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Family budgets stretched more than ever

Posted 03/30/2016 3:34 pm by


If you think it’s costing you more to run your household, you are onto something.


Household spending has risen 25 percent or more in the past two decades, even adjusting for inflation, yet incomes have not followed suit. And that means more families are stretching to make ends meet, according to research by the Pew Charitable Trusts.


And the big spending culprits are not extras like a third laptop or a giant TV. It’s core expenses like housing and transportation, Pew found.


That has important implications for families’ future financial prospects, said Erin Currier, director of financial security and mobility at Pew.


“It underscores how little slack families have in their budgets for mobility-enhancing investments like education, even liquid savings, any kind of wealth building,” she said.


The Great Recession caused both household income and household spending to contract, the study found. But spending has picked up since then, increasing almost 14 percent from 2004 to 2014, while incomes contracted 13 percent over that decade.


“Expenditures really recovered from the recession, but incomes really did not,” Currier said.


Embedded in the spending increase were several disturbing trends. Housing, food, health-care and transportation costs all consume a larger share of family budgets now than they did in 1996, while outlays on pets and entertainment as a percentage of overall expenditures have barely changed.


Increased costs for necessities is particularly hard on lower-income families since they have less financial flexibility, and lower-income renters spent almost half of their income on rent in 2014, Currier said.

But all families now have less leeway in their budgets, with expenditures equal to 75 percent of household income in 2014, up from 71 percent in 1996.


“Families do not have a cushion,” Currier said. “They don’t have savings or wealth that they really need in order to weather emergencies and to promote their own economic mobility, especially their wealth mobility.”


Previous Pew research found that one in three American families overall have no savings. And even among households with incomes of over $100,000, 1 in 10 say they are in that situation.


Pew did not examine household debt, so it is uncertain how families are continuing to cover these increased costs. What is clear, according to the study, is that lower-income families are now spending more than the income they have coming in.


A typical household in the lower third of incomes had just over $1,400 left after expenditures as of 2004, Pew found. But by 2014, a household in that income bracket had negative $2,300 at the end of the year.


Not only that, the study was based on pretax income, so “some families will have had even less slack in their budgets than this figure implies,” the researchers said.




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3 responses to Family budgets stretched more than ever

  1. Michael Garrison March 31st, 2016 at 11:19 am

    This is EXACTLY what “they” want, and this is proven in the Bible….”they’ want you broke and homeless.
    Read Amos chapter 7. It’s talking about these times:
    Verse 1) ” Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me; and behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and lo, it was the latter growth after the kings mowings”.

    Grasshoppers means Locusts, as in “the locust army” of Revelations. This is ISIS/ISIL, etc..

    kings mowings means “taxes”, or taxation. Obamacare is the perfect example of this…you pay taxes for Obamacare, then you are FORCED to buy it, too, at an extremely high cost, with an even higher deductible.

    Put this all together, and here is what this verse from Amos is saying, “Father formed the locusts (ISIS) in the latter (end) days to come and strip the people of what was left after the kings (Obama’s) taxes that they pay”. Folks, this is no B.S. this is exactly what this verse means. Now, why would “they” do this to us? Simple, when Satan comes you’ll be so broke (if not dead) that you’ll eagerly bow to Satan, and worship him, simply because he promises to pay your bills and give you food to eat.

    The locust army WILL start to go door-to-door in America in 10….9……8……7…


  2. Michael Garrison March 31st, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Let me say one more thing about these “kings mowings”.
    In the Strong’s Concordance, this “mowings” means “to shear the whole flock”, as in “screw ’em all”, “make ’em all broke”.


  3. Michael Garrison March 31st, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Sorry, just one more note:
    When Obama took office the first time, he spoke of a “civilian army” of 40 million.
    Folks, he was peaking of an ISIS army, right here in America.
    The Air Force Base in Tucson has been flying ISIS members to Arizona for a couple of years now.


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