I just heard on the news that a poll asking people if they were satisfied with their paychecks showed a majority - 53 percent - was. I was surprised by that number. I would be satisfied if I got back the cuts in pay I had to make a couple of years ago when the economy went downhill.
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Not all of us loaded up with crushing levels of debt, which also lead to financial lifestyles that get passed onto the family's children, who then only add to that debt burden in turn. So we're OK with our pay scales.
Living the dream, day by day....paycheck by paycheck.
Wish it was more, but in these economic times, I'm doing OK
Hey, in this economy I am just glad to be working. My paycheck at my full-time job is decent, but I just realized that my base salary is slightly less than the Toledo refuse workers, so I am wondering why I spent a decade chasing three academic degrees. :-)
And like GZ, I lived lean the last decade, so while my annual salary could not even pay Donald Trump's monthly AmEx bill, I have enough money left over to save and still take the occasional vacation.
The trick to happiness is not being happy with what you might have, but being happy with what you have.
Two quotes that always stuck with me:
The gap between "more" and "enough" never closes.
If the stuff you have doesn't make you happy, why would you want more of it?
OhioKimono: Good one.
No, I'm not happy with the size of my paycheck. I'm not happy about the amount, either. What I'm most unhappy about is the amount the government steals from me each pay period, for which I see no return at all.
I'm happy with the size of my paycheck for now.
Sure, I'd like to advance eventually - I would not be content doing the same job day in, day out for the rest of my life. But that's as much about personal growth as it is about income growth.
I should add that I would probably be less happy with my main paycheck if I didn't supplement it with second, third, and sometimes fourth part-time paychecks.
"What I'm most unhappy about is the amount the government steals from me each pay period, for which I see no return at all."
If I thought somebody was stealing from me, I'd move.
My concern after reading some of the posts is the sentiment of being happy just to get anything and how corporations may leverage that feeling. Reminds me of Motts.
I like this circular logic:
Chris Barnes, a company spokesman, said Dr Pepper Snapple was seeking a $1.50-an-hour wage cut, a pension freeze and other concessions to bring the plant’s costs in line with “local and industry standards.”
A friend of mine eventually bid himself out of a job. He insisted on raises, and eventually the employer found a cheaper replacement. That took about 3 years.
A guy where I work apparently wasn't satisfied with his paycheck last week. He filled out some paper work and made it look like his girlfriend did some work for the company, as an independent contractor.
His girlfriend NEVER performed any work. They stood to gain less than $150.00
The guy got fired. This guy (manager) was making between $55K - $60K a year (salary)...... with very generous vacation & health care benefits.
I've wanted to get on a soap box for a long time. I really hope I don't offend anyone but believe this will help many. I've wanted to help others with advice on this since this latest financial mess started.
I witnessed 5 major recessions since I was a Kid in the 50's and wore my Dad's shoes to school in the 6th Grade.
My lovin' Wifie and I were in over our head with debt in the mid 80's. Almost divorced.
We Dug out one day at a time by recording every purchase/expense from chewing gum on up. We recorded (in a spiral notebook) set for each day and each month every penny spent. Every one cent.
Then as a credit card bill came in we "Blitzed" the lowest balanced card, made minimum payment on the rest of the cards. Making 2 and sometimes 3 payments a month. When paid off, that card was cut up and account closed. I'll bet most don't realize that you could at one time write off all interest on credit cards from your taxes even when filing short form. They closed that benefit to us small Guys in the early '70's.
We eventually went to only two credit cards. Now, we use one card for everything and pay the balance at the end of the month. WE PAY NO INTEREST...
Major purchase is 90 days to 6 months same as cash. We save during that period until balance is due and pay off before due date. NO INTEREST...
It saved our marrage. It can be done. You just have to watch "The Walton's" more and learn to enjoy/entertain more cheaply.
Note: I didn't say economically (a yuppee term), I said CHEAPLY... An old Guy Depression Term.
And stay out of the Bars and Clubs. Too expensive to drink there and if you get hit with a DUI, you're screwed forever.
If you're a Family, watch the Ball Games or Movies at home with other family and friends. Everyone BYOBeer, snacks and such. Monopoly is still a fun game in the winter.
Leaches need not enter the Cave. And people who are depressed should not be allowed to whine. A Rule of the Scottish Clan System is: "Bring nothing bad back to the Clan".
I realize this is off subject some, but if you can't learn to live within your means, you will always be broke regardless of how much you make. I know of young families who have entered into "Get debt free programs" sponsored by their Church and are now in the Green... What a feelin' it is to be debt free..
rch101, the Waltons today would be considered yokels. Where were their A/C units, Internet access, SUVs, and numerous vacations overseas? Where was their HELOC-funded lifestyle amplification?
The reality is that today's Generation-X wouldn't be caught dead living in the house that they grew up in. They certainly turned up their noses at living in the same neighborhood. They were given far too much credit by the bankers in order to support the illusion of affluence.
