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Income Poll - Page 7

Poll Results: What is your annual household income?

 
  • 5% (30)
    Less than $20,000
  • 8% (44)
    $20,000 to $29,000
  • 12% (64)
    $30,000 to $39,000
  • 10% (53)
    $40,000 to $49,000
  • 12% (62)
    $50,000 to $59,000
  • 12% (61)
    $60,000 to $69,000
  • 7% (37)
    $70,000 to $79,000
  • 5% (28)
    $80,000 to $89,000
  • 4% (24)
    $90,000 to $99,000
  • 20% (101)
    $100,000 or more
504 Total Votes  
post #121 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker'smommy View Post
Well...I think the results are QUITE skewed when it seems that many people with TWO incomes answered the poll. I thought this was based on ONE income...more specifically what your spouse makes- sahm forum and all...and what the poll asked. Just mho.
That's what I was wondering once I saw some of the two income posts. I'm not a sahm, but my partner is a sahd. We live off my income.
post #122 of 200
I think people bring up stuff like the average rent in an area or the amount of student loan debt they have because it does make a difference.

We have alot of student loan debt. Our minimum payments are $700/month, on 30 year notes. We have about 25 years left. If we were making $1000 a month, we would not have money to pay rent. There is nothing, and I do mean nothing, not a room in someone's house, nothing, around here to rent for less than $300 a month.

I grew up in a harder place financially. I feel very lucky that we have health insurance. I feel very lucky that I have enough money for gas for my car, and I don't have to sit at home the 3-4 days before payday. I feel lucky that we have an abundance of food. But, these things do not make me rich. Middle class, maybe, but not rich.
post #123 of 200
Where I live a modest 3 bed room 2 bath home costs over 600K. You're looking at 800K if you want more than a 6,000 sq ft lot, oh and basements and attics don't exist in CA. Rent is around $2,000 for 3 bed, 2 bath apartment, more if you rent a house that size. I know there are places where I could live a much higher quality of life for $2,000 a month total, not just put the roof over my head. I wouldn't even begin to speculate what kind of income a person would need to SAVE the 120K for the down payment on the 600K house, let alone the over $4,000 a month in mortgage and taxes they will be paying on a nearly 500K mortgage.


So I think comments like this
Quote:
I think that once you're up looking down.. you really can't judge how far up you really are any more.
are really closed minded, when it's very clear by looking at the living wage calculator there simply are parts of the country where a person could not put a roof over their families head if their income was only $1,000 a month, let alone feed them.
post #124 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker'smommy View Post
Well...I think the results are QUITE skewed when it seems that many people with TWO incomes answered the poll. I thought this was based on ONE income...more specifically what your spouse makes- sahm forum and all...and what the poll asked. Just mho.

I didn't vote because we have two incomes, but I did post.
post #125 of 200
Here's the thread about the living wage if anyone is interested.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=654512
post #126 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
Where I live a modest 3 bed room 2 bath home costs over 600K. You're looking at 800K if you want more than a 6,000 sq ft lot, oh and basements and attics don't exist in CA. Rent is around $2,000 for 3 bed, 2 bath apartment, more if you rent a house that size. I know there are places where I could live a much higher quality of life for $2,000 a month total, not just put the roof over my head. I wouldn't even begin to speculate what kind of income a person would need to SAVE the 120K for the down payment on the 600K house, let alone the over $4,000 a month in mortgage and taxes they will be paying on a nearly 500K mortgage.


So I think comments like this
are really closed minded, when it's very clear by looking at the living wage calculator there simply are parts of the country where a person could not put a roof over their families head if their income was only $1,000 a month, let alone feed them.
I'm probably the least close minded person I know. Seriously.

I honestly do believe that some people have a hard time seeing how well off they really are. It wasn't a statement singling out anyone, as I've been guilty of it sometimes myself.

It wouldn't matter if I lived somewhere where the cost of living was higher or not. I'd have to make 1,000 a month work because thats all we receive in disability. There is no other choice. Its not like the amount I receive would change substantially just to make up for the fact that I live in a more expensive place. Some things would scale, like housing subsidies. Most things wouldn't though.

