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Old 05-22-2010, 04:36 PM   #451
springsteen87
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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Originally Posted by runLOLArun View Post
Nope. I do laundry 1x a week. I should've mentioned not only the cost of the detergent, but the cost of doing the laundry itself. My building has a laundry room where small washers are $2/load, large washers are $3/load, and dryers, one size only are $3 for the first 20 minutes.
I thought i was being screwed at $1.5 for wash, $1.5 for dry...yikes
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Old 05-22-2010, 04:38 PM   #452
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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Originally Posted by Nootka View Post
I'm not sure I disagree with you in principle. But I think you underestimate the cost of having everything on hand to make a simple meal like chicken parm. It costs a lot to have these things on hand. If I wanted to make this meal, and I didn't have any of the ingredients on hand, here's what I would need to buy:

chicken breast 5
flour 3
eggs 4
bread crumbs 2
salt 1
pepper 3
dried thyme 3
olive oil 8
parmesan 5
mozzarella 5
parsley 1
tomato sauce jar 8
spaghetti 1
basil 3

Total $52

Yes, I could choose to buy cheaper versions of some of these items, and yes, the per/meal cost is a lot lower since most of these are more than you need for this one recipe. But why bother cooking at all if all you are doing is matching the ****ty quality of frozen meals. The point remains that the cash you have to spend to make chicken parm from scratch is a lot more than the $2.50 it costs for you to buy it frozen.

Now if you're talking about making a vat of soup or plain pasta with grated cheese on it, yes, that's somewhat cheaper homemade than pre-made versions of comparable meals. But not by enough to make the extra effort worthwhile imo. If I'm going to cook, I'm going to make a better meal than that.
Fair enough. But look what happens when you go to make your second meal of chicken parmigiana. You buy the chicken breast for 5 dollars. You might need more basil for 3 dollars. Oh look, you have everything else you need. Cost for second meal: 8 dollar + ingredients you still have. Cost per meal: $30.

Also, if you're really cooking from scratch you'd make your own marinara. Imported italian tomatoes (better than 97% of the fresh tomatoes available in the U.S.) are about $4 per 24 oz can, so buy 3 cans for 12 dollars, a can of tomato paste for 50 cents, a couple of red onions for 2 dollars, a green pepper for 1 dollar, use some of your thyme, basil, and olive oil that you just purchased and 1 head of garlic (you won't need all of it) for about a quarter. For roughly 16 dollars you have a marinara that's better than anything you can buy in a jar and you have enough for probably 8 meals if you're the only one eating. If you're serving a red wine with your pasta, splash a couple of tablespoons of that into the marinara and it's even better.

So now you're going to make another meal. Maybe something like a frittata? Well you still have 8 eggs. You still have parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, olive oil... so you buy a package of baby spinach for 3 dollars, and maybe some mushrooms for 3 dollars. And for another 6 dollars you have two more dinners. Maybe buy some potatoes to fry up beside your frittata or a loaf of french bread, and that will set you back another 3 dollars. So that's 9 dollars and should be enough for 2 meals. Total cost: $69. Cost per meal: 17 dollars.

And look, you only used half your spinach and mushrooms in the frittata. So you buy another package of spaghetti for a dollar, some more chicken for 5 dollars, a half-pint of heavy cream/evaporated milk for 1 dollar, and combine that with your flour and garlic and olive oil and make chicken florentine. You probably need some more parmesan by now too for 5 dollars. Perhaps you could use the leftover french bread to make garlic bread? Total cost: $81. And you have a lot of food left that you wouldn't have if you'd bought a frozen dinner.

Cost per meal: $13.50. And the more you cook the cheaper it gets. I've also used all regular prices. If I could time my shopping to coincide with sales or get my cheeses through CostCo I could do much better. Nobody's arguing that if you start with an empty pantry it's not going to be expensive to make a complex meal. But in this thread we're talking about people that cook with at least some regularity.

