well I am 25, a part of your generation, and I have NO problem with my life. I paid for my own school, worked all 5 years. My wife worked through school. We upgraded apartments 4 times since starting college, upgraded cars 4 times (still used though). We have put enough into savings that if we needed we could live for OVER a year with no income. My wife is finishing her Masters and I am starting Chiropractic school in May. We made due when money was tight. We made our own money and we didn't need to be given anything. That is life and if you want to be an adult you take it as it comes. Go out and get a job, any job that pays you, and look for a better one on the side.

All a matter of priorities.

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I agree that it's a matter of priorities.

My parents say I have no life. If I'm not at school, I'm at work. If I'm not at school or work, I'm doing homework. And if its not one of those three, I'm on C&G or photoshopping. Why? Because those are school nights and I don't stay out late Sunday-Thursday.

I get 2 days off work EVERY week, which are spent actually relaxing or catching up on homework. And I pretty much have to work this much or else I won't have money for insurance, gas, school, etc.

It's harder than it used to be, that's for sure, but not impossible.

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Well I am 25, a part of your generation, and I have NO problem with my life.  I paid for my own school, worked all 5 years.  My wife worked through school.  We upgraded apartments 4 times since starting college, upgraded cars 4 times (still used though).  We have put enough into savings that if we needed we could live for OVER a year with no income.  My wife is finishing her Masters and I am starting Chiropractic school in May.  We made due when money was tight.  We made our own money and we didn't need to be given anything.  That is life and if you want to be an adult you take it as it comes.  Go out and get a job, any job that pays you, and look for a better one on the side.

All a matter of priorities.

Not everyone wants to work their entire college life. Most people want to enjoy it...thats why they take out student loans to pay off later when the presumably get a better job. It isn't just about the education...its about the experience...nobody should have to look back at their college life and think of just working all the time.

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Not everyone wants to work their entire college life.  Most people want to enjoy it...thats why they take out student loans to pay off later when the presumably get a better job.  It isn't just about the education...its about the experience...nobody should have to look back at their college life and think of just working all the time.

How about this: I worked 40+ hours a week and I saved tens of thousand dollars in the long haul!

I am moving to St. Louis to go to school and we looked at houses and even got pre-approved but decided against it. I graduated over a year ago from college and have saved enough money to move to a new state, go to school, and afford what I want while my wife is the only one working, and bringing in less than $40K. Save a penny now and it pays off.

TRUST ME I know from experience.

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My housing costs are ridiculous. I have no health insurance. I live very frugally. I have financial independence and have had it for almost three years now. I don't complain, things will get better down the road.

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I'm not going to argue the merits of paying college now versus later...that isn't the point of the article. The point is those that choose to pay it later under the assumption that they can get a decent job after they graduate are not being able to do that...hence why more and more people are living at home later.

The point of the article is that it is becoming increasing difficult to get ahead for people in my generation due to the mentioned factors...low wages, increasing costs...etc.

Optimistically the best starting wage you are gonna get is about 30K a year...and that is optimistic. After taxes we are looking 1800-1900 per month. Now lets look at some of the expenses of living on your own.

Rent: 700 a month

Utilities: 200 a month (more like 250 if you use a cell phone as the main line)

Food: 100 a month

Car Insurance: 100 a month

Renters Insurance: 50 a month

Health/Dental: 200 a month

So at the very best you have what...500 a month to spend on discretionary income. This assumes you have no student loans, you car is in decent shape and fully paid off..and even then these costs are low-ball estimates.

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I'm not going to argue the merits of paying college now versus later...that isn't the point of the article.  The point is those that choose to pay it later under the assumption that they can get a decent job after they graduate are not being able to do that...hence why more and more people are living at home later. 

The point of the article is that it is becoming increasing difficult to get ahead for people in my generation due to the mentioned factors...low wages, increasing costs...etc. 

Optimistically the best starting wage you are gonna get is about 30K a year...and that is optimistic.  After taxes we are looking 1800-1900 per month.  Now lets look at some of the expenses of living on your own.

