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Old 05-21-2010, 12:27 PM   #176
JustCarn
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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Originally Posted by 2After909 View Post
No, as I've clearly demonstrated with demographic figures, it doesn't (especially since it appears OP doesn't live in Manhattan). 2+2 prolly is visited by a lot of young white kids with above-average education. your point of reference are your friends/neighbors/family and not the demographics of the city. that's an effect similar to the catching-up-with-the-jones' and I find it arbitrary. even taking into account the things tony_p said, OP is *not* in the bottom 30-40% (which would be a quite wide definition of "being poor").

Unfortunately, there are millions of New Yorkers that are worse off (financially) than the OP. If you are a rich kid living on Madison or Park or whatever and not getting out, I recommend you make some trips to other parts of the city.
OK, fine, not poor, but you're definitely not getting very far ahead if you're living in NY making $65k for a family of two. It's just a very expensive place to live.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:32 PM   #177
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

In Newww Yoorrrkkkk, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothin you can't do, now you're in Newwww Yorrrkkkk......

This thread is enjoyable.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:50 PM   #178
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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Originally Posted by mlodykutas View Post
I am just curious what would make you spent $1500 a month on food rather than $800? Quality of food, amount of food?
Henry’s numbers aren’t surprising to me. I don’t know how many meals he’s cooking a week, or if he’s paying for his gf’s food. But my wife and I spend about this much on groceries for about 4-5 meals cooked per week (dining out is a different category for us). Over the past 12 months, we spent $16,595 on groceries on our cc, plus probably another $1200 in cash at the farmers market (total of $1483/month). The high number is probably largely due to our wine expense (we share a bottle pretty much every meal, lushes that we are). But our protein costs are high too. We eat fish a lot, and that can add up pretty quickly. We don't buy packaged or pre-made meals, or the stupid health food stuff mentioned above. It's all just fruit, veggies, protein, household products, and wine. Lots of wine.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:57 PM   #179
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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WTF? Why is chicken so expensive where you live? I think it's closer to 1/5 that price around here.
I don't know. I think it has something to do with some sort of poultry board or some BS like that. Now to be fair that is for never frozen, skinless, and boneless. If you are willing to removed the bone yourself you save $6-8/kg but I find that too much handling of the meat so too gross to do.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:02 PM   #180
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

"And all that I've listed is being consumed by BOTH me and my gf"

Again, how much does she contribute?
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:04 PM   #181
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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 $250k +
FYP - I firmly believe this - I have stress tested ranges. Rigorously.

(This is if you live in New York City in a reasonably nice neighborhood.)

Flame away!

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Old 05-21-2010, 01:04 PM   #182
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

"LOL @ cologne comments, I don't go through an entire bottle every 2 months rather I purchase a new one every other month for variety."

So after 6 months of this routine you would have 6 practically full bottles. I would assume most guys have 3-4 tops. wtf
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:07 PM   #183
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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to the $6/mth in shampoo
Is that a lot or too little for shampoo? I have no idea what drug store / grocery store shampoo goes for but I think I've seen it marked as $3.xx and with two people one of which is a girl a bottle and a half a month seems about right.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:07 PM   #184
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

The way you described your expected earning potential leads me to believe that you aren't making 65k because you're in NY, that you'd make close to the same in Columbus,Ohio. If so, it's a no brainer to move.

You obv. spend money unwisely, but there are certain cities that I'd never live unless I could enjoy all the benefits that go along with all the inconviences. NYC is at the top of that list. All you have is the negatives without any of the awesomeness that is NYC.

There are many people living in PA that enjoy NYC much more than you do because when they go, they can actually do things.

I can't stand sitting at home watching TV, so for me, the minimum for a couple in NYC would be around 200k, and even then, I'm not thrilled. If you're educated, get the hell out and come back once you've gained experience. If you're a waiter, get single, and get educated. You have no kids, why is this girl sitting home earning 0 ? She needs to contribute. If she's in school, then either she takes out some more loans, or gets a pt job. If she's just so great you can't live without her, marry her, live cheap, and wait until she finishes school and you can have dual incomes. As such, she's freerolling you, or incredibly lazy.

