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47% of Americans say their savings can't cover 3 months expenses

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Just pulling attention from the other story that focuses on poverty and claims 40% don't have 400$ in savings.

283 points · 25 days ago · edited 25 days ago

I have $0.19 in savings, gotta start somewhere right?

Edit. It previously read 0.19c which was incorrect

Edit 2. Not even kidding. $0.79 more cents and I can afford tissues to wipe away my millennial tears

82 points · 25 days ago

Wait, you have less than a fifth of a single cent?

Good old Verizonmath strikes again :)

Ahh sorry just meant to be 19 cents is that not how it reads?

32 points · 25 days ago · edited 25 days ago

Well it literally reads “zero point one nine cents”, ie. less than one cent.

But I know what you meant obviously - it’s just a common mistake that made it big on the internet due to this amusing dispute some years ago: http://goedhartvoordieren.nl/?page=r/videos/comments/4zf2iy/verizon_struggling_with_simple_math_xpost/

19 c, or $0.19 would both be fine.

17 points · 25 days ago · edited 25 days ago

Ahh I see, thanks stranger I changed it just now

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9 points · 25 days ago

I don’t have any savings..not for lack of trying. Living paycheck to paycheck at the moment. Reworked a strict budget to try to save some money for an emergency fund but it’s difficult.

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If you look a little closer that, it is specifically $400 in a savings account, excluding retirement savings in IRAs, 401Ks, etc. and any money tied up in investments.

Savings accounts are kind of a bad place to store money imo. Hardly any interest collects, be better paying off debt or placing it in retirement.

106 points · 25 days ago

Think it's more for emergency needs. Can't pull money out of a debt payment or retirement if you need to pay for a hospital bill or car repair

How liquid are most savings accounts? Asking as a newbie to the financial world.

8 points · 25 days ago · edited 25 days ago

You can pull out the money whenever you want, and it's backed by FDIC. The only catch is you're only allowed 6 withdrawals/transfers per month. Sometimes the limit doesn't even apply.

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It is still indicative of how secure peoples finances are. $400 isn't much compared to what emergency situations might call for.

10 points · 25 days ago

It may seem paradoxical but the more financially secure someone is, the more likely they are to have all of their 'savings' in a cash account (brokerage) and just roll whatever emergency that comes their way onto a credit card that gives 2% back. If they really need to move money into cash, they have well over a couple weeks to make a transfer. Even better, if it's a good time to do so, open up a new credit card with a 'spend $500 get $150 back' intro offers, suddenly the $400 emergency is a $350 dollar emergency and you have $100 to play with. The more financially secure you are, the more pointless a savings account is.

Yeah, using savings accounts as a metric of financial stability is pretty dumb given that there's really only a very specific window between poor and well-off where it makes sense to have any significant amount in savings. Either you're too poor to have a lot in there, or you're well-off enough that you have a credit card as your main buffer and have your assets in far better investments than savings.

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What you gonna do with all that money tied up somewhere you cant readily access it? That's some dumb advice.

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Yeah, Nikki Haley probably condemns this study as well.

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Not a statistician here, but I wonder if some people with little or no savings completely avoid a survey about savings because it depresses them?

147 points · 25 days ago

Some studies do compensation so it incentives people. Also good surveys kind of hide what they're surveying as to reduce bias. So they'll ask those stuff in a different context or a different way. So the survey might be something completely unrelated like shopping preferences or something like that. And they weave their questions in there to reduce bias

12 points · 25 days ago

I remember a survey we took in college.

How often do your parents consume alcohol

  • Never

  • Once a year

  • Once every 2-3 months

  • Once a month

  • Every week.

 

It made it look like almost everyone's parents were alcoholics xD

8 points · 25 days ago

They were.

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A lot of researchers offer monetary compensation for taking surveys, so if the statistics are skewed, it's probably in the other direction.

14 points · 25 days ago

A lot of researchers offer monetary compensation...

Which ones? Most paid are for sleep or multiday/week commitements. Not a financial query.

Google Opinion Rewards

That's just market research and data gathering, not academic surveying usually.

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holy shit.... that's depressing as hell.

In 2014, someone I was dating got a job at a place I'd worked in 1998.

They got paid $3 an hour less than what I was getting. ($1 base, $2 commission on average.)

111 points · 25 days ago · edited 25 days ago

Im relatively new at my company (<1 year): its a large, multinational consulting firm thats a world leader in a lot of areas.

The people who started ~5-10 years ago in the same position that I am in today were making ~$5/hour more than I am, plus they were getting a bunch more benefits/extras (daily meal allowenc of $20, ~$0.15/km more for mileage, $25/day more for per diem, etc).

To say its disheartening is an understatement, as the price of virtually everything has gone up, plus inflation.

cries in 2018

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848 points · 25 days ago

Guy I worked with was a trust fund baby, was getting over $6M after getting out of the Air Force. We talked finance sometimes and ignorant me walks up:

Me: Market is up 22%, I made $2,200!

