Author Topic: living wage is .... (again)  (Read 15810 times)

anisotropy

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living wage is .... (again)
« on: August 28, 2014, 12:54:54 PM »
Here we go again, Living wage for a single person, not a family (all figures in Canadian dollars):

"Calgary’s Living Wage Action Team has determined that an individual working full time (35 hours per week, 52 weeks a year) needs to make a minimum of $17.29/hour without benefits, or $16.14/hour with benefits to earn a Living Wage in Calgary."

http://www.vibrantcalgary.com/vibrant-initiatives/living-wage/living-wage-basics/

It's interesting from personal experience I found that $2000 a month, or about $13/hour pre tax, is more than enough for a single person to live in Calgary. Here is how

1. Live 25 minutes from downtown core and the rent drops by at least 30%, find some roomates to share the rent and utilities

2. Use public transit (admittedly PT sucks in Calgary) or drive cheap cars so you can save on insurance.

3. Cut out cable and excessive cellphone plans.

4. Cook at home most of the time.

5. Each working week has 37.5 hours, not 35. 

6. Other MMM "tips" on reducing expenses

But that would probably not be sanctioned as "a safe, decent, dignified standard of living" by the folks at Vibrant Calgary. Websites like VC make me want to throw these people into bootcamps for a through standard of living re-education.

vivophoenix

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2014, 01:37:17 PM »
Here we go again, Living wage for a single person, not a family (all figures in Canadian dollars):

"Calgary’s Living Wage Action Team has determined that an individual working full time (35 hours per week, 52 weeks a year) needs to make a minimum of $17.29/hour without benefits, or $16.14/hour with benefits to earn a Living Wage in Calgary."

http://www.vibrantcalgary.com/vibrant-initiatives/living-wage/living-wage-basics/

It's interesting from personal experience I found that $2000 a month, or about $13/hour pre tax, is more than enough for a single person to live in Calgary. Here is how

1. Live 25 minutes from downtown core and the rent drops by at least 30%, find some roomates to share the rent and utilities

2. Use public transit (admittedly PT sucks in Calgary) or drive cheap cars so you can save on insurance.

3. Cut out cable and excessive cellphone plans.

4. Cook at home most of the time.

5. Each working week has 37.5 hours, not 35. 

6. Other MMM "tips" on reducing expenses

But that would probably not be sanctioned as "a safe, decent, dignified standard of living" by the folks at Vibrant Calgary. Websites like VC make me want to throw these people into bootcamps for a through standard of living re-education.

i think a large part of these studies do not include the idea that you would live with room mates.

if you factor in living with room mates,  to arrive at a living wage calculation for a single person, havent you, by default arrived, at the calculation for living as a family.

next if you say everyone should live down town where its 30% cheaper. it wont be 30% cheaper for much longer.




personally i dont think its negative to assume part of living wage, is the ability to live alone rather than form dependent family like units.


sigh its horrible that they do these calculations based on the average way of living, why dont they do these broad calculations based on this way that only 0.1% of population lives.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 01:42:23 PM by vivophoenix »

nordlead

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2014, 01:41:01 PM »
That, and you can't magically add 2.75 hours/week. If full time is 35 hours, then the living wage for a full time worker is calculated on 35 hours.

Or, should I just shift the argument and say that some full time employees work 60-80 hour weeks? Then they only need to make half as much.

What is the actual median and average full time employee hrs/week?

vivophoenix

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2014, 01:46:05 PM »
could that missing 2.5 be perhaps unpaid lunch , 30 minutes per day, at five days a week?


anisotropy

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2014, 03:27:34 PM »
As far as I know, the "standard" full time in Calgary is 37.5 hours a week, 7.5 hours a day.

Living with roommates doesn't make you and your roommates "families" (although it does make you common-law in some cases lol). Living with room mates usually lower your expenses while being in a census family usually means higher expenses due to kids.

For an unattached individual, living with room mates is an easy way to reduce housing expenses. If the study is suggesting that living with room mates is not considered a "decent, dignified standard of living", well.... perhaps it is advocating people to spend on "luxuries" beyond what they can afford.


Zikoris

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2014, 03:46:51 PM »
Yeah, they come out with these in Vancouver every year - it's something like $20/hr BOTH parents to support two kids on a "bare bones budget" (they actually call it  that!!), with absolutely insane spending.

Jennifer in Ottawa

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2014, 05:00:42 PM »
I don't think that this belongs in this sub-forum at all, and I am rather put off by the dismissive opinions of a base amount for a living wage.  Most people here earn multiples of this amount, live Mustachian lives and have the luxury of investing all that extra income with the goal of early retirement.  Other people live off the same amounts or less out of necessity, not choice.

If a person wished to save for retirement, that would indeed be a minimum desirable 'living wage'.  You could survive off of a lower salary, but your Mustachianism would need to be in full force just to cover your expenses, leaving nothing (or very little) left for saving and investment.

Mustachianism (with savings and investment) with the end-goal of FIRE is one thing, Mustachianism just to keep body and soul together with no hope of ever retiring is another thing entirely.

swiper

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2014, 05:38:52 PM »
I don't think that this belongs in this sub-forum at all, and I am rather put off by the dismissive opinions of a base amount for a living wage.  Most people here earn multiples of this amount, live Mustachian lives and have the luxury of investing all that extra income with the goal of early retirement.  Other people live off the same amounts or less out of necessity, not choice.

If a person wished to save for retirement, that would indeed be a minimum desirable 'living wage'.  You could survive off of a lower salary, but your Mustachianism would need to be in full force just to cover your expenses, leaving nothing (or very little) left for saving and investment.

Mustachianism (with savings and investment) with the end-goal of FIRE is one thing, Mustachianism just to keep body and soul together with no hope of ever retiring is another thing entirely.

+1

~36K/year in a booming city, is perhaps nothing to brag about on this forum, but its hardly antimustachian. Also, they state that this isn't just a survival wage ... "Save for future needs and goals" is part of this amount.




anisotropy

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2014, 06:24:23 PM »
lol ok.

survival wage in Calgary is prob 1700

Rent: 900, living 20 to 25mins away from DT core, sharing with roommate(s). A friend pays 550 in a safe neighborhood close to a major shopping center, sharing a 4 bedroom house with 3 people.

Utilities: 100, that's what my friend pays, includes water, electricity, and gas.

Transportation: 100, that's how much a monthly bus pass costs, PT sucks in Calgary, but it gets you to places. If one really needs to drive, maybe 200 for gas and cheap insurance.

Groceries: 300, three hundred a month is quite a large sum for a single person.

Cellphone:50, this is quite generous, seriously, the "barebone" cellphone plan is only 15 dollars a month.