Also, if you can buy frozen chicken parmigiana to feed 2 people for 2.50 I'm astounded.
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Old 05-22-2010, 04:42 PM   #453
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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Originally Posted by runLOLArun View Post
Same here. (LOL @ chugging olive oil) Generally, a good quality 1 liter glass bottle of first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil costs about $20 give or take.
do you need this? this is the definition of "luxury" which you can't seem to grasp. cut out the fat. you might not be poor but you spend like a ******. for some reason you think 65k in NYC is upper class when its' pretty average in manhattan or below average for much of manhattan and you need to account for this.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:02 PM   #454
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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No, and it makes sense why you would be completely clueless about the cost of living.
I openly admit to being out of touch with the cost of living in the US mostly because it seems to fluctuate by a factor of five or more depending on geographical location. I have a perfect grasp of the cost of living both in Ottawa and Toronto and I have a strong feeling that NYC is more like these cities than some place in the mid-west. The numbers I have used are dead on accurate for where I live and I can easily document them if necessary.

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He doesnt have to shop at walmart, but he isnt content iwth the way his life is right now - and if he wants to be more comfortable financially he's going to have to learn to make some concessions. And for most people, stepping foot into a walmart isnt a traumatizing experience - and may very well be the best choice for him.
I'm not saying it might not be the best choice for him nor that it is traumatizing but that it is incompatible with saying he has a good income. Basically my position is that you can say that $65k is a lot of money if he has to include shopping at Walmart or living a life with no little extras.

Now I'm happy to say $65k isn't a lot of money. I also think OP started or at least at some point turned into someone who is going for a bit of a reaction -- it isn't obvious but there are some hints at it -- but I'm willing to ignore that because I think this is an interesting topic. As a law student my peers had certain expectations about what life would be like after graduation if they managed to get anointed as one of the chosen ones who got to work for one of the big Bay St firms. People were not insane thinking they would be driving around in Aston Martins and living in a penthouse at the Shangri-La but there was a certain level of lifestyle that they thought they could get for $80-100k that you just can't. People overestimate how much $80-100k is and what kind of lifestyle then can afford on it until they actually get there and then they realize **** this isn't even close to enough money.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:14 PM   #455
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

My brother in law from england used to laugh at me when i said i made 200+ a night in a restaurant. he asked, so does everyone want to be a waiter then?

Last edited by happyhappyhappy; 05-22-2010 at 05:15 PM. Reason: i laughed back, uh, no
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:41 PM   #456
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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Originally Posted by Nootka View Post
I'm not sure I disagree with you in principle. But I think you underestimate the cost of having everything on hand to make a simple meal like chicken parm. It costs a lot to have these things on hand. If I wanted to make this meal, and I didn't have any of the ingredients on hand, here's what I would need to buy:

chicken breast 5
flour 3
eggs 4
bread crumbs 2
salt 1
pepper 3
dried thyme 3
olive oil 8
parmesan 5
mozzarella 5
parsley 1
tomato sauce jar 8
spaghetti 1
basil 3

Total $52

Yes, I could choose to buy cheaper versions of some of these items, and yes, the per/meal cost is a lot lower since most of these are more than you need for this one recipe. But why bother cooking at all if all you are doing is matching the ****ty quality of frozen meals. The point remains that the cash you have to spend to make chicken parm from scratch is a lot more than the $2.50 it costs for you to buy it frozen.
You're not going to use $8 worth of olive oil, or $3 worth of basil in one go. And where the hell are you shopping for $8 cans of tomato sauce? Either they're huge or you can cut down on that.

I get that cooking for a date is going to cost money, more so than whatever meals you'd do on a regular night, but after that $50 is spent, you are going to have a lot of leftover ingredients in several of your categories.

ETA: looks like VR beat me to it by a fairly wide margin, dammit.

Last edited by Quicksilvre; 05-22-2010 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:43 PM   #457
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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Originally Posted by runLOLArun View Post
how on earth you were/are able to afford the so-called American dream.
Quote:
Originally Posted by runLOLArun View Post
Exactly! It's a lifestyle choice imo.
Well there you have it. You don't understand the difference between money and wealth. Money is for spending - which apparently you do. Wealth is for building - which you do not. You have chosen to spend your money instead of building your wealth. Every time you choose to spend more on a "lifestyle choice" you're choosing not to save.