Him: That's awesome!

Did the math later, he made over $1M in the same time period (more than likely).

The fact that he said it was awesome even though the amount was trivial to him seems pretty wholesome though. Then again, not sure how he said it.

Yeah it seemed like he was initially setting up his comment to disparage the guy. Sometimes people know they are lucky but don't let it get to their head. The guy saw that he was happy about his stocks being up, he chose to reinforce that happiness instead of doing the one-up game.

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290 points · 25 days ago

Probably didn’t put everything in the stock market. Just FYI, stock market makes up only about 30% of all investments.

Long-term growth isn't the focus when you live with the fear of a root canal bankrupting you.

I have a tooth I have needed to get a root canal on for years. I cant because I cant afford the crown for it, and if I dont get it crowned the tooth could shatter.

I actually had the issue on a different tooth, had a root canal, couldnt afford a crown. Eventually it shattered to the gumline and I need to get the roots removed.

I have bad teeth genetically :(

59 points · 25 days ago

Hey, me too! I have half a tooth with a huge hole in it at the back of my mouth that I have to pull food out of daily. Can't afford the $800(after insurance) for the crown.

Isnt life fun! I have a gap in up upper right side two, one is from the root tooth and another is just a gap with no tooth from a removal!

Im currently in school so im hoping one day ill be able to afford a good bridge/implant situation. Not for a long time though :(

I hope you the best internet friendo! May we get nice teeth one day!

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Just go take a vacation to Mexico and get your teeth fixed. They know what they are doing and medical tourism right across the border in Mexico is top notch. You can get a round trip flight, tacos, margaritas, a hotel, and dental work for the same cost as what you would pay for 1 root canal in the US

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Jesus fucking Christ, Reddit makes America look like a god damn distopian shithole. Reading your guys' comments makes me sad for you guys.

For many, it is.

It's got a lot going against it, but Reddit has a talent for making everything sound as negative as possible. It's still the first world, we're not exactly all dying from malaria here.

We don't really talk about why Canada sucks or why Germany sucks except for the occasional glimpse into some of their uglier problems then it's back to 'Merca moaning.

I've been trailer park poor my whole life, so it's not like I couldn't contribute to the negativity. Meanwhile a lot of people here seem to make more money in a year than I've made in five, but damned if they don't manage to make it sound like they're barely surviving on hopes and prayers.

Broke as I've been the air is clean, I don't worry about crime much, I've managed to stay healthy and get root canals with the help of family, and grants are paying the lion's share of my education costs for now. I could go on and on about it and make it sound like the place has no problems. It seems like most of these people kinda do the opposite.

That said the Canadians in general seem happier than us, but it might just be all the American moaning making them feel like they're living golden.

Oh, and I live in a rural area where housing costs are low, but the typical city-dwelling Redditor tends to talk about everything outside their walls as though it was some sort of dystopian shithole full of heroin needles and ravaging hordes of slobbering mindless Trump voters itching to kill, when in fact most of the bad American problems happen within a few blocks of their own homes.

Most of their issues are "I live in a major city and perhaps that's not a great idea" issues.

In fact, now I think of it, I've heard Canadians make Toronto and Vancouver sound like no-go zones because rent, rent, rent, boo hoo living in cities, homeless people Chinese buying all the real estate, etc, etc. We just don't get much of that on Reddit.

They say a satisfied customer might tell one person or nobody, but an unhappy customer will tell at least 10 people how shitty your business is, and I think there's a big chunk of that going on in Reddit's 'Murka discourse.

The people who are doing okay, or even doing well, tend to stay out of the conversation.

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11 points · 25 days ago

Go to a dental school. They will be cheaper then your dentist and you will get quality care. They also take insurance.

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8 points · 25 days ago

I have been living with a shattered porcelain crown for nearly 10yrs... can totally relate.

I was told in high school, my final year, I needed to get all four of my wisdom teeth removed. Well, I should have done that while I was on my parent’s fucking insurance, but me, I didn’t want to put that debt on them. Well, here I am 14 years later, they’re still there, no cavities, or impacted teeth yet, but I know i don’t have room for them and it’s just a matter of time.

I don’t even have savings for one month at this point, I only have about $600 in a 401k. I’m glad though I got a fancy new title at work a few months ago and a 2% decrease in pay if you adjust for inflation.

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On a similar note, I don't get why people driving beater cars take the chance of illegally using the hov lane. I'm assuming they're on a relatively tight budget if they're driving cars from the 1990s, yet they risk a $300+ ticket every day to save a few minutes.

Well I think those people have gotten lost trying to save themselves whatever time or effort they can, without measuring the consequence. It's wrong but personally I don't fault them for it.

It's like if a hobo risks a fine trying to ride a train without a ticket, they're assuming the time saved not walking will make up for the risk they take.

