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How does ine survive on minimum wage?


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#1 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:36 AM

It seems impossible, because in order to make enough money to cover a modest rent of $800 plus $50 utilities, plus lets say $60 for gas and $150 for food each month. Thats $1060 per month JUST to live, barely.

How is it done?

#2 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:51 AM

If you work 40 hours a week, at $7,25 an hour you gross $290. Thats a little under $1200 a month pre-tax. Considering that a 1-bedroom around here runs about $800-900, i dont see how this wage is "livable". Perhaps it used to be.

#3 nancykind

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:17 AM

roommates and walking/biking based on above example i'd say



#4 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

Two jobs if possible. Then what Nancy said and any other unaffordable standard of living decrease.



#5 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

That is just a way to deal with a terrible situation

#6 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:43 AM

Its fucking slavery out there...

Paying a wage that is not enough to live on seems wrong to me. Good for business owners I guess...and thats who matters, not the workers

Amirite?!?!

#7 Goose

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:26 PM

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich explores this question.
Also we just crossed some sort of milestone in the US where there are no areas where a two bedroom apartment can be had with full time minimum wage.

#8 little frog

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:47 PM

les miserables ... you must live in the worst slum in your city renting a single room and hope you don't get mugged or robbed when you leave your dwelling to get to the job, or move to a place so rural that there are no jobs nearby. If you have no network or way to find a roommate you can live on the streets, but then you can't get employment at all. There is a threshold in economics where, once you fall below a certain standard of living it's almost impossible for the average person to bring themselves back above without a lot of assistance, hence our serious homeless problem.

 

the minimum wage is set by people who never have to live on it.



#9 Ginger Snap

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:05 PM

As little frog eluded too, having a network is key. You live with roommates or parents. . Certainly you shouldn't expect at this point to be able to afford your own apartment...a studio maybe, although with the figures you put up- if you could find a 1 bedroom with utilities included for 900, that would leave you $300 for the month- certainly enough for a young man to live on so long as he doesn't have a car or children. Not a comfortable life, but you asked about survival.



#10 Indigo Adventurer

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:09 PM

How do you live on minimum wage? carefully. Try thinking of things you can do for barter- for example I love my luxuries, I'm a sucker for clear liquor like a rich bitch and we all know how expensive other extras can be, even healthy things like my gym membership (hoop space!) I clean houses for a living during the week and therefore I have all the supplies at hand. I clean people's houses on the weekends in exchange for things like my bottle of vodka, my gym membership and anything else I want but don't want to spend my money on. Also I have found that when I can I try to make extra of things like food and share it with those close to me and they tend to share back giving me a variety of meals when I need it most. Always check with friends when you need something, most of the time I can find someone I know that does one thing or another. For example my friend Scott has saved me thousands on computer repair, car repair and what not. I have another friend that always accumulates too many clothes and things and has to keep cleaning out her closets to keep things moving. I am not shy about being there to take the hand me downs (girls got good taste!) saving me lots of money on clothes and other items she finds. I'm big into reduce reuse recycle and upcycle so you can save money finding new ways to reuse things and if you're creative you can come up with crafty ways to make money by selling things. Another good example is my friend with all of the clothes she goes to the thrift stores in nice areas and finds designer clothes some with tags still on it for a few dollars and sells them on craigslist and ebay for 10-20$ making great profit. She sells off lots of clothes that would otherwise go for a few dollars but she combines them and creates a pack of like 5-10 pairs of jeans or sweaters and makes 30-50 bucks sometimes more. My friend Jenn happens to be a talented painter and has started collecting glassware and painting them with custom designs then selling the 2-3$ a piece wine glasses for 30$ a set. I am working on my hoop instructor certifications and have several spaces to being instructing come the spring/summer time. Minimum wage doesn't have to be your only wage, let it be the one the tax guy gets to fondle savagely and the other stuff can help you little by little to either save or make a few bucks for yourself. When life gets tougher it's a sign to get craftier!

 

Go forth you tricky devil you- the man can't tax your happiness unless you let him ;)



#11 Spidergawd

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:09 PM

the minimum wage is set by people who never have to live on it.

 

^  She gets it.

 

It's simply wage slavery.  Which is the "American Dream" for most of the country.



#12 Spidergawd

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

You have an excellent attitude, IA.  :thumbup:

 

However, I'd prefer that one could receive at least a living wage for their labors.  Like the way we were heading before the "BIG BAD GUBBMINT IS BAD" crowd took over.



#13 Terrapin Station

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:16 PM

Fixed.

 

 

^  She gets it.

 

It's simply wage slavery.  Which is the "American Dream" for most people in 3rd world countries.



#14 unbroken_chain

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:46 PM

welcome to the jungle.

 

we've got fun and games...

 

 

 

I went from a very handsome salary ( and pricey city ) to a meager one in a "poor" and very cost friendly city...    after: Rent, Child Support, Cell phone bill (3 lines), and utils, I aint got shit left. 

 

Trying to find another second job the pizza joint had nothing for hours after the first week....      I am riding out the "six month" probation and praying for a bump of at least 5000/yr so I can feel iike it's worth it.



