After doing this assignment I realized some of the reason that low-income families do what they do. It is very hard for a family to live off of a minimum wage salary; it doesn’t matter if it is a single parent or a two-parent household. The more people are in a household, the more expenses there will be, I never really thought about that concept until doing this assignment. Something’s that some people might take for granted can actually be a luxury to others. A car for example, I never realized how much I depended on my car to do certain activities.
Without a car I would be limited to the places I can go to in a timely manner. Not having a reliable vehicle does come with restrictions. I also realized that social stratification does have a huge impact on everyone. You learn to accept certain things even if it is not what you would want. There are obstacles that can stand in the way of trying to achieve something better, and at times it can be a struggle to do better. I guess I just assumed that some people were lazy and just didn’t want to try and get a better paying job, but I came to realize that sometimes there is just no means of getting those things.
Sometimes an education is required, but they have had to make sacrifices in order to keep their families alive and an education was not an option at the time. I have come to the conclusion that I spend a lot of money on things that are not necessary and I have them just to have them. There are things that I do take for granted without even realizing it. My car has allowed me to get to more places than I would be able to if I were taking the bus or walking, this has allowed me to do more and more activities, that I would otherwise not be able to get done, Like going to school and to work.
It is amazing how little things can have an impact on someone’s life. So in order for me to be able to live of off minimum wage I would have to eliminate everything, except for the necessities, which include a place to live, the utilities to be able to survive in my home, food, and transportation. Without transportation it would be very hard to make it to work and thus would not be able to keep a job and would therefor most likely end up homeless or living with a family member or friends.
The total amount I would make living on minimum wage in four weeks would come out to be $1,329. 0, the total amount for the monthly expenses would equal out to be $1,353. 92, this would mean that I would most likely have to limit how much I spend on utilities and also on food, since those are things that are more controllable. My mortgage I cannot change that so no matter what I would have to pay that in order to have a place to live. I would try and stay in my condo and just limit what I use my money on. If I really had to I would get a roommate to help cover some of the household expense. By doing this it would put some extra money into my pocket and that would allow for some extra accommodations.
I like living by myself so this would really something that I would have to get use to. I would be sharing my space with someone else and would have to take the other person into consideration in whatever involves the household. My condo is about 950 square feet, so I think that 2 people living in this square footage is reasonable, but I would be sharing my space and would have to allow for the other person to bring in their furniture and what not into my space, so this could potentially make my condo crowded. As far as bringing anyone over, that would not be happening. I would have to take into consideration the other person.
What if I was to bring someone over and I am being loud or something and the roommate is tired. I feel like I would not be comfortable in my own place. As far as my neighborhood goes, it is pretty safe. The complex where I live has doors that are all locked from all around, without a key no one can get in. I think that some factors that could contribute to my quality of life would be the distance in which everything is from where I live. For example: there is no grocery store that is around the corner so I would have to drive my car, which uses gas, which cost money and that can have an effect on my monthly budget.
Also the distance that has to be driven in order to get to work. A factor that can influence anyone’s quality of life based on where they live is the foundation of the apartment/condo/home. The place can be infested with cockroaches, bedbugs or some sorts of bug that can potentially be harmful to someone. Everyone wants to live in a good home, but sometimes with certain budgets you just have to be happy that you have a place to lay your head at night. I would plan on using my car, but there are certain circumstances that can prevent someone from using a car.
For example: a couple of years ago I gave my car to my sister so she could get around because she had a baby and my mom’s car ended up breaking down so we were left without a car and had to walk and take the bus to work, in my case I was also taking some classes downtown so I had to walk to the bus station and take the light rail station to school. This was a very time consuming period of time, many hours could have been avoided if I had access to a car. Let’s just assume that my car broke down and I was left without a car, I would have to take the bus everywhere.
In order to get to work on time I would have to leave an extra hour and a half early if I were to take the bus. My schedule is from 7:30am to 4:30 pm, so that means I would have to leave my house at 6am in order to make it close to being on time and I would not be getting home until 6pm. This is a really long day and would not allow time for any other types of activities. I would have to walk 10 minutes to the bus stop and wait for about 45 minutes or so for the bus to get there, once I am on the bus it would take 21 minutes to get me to the closest bus stop to my place of employment.
When I get off the bus I would have to walk for about 6 or 7 minutes to get into the actual office. So going to and from work would take a total of about 3 hours compared to a 15 minute car drive each way. I most likely would not have time to make it down to campus for a class, but if I had to I can ride the bus for an extra 11 minutes or I can walk for 45 minutes to the light rail station. And an extra hour or so waiting for the light rail and getting down to campus. I would either always be extremely late to class or would simply just not take any classes.
This would consume too much time and effort that can be better spent on something else, as far as what could happen by taking the bus to work. I would either hardly sleep or would be late to work, which can potentially be a reason for my dismissal from my position. If I were to get fired from my job, I would not be able to pay my mortgage and therefor would lose my home. A car is not a necessity, but it does help out a great deal to be able to be mobile and not depending on public transportation.
