What is your household's yearly income? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What is your households yearly income?
Less than $25,000 62 10.39%
$25,000 - $35,000 66 11.06%
$35,000 - $45,000 73 12.23%
$45,000 - $55,000 62 10.39%
$55,000 - $65,000 54 9.05%
$65,000 - $75,000 72 12.06%
$85,000 - $95,000 69 11.56%
$95,000 or more 139 23.28%
Voters: 597. You may not vote on this poll

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#61 of 124 Old 05-06-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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I was raised in a very working class household, and money was always tight. In fact my mother confessed recently that they nearly had their home repossessed when I was about 13. The prospect of ever being back in such a precarious situation is horrifying to me.
My parents lost their home three times when I was a kid. The first two times I was just a baby and had no clue what was going on (I'm the oldest). The next time they sat us kids down, explained what was going on and wanted to know if we wanted to go to school (we were homeschooled) and have Mom get a job. As a family, we decided that having mom home with us was the most important thing. Even after a string of very temporary homes before purchasing their forever home we always agreed that having mom home with us was most important for our family.

As a mother myself I have slowly come to realize the same priorities for my family. I've worked out of the home, in the home, opposite shift of my DH, and to us it just isn't worth it. I refuse to let money take me away from my babies, I refuse to let money be the center of my life.

I love Edward and we love our Libby (8/07) waterbirth.jpg and 'Nana' (05/09 )h20homebirth.gif and Eowyn (11/11) waterbirth.jpg  We are having a blast bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFfamilybed1.gifcd.gif and homeschool.gif.

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#62 of 124 Old 05-06-2010, 04:42 PM
 
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My parents lost their home three times when I was a kid. The first two times I was just a baby and had no clue what was going on (I'm the oldest). The next time they sat us kids down, explained what was going on and wanted to know if we wanted to go to school (we were homeschooled) and have Mom get a job. As a family, we decided that having mom home with us was the most important thing. Even after a string of very temporary homes before purchasing their forever home we always agreed that having mom home with us was most important for our family.

As a mother myself I have slowly come to realize the same priorities for my family. I've worked out of the home, in the home, opposite shift of my DH, and to us it just isn't worth it. I refuse to let money take me away from my babies, I refuse to let money be the center of my life.

Different strokes for different folks. I see having financial security as one of the most important things I owe to any children I choose to bring into this world. And I would imagine that if you're living on the cusp of foreclosure, money is at the center of your life. My parents both worked and things were still very tight for us - and honestly if we had been looking at the prospect of losing our home while one parent chose not to earn money, I would want them to go to work.

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#63 of 124 Old 05-06-2010, 08:02 PM
 
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Different strokes for different folks. I see having financial security as one of the most important things I owe to any children I choose to bring into this world. And I would imagine that if you're living on the cusp of foreclosure, money is at the center of your life. My parents both worked and things were still very tight for us - and honestly if we had been looking at the prospect of losing our home while one parent chose not to earn money, I would want them to go to work.
That's awesome that your whole family was on the same page. I am happy with the choices my parents made, I am trying to include my own children in how we structure our family priorities.

I brought my children into this world to have them experience love and happiness and joy. If they can only do that while living at a certain level of financial security then I would find a way make that happen. If having me home with them is what they need then that is what I will give them.

Also, I never said my mother chose not to earn money, I said our family chose to not have her get a job outside of the home. Huge difference. She did bring in an income through my whole childhood, most often through doing in home daycare.

I love Edward and we love our Libby (8/07) waterbirth.jpg and 'Nana' (05/09 )h20homebirth.gif and Eowyn (11/11) waterbirth.jpg  We are having a blast bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFfamilybed1.gifcd.gif and homeschool.gif.

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#64 of 124 Old 05-06-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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I'm really surprised that so many of you mentioned investments and investment income.