Everything else: 200, includes grooming, entertainment, clothes and shoes. This item shouldn't even be here as we are trying to build a "survival" wage, but I will include it just for the sake of it.

Add all those numbers up and we are at ~1700 with a relatively generous budget for "survival". Sure it's not pretty but we are talking about survivals here.....

Now, savings and emergency funds, who wants to bet that when this study was made they assumed people would not retire until 65? Assume working for 45 years and using MMM's saving rate chart, we get the saving rate of 15%, but we will make it 25% just to be generous.

125% of 1700 is 2125 Canadian dollars a month, or ~$13.5 / hr pre tax. Even 150% of 1700 translates to less than $15.5/ hr pre tax. I guess this lifestyle is just not considered a "decent, dignified standard of living". MUST BUY ALL THE THINGS !

A "living" wage does not automatically equate to a comfortable life, yet people tend to believe that what a living wage should provide.

Zikoris

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2014, 07:23:11 PM »
I don't think that this belongs in this sub-forum at all, and I am rather put off by the dismissive opinions of a base amount for a living wage.  Most people here earn multiples of this amount, live Mustachian lives and have the luxury of investing all that extra income with the goal of early retirement.  Other people live off the same amounts or less out of necessity, not choice.

If a person wished to save for retirement, that would indeed be a minimum desirable 'living wage'.  You could survive off of a lower salary, but your Mustachianism would need to be in full force just to cover your expenses, leaving nothing (or very little) left for saving and investment.

Mustachianism (with savings and investment) with the end-goal of FIRE is one thing, Mustachianism just to keep body and soul together with no hope of ever retiring is another thing entirely.

Even Canada's minimum wages are generous enough to cover a comfortable life and retirement. Not retirement at 30, but retirement at a normal retirement age or slightly earlier. In BC, for example, a full time minimum wage job would pay about $19,000/year after tax. Spending a fairly extravagant $10K-$12K would leave you with $7000-$9000/year for retirement savings, easily enough for a good retirement.

maizeman

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2014, 07:33:23 PM »
Now, savings and emergency funds, who wants to bet that when this study was made they assumed people would not retire until 65? Assume working for 45 years and using MMM's saving rate chart, we get the saving rate of 15%, but we will make it 25% just to be generous.

125% of 1700 is 2125 Canadian dollars a month, or ~$13.5 / hr pre tax. Even 150% of 1700 translates to less than $15.5/ hr pre tax. I guess this lifestyle is just not considered a "decent, dignified standard of living".

I think that although you are saying pre-tax you must mean post-tax. $14*37.5 hours/week * 50 weeks a year is 25,312.5 or ~2110/month before any taxes are considered.

Also if your income is 125% of your spending, you are saving 20% of your take home pay, not 25%. And 150% = a savings rate of 33% not 50%.

daverobev

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2014, 07:41:41 PM »
lol ok.

survival wage in Calgary is prob 1700

Rent: 900, living 20 to 25mins away from DT core, sharing with roommate(s). A friend pays 550 in a safe neighborhood close to a major shopping center, sharing a 4 bedroom house with 3 people.

Utilities: 100, that's what my friend pays, includes water, electricity, and gas.

Transportation: 100, that's how much a monthly bus pass costs, PT sucks in Calgary, but it gets you to places. If one really needs to drive, maybe 200 for gas and cheap insurance.

Groceries: 300, three hundred a month is quite a large sum for a single person.

Cellphone:50, this is quite generous, seriously, the "barebone" cellphone plan is only 15 dollars a month.

Everything else: 200, includes grooming, entertainment, clothes and shoes. This item shouldn't even be here as we are trying to build a "survival" wage, but I will include it just for the sake of it.

Add all those numbers up and we are at ~1700 with a relatively generous budget for "survival". Sure it's not pretty but we are talking about survivals here.....

Now, savings and emergency funds, who wants to bet that when this study was made they assumed people would not retire until 65? Assume working for 45 years and using MMM's saving rate chart, we get the saving rate of 15%, but we will make it 25% just to be generous.

125% of 1700 is 2125 Canadian dollars a month, or ~$13.5 / hr pre tax. Even 150% of 1700 translates to less than $15.5/ hr pre tax. I guess this lifestyle is just not considered a "decent, dignified standard of living". MUST BUY ALL THE THINGS !

A "living" wage does not automatically equate to a comfortable life, yet people tend to believe that what a living wage should provide.

Those are crazy high numbers!

Couple of years ago we rented a 1 bed in Ottawa for $800, so $850 or $875 now. Phone $10 or $15. Food you can do $100 a month per person no problem.

I know Calgary isn't Ottawa.

swiper

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2014, 09:01:34 PM »
I don't think that this belongs in this sub-forum at all, and I am rather put off by the dismissive opinions of a base amount for a living wage.  Most people here earn multiples of this amount, live Mustachian lives and have the luxury of investing all that extra income with the goal of early retirement.  Other people live off the same amounts or less out of necessity, not choice.

If a person wished to save for retirement, that would indeed be a minimum desirable 'living wage'.  You could survive off of a lower salary, but your Mustachianism would need to be in full force just to cover your expenses, leaving nothing (or very little) left for saving and investment.

Mustachianism (with savings and investment) with the end-goal of FIRE is one thing, Mustachianism just to keep body and soul together with no hope of ever retiring is another thing entirely.

Even Canada's minimum wages are generous enough to cover a comfortable life and retirement. Not retirement at 30, but retirement at a normal retirement age or slightly earlier. In BC, for example, a full time minimum wage job would pay about $19,000/year after tax. Spending a fairly extravagant $10K-$12K would leave you with $7000-$9000/year for retirement savings, easily enough for a good retirement.

?
19K puts you right around the poverty line (low income cutoff) in most Canadian cities. And (even here) most wouldn't consider 10-12K to be extravagant spending.

There are many, many better targets for your Antimustachian ridicule than some group asserting a $17 living wage.

RichMoose

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2014, 09:43:04 PM »
I would say that $17/hr should be a fair living wage for Calgary. That wage provides a moderate standard of living. Nothing overly extravagant and nothing too miserly, basically provides some creature comforts without too much stupidity. I would say my wife and I currently live off of about $17 per hour (combined). I'm no crazy leftist, but I will say that if everyone made a minimum net income of $28000/yr this country would probably be a better place to live, especially if those recipients adopted even the most basic mustachian principles: no credit card debt, no form of consumer debt, save a minimum of 10% of income.

I also agree with the above posts. Although its very possible to live on less than $17/hr, I would say in Calgary's rental market it would take some definite sacrificing for anyone other than a single person. Not the best post for the Antimustachian Wall of Shame.

Zikoris

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2014, 09:47:15 PM »
I don't think that this belongs in this sub-forum at all, and I am rather put off by the dismissive opinions of a base amount for a living wage.  Most people here earn multiples of this amount, live Mustachian lives and have the luxury of investing all that extra income with the goal of early retirement.  Other people live off the same amounts or less out of necessity, not choice.

