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40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
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zigZag Offline
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Post: #26
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
I think cost of living has a lot to do with it, but the majority of it is financial mismanagement. People are just bad with money. They spend money on shit they can't afford. Cars, Trips.. Partying..Eating out. Then a lot of millennials especially went to school and got in a ton of debt to get useless degrees. So now you have "educated" People who are working shit jobs while still trying to enjoy a middle-class lifestyle by paying for shit with their credit cards.

Unfortunate really.
12-30-2018 08:32 AM
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Thomas Jackson Offline
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Post: #27
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
Immigration is the main issue from my perspective. We have allowed in an insane amount of people post 1965. Wages have stagnated, housing costs in desirable areas have skyrocketed, traffic/pollution and a host of other figures have deteriorated. Look at a place like Socal, in the 1960's it was heaven and midwestern white people moved and and had a great middle class existence, now it is Mexico with a super rich elite and a massive underclass.

That being said an intelligent man who is disciplined should still be able to carve out a comfortable existence. It is a bit disheartening to see the housing costs where I am though - I make solid money but 500k for a mediocre townhouse is the going rate and still a stretch.
12-30-2018 08:45 AM
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worldwidetraveler Offline
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Post: #28
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
(12-30-2018 02:23 AM)Roosh Wrote:  Both Delta and Sam are correct at the same time: people are spending beyond their means AND costs have gone up. That said, someone who takes frugality seriously can still make it, but it won't be fun. You'll have to control your spending daily with extreme discipline. The real key is to eliminate all credit card debt, and then student loan debt. I noticed that many Americans think of debt in terms of "monthly payments". They are living paycheck to paycheck because they measure affordability of cars, houses, etc by the monthly payment. They make $3000 a month take-home and then get a $500 car payment that takes 5 years to pay off on top of $1000 rent and $1000 food/dining/alcohol/dating. They will have nothing left over after incidentals and student loan payments.

That monthly mentality started with the boomers. My grandfather always paid in cash. He had no debt.

My parents (boomers), on the other hand, are up to their arse in monthly payments.

It isn't getting any better when the new norm is purchasing cell phones on 2 year monthly plans. $1000 cell phones!

People just don't realize how much money they are spending on these plans. Nor do I think they care to know.
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018 11:21 AM by worldwidetraveler.)
12-30-2018 11:18 AM
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Post: #29
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
It’s a miracle that a man can save anything when one considers house price inflation, stealth taxes, indirect costs of sex, university direct and opportunity costs, usury and wage devaluation.
12-30-2018 11:20 AM
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Days of Broken Arrows Offline
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Post: #30
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
(12-30-2018 02:42 AM)Penta Sahi Wrote:  Right now I'm in a good place (no debt, steady job, fat emergency fund, some investments, almost enough for a down payment on my own place).

But I could have been in this place years ago had I not fallen into the trap of POST FUCKING SECONDARY EDUCATION.

To be clear, I greatly enjoyed my time at university and intellectually I'm better in life because of it. I was involved in a lot of clubs, had my first real experiences with women, met some life long friends, and the employment I took at my university (not related to my degree) helped me start out with my first career.

But my degree in Sociology is WORSE THAN USELESS. It's EMBARRASSING. People ask what I took in University, and I have to mutter it because I'm not proud of it.

The real salt in the wound was that this degree cost me north of $30K, even more with the interest in my loans. It took some lean years living in Uncle Rico's basement to pay that off, and it makes me wonder how much better off I would be if I had basically a $30K+ headstart in life (though Uni inadvertently led me to the Red Pill, so who knows I could be shacked up right now with some random 4.5 and been clueless to everything).

Anyways, whenever I hear someone say they're thinking of "going back to school", I really dig down and ask them why, and slowly try and persuade them into believing that it's an overpriced sham. Because it is.

Is there any way to live the "university life" (seriously I think those were the best years of my life) without having to pay the ungodly tuition fees?

Yeah, it's called a Time Machine!!

Seriously speaking, back in the old days I actually paid tuition with my summer pizza delivery money. You really could do this. If I remember correctly, it was about $800 per semester for the state school I attended.

You know how we were all saying earlier on this thread that women entering the workforce doubled the labor pool and therefore slashed wages in half? Well, women entering college en masse had the opposite effect.

You now had twice as many people wanting the same goods, so they were able to jack up the asking price.

