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Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

My wife and I work for my parents at the family business. We both enjoy our work and plan to take over the business after my parents retire. The business is pretty small and only makes about half a million per year with 6 employees. Before things got tough we did almost a million a year.

 

Now that you have some background I am wanting peoples opinion on our pay. My wife and I together make a little over $61,000 a year. Looking at department of labor stats it says that the median household income in our area is only about $45,000 per year. You would think that we would be doing ok but I really find these numbers hard to believe. We are able to pay our bills, and do go out to eat more than we should, but it seems like everyone we know has so much more money to spend on this and that.

 

Basically I am wanting some people to chime in and tell me if we are making a fair wage for someone living in a small city in Missouri. I have never worked for anyone besides my family so I really don't know and statistics can be misleading. Thanks for any input.

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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

If you can afford to "go out to eat more than you should" than I'd say you are doing fine.

I'm pretty sure that if you cut out those restaurant expenses, you'd probably see the true income you are making, a lot more.

 

But I've also learned to run my financial life as if I were a horse with blinders on. I can only run my fastest in the race if I look forward and not towards my sides.

The best way to get ahead is to not try to compare yourself to everyone else.

 

Be honest, how many times a week do you two go out to eat?

I'm willing to bet, you two also spend in other ways that you guys don't really notice or don't take into consideration as an unnecessary expense.

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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

" My wife and I together make a little over $61,000 a year "

 

How many hours a week do you each work? Do you earn an hourly wage or a salary? What do you pay the other employees?

 

There are so many variables that you haven't mentioned, that it would be impossible to say if what you make is fair or not.

 

I went to college for 10 years - 2 associates degrees and a bachelors degree. I make 33k a year- $16 an hour / 40 hrs a week.  Almost barely enough to support myself and my daughter, but better than a lot of the people I know. Your wage seems fair to me, considering my stats, but then again...

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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

[ Edited ]

KeithW wrote:

My wife and I work for my parents at the family business. We both enjoy our work and plan to take over the business after my parents retire. The business is pretty small and only makes about half a million per year with 6 employees. Before things got tough we did almost a million a year.

 

Now that you have some background I am wanting peoples opinion on our pay. My wife and I together make a little over $61,000 a year. Looking at department of labor stats it says that the median household income in our area is only about $45,000 per year. You would think that we would be doing ok but I really find these numbers hard to believe. We are able to pay our bills, and do go out to eat more than we should, but it seems like everyone we know has so much more money to spend on this and that.

 

Basically I am wanting some people to chime in and tell me if we are making a fair wage for someone living in a small city in Missouri. I have never worked for anyone besides my family so I really don't know and statistics can be misleading. Thanks for any input.


Would you be making more if you were working somewhere else? That's the question you should ask...   If the answer is yes, then I would talk to the parents and explain to them that you would be making "X" amount of dollars if you were working for "Y"

They could conceivably increase your compensation by providing you a company vehicle, or matching your IRA contributions, or something along those lines which would be tax deductible for the business, and would help you and the wife feel like you were getting ahead instead of barely getting by. They could also start giving you company shares as part of your compensation and to help them with estate planning, if they do indeed plan on leaving you the business when they die... I would say that there are many variables in here that can be worked on so that you and the wife don't end up feeling like hamsters in the wheel.


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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

What are your expenses? If you are having trouble getting by you need to look at what you're bringing in and what's going out, and see what unnecessary expenses can be cut out. Certainly dining out is not a necessary expense.


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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

[ Edited ]

If you are working for a small business that has half the gross sales of a few years ago, you may be lucky that you have a job at all. The fact that you will eventually own the business is also a big plus.

 

In this current economy, I couldn't keep anyone that had worked for me less than 15 years. The ones that remained took a 20% pay cut, followed by another 20% last year. Highly skilled and with 25 years experience they are making way less than you are and I'm sure the cost of living in California is far higher.

