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Question of the Day: Could You Come Up With $2,000 in 30 Days?

By JLP | May 23, 2011

A facebook friend of mine posted this question this morning:

Could you come up with $2K in 30 days? One quarter of Americans report that they would certainly not be able to come up with such funds, and an additional 19% would do so by relying at least in part on pawning or selling possessions or taking payday loans.

He said he got his information from a recent NBER Working Paper. I haven’t read the paper.

Anyway, to answer the question…

Yes, I could come up with $2,000 in 30 days. I’m not sure just how much I could come up with in 30 days. I suppose it would depend on the severity of the need.

It’s pretty sad that 25% of the population could not come up with $2,000 and another 19% could only gain access to $2,000 through payday loans or selling/pawning possessions. I’m thankful for the position we are in.

Topics: Budgeting, Question of the Day | 16 Comments »


16 Responses to “Question of the Day: Could You Come Up With $2,000 in 30 Days?”

  1. Paul Williams Says:
    May 23rd, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Do they just mean from savings or by any means?

    I could easily do that from savings. I mean, I wouldn’t really have to “come up” with it. It’s already there.

    It is sad that so many can’t do that though. This is the reason people are always one paycheck away from a financial crisis. It’s not always a lack of discipline (there could be unfortunate circumstances), but I do think that for most people it’s simply because of their choices. You can choose to spend on things you don’t really need or you can choose to save for the day when you might need $2,000 all at once.

  2. BG Says:
    May 23rd, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    BTW: These are the people that Republicans point out who “don’t pay any income taxes” (while ignoring their 15% in payroll taxes).

    They can’t come up with two grand, but lets raise taxes on them anyway.

  3. Mary Kay Says:
    May 23rd, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I could fund $2000 from a number of sources TODAY.

    BG, what 15% do those people pay? The Social Security and Medicare taxes are only about half of that and I’m sure greedy, heartless employers would not pass along their portion of those taxes if they were eliminated.

  4. BG Says:
    May 23rd, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Mary: payroll taxes are 15.3% normally (13.3% in 2011). Half of that is called ‘employer-paid’ and not recorded in employees paystubs; but those taxes influence salaries and/or hourly wages.

    Self-employed people see through the sham of “employer-paid” payroll taxes because they are both employer and employee.

    If the employer side of the payroll taxes were eliminated, I would have a hard-time believing that all employers would automatically raise wages 7.65% (“their” half).

    BTW: I could come up with $2k quick too, 2 days for the EFT.

  5. Jack Says:
    May 23rd, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    > [Payroll] taxes influence salaries and/or hourly wages.

    > If the employer side of the payroll taxes were
    > eliminated, I would have a hard-time believing
    > that all employers would automatically raise
    > wages 7.65% (“their” half).

    The non sequitur alarm just went off again.

  6. Jack Says:
    May 23rd, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I doubt it would be immediate, BG, but it would happen eventually.

  7. Jack Says:
    May 23rd, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    And as I said in the other thread, Congress could mandate that wages be raised as much as the employer portion of the tax.

  8. Stacey Says:
    May 23rd, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    I’d be surprised if any long-time AFM reader would have trouble with this task. If they do, they need to identify what steps they can take to build their emergency fund…judiciously using coupons, cutting back on eating out, changing cable or phone plans, turning off lights, being better about combining errands to save on gas, finding cheaper ways to be entertained (i.e. Redbox vs movie theatre), temporarily eliminating gym memberships and exercising outside now that the weather is better, etc.

    In the times we find ourselves (terrorism, natural disasters, etc.) how would you take care of your family if you didn’t have (quick) cold, hard cash to buy things in an emergency?

  9. TMS Says:
    May 23rd, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Half of the 2 grand is sitting on my desk. Within a week we could scare up $120K but there would be cap gains tax consequences.

    We’re solidly middle class conservatives. Drive a Hummer. Liberals hate everything we stand for.

    Life is good. Let the liberal gripers gripe. See what it gets them. :)

  10. Stacey Says:
    May 23rd, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    TMS, thanks for the chuckle. Are you still glad you have a Hummer tho? (I’m legimately asking…that’s one vehicle that does nothing for me.) Not that I’m necessarily against larger vehicles, it’s just I’ve never “met one I’ve liked!”

    Good for you on the liquidity–we are of like mind on that point.

  11. John Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Why is everyone so surprised. Wages since 2000 have been flat. Workers are expected to pay more for health care and save for retirement. And since 70% of the economy is consumer spending, they are also excpected to spend our way out of the recession created by bankers and financial companies who continue to make profits and pay outrageous salaries to the very people who caused the financial crises. And don’t forget to get rid of all of the unions, because they are responsible for the loss of jobs.

  12. JLP Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Yes, John. We’re all just a bunch of victims…

  13. TMS Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Stacey – yes very happy with the Hummer. I come across people (including my best friend) who don’t get why I bought it.

    I just tell them – “because it’s what I wanted”.

    My idea of a crumple zone is the other vehicle. And the Hummer fits the bill.

    I work on commission and I have no tolerance for redistributionist lefties who on a personal giving lever are tighter than three coats of paint.

  14. Jack Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    It is ridiculous that if one person works 40 hours a week, and another work 60 hours a week for the same hourly wage, that the one who works more should be charged a higher tax rate.

    It is also ridiculous that people think if you spend your money on vacations and new cars, you should be rewarded by living off others in retirement, but if you buy stocks and bonds instead you should be made to fork over some of it to the guy who took the vacations and bought the new cars.

    “Liberalism is a mental disorder.” -Dr. Michael Savage

  15. BG Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Jack) I agree, our tax-code has more holes than swiss-cheese. I also think it is ridiculous multi-billion dollar corporations are able to have a $0 tax bill, and that big-time CEOs have lower effective tax rates than people who earn 1000x less.

  16. Jack Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Corporations should be paying no income tax at all.

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