[Image: 125.jpg?quality=65&strip=all]


(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018 11:27 AM by Days of Broken Arrows.)
12-30-2018 11:25 AM
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SamuelBRoberts Offline
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Post: #31
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
(12-30-2018 04:33 AM)Spaniard88 Wrote:  I'll spell it out. We get an economic crash every ten years or so. If you spent the ten or so boom years buying brand new cars, renting expensive places, and taking expensive trips abroad simply for travel's sake, or worse, to bang loose women, you will not have the capital needed to invest during the crashes. The investments you make during the crashes, the plays you make, those are the plays that set you, and many times your heirs, up for life. They set you up for life on the backs of those that spend the boom years buying into things with a negative ROI and investing in relationships, including with women, that have a negative ROI. In a way, you can say that fortunes aren't made during the booms, they're made during the crashes. The booms are simply when the dullards get interested in investing.

This is not a great way to do stocks. Trying to buy at the bottom of a crash as an amateur is really risky(Major trading companies filled with the smartest traders in the world can't reliably buy at the bottom, why would you be able to?), it's stressful (Because when you don't hit the bottom you're going to see the money you spend 5-10 years earning go down by 5-10% in a day, which is grueling) and you're also missing out on things like compound interest from dividends stocks, which might mean that even if you time it properly you might not make that much more money.

Honestly the best way to make money from the stock market is to just throw a bit of money at it every month and forget it.
Dunno if that's a real path to long-term financial security though. Say you can put in 5k a year, which is a ton of money for the average household.
Assuming a pretty standard rate of return of 6% a year, after a decade of tossing 5 grand in this account, instead of spending it on fun things, girls, a nicer place, exciting trips to foreign lands, you'll have...

77,000$.

Which is great, and will come in really handy if you need it, but that's not really a path to great wealth.

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12-30-2018 11:31 AM
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Kid Twist Offline
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Post: #32
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
Credit cards weren't common (or accepted) until the 1960s. Women weren't in the workforce. The population was homogeneous. Welfare and the welfare state (Medicare began in '65 too) was just starting.

The people that ran the country were still "American" in the classic sense.

All of these were lost over time to marxist thought, technology, and increasing gov't.

Your grandfather wasn't noble in the sense he thinks; his environment was.

Get your passport ready!
12-30-2018 11:40 AM
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Investment Bro Offline
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Post: #33
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
We can blame all sorts of external factors for the paycheck to paycheck mentality, but at the end of the day, the real problem is never external. It's always internal.

I'm in my 20s, the guys that I run with are all between 23-35 and we're all living considerably better than our parents. Heck, I don't even need my primary income to pay my bills. My secondary and tertiary income do that.

The problem is people are buying into an outdated model. Mortgaging their future with costly student loans to work for large corporations, not continuing to self educate after college, getting married and then trying to keep up with society at large with monthly payments and credit card debt.

The number one problem is debt. Look at our federal government. They're supposed to be a body oriented on principles, yet they borrow endlessly and have no plan in mind to pay off this massive debt snowball! What message does this send to the people? It normalizes the suffocating weight of debt for things we don't really need.

Bottom line, you don't need a 500 dollar a month car payment. There's plenty of waitresses that I know with 500 dollar car payments only clearing 2k a month. Your rent should be a quarter of your income. Not your effing car payment.

If you want to be financially secure, you need to do two things. Avoid debt, and continuously increase your income. It's probably not a coincidence that my friends all either own their own businesses, work in sales, or are hotshots for small companies on the rise with several side ventures.

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(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018 11:57 AM by Investment Bro.)
12-30-2018 11:56 AM
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budoslavic Offline
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Post: #34
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
Most people lacks financial responsibility. They simply do not know how to manage their money wisely.

It is typical to see them spends money on expensive items using their credit cards and/or taking out loans. People are materialistics nowadays because of peer pressure, trends or luxury lifestyle fantasy.

Currently, I am in a very good place financially. Debts paid off. 15% of my paycheck goes to mutual funds investments, which I'm already past 6 figures. As a rule, I only pay everything in cash. For international traveling when booking flights & hotels, I use my bank's debit card. Stopped using credit cards since 2008. I rent because it allows me to leave and/or move on short notice. I try to live a minimal lifestyle; only buy used products. There is no point in spending $800 for a brand new iPhone 8 when you could buy a used iPhone 5 for $75, which is what I bought a few months ago.

I give a lot of credit to my parents for teaching me how to manage my own money at an early age. My parents were frugal and barely had money, but they always made sure to pay their bills and made a lot of sacrifices on focusing on family environment. Both of my parents were born and raised during the Great Depression Era. Our family vacation trips were mainly camping or driving throughout the Northeast USA and parts of Canada in the 1970's and 1980's.

(12-30-2018 11:25 AM)Days of Broken Arrows Wrote:  
(12-30-2018 02:42 AM)Penta Sahi Wrote:  ...
Anyways, whenever I hear someone say they're thinking of "going back to school", I really dig down and ask them why, and slowly try and persuade them into believing that it's an overpriced sham. Because it is.