 

I made $6000 last year from that business, which is much better than the year before. I have another small business but have NO employess left. When you add the two together I made about $38,000 last year for an average 75-80 hour work week. That is about $1000/month for everything after paying house payment + taxes + insurance. My youngest is now a teenager and starting to "need" things I can't afford.

 

What is this concept of going out to eat? I don't think I remember what that means.

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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

I guess my biggest problem is the people we associate with all seem to have so much more money than we do. It just gets to where you don't appreciate that you have more than lots of others you don't know and things could be so much worse.

 

Everything I see on tv tends to be based on the coasts and they talk about barely scraping by when they are making 2-3 times what I do. I do take comfort in the fact that I enjoy my work and get to work with my family everyday.

 

It also doesn't help that many people tend to exaggerate their own income.

 

I make an hourly wage and overtime does certainly help. I alone make around 32K without overtime. Last year though I cleared 38K because of the extra work.

 

We tend to eat out everyday for lunch, which tends to be about 15-20 bucks and then we go out to eat once per week with her family and another night with my family, which is about $70 a week. We enjoy doing this, but to me it really isn't worth the cost. Our parents are both in much better shape than we are and don't mind the costs. We are on the other hand are raising two kids and trying to buy a house.

 

Thanks for the moral support and letting me complain.

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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

KeithW, maybe I can put this in a bit more perspective for you.

 

I used to do a similar job than what I do now. Back in 2006, I got paid $8 an hour to do it and that was considered a "high" salary in Puerto Rico. I made a lot less than 20K a year.

 

In 2012, I barely scratch to 30K and I live in New Jersey.

 

There are times where it feels like I used to have more disposable income back in Puerto Rico than I did in New Jersey.

But technically, I am making more now.

 

It's all a case of "YMMW" when it comes to standards of living. Everything is comparable, but comparing a salary from Missouri to one in New York is like apples and oranges.

 

By all means, you are both living very comfortably if you can afford to spend:

 

$75 a week on lunches or $300 a month on lunches ALONE. Factor in yearly and your lunches are costing you two: $3,600.

Either way you cut it, it's a nice chunk of income. There are a lot of people that can't afford to go eat out. Maybe cut down a few lunches, and take some dinner leftovers.

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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

Sometimes you just have to make the best with what you have and not feel sorry about it. So what if others have so much more? Good for them. That's not your present reality. Doesn't mean their lives are so much better or so much more fulfilling. How many people have less than you and would love to make as much as you do? Not to put you down... but what you and your wife are spending on food sounds rediculous in my opinion! It doesn't sound like you're just getting by. Just getting by is trimming all your expenses to the bare neccessities, and still living pay check to pay check with nothing saved.

 

My boyfriend and I spend about $500 a month on food (this is a rough estimate), and we live in New Jersey. That's including cat food and litter, and some household items. In addition to that we go out to eat maybe once a month, but not always every month. We really try to limit eating out as a once a month treat at most. I try to buy as many store generic food items as I can when grocery shopping. We rarely put an item in our cart without first comparing prices. I usually base the meals I cook for us on what's on sale that week. As for lunch... we both have a ham sandwhich and salad each day that we make oursevles. We don't buy lunch out. Even if I had the money to do so, I would feel like I was throwing away my cash that could go to better financial goals. We both have debt and that's our priority to pay it down. 

 

If you are familiar with the personal finance expert Suze Orman, she always says that people who make more tend to spend more. There are people that make way more, but then have even more debt. It's because a lot of our personal wealth is in our spending habits if we have a reasonable income. 

 

So if you can't up your income, maybe you just need to really take a look at your expenses, and see what are wants and needs and make some sacrifice.


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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...


inthelight314 wrote:

 

If you are familiar with the personal finance expert Suze Orman, she always says that people who make more tend to spend more. There are people that make way more, but then have even more debt. It's because a lot of our personal wealth is in our spending habits if we have a reasonable income. 

 

 


 

Mo Money, Mo Problems.

I live in Jersey as well, so I feel your pain.

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