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Poll: What's your household income? - Page 4

Poll Results: What's your annual household income?

 
  • 10% (50)
    less than $20,000
  • 13% (63)
    $20,000 - $30,000
  • 23% (112)
    $30,000 - $50,000
  • 22% (107)
    $50,000 - $75,000
  • 16% (77)
    $75,000 - $100,000
  • 10% (52)
    $100,000 - $200,000
  • 2% (13)
    greater than $200,000
474 Total Votes  
post #61 of 107
DH and I make less than 20k a year but do all right as long as there is not an emergency. Unfortunately, we both work part time now and neither of us have health insurance.

We are extremely lucky the DH's parents help out with his school fees and agreed to pay for our car and car insurance (needed for DH's school). Our apartment is small (pretty much a studio) but it is clean, safe, and in a great location.

I am not too sure what is considered a luxury, but I will say that we spend quite a bit of money on organic foods, but we also save by not eating a lot of processed crap. No cable tv, phone add-ons, no cellphones, pagers, etc. either.
post #62 of 107
Quote:
Originally posted by oatmeal
I gotta say, where I live in California $50,000 with kids in the house is a pittance. Going out at that eschelon is a luxury and people with that income here think 3x times going out to a $15 movie. If I made 50K in Arizona or Kansas I'd probably be in a diferent category that here where the debris meets the sea.
absoloutely the same here! we're at about the $50,000 level (with two incomes) here in san diego and all we can afford is a small two bedroom apartment - and don't even think about buying. houses in the ghetto or going for $250-300k! i swear, i used to think what i'm making sounded like a lot of money, but no more!
post #63 of 107
We live in NYC and all of our extra funds are going to student loans! I want to be a SAHM when the baby comes in August, but that means our income gets cut in 1/2 and how will we continue to pay off our student loans? I am glad to read about others' financial concerns. We aren't "poor" per se but we have no extra money at the end of the month due to our loans. I am really torn about what to do in August. If I go back to work, day care (yuk, just those words make me cringe) is $215 a week!
post #64 of 107

Loans

I have 17K worth of student loans. I got a 6 months defferment with each baby! So, call them up, ask for the forms and file it all before August. I also was able to reduce my monthly payment for a while. It is importnat to repay our loans, so our childrne's children will get them too when they are in college, but it is also important to be with a baby for a while, because baby is a baby only for a while!. and this what deferrement and foraberance procedures are for.from my own experience, I find that a nanny is much better than day care. and NYC has many Russian nannies who are great and not too expensive!
Do not delay and contact your lenders today!
post #65 of 107
Student loans are only deferable if you had them prior to 1993. I called and checked. Plus, I think you still accrue interest when they are in deferment. But thanks for the suggestion!
post #66 of 107

Ask about foreberance

Yes, the interest accures, but a few extra month with the baby will worth it. I got my loans after 1995 and ahd foreberance several time. Yes, I will be paying them off until the day I die, probably, but who cares.
post #67 of 107
Well, I picked less than 20K. dh makes $862.37 a month 10 months out of the year with his teaching assistant stipend. I'm a SAHM, so I make no money. Our student loans are somewhere around 20K and our credit cards are around 5K. We live on more student loans right now (otherwise we wouldn't be able to afford rent), which constitued about 8k this school year. That's how we paid rent through July, which is $514, with no utilities. So, unless dh finds a job for the summer, it looks like we'll be living off credit cards again. We own one car that's paid for, but it's older & has constantly needed repairs - I heard someone call a '96 & a '00 vehicle "older", and not to be judgmental at all, because I understand that cars need repairs unless they're brand new, and even still sometimes, but our car is a '91, and I consider that to not be so bad, but I guess it depends on what you live on, or are used to. So it seems as though we're on the poor end here, I guess, but it doesn't feel so bad, unless I think about it because we still buy organic and have clothing and a place to live. I'm used to not having a lot. I guess our credit card debt proves that we aren't too lacking, though. Once dh finishes his PhD (six years?), things should start to improve, provided he can find a job and the president doesn't take away all funding from the university system. But after that, I'm not worried - or at least that's the fantasy I survive on.
post #68 of 107

Poor person! (rant)

I'm an actual poor person. My husband and I have a common law marriage because we can't afford to have a ceremony. He makes just enough money that I would no longer be eligible for health benifits from disability if we were married in a civil ceremony. We are living in my mother's attic, and are hoping to move once we get our tax refund. DH has a small car that he uses to drive to work every day (about 30 mins each way); it's got about 120,000 miles on it. If I have to go anywhere, I walk or take the bus. Between the two of us, we're lucky to have two dimes to rub together at the end of the month!