And if it makes you happy, keep doing it. Just don't whine about not being able to afford the American dream.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:44 PM   #458
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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Originally Posted by Quicksilvre View Post
You're not going to use $8 worth of olive oil, or $3 worth of basil in one go.

I used to agree. OP has made me reconsider.

Our disadvantage is that we just aren't as familiar with these type of people who chug Olive Oil.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:17 PM   #459
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

I just want to chime in on a personal note, all growing up my mom made more than 100k a year and we lived in absolute destitution for most of my life. Going days without eating, getting kicked out from place to place because she would never have any money to pay rent, etc. I think wealth can be loosely defined as how good you are at managing the money you have available. Think "a penny saved is a penny earned"
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:28 PM   #460
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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Originally Posted by Henry17 View Post
People overestimate how much $80-100k is and what kind of lifestyle then can afford on it until they actually get there and then they realize **** this isn't even close to enough money.
This is very true. Then again people feel they need a lot of **** that they really don't...

If you can't live a great life on 100K per year coming out of university (LOL) then you need to examine your priorities.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:51 PM   #461
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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I just want to chime in on a personal note, all growing up my mom made more than 100k a year and we lived in absolute destitution for most of my life. Going days without eating, getting kicked out from place to place because she would never have any money to pay rent, etc. I think wealth can be loosely defined as how good you are at managing the money you have available. Think "a penny saved is a penny earned"
WTF

Was she doing an eight-ball a day or something?
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:52 PM   #462
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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I just want to chime in on a personal note, all growing up my mom made more than 100k a year and we lived in absolute destitution for most of my life. Going days without eating, getting kicked out from place to place because she would never have any money to pay rent, etc.
Dare I ask what she spent it on?
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:08 PM   #463
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

This thread would be epic in politards.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:10 PM   #464
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

jmakinmecrzy's mom is not that uncommon. I know quite a few people with no children in similar situations without any drug use -- with drug use it isn't even challenging. The only strange part is that she had children as people tend to prioritize better when they have kids.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:16 PM   #465
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

Basically, Americans are ****ing idiots.

You can live really, really well on like $30k in the United States. If you live in ****ing New York City and you arent satisfied, move. You can live in like Cleveland or St. Louis or even Phoenix or Houston on that money and have a nice apartment, cable, internet and meals out the weekends. Easily.

Of course where people get messed up is credit card debt. If you have it, do everything possible to get rid of it. And call them and offer to settle for like 1/2 in a lump sum- they might take it.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:23 PM   #466
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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Basically, Americans are ****ing idiots.

You can live really, really well on like $30k in the United States. If you live in ****ing New York City and you arent satisfied, move. You can live in like Cleveland or St. Louis or even Phoenix or Houston on that money and have a nice apartment, cable, internet and meals out the weekends. Easily.

Of course where people get messed up is credit card debt. If you have it, do everything possible to get rid of it. And call them and offer to settle for like 1/2 in a lump sum- they might take it.
Except if everyone did that then you couldn't do it anymore. The reason you can is because no one wants to.

I'm pretty hard on people who spend beyond their means but there is a difference between being an idiot who can't figure out that if you only make $X you shouldn't spend more than $X and living a ****ty life.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:25 PM   #467
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

That's my point. It's an incredible life. $30k in the midwest is better than 99.999% of human beings in the history of humanity.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:31 PM   #468
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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That's my point. It's an incredible life. $30k in the midwest is better than 99.999% of human beings in the history of humanity.
It is a wonderful life if that is what you want. For some people (I count myself among that group) it is worse than death.

Comparing options to the history of humanity is pretty ******ed -- are you from politics?
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:45 PM   #469
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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Dare I ask what she spent it on?
Well, in her defense, she has a job where she can make 20k in a month when it's busy, and less than 1000 when it's not, and even months where there wouldn't be work at all. And yea I found out recently she spent a lot of money on weed. Her and my dad used to smoke a lot, he gave it up when they had me but she couldn't. She has absolutely 0 concept of a budget. She would spend all the money in a matter of a week or 2, spoiling us with gifts, etc., even though me and my siblings were extremely unmaterialistic and couldn't give a crap about gifts because we knew the family's financial security was uncertain most of the time. Plus she's lazy and would not work when she had money available, then work like crazy when we were broke. Kinda of a ****ty cycle to be in. It gave me extremely good money management skills because no matter how ****ty the money I might be earning at any given time, I want to be secure and know I'm gonna have a place to live in and food to eat in a month's time.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:01 PM   #470
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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You can live really, really well on like $30k in the United States.

