Poll: What's your household income? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What's your annual household income?
less than $20,000 50 10.57%
$20,000 - $30,000 63 13.32%
$30,000 - $50,000 112 23.68%
$50,000 - $75,000 106 22.41%
$75,000 - $100,000 77 16.28%
$100,000 - $200,000 52 10.99%
greater than $200,000 13 2.75%
Voters: 473. You may not vote on this poll

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#31 of 107 Old 02-15-2003, 11:47 PM
 
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xxxxx
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#32 of 107 Old 02-15-2003, 11:53 PM
 
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Thanks Simonee, ITA!!

My dh has worked really hard to get where he is and I don't think we should have to apologize for his success.
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#33 of 107 Old 02-16-2003, 02:13 AM
 
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I was very surprised to see that by being in the 20-30K range we make less than most people on this board. Before I became a SAHM, our combined income was probably 40K. We managed to save a lot of money because we are both "cheap". I can't remember the last time I paid more than 15$ for an article of clothing, for instance. We shop at thrift stores and yard sales, we clip coupons, we grow our own vegetables, etc. We have a '93 Ford Escort wagon. Our mortgage payment is $710 a month. You get the picture.

So now I am a SAHM, and we are slowly spending our savings. Health insurance alone takes almost 1/4 of DH's paycheck. It hasn't been too bad though, moneywise, since we were already accustomed to such a "low rent" style of living. I figure we can pay our bills OK until Cole starts school, then I can go back to work part time and hopefully we can start saving money again.
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#34 of 107 Old 02-17-2003, 11:58 AM
 
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It seems to me, that how much you make doesn't matter, but what you do with it does, and how much the cost of living is. We are at the lower end, but not the lowest. We are really struggling right now, but alot of that has to do with poor choices. Our mortgage may not be high, but it is for the type of home we have, but we also have 2 acres of land. We are lucky to have a grocery that doubles coupons, as well as several dented can stores in the area. We also can rely on WIC and state insurance. My dh gets insurance through his job, and that is a plus, although, it doesn't cover much. As it is, I have to go to the local welfare office for help with my prescriptions, because state insurance only covers part of it. My 2 prescriptions are around $334. a month without insurance, and only 40% less with it. We can't afford that! Vermont's economy is not so good right now.
Everytime our taxes come in, they are already spent on bills.
We are moving to Florida, and I know that we will struggle for a while, and it will be really hard not knowing anyone, but it is a new challenge for us, and I am willing to do anything to give us a better quality of life.
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#35 of 107 Old 02-17-2003, 05:47 PM
 
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I appreciate the "poor" stories, because it's nice to know I'm not the only one struggling with this.

I'm quite aware that we are not truly poor -- I mean, my mom grew up in a virtual shack and had two skirts in high school, both of which she made herself! She tell me about when she was a kid and her mom would send her to the butcher to get free liver "for the dog" which they would then cook up for themselves (or else they wouldn't have eaten.) Now *that's* poor.

We are, according to the US gov, poverty level. But we have a 1400 s.f. bungalow on a half acre. We have enough to eat, and we are warm at night. I have a closet full of clothes. We have a computer. It really is *very* relative.

At the same time, I find myself feeling bitter towards people who have a lot of money. I am so sick and tired of budgeting, being frugal, and still having nothing left over for extras. I realize I really need a change of attitude, but not sure how to get there.
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#36 of 107 Old 02-17-2003, 06:29 PM
 
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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. I am happy just to make ends meet and maybe a little extra.

I don't mean this towards any mamas here, I am just talking about the few rich people out there, some that I know personally. I also realize that there are rich people who are nice out there.

I also hate it when rich people treat my husband like dirt because we aren't rich, but when they need something fixed, he is right there to help them out, and he is just Mr. Wonderful when they need him. His ex-boss was like this. He treated my husband like dirt, and yet my husband and his friend (who happened to be boss's cousin) were the ones who made him rich.
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#37 of 107 Old 02-17-2003, 06:31 PM
 
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Oh, and when I was like 9years old, we had to collect bottles+cans to pay the bills. My stepdad was a loser alcoholic who wouldn't get a better job, and the church gave us Christmas presents and clothes. I cannot wait to thank those people in Heaven when I meet them again. That was so loving. They even had a guy come to the house dressed like Santa Claus. They brought me the one gift I really wanted that year, which my mom couldn't afford.
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#38 of 107 Old 02-18-2003, 12:27 PM
 
