I just love Twitter sometimes. Sure, it’s a fucking mess of bots and shills screaming insults at people trying to get through their day. Sure, they’ve done a piss poor job of de-platforming Nazi’s and Racists (including our President, Mr. Liddle Pee Pee Twitler). But I do get to follow some great people, and they retweet interesting articles that make me go “what the fucking fuck are the idiots who wrote this fucking thinking?”
Case in point: every article from CNBC, Market Watch, Forbes, and all the other corporatist media outlets that want to “prove” that rich people have it tough. I’m not going to link to the latest of these bloviating piles of llama guano because they don’t deserve the eyeballs, but needless to say the upshot is “just because this family earns $350,000 annually, they’re still only getting by day to day.”
Which is just, what, the, fuck? Seriously? You want us to believe (and by us I mean the American public, where the MEDIAN family income – meaning 50% of all people make LESS than it – is $60,000 a year) that they are struggling just like everyone else?
Seriously, where do you get your drugs? I could use some of that high-test cocainaphetaroin given the fascist oligarchy we are rapidly becoming, which is a shit show for people, their wages, and democracy. This just feeds into that steaming pile of crap.
But I did want to give them the benefit of the doubt (ha ha, no, I didn’t, I wanted to mock them!) So, I’ve looked closely at their (ridiculous) numbers, and let me say: this family has NO FUCKING CLUE how to budget. Zip. Zero. They are literally shitting money away and acting like they have it tough. So I’m going to help out our poor, dollar challenged 5%ers (because a salary of over $350,000 a year puts you in the 5%, you morons, and top 1% in most states).
Salary: it is what it is, so we’ll leave these numbers set as described. Annual take home after all the tax stuff is done is $223,840, for a monthly take home of $18,653 (roughly 30% of individuals in this country make LESS in a year than they take home in a month). We’ll also assume they live in the vicinity of an “expensive city”, per the article (but unlike the article, I’m going to assume my fictional family is not REMOTELY fucking dumb enough to LIVE in the over expensive city).
Let’s get into expenses . . .
Childcare: apparently it’s costing them $2,450 a month to provide childcare for their 2-year-old, as well as occasional babysitters for “date nights.” I don’t know about you, but that’s a LOT of date nights where they ain’t coming home for whole weekends. Since my fictional family does NOT live in the expensive city (about fifteen miles away in the suburbs we’ll say), we can knock that down a bit. I’ll be generous and say $1500 a month because they both have to work. Note of course that in just three years, the kids will be in school all day. This goes WAY down then.
Preschool for 4-year-old: They’re paying $2,000 a month for pre-school. Public pre-schools ARE FREE. I allot $0 to the family for this. No, your super rich ankle biter does not need private pre-school, let them go mingle with the common folk and learn some humility. This is a cost you did not need to have, so it won’t be included. Support your public schools, y’all!
Food for four: They allot $2,000 a MONTH for food. I know some families who don’t spend that in an entire year. Christ, they must buy only at Whole Foods and Wegman’s, and only the most expensive shit. But as you’ll see later, they ALSO apparently eat out a lot (weekly date nights, not including those weekends away and three weeks of vacations at destination resorts), so I assume a lot of this just goes to waste.
My fictional family gets $1,000 month from me, half as much. That’s more than enough to feed your family, plus buy personal care products like soap and shampoo.
529 Plan: $1,000 a month. This is fine I suppose and if you can afford it, great, do it. But if college tuition were free. . . . alas, I digress. I’ll allow it for now since colleges are super expensive right now and this is for the kids, but most folks can’t afford this sort of expense.
Mortgage: Okay, they break out a few things here. Mortgage is $3900 a month, property tax another $1,860, and property insurance another $130. Where I come from, those are all on the mortgage statement and taken care of there. So I don’t know why they break them out.
My fictional family lives in the suburbs, not the overly expensive city of San Francisco where median home prices are $1.3 MILLION (and how the hell do poor people live there if this family with a $1.6 million dollar home are only “surviving”). My family is smart, they have a much cheaper but still nice $400,000 home, so we’ll estimate their mortgage at $2500 a month. That INCLUDES property tax and insurance. That’s still more than I personally would spend on a home, because I think housing prices are still in a bubble, but whatevs. Thems the prices.