I understand that the cost of living is higher in some areas, but the two of us would *love* to have 50k/year. It would mean we could live in an apartment of our own.

I was also wondering where the idea came from that AP's tend to be lower income... that seems totally backwards to me. Every AP I've ever met personally has been in a relatively high tax bracket. Sorry if I sound unsympathetic, but DH and I are thrilled to pieces when we can go to wal-mart and buy new socks. *sigh*
post #69 of 107
eilonwy I hope things get better financially soon.
post #70 of 107
This thread has been an eye-opener for me.

It seems that except for those with the least money on this list, who I really feel for, it is so much about attitude. There are people living on far less than we do who are happy and people living on far more who are not happy.

We have been poor ($24,000 for a family three at the time in NYC, no insurance, student loans to pay off), and I knew what it was like to wonder where the next meal was going to come from.

By the time we left NYC a little over a year ago my husband was making over $65,000, and we still weren't rolling in dough because we were having to pay off all the debts that had accrued in the poor years and replace all the broken things (like refrigerators) that we had made do with or gone without before. We were just starting to feel settled, when it became obvious that the dot.com world was about to collapse and the company my husband was working for was no exception and that jobs he was qualified for were incredibly scarce.

We ended up moving upstate and taking a big paycut (he started here at $50,000 but now makes about $55,000). Even though we left NYC, our expenses have gone up. We had amazing rent in the city. We bought a house because we were tired of throwing money away, and our mortgage payments (including tax and insurance) are $500 more a month than our rent in the city was. To find a house we could afford, we had to accept one that needed lots of work. So a fair amount of money goes into repairs and renovations. We didn't have a car in the city. Now my dh has his 1996 Honda that his parents bought for him (our life is furnished by my in-laws), and I have a '93 2-door Chrysler (ugly and inconvenient with the kids but it works) that I bought for $100 off a relative, and there is the cost of insurance, repairs, and maintenance. Heating this house is a huge added expense since we didn't pay for heat (or gas at all) in our apartment and this house is very drafty. So we are struggling to maintain our lifestyle.

After reading this thread, though, I realize how much we have to be grateful for. We have no savings, the girls don't get to take music or dance classes, we haven't taken a vacation since before we had children. But we do have a house, my husband has a job that is relatively secure, we have health insurance, we have two cars, we never have to worry about whether there will be food on the table, I get to stay home and unschool the children, we get out to the very occasional movie at the cheap movie theater here, my dh's parents are usually there to give us a hand or bale us out of trouble, and my parents live nearby enough to help out regularly with the children. I am grateful, and I will try to keep this with me.

It is interesting though how salary doesn't necessarily have that much to do with things. My parents live nearby and and make less than $30,000. Yet they own their house with no mortgage payments (bought it 15 years ago with money from the sale of my grandmother's house) and love tag sales and fixing things up. There place is filled with broken appliances and furniture. They really let things go in their house. I am very uncomfortable when I am there, but they make it work for themselves so well that they are able to take overseas trips at least once a year, are able to help out my sister and brother who are in school (paid for by another legacy), and more.

My in-laws, too, have no income, and when they did, it was dh's step-father's meager postal worker's income, but they are very well-off. It is because my MIL early on, while still freshly divorced and single, discovered a knack for finding really cheap houses with lots of potential and fixing them up for a song (before this she had had to supplement their meager income by collecting and returning bottles). So my dh moved every few years as a child. His mother would buy a house, they'd move into it, she'd fix it up, they'd sell it for a LOT more than they bought it, and it would start all over again, with a slightly nicer house this time. So over the years they have acquired quite a bit of money and now live in a beautiful home with many acres of land and drive a fully-paid for Lexus SUV (I don't approve of that choice, but it shows where they are).
post #71 of 107
I chose $30,000-$50,000. My husband makes $42,000 a year (working offshore on an oil rig, so he EARNS that money!), and I make about $7000. It's quite a lot of money in rural north Louisiana, especially for two 20-year-olds with a baby. We don't have a nice house yet, but we're working on it, and we have two reliable vehicles. We do still blow a lot of money on stupid things, but we're getting better about.