DH and I have always made a pretty good income. But, other than retirement, we simply have never had investments because we've never had the extra money for investments.
Our main investment is in the form of a co-majority ownership in a company my husband started with a partner about five years ago. When they started, it was two years of hell. He worked a full time job that he hated and built the company at nights with my help, along with help from family members, neighbours, etc. We didn't have kids at the time and I continued to be a self-employed artist which paid my share of our living expenses but not easily and with nothing left over. At the time, I didn't take his endeavor that seriously so it took two years of him working 18 hour days before I clued in and gave up my business to take a job that paid more plus benefits, etc, so that he could quit his day job and focus on the business.

Now he's left that business to start another but still owns almost half of the first. It has done extremely well to the point that we were able to pay off our mortgage by selling just a tiny portion of our shares to another investor. If things continue the way they are, the business will sell and we'll make more money off of that than any job that we are qualified for could ever pay us.

All that to say that investments can come in unusual and surprising ways and don't necessarily require money to make money. Those early years felt like hell but in retrospect it was just a blink compared to the return we'll get on the sweat equity DH put in.

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#65 of 124 Old 05-06-2010, 11:18 PM
 
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Take home is about 24,000 a year (2000 a month). Gross about 28,000 (2400 a month).

We get WIC for the baby and for me (pregnant), and the baby and I are both on FAMIS insurance (me only during the pregnancy). But that's the only assistance.

Things are tight, for sure. But we live pretty modestly. We try to do things the cheap way wherever we can-- I make most of our food from scratch, including bread. Breastfeeding and cloth diapering helped a lot, too. I'm always plottin on ways to save money

I'll go back to work after both kids are school-age. So the penny-pinching won't last forever.


ETA: After skimming the rest of the thread-- all income is from him working, no inheritance or savings or investments. We don't have any debt (credit card or student loan). We're not very young, but he never went to college and I went for two years so far on grants, scholarships, and working, no loans. We've just never had credit cards, I feel like it would be too dangerous. We rent. The car is paid for (all 3000 bucks of it, haha). Our bills are pretty basic. We're in a pretty low COL area, I think-- a cheap house here is like 120, nice one maybe 250-300? We do want to buy a house when I start working again, but for right now it definitely is not happening, we're just getting by.

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#66 of 124 Old 05-08-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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Anyone else surprised by the poll? That so many people make $95k plus?

In response to investments:
We spend about a third of our net and invest the rest. We live way below our means. I feel financially secure and feel good that I don't need to buy things to feel happy. Because we save so much, we can afford to buy anything that we want (except a multi-million dollar home, don't want a yacht or jet, hehe).
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#67 of 124 Old 05-08-2010, 11:08 PM
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DH makes about 23,000 a year before taxes. That said we don't have a lot of expenses so it makes being a SAHM easier for both of us. We own both our cars outright and will drive them into the ground before we get a new one. We don't have any student loans and I cook a lot from scratch and garden to cut our grocery costs.

We don't have any investments or anything like that although I know I will be getting an inheritance from my grandparents and DD will have her entire college experience paid for by her great-grandparents. A gift I will never be able to thank them enough for.

Somehow we are always broke though. We are both absolutely terrible at saving money. Awful really. DH is worse than I am but I am not great. We are young so I am working hard to correct it so we can start saving for retirement. My mother will be selling us her house in 10 years roughly so I am trying to start saving up for that a bit.

I guess we just aren't concerned in any real way with material possessions or financial wealth in general. I could easily go to work and make more money than DH but I want to be with DD and I have DH's full support. I would rather stay with DD than have a couple extra hundred dollars a week. I guess we are also somewhat unique in this country because we don't have any interest in constantly buying the newest and shiniest whatever.
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#68 of 124 Old 05-10-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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I'm amazed at how little so many of you are able to get by on! Just shows what a wide range there is in COL. I'm also in the Twin Cities and housing in good areas can be expensive (for the midwest anyway). I'm guessing that a lot of the people with the lower incomes rent, because homeownership is seriously expensive - not just mortgage costs, but it seems something always needs doing around the house. DH freelances and makes over $100k but a good chunk of that goes to taxes and healthcare. We don't have nearly enough savings but are working on it.

