Paycheck to Paycheck

From the Record:

Report: 37% of working families in NJ struggled to make ends meet during COVID pandemic

A new report shows that 37% of New Jersey households — 1.3 million families — were not able to afford basic necessities in the communities where they lived in 2021, during the pandemic.

The report was released Wednesday by United Way of Northern New Jersey. It said 11% of New Jersey households, or 368,639 families, were at the federal poverty level in 2021, but an additional 26% — 923,791 households — were asset limited, income constrained, employed, or ALICE. 

Those ALICE households, while earning above the federal poverty level, still could not afford basic household necessities. They encompass low-paying “essential” jobs like child care workers, home health aides and cashiers. 

Between 2019 and 2021, the number of financially insecure households in the state rose by 14%, the report found.

The report said rising wages and pandemic aid helped offset COVID-19 job disruptions, as well as inflation. 

United Way of Northern New Jersey CEO Kiran Handa Gaudioso said the numbers weren’t “worse” because of the level of COVID-19 relief available at the time.

All told, the number of households living paycheck to paycheck grew by 157,000 in the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report reads. 

This entry was posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment, New Jersey Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to Paycheck to Paycheck

  1. dentss dunnigan says:

    first to say first

  2. ExEx says:

    Third to not say First.

  3. Hold my beer says:

    Who cares. Those little people don’t buy houses in blue ribbon towns or ev cars. They only matter at election time and only then if they vote for the right candidates. / sarcasm

    I seriously think that’s how many higher income people view the working class and poor. Just look at the reactions to the train accident in east Palestine .

  4. Old realtor says:

    The flip side of my bidding war stories are weeks like this where there is not a single new listing to show to my Ridgewood/Glen Rock buyers. Over 40 years in real estate and never experienced a market this crazy.

  5. Fast Eddie says:

    Over 40 years in real estate and never experienced a market this crazy.

    Fascinating. I look forward to more of your observations in the weeks to come. The prices out here in the San Fran Bay area are insane. The only plus here is that there’s an enormous amount of tech campuses both on the east and west side of the bay. If you’re in tech/product management/PMO work, whatever… chances are you’re going to land something somewhere. And I never realized there were palm trees here. The biggest negative of the week? The pizza sucks. lol.

  6. No One says:

    I thought a pretty big proportion of households everywhere live paycheck to paycheck, no matter what.
    Every once in a while we get a story of a couple making $250k saying they are living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to pay their student and credit card debt, and their luxury car leases, and pay off their accumulated $10,000 island vacations debt.

  7. Fast Eddie says:

    Though, I will say eating New England clam chowder out of a sourdough bowl was awesome! And there’s soooo many Asian restaurants. How do they compete? I’ve been eating a lot in this “Pho” style restaurant and the soups and grilled shrimp was/is so good! I bet all these places rock with their menus. God, I need to be 20 years younger. Lol.

  8. Fabius Maximus says:

    So can I add Fridge Report to the discussion. My fridge (Bosch) just packed up after 16 years.

    What brands have people had success with. I’m leaning towards LG.

    Eddie. I spent 8 months out there on the company dime. The pizza sucks, but the Mexican food is off the charts.

  9. Juice Box says:

    re: “prices out here in the San Fran Bay area are insane”

    Unfortunately it has been like that for more than 20 years now.

    Friends of ours work for the a local University and the city administration in the area. They would not be able to live there if they did not get as a gift the wife’s childhood house from her parents who were teachers and are now retired and moved away. The homes in the area were all built in the 1970s small ranches and split levels etc on small lots. Prince range there is 800-1000 a sq ft depending on whether fixed up or not.

    Another couple we know that live just north of the Golden Gate bridge have been looking for a place to live for years. They may never be able to move into their own home in the town they grew up in and still live today in an apartment with three kids.

  10. No One says:

    Fast Eddie went into San Francisco? That makes me think of this South Park clip:

  11. Juice Box says:

    Fab – How about this smart fridge? It has an App so you can watch your food on your phone..