And let me just say that I KNOW what it's like to be poor. Not even two years ago we were AT LEAST $500 in the hole between every paycheck, and having to borrow money from my parents and his parents every two weeks or so to even make my prenatal visits. It was terrible. It was like, no matter how great things were going in our relationship, friendships, etc., there was always this dark cloud over our heads. My husband has since gotten a much better job, and I've started working part-time, so we've upped our salary by at least $25,000 a year since then.

When we finally do get a nice house, though, I'm sure we'll be paycheck-to-paycheck once again, but maybe at least we won't be in the hole!
post #72 of 107
Oh, and I was also going to say that I was appalled at what some of you said houses were going for in your areas! $250,000 for a house in the GHETTO?! Here you could have the nicest house in my town BY FAR for $250,000! I don't think there is anyone within a 30-mile radius of me with a house that expensive. Where I live, in a small town in north Louisiana, you can get a nice house for $45,000 -- in fact, the house I lived in before I got married was $44,000 and was a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house with a 2-car garage! We are looking for a house in the $70,000-80,000 range and that should be a 1800-2000 sq. ft. brick house on 2 acres or something like that.

Everyone should move here!
post #73 of 107
Quote:
Originally posted by Bladestar5
Well, I get mad when rich people sit there in a house without drafts and designer jeans, whining because they can't afford some HUGE luxury.
Have you ever witnessed this, or are you just ruminating on what "rich people" might do?
post #74 of 107
Quote:
Originally posted by annakiss
I heard someone call a '96 & a '00 vehicle "older", and not to be judgmental at all, because I understand that cars need repairs unless they're brand new, and even still sometimes, but our car is a '91, and I consider that to not be so bad, but I guess it depends on what you live on, or are used to.
That was me! Our cars are a '96 and a '00. However, we went through years of the old clunkers when I was in grad school. In 1994 I bought a 1978 Datsun B210 for $137.50 and drove that sucker for a year--used a screwdriver to start it, because the key broke off in the ignition and the guy couldn't repair it--he had to take out the lock! It finally died and I actually sold it to a junkyard for $60, so I drove it for $77.50 for that year--that's what, about $6.50/month? now THAT's a great car payment .

When I say a '96 and a '00 are "older" I mean compared to our neighbors here. Folks in our approximate income range are leasing/buying a new car every 2-3 years, always with payments, and we're often asked why we don't drive newer/nicer cars (with a sniff of snobbery). Well, ours are paid off and perfectly functional.

There is a light at the end of the grad school tunnel! We've BTDT and good for you for finding a way to be a SAHM. I didn't have kids during the lean years, so I don't know what that's like, but I think your kids will fully appreciate the effort you've put into giving them parents who are there for them.
post #75 of 107
We have discovered how $ is really easy-come-easy-go (and we really hope easy-come again!)

In 1987-1989 we made 26K and that was a fair amount for us then.

In 1989 - 1991 I was in grad school and we made maybe 10,000 and were beside ourselves with glee when we were approved for yet another credit card so we could pay the rent and gas bills (at 19% interest!)

from 1991 - 2001 we made approx 75K, paid off 10s of thousands in debt, saved a fair amount in mutual funds and took some great Caribbean and Europe vacations.

In 2001 we moved (for complicated reasons) dh made 23K and I was a sahm, our funds lost 15K and we spent every last leftover penny on a down-payment on a house. DH's job promised commissions that never were paid, he quit, started a business partnership that failed and went several months with no pay at all.

We are now on unemployment and the Medicaid shared-cost program. We have 0% credit cards maxed out to the limits. I've had to borrow 2500 from my parents just to get through the next month.

But... we are selling our house for a huge profit, moving to a house which is a little less expensive in a different town, dh is changing careers to one that is more promising, I'll be able to do some more work in my field (teaching and performing) and we're feeling pretty confident that we will do well.

The last couple years have been rough finacially but we're going to get through it and I've stayed home with my two precious kids; i wouldn't trade that opportunity for all the money in the world.
post #76 of 107
We have discovered how $ is really easy-come-easy-go (and we really hope easy-come again!)

In 1987-1989 we made 26K and that was a fair amount for us then.

