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What is your household's yearly income? - Page 2

Poll Results: What is your households yearly income?

 
  • 10% (62)
    Less than $25,000
  • 11% (66)
    $25,000 - $35,000
  • 12% (73)
    $35,000 - $45,000
  • 10% (62)
    $45,000 - $55,000
  • 9% (54)
    $55,000 - $65,000
  • 12% (72)
    $65,000 - $75,000
  • 11% (69)
    $85,000 - $95,000
  • 23% (139)
    $95,000 or more
597 Total Votes  
post #21 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Our taxable income this year was 34k. That's actually an excellent income for us, it tends to average 25-30k.

HOWEVER, about 10k of that was from investment income that is taxed because we pulled it out instead of reinvesting it. We have a lot of money in investments. What this means is that while we do live very VERY modestly and try (and succeed) to stay within our "income", we have little financial pressure. We can afford to buy our own health insurance. If we needed to, we could pull more stuff and pay off our mortgage within 48 hours (partially because we bought a modest home at a modest price and didn't get some crazy ass mortgage). If an emergency happened, we could deal with it. It would still be stressful, and we prefer not to touch the investments (they are, after all, going to put 3 kids through college/trade school/business startup and fund our old age), and there is a waiting period, but just knowing that that is THERE makes a HUGE difference. Even though we spend far less than most people we know with half or less of our net worth.

So I know that it is possible to do SAHMing (as long as you don't have a huge amount of consumer debt--we had none going into marriage) on a mid 20s to 30s income, I've been doing it for about 10 years now. However, don't underestimate stress, if it's really tight. In many respects I think knowing that I have $$ makes it easier for me to not spend money, and certainly makes me think about it less, though I think that is a bit counterintuitive.
Again, this depends on COL.

You mention buying a "modest home at a modest price". The house next door to us is for sale. It's old, a little rundown (not a dump or anything), very modest sized, etc. The neighbourhood is nothing special (I like it, because we can get to a lot of things on foot within anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes...but the corner store and the local video place both closed in March). The yard is average sized, and average here isn't that big - when I saw the size of yards where my in-laws live, I about passed out.

The house is listing for $644,400. I checked. We'd love to buy it, and not have to move out of this neighbourhood. (FWIW, I grew up not too long from here, and it was considered a moderately crappy part of town - not really bad, or anything, but bordering on the "wrong side of the tracks". It has a slightly better rep these days, but it's really not a fabulous neighbourhood or anything.) There's just absolutely not way. We might have a prayer, on two professional incomes, but buying a "modest home" around here, on one income, is basically not possible.

Our rent, for a 1250 sq.ft. townhouse/rowhouse is over half of your taxable income. I really don't think we could even begin to manage on $34K. (Mind you, we do have more kids than average.)
post #22 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I don't think it's always true. The post you quoted mentioned being a single, stay-at-home mom on an income of under $20K. I got by for several years on $20K-$25K, as well...but I was WOH. If I'd been home, it would have been less than half that. The only possible way to have done it would have been to move into subsidized housing, and there are always wait lists.

I do think being a SAHM is much more doable than many people think it is, and that being willing to make some sacrifices can be necessary...but there are limits.
I guess I should clarify.. I was a WAHM. I sold vintage items on Ebay and babysat a little girl 2-3 days a week. I made my own income, but it was small and I only worked a couple of hours a day at best.

Also, sometimes it takes major sacrifices like moving to an area where COL is lower. I see people all the time keeping their $500k house and 2 fancy cars while they say, "We just can't afford to live on one income".
post #23 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abraisme View Post
Also, sometimes it takes major sacrifices like moving to an area where COL is lower. I see people all the time keeping their $500k house and 2 fancy cars while they say, "We just can't afford to live on one income".
A $500K house here would be a shack, but I get what you're saying.

We'll move to a place where COL is lower, eventually. It's not so I can stay home, though. It's so we can build some savings, investments, etc. It's going to really suck, though. It's not about money. It's about the fact that dh and I are both really introverted and have a lot of trouble making friends, and our entire support network is here. We're also limited to places with reasonable transit, because dh is legally blind, and he can't get around without it.

I think it's awesome that you did what you did, though.
post #24 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
A $500K house here would be a shack, but I get what you're saying.