If a person wished to save for retirement, that would indeed be a minimum desirable 'living wage'.  You could survive off of a lower salary, but your Mustachianism would need to be in full force just to cover your expenses, leaving nothing (or very little) left for saving and investment.

Mustachianism (with savings and investment) with the end-goal of FIRE is one thing, Mustachianism just to keep body and soul together with no hope of ever retiring is another thing entirely.

Even Canada's minimum wages are generous enough to cover a comfortable life and retirement. Not retirement at 30, but retirement at a normal retirement age or slightly earlier. In BC, for example, a full time minimum wage job would pay about $19,000/year after tax. Spending a fairly extravagant $10K-$12K would leave you with $7000-$9000/year for retirement savings, easily enough for a good retirement.

?
19K puts you right around the poverty line (low income cutoff) in most Canadian cities. And (even here) most wouldn't consider 10-12K to be extravagant spending.

There are many, many better targets for your Antimustachian ridicule than some group asserting a $17 living wage.

The poverty line is BS in Canada. I spend about $13K/year and have a pretty sweet downtown Vancouver lifestyle with multiple international vacations every year, along with a ton of concerts, shows, events, paragliding, and whatever else I feel like doing. It's an insult to actual poor people to call that level of spending "struggling" in any way, shape, or form.

Jennifer in Ottawa

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2014, 10:06:05 PM »
I don't think that this belongs in this sub-forum at all, and I am rather put off by the dismissive opinions of a base amount for a living wage.  Most people here earn multiples of this amount, live Mustachian lives and have the luxury of investing all that extra income with the goal of early retirement.  Other people live off the same amounts or less out of necessity, not choice.

If a person wished to save for retirement, that would indeed be a minimum desirable 'living wage'.  You could survive off of a lower salary, but your Mustachianism would need to be in full force just to cover your expenses, leaving nothing (or very little) left for saving and investment.

Mustachianism (with savings and investment) with the end-goal of FIRE is one thing, Mustachianism just to keep body and soul together with no hope of ever retiring is another thing entirely.

Even Canada's minimum wages are generous enough to cover a comfortable life and retirement. Not retirement at 30, but retirement at a normal retirement age or slightly earlier. In BC, for example, a full time minimum wage job would pay about $19,000/year after tax. Spending a fairly extravagant $10K-$12K would leave you with $7000-$9000/year for retirement savings, easily enough for a good retirement.

Fairly extravagant?  What qualifies as extravagant?

20 years ago in my single days, a one bedroom apartment in a rather shabby building downtown Ottawa, within a bikeable distance of everything, cost me $630 a month.  There goes $7560.  Bell was $50 a month, or $600 a year (this was the dark ages before such things as 'competition' and 'internet phone'.  We're at $8160 now.  Groceries, probably around $200 (no big box stores within reasonable reach, and Canadian groceries just cost more and that's the plain jane truth like it or not).

So, I am housed, fed and can call my mother on Sunday, and my bill is $10,560.  Oh yeah baby!  Living the High Life!

And this is 20 years ago.  It's only gotten worse.

Minimum wage in Ontario is currently $10.50 per hour.  If you are earning minimum wage you are likely not a full time employee.  You are likely to be a part time employee, probably working two part time jobs to get enough working hours.  This means you don't have benefits, you don't have paid holidays, and you certainly don't have a pension plan.

Let's say you luck out and get two part time jobs and your wage is minimum, the aforementioned 10.50.  You get even luckier and get the maximum hours from each job (24), so you are working 48 hours a week.  Furthermore, let's say you hit the friggin jackpot and your workplaces are not unionized, so you don't have to pay union dues.  Your pre tax income is $504 a week, or $26,208 annually. 

You have a horseshoe up your butt and never ever get sick, so you don't have to take (unpaid) time off work.  You also hate leisure and never take a week off to vacation.  Also, you don't have children so you don't have to miss any work for their doctor's appointments or sick days or what have you.  Yep.  You are a machine.  48 hours a week, 52 weeks a year.

According to the handy calculator Rev Can provides, we can find the payroll deductions to be:
Federal Tax: 67.68
Provincial Tax: 29.65
CPP: 21.62
EI: 9.48

After-tax income is a princely 375.57 a week.  And you're a machine remember, so you bring home $19, 529 a year.  Assuming that you can live the high life outlined above, paying 1993 prices in 2013, you have $8969 a year to invest.

So, you invest.  You get 7% on your money every year.  It never changes.  After 25 short years you've amassed $606,990.26.  Not shabby.  A 4% safe rate of return on that will net you $24,240 a year to live on.  You can retire.

But to do that....

You never had children.
You never took so much as a single day off work........in 25 years.
You never needed eyeglasses or prescriptions or dental work.
You replaced no clothes or shoes or household items.
You gave no gifts.
You took no holidays.
You never ate out, not even so much as a popsicle from the corner store.
No movies.
No internet.
No cellphone.
No insurance.
No bicycle or bike trailer.
You bought absolutely nothing other than grocery store food and paid no bills other than rent and phone.  No consumer goods of any kind, ever.

Oh, and you never bought a house, because that would entail higher monthly expenses due to paying property tax, a water bill, hydro and or gas bill, home owners insurance, etc, etc.
Nope, you stayed in your now extremely crappy one bedroom apartment downtown because heat and hydro were included.

For 25 years.

Of course, you could allow yourself the occasional luxury of a sick day or a book from the bookstore, or new underwear, but do it often enough and you get to continue this soul crushing way of life all the way to 65 when you qualify for OAS and CPP.

There is a world, nay, a universe of fucking difference between living on minimum wage and being mustachian.

Jennifer in Ottawa

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2014, 10:14:29 PM »
I don't think that this belongs in this sub-forum at all, and I am rather put off by the dismissive opinions of a base amount for a living wage.  Most people here earn multiples of this amount, live Mustachian lives and have the luxury of investing all that extra income with the goal of early retirement.  Other people live off the same amounts or less out of necessity, not choice.

If a person wished to save for retirement, that would indeed be a minimum desirable 'living wage'.  You could survive off of a lower salary, but your Mustachianism would need to be in full force just to cover your expenses, leaving nothing (or very little) left for saving and investment.

Mustachianism (with savings and investment) with the end-goal of FIRE is one thing, Mustachianism just to keep body and soul together with no hope of ever retiring is another thing entirely.

Even Canada's minimum wages are generous enough to cover a comfortable life and retirement. Not retirement at 30, but retirement at a normal retirement age or slightly earlier. In BC, for example, a full time minimum wage job would pay about $19,000/year after tax. Spending a fairly extravagant $10K-$12K would leave you with $7000-$9000/year for retirement savings, easily enough for a good retirement.