In 1989 - 1991 I was in grad school and we made maybe 10,000 and were beside ourselves with glee when we were approved for yet another credit card so we could pay the rent and gas bills (at 19% interest!)

from 1991 - 2001 we made approx 75K, paid off 10s of thousands in debt, saved a fair amount in mutual funds and took some great Caribbean and Europe vacations.

In 2001 we moved (for complicated reasons) dh made 23K and I was a sahm, our funds lost 15K and we spent every last leftover penny on a down-payment on a house. DH's job promised commissions that never were paid, he quit, started a business partnership that failed and went several months with no pay at all.

We are now on unemployment and the Medicaid shared-cost program. We have 0% credit cards maxed out to the limits. I've had to borrow 2500 from my parents just to get through the next month.

But... we are selling our house for a huge profit, moving to a house which is a little less expensive in a different town, dh is changing careers to one that is more promising, I'll be able to do some more work in my field (teaching and performing) and we're feeling pretty confident that we will do well.

The last couple years have been rough finacially but we're going to get through it and I've stayed home with my two precious kids; i wouldn't trade that opportunity for all the money in the world.
post #77 of 107
We are now living on pretty much our tax return and dh' 401k. He lost his job with a company he has given his soul to for 10 years. They let him go for a petty reason, he dared to be bold and try to better himself and start his own buisness. He is now trying it on his own and he is very excited and I am seeing a totally knew side to him. Doing the budget is going to be hard, I am not sure how to make the money stretch what to pay and what to put off. We might have to live with his parents which is okay with me, they have a big house and I love them alot.

This has really been an eye opener to me. I always fussed and worried over our budget and how much money we have coming in and now that there is no money coming in I am having to focus on other things. I wanted to simplify our life and this has surely done it. It really has taught me where our focus money wise needs to be. We should have saved more payed off more and spent more wisely. Too little too late but what lessons we are learning about ourself and enjoying. This is all new and just happened who knows if I will still see the sunny side after a few months.
post #78 of 107
Quote:
Originally posted by mojomom
It really has taught me where our focus money wise needs to be. We should have saved more payed off more and spent more wisely. Too little too late but what lessons we are learning about ourself and enjoying. This is all new and just happened who knows if I will still see the sunny side after a few months.
BTDT. It's really hard. We lived off dh's 'severance' (which was actually back-pay the company owed him) for three months. Because the company called the back-pay severance on the paperwork, we never got a cent of unemployment. I wanted my dh to fight it, but he's too laid back. I was working part-time and bringing in just enough that we didn't have to borrow money before dh's new job start paying (took four weeks to get the first check). :

Dh's new job pays 30% less than his old job + I quit work to stay home with dd and our ds due to arrive any day. It's hard, but I'm learning that there's things more important than the size of our bank account. I must say I like knowing the bills will be paid tho. LOL
post #79 of 107
We are on the lower end. I think Dh makes around $12000 a year. But he's also active duty Air Force so there are benefits that come with it. We have a three bedroom townhouse-type thing on base, which I love. We don't pay heat or electricity, just the extras (phone and high speed internet connection). We have health insurance and I get to see a midwife. Groceries at the commissary are cheap (we spend around $30 a week on groceries, maybe less) and other things are tax free at the BX. We have one car that we make monthly payments on (99 Toyota) and another we owe $600 on (97 Saturn). The most expensive thing we spend money on is our car insurance.

He has enough training in his career field to easily find a job when he is finished with active duty. I'm going back to college next fall to finish the other two or three years of my undergraduate degree and have already found a medical program that I'm almost positive I'll be accepted to.

I think if our circumstances were different, like if we were older (and were used to having more money) or had more children, this might not be as easy. I know it's hard for a lot of military families, but we're still young and only have the one baby on the way (and a house full of cats ) so I'm happy. It's in the middle of nowhere, but I also feel lucky. My reservation is an hour from here so I can see my grandparents frequently and our parents live four hours away, so we can visit on the weekends. Actually, we're going home for the weekend when Andy gets off work.

I even get to be a SAHM, something I never thought I'd do. We don't have much money, but all things considered I'm really happy right now.
post #80 of 107
We're making a little under $9000/year right now. We're VERY frugal, but our savings account (meager though it is) is slowly draining...it's a hard thing. I'm in the middle of having to make the decision to be a wohm (dh would be with dd - he could take her to meetings/work, thank god) and I think it is the most heartwrenching decision...hard times.
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