#15 TEO

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:46 PM

Vermont's minimum wage is $8.60 per hour.

 

 

Multiple jobs and roommates.



#16 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:53 PM

Its fucking slavery out there...

Paying a wage that is not enough to live on seems wrong to me. Good for business owners I guess...and thats who matters, not the workers

Amirite?!?!

 

Except it doesn't benefit business owners. When people can not afford to buy the very products/services they are selling, then demand decreases substantially. There are two options to correct this (there are actually more, but for the sake of relevant argument..two) 1) lower the price of your goods and services to a level that workers can afford 2) raise the pay of the workers.

 

If 2 causes prices to increase, you've hit a wall as a business owner. If preparing products to buy that no one can afford is a losing game, then you either innovate or close down the business.



#17 Ginger Snap

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:53 PM

welcome to the jungle.

 

we've got fun and games...

 

 

 

I went from a very handsome salary ( and pricey city ) to a meager one in a "poor" and very cost friendly city...    after: Rent, Child Support, Cell phone bill (3 lines), and utils, I aint got shit left. 

 

Trying to find another second job the pizza joint had nothing for hours after the first week....      I am riding out the "six month" probation and praying for a bump of at least 5000/yr so I can feel iike it's worth it.

 

Do you have renters covering the Medford house?

 

I was pleasantly surprised at my W2s and I'm still waiting for orientation at my new second job so I can start putting in more hours. More hours please!



#18 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:57 PM

Its so awful how little people's time seems to be valued...

#19 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:01 PM

This is what tends to turn people towards illegal ways of making money.



#20 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:03 PM

When i hear business owners defending their paying minimum wage as the only way they can turn a Profit, it makes me ill. These people are the worst type of employers imho.

#21 unbroken_chain

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:04 PM

Its so awful how little people's time seems to be valued...

 

explain...   that folks are willing to accept the need to take on a second job? 

 

 

I dunno, I honestly can't even related to the "childless" who whine..... I can't even fucking IMAGINE what it must be like not to have to worry about supporting others....

 

**do not interpret this as me bitching about having kids, or CS... would not trade for world.. .they are my world... albeit currently from afar. :-(



#22 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:05 PM

When i hear business owners defending their paying minimum wage as the only way they can turn a Profit, it makes me ill. These people are the worst type of employers imho.

 

Are you suggesting a business owner should run at a loss?



#23 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:05 PM

That employers think paying someone such a low wage for their time is fair in any way.

#24 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:07 PM

Are you suggesting a business owner should run at a loss?

They should hire less people to work more hours for higher pay, instead of many workers for less hours at the minimum wage.

#25 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:07 PM

Fair? WTF is fair?



#26 unbroken_chain

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:07 PM

I have not had a RED CENT for over a week.  Not a red fucking cent.   My last three bucks went to cat food....     before that to the cell phone bill (must have to reach kids, maintain sanity) I have the most basic cable possible, no car, I eat at the local shelters, and in 3 years hopefully I"ll be back to BALLIN

 

(this is all an investment, I am led to believe there will be a pay off at this firm.... and I can believe it... just have to make it till "then")



#27 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:08 PM

They should hire less people to work more hours for higher pay, instead of many workers for less hours at the minimum wage.

 

Do you know why business owners/operators do this?



#28 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:09 PM

I respect what u do Unbie. They really need to just raise the goddamn minimum wage to $10 an hour. Period

#29 unbroken_chain

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

unbie....   damn you royal :rolling:



#30 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

Do you know why business owners/operators do this?

So they cando less work themselves, while paying the help the least amount possible to get the job done?

#31 little frog

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:15 PM

when you're young i can see working crazy hours in several jobs to get by, but for the 50/60 something year old unskilled worker the 65 hour a week minimum wage job is just an early death sentence. there is no way to maintain a healthy body this way. miserable survival for the benefit of the bosses yacht and fancy vacations is just greed based employment.



#32 Deadshow Dan

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

Yes, minimum wage is basically slave labor



#33 TEO

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:25 PM

Much of our labor is slave labor in one form or another.  Even peasants in medieval times had shorter working days and far fewer.



#34 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:28 PM

I respect what u do Unbie. They really need to just raise the goddamn minimum wage to $10 an hour. Period

 

Does this not also increae prices though?



#35 Java Time

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:29 PM

A real problem is what is unskilled labor and why do we still have people in their 30's, 40's, and 50's without a skill?

#36 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

A real problem is what is unskilled labor and why do we still have people in their 30's, 40's, and 50's without a skill?

Id say its fair to say that having a skill doesnt assure you a job with a livable wage.

#37 Spidergawd

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:41 PM

When i hear business owners defending their paying minimum wage as the only way they can turn a Profit, it makes me ill. These people are the worst type of employers imho.

 

 

See:  Wal :halfstar: Mart



#38 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:45 PM

Does this not also increae prices though?

 

perhaps, but the individual will have more money, period.  