?
19K puts you right around the poverty line (low income cutoff) in most Canadian cities. And (even here) most wouldn't consider 10-12K to be extravagant spending.

There are many, many better targets for your Antimustachian ridicule than some group asserting a $17 living wage.

The poverty line is BS in Canada. I spend about $13K/year and have a pretty sweet downtown Vancouver lifestyle with multiple international vacations every year, along with a ton of concerts, shows, events, paragliding, and whatever else I feel like doing. It's an insult to actual poor people to call that level of spending "struggling" in any way, shape, or form.

You are either subsidized by someone or you are massively full of shit.  The crappiest of the crappy bachelor's apartments in Van start at 525/month.  There's 6300 gone, just on four walls and roof.

Zikoris

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2014, 10:22:11 PM »
I don't think that this belongs in this sub-forum at all, and I am rather put off by the dismissive opinions of a base amount for a living wage.  Most people here earn multiples of this amount, live Mustachian lives and have the luxury of investing all that extra income with the goal of early retirement.  Other people live off the same amounts or less out of necessity, not choice.

If a person wished to save for retirement, that would indeed be a minimum desirable 'living wage'.  You could survive off of a lower salary, but your Mustachianism would need to be in full force just to cover your expenses, leaving nothing (or very little) left for saving and investment.

Mustachianism (with savings and investment) with the end-goal of FIRE is one thing, Mustachianism just to keep body and soul together with no hope of ever retiring is another thing entirely.

Even Canada's minimum wages are generous enough to cover a comfortable life and retirement. Not retirement at 30, but retirement at a normal retirement age or slightly earlier. In BC, for example, a full time minimum wage job would pay about $19,000/year after tax. Spending a fairly extravagant $10K-$12K would leave you with $7000-$9000/year for retirement savings, easily enough for a good retirement.

?
19K puts you right around the poverty line (low income cutoff) in most Canadian cities. And (even here) most wouldn't consider 10-12K to be extravagant spending.

There are many, many better targets for your Antimustachian ridicule than some group asserting a $17 living wage.

The poverty line is BS in Canada. I spend about $13K/year and have a pretty sweet downtown Vancouver lifestyle with multiple international vacations every year, along with a ton of concerts, shows, events, paragliding, and whatever else I feel like doing. It's an insult to actual poor people to call that level of spending "struggling" in any way, shape, or form.

You are either subsidized by someone or you are massively full of shit.  The crappiest of the crappy bachelor's apartments in Van start at 525/month.  There's 6300 gone, just on four walls and roof.

$13K is my half of a couple, but easily replicatable with a roommate. My base expenses would all be the same: food cell phone, travel, concert tickets. But even if you had a $525 bachelor suite, everything else here is so cheap you could still be well under $12K/year.

Zikoris

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2014, 10:30:51 PM »
Quote
20 years ago in my single days, a one bedroom apartment in a rather shabby building downtown Ottawa, within a bikeable distance of everything, cost me $630 a month.  There goes $7560.  Bell was $50 a month, or $600 a year (this was the dark ages before such things as 'competition' and 'internet phone'.  We're at $8160 now.  Groceries, probably around $200 (no big box stores within reasonable reach, and Canadian groceries just cost more and that's the plain jane truth like it or not).

Here are some more reasonable numbers for Vancouver comparison:

Rent: $500-$600 for a small private place, or split a 1 bedroom with partner or roommate for $350-$400 each.
Phone: $20-$25/month for a basic plan
Food: $100-$120/month

Add in a couple hundred a month for incidentals (clothes, entertainment, bike, bus tickets whatever) and you've got a pretty comfortable living situation for between $8000 and $11,000/year spending.

Jennifer in Ottawa

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2014, 10:57:43 PM »
I've typed and deleted four responses.

I've visited your webpage.  Your quarterly budget was 8845, so you budget 35,380 for the year, or 17,690 each.  You espouse saving 60% or more of income, so you're saving around 50K a year give or take.  Wonderful.

Now take your budgeted money and try to save for retirement out of that.  That's what life on minimum wage is like.  All that stuff you happily do in order to pay for trips to Budapest and bulking up your net worth?  Yeah, that's no longer optional.  Now there is no choice.

Oh, and with a minimum wage job instead of the jobs with multinationals like you and your SO have, you don't get sick days.  Or vacation days.  Or health/dental plans.  Every day off work is a day you earn nothing.  Every trip to the pharmacy comes out of your own pocket.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 11:17:59 PM by Jennifer in Ottawa »

Zikoris

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2014, 11:37:24 PM »
I don't know where you're getting $35,380 from - we spent $26,377 total last year, including all travel. The year before that was about $28K - we've never even come close to $35K. My quarterly budget update was year to date spending for the first six months of the year. We're at $17,439 so far this year, including most of the travel we'll be doing.

vivophoenix

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2014, 07:27:46 AM »
I don't think that this belongs in this sub-forum at all, and I am rather put off by the dismissive opinions of a base amount for a living wage.  Most people here earn multiples of this amount, live Mustachian lives and have the luxury of investing all that extra income with the goal of early retirement.  Other people live off the same amounts or less out of necessity, not choice.

If a person wished to save for retirement, that would indeed be a minimum desirable 'living wage'.  You could survive off of a lower salary, but your Mustachianism would need to be in full force just to cover your expenses, leaving nothing (or very little) left for saving and investment.

Mustachianism (with savings and investment) with the end-goal of FIRE is one thing, Mustachianism just to keep body and soul together with no hope of ever retiring is another thing entirely.

i could kiss Jennifer full on the mouth for her posts. she took the time to verbalize exactly what i was hinting at


this !
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 07:44:13 AM by vivophoenix »

vivophoenix

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2014, 07:33:07 AM »
my biggest beef with  this argument is the idea that you assume that for the rest of your life ( aka cause those making minimum wage arent exactly getting those 5% or more annual raises, youre usually in a job with a low skill set, and are easily replaced) is that you live with aroom mtes, and if im reading properly, three room mates is what you assume

nordlead

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2014, 07:42:15 AM »
I spend about $13K/year and have a pretty sweet downtown Vancouver lifestyle with multiple international vacations every year, along with a ton of concerts, shows, events, paragliding, and whatever else I feel like doing.
we spent $26,377 total last year, including all travel. The year before that was about $28K

So, Basically, you want a single person to live on half of a "family" (or intimate couple if you don't want to call it a family) unit. Sorry, it doesn't work out that way. When you are single your expenses aren't half of a couple, but closer to 3/4.

Even with a room mate, you don't always share everything. Both need laptops, both need cars(bikes, whatever), both need their own toothpaste, and neither of you have the room to buy large bulk items because you aren't sharing everything. They probably don't really share their food much either causing smaller (more expensive) purchases, or more food to go to waste.