As strange as the olive oil fetish is, the other human being consuming half the costs and making 0 is the problem. Technically poor or not, you are way too broke to have a kept woman without children. If she's educated and just lost her job then it's a whole different dynamic, your biggest worry should be getting her employed with professional resume/etc. Otherwise, you could use the extra 1600/month she could make doing anything menial in NY. I can make my own dinner in 10 minutes, give me the $1600 a month she'd make at any low end retail job and your CC debt is gone in a year. You could cut back on cologne,etc. and save a few hundred, but you're still living like a chump, the problem is the girl. Tell me she has lupus or something, any reason why you aren't being hustled.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:07 PM   #185
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

OP, as someone from Europe I would like to know how much net income do you have left after taxes? Is health insurance and pension fund already included somewhere, because I don't see it in your calculation (well maybe forget about the pension fund but health insurance seems really necessary to me)?
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:20 PM   #186
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

kurti - I assume he has health insurance as part of his job.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:22 PM   #187
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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Taking about groceries is really difficult as the cost of food is very much a factor of geography and also diet. I don't buy groceries but if I was to there is no way that i could do it on $800 for two people. I'd estimate $1200-1500/month without booze, vitamins, or personal care items. With a different diet and in a different location $800 could easily be very high. So people will be coming at this from very different perspectives. I'd actually have to see how OP eats before I could say anything.
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I find your numbers have weird ratios but nothing is high -- just some stuff is really high compared to what you pay for other stuff which is why they are ****ed numbers.

I also noticed no entertainment budget or clothing budget. You need to start making more money if you want to live in NYC. $65k for two people is not enough.
People are really hung up on the grocery bill, but shaving a hundo or two off of that would take far more sacrifice (changing daily habits, lifestyle etc) then is worth it.

OP also mentioned that "groceries" should be listed as spending money. He spends $800/month on food, entertainment, household goods. This is fine/reasonable for a big city. Nitting on this stuff is not cost-effective when he could just sell car/downsize car etc and equal all of that.

He mentioned that he enjoys living in NYC, so living a monastic lifestyle eating porridge 2 times a day isn't worth saving the $300/month that you would imo.

Talk to gf, discuss ways she can contribute to household income, save up money/pay down debt quicker. Once the debt is gone, your situation will be night/day.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:22 PM   #188
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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Ilya thinks like a poor person: assuming that the rich and middle class just spend money without thinking.
I'm not assuming that, but I guess I do think of the middle class as people who don't need to be quite so frugal. Middle class to me is more along the lines of going for the low/mid-range brand at the regular grocery store rather than driving out to Costco to buy bulk.

But, I'm poor and my family is somewhat financially clueless and inexperienced (grew up in Soviet Union and parents came here when they were 40), so I'm aware that my sense of class boundaries could well be off.

Last edited by ilya; 05-21-2010 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:23 PM   #189
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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No, as I've clearly demonstrated with demographic figures, it doesn't (especially since it appears OP doesn't live in Manhattan). 2+2 prolly is visited by a lot of young white kids with above-average education. your point of reference are your friends/neighbors/family and not the demographics of the city. that's an effect similar to the catching-up-with-the-jones' and I find it arbitrary. even taking into account the things tony_p said, OP is *not* in the bottom 30-40% (which would be a quite wide definition of "being poor").

Unfortunately, there are millions of New Yorkers that are worse off (financially) than the OP. If you are a rich kid living on Madison or Park or whatever and not getting out, I recommend you make some trips to other parts of the city.
No.

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Those numbers make it seem like OP is doing well but don't account for the fact that many low income families live in housing projects or rent controlled apartments that have been in their families for 20/30+ years. There are also a lot of poor elderly and baby boomers aged people who own their houses or apartment outright and don't have to deal with the astronomical housing costs.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:29 PM   #190
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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I'm not assuming that, but I guess I do think of the middle class as people who don't need to be quite so frugal. Middle class to me is more along the lines of going for the low/mid-range brand at the regular grocery store rather than driving out to Costco to buy bulk.
I think regularly buying no frills and generics is worse than shpping at Costco.

I'm basing this on the fact that Costco is an awesome store that rules whereas buying Fruity O's rather than Froot Loops is ghetto.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:32 PM   #191
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

lol henry why even bother posting ITT? you really could spend 1200-1500 on food for two people a month at the grocery store? 15-18k per year? disgusting. where i live you'd be taking home 2 carts of groceries every week.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:34 PM   #192
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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I think regularly buying no frills and generics is worse than shpping at Costco.

I'm basing this on the fact that Costco is an awesome store that rules whereas buying Fruity O's rather than Froot Loops is ghetto.
Well I'm more talking buying Froot Loops instead of the designer boutique cereal brand. Although you reminded me of this really tasty Cheerios ripoff they sell on Long Island in these huge transparent bags. I think it's called O's or Holio's or something similarly preposterous.

But one thing I have learned from this thread is that I must go to Costco and see it for myself.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:34 PM   #193
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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I think regularly buying no frills and generics is worse than shpping at Costco.

I'm basing this on the fact that Costco is an awesome store that rules whereas buying Fruity O's rather than Froot Loops is ghetto.
they taste almost exactly the same for like 2/3 of the price..i'd rather be ghetto sometimes than buy the more expensive cereal just because it has a toucan on the front and they spent a few dollars on commercials that brainwashed me as a kid.