Rent:  700 a month

Utilities:  200 a month (more like 250 if you use a cell phone as the main line)

Food:  100 a month

Car Insurance:  100 a month

Renters Insurance:  50 a month

Health/Dental:  200 a month

So at the very best you have what...500 a month to spend on discretionary income.  This assumes you have no student loans, you car is in decent shape and fully paid off..and even then these costs are low-ball estimates.

To be fair, it all depends on where you live. Here in Pittsburgh, $700 a month rent gets you a fairly rockin place. Heck, my mortgage is $765 a month and I have 3 bedrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces, porches, gargages and 1/3 acre of land.... yet I'm 15 minutes from downtown.

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The point of the article is that it is becoming increasing difficult to get ahead for people in my generation due to the mentioned factors...low wages, increasing costs...etc. 

Then the article is a farce. People who are in debt and expecting to come out of college making millions are being unrealistic. Be real here the people having all these troubles are expecting more than they should and are getting themselves into credit card debt. You should have NO problem paying back your student loans if you go out and get a job.

Optimistically the best starting wage you are gonna get is about 30K a year...and that is optimistic.  After taxes we are looking 1800-1900 per month.  Now lets look at some of the expenses of living on your own.

Rent:  700 a month

Utilities:  200 a month (more like 250 if you use a cell phone as the main line)

Food:  100 a month

Car Insurance:  100 a month

Renters Insurance:  50 a month

Health/Dental:  200 a month

Here are my bills:

Rent 600

Utilities (including 2 cell phones and cable) 220

Food 200+ (myself and my wife)

Car insurance 100 a month

Renter's insurance 50

Health/dental 30-work pays for part of my health and I don't have dental I didn't think it was 100% cost effective (I could get it for 20 a month)

We pay about $180 per month on student loans, sometimes as much as $400 to be sure to bring it down to reasonable levels.

Also my wife drives about 80 miles a day so there you have about 300-400 a month in gas.

Her paycheck goes about 90% into savings now and I make $12 an hour with some overtime. I bring home about $2000 a month.

So going by your estimation we should be broke but we are not. If money was tight I could cut about $200 a month out of our bills. Get rid of cable and cell phones, they aren't 100% needed and you reduce your bills by quite a bit.

Face it people if YOU want to get ahead YOU have to do the work and make the hard decisions.

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I disagree with the article completely. It's not about times changing, it's about people not knowing how to manage their money. And that's no bodies fault but the school system, their parents, and themselves.

At 24 I'm 2 months away from owning a house (well, starting to pay on a house). http://lakefiredesigns.com/house

I've had my Dakota for 3 years, and granted I don't officially own it, but it is worth more than I owe on it. Many of my other friends are not having issues with money that I am aware of. They are living nicely (not like kings) but aren't struggling. The problem is people don't do a balance sheet for their expenses.

HEre is mine

Income: 

Base/Month $1,810

Commission $640

Phone $50

Expenses $600 $3,100

 

Debt: 

Rent $637

Auto $312

Food $500

Gasoline $240

Car Insurance $116

Electric $95

Dry Cleaning $60

Phone $58

Dog $50

Internet $45

Website $4 $2,117

 

Remaining: $983

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To be fair, it all depends on where you live. Here in Pittsburgh, $700 a month rent gets you a fairly rockin place.  Heck, my mortgage is $765 a month and I have 3 bedrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces, porches, gargages and 1/3 acre of land.... yet I'm 15 minutes from downtown.

Yea thats true. Where I live in southwest Chicago has ridiculously high living costs....some of the highest in the country. Decent jobs are hard to come by here. Everyone I know is either still living at home or has moved away to find a better job opportunity.

Thankfully I'm getting out of here...I can't stand the midwest anymore. My brother lives down in southwest Florida and he said I should come down there so I am.

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Montgomery County is one of the higher cost of living counties in the USA, also one of the richest, income-wise.

I won't even try to account for all the money I've spent on buying vehicles. I try to never be "upside down" on a car loan... right now, I am upside down by about $300 on the truck... first time ever (based on a recent trade-in bid).

I am able to save money, but not as much as I'd like. I have a mortgage, utilities, taxes, food, vehicle, and insurance bills monthly. I made $46k last year, and I feel it's not enough, even with a modest mortgage of $760/month.

