Redditor Public-Application-6 posed a question to the popular r/antiwork sub, asking “is everyone really making 115k+ a year?” Public-Application-6 explains they earn $66,000 a year despite graduating from a “top world ranked university.”
They mention that they don’t have any kids and aren’t married, yet still can’t seem to “afford anything.” Public-Application-6 says that one of their bi-monthly paychecks goes to their rent and car payments and their second check going to the rest of their bills. That leaves them with either nothing in their bank account or a negative balance by the end of every month.
They spoke with some other folks their same age who’ve expressed to them that they don’t even think that $90,000 a year is a good salary—and that they’re all gunning for pay in the $100,000+ range. However, the original poster (OP) went on to explain that they aren’t convinced this is a realistic expectation in their current industry.
In OP’s opinion, pay isn’t as big of an issue as the massive inflation spike that occurred in 2021, which reached a 40-year peak in the summer of 2022: “If things were more reasonably priced and income tax at 5%, I’d be happy at 66k,” the redditor wrote.
According to news reports, Public-Application-6 isn’t alone. As of January, 60% of Americans don’t have a savings and are living paycheck to paycheck. In May, the aggregate debt for all U.S. citizens reached an all-time high of $14.96 trillion. CBS News also reported that 40% of Americans are just a single missed paycheck away from poverty, reinforcing the idea that Public-Application-6 isn’t alone.
Commenters replied to the post sharing anecdotes of past salary woes. “This is so true. I’m lucky to have a job that offers insurance; my younger brother works a job that does not offer it and told me he can’t call out sick or go to the doctor because of the pay he would lose and the cost of the medical bills. Poor guy barely breaks even every month, and he works his ass off in a kitchen. It’s not fair,” one user wrote.
Someone else shared the dismal “victory” they’re about to celebrate soon: “I’m about to pay off my car, which will make it so I can miss 1 paycheck instead of being able to miss zero,” wrote another user.
Other commenters said they can miss one paycheck, but not much more. “I work 40 hours a week, I rent, and I live comfortably, but I would definitely be homeless if I missed 2 checks in a row. If my fiance left me, I’d be homeless too, can’t afford anything by myself. I try not to think of it, but it stresses me out bad,” one commenter wrote.
However, others believe that earning $100,000 or more per year year isn’t that much of a flex, despite the fact that only 15.3% of U.S. households earn that much.
A Twitter user who goes by “low yield lucky” picotop uploaded a post lampooning individuals who take pride in the fact that they make bring in $100,000: “if a man tells you he makes ‘six figures’ he make $105,000 a year,” she wrote.
There were some people who added to her joke, stating that there are some folks who live “in NYC” that brag about earning that much, an area that is known for its exorbitantly high cost of living.
One person joked that as long as their man gave them $104,000 of that amount, they’d be “good.” Others said it’s a “red flag” if someone asks how much you earn. Someone else simply asked: “how are y’all so spoiled.” Another joked, “Females be making $27k/year talking like this.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Public-Application-6 via Reddit DM for further comment.
*First Published: Aug 16, 2023, 10:48 pm CDT
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot covering trending human interest/social media stories and the reactions real people have to them. He always seeks to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and facts pertinent to these stories to create your not-so-average viral post.