The cost to ride the bus for a day would be $9 if I would get the Single Day Pass (Regional area) so assuming I work 20 days a month that would come out to be $180 for transportation a month, this does not include if I would have to take the bus or the light rail on the weekend. It would be cheaper to get a monthly pass for $171 for the Regional area, that way it can be used any day of the week as many times as needed. A car you have to pay for it monthly, if you are leasing or buying, you also have to pay for insurance, gas, and any maintenance work that may be needed.
This can be pretty pricey for someone living on minimum wage. Some of the obstacles that some low-income families might experience are being born into a low-income family. If you are born into this lifestyle, this is what you know and is harder to get of this lifestyle. It can happen, but you have to really want to get out of this life to make it happen. Low-income families also have to deal with low paying jobs that will sometimes not allow for an education that would help them achieve a better job and a higher status as an individual.
They might also be influenced by the people around them and will do what they can to try and fit in, even if that includes doing things that are not considered to be the norm. Being born in a low-income household does come hand in hand with education. Educating individuals on birth control can help prevent pregnancies. When a young woman becomes pregnant she has to look after her child and gives up things in her life in order to get her child by. So having a child early in age can be a big obstacle for some women. Another obstacle might be the ability to keep a stable job in order to try and move forward in life.
There are a lot of different obstacles that can be experienced by a low-income family. Social stratification can impact many people. Because of the way that social Stratification is structured, some might want to try and get higher in society and might do whatever they can to achieve that status. Some individuals might not be influenced by this and are content with where they are. There are many factors that can influence this. For example: A teenager has a baby, she is from a low-income family and therefor has to drop out of school and take care of her child or work to be able to provide for that child.
She has a smaller chance of going on to getting a college education. In comparison, a teenager from a wealthy family ends up having a baby, but her family has money for a nanny and can help provide the necessities of life. She does not need to drop out of school to take care of her child. She can most likely continue on to get a college degree if she chooses. Social Stratification can influence anyone in any type of environment. Life happens and situations come up that are unpreventable and you just have to do what you can in order to live the life that is meant to be.
From the looks of the graphs it looks like about half of a lot of peoples income goes towards their home and utilities. As a family grows there are more expenses, like child care which is very expensive, so if you have multiple children than you are pretty much working just to pay for the child care. I would assume some single moms might choose to both stay at home with their child and ask for government assistance or continue to work and also ask for assistance in childcare. From the looks of the Family resource graph, the more a single mother makes, the more she has to pay for childcare.
Federal tax credits are also greater if a single mother makes less, the more she makes, the less she will get in Federal credits, but there is more income left in their pockets each month, so they can have do whatever they want with that money. A single parent has a much tighter budget than a two-parent household. In a two-parent household, there is more income coming in and therefor there is more money to have additional expenses that a single parent may not have. The tax credits that are received by a single parent and a two-parent household also change.
If a two-parent household makes less then they receive a bigger Federal EITC credit. If they make more than these decreases and they may barely get a Federal Child tax Credit. I was surprised that no matter how much you make a good portion of everyone’s income does go towards housing and utilities. I guess the more you make, the more you want, thus using up more of your monthly income. I think that a single parent knows that they only have themselves to rely on for support and there for know where to budget their money and are able to get government assistance to help them be able to live comfortably with their children.
Whereas two-parent houses hold might have two incomes coming in and might have extra money and be able to get certain accommodations that others might not be able to so, the government might tend to not offer help. There are definitely more expenses as a family gets bigger. From the looks of it the expenses are doubled for each family member. This really makes me think about how children are brought into this world when some people are just not financially stable and able to afford a child. There are more poor people than there are rich people.
What I noticed from the Global Rich List is that a lot of people do live off less than what some in the United States might see in a single paycheck, people around the world work for a very small amount that might only be able to pay for a little bit of food for them to eat. I entered in different amounts until I got to $1,000 I found out that 41. 97% of the world population actually lives on an income of $1,000 a year. This is a very small amount of money and would be impossible to live off in the United States.
I found out that for a lot of places it would not let me pull information for $1,000 I would assume that this probably means that people make way less than this or do not make anything at all. This is shown more in undeveloped countries and cities. In more developed cities/countries I noticed that more people did tend to live off about $5,000 give or take a thousand or so. There are also some places that would not let me enter in $5,000, so I assumed that people there did make more than this amount.
Even in developed countries like the United State there is a huge amount of individuals that do live off only making a couple of thousand a year. There is only a small percentage (maybe less than . 01%) of individuals that do make a great deal of money and are considered to be wealthy in comparison to the entire world. There are parts of the world where people do earn a good amount of money, while some people around the world are living off of a fraction of what others are living on. I came to realize that it is not about how much you make as much as it is that you can live a comfortable lifestyle and be happy with what you have.