Last edited by tubasteve; 05-21-2010 at 01:35 PM. Reason: disclaimer, i'm not really a "foodie" and don't care what i eat much of the time
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:38 PM   #194
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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I don't know. I think it has something to do with some sort of poultry board or some BS like that. Now to be fair that is for never frozen, skinless, and boneless. If you are willing to removed the bone yourself you save $6-8/kg but I find that too much handling of the meat so too gross to do.
LOL
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:43 PM   #195
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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they taste almost exactly the same for like 2/3 of the price..i'd rather be ghetto sometimes than buy the more expensive cereal just because it has a toucan on the front and they spent a few dollars on commercials that brainwashed me as a kid.
This is how I feel about medication and drug store items. I have no problem buying CVS brand cough medicine rather than Robitussin, or generic Asprin rather than Tylenol.

But in my very limited experience with bargain-brand food products they taste like ass. Except for Costco's Kirkland brand which is of course awesome and rules.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:45 PM   #196
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

I think this discussion failed to mention time vs. cost factor. Most of us work long hours and by the time we get home from work you simply don't have time or are too tired to spent time cooking dinner, this is especially true when you have kids. Who knows what kind of work OP does, maybe he works 15 hours a day and doesn't want to bothered with cooking dinner and rather eat out most of the time.
Those of you who have time to buy fresh products everyday and cook dinner you have it good, I unfortunately defrost my food each morning before going to work so I can prepare dinner later when I get home, thats where you save most of groceries you buy frozen "fresh" food in bulk.
I do agree that OP needs to get his GF to bring some money home and I hope she's not collecting unemployment for being lazy like a lot of New Yorkers..
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:46 PM   #197
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

I think there are some odd stereotypes about CostCo in this thread. CostCo is where I buy organic whole wheat pasta for the same price as conventional whole wheat pasta at the supermarket, where I buy organic natural peanut butter for LESS than conventional, where I get gorgeous fresh berries and ridiculously low prices on romaine hearts, and find the lowest prices by quite a bit on hormone-free milk and free-range organic eggs. Their produce is quite a bit fresher than the grocery, and the hormone-free yogurt we make smoothies with is half the price. I can get basmati rice and smoked salmon and sea salt there.

Their prices on Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, chevre, and unfiltered extra virgin olive oil are unbeatable, and I can gas up my car for about 3 cents a gallon under the cheapest gas station, pick up a rotisserie chicken for $4.99, and get cash back at the end of the year.

CostCo.

Last edited by VoraciousReader; 05-21-2010 at 01:50 PM. Reason: And wine and beer! I forgot wine and beer and liquor and tires and my contact lenses...
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:46 PM   #198
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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lol henry why even bother posting ITT? you really could spend 1200-1500 on food for two people a month at the grocery store? 15-18k per year? disgusting. where i live you'd be taking home 2 carts of groceries every week.
That was actually my point. The where you live and what you eat matter so while everyone is attacking him for $800/month without knowing what his diet is like there is no way to judge if that is a lot or not.

I can go to the discount grocery store and buy a bag of what they claim is frozen breaded veal for $10 or I can go to the grocery store and buy actual fresh veal for $8 a serving. People who are happy eating most of their meals out of the frozen food in a box / food in a can section can eat on a lot less than people who actually cook. I think a lot of the people slamming OP for spending $800/food would also consider pizza bites or throwing chicken nuggets in the oven cooking or they don't just don't eat very much meat. I don't think it is odd to expect to be able to eat real meals and not have to buy in bulk.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:50 PM   #199
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

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I think there are some odd stereotypes about CostCo in this thread. CostCo is where I buy organic whole wheat pasta for the same price as conventional whole wheat pasta at the supermarket, where I buy organic natural peanut butter for LESS than conventional, where I get gorgeous fresh berries and ridiculously low prices on romaine hearts, and find the lowest prices by quite a bit on hormone-free milk and free-range organic eggs. Their produce is quite a bit fresher than the grocery, and the hormone-free yogurt we make smoothies with is half the price. I can get basmati rice and smoked salmon and sea salt there.

Their prices on Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, chevre, and unfiltered extra virgin olive oil are unbeatable, and I can gas up my car for about 3 cents a gallon under the cheapest gas station, pick up a rotisserie chicken for $4.99, and get cash back at the end of the year.

CostCo.
Try the Scallops, best thing on earth. $18 a bag.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:52 PM   #200
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Re: Does earning $65k per year mean you're poor?

Your no-job expensive-taste GF better be really hot. Some people are house-poor. OP is pussy-poor. It's just a trade-off, you made your choice. Your $2400 in rent+grocery could be half that living alone, or if it were shared.

Last edited by spadebidder; 05-21-2010 at 01:59 PM.
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