    Now a classic tv sitcom clip.

  12. Fast Eddie says:

    No One,

    I can’t see that clip from this laptop… will view when I get home. :)

  13. Juice Box says:

    No one you link crapped out.

    Here is a better one.

  14. Fast Eddie says:


    Eddie. I spent 8 months out there on the company dime. The pizza sucks, but the Mexican food is off the charts.

    Was never a big fan of Mexican chow but I’ll keep it in mind on the next round out here. It’ll probably be in a few months.

  15. Libturd says:

    Don’t buy Samsung unless you are handy yourself. They can only be serviced by Samsung and you often have to wait a week for an open appointment. I learned this the hard way and lost all of my food after the fridge went into demo mode after a power outage and surge. Asshole of repairman goes on to do an hour of diagnostics and says everything is okay and hits a combination of buttons on the front panel which returns fridge to normal mode. I asked him for the combo and he says he can’t tell me. He charges me like $150 and goes on his way. It took me many hours of internet deep diving, but I eventually found the internal service manual for my fridge. This thing is so thorough, I can everything myself with it. It even tells you where to put the prongs on your multimeter to test/troubleshoot issues. Since obtaining, I’ve been able to replace the entire LED display, replace a water pump and some non-electric parts on the freezer door. This was a friggin’ expensive fridge since I had to purchase the counter depth model for it to work with my peculiar kitchen layout. I think it was an extra $1,500 and smaller than a standard depth.

    The super simple GE I had at the multi lasted at least 17 years without a single service call. Generally, I’ve had a lot of luck with LG products and they are serviceable by any repairmen. I absolutely love our washer and dryer.

  16. Fast Eddie says:

    And, I saw a young lady on the ferry returning from Sausalito that had the most stunning eyes I have ever seen. She had a nose ring/nose bar or whatever the hell they call it but her eyes made me melt into a pool of mush. She wasn’t the only one that had me in a trance but she was the winner.

  17. Libturd says:

    Conservative Gary in the most progressive city in the country.

    Can you record a few reels for us?

  18. Libturd says:


    Ever look at the income taxation rules for a special needs trust? Holy insanity. I just purchased a used book on Amazon which should help me figure out the best plan for investments. I am thinking a combination of munis, treasuries and CDs.

  19. Fast Eddie says:

    Can you record a few reels for us?

    Lol. :)

  20. Libturd says:


    Luisa’s in Little Italy will blow your mind. Especially the lasagna.

  21. Jim says:

    We have had a lot of good luck with the Whirlpool Gold, side by side , it is 17 years old and runs so quietly that we often have to check and see if is still working. All I have done to it in those years is change water filter yearly and twice vacuumed all the dust up from motor. It may help because my wife always throws out food that smells or is past good date, which is a good habit. Side by side full size(25.4 cubic feet).

    Eddie, My daughter and her boyfriend(now husband) lived in San Francisco for 4 years and loved it, would go back in a heartbeat. They still have many friends there, but now call Ohio home. Only left after daughter was born and her 13th birthday is May 1st, but they go back to visit every few years.

  22. Juice Box says:

    San Fran downtown streets are pretty bad now, but were already bad years ago and has only gotten worse. I stayed downtown for work and weddings and vacations over the years and most days early in the morning a van would come by to pick up the passed out homeless to take them to treatment to centers that were literally setup to prevent overdose deaths. These days they are overwhelmed with drug deaths, so much so the Governor Newsom is now sending in the National Guard and the Highway patrol. What can they do other than administer Narcan etc? Not really sure the pipeline of fentanyl shows no sign of slowing down.

  23. Juice Box says:

    Fab – Look at the service rate and warranties for refrigerators below, and consider extended coverage if you are not handy enough to replace an ice maker or a broken water dispenser switch etc.

  24. Phoenix says:

    GE top freezer is the best. Simple and reliable. If you want to feel special or “upscale,” buy two of them in fake stainless steel, reverse one of the doors, and you will have a hillbilly French door fridge for half the price and twice the redundancy, and more useable space.

