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Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:14 PM

I'm sorry, something is not adding up here

I'm sorry, something is not adding up here

(rant)

The tale of the Disney worker earning $15 an hour full-time but economically suffering (IMHO) has gaps.

The most telling one is that the worker claimed that food costs were $60 a week.

That is about what we pay each for a month.

Even if the worker didn’t have access to cooking facilities or a refrigerator, there are things such as private brand granola and PB. And the worker talked about car insurance, so it’s not as if there was dependence on the corner store (or buses).

Maybe there were other expense factors, but these were not specified.

((further rant))

I volunteer at a low-income taxpayer clinic. Yesterday, a woman turned 65 came in. I had to explain to her that she was not getting EIC this year because she had turned 65.

She decided to file anyway (despite being under the filing threshold) because she had been getting premium tax credit before going on Medicare.

She mentioned that she was in Section 8 housing.

And her only income was Social Security, so she didn't owe any state tax either.

68 replies, 4451 views

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Arrow 68 replies Author Time Post
Reply I'm sorry, something is not adding up here (Original post)
nitpicker Mar 2018 OP
ecstatic Mar 2018 #1
dawg day Mar 2018 #3
Bucky Mar 2018 #25
Rorey Mar 2018 #8
Eyeball_Kid Mar 2018 #27
Demovictory9 Mar 2018 #41
Codeine Mar 2018 #49
Demovictory9 Mar 2018 #53
ProudLib72 Mar 2018 #64
shanny Mar 2018 #52
NRaleighLiberal Mar 2018 #2
mcar Mar 2018 #30
petronius Mar 2018 #4
33taw Mar 2018 #5
Demovictory9 Mar 2018 #37
former9thward Mar 2018 #43
Ms. Toad Mar 2018 #47
B2G Mar 2018 #6
KatyaR Mar 2018 #46
bettyellen Mar 2018 #56
Autumn Mar 2018 #7
leftstreet Mar 2018 #9
dawg day Mar 2018 #14
Codeine Mar 2018 #23
Codeine Mar 2018 #10
dawg day Mar 2018 #11
csziggy Mar 2018 #31
dawg day Mar 2018 #34
Demovictory9 Mar 2018 #38
JI7 Mar 2018 #45
ProfessorGAC Mar 2018 #66
Sophia4 Mar 2018 #59
GeorgeGist Mar 2018 #12
dameatball Mar 2018 #13
csziggy Mar 2018 #32
dameatball Mar 2018 #35
Downtown Hound Mar 2018 #15
mr_lebowski Mar 2018 #24
Ms. Toad Mar 2018 #48
Demovictory9 Mar 2018 #36
Codeine Mar 2018 #50
Vinca Mar 2018 #16
beachbum bob Mar 2018 #17
beachbum bob Mar 2018 #18
beachbum bob Mar 2018 #19
csziggy Mar 2018 #33
beachbum bob Mar 2018 #65
Ms. Toad Mar 2018 #20
Me. Mar 2018 #26
Ms. Toad Mar 2018 #28
Me. Mar 2018 #29
Demovictory9 Mar 2018 #39
Ms. Toad Mar 2018 #44
Demovictory9 Mar 2018 #62
Demovictory9 Mar 2018 #40
Ms. Toad Mar 2018 #42
Sophia4 Mar 2018 #61
Codeine Mar 2018 #51
Wellstone ruled Mar 2018 #21
shanny Mar 2018 #22
pangaia Mar 2018 #54
LAS14 Mar 2018 #55
ecstatic Mar 2018 #63
Codeine Mar 2018 #57
tammywammy Mar 2018 #60
Sophia4 Mar 2018 #58
LanternWaste Mar 2018 #67
LAS14 Mar 2018 #68

Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:18 PM

1. I'm not sure what you're referring to, but $60/week for food seems low to me

$60/month food costs seems impossible. I'm not an efficient shopper though, so that could be part of the problem. I'd love to hear how you get a month worth of groceries for $60?

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:21 PM

3. I agree-- $60 a week is low for a family.

I'm sure it's possible to spend less than that on food, but you might need to have a garden and/or spend a lot of time prepping food, which is hard when you have a family and full-time job and commute.

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Response to dawg day (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 02:41 PM

25. I'm going to go out on the limb and suggest food prices in SoCal are high

Call me cynical, but probably lot of things cost more out there. And possibly a daily commute to Disney could be hard on someone's budget too.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:32 PM

8. $60 a week is sufficient for me.

