‘I would commit atrocities to make $40K’: A Redditor says their younger colleagues think $90K a year is ‘not that much’ — sparking fiery discussion about economic realities across America

‘I would commit atrocities to make $40K’: A Redditor says their younger colleagues think $90K a year is ‘not that much’ — sparking fiery discussion about economic realities across America

A Reddit user wanted to know what a normal salary was in the U.S., and got more than they bargained for.

What seemed like an innocent post on the “Antiwork” subreddit quickly blew up and turned into a frank discussion of the economic realities of many Americans.

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Reddit user Public-Application-6 kicked off the discourse by asking if everyone was really making $115,000 a year, saying they had recently spoken with younger colleagues who think earning $90,000 a year is “not that much.”

“They’re aiming for early 100s,” they wrote. “Am I crazy to think that this is not the norm?

“I know many people not making close to that, and as I look for a new job I’m seeing the wages at less than what I get paid.”

The post has received more than 12,000 replies, including those from users sharing their salaries and stories from some who struggle to get by on modest incomes amid high inflation.

Salary discussion

In the Aug. 13 post, Public-Application-6 explains that they’re a single, childless 33-year-old who earns $66,000 a year. But after their monthly car payment, rent and basic expenses, they have “$0 left at the end or [are] in the negative.”

They don’t indicate where they live, other than claiming “they went to school for many years at a top world-ranked university.” A recent study showed an average post-tax income of $68,499 would be needed to live “comfortably” in one of America’s 25 largest cities.

The median salary in the U.S. is $57,200 ($1,100 weekly), without seasonal adjustment, according to the latest quarterly wage report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, at least they earn above that line.

Read more: Americans are spending a ridiculous $253/month more on groceries. But this simple hack can turn your stressful daily spending into a golden nest egg

Lifestyle creep

Some posters rolled their eyes at Public-Application-6 lamenting their lack of savings.

“I would commit atrocities to make $40K at this point,” one poster wrote. “And people are out here complaining that they ‘only’ make double that.”

Others pointed out that lifestyle creep distorts Redditors’ views of a cushy salary. They argue that many of the Redditors earning more than the median salary could stretch their dollars further if they lived more modestly and built their savings.

Living paycheck to paycheck

Lots of commenters expressed that they would go bankrupt if they experienced a medical emergency or needed a car repair. Like them, many Americans don’t have any emergency savings and live paycheck to paycheck.

“I work 40 hours a week, I rent, and I live comfortably, but I would definitely be homeless if I missed two checks in a row,” one poster wrote. “If my fiancé left me, I’d be homeless, too, [I] can’t afford anything by myself. I try not to think of it, but it stresses me out bad.”

Read further into the Reddit post and you will find story after heart-wrenching story of financial strife, such as a father who can’t afford to buy his son new clothes after a growth spurt.

For their part, Public-Application-6, despite not being able to save a penny, seems content.

“I am very happy with my career and the work I do,” they wrote. “It’s pretty much my hobby, only it’s my job.”

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

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