Dual Income Couple Is Barely Making Ends Meet Despite Only Having A $425 Mortgage

If even they aren't comfortable, how are others managing?

couple stressed about finances, barely make ends meet Cast Of Thousands / Shutterstock

The American economy is so good, according to all the usual indicators, that it can be difficult for some to believe that so many are struggling. But the situation that one couple on Reddit is facing puts the problem in stark relief because, by all measures, they should be breathing super easy.

The dual-income couple is barely making ends meet despite having a $425 mortgage.

For most of us, the very idea of a $425 mortgage alone probably sounds like a dream life — and an impossible one at that. 


Housing costs have soared exponentially since the 2008 recession and even more so since 2020, which means the current average mortgage payment is a staggering $2,883.  

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So, by what arcane wizardry did this couple end up paying just $425 a month? They bought it from an elderly family member 10 years ago for a bargain basement price and fixed it up.

And just to twist the knife further, the Redditor says his house was worth $80,000 when he bought it, but he routinely sees comparable houses listed for $300,000 nowadays.

Even with their cheap mortgage, he and his wife struggle to save as much as they'd like. 

Their low-cost life should mean they're living nice and easy. But while they're not struggling nearly as much as most people, they still don't live as comfortably as they'd like. 

In his post, he shared a breakdown of their income and expenses. He brings home about $2,900 a month from his job; his wife, who works part-time so she can care for their toddler, brings home $1000. 




They don't live extravagantly. Their bills are the usual suspects of internet service, car payment, insurance, groceries, pet food, phone bills, etc., along with "a few thousand" in credit card debt — far less than the national average of $6,864.

"All that is $3440 a month for just living," he wrote. "That leaves $460 a month to play with." And as we all know nowadays, a couple nights out each month quickly dwindles that to minimal cushion at all.

And though he and his wife are glad to have their bases covered, they get nervous. "I think about an appliance going out or something, and I don't have 2k in the bank for that," he wrote. 


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The man doesn't understand how others are getting by, given how tight his own life is.

"I don't know how others do it," he wrote in his post. "There is no way an average person making even $40 an hour can buy a house." 

Couple Barely Making Ends Meet Even With A $425 MortgagePhoto: Cast Of Thousands / Shutterstock


He went on to wonder what he and his wife would do if they had to spend "$2000 for somewhere" to live, as many do — and many, of course, pay far more

He sees his experience as proof that all the stories we hear about Millennials and Gen Zs not being able to afford a house are absolutely true. His house, after all, would be more like $1,800 a month if he were to buy it at today's prices and interest rates, far more than he and his wife could afford. 

His story touches on the very real economic realities most of us younger people are all too aware of, but which older generations insist are not the case.

Namely, that housing has gone up so much just in the past decade — let alone since the 70s, 80s, and 90s heydays of the Baby Boomers — that it offsets the costs our Boomer parents paid even when taking into account their staggering double-digit interest rates.




This man feels lucky to be in a situation where he has more than $400 each month of surplus, but so many don't nowadays. Studies conducted by finance and investing information company The Motley Fool found that the median American savings account currently holds just $1,200.

The most recent data from the Federal Reserve shows that the percentage of Americans who can afford to pay for an unexpected $400 expense declined for the first time in 2022, from 68% to 65%.


Thankfully, wages and employment are up, and inflation has slowed, so there's reason to be hopeful for the future.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.