Is there any way to live the "university life" (seriously I think those were the best years of my life) without having to pay the ungodly tuition fees?
...
Seriously speaking, back in the old days I actually paid tuition with my summer pizza delivery money. You really could do this. If I remember correctly, it was about $800 per semester for the state school I attended.
...
[Image: 125.jpg?quality=65&strip=all]
...

I can relate to that image on the left. lol Worked full-time during the summer to save money for college tuition. Back in the late 1980's, full-time tuition plus books to attend a community college was about $560+ per semester while living at home and working part-time. Now, the same community college costs $2,360+ per semester (tuition) for full-time enrollment during the 2018-2019 school year.

How times have changed.
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018 12:35 PM by budoslavic.)
12-30-2018 12:28 PM
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Post: #35
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
I complain about income and the economy and wages a lot too, but when I get down to it, I'm doing alright. If I didn't blow all my money on escorts and titty bar tabs I'd be fucking rich as I too am not easily swayed by flashy status indicators. I make 40K a year and am single and don't plan on getting married. All I really owe is $650 for my monthly apartment rent (1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1 living space, 1 kitchen) and car payments, food, gas and small utilities. My issue is spending. But I also managed to stay out of debt by not taking any student loans. Tuition was free for me since my mother worked at the university. I agree with a previous poster though college is a scam and an easy way to become a debt slave. I'm never going back for my masters. Gonna try to reach a 6 figure salary at my current sales job and from their it should be easy coasting.

I never wanted to be rich or live the lifestyle of the elites. I like be a loner and I am perfectly content with just renting apartments my entire life. All I need is a good female companion from time to time who's usually bought and paid for.
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018 12:47 PM by Echovoid_52.)
12-30-2018 12:47 PM
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Post: #36
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
Things will get interesting when the dollar starts declining in value!

Some good financial and life advise in the video below, from one of my heros;





We will stomp to the top with the wind in our teeth.

George L. Mallory
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018 01:16 PM by Johnnyvee.)
12-30-2018 12:58 PM
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Post: #37
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
Hate to pull the old age card again on you guys, but I want to give you some historical perspective. I hope you think about this because it's quite important and religiously ignored by the press. When it comes to this topic, you guys are so utterly bamboozled. We have tricked you and like fucking chumps, you keep falling for it.

Let me give you the reality so you can stop being chumps:

30 years ago, when I was 30, I could:

-Rent a nice 2 br apartment for $400, rent a room in a 4 br house with 2 other guys for $200. Now the same apt is $1500.

-Buy a corolla for $4,500 brand new. Now it's $16K.

-Buy a house in LA for $80k. Now $800k.

-Get health insurance for $100/mo any time. For a family, $300mo. Now it's quadruple that.

Every single major expense in this nation has quadrupled in the last 30 years

But you think I made 1/3 the money? Nope. With no college degree, I could make 10 bucks an hour with health insurance. Starting wage out of college was $40k. Today, you guys are STILL making only maybe $12-15 with no degree and starting $ 50k with degree.

You are making 25% more, at best, than we did in 1990, but you pay 400% more.

Let's not quibble the numbers guys. Women like to quibble about this bullshit, so they can shoot down the argument. Don't tell me "oh, my brother in law's uncle is making $70/hour in the oil field". The point is, the vast majority of american citizens, male or female, are making 1/3 what we did 30 years ago. You guys banter and quibble about "people lacking financial responsibiilty". That is such utter horseshit. Do you have any idea how financially irresponsible my generation was? Jesus H. Christ. You guys are frugal little churchmice compared to me and mine. We worked half as many hours as you did, we sat on our asses smoking dope and playing Pong all afternoon, we went to colleges that let us fuck around. Anybody could get into a top college with a 3.0 grade point average.

We could get married, have a decent girl who maybe worked part time, make $60k a year and raise a family just fine.

Your generation works twice as hard as we ever did and you are barely making it because you're getting paid ONE THIRD what we did, per hour, adjusted for real costs.

ONE THIRD.

How can anybody in America live on ONE THIRD what their parents made?

THEY CAN'T.

How are they going to save for retirement, buy houses, or have kids?

THEY WON'T.

Where is all that money going?
What do we do?
How do we fix this?

Heres' why all this happened:

My generation has INFLATED THE FUCK out of every single thing in this country and the Chinese, Indian, and globalist billionaires have bought out all the major assets and are draining off TRILLIONS of dollars into their swiss bank accounts. The USA is one big fat dairy cow for the world, and every other nation, especially the crafty Chinese, are draining the fuck out of us, and we are standing here like a stupid fucking bovine idiots, letting our nation be drained. The UK and Germany aren't far behind because they have been stupid enough to follow our lead. Why do you think the Chinese economy has grown from $300B to $12T in that past 30 years? It's not because they are geniuses. They have been draining the life's blood of the biggest economy in the world and WE HAVE LET THEM.