Renting an apartment is all we'll be able to do on this amount. Even renting a house is beyond our budget. Right now we can't even afford a used car payment, which we'll need come Feb when our current beat up car no longer fits all of us.

I believe how we view personal finances is largely a matter of perspective. Just as I cannot fathom how someone can pay hundreds of dollars a month in student loans, or afford two car payments, or even afford to tithe.. some people cannot see how I spend less than 150 a month on groceries for a family of 5.. or how I only buy clothes for my children every couple of months, and usually from second hand stores... or why purchases like new toothbrushes, shampoo, or a cup of coffee NEED to be budgeted in or left out...Or how its possible to not go out to eat for years.
post #127 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post

It wouldn't matter if I lived somewhere where the cost of living was higher or not. I'd have to make 1,000 a month work because thats all we receive in disability. There is no other choice. Its not like the amount I receive would change substantially just to make up for the fact that I live in a more expensive place.
I understand that, I really do. But it also means you would never live in a community where it is impossible to put a roof over your head for that $1,000.
post #128 of 200
I voted in Aussie dollars, which is current ly worth about 90% of the US dollar. I used our combined income, although I contribute very little to our our all income... about 1/40th of our total, i reckon....
post #129 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
I believe how we view personal finances is largely a matter of perspective. Just as I cannot fathom how someone can pay hundreds of dollars a month in student loans, or afford two car payments, or even afford to tithe.. some people cannot see how I spend less than 150 a month on groceries for a family of 5.. or how I only buy clothes for my children every couple of months, and usually from second hand stores... or why purchases like new toothbrushes, shampoo, or a cup of coffee NEED to be budgeted in or left out...Or how its possible to not go out to eat for years.
Student loans suck. We will pay for 30 years on mistakes we made as young kids. My dh is the first in his family to go to college; I'm one of the first. We just weren't advised that it's not smart to go in that much debt. But, it's something you just have to deal with. You can't ever get out of your student loan debt unless you die. No bankruptcy, no nothing. You can delay them, but eventually, they have to be paid. Some days, it feels like a lifetime sentence for bad decisions.
post #130 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
I understand that, I really do. But it also means you would never live in a community where it is impossible to put a roof over your head for that $1,000.
No, I suppose if I had a choice you're right. I wouldn't live there. However, what if I didn't have that choice? What if I was born in the area, landed on SSDI and now have to try to put a roof over my head, pay all the bills, and food and gas for 1,000 a month. Since I haven't been in that situation, I can't say. I wonder what others in that situation do? Do they move clear across the country, among strangers, just for lower rent? Surely there must be people who survive off disability payments in California or other places.
post #131 of 200
Well we're in euros but I reckon we're at 30-39US$, not much and we don't own our own home , we could NEVER afford anything around here, but when I go to work then things will change - I just have to get a job in france?!? Ooohh but then I didn't count in that we have 100% health covered by dh's job so it probably works out 40-49 now - sorry.!
post #132 of 200
artgoddess, maybe someone couldn't afford a roof that has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms under it on $1000/month, but I'm certain there are people in your area that live on very little.

Someone earlier commented about how Boston has one of the highest COL, then someone else piped in and said they live in Boston on an income of $40-$49K. When people need to make it work, they make it work, because they have to. There is no other option. They don't have all the extras that so many people take for granted.

I have never lived in a 3 bedroom apartment, and certainly not one with 2 bathrooms. I have never been able to afford something that luxurious. We don't have a car payment because the cars I buy cost about $500. Before that, we took the bus. (I'm pretty sure most urban areas have public transit, but for some reason, people seem to think they need cars.) I haven't been to the dentist for 9 years, because I can't imagine spending so much money. We don't eat out. We certainly don't have heaps of insurance. I currently plug the hole in the pipe under my sink with my finger so water doesn't spray everywhere when I drain the sink, because we really need to make it last as long as we can before we hire a plumber. We don't have cell phones, or cable. My ds doesn't do ANY activities that are not free, except maybe swimming once a month for $3. I don't buy coffee out. I honestly can't remember the last time I bought a new clothing item for anyone in the family. But these are not the things I focus on.