    Saw that in Life of a Redneck magazine.

  25. Phoenix says:

    Yeah, and water is wet. GFY.

    Fed says it must strengthen banking rules after SVB’s collapse
    In a scathing report, the Federal Reserve pointed to disastrous decisions that led to the downfall of Silicon Valley Bank — including failures by the central bank’s own supervisors

  26. Fast Eddie says:


    Lol!! No, she was legit, man. She was all woman!

  27. ExEx says:

    Friend of ours just moved to SF last year, picked up a pricey condo only to watch the value of said unit plummet. She’s pissed!! Also hates the new company, so there is that.

  28. Fast Eddie says:


    We walked past a few little mini tent setups on the street and a few were hawking us for change but ya know, I grew up in the shadows of NYC so it didn’t phase me. I did stand between a female colleague and a looped out dude on the subway, kept my eyes on him because I wasn’t sure if he was going to spaz out. Otherwise, San Fran is definitely charming and has its own identity.

  29. ExEx says:

    On the other hand my sweet kiddo is attending school in the “bay area” which is really accessible in short travel time through mass transit, trains, uber…etc. Really like the place. Is having a wonderful experience. She just went to the Mets game at “Oracle” formerly Candlestick Park and was thrilled. Lots of cultural attractions and places to see. Contrast that with attending school in “fort wayne” and you can see how someone in her shoes would really like the area.

  30. Fast Eddie says:

    picked up a pricey condo only to watch the value of said unit plummet

    I’m surprised the value fell. And it sucks that the job sucks, too. That makes one miserable.

  31. Fast Eddie says:

    She just went to the Mets game at “Oracle” formerly Candlestick Park and was thrilled.

    Damn… we went to see Giants/Cardinals the other night… would love to have seen the Mets! That park is awesome, btw.

  32. ExEx says:

    Fab…I like Kitchen Aide. They make nice stuff. Went that way for dishwasher and Fridge. Well made products.

  33. ExEx says:

    Our house came with a huge Viking stove. After a couple of repairs that are very pricey, it’s a lot like making your breakfast on a Porsche. No thanks.

  34. Boomer Remover says:

    NoOne – You’ve described my BIL and wife’s sister. While BIL is not W2, they are everything you describe. Including an upcoming $15K trip to Italy, with au pair in tow.

    I don’t know how they sleep at night given the leverage.

  35. Fabius Maximus says:

    “Oracle” formerly Candlestick Park

    Oracle was built as AT&T park and was built for baseball. I lived in a company apartment at 3rd and Folsom beside the Moscone Center. They were still building the stadium when I got shipped to New York,

    Candlestick was about half way to the airport. I saw the TO catch there and also Arod when he had just moved to Texas after his rookie season.

    Great Times

  36. Bystander says:


    My code reset is Heated Dry, Normal Wash, Heated Dry, Normal Wash on dishwasher. It would not be functioning right now if I did not find that code. It is a Kenmore Elite. Guessing they put it in 15 years ago. It does not heat dry anymore. Wife is frustrated but put on honey do list. I told her have ho do list too…hah

  37. Fabius Maximus says:

    Thanks everyone for the advice. I have to pull the trigger on this today.

    Found a great deal at Costco.

    Renos have it list at $4K before discounts and rebates. Costco have a $1300 discount bringing it to $1800. Delivery, install and haul away included. There is also a bonus small 6cu.ft. Fridge included.

    Delivery scheduled for Tuesday.

  38. Jim says:

    Fabius Maximus says:
    April 28, 2023 at 12:23 pm
    Thanks everyone for the advice. I have to pull the trigger on this today.

    Congrats great buy!

  39. ExEx says:

    We got hammered by taxes, sold a little Amgen stock last week at $252 to cover the bill. It is at $239 today. Timing is everything in the wild world of BioTech….;)

  40. Juice Box says:

    Get ready to pay more for gasoline it seems the tanker wars are heating up again.