We'll move to a place where COL is lower, eventually. It's not so I can stay home, though. It's so we can build some savings, investments, etc. It's going to really suck, though. It's not about money. It's about the fact that dh and I are both really introverted and have a lot of trouble making friends, and our entire support network is here. We're also limited to places with reasonable transit, because dh is legally blind, and he can't get around without it.

I think it's awesome that you did what you did, though.
That makes total sense. It sounds like you have some special circumstances.
post #25 of 124
We were at $40000, then parenting partner (xdh) lost his job due to a new owner. He then got another FT job making less, $35000 with a small company. Then they basically told him they couldn't afford to have anyone but family and asked him to work 60 hrs at same pay (he was already working 52 hrs) which didn't include OT pay, it was salary... he said yes and then they told him they needed to offer him layoff instead (guess they thought he wouldn't accept). He is 52 this year. We have no idea what we are going to do. I thought maybe I should try to be a lactation consultant since I believe deeply in breastfeeding... he has been applying all over, is currently on unemployment. He has 20+ years in law enforcement/ courts system and a degree from college so you would think he could get a good job.... I asked him to go apply for food stamps last week. I have an organic garden started. I will not use WIC since there are only a few items they offer that I consider nutritious, like beans, but you can't get organic... and the fruits and veggies.... but I am dairy and gluten free (and say NO to GMO) so the rest of what is offered will not help, plus they tell you only the person the check is for may consume the items... I am not comfortable lying at all and xdh would be the only one interested in canned fish (except maybe the cat). I believe very deeply in a sahp and would not compromise. For one thing, if you pay for daycare (and the thought of leaving my children with anyone other than mom or dad is not acceptable to me at all) it would take half or more of my income, probably like 2/3....plus I do extended nursing- dd2 eats from me constantly at 16 mo. I do homeschool dd1 and will homeschool dd2 (5.5 yrs apart). I believe so strongly in a sahp and homeschooling I would live in a tent or at a relative's if it came down to it to be able to continue. We have talked of me looking for a 3-4 hr a day job while he is on unemployment, as he would be able to stay with the children (and dd2 could go for 4 hrs without me now that she is 16 mo), but I have no degree and have been out of the work force for a long time. I used to work in management at pizza, but I was much younger then...
post #26 of 124
There is also the debt factor to consider. Between the two of us DH and I have over $1000 a month were supposed to pay towards student loans. This is the main reason why we figure we will not be able to own a house any time soon, even if both of us were working.

The only reason we can afford for me to stay home right now is because we are in university-subsidized housing...plus DH gets a housing allowance on top of that...plus we are paying interest only on the student loans (uggg), plus our cars are paid off.

Without the subsidized housing we would be paying about $2400 a month for where we live now...maybe more. And our house is by no means luxurious. Its a two-bedroom bungalow with maybe 850 sq feet. But it has a yard...a glorious, wonderful, yard.

So, yeah. COL really, really matters. Food's expensive here too...as is gas and just about everything else.
post #27 of 124
We're around the median nationally, but below average for a Massachusetts household.
post #28 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
You mention buying a "modest home at a modest price". The house next door to us is for sale. It's old, a little rundown (not a dump or anything), very modest sized, etc. The neighbourhood is nothing special (I like it, because we can get to a lot of things on foot within anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes...but the corner store and the local video place both closed in March). The yard is average sized, and average here isn't that big - when I saw the size of yards where my in-laws live, I about passed out.
I'm not in a low COL area, though it's not like, say, certain areas of CA during the housing bubble. And what you describe is more typical for homes in our area of the Seattle burbs, and this area really didn't get hit much by super low prices. All of the houses except for ours in our area appraise supposedly at 800k+, with the majority around 1 - 1.5mil. However, even when we bought near the top of the housing craze around here, we paid less than your neighbor's house. Not because other properties that were crappy weren't going for more, but because we had a huge cash payment waiting, weren't in any rush, lucked out on finding a seller who really just wanted to sell the house ASAP and unlike most of the owners of the older non-mcmansion houses in the area did NOT buy the property to flip it or renovate and sell, ect. Sometimes it does feel weird to be in the only 1980s non-renovated house surrounded by McMansions, but that's what we are.