A family can split a single bedroom apartment with 1 bed, and 1 set of sheets. A single person needs a 2-bedroom apartment, 2 beds, and 2 sets of sheets, or they have to sleep on the couch (more expensive for the space, and for maintenance). Sure, they can get by in a 1-bedroom, but most people want their privacy, and definitely don't want to sleep in the same bed as their roommate (if they did want to sleep in the same bed, then they would probably be a family unit).

So no, you are not a good example of what a single person should be spending in Vancouver. You may be a decent example of what a couple should be spending in Vancouver. By your logic, my family of 5 would cost $65k/year, but we'd probably be closer to $40-50k if we lived your lifestyle due to increased per person efficiency.

Zikoris

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2014, 08:10:26 AM »
The only difference in expenses as a single person would be about $200 more in rent per month for a private place, which could easily be covered by dropping to one international vacation a year instead of two. Everything else would be the same - we each have our own bikes, computers, toothpaste, cell phones, bus tickets, etc. Heck, it would probably be cheaper for food since on my own I'm happy with a lot less variety, and definitely wouldn't be baking so much, which accounts for a huge chunk of my grocery cost. Sheets and towels and things like that are a pretty negligible cost over the long run - I use the same towels now that I did 10 years ago when I first moved out on my own.

It's really common for two people in Vancouver to share a one bedroom apartment and separate off the living room or den to make an extra bedroom. I wouldn't think twice about it.

I've been single in Vancouver. It's really not more expensive.

sheepstache

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2014, 08:21:41 AM »

You are either subsidized by someone or you are massively full of shit.  The crappiest of the crappy bachelor's apartments in Van start at 525/month.  There's 6300 gone, just on four walls and roof.

$13K is my half of a couple, but easily replicatable with a roommate. My base expenses would all be the same: food cell phone, travel, concert tickets. But even if you had a $525 bachelor suite, everything else here is so cheap you could still be well under $12K/year.

But I thought your living situation was subsidized or some other low-income deal.  Maybe I'm thinking of someone else.

Zikoris

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2014, 08:50:51 AM »

You are either subsidized by someone or you are massively full of shit.  The crappiest of the crappy bachelor's apartments in Van start at 525/month.  There's 6300 gone, just on four walls and roof.

$13K is my half of a couple, but easily replicatable with a roommate. My base expenses would all be the same: food cell phone, travel, concert tickets. But even if you had a $525 bachelor suite, everything else here is so cheap you could still be well under $12K/year.

But I thought your living situation was subsidized or some other low-income deal.  Maybe I'm thinking of someone else.

I live in a non-profit housing co-operative run by the members, which keeps the costs reasonable - however, it is significantly more expensive than our previous "normal" apartments - over $100/month more.

daverobev

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2014, 08:53:26 AM »

Fairly extravagant?  What qualifies as extravagant?

20 years ago in my single days, a one bedroom apartment in a rather shabby building downtown Ottawa, within a bikeable distance of everything, cost me $630 a month.  There goes $7560.  Bell was $50 a month, or $600 a year (this was the dark ages before such things as 'competition' and 'internet phone'.  We're at $8160 now.  Groceries, probably around $200 (no big box stores within reasonable reach, and Canadian groceries just cost more and that's the plain jane truth like it or not).

So, I am housed, fed and can call my mother on Sunday, and my bill is $10,560.  Oh yeah baby!  Living the High Life!

And this is 20 years ago.  It's only gotten worse.

Minimum wage in Ontario is currently $10.50 per hour.  If you are earning minimum wage you are likely not a full time employee.  You are likely to be a part time employee, probably working two part time jobs to get enough working hours.  This means you don't have benefits, you don't have paid holidays, and you certainly don't have a pension plan.

Let's say you luck out and get two part time jobs and your wage is minimum, the aforementioned 10.50.  You get even luckier and get the maximum hours from each job (24), so you are working 48 hours a week.  Furthermore, let's say you hit the friggin jackpot and your workplaces are not unionized, so you don't have to pay union dues.  Your pre tax income is $504 a week, or $26,208 annually. 

You have a horseshoe up your butt and never ever get sick, so you don't have to take (unpaid) time off work.  You also hate leisure and never take a week off to vacation.  Also, you don't have children so you don't have to miss any work for their doctor's appointments or sick days or what have you.  Yep.  You are a machine.  48 hours a week, 52 weeks a year.

According to the handy calculator Rev Can provides, we can find the payroll deductions to be:
Federal Tax: 67.68
Provincial Tax: 29.65
CPP: 21.62
EI: 9.48

After-tax income is a princely 375.57 a week.  And you're a machine remember, so you bring home $19, 529 a year.  Assuming that you can live the high life outlined above, paying 1993 prices in 2013, you have $8969 a year to invest.

So, you invest.  You get 7% on your money every year.  It never changes.  After 25 short years you've amassed $606,990.26.  Not shabby.  A 4% safe rate of return on that will net you $24,240 a year to live on.  You can retire.

But to do that....

You never had children.
You never took so much as a single day off work........in 25 years.
You never needed eyeglasses or prescriptions or dental work.
You replaced no clothes or shoes or household items.
You gave no gifts.
You took no holidays.
You never ate out, not even so much as a popsicle from the corner store.
No movies.
No internet.
No cellphone.
No insurance.
No bicycle or bike trailer.
You bought absolutely nothing other than grocery store food and paid no bills other than rent and phone.  No consumer goods of any kind, ever.

Oh, and you never bought a house, because that would entail higher monthly expenses due to paying property tax, a water bill, hydro and or gas bill, home owners insurance, etc, etc.
Nope, you stayed in your now extremely crappy one bedroom apartment downtown because heat and hydro were included.

For 25 years.

Of course, you could allow yourself the occasional luxury of a sick day or a book from the bookstore, or new underwear, but do it often enough and you get to continue this soul crushing way of life all the way to 65 when you qualify for OAS and CPP.

There is a world, nay, a universe of fucking difference between living on minimum wage and being mustachian.

Things are not worse.

Cell is now $10 or less. Internet $30.

1 bed was $800 4 years ago, within biking distance (Little Italy). You can get a 2 bed for $1200 and split it.

You can eat for $100 a month. So, basics $740, leaving lots of spare money.

I think people generally take your point, but it's just not as bad as you make it to be. Plus... pay rises!

aclarridge

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2014, 08:56:35 AM »
While I agree somewhat with some of the posters that are saying the "living wage" is too high, it's a sign of how  good we have it in Canada that we are redefining "survival" to mean an amount that a frugal person can live somewhat luxuriously on.