The economists who advocate so relentlessly are not only paid off by the big globalist companies, they are also using ancient theories that are WRONG. Free trade works great when you have two nations like England and France who are trading by sailing ships in the 1800s. But in today's world, with giant container ships, the internet, and giant robotic-factory-equipped nations like China and the US, the US has an average of $60/hour employees and China (or Vietnam, or whatever) has $5/hour employees, "free trade" is an unmitigated destruction, a tidal wave of destruction. Within 20 years the combination of "free trade" and "the internet" will be recognized as the greatest economic calamity every to befall a major nation, a perfect storm of economic transfer from rich US citizens to poor Chinese and Indian citizens.

This is why, if Donald Trump was revealed as the antichrist tomorrow, I'd still vote for him. Because he is the only powerful person who is admitting to this and fighting to stop the bloodletting. It may be far too late. We have so many blood draining catheters inserted into our vital organs as a nation, we literally may no be able to tear them out without dying in the process. We have so many of our citizens who are on the Chinese payroll (including the entire Democratic party and all Democrat congressional members).

You watch that show "Man in the High Castle" about the Nazis taking over the US? We are living that already, except it's not the Nazis. We are already slaves to a foreign master. It's all happening in plain sight and nobody is bothering to talk about it.

All of you are the slaves.
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018 01:58 PM by MrLemon.)
12-30-2018 01:00 PM
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Garuda Offline
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Post: #38
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
People living above their means is part of it but that's down to poor parenting and lack of financial education. However, there's a reason why economic classes are not mandatory in high school. If they were, people wouldn't be enslaved in the elite's debt trap. If you made some basic finance classes mandatory, this might go away.

A bigger problem that is impossible to fix is the abomination known as the Creature from Jekyll Island aka the federal reserve. Since its establishment in 1913, the value of the dollar has declined over 100%.

When it raises short-term interest rates, the rates of long-term interest also increase. This means people pay more on car loans and mortgages, businesses pay more on loans to expand and invest and state/local governments pay more for bonds. That cuts into the pocketbook as well.
12-30-2018 01:09 PM
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Post: #39
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
I'm financially secure. I need very little to be content so live cheaply. One thing I notice, that, even in Mexico, all the cars on the streets look new and expensive. Given the cost of cars, I am amazed. I see very little clunkers on the road. Every car looks beautiful. My car is over 10 years old. I could afford something 10 times more expensive but have no desire for a new car. I wonder if all these people are buying these cars with debt? If you look at the streets, you would think everyone is rich. My parents taught me to never go into debt. I have no debts and after I went to school I paid all my student loans within 4 years. When I had a house years ago, I bought it with cash.

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12-30-2018 01:16 PM
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Johnnyvee Offline
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Post: #40
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
Great post MrLemon but, "... we sat on our asses smoking dope and playing Pong all after noon long… "

^^^^
Laugh3

We will stomp to the top with the wind in our teeth.

George L. Mallory
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018 01:25 PM by Johnnyvee.)
12-30-2018 01:24 PM
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Aurini Offline
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Post: #41
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
(12-30-2018 04:33 AM)Spaniard88 Wrote:  America, and most of the West, is life on easy mode.

If you can't make it in America given enough time, say 15 years as an able-bodied adult, then you're just dumb in regards to finances, or you just don't prioritize financial security.*

I'll spell it out. We get an economic crash every ten years or so. If you spent the ten or so boom years buying brand new cars, renting expensive places, and taking expensive trips abroad simply for travel's sake, or worse, to bang loose women, you will not have the capital needed to invest during the crashes. The investments you make during the crashes, the plays you make, those are the plays that set you, and many times your heirs, up for life. They set you up for life on the backs of those that spend the boom years buying into things with a negative ROI and investing in relationships, including with women, that have a negative ROI. In a way, you can say that fortunes aren't made during the booms, they're made during the crashes. The booms are simply when the dullards get interested in investing.

The end.

The secondary effect of delayed marriage.

We all know (and it should be self-evident) that marriage serves as a powerful wealth builder. Shared rent, shared responsibilities, and the psychological comfort of having somebody waiting at home for you, all serve to increase your ability to earn income. Economists love to point out how married men earn more money than single men; part of this is because they have to. Mouths to feed at home. But we shouldn't discount how beneficial it is to have a Helpmeet at home, even if it's a modern woman.

But there's a secondary factor that occurs because of delayed marriage. We're not just missing out on the benefits of marriage - we're experiencing unique costs associated with being single.