    Just trying to get the story straight.

    Iran just seized a tanker full of Kuwaiti oil destined for Texas because a US Judge ordered the seizure of a tanker of Iranian oil bound for China?

    All to settle a 2018 civil lawsuit judgement against Iran over the 9/11 attacks? The same attacks that the 9/11 commission said were not done by Iran?

    From the FT.

    “US reportedly seized tanker with Iranian oil before Advantage Sweet incident
    Court records show US authorities had been probing cargo on Empire Navigation-controlled ships at the same time that lawsuits were targeting

    US authorities reportedly seized a Greek-controlled tanker carrying suspected Iranian crude before Thursday’s action by Tehran against a Chevron-chartered vessel in the Middle East.

    Information on the move by Washington lends weight to speculation that the Iranian Navy’s seizure of the 159,100-dwt suezmax tanker Advantage Sweet (built 2012) was retaliation, despite Tehran’s claim that the ship was detained because it had collided with an Iranian fishing boat in the Gulf.

    Three people briefed on the matter told the Financial Times that US authorities secured a court order to seize the 159,000-dwt Suez Rajan (built 2011) and redirect it to US shores. Shipping market sources had said as early as Thursday that they believed Iranians arrested the Advantage Sweet in reprisals at a US arrest of a ship controlled by Greece’s Empire Navigation.

    The vessel, also a suezmax tanker, which is owned by a lease finance unit of US private equity giant Oaktree Capital Management but ultimately controlled by Empire, had been held up in Singapore for more than a year amid efforts to seize its oil cargo to satisfy US judgements against Iran.

    Court records in one of the cases show that US authorities had been carrying out a parallel investigation over whether that cargo is of Iranian origin.

    The ship departed a Singapore anchorage earlier this month and disappeared off the satellite tracking map over the weekend.

    TradeWinds reported in March 2022 how the vessel was at the centre of litigation in a US federal court in New York filed by families of those lost in the 11 September 2001 terrorism attacks.

    They sought to seize the ship’s oil cargo to apply the proceeds toward a $3.61bn 2018 judgement against Iran for allegedly providing support to terror group al-Qaeda. Iran has long denied a link to the attacks.

  41. QuestionFor OldRealtor says:

    Old Realtors,

    From your experience what banks around here are the ones that finance the flippers and spec house builders? If First Republic goes – which wrote a lot of expensive zip code interest only balloon mortgages (yep -remember World Savings Bank – Wachovia) is likely to affect other small and large regionals and thereby the spec real estate financing world.

    I’m asking because from Bloomberg small copy/paste below. BTW – Bloomberg has a variety of sector specific daily email newsletters. If you get them it saves you going to the website and avoid the paywall.

    First Republic Bank is on the brink. At the time of this writing, there were hurried, behind-the-scenes talks to find a way to keep it from failing. But the window for the bank to avoid FDIC receivership was closing.

    Through Thursday night and Friday morning, big banks and private investors mulled a wide array of plans. (None of which would happen without government aid—and that carries political and financial costs.) One good reason to keep First Republic afloat: to prevent the massive writedowns on its balance sheet from materializing. The problem is a hoard of underwater mortgages and some “held-to-maturity” bonds you keep hearing about, which have all fallen in value given the rise in interest rates, but don’t really count toward losses unless those securities have to be sold. Or, unless the bank has to be sold.

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took a $22.5 billion loss from the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, according to analysts at the investment bank Jefferies, which could cause pain to the big banks as they pay assessment fees to replenish the insurance fund. Should First Republic fail, that could make the levy much, much higher, given that the hole in its balance sheet is estimated to be bigger than the sum of the prior two failed banks combined. (Almost $30 billion or more.)

    There’s a dispute in the banking community about how systemic the First Republic situation is and whether there’s another wave of banking hiccups to come. But let’s be absolutely clear: Even if another set of banks failed—which is a matter of debate—the repercussions won’t be felt across the economy equally.