As a Canadian this makes me feel so lucky and grateful.

anisotropy

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2014, 10:36:14 AM »
maizeman,
you are absolutely right, thanks for pointing out my errors. They should be 20% and 33% respectively.

Now, some posters are mixing up living wage with a comfortable life. 200 on groceries 20 years ago would equate to over 400 today, for a single person.
lol what?

Just by browsing kijiji there are plenty of 2 bedroom apartments in Calgary for rent for less than 1800, that's 900 per person. Hey but you want to further reduce your rent and get more roommates in a house go for it. 1800 would even be considered high-end...
Please don't stay in the "crappy one bedroom apartment downtown because heat and hydro were included" where you'd pay 1500 (adjusted for 20 years of inflation) just for the luxury of living alone and close to downtown if you can't afford it.

Retirement and emergency (or sick day), as my previous post showed, even if one saves 20% to 33% (thanks again maizeman), it can still be done with less than the "living wage" Vibrant Calgary seems to suggest. MMM's retirement clearly shows, retirement is about how much you have saved relative to your expenses.

Health & dental: https://www.ab.bluecross.ca/government/government-programs.php
If you truly make minimum wage then you will qualify for this, if you make more you can afford your own bluecross, we live in Canada, not 'Murica.

Unless, you want to replace clothes or shoes or household items, give gifts, watch movies, eat out, and buy consumer goods. In my original budget I even allocated 200 a month for this. Just so we are clear about what you mean, can you give us a rough number of how much you think one should spend on these luxuries for a "decent and dignified lifestyle" ?

Earning a living wage does not automatically mean having a comfortable life with access to luxuries.

swiper

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2014, 01:18:41 PM »
Now, some posters are mixing up living wage with a comfortable life. 200 on groceries 20 years ago would equate to over 400 today, for a single person.
lol what?
...
Earning a living wage does not automatically mean having a comfortable life with access to luxuries.

Both "living wage" and "comfortable life" are by themselves qualitative terms open to interpretation. However, the article you posted is quite clear: It defines "living wage" as per the Canadian policy alternative definition. (example here https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/BC%20Office/2014/04/CCPA-BC_Living_Wage_Guide_2014.pdf family version).

You likely don't agree with all aspects of this definition (i don't either), but come on, this is not a "I can't get by on $250K in Mississauga" article. Even if we go with your own definition of ~13/hour, that's what? a ~25% difference. Not so bad for main stream media and certainly not worthy of scorn.

« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 01:34:27 PM by swiper »

Cassie

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2014, 01:31:31 PM »
Jennifer you are so right about things!  It is fine to live with a room mate when you are young but as you age people like to have privacy.  It is one thing to choose to live on very little $ when it is a choice but an entirely different one to earn very little & then have people say ridiculous things like " I live a luxurious lifestyle on $10,000/year & so can other people."  Also of course things go wrong & sh*t happens-major illness, etc which all cost lots of $.

swiper

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #32 on: August 29, 2014, 01:33:37 PM »
The poverty line is BS in Canada. I spend about $13K/year and have a pretty sweet downtown Vancouver lifestyle with multiple international vacations every year, along with a ton of concerts, shows, events, paragliding, and whatever else I feel like doing. It's an insult to actual poor people to call that level of spending "struggling" in any way, shape, or form.

Sorry, but I prefer researched/statistical data to anecdotal experience when generalizing complicated issues. That said, I checked out your blog to see how you do on a low(imho) budget and have to congratulate you on your badassity. I especially like the travel section with tips. It was interesting comparing my vacation(s) activities/spending to yours.

Zikoris

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #33 on: August 29, 2014, 02:22:01 PM »
The poverty line is BS in Canada. I spend about $13K/year and have a pretty sweet downtown Vancouver lifestyle with multiple international vacations every year, along with a ton of concerts, shows, events, paragliding, and whatever else I feel like doing. It's an insult to actual poor people to call that level of spending "struggling" in any way, shape, or form.

Sorry, but I prefer researched/statistical data to anecdotal experience when generalizing complicated issues. That said, I checked out your blog to see how you do on a low(imho) budget and have to congratulate you on your badassity. I especially like the travel section with tips. It was interesting comparing my vacation(s) activities/spending to yours.

Thank you. I think I look at issues like this in a yes or no sort of way - Yes, this is a reasonable amount to live on comfortably in city X (and here's a sample budget with real numbers from the city in question to back it up), or No, a person could not survive on this amount (the lowest priced apartment in the city would be 80% of the amount, etc). I'm not sure how much research would be required to make this judgement other than reading apartment listings and being familiar with the city regarding transit, grocery stores, neighbourhoods, etc. I can say for certain that minimum wage is enough in Vancouver for people without kids.

anisotropy

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2014, 02:34:28 PM »
Now, some posters are mixing up living wage with a comfortable life. 200 on groceries 20 years ago would equate to over 400 today, for a single person.
lol what?
...
Earning a living wage does not automatically mean having a comfortable life with access to luxuries.

Both "living wage" and "comfortable life" are by themselves qualitative terms open to interpretation. However, the article you posted is quite clear: It defines "living wage" as per the Canadian policy alternative definition. (example here https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/BC%20Office/2014/04/CCPA-BC_Living_Wage_Guide_2014.pdf family version).

You likely don't agree with all aspects of this definition (i don't either), but come on, this is not a "I can't get by on $250K in Mississauga" article. Even if we go with your own definition of ~13/hour, that's what? a ~25% difference. Not so bad for main stream media and certainly not worthy of scorn.

And what makes CCPA's number so special and infalliable? I don't want to talk politics but I must clarify, CCPA is a predominately left (i am just saying, not good or bad here) leaning "independent, non-partisan research institute" (ya we all know what that means), even more so than what NDP believes in. So it's much better to disgard their numbers and just look around ourselves and come up with a realistic living wage number. Having said that, swiper, were you able to find a guideline for a single person?

This 25% difference examplifies (ya i am going to pull a Bush here) how many people, including some posters here, confuse "wants" and "needs". There's survival wage, living wage, and comfortable life wage. When even seasoned posters over here can not distinguish these, one can argue it's a glimpse of the current state of our society as a whole.

I have no problem with people spending loads of money on wants (I spend tons myself), but please dont turn around and call them needs, oh sorry, I think it's called a "a safe, decent, dignified standard of living" these days.

When one buys into this notion of lifestyle entitlement, it's a long and bottomless descent.

Cassie

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2014, 03:12:37 PM »
I don't think it is "entitlement" to want to have your own tiny living space & not have roommates especially if you are not young. 

NoraLenderbee

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2014, 03:23:31 PM »
I don't think that this belongs in this sub-forum at all, and I am rather put off by the dismissive opinions of a base amount for a living wage.  Most people here earn multiples of this amount, live Mustachian lives and have the luxury of investing all that extra income with the goal of early retirement.  Other people live off the same amounts or less out of necessity, not choice.