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We have a modest house, one paid off car, shop at thrift stores for most stuff, use cloth diapers, are vegetarian (so no meat to buy), and very rarely eat out or go to a movie, never have hired a sitter, no cable TV or DSL, a very simple cell phone plan for emergencies only . . . and we are just breaking even at the end of the month. We do delegate $100 month to savings. Not nearly as much as we need to, but it's something at least. We have lots of home improvement projects to complete, and our TV is still sitting on two nightstands instead of an entertainment unit, our back yard is still mostly dirt. The good news is that we are in very little debt because we drained our savings to pay it off. The bad news is we don't have much savings left for an emergency.

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#39 of 107 Old 02-19-2003, 12:44 PM
 
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Wow, this is so interesting to me. I have just begun doing the single parent thing and $$$$ is, of course, a huge concern, worry, and factor in every part of my divorce. I would love for people to share their knowldege on reducing my grocery bill, and any other tricks that you have learned along the way. I by no means lived the life of luxury before my move, but I knew the ends would meet at the end of the month. I am terrified of leaving my babies while I work, for minimum wages, and terrified of going into debt. For instance, my rental has an oil furnance. I literally keep our house at 60 or below except during bath time and still am afraid of what my bill is going to be each month. I hate all these uncontrollable bills-------- I mean I do have to have the heat on a bit as we live in a snow zone. Hmmmm, you guys are an inspiration. Should we re-start a how you do it on your income thread??

Enjoy!!
LoriAnn
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#40 of 107 Old 02-19-2003, 10:52 PM
 
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Oh it is so hard being poor! We gave up so much so that I could stay home with our son, but we certainly don't regret it! We just moved in with parents because either the rent or car payment had to go, and dh needs the car for work - sigh.
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#41 of 107 Old 02-20-2003, 12:05 AM
 
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We too have sacrificed alot so that I could stay home. I consider us fortunate though because even though we are in the "less than $20 000 category" we own our house (mortgage is cheaper for our tiny 3 bdrm with a yard then it would be to rent a one bdrm), we have a car (we haven't always), and we have food (but no table to put it on LOL). We spent a period of time homeless in the early part of our relationship, and lived in parking lots, deserted train cars, and homeless shelters getting one meal a day at the mission (not so easy for a couple of vegetarians LOL) so we will never take what we have for granted. We operate at a deficit every month, but we have what is important-each other (me, dh, ds, and another sprout due Sept), plus we've learned a dozen ways to stretch a dollar. It is amazing how far we have come in 8 years
Laurie


 

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#42 of 107 Old 02-20-2003, 01:01 AM
 
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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. We were lucky to get a 2 bedroom house which we share with a roommate for $1800, that's unheard of...

I think the perspective has to be where we live, not just what we make. If I made 50K in Arizona or Kansas I'd probably be in a diferent category that here where the debris meets the sea.
Yep, we're in the $50k range, and just bought a two bedroom condo - we got lucky, our mortgage payment is $1800 per month. We pay $162 per week for one child in day care, my car is around $400 per month. Our gas and electric is close to $100 per month.
Its not easy on $50k in california. We could have bought a HOUSE anywhere else, and I've thought about that a LOT.

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#43 of 107 Old 02-20-2003, 06:26 AM
 
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I was fortunately able to answer this differently than I did the last time this poll was done because I am no longer jobless-without-having-a-choice. I now work again, albeit with flexible hours and the ability to do lots of my work from home, which is incredibly fortunate. I am still in a very low income bracket, but I feel very blessed. Oh, and I agree that factors like location are worthy of consideration.

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#44 of 107 Old 02-21-2003, 02:41 PM
 
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We made about 30K last year with dh working full-time and me working 20-30 hr/wk.

I will be quitting work in about six weeks and then we will make about 19K. Hard to live on, especially if you buy Organic and like to buy "not made in China junk at walmart".