    “Credit will start crunching but not for everyone,” Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a note last week. “Owing to their greater financial flexibility, large and highly rated firms can adapt to tighter bank lending standards.” That means the biggest banks are set to get bigger, and smaller borrowers who rely on the smallest institutions will find it much more expensive to get access to money. More from Goldman’s Lofti Karoui, in an email today:

    It has become clear over the past few weeks that a variety of headwinds will keep pressuring the balance sheets of small banks, including lower market capitalizations, dwindling deposits, elevated funding costs, and downside risk for earnings. This backdrop essentially means tighter lending standards from already tight levels. That said, we take comfort from our economists’ view that this incremental tightening in lending standards will slow down growth but likely fall short of causing a recession. The reasonably high odds that the current business cycle survives the unexpected dose of tightening that was added in March coupled with the upcoming end of the Fed hiking cycle should allow corporate bond spreads to remain well-behaved.

  42. Juice Box says:


    “Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle owners in North America who want a little more power and speed can now buy 60 horsepower for just $60 a month or, on other models, 80 horsepower for $90 a month.

    They won’t have to visit a Mercedes dealer to get the upgrade either, or even leave their own driveway. The added power, which will provide a nearly one second decrease in zero-to-60 acceleration, will be available through an over-the-air software patch.

    Buyers can bypass the monthly subscription completely however, and opt for an annual subscription payment or simply pay a one-time flat fee. For instance, a buyer could take an all-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 sedan from its standard 288 horsepower to 348 permanently for $1,950.”

  43. BackToFridayEveningFDIC WebsiteWatchingForFanks says:

    Is not horse poop. Is the future. In my Tesla (long range) for 2k it goes from 4.8 to 4.2sec for 0 to 60, and they went to monthly subscription for the self drive feature.

    But the one to watch is GM. In their new electric car they are taking out Apple/Google Play and putting in their own OS, because they want to charge you for everything including data plan because they will make using your phone an inconvenience. I have a GM car that they filled with silly apps that you could sign up for and do in app purchases that you can use only while in the car, but of course – first you needed to pay $20+ a month for the data plan. I had no use for it what so ever. Even OnStar has become a nickel and dime operation and Siri does a better job and you can understand her.

    More Importantly — Fast Eddie – If you are still in Frisco go to First Republic HQ at 111 Pine Street – can’t miss the building. If the reports are true the FDIC boys will be walking in there soon around 4pm local. We want pictures in here…

  44. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Sausalito had a really good sushi restaurant when I went there. Wonder if it’s still there?

    That whole area is beautiful.

  45. The Great Pumpkin says:


    I shared the data on here awhile back when the crisis was happening. Small banks are going extinct. The data was one big downtrend based on total number of banks. In our lifetime, might get to the point where there are a handful of banks that control it all, or worse, it becomes nationalized.

  46. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Ding ding. We have a winner. The future is subscriptions. Nickel and dime you, but hey, you have choice. F’ers.

    BackToFridayEveningFDIC WebsiteWatchingForFanks says:
    April 28, 2023 at 6:40 pm
    Is not horse poop. Is the future. In my Tesla (long range) for 2k it goes from 4.8 to 4.2sec for 0 to 60, and they went to monthly subscription for the self drive feature

  47. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Video games have gone subscription. I figure every aspect of our life will be based on subscriptions in the future.

  48. Juice Box says:

    Pumps – Stakeholder capitalism isn’t even communism. It’s neo-feudalism…

    Do you get it now? Can you rent a clue? Should we setup a go-fund-me?

  49. Juice Box says:

    Elon on Bill Maher tonight.

  50. The Great Pumpkin says:

    1. Apple and Microsoft have accounted for nearly 50% of the S&P500s move YTD.

    2. Add the rest of FAANG and it has accounted for a whopping 94% of the S&P500s return YTD.

    3. With Amazon having reported yesterday after the close with beats, FAANG outperformance could account for the entire S&P500 gain when US opens today.