#39 unbroken_chain

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:46 PM

I am constantly on the ~hunt~ for extra cash opportunities....  I scour CL almost daily - including the "GIGS" section where you can find one off jobs helping move a couch, fix a door, whatever....  since I've allowed my drivers license issues (NOT DWI RELATED!) to get more complicated...  that makes it a bit harder, but by always being on the lookout.... chances improve... it's often a first come first serve world...



#40 u.s.blues

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:48 PM

overtime.



#41 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:48 PM

thanks for the pro-tip.  Im eagerly awaiting the spring time cleanouts that are sure to pop up as people get their beach houses back up and running...

 

PS - I make more than minimum wage, but I could NOT imagine what the F Id be doing if I was right now....



#42 Terrapin Station

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

If I was in a position with no hope in the future I would be looking for ways to earn a better coin.

 

And I don't mean you have to get a masters degree. There are many 1 year vocational schools that you can get a certificate in welding, hvac, plumbing, drafting, auto cad. The time and effort would surely get you out of the minimum wage trench.

 

Just my 2 cents.



#43 kindsisterkathy

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:59 PM

When I was a residential counselor I had to have certain skills and training to be employed.  I put myself through school, without any help from my parents, racking up thousands in student loans, all so I could work at a "skilled" job.  Starting pay was just over minimum wage.  The location of the facility was way out in the boondocks, in a town that did not have a single apartment to rent, and obviously no one can afford to buy a house in the situation, so the facility rented studio apartments as there was no other way to have any staff, of course they charged rent for this service.  After a few years, I realized that despite the fact that I worked an average of 56 hours a week, I was never getting ahead.  They wanted more schooling to even consider me for any sort of advancement, which I couldnt afford.  So I quit and became a bartender, and made shitloads of money, paid back my loans and went back to school.  Unfortunately, the economy sank, the bar closed, in fact the majority of the bars here in NH closed.  My former co-workers and myself couldnt find work anywhere, our skills couldnt help us, I ended up working for a chinese restaurant that treated me just like they treated their own, horribly. Luckily by then I was married, or else I would have been sleeping like their cooks, on mattresses in the kitchen.  I had to quit due to the fact that I was actually spending more on gas running their errands than I made earning minimum wage.  Now, I'm trying to start my own business, if I'm going to earn so little, then at least the only person I'll have to blame is myself!

     This country needs to take a hard look at itself, not politically, but the people need to stop blaming and start figuring out how to help ourselves out of this mess.  The elected officials wont do it for us, they are way too busy accepting bribes from giant corporations to examine our lives, our problems, bottom line, they dont give a shit, not the politicians and not the "bosses".



#44 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:02 PM

perhaps, but the individual will have more money, period.  

Isnt the point self defeating then? If you raise teh minimum wage and businesses react (ass one would expect) by raising prices in order to pay the additional wage increase, wouldn't that just mean that nothing effectively happened?

 

Lets look at a micro example.

 

The state of NY puts a minimum wage of $10 per hr into law. Businesses that are currently running at the minimum wage prior to the increase, must now compensate for the additional overhead needed to pay employees. There are a few things that can be done, all of which involve either raising prices or cutting labor. Cut the hrs of workers and the amount of staff working at once. Raise prices or cut corners (likke putting cardboard in the pizza dough), which hurts everyone.



#45 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:30 PM

Isnt the point self defeating then? If you raise teh minimum wage and businesses react (ass one would expect) by raising prices in order to pay the additional wage increase, wouldn't that just mean that nothing effectively happened?

 

Lets look at a micro example.

 

The state of NY puts a minimum wage of $10 per hr into law. Businesses that are currently running at the minimum wage prior to the increase, must now compensate for the additional overhead needed to pay employees. There are a few things that can be done, all of which involve either raising prices or cutting labor. Cut the hrs of workers and the amount of staff working at once. Raise prices or cut corners (likke putting cardboard in the pizza dough), which hurts everyone.

 

The greedy boss will def try to work it out so everything stays the same, I agree.  However, if they raised the minimum to $10 an hour, I think the truly greedy will close down, due to decreased business, as customers flock to the stores that have not raised prices because they had been paying a livable wage from the beginning (higher than min wage)



#46 BHB

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:32 PM

Much of our labor is slave labor in one form or another.  Even peasants in medieval times had shorter working days and far fewer.

 

 

I'm glad someone feels my pain too :lol:



#47 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:34 PM

I find ti pretty hilarious that the business owner who tries to earn a profit is greedy, but a worker who thinks that people should earn more money (from the very business of the greedy owner) is a slave to labor. The ironing is absolutely delicious.



#48 hoagie

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:38 PM

Business owners who turn a profit by exploiting their workers are greedy, dude.  Not every business is out to fuck their own in the name of profits.



#49 BHB

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:40 PM

making more money is not always better.

 

bigger salaries come bigger stresses. making good money is nice. But working 100mph every day, long hours, with little time off can make a low-paying job with the ability to daydream seem attractive.

 

i suppose everyone has their happy balance somewhere in there.



#50 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:40 PM

And workers who try to extort their employers are greedy too. Everyone is greedy when it comes to self interest.