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Is one person's riches another's struggle street


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Poll: What is comfortable (253 member(s) have cast votes)

How would you rate your financial position?

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What is your combined family income?

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#16 la_jeune_mariée

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 09:29 PM

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"The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause." - Eric Hoffer


#17 proka

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 09:41 PM

I voted we are doing OK, but we are probably between that and comfortable.

We have a credit card debt we are paying off, IVF to pay for, a car loan & rent, plus manage to put away a small amount of money per fortnight in a savings account.

Simon is a teacher & I am a part time bank teller, with a combined wage of between 50k-100k pa. Probably middle of the road in that bracket.

We find we do OK/are comfortable if we stick to a strict budget.



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#18 RosiePosie

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 09:45 PM

Great topic and I like your poll smile.gif

I'd say I'm bordering between "making ends meet" and "ok but not much left over". I don't really do without anything but I don't lead an extravagant life by any means! I'm able to pay my mortgage and bills, put some away for savings, and fund my hobby on a very low income.

Interest rate rises scare me a little but I'm confident I could cut back in other ways or at worst increase my working days to cover future (inevitable) rises. I ony work two days a week currently and feel lucky I'm able to be with my son the rest of the time while he's still young. I know too that when he goes to school, everything will change and I'll increase my paid working days and be more comfortable (either that or meet my knight in shining armour tongue.gif ).

I have two close friends that earn as much in a month as my annual income and yet to look at us both you'd never know! (just don't look at our bank balances!!).
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#19 toska

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 05:44 AM

I picked comfortable. We are still paying off some debt back in Australia that we accumulated while we were young & stupid (Two credit cards & a personal loan) as well our current debts/life in America. So some days we get annoyed that we are having to send all this money back home (because it is money that we could be paying off a house with) but we, thankfully, don't struggle any more with money. (Like a few years ago when we were both at Uni)

We also still have a money mentality from when we were at Uni. "I don't actually need that so I won't get it. So we work on a budget pretty well. Which helps. I find it almost impossible to spend money on myself.

We don't own any property yet, but are saving for a down payment on a house. Hopefully next year we can buy smile.gif

#20 RubyTuesday

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 08:21 AM

QUOTE(squidge @ Jun 2 2010, 08:46 PM) View Post

We're ok, but not much left over but that's because of the choices we've made. We are by no means low income earners (well, he certainly isn't, I may well be classed as such) but we are currently paying off our own large house rather than renting, we are also paying off a car and plan to update the other one when it's paid off, so we definitely don't have to think about every penny but we're certainly not "well off" in my opinion!


This about sums it up for our household. Most times we are comfortable, but the wedding is contributing to having 'just a lil bit left over' just before payday.

We have quite a bit locked away (S has invested 6 figures back into his dad's co as a loan, so we wont see the money for a couple of yrs), so we know if things get a little tough we have this as back up.

We earn good money, we are also good at spending it too!! ohmy.gif laugh.gif ph34r.gif
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#21 nephthys

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 08:55 AM

QUOTE(Ms Leila @ Jun 3 2010, 05:44 AM) View Post

We also still have a money mentality from when we were at Uni. "I don't actually need that so I won't get it. So we work on a budget pretty well. Which helps. I find it almost impossible to spend money on myself.

We don't own any property yet, but are saving for a down payment on a house. Hopefully next year we can buy smile.gif

Same with these two points. I rarely spend money on myself and am very disciplined. I won't purchase anything but food over $20 unless I've been wanting it for a long time so no impulse spending here. We too are saving up for a house deposit so that's our main focus. In Sydney with the average house price over half a million dollars and home lenders now wanting a 20% deposit, that's around $80-$100K so it's a lot of saving.

I work three days with my hubby full time. To speed up our savings, I'll soon be running a business from home at nights. If we weren't saving and our house repayments were the same as our rent (it will actually double), we'd be comfortable.
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#22 squeaza

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 11:22 AM

Great topic!!

I think our riches are definitely other people's struggle street, and that doesn't bother me at all.