What's the average age of marriage now, versus then? 30 versus 20? 28 versus 23? Either way, 5-10 years of one's prime working life is now dedicated to the mating market, rather than building personal wealth. The mating market involves conspicuous displays: peacock feathers. For teenagers, this means pulling stupid stunts to show off their bravery. For young adults, this means brand-name cars, shoes, and expensive restaurants.

The reason young people are compelled to blow their money on "avocado toast" isn't simply the fact that they have bad spending habits, and they're a bunch of greedy hedonists (though this is part of it). It's because they're stuck in a period of delayed-adolescence, attempting to attract a mate.

Imagine you had a group of peacocks and peahens, separated by a pane of glass. Upon sexual maturity both would begin their conspicuous displays of attraction; but because their mating ritual could never reach fruition, they never stop the conspicuous displays. Both sides are burning up calories and exhausting their life-supply, when nature designed them to use those calories in raising the young. You'll wind up with two groups of animals who are exhausted and stressed out by the time they reach mid-maturity.

For our species, the glass separator is the birth control pill. In the normal course of things, horny young people get together and pregnancy occurs: at that point, the conspicuous spending disappears, and they both reorient towards building a solid foundation in life. But for us, we're still trying to attract a mate. We're burning up all our resources in a race to the bottom - and since our competition has credit cards, we need credit cards too.

You could respond that you don't need money to get laid, you just need game. There's that homeless guy who was picking up chicks left, right, and center, whom we had a thread on way back when. And yes, this is true - I do well enough despite being a cheap bastard - but you're missing the point. The number of people who figure out how to hack the system is going to be a minority; the majority will believe what the advertisements tell them, that you need to buy brand name jeans and expensive footwear to get laid.

It's a war of attrition, and our genes are screaming at us that we need to do whatever we can to reproduce. If that means using a credit card to buy avocado toast - then so be it. The only other choice is extinction.

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12-30-2018 01:31 PM
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Post: #42
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
I'd also say that the question of "are you living paycheck to paycheck" is a false flag.

Most of the guys here are single. If they aren't living paycheck to paycheck because they aren't supporting kids. That is meaningless.

30 years ago, the average American male could support 2 kids with a part time working wife, and still save money for retirement.

That is the metric that we should be comparing against.

Sure, if you're single you might not care whether the kids of the world are being fed. But that's the metric that every society, if it wants to survive, must measure. If the kids aren't being fed, clothed, and educated, then your society is going to die. You have a ticking mini time bomb attached to your jugular vein and when that bomb goes off, boom, you die. You can keep partying and ignoring the ticking if you want, but everybody else can see it and they are all wondering why you are being such an idiot.
12-30-2018 01:35 PM
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Post: #43
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
(12-30-2018 02:23 AM)Roosh Wrote:  That said, someone who takes frugality seriously can still make it, but it won't be fun. You'll have to control your spending daily with extreme discipline. The real key is to eliminate all credit card debt, and then student loan debt. I noticed that many Americans think of debt in terms of "monthly payments".

Cash flow is king. Frugality is necessary when you are not making that much money, otherwise you will quickly pile up debt. If you make more, then it's appropriate to spend more to improve the basics of your life.

Once you have a net positive cash flow then it's a good idea to build up some savings. Start with an emergency fund then focus on other financial vehicles based on your financial goals.

Most Americans seem to focus on monthly survival. As long as they can make their minimum payments they proceed not paying attention to their long term financial trajectory.
12-30-2018 01:46 PM
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Post: #44
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
(12-30-2018 01:24 PM)Johnnyvee Wrote:  Great post MrLemon but, "... we sat on our asses smoking dope and playing Pong all after noon long… "

^^^^
Laugh3

Heh. Bad typing. I fixed it.

The funny thing is, I specifically remember smoking dope and playing Pong. I thought I was living in the future. OMG! Playing ping pong on a computer screen!
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018 02:02 PM by MrLemon.)
12-30-2018 02:01 PM
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MongolianAbroad Offline
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Post: #45
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
(12-30-2018 11:31 AM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  
(12-30-2018 04:33 AM)Spaniard88 Wrote:  I'll spell it out. We get an economic crash every ten years or so. If you spent the ten or so boom years buying brand new cars, renting expensive places, and taking expensive trips abroad simply for travel's sake, or worse, to bang loose women, you will not have the capital needed to invest during the crashes. The investments you make during the crashes, the plays you make, those are the plays that set you, and many times your heirs, up for life. They set you up for life on the backs of those that spend the boom years buying into things with a negative ROI and investing in relationships, including with women, that have a negative ROI. In a way, you can say that fortunes aren't made during the booms, they're made during the crashes. The booms are simply when the dullards get interested in investing.