No, not really. Unless you consider living in some landlocked POS town in the middle of nowhere.

You can get by on 30k a year in a lot of cities, but you are far from living really really well.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:25 PM   #471
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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Well, in her defense, she has a job where she can make 20k in a month when it's busy, and less than 1000 when it's not, and even months where there wouldn't be work at all. And yea I found out recently she spent a lot of money on weed. Her and my dad used to smoke a lot, he gave it up when they had me but she couldn't. She has absolutely 0 concept of a budget. She would spend all the money in a matter of a week or 2, spoiling us with gifts, etc., even though me and my siblings were extremely unmaterialistic and couldn't give a crap about gifts because we knew the family's financial security was uncertain most of the time. Plus she's lazy and would not work when she had money available, then work like crazy when we were broke. Kinda of a ****ty cycle to be in. It gave me extremely good money management skills because no matter how ****ty the money I might be earning at any given time, I want to be secure and know I'm gonna have a place to live in and food to eat in a month's time.
Welp, I just became snap-convinced that there is absolutely no way I can have kids without a different line of work. Not that I wasn't really before, but that clinches it with a steel lock.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:33 PM   #472
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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The Kingdom is not meant for your ilk OP. Move to dirty jersey and commute with the rest of the peasants.
For an apartment? Fine. For house ownership at some point? Great amount of land for your dollar and fewer headaches for sure, but the taxes are insane.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:40 PM   #473
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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OPs grocery budget aside, many of you are underestimating how truly expensive NYC is. We don't have Aldi or Walmart, $1600 is not that much rent if you don't want to live in a ****hole. Places charge $10 for a sandwich and can of soda. A single parking ticket can be $110. Clothes wear out faster because you are smashed against subway doors and riding 100 year old escalators that snag and scratch. Apartments are old and soot and dust makes everything filthy, so you have to clean more often.

This city sucks unless you make $100k +
This. I don't think the city sucks unless any particular person allows it to suck, but life is incredibly expensive here as compared to the rest of the country. Myself and the other half make well over $100k combined and things aren't always a cakewalk. OP didn't even mention the various curves life throws at you that I'm sure factor into his expenses.

In the last six months I've managed two parking tickets @ $115 each, minor damage to my car door incured by hitting a pole which caused a couple inches worth of damage but cost $710, a $175 trip to the emergency overnight vet for my dog with a skin problem, $30 for parking for two hours in midtown Manhattan, dining out and shopping for Valentine's Day, etc, etc, etc. This stuff is a lot higher than in the rest of the country, really adds up.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:42 PM   #474
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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No, not really. Unless you consider living in some landlocked POS town in the middle of nowhere.

You can get by on 30k a year in a lot of cities, but you are far from living really really well.
This. Many people project super impoverished standards onto others and have issues. I think Henry understands the costs of upper middle class lifestyle in major metropolitan areas well. People who claim "eating at home" to be significantly cheaper typically just eat like ****. They eat stuff that I'd never consider buying or purchasing. Nor do they make any active decisions to improve the quality of their food consumption (fresh herbs over dried, higher quality meats, fresh items instead of blah blah blah, organic foods which are typically of higher quality etc. blah blah blah)

Whatev. People are nuts.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:43 PM   #475
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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He doesnt have to shop at walmart, but he isnt content iwth the way his life is right now - and if he wants to be more comfortable financially he's going to have to learn to make some concessions. And for most people, stepping foot into a walmart isnt a traumatizing experience - and may very well be the best choice for him.
I'm sure this was mentioned elsewhere, but ironically there is no feasible Walmart for OP to go to considering he lives in Manhattan. I doubt he's headed to NJ for it.
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