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A tightening labor market

grass man 11

LawnSite Senior Member
no, that is assuming someone had 4K disposable income after a 2k mortgage, is more than enough to live on, for a family of 4 with a couple earning 45k each

my expenses are a fair bit less than 4K after mortgage as my wife and I don’t really buy things at all. Just some travelling when we can

I’m not saying you can’t live on 90 per year, I’m saying less starts to have an impact on your living.

I have kids in sports that cost me a solid $1000 per month. Our grocery bill is $1000 per month. Insurance. Child care for those with younger kids. Save 10% for retirement. Save for college and kids weddings. Cars. I think you can burn though $4000 -6000 per month easy after paying rent/mortgage. I’m not saying you can’t have a nice life on 90 per year. I’m saying you can’t just go do what ever you want at any time. And to me, if I can’t have my own freedom due to financial restraints, then I don’t call that a good wage.
 
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Mark Stark

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, NY
Family of 4, with typical expenses, decent cars, rent/mortgage, and the normal things. 45k doesn’t go fare, and I would argue that anything under that requires the adults of the groups to make “financial decisions”. We can all think it’s a good wage, (and it’s not bad) but unless your employee can provide for his/her family, buy a car, go on a weeks vacation out of the country and still have something left over for savings, then it’s not that great.
This supposes that Dad is supporting the entire family of 4. Mom has to also work. Dad can't make enough working for a lawn company to support an entire family in most areas.

I know very few single working households at all anymore. We have a few friends that do it but it's never easy.
 

Mark Stark

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, NY
I’m not saying you can’t live on 90 per year, I’m saying less starts to have an impact on your living.

I have kids in sports that cost me a solid $1000 per month. Our grocery bill is $1000 per month. Insurance. Child care for those with younger kids. Save 10% for retirement. Save for college and kids weddings. Cars. I think you can burn though $4000 -6000 per month easy after paying rent/mortgage. I’m not saying you can’t have a nice life on 90 per year. I’m saying you can’t just go do what ever you want at any time. And to me, if I can’t have my own freedom due to financial restraints, then I don’t call that a good wage.
By this definition, the majority of Americans do NOT earn a good wage in any industry.

I think a better metric of a "good wage" is to compare it against the wages of what others are earning in your area.

Plus, we need to continue to offer more than "good wages" to our employees. We do additional things to make it nicer at my company. Things are big company can't/won't do. We are always nice to employees, we have loaned them money when they need it, they can use company equipment when they ask, we don't freak out if they're a few minutes late, they don't have to be "politically correct" all the time, we buy them cold drinks, we buy them coffee, we buy them lunch, we have company get togethers, we have a beer together after work sometimes, we take them out to fancy dinners at end of season, we do cash bonuses for some, they can use a company truck in a pinch, etc. Just stuff to make them feel more part of team seems to help. Still a major challenge but every bit helps.
 

JFGLN

LawnSite Gold Member
I’m not saying you can’t live on 90 per year, I’m saying less starts to have an impact on your living.

I have kids in sports that cost me a solid $1000 per month. Our grocery bill is $1000 per month. Insurance. Child care for those with younger kids. Save 10% for retirement. Save for college and kids weddings. Cars. I think you can burn though $4000 -6000 per month easy after paying rent/mortgage. I’m not saying you can’t have a nice life on 90 per year. I’m saying you can’t just go do what ever you want at any time. And to me, if I can’t have my own freedom due to financial restraints, then I don’t call that a good wage.
Hmm, I just did a quick calculation. After mortgage we are at $2015 per month. Excluding food/beer and retirement investing. Most of that is the $1300/month health insurance bill.
 

Mark Stark

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, NY
Hmm, I just did a quick calculation. After mortgage we are at $2015 per month. Excluding food/beer and retirement investing. Most of that is the $1300/month health insurance bill.
That's very low overhead. Insurance is the killer for sure. Even with my wife's good job, our insurance is still pricey. Our mortgage and taxes are around $2k month alone. Add in cars, insurance, gin, fatty cakes, cable, electric, etc., and I should consider getting another job!
 

Mitty87

LawnSite Silver Member
Not arguing that 90k household is “great”, it is a good starting point for a young couple in their mid to late 20s or even early 30s. You will have what you need and a bit of fun money in most places. I am thinking in Canada money too but I know things have changed down there in the last few years.

for a single guy in my area, you basically need $18/hr to rent a small 1 bedroom and scrape by with probably zero savings, that’s 36k a year.
 

JFGLN

LawnSite Gold Member
That's very low overhead. Insurance is the killer for sure. Even with my wife's good job, our insurance is still pricey. Our mortgage and taxes are around $2k month alone. Add in cars, insurance, gin, fatty cakes, cable, electric, etc., and I should consider getting another job!
My partner had a temp job with the Sate that covered all the insurance. Times were good for awile.
 

grass man 11

LawnSite Senior Member
This supposes that Dad is supporting the entire family of 4. Mom has to also work. Dad can't make enough working for a lawn company to support an entire family in most areas.

I know very few single working households at all anymore. We have a few friends that do it but it's never easy.
I wasn’t thinking that one parent only worked. The prior posts had stated that 35k for a person was a “good wage”. I disagreed, with my own personal feeling that anything under 45k for a single person or 90k combined (each parent earning 45k) for a family of 4 starts to make things more difficult.

The fact that some of us have had to “loan” money or give a pay advance is a prime indicator that your employee isn’t making enough money to a savings. I would also bet if you had to loan out money that also means that employee isn’t planning a vacation anytime soon, nor buying a new car or house.

I’m not saying that we are wrong here. Some jobs simply can not afford to pay any more. Clients will only pay so much for what you are offering. I’m not going to pay $12 for a cheeseburger at McDonalds.

It’s easy for all of us to sit here and think we pay a good wage when it’s probably only a small percentage of people that do. Take your own wife and kids, and attempt to live off the same income you pay your labors and see what your family’s reaction is to the life style change.

Labor market is tightening because we can’t afford to pay what would be needed for a “professional” labor force to survive. So
Instead, we attempt to hire 1 step above what the fast food industry hires.
 
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