This is not a great way to do stocks. Trying to buy at the bottom of a crash as an amateur is really risky(Major trading companies filled with the smartest traders in the world can't reliably buy at the bottom, why would you be able to?), it's stressful (Because when you don't hit the bottom you're going to see the money you spend 5-10 years earning go down by 5-10% in a day, which is grueling) and you're also missing out on things like compound interest from dividends stocks, which might mean that even if you time it properly you might not make that much more money.

Honestly the best way to make money from the stock market is to just throw a bit of money at it every month and forget it.
Dunno if that's a real path to long-term financial security though. Say you can put in 5k a year, which is a ton of money for the average household.
Assuming a pretty standard rate of return of 6% a year, after a decade of tossing 5 grand in this account, instead of spending it on fun things, girls, a nicer place, exciting trips to foreign lands, you'll have...

77,000$.

Which is great, and will come in really handy if you need it, but that's not really a path to great wealth.

I agree (just to clarify though, I didn't say anything about stocks). Although if you have specialized insider knowledge, stocks would be a play as well.
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018 02:28 PM by MongolianAbroad.)
12-30-2018 02:05 PM
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Post: #46
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
(12-30-2018 01:31 PM)Aurini Wrote:  
(12-30-2018 04:33 AM)Spaniard88 Wrote:  America, and most of the West, is life on easy mode.

If you can't make it in America given enough time, say 15 years as an able-bodied adult, then you're just dumb in regards to finances, or you just don't prioritize financial security.*

I'll spell it out. We get an economic crash every ten years or so. If you spent the ten or so boom years buying brand new cars, renting expensive places, and taking expensive trips abroad simply for travel's sake, or worse, to bang loose women, you will not have the capital needed to invest during the crashes. The investments you make during the crashes, the plays you make, those are the plays that set you, and many times your heirs, up for life. They set you up for life on the backs of those that spend the boom years buying into things with a negative ROI and investing in relationships, including with women, that have a negative ROI. In a way, you can say that fortunes aren't made during the booms, they're made during the crashes. The booms are simply when the dullards get interested in investing.

The end.

The secondary effect of delayed marriage.

We all know (and it should be self-evident) that marriage serves as a powerful wealth builder. Shared rent, shared responsibilities, and the psychological comfort of having somebody waiting at home for you, all serve to increase your ability to earn income. Economists love to point out how married men earn more money than single men; part of this is because they have to. Mouths to feed at home. But we shouldn't discount how beneficial it is to have a Helpmeet at home, even if it's a modern woman.

But there's a secondary factor that occurs because of delayed marriage. We're not just missing out on the benefits of marriage - we're experiencing unique costs associated with being single.

What's the average age of marriage now, versus then? 30 versus 20? 28 versus 23? Either way, 5-10 years of one's prime working life is now dedicated to the mating market, rather than building personal wealth. The mating market involves conspicuous displays: peacock feathers. For teenagers, this means pulling stupid stunts to show off their bravery. For young adults, this means brand-name cars, shoes, and expensive restaurants.

The reason young people are compelled to blow their money on "avocado toast" isn't simply the fact that they have bad spending habits, and they're a bunch of greedy hedonists (though this is part of it). It's because they're stuck in a period of delayed-adolescence, attempting to attract a mate.

Imagine you had a group of peacocks and peahens, separated by a pane of glass. Upon sexual maturity both would begin their conspicuous displays of attraction; but because their mating ritual could never reach fruition, they never stop the conspicuous displays. Both sides are burning up calories and exhausting their life-supply, when nature designed them to use those calories in raising the young. You'll wind up with two groups of animals who are exhausted and stressed out by the time they reach mid-maturity.

For our species, the glass separator is the birth control pill. In the normal course of things, horny young people get together and pregnancy occurs: at that point, the conspicuous spending disappears, and they both reorient towards building a solid foundation in life. But for us, we're still trying to attract a mate. We're burning up all our resources in a race to the bottom - and since our competition has credit cards, we need credit cards too.

You could respond that you don't need money to get laid, you just need game. There's that homeless guy who was picking up chicks left, right, and center, whom we had a thread on way back when. And yes, this is true - I do well enough despite being a cheap bastard - but you're missing the point. The number of people who figure out how to hack the system is going to be a minority; the majority will believe what the advertisements tell them, that you need to buy brand name jeans and expensive footwear to get laid.

It's a war of attrition, and our genes are screaming at us that we need to do whatever we can to reproduce. If that means using a credit card to buy avocado toast - then so be it. The only other choice is extinction.

Solid post.
12-30-2018 02:32 PM
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Investment Bro Offline
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Post: #47
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
(12-30-2018 02:01 PM)MrLemon Wrote:  The funny thing is, I specifically remember smoking dope and playing Pong. I thought I was living in the future. OMG! Playing ping pong on a computer screen!