But again, the reason why living on a very low (for community average) salary works for our family is because there's no stress and no debt. I know that's really not possible for the vast majority of people (two incomes or one).

I think it's much easier to deal with a lowish single salary when you do not have huge stress on you, and when you have absolutely no consumer or student or vehicle debt.
post #29 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

I think it's much easier to deal with a lowish single salary when you do not have huge stress on you, and when you have absolutely no consumer or student or vehicle debt.
Seriously impressive .
post #30 of 124
whoops - we make 75-85k... you missed it, I think. We don't really struggle financially, but sometimes it feels like it - like in february, when our furnace *and* washer died, and we had medical bills for our cat of $500 and were still paying the midwife and bought a car (well, got a car loan)... but we make it through, and while it was emotionally trying, i'd say the fact that we were able to do that without loans means we're doing pretty well, though we usually aren't putting a lot in savings each month, etc.

We live in a very low COL area, though, so I guess we're middle-upper class around here.
post #31 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
Seriously impressive .
Also *lucky*. Neither of us had a medical crisis when we were younger, both of us were able to work our way through school, both of us made it through first marriages and divorce with no debt, DH worked for a company during its heyday and sold a bunch of stock not quite at its highest level but close, I worked as a nanny when I could demand a huge salary for a single girl with no obligations...

As much as people like to say that SAHMs are not lucky they earned it, and that people with lots of investments/$$ earned it all themselves--I don't think that's so. Good health, a good market for one's skills, no major financial obligations/crisis that so many people experience when they are relatively young, protection from consumer debt (at least when I got my first CC in college they wanted to know that you had an income!!), having access to excellent education at bargain state school prices...all of that has as much if not more luck than skill.
post #32 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by ticklemegreen View Post
Just curious what everyone annual income is. Do you struggle financially because you stay at home? Do you have any sort of government assistance?

I'm currently staying at home with my dd and I would like to be able to stay home with her long enough to home school her a few years, but I don't know that our finances will allow it.
We're doing okay but DH has a mountain of student loans coming to fruition soon. I don't know how the payments will work out yet...it's all a vague storm cloud. (Very long story...his parents basically told him if he did XYZ they would pay for school...well they lied, what they meant was they would take out thousands in student loans in his name and being a naive young teen he didn't realize it).



Ok, putting the stormcloud aside for a moment, SAH is great for us right now and we are good.

*blows at the stormcloud*
post #33 of 124
I have had a lot of luck (healthwise and being denied for a CC when younger) but also lifestyle and choices come into play a bit. My husband used to be in the military, and we knew plenty of soldiers making the same as him, and their spouses worked, and they struggled to pay their bills while we were putting extra aside in savings each month.

I have never purchased a new car in my life, I went to community college and worked when I was younger, so no student loans (but I'm still working on my degree), all of my and DDs clothes come from ebay or thrift stores or hand me downs. I like used clothes better, because if they are gonna shrink or bleed or anything, they have already done it.

So, compared to the people around us, we look a lot poorer, we have a lower standard of living, but we have a lot more in the bank.

It also helps that we just moved from a very high COL area to a pretty low COL area. The morgtage on the house we just bought is about what I used to pay for a 1br apt.
post #34 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abraisme View Post
My DH makes $110k a year. We live in an area where COL is pretty high, so you really need to make that much just to buy modest a house. We live okay, but have to watch what we spend and keep a tight budget.

My best friend's family lives on one income of about $38k and they manage in a cheap apartment. If you really want to stay home there's often a way. I was a single, sahm mom for several years before I got married. I lived on less than $20k per year for several years. If there's a will, there's a way.
$38k in Portland? That would be really, really challenging. Even for a single person.

Do they receive assistance on $38k? So that it's actually dollars for dollars more than $38k?
post #35 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolyn_mtl View Post
Cost of living is one thing, taxes are another. My husband is taxed 49% .. so even though he makes a good salary, he is essentially working 6 months for nothing. It's a little depressing. Quebec has a great maternity / paternity / parental leave (1 year, 6 months 70% 6 months 55% of income - tax free), and also has great child care benefits (everyone qualifies for something, but less if you make more etc). DD is 7 months, so when my maternity leave ends we will feel a little tighter, but I'm definitely not going back to work. Quebec also has $7 a day daycare, but even with all of that, it makes more sense for me to stay at home, any income I would make would just push us into the next tax bracket, so we would be taxed over 50%.
I'd take those taxes! I live in the U.S. in one of the highest taxed states. I pay more than $6,000 in property taxes, $20,000 in state taxes, and federal we're in the second highest bracket, I believe.