Except it won't. Their life is lived on a smaller scale than we are familiar with, so to them it's a big savings but to the rest of us it isn't worth it.

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35 points · 25 days ago

When the stock market goes up 1%-2% for the day, he makes more than most people make in a year or two in just a few hours.

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I knew a trust fund baby who was...just the worst person. He seemed to genuinely not know that everyone doesnt get a 5000 dollar check in the mail every month, or that we don't all own disney stock...or that we didn't work for fun. He worked one day a week and lived at home. Hes 27 and has no plans of leaving and hopes his parents wont kick him out...because...despite getting 5000 fucking dollars a month MINIMUM, he couldnt afford an apartment, even with a roommate. Granted this was San Jose, but theres no fucking way he couldn't make it work, especially when he chooses not to work because he doesnt get why he needs to

He once went to yankee candle and spent a thousand fucking dollars, and then acted like he screwed them and HAD to buy that much

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148 points · 25 days ago · edited 25 days ago

I knew that one. Still getting angrier we didnt learn our lesson from the great depression about consolidation of wealth into too few hands...

117 points · 25 days ago

The rich are now Too Big to Fail™

Well I'm sure they're going to be fine. It's the rest of us that are fucked.

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32 points · 25 days ago

And yet voters chose the trust fund billionaire over the self-made millionaire, somehow thinking the former would be more likely to have their best interest in mind.

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Wealth inequality wasn't this bad during the French Revolution.

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53 points · 25 days ago

This country is fucked.

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Guess what happens when you stretch a rubber band beyond what it's capable of?

Everything goes to hell.

Oh.... I thought that it just broke.

What kind of rubber hands are you using? Are they those Christian RubbersTM ?

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That's what happens when you create money and hand it to the politically connected. Of course compensation will decouple from productivity.

A big contributor to increased productivity are machines and whoever owns the machines reaps the benefit.

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Yet people will still argue that the minimum wage doesn't need to be increased and that unions are bad.

I never understand how so many people see that they are struggling and think poor people are too blame?

The class of people with the least power and influence...

In my experience people who are struggling fear that raising the minimum wage will raise COL (it doesn't as long as it is less than or equal to inflation)

Or they think "I worked hard to earn my 15 dollars an hour. Why should some burger flipper get it?" not realizing that if minimum wage goes up then all other industries will have to raise wages to stay competitive.

I'm a big fan of the "if we raise wages, companies will just pursue automation!" argument

I mean that holds more water than the "if they raise wages then prices of everything else will go up!

The thing is though they are already automating everything

I worked a manufacturing job that was so fucking monotonous and horrible that it should have been illegal. It paid $18/hr.

Every worker there joked about shooting the place up, killing themselves, etc.

It was the poster child job for automation.

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It comes from this weird idea that somehow all poor people conspire together. They conspired to enact welfare programs, they conspire to ruin your property value, they conspire against you!

Its an attitude I see among all the conservatives in my life and it is so fucking stupid. No Joe, liberals, immigrants, and the poor do not all have a personal vendetta against you.

Except the gays. They really are conspiring to turn you gay Joe.

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94 points · 25 days ago · edited 25 days ago

I hate to quote Rick n Morty, but that literally looks like slavery with extra steps.

Debt is arguably the 21st century answer to slavery.

Other than, of course, the actual slavery.

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America's backbone was built by slaves. Now we have wage slaves. An American tradition.

Really, our industry was always fueled by wage slaves. Actual slaves were used more for farming and stuff

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As somebody who works 40 a week and can't afford to move out

Lol what are savings?

Comment deleted25 days ago(47 children)

Damn. Right in the economy.

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628 points · 25 days ago

Savings? Ahahahahahahahahaha

65 points · 25 days ago

And yet all the big corporate conglomerates are still sucking as much money out of the public as possible with overdraft fees you can't opt-out of, signing people up for sevices without their consent, buying monopolies it seems from the Federal government, so that we can be further extorted, our hospitals fingering us when we are sedated "to practice" rapists being given probation and all the other legal extortion as billionaires become super-super-billionaires and the majority of the population continues to work harder for less and less, with more and more fear and dissinformation.

and telling everyone social security is no good and it should be privatised and everyone try to save individually

signing people up for sevices without their consent

is this pretty much the new normal now? i'm guessing it is, but i was hoping it was an honest mistake when i had to spend an hour and a half on the phone with 3 different people at frontier to get this bullshit "secure personal security bundle" that i most certainly did NOT sign up for taken off my bill. plus they tried to tell me i'd have to pay $80+ to have someone come out to my house to get it "deactivated"..... fuck outta my face with that shit.

the only reason they do this shit is because people roll over and take it. i don't know who's worse: the vultures, or the meek fucking sheeple who offer themselves up as carrion

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417 points · 25 days ago

And the other 53% has no savings at all?

412 points · 25 days ago

They’re probably working 3 jobs and didn’t have time to respond to the survey.