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#69 of 124 Old 05-11-2010, 12:55 AM
 
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Our income took a big dip when I stopped working, but amazingly we have made it work so far and it really doesn't feel that different. It is amazing how much "stuff" you don't need in order to be happy.
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#70 of 124 Old 05-11-2010, 07:37 PM
 
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and honestly if we had been looking at the prospect of losing our home while one parent chose not to earn money, I would want them to go to work.
I know very few families in which one parent chooses not to earn money. It's a family decision.

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#71 of 124 Old 05-11-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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I know very few families in which one parent chooses not to earn money. It's a family decision.
Regardless of whether or not the decision rests with the family or the individual, my point is that I would not have wanted a parent to sacrifice our financial security in order to stay home. And I would not do it myself, either.

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#72 of 124 Old 05-11-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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Regardless of whether or not the decision rests with the family or the individual, my point is that I would not have wanted a parent to sacrifice our financial security in order to stay home. And I would not do it myself, either.
Fair enough. But, honestly, I don't think anyone really knows what they'd want in such a situation unless they've been there. I was home for a few months when ds1 was about 5, which was definitely financially precarious (no worries about losing our house as we never owned one - but definitely some concerns about losing phone service, and things like that). I did have to go back, because my ex wasn't bringing enough home ot live on. However, ds1 was very upset when I went back, even though my being home had limited his food choices, a few opportunities at school, etc. What a person (the child or the adult) would prefer in that kind of situation depends on a lot of variables.

We're not in a good financial situation in many ways. Fortunately for me, I can't make enough money to cover childcare, so it's not an issue.

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#73 of 124 Old 05-12-2010, 12:11 AM
 
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I haven't read the replies, but I did want to say that I found it interesting that the income spread is fairly even among the brackets. I often have wondered what sort of people were attracted to MDC, and clearly, it isn't income level that puts us all on a similar philosophical track.

I was a poor kid, and being poor now scares me, and I'm thankful it's not really an issue. We are comfortable. But, at the same time, I am very thankful for my upbringing. It was good for me, and I trust that there are worse things than a lack of money. Really, in retrospect, it wasn't that big of a deal (for me). And I agree that being with my children as much as possible trumps financial security. People are always more important than things. Surely there are some very basic needs that must be met, but most things we, as a society, feel we need are truly wants. Food, clothing, shelter, and companionship will do nicely. Good nutrition and healthcare are always a bonus. College savings, extra-cirriculars, vacations, experiences, etc just aren't needs.

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#74 of 124 Old 05-13-2010, 05:14 AM
 
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And I agree that being with my children as much as possible trumps financial security. People are always more important than things. Surely there are some very basic needs that must be met, but most things we, as a society, feel we need are truly wants. Food, clothing, shelter, and companionship will do nicely. Good nutrition and healthcare are always a bonus. College savings, extra-cirriculars, vacations, experiences, etc just aren't needs.
And while I love our house, lots of things count as shelter....tents, rvs, apartments, friends/parents homes. There are VERY few material possessions that would make me leave behind a crying, clinging baby in the name of financial security.

I love Edward and we love our Libby (8/07) waterbirth.jpg and 'Nana' (05/09 )h20homebirth.gif and Eowyn (11/11) waterbirth.jpg  We are having a blast bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFfamilybed1.gifcd.gif and homeschool.gif.

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#75 of 124 Old 05-13-2010, 08:30 AM
 
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I haven't read the replies, but I did want to say that I found it interesting that the income spread is fairly even among the brackets. I often have wondered what sort of people were attracted to MDC, and clearly, it isn't income level that puts us all on a similar philosophical track.

I was a poor kid, and being poor now scares me, and I'm thankful it's not really an issue. We are comfortable. But, at the same time, I am very thankful for my upbringing. It was good for me, and I trust that there are worse things than a lack of money. Really, in retrospect, it wasn't that big of a deal (for me). And I agree that being with my children as much as possible trumps financial security. People are always more important than things. Surely there are some very basic needs that must be met, but most things we, as a society, feel we need are truly wants. Food, clothing, shelter, and companionship will do nicely. Good nutrition and healthcare are always a bonus. College savings, extra-cirriculars, vacations, experiences, etc just aren't needs.
Could have written this post. I way agree.