I can't imagine $60 for the whole month. I'm a vegetarian, so that saves a lot of money because meat is very expensive. I shop sales and stock up when I find a good buy. I rarely eat out because it just doesn't much appeal to me. I'm also put off by the fact that I can make four or five meals for myself at home for the price of one meal in a restaurant.

My husband does eat meat, but he generally does his own shopping for it, and thankfully also cooks it for himself. He also likes to eat out, and he's more than welcome to go without me.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 02:51 PM

27. $60 bucks a month for food? I'm thinking, "40 pound bags of brown rice."

Most people can live on brown rice and a few extras. But damn, that's a boring diet.

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Response to Eyeball_Kid (Reply #27)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 05:48 PM

41. disney employee is spending about $8.50 per day. i would get cans of refried beans, tortillas

brown rice.. and make cheap burritos. $17 would buy enough for week. then remaining $41could purchase tomatoes, cheese, stuff to add variety

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #41)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 06:21 PM

49. Youre gonna get real fucking sick of

bean burritos in a very short time. A person with a job shouldn’t find that they’re forced to subsist on bean burritos three meals a day, day in and day out.

Not to mention the gastric side effects (ahem) that would result from such a diet.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #49)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 06:26 PM

53. lol.. yeah..but better than crackers and cheese dinner

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Response to Codeine (Reply #49)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 10:57 PM

64. I knew someone who did this over the summer

He would work during the winter to get some money together then go on a summer long rock climbing vacation. He lived out of his VW van. I remember him showing me his 40lb bag of rice, 40lb bag of black beans, 100 count of tostada shells, and big ass jug of the cheapest salsa he could find. I thought it was cool, but I was only 16 at the time.

I caught him once camping out at the local bouldering area. It was early in the morning. I woke him up, and there was some woman in the van! What kind of woman would have hooked up with him???!!!! I guess he accounted for some extra tostadas when he purchased his allotment!

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Response to Eyeball_Kid (Reply #27)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 06:25 PM

52. fwiw red beans and rice provide all the necessary amino acids

cajun spice will make it less boring--unless that's all you get, and every day

on another front: yea! we can survive on red beans and rice while working full time in the richest country in the history of the world!

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:20 PM

2. We cook most things at home, don't eat out, shop at Trader Joe and Sprout -

and it is more than 60 per week.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 03:35 PM

30. Us too

I shop at Aldi's and stock up on sale items. We eat quite healthily, but for 3 of us (20YO son at home), our grocery bill is $100/week or more.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:21 PM

4. For reference, here's the other thread:

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:22 PM

5. Your claim of $60 a month on food adds up to $12- $15 weekly. That does not seem realistic.

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Response to 33taw (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 05:39 PM

37. $60 a WEEK

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #37)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 05:50 PM

43. The OP says they spend $60 a month.

Read it.

The most telling one is that the worker claimed that food costs were $60 a week.

That is about what we pay each for a month.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #37)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 05:54 PM

47. Try reading the OP

If you run into post after post after post saying $60/month is ridiculous, it might be a clue you misread something that you ought to check before shouting at folks who read it correctly..

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:23 PM

6. I'll tell you what doesn't add up.

 

$60 a month. And you said 'we' so that's for more than one person.

Do tell how you manage that.

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Response to B2G (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 05:53 PM

46. The husband buys his own food.

So $60 is for one person who doesn't eat meat, mostly beans.

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Response to KatyaR (Reply #46)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 06:28 PM

56. And has his own good income calculated separately for living expenses- as well as dining out. LOL.

 

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:28 PM

7. How on earth do you and another person, e.g. the "we", get by on $60 a month for food?

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:32 PM

9. Analyze the decisions of the rich, not the poor n/t

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:36 PM

14. Very good point.

The rich who have 9 houses and 50 cars-- they could probably learn lessons from others on thrift. Somehow I think some Disney employee earning $15/hr already knows more than she wants to about how to be thrifty.

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 02:39 PM

23. Boom.

On the fucking nose, Leftstreet.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:33 PM

10. $60 a week for food is complete bullshit.

Less than fifteen bucks a week? A little over two dollars a day?

Nope.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:33 PM

11. $15 an hour is $2400 a month

And about $30K a year before taxes (and even if you don't pay federal income taxes, about 10% of your wages go to FICA and Medicare). And let's not forget that $15 an hour is TWICE minimum wage.