Some people take surveys as their 3rd job, see /r/mturk.

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This frequently quoted statistic comes from the Federal Reserve's most recent survey-based "Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households" (source).

The other side of the question is that 53% of households do have savings sufficient to cover three months of expenses if they lose their job, and another 20% could cover it by selling assets or borrowing. (Ideally, that should be higher, of course.)

Perhaps the worse statistic is that 4 out of 10 Americans couldn't afford an emergency $400 expense right now. That number has gone down every year since 2013, however.

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639 points · 25 days ago

"Looks like suicide again for me.."

That’s my retirement plan.

139 points · 25 days ago

Same, I'm gonna grab a bottle of whiskey drink about half of it then walk into a blizzard to drink the rest.

If you do something like that try and end up on one of those mystery shows.

"No one knows what drove canhead83 to wonder out into a blizzard. Some speculate drugs played a role but was it .... aliens?"

43 points · 25 days ago

Ooo! That actually sounds fun. Mess up the house in weird ways? Plant clues that lead to nothing? Rip your tent apart from the inside and then undress? Man my retirement is suddenly looking up. I need to find some more unsolved mysteries to inspire me. And how to plant the clues that lead to this comment...one day it will be solved. This comment will make it all become clear to you. Uhhh....so sorry younger sister/cat I leave behind? Who am I kidding, the cats the only one who would figure it out.

13 points · 25 days ago

Demolish a circular hole through the ceiling above an empty bed, with the floor under the open ceiling dusty and burnt, as if an abduction laser came through from an alien.

Ultimate last prank as you proceed to leave and drink yourself to death in a blizzard.

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I plan on trying all the drugs my friends tried when we were kids, just in much larger doses and in a matter of hours instead of years.

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Things are spiraling.

I've got no mid to long term goals other than survival.

Only people who would miss me are my parents.

Seriously, if there was just a suicide button and it didn't take effort, I would've hit it by now.

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Personally it's not lack of reality. We can't get far enough ahead because rent is so damn high to even get one full month set aside. We have been struggling but my husband is working so hard and getting so many promotions. We will get there someday.

174 points · 25 days ago

Yea it doesn't really matter if I wanted to save money when I'm working 10 to 12 hour days 5 days a week and the just keeps me afloat I don't have the money to save

And one major fiasco can wipe it out. Whether that's a major car repair, a medical event, loss of housing, etc.

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57 points · 25 days ago(9 children)

uh do you need a hug dude

Congrats on the job, it's a start.

We're here to support you if you need us.

I hope that was hypothetical. If not, stay strong, friend.

As your username says, you'll figure it out.

Day by day, things progress and just focus on the progress and not the previous results.

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You might want to run the numbers and see if where you are living, the cost of living is to high for even a comparatively high salary to justify. If your husband can make 20% less somewhere else, but the cost of living is 30% lower, it might still be worth moving.

You need first and last month plus security deposit to move to most apartments. IE. you need to be able to afford to move while not loosing any days at work during the process.

Seriously. So many comments across Reddit when this comes up just blithely suggest, "Pull up stakes and move somewhere with lower cost of living/comparatively better wages," As though said process costs nothing and incurs no losses.

It's really two steps away from just saying, "Why don't you stop being poor?"

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It's crazy, all the managers i know who make 6 figures are commuting 2-3 hours to work so their kids can have a nice house to live in. The rest of us are doomed.

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I blame inflation and a lack of wage growth

129 points · 25 days ago

You would be correct, although I’d add in the proliferation of easy credit.

Credit is often overlooked.

Buying power is crazy high for even poor people all thanks to the power of credit and loans. Even if the person can't pay them off the bank can often still make money one way or another. This sort of thing lead to the 2008 crisis.

They may not have money to save but with a loan they an get things they need/want right now.

Anyway, the point is, with everyone having buying power (even if it's fake) prices will naturally go up as it increases demand; more buying means more demand. The skyrocketing education costs are a good example of how basing a financial system solely on risk free (for schools and banks) loaning is a bad idea.

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Not to mention all that wonderful debt we need to build to get an education.

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284 points · 25 days ago

I got paid less than a week ago and have 23 dollars in my pocket... Sorry rents to high pay is too low. If I could save trust me I would... I work full time this is insane

116 points · 25 days ago

> I work full time this is insane

Yes... yes it is.

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A few years back I lost my job. There were cut backs at the company, and my section was hit hard. I received a severance package which resulted in a check for about a month's salary. I had never been unemployed in 20+ years. I was able to get the max unemployment - $300 a week 🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑 - for 13 weeks. That was it. I was out of work for 6 months. 13 weeks after which if my wife and I hadn't any savings, we would have lost everything. Even after cutting back and trimming as much as we could, 13 weeks is a fucking joke.

Add in the fact that several years before that I had heart surgery, and our savings are shit now. Both of us will work until we die. Even maxing out 401k and putting money into a savings account, work until we die.