That sounds like the life. I remember the first time I played pong. The classics never die even though that was only in 2004. What a great fucking time!

To your main point though about global wealth transfer - I agree in full. Free trade isn't free when the competitive advantage is so heavily weighted to another country. This is inclined to suck blood from the people who are still hooked into the 1970s system, as it should. Economic Darwinism will take care of the rest.

You are right about us being slaves. We're slaves to debt. To corporations that don't care. To a government that is determined to spend us out of existence. To social security and medicare (which I won't see a dime of despite paying into). Most of all, we're slaves to an outdated mindset.

The rise of individualism is now. Corporations, social security, college, and the like are groupthink institutions. Your way out is accepting that your security isn't going to come from a corporation you work for for 30 years and retire with a pension. Your security is going to come from you, busting your ass when others won't, saving when others spend, and finding your enjoyment for a dime rather than a dollar.

With the internet and the ability to make a living anywhere, I'd rather be living right now because now, if you really want it, you can be more financially free than any time in history. You just have to want it, and be willing to pull the blindfold off of your eyes.

These days, we don't have the 1960s luxury of living in the absence of a plan. If you're not planning, you're planning to fail. That's why people are living paycheck to paycheck. There's no greater plan or objective, just survival. That's part of the reason we're seeing this great wealth transfer. Those with the plan are in an environment where they are able to get so far ahead of others, and then exploit the planless with enticing propositions like "cheap" debt and monthly payments. They also sell the idea of working for corporations as the way to get ahead after college.

Though I wish I could work 1/3 as hard and still make the same income, the key to my generation fixing the mess we're in is realizing we can't be lazy. We don't have that luxury. It's all about learning to find enjoyment in the hand we're dealt as opposed to complaining about it.

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(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018 03:17 PM by Investment Bro.)
12-30-2018 02:45 PM
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Post: #48
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
I remember, more or less, the point that I got out of paycheck-to-paycheck. That is, where I didn't have to plan my finances in order to make rent. It would have been around 2012, when I started making like 85k. Rent was $1400 or so living in LA

All the discussion of history aside, a very fundamental thing happened to me once I got out of month-to-month living. When you have extra cash, and if you're not a fucking idiot, you start planning. And I found the more cash I had, the more long term my planning became. Have an extra $500/month? I'd look about 6 months down the road, to see what kind of unexpected expenses might pop up. Save for a rainy day. Save for a job transition. Maybe invest the cash, maybe buy in bulk. Who knows.

Another factor is this: making more money saves money. In LA, at one point I could only afford like $1000/month rent, and even that stretched me out. At that rate, my studio didn't come with a parking spot, so I had to park on the street. Ever done street parking in LA? It's a fucking nightmare. I'd spend at least $40-80 a month in parking tickets, god forbid your car gets towed which was $300 then, probably more now. Living paycheck-to-paycheck, you're more likely to wait until the last possible moment to pay for things, possibly incurring a late fee, or paying too much for a particular item or service. Health issues knock you out because you tend to not have insurance, or if you do it's shitty insurance. Also in big cities there's such an emphasis on status, it's hard to not get sucked into that. When you're surrounded by wealth, dudes driving supercars and hot bitches, you're more likely to overextend yourself. Being poor and living paycheck-to-paycheck is fucking expensive.

Now? I see expenses months out. I keep everything on auto-pay. I'm constantly auditing my expenditures to get things at the best possible price. I buy in bulk. More likely to spend on preventative maintenance rather than wait for things to turn south. Hell I just bought a year's worth of car washes for 80 bucks the other day. In the past I wouldn't have $80 to even consider that kind of purchase. Instead of driving a clunker with 80k miles on it that cost me 3-4k per year to maintain, a drive an almost-new car that's under warranty. And when the almost-new car is paid off, it will still be under warranty.

Thinking about long term financial strategies puts you in the right mentality for having a paid off car or owning a house with a healthy chunk of equity. And beyond that, a paid off house. Unless you're a millionaire, you're probably not going to do this in LA, SF, NY, or other first tier cities. So do what you do in a 2nd or 3rd tier city. It's a better lifestyle anyway. I still have friends in LA, my age, with more or less a similar income, still living paycheck-to-paycheck. I live 4 hours away in Vegas, and I live like a king compared to them.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself or anyone the following:

