TikTok Stills
Source: TikTok | @digitalsolutionss

'You Should Be Terrified!': TikToker Shows How Earning Below $25 Per Hour Doesn't Cover Average Cost Of Living

Chisom Ndianefo - Author
By

Sep. 27 2022, Published 9:12 a.m. ET

The cost of living in the United States and worldwide keeps rising, and people are doing their best to make ends meet. However, even the rise of remote jobs isn't helping matters when it comes to breaking even.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US, 1.1 million workers earn below $7.25/hr minimum wage! Workers are beginning to notice and speak up about this imbalance, especially (@digitalsolutionss) a.k.a. Ryan Halbert. He recorded a video on TikTok speaking about this, and it's gone viral with 1.5 million views.

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Cost Of Living Breakdown

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I just spent sometime looking at some monthly averages and the cost of living all across the US, and I put them all on a spreadsheet and did the math for you [...] to break even, you have to make $3,285 every four weeks.

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Based on this analogy, living paycheck to paycheck would only work if one makes at least $40/hr. Bloomberg says that one in three US workers earns less than $15/hr and Halbert's comments confirmed that stat.

He continued saying,

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Since you have very limited options, you either have to kill yourself working way too many hours, or you have to figure out a way to make a ton of money.

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Commenters Don't Agree With The Breakdown

Even with Halbert's breakdown, the comments didn't agree with the value, citing higher expenses. They said,

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Laughing in $2700 a month for rent,

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It's worth noting that the median value for rent in the US is $2,000 per NPR.

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I'm not terrified, I’m tireeeed

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I literally don't know anyone irl that makes $25 or more

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This doesn’t even take into account health insurance, 401k, savings, nothing, and

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Bestie I don’t even make $15/hr so we just gonna buy a nice box n live on the street.

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Living With Roommates Or Parents Can Help

To manage living costs, commenters suggested living with parents or roommates. You can avoid paying rent with the former or pay lesser rent with the latter. Colorado Newsline documented 18 - 34 year old Americans living with roommates in 2015 at 25.2% which was about 2% more than the 2005 value.

Can Cutting Expenses Help?

Daily expenses are increasing in value, so it's almost impossible to plan ahead. Next Advisor in partnership with Time cites the pandemic as a primary catalyst for inflation in the 2020s. Although the publication advises users to rein in their spending, Halbert spoke on that saying it's a futile effort. People already rely on these small luxuries to make up for what they lack in financial security.

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