Well, the credit spigot got turned off, and the average Gen-X twit will have to face bankruptcy and foreclosure before his demented little mind finally accepts economic reality.
Zero, there's always hope. My wife and I went through all these current times also. I just retired on a buy-out 5 years ago and my wife retires a year from now. The difference is, that after we were in hock up to our a$$ in the mid 80's we saw the light. WE are all going to pay for all of these bankruptcies and foreclosures. My intent was an idea.
Ideas for those younger people who may not have already screwed their financial lives up.
I am pleased you replied as it seems most must have figured I was from Mars.
Yes, rch101, I run into the "you're from another planet" thing all the time. Our society is drunk on credit, and mesmerized with the appearance of prosperity. My grandmother (who's still alive, due to clean living) has said that we're "drowning in affluence". But generational wisdom always comes up short; even my own. She didn't foresee how far people would go to keep up appearances.
What must happen now is a great increase in our tax load. The federal government is now running budget deficits that are the size of the entire federal budget of just 7-8 years ago. By my calculations, over the period since 1940, the federal budget grew 12 times faster than can be accounted for by population growth (x2.3) and inflation (2.5%/yr, long term). Obviously, that must dictate a rise in the average tax load experienced by whatever taxpaying Americans that we have left. Within a generation, whatever part of the average American's budget that's now used for "discretionary" spending (for all those consumer goods that we're so addicted to), must be swallowed up instead by unavoidable taxes. We will stop being consumers, and "stagflate" our way into the future, by buying necessary consumables which have heavy taxes laid on them.
The young are just not interested in any of that prognostication. They only want to consume. They missed the boat, since the Baby Boomers and then Generation-X sailed off with it ... before it sank just outside the harbor, where the iceberg of huge debts lurked. So they are only missing the opportunity to put themselves into debt chains. My task is is to laugh at them enough that in the midst of their shame, some dim corner of their minds will spark with the fury to overturn the truth, which will slam inevitably into the truth itself, which they must accept.
Coincidentally, GuestZero is currently posting from his grandmother's basement!
dhr; I used to share what appears to be a little dissent about our Gov't. That was before I lived and worked in a couple of countries without democracy.
Taxes aren't the problem, it's the way they're spent. Not the way they're spent in our own country but sent to foreign countries. And regardless of how you vote, neither Party can (or will) ever control where our taxes go. Anyone care to guess how much was sent to foreign countries last year. And over the last 25 years...
I believe it's appearant we're paying off the world to maintain our personal national protection.
I haven't heard of anyone trying to sneak into Cuba or Saudi Arabia or for that matter any other mideast or south american country to live the "Good Life"...
What's important here is that we continue to stand up and fight for the important things to our Nation's and Toledo's future such as keeping the YMCA open in my neighborhood.
OK, it's Miller time and for now, I can afford Miller on my paycheck. I will drink no beer before it's time... It's Time.
"Taxes aren't the problem, it's the way they're spent"
I think a lot of folks here, especially the "Tea Party" types, would disagree.
That was before I lived and worked in a couple of countries without democracy.
Okay, I'm curious. Where? How long did you stay and what was it like?
Taxes aren't the problem, it's the way they're spent.
I believe that taxes are too high, but I have a much stronger objection to the way tax money is spent. I see very little return for money that is taken from me.
jack; Saudi Arabia, Iran, Oman, Peru and Bolivia.
You believe our taxes are too high. I ask; Compared to what?
And just so you know where I stand, I am a fan of the flat tax.
Everyone pay a percentage of their income. No deductions... No loopholes. You get caught cheatin' you get deported in the middle of the night to some obscure country.
Great training mission for the SEALS.
I'm "satisfied" by my paycheck. I'm not super rich, but a heck of a lot richer than I was 5 years ago. Could be making double in other cities, but still making 3x what I was back home.
So by satisfied, I mean I can afford to pay all of my bills, a small amount now and then for a movie or popcorn, or extra gas to go for a drive while not living exactly paycheck to paycheck.
but at the same time if something happens I'm not financially safe either. Having my car more or less totaled set me back nearly 8 months and just now starting to get back to normal.
My friends thought I was nuts when I told them I planned on having my student loans paid off in 5 years or less. I told them I saw the amount of interest I would pay for the extra 5 years and that I would make sacrifices to make sure I didn't end up paying it. They also don't see the logic in planning on paying a house off in 15 years instead of 30.
It seems like just because people understand "financing" and "credit" means they have to use it.
I'm not so sure that many people are living beyond their means out there. Sure, there are some. But I know people who have service job wages at $8 or less per hour. These jobs used to go to teens or college kids, but since high paying manufacturing jobs were outsourced, there are just not enough jobs out there that pay a living wage. When you have to use a credit card for groceries, that's not good.
I am very fortunate to have two sources of income. I have never had to struggle. Still, I see my kids struggling to make ends meet. I help them when they need it. I never had to borrow from my parents. Things are much harder today.