And we both make decent. Not as much as a few years back, but we do okay. I can't even imaging people working hourly jobs most of their lives.

6 points · 25 days ago

Weird, I was on unemployment for a while for I think ~2k a month for, about a year? It also covered an 18k grant for a bunch of certifications, for the second time in a couple years.

And theres nothing wrong with hourly. My last job was hourly but I made 120k a year.

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159 points · 25 days ago

Oh god, don’t put this in r/personalfinance They will have a fit

"You don't have 18 months of expenses saved? Pfft, cancel your cable and downgrade to a dumbphone and you'll have it by next week!"

I mean getting rid of cable doesn’t seem to be that insane.

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136 points · 25 days ago · edited 25 days ago

You can't save money you don't have in the first place.

Cable and cell phones aren't why Americans are poor. Skyrocketing living expenses and wage stagnation is the reason.

EDIT: Reddit really, really needs to believe that every American secretly makes $50,000 a year but is only "poor" because they waste money. There is no budget that makes $18,000 a year no longer poverty.

21 points · 25 days ago

I know many people who make much less money than me who live paycheck to paycheck with big trucks that cost 3x my car. I'm not saying there isn't poverty but many many people who have no savings also live outside their means.

37 points · 25 days ago

Naw. It's gotta be those avocados on toast.

I don't know about you, but my budget is 85% avocado toast.

I was finally able to kick the habit. Now that avocado toast is out of my life I’m maxing out my 401k and IRA. I bought a new house, new car, and am putting away 30% of my monthly income in savings. I was also able to start a regular cocaine habit, which has increased my productivity at work and I’ll be up for a promotion and 400% salary increase in 3 months.

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10 points · 25 days ago

This attitude can also be an excuse though. I know plenty of people who save nothing but always go out for drinks each weekend, then say that what's the point of saving.

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Most people I see post budgets on there are leasing cars they can't afford, using brand new iPhones, and paying $200 a month for 2 phone lines.

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Or frugal bro. One of the dumbest things I’ve read is people making their own detergent. Like dog I’ll pay the extra $60 per year to make sure I don’t waste time making my own laundry detergent. I’m not Amish.

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26 points · 25 days ago(6 children)

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43% of Americans don't have any savings

Americans laugh at those who try to learn and focus on savings

Gee, guys. How did we ever get here?

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Don't make fun of them man, most of them are just trying to help.

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Today’s top post:

So when I was born my grandparents invested stock into apple with the intention of giving every penny to me when I turn 18. They got lucky, and now I am going to have over 70k transferred to me soon.

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422 points · 25 days ago

Comfort? Rubbish. I don't have savings for three fucking weeks. But even if it was months I sure as shit would have no comfort about it. Nobody in that position does. We might try to not think about things going all wrong, but that doesn't mean we're 'comfortable' with the idea, or avoiding it.

It’s as silly as saying people in impoverished countries are comfortable with having bad infrastructure and malfunctioning governments, or else they would have all immigrated away.

138 points · 25 days ago

"Why don't you save any money?"

"I make $10 an hour, I barely pay for bills and food."

"But if you gave up everything you want and only go with beans and rice you could save so much."

"I'll just drink myself to death, thanks"

Reminds me of someone who kept trying to convince me years ago to 'save just $25 a month'. I lived on $3600 that entire flipping year-was Hungry everyday, walked everywhere, went w out regular showers, slept on floors and sofas. They still thought I could just save money If I Tried Harder (as if I wasn't trying hard at all). Save $300 a year for what?!!! When you're in that level of poverty it is Day to Day. People do not understand.

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I got in an argument on reddit once. The guy said a minimum wage worker[7.50] was enough for someone in Manhattan. Did you know that 2 room apartments are only a thousand dollars. He saw an ad on craigslist so its totally real. And a can of beans is 2 dollars and can last a day so 60 a month on food. Also heating, air, water, garbage and all that is like...100 a month or some shit

He couldnt prove only baked beans was healthy, but he totally knew someone who did it

Also his post history said he was 14

The fucked up thing is that I post this from a much more "liveable" area and it's still bullshit.

His only expense in life are Minecraft skin packs🙄

Also his post history said he was 14

That's good honestly, he might grow out of it.

what an idiot

there’s thousands of restaurants in the city and they take all that tasty leftover food and put it into these big convenient bins right out back

and there’s two rivers, one on each side of the island! that’s bathing, laundry, toilet, trash, and recreation/exercise, all for free

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20 points · 25 days ago

Its expensive to be poor. The people with more money are able to save more money.

Buy in bulk if you want to save money, you have to have money to afford to buy in bulk. Its actually an ironically cruel system.

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You either ignore it through various (frequently self-destructive) means or you develop severe anxiety over how hopeless your life is.

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Have you ever had savings that cover three months? I imagine it definitely eases the stresses in a sense.