If a person wished to save for retirement, that would indeed be a minimum desirable 'living wage'.  You could survive off of a lower salary, but your Mustachianism would need to be in full force just to cover your expenses, leaving nothing (or very little) left for saving and investment.

Mustachianism (with savings and investment) with the end-goal of FIRE is one thing, Mustachianism just to keep body and soul together with no hope of ever retiring is another thing entirely.

+2

swiper

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #37 on: August 29, 2014, 04:52:26 PM »
Now, some posters are mixing up living wage with a comfortable life. 200 on groceries 20 years ago would equate to over 400 today, for a single person.
lol what?
...
Earning a living wage does not automatically mean having a comfortable life with access to luxuries.

Both "living wage" and "comfortable life" are by themselves qualitative terms open to interpretation. However, the article you posted is quite clear: It defines "living wage" as per the Canadian policy alternative definition. (example here https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/BC%20Office/2014/04/CCPA-BC_Living_Wage_Guide_2014.pdf family version).

You likely don't agree with all aspects of this definition (i don't either), but come on, this is not a "I can't get by on $250K in Mississauga" article. Even if we go with your own definition of ~13/hour, that's what? a ~25% difference. Not so bad for main stream media and certainly not worthy of scorn.

And what makes CCPA's number so special and infalliable? I don't want to talk politics but I must clarify, CCPA is a predominately left (i am just saying, not good or bad here) leaning "independent, non-partisan research institute" (ya we all know what that means), even more so than what NDP believes in. So it's much better to disgard their numbers and just look around ourselves and come up with a realistic living wage number. Having said that, swiper, were you able to find a guideline for a single person?

There is nothing special and infallible about it, it is simply the definition from the article you posted. I think it can be useful in that it clearly defines all assumptions and also factors in gov benefits and taxes. From my cursory look at it, mustician principles could decrease some of the categories and that kind of analysis can be constructive.

Unfortunately, I was not able to find an individual version of the ccpa report. I think they (the  Calgary group) extrapolated from the 2008 family version here: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/BC_Office_Pubs/bc_2008/ccpa_bc_living_wage_2008.pdf The link I posted is the updated 2014 version.

The trouble with "looking around ourselves and come up with a realistic living wage number" is precisely that it's biased by our own experience. In my opinion, generalizing from your own experience onto others often leads to poor outcomes.

More generally, I find this logic on here quite often: "Since I was able to do "X" so can/should everyone else". When it comes to complicated issues like poverty, we rarely have the whole story ourselves. Also, perhaps its just me, but I find judging/mocking people who have much less than me distasteful. (not saying thats your intent)

This 25% difference examplifies (ya i am going to pull a Bush here) how many people, including some posters here, confuse "wants" and "needs". There's survival wage, living wage, and comfortable life wage. When even seasoned posters over here can not distinguish these, one can argue it's a glimpse of the current state of our society as a whole.

I have no problem with people spending loads of money on wants (I spend tons myself), but please dont turn around and call them needs, oh sorry, I think it's called a "a safe, decent, dignified standard of living" these days.

When one buys into this notion of lifestyle entitlement, it's a long and bottomless descent.

Again, most/all of those terms are qualitative. People always disagree on the differences between wants and needs. Just look at our neighbors to the south.

Oh and didn't MMM pay his contractors double min wage? eg. $15/hour. A happy medium! :)

Zikoris

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2014, 05:25:43 PM »
Quote
The trouble with "looking around ourselves and come up with a realistic living wage number" is precisely that it's biased by our own experience. In my opinion, generalizing from your own experience onto others often leads to poor outcomes.

Some expenses are subjective, sure, but I think you can get a pretty objective number on all of the big costs of a particular city - rent, transit, phone, utilities - just by looking around you. Those things cost what they cost, and don't change based on "experience".

Matte

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2014, 11:19:48 AM »
I can't stand anyone complaining about wages or expectations of wages being too high.  13k in Vancouver is not luxurious unless your living in your parents basement playing Xbox and you never intend on having a gf, getting married or having a family. 

Cassie

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #40 on: September 01, 2014, 04:36:35 PM »
It is probably only luxurious in a 3rd world country!

Goldielocks

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #41 on: September 01, 2014, 04:36:50 PM »
I have a few problems with the living wage advocacy...

1. The calculation takes what the average income earner spends on food, clothing, and states that is the fair spend amount. Really?  When I made minimum wage I spent less on groceries...and clothes...and...

2 as others have posted, it assumes you live alone if you are childless.  Even in 1970, entry level wage earners did not live alone.  Room mates, rent a room, share with your sister, all of these are the standard arrangements.

This means that the living wage calc is really a calculation for...  What  the average person income earners spend, adjusting downward for housing, savings rate, and keeping entertainments to a modest level.  Their  Transportation calculations are questionable too.

It assumes that everyone should spend the same basic amt, regardless of salary.

3. The primary problem is when people use living wage to try to reset minimum wage.  Hello?  Living at home, 17 yrs old_ part time work really does not need a living wage.   Their disposable income is way higher than mine...

I do appreciate knowing what the average person should earn.  I think we need more solid jobs like bus driver, parks worker, fire dept call center, primary building maintenance worker, , that should pay better than living wage.  The problem is that it is brought forward as a poverty line or entitlement for all.

I much prefer the market basket method (MBM) for poverty line calculation, which bases the cut off on a purchase cost of a very reasonable quantity or basket of goods, and does not assume all second hand, includes modest entertainments,, etc.

For Vancouver, family of four in 2010, the MBM rate 1 yr spend was $ 31,789 (after tax, this is the built up cost to purchase a well rounded specific basket of goods and includes housing, childcare) versus the 2010 declared living wage of $18.17/ hr x 2 full time, or $72k pre tax per year, or approx $64k per year after tax and govt supplements. To put it in perspective, the average two income, two child income in Vancouver in 2010 was approximately $90k, which means that the living wage is 82% the AVERAGE family wage.






Gin1984

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #42 on: September 01, 2014, 04:55:08 PM »
I don't think that this belongs in this sub-forum at all, and I am rather put off by the dismissive opinions of a base amount for a living wage.  Most people here earn multiples of this amount, live Mustachian lives and have the luxury of investing all that extra income with the goal of early retirement.  Other people live off the same amounts or less out of necessity, not choice.

If a person wished to save for retirement, that would indeed be a minimum desirable 'living wage'.  You could survive off of a lower salary, but your Mustachianism would need to be in full force just to cover your expenses, leaving nothing (or very little) left for saving and investment.

Mustachianism (with savings and investment) with the end-goal of FIRE is one thing, Mustachianism just to keep body and soul together with no hope of ever retiring is another thing entirely.