I am incredibly grateful for what I have and I really do have an abundance. I have a house and a car that gets me where I want to go. Five years ago I didn't have those either. I wouldn't imply that we don't really make much money because our mortgage has to be paid, or because we have student loan payments, because I recognize that we are fortunate enough to have a mortgage and student loans. Your money is going a lot further than you can see.
post #133 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
... when it's very clear by looking at the living wage calculator there simply are parts of the country where a person could not put a roof over their families head if their income was only $1,000 a month, let alone feed them.
I guess the thing that I don't understand is how some seem to be giving the impression that they don't understand that the ability to live modestly yet reasonably in high cost of living areas is itself highly privileged.
post #134 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
I guess the thing that I don't understand is how some seem to be giving the impression that they don't understand that the ability to live modestly yet reasonably in high cost of living areas is itself highly privileged.
Yes! ITA. It's not that I'm unaware of how the cost of living can skew the scales a bit. I know that if we lived in another part of the country we would not be considered low income. And I know b/c of where we live, if our income were to double we would still not be considered rich. But you are so right about the privilege factor. It is a privilege to be able to afford things like cars, cell phones, and cable TV (all of these things my family does w/out, BTW). Oh, but I will add that I am also aware that we are on the high end of low income, if that makes any sense. I am quite aware that my own family has the privilege of not having to rely on public housing, even though we qualify. We have the privilege of paying for unlimited long distance so we can keep in touch w/ people out of state. We have the privilege of paying for internet, even though it is not high speed. These things are not somehow entitled to us, rather we are lucky (privileged) to be able to have these things.
post #135 of 200
But there is a difference (at least in my mind) between feeling grateful for what we have/grateful that we are priveleged, and feeling that we are wealthy.

Being able to have a home, transportation (car, public, bike, doesn't matter), healthcare, and food does not make you wealthy. More privileged than many in the world? Yes, absolutely. "Rich" in the current-day first world meaning? I don't think so.
post #136 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS
Being able to have a home, transportation (car, public, bike, doesn't matter), healthcare, and food does not make you wealthy.
I couldn't disagree more. That whole perspective thing again.
post #137 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
I guess the thing that I don't understand is how some seem to be giving the impression that they don't understand that the ability to live modestly yet reasonably in high cost of living areas is itself highly privileged.
Good point. I have to agree with this. I mean, I know PLENTY (yes, plenty) of families who would LOVE to live in say San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, NYC, Portland, Denver, etc but due to the higher cost of living, choose to live somewhere else.

Yes, it's a choice, but if their income were a little higher (privilege) they would most likely try to make it work in the city of their dreams.

So, yes, I consider living modestly yet reasonably in high cost cities itself a privilege (not to say it wasn't earned, but it is still a privilege).
post #138 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
does not make you wealthy..."Rich" in the current-day first world meaning? I don't think so.
Interesting. I think we're probably using different definitions and scales for "rich," "wealthy," "affluence," etc.

Again, it's a matter of perspective.

To me, I kind of think of the brackets in loose Census terms...like 1 or 2 income households earning more than $100,000 (no matter where you live) that is high income. One income households earning $60,000 or more are high income.

I know people will disagree with this, but again, it's perspective. Look at the income levels for public assistance programs and you will get a new perspective on high income, middle income, low income.

Weath is a little harder to define because that involves more than income...it's more long term than that and includes property, investments, retirement, etc. Harder to understand than just looking at one's annual income.

What do others think when they hear "wealthy"?
post #139 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post

Being able to have a home, transportation (car, public, bike, doesn't matter), healthcare, and food does not make you wealthy. More privileged than many in the world? Yes, absolutely. "Rich" in the current-day first world meaning? I don't think so.
I think depending on who you are, your perspective in this will differ. To the person who is homeless, living on the street, trying to beg for food for their children, and dig through dumpsters to find old clothes to bundle up with... the fact that I am able to rent an apartment, have a crappy car, and access welfare is seen as very wealthy.

I can remember being the homeless person with no money at all and no home at all. I consider myself wealthy because I have those things now. Even at only 1,000 a month.
post #140 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Flower View Post
What do others think when they hear "wealthy"?
To me, wealth means no debt and having sufficient income via investments (enough so that you don't have to work outside the home if you don't want to).
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