I pay about $13-$15 per hour for child care. No paid maternity leave, or paternity leave.

We pay more than $250 per month for health insurance monthly, plus high deductible and high co-pays.

I feel like I pay a lot in taxes and don't really reap any much benefit. I'd love to see just slightly higher taxes and universal health care, universal day care.

post #36 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I don't think it's always true. The post you quoted mentioned being a single, stay-at-home mom on an income of under $20K. I got by for several years on $20K-$25K, as well...but I was WOH. If I'd been home, it would have been less than half that. The only possible way to have done it would have been to move into subsidized housing, and there are always wait lists.

I do think being a SAHM is much more doable than many people think it is, and that being willing to make some sacrifices can be necessary...but there are limits.


Big yeah that. You can sacrifice, and maybe make it happen. But there are limits.

And, it's not just up to one parent, right?

You have to have your partner on board.

I feel like I've told my story many, many times. We're one of those older couples who waited to have children. We had two incomes for years, but really lived on only one, maybe one and a half, and we saved a boat load. And built up retirement, etc. We paid off everything except the house, and we've never carried debt other than my student loans which I needed and then paid off eventually as it made sense to do so.

My DH makes more than most of the salaries posted here (not all, wow, some are quite high!).

But we also live in a high cost of living, high tax state.

I also make good money, but, I work part time so my annual income is not really reflected in my hourly rate, and, of course, day care costs (more than $13,000 per year) strip away what we make too.

But our biggest hurdle is DH's attitude. He does not ever want to be a sole provider for our family. He sees it as being a sugar daddy. His words. He says he married me because I was going to have a career. He likes that I work and share the burden with him.

If we could overcome DH's attitude, we could probably make sacrifices, as we have in the past, and manage our money well enough to have a SAHP. One of the sacrifices might be selling the house or moving to a lower cost of living city. And definitely cutting cable, DH's baby that he adores.

But I work, and working part time is DH's compromise, for now.
post #37 of 124
We're very good and DH makes a good income. We live in a high COL area for our country. We have upgraded our lifestyle a bit recently, but I was a SAHM before we sold our company and didn't have the wiggle room.
post #38 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I'd take those taxes! I live in the U.S. in one of the highest taxed states. I pay more than $6,000 in property taxes, $20,000 in state taxes, and federal we're in the second highest bracket, I believe.

I pay about $13-$15 per hour for child care. No paid maternity leave, or paternity leave.

We pay more than $250 per month for health insurance monthly, plus high deductible and high co-pays.

I feel like I pay a lot in taxes and don't really reap any much benefit. I'd love to see just slightly higher taxes and universal health care, universal day care.

I'm not sure, because Quebec is set up a little differently than the rest of Canada, but I think the poster you quoted was only citing income tax - federal and provincial. If they own their property, they're paying property tax on top of that. They also pay GST, which is federal, of 5% on all goods and services. I'm not sure if Quebec also has provincial sales tax or not.

DH appreciates the benefits these days, but he was stunned when he started looking at total taxes around here. I don't know the situation in all the US states, of course...but we pay federal and provincial income tax, and federal and provincial sales tax, as well as all the other ones (property tax, hidden taxes, liquor taxes, etc.). I honestly don't have any idea what the total is.
post #39 of 124
post #40 of 124
My husband brings home a little under 20,000 a year-but that's before taxes and insurance. We are on food stamps and wic. We've done our best to get off of public assistance since dh has gotten a job (he was unemployed most of 2009) but for one reason of another that's not been feasible. I know that a lot of people think sahping is a luxury, but it is also a practicality for us. We live in a rural area and we would need a second car for me to work, plus we would need to pay for childcare and most likely our foodstamps. It would also be much harder for me to do a lot of the thrifty things I do now-go yardsaling and buy most of our things that way, do reviews and/or surveys for cash, sign up for freebies, cook from scratch, meal plan, etc. So honestly we would probaby LOSE money if I was to work, or make very little profit for the stress it would bring.
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