    4. Microsoft accounted for 140% of the NDX move on Thursday.  The equal weighted Nasdaq was actually down.

    Europe can concentration too:
    YTD the SX5E is +15%, >35% of that move has been driven by 5 names (LVMH, SAP, L’OREAL, ASML, HERMES). For April, that dynamic is even more marked – the SX5E is +75bps with TOTAL and LVMH accounting for almost 90% of those gains. (MS)

  51. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Huge flight to safety. The rest of the index got beat up…but it’s so concentrated now that it seems like the majority of the market is green, when it’s not.

  52. The Great Pumpkin says:

    That’s why I won’t touch anything but DNA right now. Biotech has already been beat to chit. Whatever you are throwing here at these prices is a future winner, unless they fold, which I see almost no chance of happening.

    Can DNA go lower, sure. It’s like me buying sirius in 09 at .10 and crying as it bottomed at .04…saying I lost over 60%. Whahhhhhh. Or just patiently hold the .10 and know what you own. In 2 years that stock goes up to 4.00 a share. This is my exact position/opinion of DNA right now. Hence, not making the same mistake again.

  53. Chi in the PRI says:

    Can I cancel my subscription to you?

    The Great Pumpkin says:
    April 28, 2023 at 7:09 pm
    Video games have gone subscription. I figure every aspect of our life will be based on subscriptions in the future.

  54. Chi in the PRI says:

    The working assumption is that Trusts are for rich people, so it gets jumped right to the top tax bracket on practically $ #1.

    The rationale is you had the benefit of graduated rates on your own return so fuck you.

    Welcome to America.

    Libturd says:
    April 28, 2023 at 10:07 am
    Ever look at the income taxation rules for a special needs trust? Holy insanity. I just purchased a used book on Amazon which should help me figure out the best plan for investments. I am thinking a combination of munis, treasuries and CDs

  55. leftwing says:

    What’s up in the gorges chi?

    And so, since we now include refrigerators and I’m hopelessly lost in the interwebs searching a purchase I haven’t made in decades how about…mattresses?

    Looking for medium with innersprings (sleep style and heat dissipation). The freaking choices are endless…I know someone – basically lives paycheck to paycheck – who swears he needed a $2k+ mattress and hit that…meanwhile I see five star Amazon reviews for $250 mattresses….what’s the reality? Do I need to be concerned they come rolled in a box? Is there a difference among Sealy and Posturpedic, and then all the rest? Like a real appreciable difference, not upselling differences? Keeping in mind I spent much of my adult life sleeping fine on hotel mattresses?

    TYIA….I just want it done with….way too many decisions.

  56. Chi in the PRI says:

    For munis and UST. Make sure to calculate TEY.

    Also make sure the muni is tax free. Sometimes the yield is high for a reason.

    Focus on the net back to you. The markets are not efficient, so it is worth checking everything and going with the best deal.

    Finally, always buy munis on a YTC basis.

  57. Chi in the PRI says:

    Left: I give credit. There are a stack of great hole-in-the-wall places downtown to grab a drink (west of the commons). Too bad I am with my son (16) who just wants to watch the draft. I dropped him off at Donlon for a few hours. He is going to run tomorrow AM with the distance runners since last year’s CN captain matriculated at Cornell. The town looks much better than a couple of years ago. A lot of 20-30-something non-students / non-boho types.

    Freshman North Campus looks vibrant.

  58. ExEx says:

    10:05 Stearns/Foster Estate series. Thank me later.


  59. Chi in the PRI says:

    Left: Re a mattress. Buy something organic. You are going to spend 30% of your time inhaling this material at point blank range. Don’t ingest a sack of fire retardant chemicals.

  60. Chi in the PRI says:

    Listening to new Depeche Mode exactly where I was 36 years ago listening to new Depeche Mode.

  61. ExEx says:

    Deep he is making another LA run in December 4 shows.

  62. ExEx says:


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