I have.

Before my divorce, layoff, and blacklisting, I had 4-5 months in immediate cash in a savings account, plus a year's pay in RRSPs (Canadian 401k, sort of).

Divorce took 90% of my savings, layoff took most of what was left, blacklisting took 90% of my home equity and all of my retirement savings. I've just now been able to get a little emergency fund (it was about $500 until a couple of little emergencies popped up this weekend, but hey, life goes on.)

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Not really, it just makes you focus on saving more. Right now we have about 11 grand in an emergency fund, it’ll cover about 5-6 months of expenses for us since we don’t have a pile of bills. That sounds good but it immediately makes you think “what if we need more?”, it’s a false sense of security IMO and is really just a buffer. Shit can go really wrong, we’re all a few bad decisions away from shitting in a box as they say.

Not even bad decisions. Just bad luck. I believe medical costs is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the US.

Between medical costs and taxes, I don’t know how most people even function.

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53% say their savings can last 3 months? That sounds almost absurdly high to me. I'm curious what portion of those have a plan like move in with parents, sister, brother, etc to make the savings stretch.

If I live in my car, I can make it stretch out for 2 - 3 months.

It really depends on where you live. I would almost guarantee most of the 47 percent live in high population areas. Just a back of the napkin estimate, but my expenses for 3 months would be about $6k. And that's without getting rid of subscription plans, turning down A/C or a paying for slower Internet which would lower my monthly cost by at least $200.

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I'm going to work today ill, because for a few more weeks I'm only paid if I turn up and have no savings.

Not even in the US.

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Yeah, I'm pretty sure people have no savings because they can't afford to, or they roll the dice thinking that covering most of their needs today is better than going without in order to prepare for a hurdle that hasn't surfaced yet.

When you're dealing with a bit of a defecit, sometimes it's easier to do the best you can today, take things as they come, and hope you have better circumstances by the time the next hurdle comes.

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Comfort = prefer not to give it any serious thought.

I can't save. I've never had a dollar in savings, the concept of a savings account is pointless to me. Pretty much every dollar earned has to be allocated towards a bill.

So if I can't have a savings there isn't a point in worrying about it. I would love to make enough money to be able to save some of it, but I just don't ever see that happening.

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Risk is the only thing poor people can afford.

Well, it is a pretty good board game and can help pass the time.

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Does this include "untouchable" money like retirement?

Because I have a decent amount saved for not being quite 30. But you get heavily penalized for taking from that. Life's fun emergencies are bigger sometimes though

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My savings can't cover the 3 seconds it took to type this

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I’m 30 and this is why I’m joining the military

I’m 16 and I want to join the Navy as a Sonar technician, because college is going to be expensive as hell and my parents have no way of paying for it (I sure as hell can’t) so I’ve decided that I can transfer my Navy skills to the civilian setting and get a job, and have very little debt hopefully, of course this is all pretty much a shot in the dark, the economy for the people is completely screwed, so I’m hoping that I can ride that government cash into a decent job with a prospect for success and eventually retire at 29

I’m kidding about the last part of course but I do want to be able to retire, because I know that my dad is gonna work until he drops dead, and with how his health has been lately, I’m worried that isn’t very far away, probably 10-15 years

haha you have more knowledge and big picture wisdom at 16 than I do at 30. All I have to say is, DO IT DUDE. It’s a really smart call and if you keep your composure and don’t emotionally engage when put under pressure by your superiors, you’ll earn respect if you work hard and do what is expected. This is what I have gathered from the people I’ve spoken with. I guess we’ll both find out what it’s like soon enough. Good luck my brotha, you’re going to be a huge success in life. I can feel it. Also if you can handle 45 days in a tin can like a submarine, nothing can stop you. Sorry about your dad’s health, if he needs help you may be able to list him as a dependent and he can get your tricare health coverage too.

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154 points · 25 days ago

Personally, I have no clue if I am going to make rent until the second or third week in the month.

If I was told I was going to go three months with no income I might just off myself. I live in constant fear of a vehicle breakdown or needing to go to the hospital.

Sometimes I lie awake at night and wonder what I would do if I broke an arm or got into an accident. The best solution honestly seems to be heading out into the wilderness for a good long walk, and simply never coming back.

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My dear brobro I don't know what your situation is but there was a time in my life where I was seriously contemplating a permanent "camping trip" where I would willfully die of starvation in the middle of the woods.

Let me tell you that I made the hardest decision of my life and completely changed my career trajectory. No that's not right. I had no career at that point. I made a decision to have one. I took a radical turn in my life. Something that was nagging in the back of my mind for awhile but I was scared to do. I did it. And in just under 4 years I have over 40k in savings and enough money on hand to get me through almost any major life tragedy.

I won't say there is a cookie cutter answer, or that things will feel easier right away. But I want you to know that I lived that life, I was there, in those shoes, with death being the preferred outcome. And I made my life better. I believe you can too. I believe in you.