Property maintenance: yeah, taking care of a home takes money. $300 a month seems a bit high to me, though, especially when so many folks have to do it themselves. I’ll give my fictional family $150 a month, because it’s a pretty new home in a nice suburb and doesn’t need a lot of work yet.
Utilities: okay, in this case I think they underestimated for a change. Only $425 a month for water, sewer, electricity, trash, etc? My electrical bill is $180 a month alone, and that’s pretty cheap. Plus if the family in this story lives in a $1.6 million dollar home as described, it’s no doubt going to be way higher to heat, cool, light the place.
I allocate $650 a month for all this stuff.
Life Insurance: gee, another expense too few people can afford. Especially at $170 a month for a $2million dollar term policy! I’m cutting that in half, and cutting the bill in half. $85 a month.
Umbrella policy: are they really at risk of being sued? For what? Being raging nouveau riche assholes? No, you don’t need this. I just saved them another $38 a month.
Health care: they break out healthcare separately, even though it’s likely to be covered in the salary at the start. Which is, I don’t know, weird or whatever. And they said it’s $850 a month, which even on an employee provided plan seems high (mine was around $450 for a family). I’ll add it here as well, and they get $600 a month cost. They’re rich, they both work, they have a choice of TWO plans, and probably pretty damn good plans, too (I assume my fictional family are both tech lawyers, and they work together, except once in a while they have to take cases that oppose each other, especially that one about the sex bots that went off programming and started “doing it for ourselves”, which leads to strain on the family but amazing make up sex later, and this is going to be a novel, isn’t it? Damn it….)
Baby Items: they are spending $350 a MONTH on baby stuff. Like, are you buying new cribs every month? Yeah, babies are expensive, but not THAT expensive. Diapers, baby powder, other things, I’d say $150 a month for that. Food is covered above. So is healthcare. Don’t argue with me, damn it.
Three weeks of vacation: Okay, this is where it gets really fucking obnoxious. In this break down, the family is taking three weeks every year, two of them at “destinations.” I assume that means resorts, or foreign countries, but who knows with these weirdos in the story, maybe it means like hot oil wrestling championships in Saskatchewan or something. Maybe he’s not only a lawyer, but his dad was the inventor of the oil that is the sole oil for hot oil wrestling, so he’s a guest of honor every year, and he goes early and shaves all the hairs off his body and wears a speedo and gets oiled up and it’s like a big thing for everyone. Whatevs, I don’t write this stuff. . . wait, sorry, I do.
Their third week is “staycation” which could mean local stuff, or whatever, it’s not really explained. Maybe they stay home and read to their children, but ah… no, I suspect they don’t really do much of that given all the daycare and babysitting costs. But all told, these three weeks tally them $650 monthly ($7,800 a year)! They spend as much on vacations as many wait staff people get paid for a salary per year (not including tips, which is no way to treat your staff since tips can vary so much and employers often steal them anyways, despite it being illegal… pay them minimum wage, damn it, stop relying on the tips to underwrite your company costs).
I set aside $0a month for this. This is a luxury, NOT AN EXPENSE. You are not ‘surviving” if you get two destination trips a year, you’re a fucking rich prick. And besides, your four-year-old and two-year-old will have far more fun at the local county fair then they will in Paris or Milan. They can’t even pronounce Milan! Take them mini-golfing, they’ll love it. Chuck-E-Cheese (okay, I’m not a fan, and the food is disgusting, but kids really dig that place).
LUXURY! It will come out of what’s left over AFTER we decide what bills we have. This is NOT A BILL.
Entertainment: the family in the article spends $500 a month on entertainment. That’s WAY too much. They’re already going out for date nights every week, as well as three weeks of vacations. Now Netflix, internet, sporting events, and social functions cost them another $500 a month?
No. Budget yourselves, rich folks. I’m knocking that down to $250 a month. Dan will just have to give up his season tickets to the 49’ers. He can watch on television FOR FREE.
Pause and note: how much is the family in this story spending on entertainment and pleasure costs ALONE? Vacations, date nights, entertainment? It’s well in excess of $1100 a MONTH. That’s more than $12,000 a year they are blowing on “fun.” And that’s fine, but don’t then try to sell us on how they are “surviving.” They are having a damned good time surviving, too. Caviar for all! Hot tubs, cocaine, and strippers (not to mention the hot oil)! Woo hoo!