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#76 of 124 Old 05-13-2010, 08:42 AM
 
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I grew up poor too. If I were facing that life for my kids, I'd be back to work in a New York minute. Cockaroaches everywhere, drive bys, drug trade, gangs, hungry nights and mornings, unable to buy winter shoes when my shoes would literally have holes in them. Absolutely not a life I'd want for my kids.

We are very thankfully comfortable, and I know I and many people have gone on to good things despite where we grew up, but I can't say any of us are in a hurry to get back to that life and would fight tooth and nail to avoid it for ourselves and families.

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#77 of 124 Old 05-13-2010, 12:58 PM
 
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I grew up poor too. If I were facing that life for my kids, I'd be back to work in a New York minute. Cockaroaches everywhere, drive bys, drug trade, gangs, hungry nights and mornings, unable to buy winter shoes when my shoes would literally have holes in them. Absolutely not a life I'd want for my kids.

We are very thankfully comfortable, and I know I and many people have gone on to good things despite where we grew up, but I can't say any of us are in a hurry to get back to that life and would fight tooth and nail to avoid it for ourselves and families.
I can totally understand that, but poor doesn't always mean drive-bys and drug trade, yk? That kind of thing really varies from region to region.

I totally understand why people want financial security, but...I have a friend who grew up poor (and her dad was a dealer). She's always wanted kids, but she wanted financial security first. She's got it - she worked her butt off to get herself into a financially secure position and now owns her own mortgage brokerage. She owns her own house (a huge accomplishment around here - buying a house is out of reach of almost everyone), and a vacation property outside of town. She's also 39, and still doesn't have kids. She's going to start ttc in the next few months. And, the reality is that I know a lot of people her/my age who waited...and a very high percentage of them (over 50%) have ended up with serious feritility problems. I don't think she was wrong to want financial security - I've never had much money, but I've also always had family to fall back on in a real jam (like when my mom loaned me the legal fees to get my divorce). She doesn't have that luxury.

Of course, I went the other way. If I hadn't married my ex, I'd have owned a place almost 20 years ago, before the market skyrocketed, and would be in a pretty good financial place right now. So, putting financial security first may have blown up on my friend...and putting the intangibles first kind of blew up on me. I don't think there's a single right answer, yk?

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#78 of 124 Old 05-13-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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I think that part of it is that 'financial security' means very different things to different people. Owning your own home does not necessarily equal financial security. It can actually cause serious problems financially if you are right on the border. Different people 'need' different amounts of money. I will freely admit that my 'safety' level is a lot higher than most peoples. Before I was willing to stay home I wanted us to have no debt other than the mortgage and I wanted the mortgage to be about 1/4 of my husbands take home pay. I also had a very strong preference that we have around $250k in some kind of savings/investments before I quit. That is a HUGE bar that is going to be insurmountable to most people. That was what *I* needed. Do I think that everyone needs to have the same goals? Oh heck no. That would be saying that most people in this country aren't allowed to stay home, ever and I'm not actually that kind of bigot.

I live in a very very expensive area. I have a wide variety of advantages. It also helps that the kind of guys I have always dated/been attracted to are hardcore computer geeks and they tend to have the potential to be very financially secure if they manage their money at all well. I'm really good at managing money so I help with that part. It also helps that I've always liked men who were older than me and more established. (How's that for evolution in action? Good provider!) But if I liked different men I would have made it work. *shrug*

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#79 of 124 Old 05-13-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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I don't think that me working full time would help us financially. My dh makes $80,000 and works 55+ hours a week. I freelance and earn around $10,000. We did a little number crunching to see how much take home pay we would have if I had a job with the same hours and pay. Childcare and taxes would eat up around $60,000, so right off the bat I'm only taking home 25% of my hard earned cash. Transportation, housecleaning, convenience foods, nice work clothes etc would eat up at least $10,000-$15,000 of the rest. So after all that we would have an extra $5,000 to save, which is less than I make teaching piano lessons and singing church gigs. Of course this doesn't include career trajectory or anything. If in 15 years dh and I are both partners or something and each earning $250,000 a year, that would be a huge chunk of change. But really, who needs that kind of cash? For our family the benefit of having a SAHM outweighs the potential for huge earnings.