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yep that's me... Sucks but saving little by little but hard when cost of living is so high. Most people in this area have to work 2 jobs just to pay bills (NYC area) because pay hasn't risen with the cost of living. no car payment here just internet at home.

NYC area

That's the problem.

I loved Los Angeles in my 20's but life outside the big city is so much more affordable.

Depends. I live in a small city (only about 70k residents) and I have about 2 weeks of expenses in my savings after 2 years of working 50+ hour weeks

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60 points · 25 days ago

Yeah but there's no jobs.

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102 points · 25 days ago

Whose bright idea was it to increase home values to the price where it take on average 30 years to pay off?

The Federal Housing Administration

The market. As liberal as I am housing is supply and demand.

16 points · 25 days ago

Half of the houses on my area are bought up by the rich and rented out as a source of passive income from them. Maybe if people who needed homes were allowed to buy them instead of the wealthy lining their pockets even more, that’d be a good start.

30 points · 25 days ago · edited 25 days ago

There's a huge difference in "supply and demand" when buyers CAN get a loan they will never be able to pay back. If 30k a year family can get a 300k house through a loan that will inflate home prices to that amount, even though they can't afford that. So reasonably spending 30k a year family can't get that house at a lower price because they are competing with people who are signing for loans without thinking.

So it's not really "supply and demand" so much as "supply and somewhat fraudulent demand." The demand is problematic because those buyers should just not be part of the market. If they walked away from 300k houses those houses would become cheaper until they equalized to a price people can afford.

"The market" only works when responsibility is enforced socially or through laws.

The problem is that you need housing regardless of how much you make. What is that family who makes 30k supposed to do? Live in a box? Rent (which would be the same price as the mortgage)? Everyone needs a place to live. The real solution is to increase the number of homes by builing more and more.

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Five years ago I was making $53k. Now I’m making $115k, but I had to work my fucking ass off to make that possible. I am the sole provider for my family. $115k sounds like a lot, and it is. I feel fortunate. But when you have to support a wife and two small kids in a major metropolitan area, it’s still a challenge. We budget, live well below our means, and try to find every opportunity to save. We shop at Wal-Mart, and avoid the toll roads, I take my lunch to work every day. My shoes have holes in them, and we don’t take vacations. And it is STILL sometimes a real challenge, which is insane.

There are a lot of factors for why it’s so much harder nowadays. Lack of financial education might be one, but I don’t think that’s it. I think people deserve more credit than that. The real problem is the fact that we “print” money by the trillions each year, and the vast majority of that goes to the 1%. (Exaggerating, but you get my point). The system is broken.

It worries me what the tipping point of all this is going to be. Honestly I think we are going to see the suicide and crime rate in this country steadily climb over the next few decades. It sounds bleak, but really I just think it’s a realistic outcome.

I don’t even know if the system is fixable at this point. Sadly, I think we might just one day have a total collapse, at which point we could start rebuilding. I own a small amount of gold and silver in the event that that happens, as a kind of financial doomsday insurance.

I hate that this is where we are as a country and my heart breaks for all the people on this thread that struggle financially and live with constant anxiety and worry. I’ve been there and it is just the worst. I wish there was more that I could do as a citizen to help my fellow Americans, but frankly I feel helpless.

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HA HA HA! What the fuck are"savings"?!

I make decent money, but the cost of living is so high that it doesn't even matter. I'm in this boat on a sallery job.

This is going to get worse and worse until our bosses are our landlords, and our purchases are all from the company store.

Load 16 tons and what do you get?

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123 points · 25 days ago

I know this doesn't go for everyone, but most people I know live like they earn 3x more than they do. I know reddit loves to jerk off about being underpaid which might be the case but most of my friends with degrees have no idea how to handle their finances. 80k in student loans, grosses 60k a year, spends 30k on a car almost instantly. I'm not surprised to see that no one can cover 3 months. Idk how some of these people eat. I saw a post a few days ago about a guy my age (24) making close to what I do (75K) looking to finance a CPO Audi S5 for 55 thousand fucking dollars. Even people making a great living are in this %. It's a really small % of Americans that work for minimum wage (which I can agree is BS) and a large % of Americans just mishandling their finances.

Yup. There are a lot of people who are struggling due to bad luck and shitty circumstances, but there are also a lot of people struggling due to their own bad decisions. I'm a regular on r/personalfinance and the amount of people asking for help with 6-figures worth of college loans is frightening. If you're a doctor and that represents college and medical school it's understandable, but it seems so many people made the decision to go to some private out of state school for a degree they could've gotten at in in-state public school for literally 20% or less of the cost. It's stupid.

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15 points · 25 days ago · edited 25 days ago

You're not wrong but consider that you make a good 15k more than the average household in America. So imagine taking 15k every January first and burning it. Then you also have a wife and a kid and you're the only one working. In five years, how much savings do you think you'll have?