Car Payment: Everyone needs a car (although if the family in the story lives IN the city, they don’t really as much). Oh, but the article points out they gave up a Range Rover for a more cost effective Toyota Highlander. Oh poor suffering rich people, how sad!
Fuck – and I cannot stress this enough – you.
But we’ll go with the $380 payment listed.
Car Insurance & Maintenance: These are rich folks, with a car that has high reliability. Why is this costing them $200 a month? Fine, whatever, I’ll leave it. Maybe she had a fender bender once when she got mad because he sent her out to pick up some hot oil, and it jacked up their insurance because Billy at the insurance company was super mad she wouldn’t text him nudes.
Gas: in the story, these people who live IN THE CITY are spending $250 a month on gas. A month! Folks, I commute 100 miles every day for my job. Back when I had to be there every day, I was only spending around $120 a month on gas. So this is a GROSS distortion of their gas budget.
Now in my story, the son of the hot oil empire and his wife (we’ll call her Dolores) do live in the suburbs so she can be close to her sister, a former stripper who is still in danger of falling back into her old ways if her new boyfriend gets his way (but what Dolores doesn’t know is that Dan, her husband, had an affair with her sister six years ago and is happy they’ve moved back to be close to her and thinks she’ll sleep with him again), so they’ll need to drive a bit more than those city folks. We’ll go with $100 a month, I think that’s fair.
Shit, am I writing a soap opera?
Mobile Phone: $150 a month seems about right, so we’ll leave this.
Clothes for four: $400 a month. But, please be aware that the story wanted you to know they shop at Old Navy, and do not buy Gucci. That’s important, because it shows our fictional rich family is trying SO VERY HARD to cut corners and keep costs down! Look at them, barely scratching out a living on Old Navy clothing! Do you know how HARD it is to get junior into the best little private pre-school when they catch you with Old Navy bags in the back of your (gasp!) Toyota Highlander??????? The fucking shame of it! They may have to hide their faces when they go into the country club!
$400 is ludicrous. They’re giving away half their clothing every damned year. Fuck that. You get $50 a month for ALL FOUR OF YOU. Okay, fine, $100, but that’s my final offer, take it or leave it hot oil man.
Personal Care Products: they actually break this out and say it costs our frugal, Old Navy shopping, Toyota Highlander driving, family $100 a month for shampoo and soap and etc. Seriously?
No, you don’t get more. It’s in shopping above. No soap for you! $0.
Charity: okay, this one is nice to include. IF you can afford it. Our rich folks can, and it’s not much really compared with HOW FUCKING MUCH THEY WERE SPENDING ON ENTERTAINMENT!
$0 in the budget for this, because it’s not necessary. If you have money left at the end of the month, then you can consider it.
Student Loans: They added this one to rub it into the face of all you poors. It says (and I quote) “husband paid off $50k at 30” and then writes $0 into the spreadsheet. See, you’re just fucking lazy! You should have done like him and paid it back sooner, you idiot! Who knew?????
My fictional family also paid their loans off. They are rich, though, and don’t rub it in your face (except for one cousin, Brent, but Brent is a total douche and jealous of Dan’s inheritance, and also has the hots for Dolores although she’d never give him the time of day since he once teased her in middle school for her naturally curly hair).
TOTALS: My fictional family’s total expenses for the month were $9,315. That left them with $9,338 to spend in other ways. Maybe give some to charity. Put some more away for a rainy day. Okay, bump a vacation up to go to a really cool country. And if I take out that $1000 for the 529 plan (which most people cannot afford), they have over $10k a month to enjoy.
The idea that vacations, and entertainment, and spending way more than is needed on clothes and other items means this family is barely “surviving” is total bullshit. And I’m sick of these corporate advertisements for people earn FAR above the average family as some sort of “won’t anyone think about the poor rich folks!” messaging. It’s disgusting and pathetic, an attempt at false equivalency and serious gas lighting. I’m only pleased that the majority of folks seem to understand that and are roundly making fun of this post.
The rich have it easy. They have WAY more disposable income then anyone else, and their taxes are generally LOWER by percentage of income than the poor and middle class because of all the extra deductions they get. Don’t fall for this bad propaganda. They’ve got plenty of money, and they want more of it. And if you listen to this shit, they’ll be happy to take it from you.