I agree that's not as poor as poverty level, but it's pretty low. In Orlando, the average rent for a 2BR apt (very small for a family of more than 2) is $1300 a month. Even a studio is over $900. https://www.rentcafe.com/average-rent-market-trends/us/fl/orlando/

So there goes half your wages-- before you buy one gallon of milk ($3.50). Here are the costs of some essentials in Orlando: https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/orlando

We shouldn't get angry at people earning low wages who aren't living as well as we think they should, or living as cleanly and strictly as we think we would live in their situation. It's an exhausting struggle from week to week, and we don't need to add on the burden of our disapproval.

As Will Rogers said, "It ain't no crime to be poor, but it might as well be."
Many Americans think people with low income should somehow be ashamed. Let's not go there. It's hard to live on $2400 a month, especially in a city. It's even harder to live on minimum wage. Empathy is a good response.

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Response to dawg day (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 04:00 PM

31. The original article was talking about Disney LAND employees

In California, not Disney World in Florida.

I have no idea about living costs in California or in Orlando so I can't comment on your figures, but I seem to recall reading that living costs in California are extremely high.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #31)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 04:10 PM

34. even worse.

Add 50% to the rent at least.

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Response to dawg day (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 05:40 PM

38. apartments one bedroom start at $1600 in anaheim calif

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #38)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 05:53 PM

45. Many people don't live in same area they work

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Response to JI7 (Reply #45)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 07:35 AM

66. Doesn't That Make Transportation More Costly

And kind of necessitate a car that requires cash to operate.

Now, i know in Orange County that have rapid transit, but some people simply can't switch buses and take 90 minutes each way to get to work.

So, not living where one works contains its own inherent cost, no?

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Response to dawg day (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 06:33 PM

59. California rents are very, very high.

 

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:33 PM

12. I'm sorry, something is not adding up here

That is about what we pay each for a month.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:34 PM

13. Recent refugee from the Land of the Mouse

I must tell you that I have not read the article. However, I can tell you the COL in Central Florida can be deceptively high, depending on where you live. $60 a week for groceries is a bit low to me.

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Response to dameatball (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 04:02 PM

32. Again, the original article was talking about CALIFORNIA

Disney Land, not Disney World in Florida.

"The report suggested that two-thirds of Disneyland Resort workers are food insecure, meaning they lack a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. "
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/mar/01/disneyland-california-employees-poverty-homelessness-study

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Response to csziggy (Reply #32)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 04:45 PM

35. Sorry, it was this forest and all these meddlesome trees!!!

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:40 PM

15. $60 a MONTH for food?

I'm sorry, but the only thing not adding up is your ridiculous claim. $60 a month is not enough for one person let alone a family except for maybe if you ate Top Ramen and nothing else.

Seriously, find a different hobby other than trying to poke holes in stories of the hardships suffered by working people. And if that is your hobby, learn a little bit about the real world most people live in so you don't sound so ridiculous.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #15)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 02:40 PM

24. To be fair, it does say $60 'each' not for (all) people.

Don't know how seemingly everyone is misunderstanding the clear implication that the OP means 'per
person'.

Not defending their points in general, just this one.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #24)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 05:56 PM

48. I don't see anyone who obviously assumes anything other than per person.

I was certainly talking about per person.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #15)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 05:38 PM

36. $60 a WEEK

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #36)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 06:23 PM

50. The OP claimed a month. nt

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:43 PM

16. $60 a month??? I spend more than that on pet food and supplies.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:52 PM

17. I am missing the point in this "rant"

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:55 PM

18. claim on $60/person for a month is pretty questionable as I missed that

the first time I read this "rant"...no way and I can say this categorically any american could spend and live on $60 of basic food items in a month unless they are munchkins

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 12:59 PM

19. We have spent 2 months in Florida and I can say the food prices are 20% minimum MORE

than where we live in central illinois. $15/hr is surviving wage if its just for you almost everywhere in this country, unless you live at home with mom and dad

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Response to beachbum bob (Reply #19)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 04:04 PM

33. The report was about Disney Land in CALIFORNIA

NOT Disney World in Florida.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #33)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 06:46 AM

65. I suspect california food prices are 20% more than central illinois too

I can buy milk for less than $2.00/gallon....

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 01:23 PM

20. Check your math.

That's $2/day (or less in months with over 30 days).

