Listening to the political and pundit left rhetoric you might conclude that most of America below the billionaire class is living pay check to pay check. In fact, a survey reported by CNN says 78% of Americans claim they live paycheck to paycheck and even worse most of those are in debt too.
No matter how much you earn, getting by is still a struggle for most people these days.
Seventy-eight percent of full-time workers said they live paycheck to paycheck, up from 75 percent last year, according to a recent report from CareerBuilder. CNN.com
“No matter how much you earn…” Have you ever read a more ridiculous statement? If you are living paycheck to paycheck no matter how much you earn, you are a fool!”
I don’t know how these folks define living p to p, but to me that’s having no money left on the next payday because the last pay was totally spent on basic necessities like housing, food, clothing, healthcare and transportation. Even that definition has a great deal of flexibility for each expense.
Do most Americans or at least this 78% spend all their money on necessities? The data and common sense indicate otherwise.
There are twenty nail salons, ten tattoo studios and ten Starbucks within five miles of my house. There are ten Chinese takeouts within four miles and nine movie theaters within nine miles. If the above claim of living paycheck to paycheck was accurate, could these businesses and thousands of others around the Country stay in business?
No doubt there are homes in the US where the p to p claim is correct, but there is no way it is 78% of Americans or close to it. A report on CNN.money says 43% of American households can’t meet their basic needs and it also says this:
For instance, in Seattle’s King County, the annual household survival budget for a family of four (including one infant and one preschooler) in 2016 was nearly $85,000. This would require an hourly wage of $42.46. But in Washington State, only 14% of jobs pay more than $40 an hour.
If you were making your case, why not compare the $85,000 with the percentage of workers earning more than $40 an hour in the same county. Low wage workers aren’t driving up the survival budget.
Frankly, I doubt most people know how they spend their money. I am just as certain that most people don’t know the difference between necessities and other stuff. The constant drumbeat of Americans struggling and living p to p is 20% reality and 80% political bombast.
It may be no fun living with necessities only, but it’s better than mortgaging your future.