Unfortunately, the middle class isn’t as comfortable as it once was ten or more years ago. With the recession and job market struggles, many of today’s middle class families can’t afford things they used to be able to buy.
The average cost of a summer vacation for a family of four is $2500 or more. In order for a middle class family earning around $65,000 annually between the spouses that would mean saving $208 a month to pay for the vacation. On a $65,000 a year budget, $208 is a huge chunk of the budget and likely not one that is realistic. So, most people end up charging their vacation to a credit card only to sink deeper into debt, while others simply don’t take that vacation and sink deeper into an emotional funk over the stress of the constant work load of their careers.
In today’s market the cost of a new vehicle is nearly half of an annual salary. Although financing is an option to spread out payments over the course of three to five years, the monthly cost is still a large portion of the monthly budget. Depending on the price of the vehicle and interest rate, many people end up paying over 10% of their monthly income towards a car payment. A study done by Interest.com found that new cards were simply not affordable for most middle-class earners.
Financial experts agree that having an emergency fund is an essential part of smart money management. Often, having an emergency fund can be the difference in getting back on your feet and the need for bankruptcy when times get tough. The golden rule says you should have enough money in your emergency fund to cover at least three to six months of essential living expenses, which is likely anywhere between $12,000 to $18,000. Saving for such a large fund on a middle class income could take years to build, which is useless if financial hardship strikes sooner than later.
It is no secret that the costs of medical care are astronomical. With 66% of households in America reporting they have had to choose between paying for groceries or medical care, half of those families must make that choice every single month. Now that fewer employers offer healthcare coverage, or at the very least premiums that employees can afford, more people are forced into making tough choices. Even with the new laws regarding healthcare, families are still struggling to pay for medical insurance to protect their families.
Read more at: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-10-27/7-things-middle-class-cant-afford-anymore
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