1. relationships are ok if you're not spending more than you should. Let her pay her share. But do not under any circumstances get married, engaged, or move in with a chick. You might think you'll save money by sharing a space together. Wrong. It will catch up to you one way or another
2. Cut your spending WAAYYYYY down. Be more open to living with roommates, as long as they're a good fit. If you need to go out and drink to socialize, pack a flask. Don't ever buy a $15 cocktail. Eat out as little as possible, and when you do, stick to asian and mexican restaurants. Study traditional cooking, forget fancy bullshit with avocados and expensive cuts of meat. Learn how to properly prepare staple dishes like rice, pasta, beans, stewing cuts, things that have sustained people for a long time that cost very little.
3. Having a car in LA was probably a mistake. If I did it all over I'd probably just use a scooter or motorcycle. The weather is perfect 90% of the time, no reason not to, besides the whole safety thing. Cheaper to buy, maintain, and park.
4. Don't waste money on a 401k, you could be dead at 65. Use that money to save for a house down payment instead. Contribute to a 401k when you're in your prime earning years with a lot of extra cash (I still don't, I use my extra cash for payments against my principal and travel)
5. Always be hustling. If you're paid salary, figure out how to do what you do faster and spending less time at work. Delegate. If you work 60 hours a week, figure out how to do it in 50 hours. If you're at 50, figure out how to do it in 40. Spending your new time learning new skills or other cash hustles.
6. When you think ahead, you realize that everything adds up. Cutting $100/month can be significant. Adding $100/month to income can be significant. Because they stack over time. One month you figure out a cheaper cell phone plan. A few months later you tackle cheaper internet. And then add a few hundred a month doing copywriting, or renting a room on airbnb, or driving for Uber. Who cares. It adds up.
7. Save up an extra hundred or 2 and buy all of your toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, toothpaste, and body wash for the next 6 months. Or the year. Buying in bulk provides significant savings.

"...so I gave her an STD, and she STILL wanted to bang me."

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12-30-2018 02:50 PM
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MrLemon Offline
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Post: #49
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
(12-30-2018 02:45 PM)Investment Bro Wrote:  
(12-30-2018 02:01 PM)MrLemon Wrote:  The funny thing is, I specifically remember smoking dope and playing Pong. I thought I was living in the future. OMG! Playing ping pong on a computer screen!

That sounds like the life. I remember the first time I played pong. The classics never die even though that was only in 2004. What a great fucking time!

To your main point though about global wealth transfer - I agree in full. Free trade isn't free when the competitive advantage is so heavily weighted to another country. This is inclined to suck blood from the people who are still hooked into the 1970s system, as it should. Economic Darwinism will take care of the rest.

You are right about us being slaves. We're slaves to debt. To corporations that don't care. To a government that is determined to spend us out of existence. To social security and medicare (which I won't see a dime of despite paying into). Most of all, we're slaves to an outdated mindset.

The rise of individualism is now. Corporations, social security, college, and the like are groupthink institutions. Your way out is accepting that your security isn't going to come from a corporation you work for for 30 years and retire with a pension. Your security is going to come from you, busting your ass when others won't, saving when others spend, and finding your enjoyment for a dime rather than a dollar.

With the internet and the ability to make a living anywhere, I'd rather be living right now because now, if you really want it, you can be more financially free than any time in history. You just have to want it, and be willing to pull the blindfold off of your eyes.

These days, we don't have the 1960s luxury of living in the absence of a plan. If you're not planning, you're planning to fail. That's why people are living paycheck to paycheck. There's no greater plan or objective, just survival. That's part of the reason we're seeing this great wealth transfer. Those with the plan are in an environment where they are able to get so far ahead of others, and then exploit the planless with enticing propositions like "cheap" debt and monthly payments. They also sell the idea of working for corporations as the way to get ahead after college.

Though I wish I could work 1/3 as hard and still make the same income, the key to my generation fixing the mess we're in is realizing we can't be lazy. We don't have that luxury. It's all about learning to find enjoyment in the hand we're dealt as opposed to complaining about it.

With all respect to your comment, I don't agree with one point. I don't think you can accept the situation.

Think of it this way. You have China and India taking 50% of your earnings every day and transferring it to their economies to feed their poor people, while American poor are dying.

You're telling people NOT to complain about it? Fuck that man. You SHOULD be complaining. You should be ready to wage war. If you aren't ready to wage war, then I'm sorry, you are cattle and the USA is a dead nation.
12-30-2018 03:43 PM
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Post: #50
RE: 40% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
In part the opportunities are not there anymore, but a large part is that Americans are horrible with money. Square footage per person has more than doubled in the last 50 years which leads to higher housing prices. I see plenty of people driving brand new, feature rich cars that they can't really afford and talking on brand new iphones. You can buy a reliable car for $4000 and a used cell phone on ebay for $60 and $15 per month for the service. There is so much wealth in this country it is unbelievable. All you have to do is get a reasonable job and control the spend side of the equation by being smart.
12-30-2018 03:59 PM
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