To be honest, I work in an industry that is largely paid way below the comparative skill-level and education of other industries, so I have always been surrounded by people earning similar incomes, give or take, and give or take the professions of their partners (but a lot of people are married within the profession wink.gif ).

My first inkling that we weren't comparatively well-off was a discussion on here a few years back when it was first proposed to means-test the baby bonus. It was quite an eye-opener to me that someone actually said that 'a household income of $150K isn't well-off' when that was at the time about 4 times our income.

We're currently doing fine. I'm not ashamed of what we do or earn, but to put it bluntly, our combined taxable income is at the lower end of the $50-100K bracket wink.gif

However, after living in London for years on a student budget, or on bare minimum wage earnings, we feel like we're lacking for nothing. I was brought up very frugally, and have never bought anything, house aside, that I didn't have the money for already. We drive a modest car (and probably save a heap on fuel in the process), and for environmental and health reasons ride our bikes and catch public transport for the rest of our travel, which in turn saves us money (even the small fortune we spend on bicycle stuff doesn't add up to another car by any means blush.gif).

Given what someone said about comparative wealth, I'd estimate that our income is probably 1/2 -1/4 of what other families in our area earn, but we need to be in a certain type of area to be able to work from home (i.e. people coming to us) and it's well worth the housing costs to us in terms of return for income.

In reality, things are going to be much much much tighter when I have to stop working for the baby. I do earn more than hubby does, and we have a year saved up of my income, and we still have room to drop our mortgage payments (we kept them on the highest payment when the rates plummeted so we've been overpaying). In reality, mentally, professionally and financially, it was never going to be an option for me to stop work completely when the baby comes; I would lose the skills that make me employable, as well as slipping from the oh-so-important network that keeps me in work. We will for the first bit however qualify for low-income earners health-care card which is a bit wacko.gif

There are many many areas we can cut back what we spend though, even given the added expenses of having a kid, so I'm sure we will do fine smile.gif (or maybe I'm just telling myself that wink.gif ). It won't be easy, but we're already in the mentality of thinking 17 times before buying anything, and house repairs etc. aside, there is nothing we are wanting for (except clothes that fit for me!!).
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#23 Monica

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 11:32 AM

We make ends meet with not much left over.
We have to say no to things a lot of the time but you know, at the end of the day, we have each other, we have Nina, we live in a flat we love and we eat nice food, to me that’s the basics covered.
We are in a little bit of debt which will hopefully be paid off by the end of next year – very much looking forward to not shelling out for that.
We are ok with the fact that we will only be able to afford to buy a house in about 10 years or so.
We are plugging away at saving and hope to take Nina to Disney World when she is around 12.

At the end of the day, sure we’d like a little more BUT if this year and last has taught me nothing it’s taught me to be grateful for what I have, 13.5 months ago my husband was nearly a single father.

Sorry, I have to stop there, I’m tearing up

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#24 EJay

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 12:24 PM

Just going back over some of the replies and had a query: are people including their savings, and how much they put into their savings account as money that they have to spend?

I only ask because if we weren't saving so frantically at the moment, I probably would have put us in a category up: into 'comfortable' rather than 'make ends meet with not much left over.' I wonder if I have misrepresented the way that I feel about our financial situation - plus, we are starting to get into the mindset of 'being poor' because, honestly, we probably will be for a while in London until we get on our feet, particularly as I'll be studying.

I suspect that being in the frantic saving/about to be poor mindset has affected how I feel about our situation more than anything else.

This has been a very interesting read, indeed!
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#25 squeaza

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 12:27 PM

We probably haven't actually saved anything this year, but my income has been down due to pregnancy making me unable to work the insane hours I was previous wacko.gif

I am basing my 'comfortable' on what we do and spend, while still saving some. If I were saving a certain amount religiously each month I would probably go into the 'make do but not much extra' category, but feel comfortable because if something were to go pear-shaped we would have that buffer in savings (as we do now for my self-funded maternity leave)
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#26 proka

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 01:30 PM

QUOTE(EJay @ Jun 3 2010, 12:24 PM) View Post

Just going back over some of the replies and had a query: are people including their savings, and how much they put into their savings account as money that they have to spend?