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#80 of 124 Old 05-14-2010, 12:54 AM
 
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We've never known any different, I've been a SAHM since my daughter was born almost 7years ago. We live in a very high COL area. My dh lost his job and was jobless for the first 6months of our daughter's life and we struggled but never applied for assistance at all.

Dh has a good and stable enough job that we were able to save up a decent sized down payment and buy a brand new car 3years ago.

We don't own our own home yet, we rent a small 2bedroom house.

We have a decent sized car payment ,and a decent chunk of cc debt.


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#81 of 124 Old 05-14-2010, 09:26 PM
 
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At first I was surprised how many make over $95k, but then again, that's not a whole lot of money in high COL areas. We happen to live in a low COL area. Here you can get a nice 4 bdrm house for around $200k, whereas some people on this thread have stated $500k would get them a shack. It's all relative. What does surprise me, though, is how many families can get by on $20 - $30 k.
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#82 of 124 Old 05-15-2010, 12:53 AM
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I'm not a SAHM per se, but I have my own business back home which I manage from here, so that makes me WOHM I guess??
It really varies what I make per year, last year it was $70k I think, but I mean it was a good year.

I won't say how much SO makes, but it varies as well. He has his own company and he's currently investing in a new one, so what he makes per year is not stable as well.

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#83 of 124 Old 05-16-2010, 01:22 AM
 
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Dh now makes more than we used to with both of us working. The big difference for us is that now we have student loan debt.

I do not like student loan debt. I'd be less bothered by it if I'd finished my degree (and had any possible chance of doing so in the future, which I don't, at least not in the field I have most of my credits in.)
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#84 of 124 Old 05-16-2010, 01:26 AM
 
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I think that part of it is that 'financial security' means very different things to different people. Owning your own home does not necessarily equal financial security. It can actually cause serious problems financially if you are right on the border. Different people 'need' different amounts of money. I will freely admit that my 'safety' level is a lot higher than most peoples. Before I was willing to stay home I wanted us to have no debt other than the mortgage and I wanted the mortgage to be about 1/4 of my husbands take home pay. I also had a very strong preference that we have around $250k in some kind of savings/investments before I quit.
I was until I saw your location. $250k around here would be enough to live very comfortably for 5 years without any other income coming in. I mean with a big vacation every year and leasing a car and eating out and other luxury items.
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#85 of 124 Old 05-17-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
I was until I saw your location. $250k around here would be enough to live very comfortably for 5 years without any other income coming in. I mean with a big vacation every year and leasing a car and eating out and other luxury items.
At the time I quit working that was our entire savings/retirement/401k/school savings beginning/everything. We don't have that much 'sitting around' and it would be extremely difficult and bad tax wise to touch most of that prematurely. Our on-hand cash is quite a bit more modest.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#86 of 124 Old 05-17-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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We live on a VERY low income,under $600 a month for cash(ds's SSI) and around $500 in food stamps.We used to get welfare but they require you to go to work immedialty or go into their 30 hour a week program,but I can't do that right now.There is no child care available for dd(11 is too old around here),and ds would need speciallized care that there is no way I could afford.Most of the hours are during school,but they'd need someone for before and after for a little while.There is help,but I would still have to pay for a lot of it.I'm waiting for SSI for myself,it's been over a year and a half.My drs don't want me working.Thankfully we live in my dad's apartment house so we pay no rent right now.It's a struggle to pay the bills,only gas and electric.I share my dad's phone line,I'm on my mom's cell phone plan,my dad's internet,and my dad's satellite tv.It's going to be really hard this Sept,I usually shop all the thrift stores for the kids back to school clothes,and this year they require uniforms only,for public school. With ds being a husky little one it's going to be hard to find him pants I can not only afford,but that he will wear with his sensory issues.I have nothing for emergencies.We rarely get to go anywhere unless it's free.Ds recently needed shoes and that was a big expense for me.But we're doing it.Exh pays nothing for child support so i don't even have that to help me.Thankfully I have my parents to help me out.