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is to save money, but you have to do it if you want a better life.

Edited by ocnblu

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Well, in MI, we have one of the lowest min. wages. I make $5.65/hr (at one job) and pay $160/month on insurance and about $60-80/month on gas.

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Im a paralegal part time and I made 29k last year from may when I started through december. I payed part of my tuition I have a scholarship and my dad payes half of the remainder so thats 8 grand twards tuition im at 21 grand, payed my auto insurance 1800 on my 01 alero, payed for gas 1200, brakes struts and springs in my 2000, lets see that brings me to, 13 grand spent. I put 8 grand into a CD and the remainder I spent in good times, good food and some new clothes. a lot of wasted money once the school year starts... most on booze and good times but whatever at least I made sure to put some money away some place I couldnt touch it. Next year I get a raise and will have worked this job a full year but I gotta pay my rent 550 a month with utilities next year im going to try and budget myself more save a littel more money and hopefuly buy a g6 gtp this summer which I could have at red tag if I hadnt wasted so much money o nbooxe lol.

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Yes it is very hard and espensive. to live decent you need to at least make 50,000 a year.

So where is the all important MIDDLE CLASS. The Perfect class. Well its gone due to imports of cheap crap like consumer products (shoes,toys, clothes) and cars (really important) and Government. There are no factory jobs left, not even in the Auto industry. Name One American Textile industry that is left? In michigan back in the 60's you could graduate high school and get a job at one of the Big 3 or a parts supplier. even other factories that made pencils, Toys, Clothes. Today there are basicly only fast food or clothe stores left as jobs for high schoolers unless you have connections. Plus the middle class has to pay the most Taxes than any other class. but being that the middle class gets smaller everyday, The government gets less money.

I have to stop before I have a heart attack from think of why we dont have the perfect middle class anymore!

Edited by capriceman

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Face it people if YOU want to get ahead YOU have to do the work and make the hard decisions.

Absolutely correct. No arguments here.

However:

I manage my money quite well, I believe. I don't live extravagantly and I keep a tight budget. Those who have seen my "budget paper" (where I keep "funds" within my checking account for "Medical", "Car Insurance", "Credit Union Savings", "Licence Plate Renewals", "Storage", "Phone/Email", "Church", "Necessities") are shocked at how detailed I am ... and that I take the time to actually "disperse" each paycheck into each of these "funds".

Even so, I'm still living at home. Partly because I can't afford to move out (was on track to do so a year ago, until I was layed off and had to take a $3K per year paycut going into my new job) ... and partly because, due to my health issues, it's better to be living with someone.

And, as far as I'm concerned, I'm not lazy by any means.

While I consider myself financially responsible, most people think that I'm not ... since I'm still at home...and own 5 cars. Yet, those same people are ones that have a luxury car, for which they pay more on insurance in a year than I do on my 5 MCs combined, AND are married, complete with 2 incomes to my one.

Course, those same people don't stop to consider the effect of the medical costs I incur due to my heart issues and my recent abdominal issues. Those certainly take a huge chunk out of my monthly budget ... and I have no control over that. If I did, I'd be much happier ;).

*shrugs*

It's all about perception.

Cort, "Mr MC" / "Mr Road Trip", 32swm/pig valve/pacemaker

MC:family.IL.guide.future = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/

chdQB = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/quilt.html

"Why can't that be me?" ... 3 Doors Down ... 'If I Could Be Like That'

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Guest Josh

I did not read the entire thread just the first post but I can tell you this I am lucky to be a at a job right out of high school with the potential of $40,000 in Michigan (which is NOT much at all anywhere else) and then move up to a supervisor role that I have now.

It's a blessing. I think about moving out and doing my own thing, not because it's bad at home but because I'd love to have a place to call my own but there's no way that is possible with a house & car payment over $2,000 a month.

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Houses have gotten ridiculously expensive for first-time buyers now. I was able to buy a house within one year of getting out of college 14 years ago, but since then, housing costs have tripled while incomes have gone up by only about 25%. The new car should come after the house, and credit cards should be paid off every month. Keeping a credit card balance is an insidious way to go into debt.

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