A woman from British Columbia recently went viral after claiming she was financially better off in 2012 while making minimum wage than she is today making almost $100,000 a year.
TikToker Sam (@sam.breezie) explained in her video how the rising cost of living eats up more than it did ten years ago. Viewed over 105,000 times as of publication, users shared their own frustrations with how far money can go in 2023.
“The cost of living in 2023 is so bad that i’m pretty sure I was actually better off financially when I was making minimum wage in 2012 versus me making almost 100,000 dollars today,” Sam said.
@sam.breezie If i had known that this is what 2023 was going to look like 10 years ago i would have skipped on going to school and just bought a house instead 🥲 #canadianhousingmarket #costoflivingcrisis #housingcrisis ♬ original sound – Sam 🏳️🌈
“In 2012, I lived with my roommate in a two bedroom apartment and our rent was $700 , so we paid $350 each,” she further explained. “I paid maybe $100-$150 for groceries. Our utilities were maybe $100 a month for everything, and my take home pay making minimum wage was probably $1300-1400 dollars a month. After all my expenses and necessities I had so much money left over.”
Then she compared her past to her present: “Now in 2023 I pay $3,300 dollars a month for rent in British Columbia. Utilities are at least $200 or $300 a month. I have a student loan payment several hundred dollars a month. I had to move outside the city, so I have to have a car.”
“I really feel like I had a lot more disposable income in 2012 when I was making minimum wage,” she concluded.
The Daily Dot reached out to Sam via email for further information.
Users agreed with her and talked about how hard it is to keep your head above the water to afford the cost of living.
“This is definitely true in North Carolina, I used to get like a good lunch for $5-$7 bucks, a dinner would be around $15-$20. Now lunch is $12-$15 and dinner is close to $30-$40 without booze. This is strictly sober meals,” a user agreed.
“Ugh. I remember living in a 3 [bedroom] townhouse in the early 2000s $750, split 3 ways,” a user recalled.
“I make $170K in Toronto, and I can choose saving for retirement OR a house OR kids. Just one,” a third stated.
“I definitely was better off in 2014 making 15 an hour than I am making 35 an hour now,” another added.
According to a Gallup poll, 35% of Americans believe they have improved their financial situation since 2022, while 50% believe they are worse off. This is one of the few times that the number of Americans claiming they are worse off has reached half or more since the question was first asked in 1976. The last time Americans polled close or above 50% was during the Great Recession of 2008-2009.
Sixty-one percent of lower income Americans believe their finances have worsened over the past year. Middle and upper income Americans are also claiming that their finances have diminished over the last year.
Another Gallup poll shows an alarming growth of despondence, with 48% of Americans believing that the stock market will decline within the next 6 months.
Though joblessness is down, inflation has faltered, and consumer spending grew, many continue to feel pressed by the current economy. The main culprit is inflation. Average goods have risen in cost by 6.4% or more since 2022, while food costs rose by 10%.