Even Canada's minimum wages are generous enough to cover a comfortable life and retirement. Not retirement at 30, but retirement at a normal retirement age or slightly earlier. In BC, for example, a full time minimum wage job would pay about $19,000/year after tax. Spending a fairly extravagant $10K-$12K would leave you with $7000-$9000/year for retirement savings, easily enough for a good retirement.

?
19K puts you right around the poverty line (low income cutoff) in most Canadian cities. And (even here) most wouldn't consider 10-12K to be extravagant spending.

There are many, many better targets for your Antimustachian ridicule than some group asserting a $17 living wage.

The poverty line is BS in Canada. I spend about $13K/year and have a pretty sweet downtown Vancouver lifestyle with multiple international vacations every year, along with a ton of concerts, shows, events, paragliding, and whatever else I feel like doing. It's an insult to actual poor people to call that level of spending "struggling" in any way, shape, or form.
Don't you have a spouse or SO that splits the costs with you.  Also, those of us with money have an advantage over those without in that we can buy in bulk, have the time to find the deal etc.

Middlesbrough

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #43 on: September 01, 2014, 05:31:07 PM »
I don't think it is "entitlement" to want to have your own tiny living space & not have roommates especially if you are not young.
As someone who has had to deal with roommates who don't understand others situations, living alone in a small apartment is a huge luxury.

Goldielocks

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #44 on: September 01, 2014, 07:39:08 PM »
I don't think it is "entitlement" to want to have your own tiny living space & not have roommates especially if you are not young.
As someone who has had to deal with roommates who don't understand others situations, living alone in a small apartment is a huge luxury.
OK, not luxury, but for 37 hr per week job, with 1 yr experience and no high school. Eg cleaner at city hall, should be no room mate wage level?  This is a city where engineers with 8 years experience cant afford to live without room mates, and are making only 20% more than living wage.

Middlesbrough

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #45 on: September 01, 2014, 08:29:37 PM »
I don't think it is "entitlement" to want to have your own tiny living space & not have roommates especially if you are not young.
As someone who has had to deal with roommates who don't understand others situations, living alone in a small apartment is a huge luxury.
OK, not luxury, but for 37 hr per week job, with 1 yr experience and no high school. Eg cleaner at city hall, should be no room mate wage level?  This is a city where engineers with 8 years experience cant afford to live without room mates, and are making only 20% more than living wage.
I don't know much about Canadian living, so I will differ to the others who are actually living in their cities with expenditures well below mine, but in my town I decided after living with one of my roommates for two years in college I would find a way to make a single dwelling apartment work. It is a convenience I wanted. That being said, I am engineer as well and many of my coworkers are 3-8 years into the field living with roommates because they aren't married. Now that I think about it, I am the only one who lives alone in my department. All are married or have roommates. Just my two cents.

Zikoris

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #46 on: September 01, 2014, 09:03:50 PM »
I can't stand anyone complaining about wages or expectations of wages being too high.  13k in Vancouver is not luxurious unless your living in your parents basement playing Xbox and you never intend on having a gf, getting married or having a family. 

Are you aware that this is a Mustachian forum here? We good lives without spending tons of money in these parts.

In my case, $13K/year translates into a downtown Vancouver lifestyle, tons of concerts, shows, and activities, and two big international vacations a year (in addition to weekend trips, etc). We have an amazing quality of life on that amount.

Jennifer in Ottawa

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #47 on: September 02, 2014, 06:18:54 AM »
But, doing what you do on 13k is ONLY possible because you are half of a couple. 

It is not twice as expensive to live as a couple or half as expensive to live singly.  Couplehood brings many economies which are unavailable to a single person.  Rent is not halved for a single, nor is it doubled for a couple.

Living as you do in a micro apartment, you present an extreme example, just as the chap who lives in his car presents an extreme example.

Just because that guy gets by with living expenses of near zero doesn't mean that 'Hey look, a person can live off 2k a year so the minimum wage gives you a life of obscene Saudi Arabian level luxury".

Furthermore, you continually ignore the fact that while you and your boyfriend can take vacays and sick leave with no repercussions, a min wage earner loses a day's wages every time they do that.

Salary only one aspect of living off a minimum wage job.

Goldielocks

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #48 on: September 02, 2014, 08:04:20 AM »
But, doing what you do on 13k is ONLY possible because you are half of a couple. 
It is not twice as expensive to live as a couple or half as expensive to live single.

Salary only one aspect of living off a minimum wage job.

Hey, that is my point.  Living wage is no where near minimum wage.  It is now around $40k per year, and very close to what the average wage is around here because it is calculated/ tied to the average spend of the average person..  It is no better than saying ' a decent wage for your full time employees is at least 75% of the average wage.'. That would be much easier to calculate too,  But have less pushy showman, distract you with my website, politics. 

The problem is when it is used to push for minimum wage increases. When it implies that this is a poverty line, which minum wage should get a person over. 

I think the two are very different, if both valid, messages.

It is no where close to poverty line.

Zikoris

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Re: living wage is .... (again)
« Reply #49 on: September 02, 2014, 08:53:53 AM »
But, doing what you do on 13k is ONLY possible because you are half of a couple. 

It is not twice as expensive to live as a couple or half as expensive to live singly.  Couplehood brings many economies which are unavailable to a single person.  Rent is not halved for a single, nor is it doubled for a couple.

Living as you do in a micro apartment, you present an extreme example, just as the chap who lives in his car presents an extreme example.

Just because that guy gets by with living expenses of near zero doesn't mean that 'Hey look, a person can live off 2k a year so the minimum wage gives you a life of obscene Saudi Arabian level luxury".

Furthermore, you continually ignore the fact that while you and your boyfriend can take vacays and sick leave with no repercussions, a min wage earner loses a day's wages every time they do that.

Salary only one aspect of living off a minimum wage job.

My first year of working (9 years ago) I earned $14,000 and supported two people off that in Vancouver, and the standard of living was fine - no international travel, but a nice place to live, food, clothes, bus passes, lots of movies, and ample local travel (weekend trips, etc).

But the "couple's advantage" seems to keep coming up, so lets kill and bury this one once and for all.

If I was living alone some of my expenses would be slightly higher, but a lot would be lower. Right now I pay $378 for my share of rent + $14 for my share of internet. If I was single I'd move into a micro suite downtown for around $550, internet included. My phone and food would be the same, though my grocery cost might actually drop since I don't need as much variety as my boyfriend. So my basic budget would be:

Rent: $550
Food: $115
Phone: $22
Bus tickets: $21
Personal care: $40

=$743, or $8916. That leaves $4000/year for entertainment, travel, bike parts, etc, while still being under $13,000 spending, and I'd be about a three block walk to work instead of six.