Yes I was wondering the same, and that's why I put we were doing OK, but we were probably in between that and comfortable. We aren't saving a lot ($150 per week) but we dip into it when we have to (car rego's, services etc).


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#27 ~ela~

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 02:55 PM

Monica I think we have a similiar mindset re money. We didn't go through what you did with Nina's birth, but we have similiar thoughts thinking we have enough of things atm to make us happy. My first cousin has a rare condition where only 2/3 kids in WA have it. I know it's not the same at all, however when I start complaining about the little things in life I am just so grateful I have 1 healthy child and another on the way and don't have to spend my days racing off to hospital/specialist appointments. All they ever wanted was 1 child and unfortunately their son won't live until he is in double digits, and not a nice quality of life. That makes me feel sick typing that. I won't forget Christmas Day I heard my uncle (Oliver's Dad) say to my Nan ''we can only hope they take him before he gets too uncomfortable''. I was a blubbering mess and had to leave the room and thankfully he didn't see me, but if hearing stuff like that makes me upset I wonder how they manage to get through each day and somehow sleep at night. He is the sweetest and most caring 4yo, it's just not fair.

Sorry that's way off track, but whenever I am feeling greedy/ungrateful this little voice seems to pop into my head and give me quite the reality check. I probably should have put that in my first response, because although I wonder some weeks how we are going to juggle everything when there is only xxx amount of money coming in, deep down I know we will be ''ok''.


EJay, to answer your question we don't have any savings. But I am probably not one of the responses you were curious about, I had a very boring answer laugh.gif We don't save any money each week, simply because we always have a bill sitting there to pay etc, so for us savings didn't come into my answer smile.gif

#28 Monica

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:01 PM

EM - that is so sad.

DH and I made a pact a long time ago to never let money be one of our stresses and we’ve stuck to it pretty damn well.
We both just don’t give a shit, LOL
We can save when we need to but atm it’s about enjoying our daughter and providing just enough for her. We can save our bums off later when she is older.

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#29 MrsJo

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:21 PM

We would normally consider our income enough to be comfortable on (lower half of the 50-100,000 bracket), but the reality for us is we struggle quite a bit. We used to say that when we had this income we would be ok, but little did we know how little of that income we would actually see. By the time Tax, HECS, student loan, Child Support and rent comes out of Jons wage, there is only just enough to scrape by on, and we live very frugally as it is. We pay a huge amount in rent in order to keep Isaac in a location his bio-father can't easily reach (long story) and to keep him settled in his school, and we would happily do that over and over to keep him safe without a second thought, but it is a huge bite out of the pie.

I have to say though, we are blessed in so many ways, with precious children and a wonderful happy marriage, and most of what is holding us back financially now comes from decisions and situations we put ourselves in as young people many years ago, and until we serve our time this is how it has to be for now.



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#30 MissNic

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 04:00 PM

It is an interesting topic.

I answered comfortable. Our combined income was in the second box which I know is a lot to most people. Our problem is that I am the major income earner, DH is a tradie and as we all know they don't get paid what they are worth.

While I'm working we are probably more than comfortable. We have a largish mortgage - hard not to in Sydney! - that we are paying off. We have no credit card debt and were able to by a new car with the cash that we have saved.

I have always been a very consciencous saver and the mortgage was the first time I have ever been in debt. I FEAR debt. Ever since I've had one I have paid off the credit card in full before it is due.

Now days, any "spare" money after paying bills etc goes into our offset account preparing us for when I am on mat leave. We have a fair amount saved, from reading this, probably more than what a lot of people earn in a year blush.gif

Given that I will be on leave for a year and am the primary bread winner, I think our financial situation will go from comfortable to scraping by. I have to get over my fear of not having a nest egg put away for "just in case" because there is seriously going to be not much left this time next year.

By the way, I think my "hoarding" money thing comes from having to watch both my Grandma and Mum struggle with money and I always swore that I wouldn't be in that situation. Don't get me wrong - I'm not tight, I love a shopping spree laugh.gif but I just like to live within my means and prioritise.


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