A Canadian woman who earns nearly $100,000 a year says she was in a better financial situation when she earned minimum wage in 2012.
Sam Breezie, 32, from Langley, British Columbia, has more than 110,000 followers on TikTok, where she shares stories about her life.
The content creator, who uses the handle @sam.breeziewent viral this week after comparing her salary and cost of living over a decade ago to today.
“The cost of living in 2023 is so bad that I’m pretty sure my financial situation was better when I was making minimum wage in 2012, compared to almost $100,000 today,” she said at the start of the video.
Sam Breezie, 32, from British Columbia, went viral on TikTok after claiming she was better off financially when she earned minimum wage more than a decade ago.
Sam said she makes almost $100,000 a year, but the cost of living has increased exponentially.
Sam explained that she lived with a roommate in a two-bedroom apartment that cost $700 a month 11 years ago.
They paid $350 each for rent and another $100 for utilities. She also spent between $100 and $150 a month on groceries.
She estimated she made between $1,300 and $1,400 at her minimum wage job.
“After all my expenses and necessities, I had so much money left. I mean, not like a lot of money, but like several hundred dollars left,” she recalls.
“I was able to go out to eat several times a week. I mean, nothing fancy, but I still got to go out,” she said. “I got to go shopping. I really enjoyed buying makeup and clothes and I could do it.
She noted in the on-screen text that she was also able to use her extra money to partially pay for college.
“Now in 2023, I’m paying $3,300 a month for my rent in British Columbia, obviously split in half, so I’m paying $1,650 of that,” she said.
Sam explained that she pays between $200 and $300 a month for utilities and also has a student loan payment of “several hundred dollars.”
Sam said she made about $1,400 a month 11 years ago, but had much more disposable income.
In just over a decade, her rent has gone from $700 a month to $3,300, and she also has higher utility bills and student loan payments.
“I had to move out of town, so now I have to have a car,” she continued. “Gas prices are ridiculous. Car insurance in British Columbia… It pays and, obviously, I make a decent salary.
“I can afford it, but I definitely feel like I had a lot more disposable income in 2012 when I was making minimum wage.”
“If I had known what 2023 would look like 10 years ago, I would have dropped out of school and just bought a house instead,” she added in the caption.
Sam’s video was viewed over 150,000 times in just a few days and received hundreds of comments.
Many people remember this and remember how much less they paid for rent and utilities in their youth.
‘This! Only TEN years ago we were comfortable,” one person responded.
Someone else added: “In 2011 I made $34,000 and had my own apartment in the city, shopped for fun all the time and took 3 vacations this year- there…”
Sam hit back at accusations she had “lifestyle drift” in a follow-up video, saying the problem was things were “quadruple” what they were a decade ago.
Sam noted that she’s “in a much better position than a lot of Canadians,” but what she meant was that “it shouldn’t take a six-figure salary to just be able to exist.”
“My friend and I were just talking about this!!! When I made half of what I make now in 2012/2013/2014 and had expensive hobbies and went shopping lol,” another admitted.
Others claimed his struggles were due to “lifestyle change” – a phenomenon in which earning more money leads to more spending.
Sam responded to the accusations in a follow-up video, saying the problem was that prices were “quadruple” what they were a decade ago.
She also argued that people shouldn’t shame her for taking out student loans to go to college because that’s what everyone told her to do.
‘And you know what? It worked. I took out student loans, got a degree, got a job, and my job pays what I knew 10 years ago was a good salary. But this salary is no longer enough to live comfortably,” she explained.
“If I had the salary I earn today 10 years ago, I could have bought a house. I could have had a really, really nice lifestyle,” she continued. “But now it’s just enough money to pay my bills, get by and not really do much else .”
Sam noted that she is “in a much better position than a lot of Canadians” and that she is “very grateful,” but what she meant was that “it shouldn’t take a salary to six figures just to be able to exist.’