Student mama to one awesome,talented and unique dd,15 and one amazing, sweet and strong ds,12(born with heart defect Tetralogy of Fallot,also on the autism spectrum),9 cats,and 2 gerbils.
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#87 of 124 Old 05-17-2010, 06:19 PM
 
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we live on about 14,000 a year, so that's a little over a thousand a month. there are 6 of us.

we were fortunate enough to be able to get into the low-income housing in our area, since market rent for a three bedroom townhome would be between 800 and 900 a month. we pay around 400 a month for rent.

we use our income tax refunds to pay our cell phone bill and internet for the year in advance. we are able to live fairly comfortably after that, since those are really the only bills we have. (electric, heat, and water are included in the rent.)

we both drive trucks, so gas bills are pretty high, but at the moment there isn't much i can do about it. neither is worth anything in a trade in, and i really do need the suburban because of driving various kids to therapy and so on.

we also get about 500 a month in food stamps, and are on the state healthcare, since mal-wart's insurance plan is far too expensive for what DH actually makes.

i ended up becoming a SAHM more by default than planning, partly b/c of our DS's disabilities and partly b/c of the lousy availability of jobs in our area, but i like being a SAHM.

next year, it looks like i'll be homeschooling DS#2, so i'll continue being a SAHM for the foreseeable future

"give me life, give me pain, give me myself again" - tori amos
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#88 of 124 Old 05-21-2010, 10:39 PM
 
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DH SHOULD make $21,000 a year if he got to work his scheduled hours each week. Probably makes more like $18,000. I stay at home and we do struggle financially. But I stay home for two reasons 1) I want to be the one to educate my children 2) My husband cannot drive because he is legally blind. And his hours are unpredictable and he usually doesn't get off work until well after public transportation is shut down. So I have to take him to and from work. It is pretty much impossible for me to work since I have to drop what I'm doing twice a day to get DH. We do receive some assistance. We have Medicaid on the kids and we get Food Stamps. We actually qualify for a whole lot more (WIC, Section 8, LIHEAP, Lifeline) but we don't take it right now. If our situation got worse in the future, we might.

Single mama to DS8 and DD4. Feminist. Queer. Atheist. Poly. Full-time poli sci and econ student.
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#89 of 124 Old 05-25-2010, 01:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl H View Post
Anyone else surprised by the poll? That so many people make $95k plus?

In response to investments:
We spend about a third of our net and invest the rest. We live way below our means. I feel financially secure and feel good that I don't need to buy things to feel happy. Because we save so much, we can afford to buy anything that we want (except a multi-million dollar home, don't want a yacht or jet, hehe).
I'm not all that surprised by this. However, I did pick a spouse knowing that I wanted to stay home. I picked a husband that made enough money to support us both. I think that when a man has a higher income the woman is more likely to stay home, simply because it can be afforded. We live in a high COL area where you have to make over $100k in order to buy a home.

Abra, Married to George, Mother to DS 12/03 & DD1 08/09 & DD2 12/11 + Someone New in May 2015! After years of planning, we are finally living our dream in South America!!
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#90 of 124 Old 05-26-2010, 02:32 AM
 
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We also live in a very high COL area - average house prices in our city are $750K, and average incomes are just under 100K. DH is self employed so he pays himself a salary, then pays me a dividend. When we were both working, he made 3-4X what I was making, so it totally makes sense for him to work and for me to stay home. I think with two kids, childcare would eat up at least half of what I could make, then there would be the extra meals out, take-out, convenience food, clothing, transportation, etc. There certainly are days I feel like I'm not cut out to be a SAHM, and am now thinking about what I want to do when DS starts K in Sept of next year. Hopefully something part time, and flexible hours / ability to do some work from home would be nice.

Mama to my two sweet monkeys - DD '04 and DS '06
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