That, essentially, means nothing beyond tap water to drink. Dried beans & rice bought in bulk. Either a garden - or no fresh veggies.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #20)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 02:47 PM

26. Something Else To Consider

When people talk about grocery store visits and costs, they just lump everything together, so there are many necessities besides actual food that is eaten. When I'm asked how much I spent at the grocery store week, I give the entire amount. But...that also includes tp, pt, kleenex, detergent, soap and so forth.

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Response to Me. (Reply #26)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 03:26 PM

28. Well . . . maybe some people

but what I was looking at was the claim of spending $60/month on food.

There are 30-31 days every month, but one, so that breaks down to $2/day (maximum) in food.

So I wasn't thinking about the total at the check-out counter - I was building from what you could buy for $2/day to feed yourself.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #28)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 03:28 PM

29. I Get That

And agree $2. a day for food is hardly adequate

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #20)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 05:41 PM

39. a week

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #39)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 05:51 PM

44. No. The OP was declaring something fishy with the story because they spend $60/month.

The most telling one is that the worker claimed that food costs were $60 a week.

That is about what we pay each for a month.


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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #44)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 06:36 PM

62. oh..ok

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #20)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 05:42 PM

40. 60 a week

They include Glynndana Shevlin, a food and beverage concierge at one of the resort hotels, meaning she serves wine and appetizers to suite guests. She has worked for Disney for 30 years.

“Food-wise I try to spend under $60 a week, but that only gives me about one meal a day,” she said. She can’t touch the fancy appetizers she takes up to the suites – mushroom ratatouille, teriyaki beef kabobs – and she can’t afford the employee cafeteria.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #40)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 05:49 PM

42. The OP said $60/week was fishy

because the OP spends $60/month.

The most telling one is that the worker claimed that food costs were $60 a week.

That is about what we pay each for a month.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #42)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 06:36 PM

61. We could not eat on $60 per month. We live in California, and don't eat that much.

 

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #40)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 06:24 PM

51. Were referring to the OP,

not the person in the article.

Do try to keep up, dear.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 01:38 PM

21. When I first read this story I thought let's

call someone who might be in the Know. It is worse than I thought, this is the tip of the Disney Berg. Housing in the Anaheim area is a major problem, rents are brutal and the Kids working at the Park are Couch Surfing and sleeping on floors of other's . All trying to avoid the Landlords finding to many people in their Rentals.

Same source says the Orlando area is experiencing the same issues.

Remember,Disney out sourced their Hotel Staff and Maintenance workers years ago,and that means you have Hundreds of people competing for the same bread crumbs. BTW,Daily Park Pass increased by 18%.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 02:32 PM

22. A note on rent:

Includes a graph/map that shows what you need to be making to afford an apartment in every state:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-much-you-need-for-rent_us_5942cc92e4b0f15cd5b9e2ee

"...report compares minimum wages and housing costs in states, metropolitan areas and counties across the country. This year’s results show the hourly wage rate needed for a “modest” two-bedroom rental is more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour in all but four states."

In CA you need 40 hrs at almost $31....

btw: the study is for a "modest two-bedroom" but remember that a 1-bedroom, or even a studio will not be half as much.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 06:27 PM

54. You pay $60/mo for food?

Please tell me your shopping list..

Thanks...

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 06:27 PM

55. Would you post a week's worth of sample meals????

If you pay $60 each every month, then, assuming there are two of you, one wee's worth of meals at home would be $120/4, or $30. Would you publish the menus for those 14 meals (breakfast and dinner - let's assume you're not counting lunch.)

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Response to LAS14 (Reply #55)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 10:44 PM

63. I know right?? I'm really curious!

I'm hoping to learn some great tips!!

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 06:28 PM

57. You know what REALLY doesnt add up?

A bunch of fucking Freeper-sounding posts castigating poor people for having the audacity to want to eat something that isn’t motherfucking Spaghetti-Os or bean burritos.

That shit doesn’t add the fuck up no matter how many times I try to make the math work.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #57)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 06:34 PM

60. +1

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 06:29 PM

58. Are you in California?

 

It's expensive here.

And the $60 may include a lot of incidental expenses other than food.

I don't know, but it is possible.

California is really expensive. The rents are astronomical compared to incomes.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 08:04 AM

67. That usually happens when we lack relevant variables and replace them with presumptions.

"I'm sorry, something is not adding up here..."


That usually happens when we lack relevant variables and replace them with our own presumptions.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #67)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 08:17 AM

68. Well stated! Did you just make that up, or is it well known in scientific circles? nt

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