At a certain point you can't tighten your belt any further. I experienced this recently. I was barely keeping above water for a few years and living really frugally. Then I got promoted and my income jumped like $12k. I saved more than half of that (~7k) and it was easy as hell. Didn't even think about it. And I paid down my student loans to the tune of 3k, was going out more and buying a bunch of stupid shit on Amazon bc having money saves you a lot of money because you can buy in bulk and plan your purchases better. And you don't pay late fees and your utilities never get cut off and you can stay ahead of medical and dental and auto stuff before it spins out of control.

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I know this is counter culture, but we aren’t saving anything because we are paying off debt.

When I first entered the workforce. I needed like 3600-3800 net per check to pay my bills. I worked multiple jobs and did what I could to get there. We struggled and we had no extra money but we got to the bar and got over it barely. So we needed $135,000 a year to struggle.

Right now, we are about $35k away from being totally out of debt and excluding the two used car payments we have. We are a couple months away from paying down our debt to be completely clean and clear. I just looked at my budget and if nothing changes. We need about $48,000 a year now to pay all of our bills in a couple months, the light is at the end of the tunnel.

I have no savings but I paid down debt so ungodly aggressive it has been a depressing last 10 years. But now I’m realizing in my early 30’s that I’m still young and I can finally take the foot off the throttle and enjoy things. And God forbid I lose my amazing job I’ve worked hard to get, I can now accept less pay and still support the fam.

I think savings is unrealistic for most people and I hope to get there some day, but paying down debt I believe equates to savings. I’m giving myself less stress to exist day-to-day and more freedom in my life.

Keep up the good work if you’re on that path and build a budget, stick to it and live a life nobody has now so you can live a life nobody has later.

Love you bae’s

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I didn't know it was supposed to.

Just like the mid-80s all over again... another "high point" of American history brought on by a complete lack of worry and consequences about the credit system.

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Savings wtf? I went to coinstar today

6 points · 25 days ago

"When asked if they were comfortable with having no savings set aside for emergency use, 18 percent agreed, according to a new report from consumer financial services site Bankrate.com. In a related question, almost half of respondents (47 percent) who have savings to cover less than three month’s expenses say they are somewhat comfortable or very comfortable with their savings amount."

I'm confused. The article doesn't seem to say anything about how many people have 3 months of savings. Only that 47% of those without think that's totally fine. The title doesn't seem to match the article.

7 points · 25 days ago

4 months covered.

I'm fucking rich, bitch!

Three months? Good god no. I can cover this month. That's it.

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I know an alarming number of people well into their 30s who have no idea how to budget. Most of them don't even understand how APR works. A good bit of them thought you had to carry a balance on your credit card every month in order to help build credit. I dont have any numbers or links but I'm guessing a huge amount of people don't have the basic skills to keep themselves financially healthy. That means those skills are less likely to be passed on to their children and the cycle just continues.

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In other news, water is wet.

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My joints and sanity are my savings account. I fix everything. Car breaks down, I fix it. Deck fell apart, I rebuilt it (over a few months as I could afford the lumber, etc). Pipes burst, I repair it.

Some day I’ll be able to hire someone for that shit but in the mean time I work 12 hours a day as an industrial mechanic and another 8 hours a day keeping my shitty house in repair. If I didn’t have VA health coverage I would be truly fucked.

But what about the tax cut that was just passed? All that money being saved and businesses passing on their savings in the form of increased wages, right??

As a recent grad slowly working my way into the job market...

I'm terrified

10 points · 25 days ago

See I have savings, at the expense of compounding debt. So what do I really have? Negative assets.

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It's because so many poor financial decisions are being made. For example, car loans are a huge one. I see SO MANY brand new cars, SUVs, Trucks that cost $45,000+ on the road ALL THE TIME. People are becoming financial slaves to very expensive, constantly-depreciating vehicles.

Guarantee 99% of those people are not putting down 100% cash for those vehicles.

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Comment deleted25 days ago(120 children)
241 points · 25 days ago

I mean, even if they did, it's hard to save when wages are so low.

104 points · 25 days ago

And rent is so high...

And heaven help if you get sick...

"Why would you spend 25k on surgery when you can just fucking die?"

- Casually Explained.

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My high school in Utah had that as a required course. Most of what you mentioned at leaste

What a contrast to my inner city highschool where the computer teacher spent 2 weeks trying to install mavis beacon typing...

She tried her best i guess.

If only loans, and mortgages weren’t necessary to live a comfortable life.

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Why do people act like this is the problem? You think there's anyone coming out of high school that doesn't know that you should save your money? In fact, I had one of those classes in high school and you know what they told me? They told me about how one guy saved 2000$ a month since he turned 20, and retired a millionaire. Yeah, a fuckload of good that's gonna do me. I still don't MAKE 2000$ a month after taxes, much less have the ability so save that.

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