Thankfully, I'm the CD, BF, and homemade cooking type, so that will help us with expenses.
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#45 of 107 Old 02-24-2003, 01:21 AM
 
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We are in the six-figure range. But we're also in southern california, and we've together given up significant pay to be more family friendly. I went to four days/wk when ds was born, and I could have bcome a SAHM after dd was born but instead, dh quit his job and got another for a 50% pay cut. We felt that was better because he was working 6 days/wk at his other job, and dd had no idea who he was when he quit. I simply do not believe that I am so special that it's worth my children making the sacrifice of having a relationship with their father. Plus, dh went to graduate school, so our expenses tripled during the same period that we gave up pay. So we are cash poor. We do save money every month, and we have lots and lots of things that other people don't have. But we too have only one operating car so I do take issue with the idea that two working parents and a six figure income equals selfishness or whatever else. I feel for people who don't have it as easy as we do. There were certainly years where I was so poor I couldn't go to work the last days of the month because I couldn't buy gas to get there and there was no public transportation to take me. And I remember having ten dollars to my name and needing to figure out how to stretch that for food for two weeks. I never want to be there again. Luckily I can see our way out. dh will finish grad school in another year, his salary will raise significantly again, and we will no longer have the nanny that we pay well because we think having a person who truly cares about our kids should be able to make a living too. But here in southern california, we live in the poor part of town certainly.
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#46 of 107 Old 02-24-2003, 11:57 AM
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We're blessed to be in the upper five figures category.

We live in a modest house with an under $1000. mortgage.....but we have eight children five of whom still live at home and the older three are around frequently (well, not Jo because she's a Marine but when she *does* come visit on leave it always leaves our wallet lighter and our credit card balance heavier

I feel so blessed to be able to stay home with the children.

I also feel incredibly blessed that we can provide for all of their needs. I can take them to the dentist and doctor (this hasn't always been the case because we started off incredibly poor)

I spend a lot of money on groceries (I take out $300 from mac every week for household needs, it's w-a-y too much money but it's for 7+ people)

The only thing I really worry about is paying for college.

Again, I feel incredibly blessed!!

Debra Baker
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#47 of 107 Old 02-24-2003, 10:53 PM
 
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We live o.k. but not the best...
We used to have quite a different lifestyle before ds came along when together we were making quite a bit of $$...
but I do not work any more and my dh's job is good but doesn't bring in anything but enough for house payment, utilities, and a small car payment($77), gas, and what is left we use for groceries, which is not at all very much.
I have not bought myself any new clothes in the past year and neither has dh. We shop at resale shoppes for ds's clothes and toys or we make alot of his toys.We do not go out to eat or go out to movies.
All I know is we are happy and healthy and we have what we need as I believe in the notion "God always provides you with just enough" and He has.

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"Living is learning and when kids are living fully and energetically and happily they are learning a lot, even if we don't always know what it is."
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#48 of 107 Old 02-26-2003, 02:44 AM
 
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#49 of 107 Old 02-26-2003, 06:06 AM
 
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LOL I just had to post because DH and I are currently making less that 10K a year. We decided to go back to school. Well, I am almost done with school, but DH decided to go back. Anyhow, I know eventually we will have money for savings and all of those wonderful things, but right now, it is tight. But that is cool. We are happy.

And when someone said that they owned older cars that were late 90s models I totally laughed. We own a 1978 Mercedes and a 1981 Toyota hatchback, both paid for and in nice condition but each with well over 250,000 miles!

We now live in a much cheaper area, but we used to live in Portland Oregon when it was just the two of us. DH made about 35K a year and it was nothing! We actually have more cash flow now than we used to, which is interesting.

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#50 of 107 Old 02-27-2003, 02:20 PM
 
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I am amazed at how well so many families seem to be doing on so little money, but I do think that living expenses are relative. I am a lawyer, which makes most people think I must be well-off, but in reality we are struggling. My health insurance deductable and bus pass are paid directly out of my check pre-tax, but once I get my paycheck, I can pay my student loans (the minimum to pay them off in 30 years -- law school is very expensive) and my mortgage, but then I only have $200 left per month, which isn't even enough to buy food for a family of three, let alone electricity, phone, heat, etc. My dh was laid off a year and a half ago, just a few months after we bought our house and we have been struggling ever since. Our house is small -- just 1300 sq ft and has some problems and was really the cheapest house we could find in a somewhat safe neighborhood where I could commute to work by bus so we didn't need to buy a second car. We have considered selling our house and renting a cheap apartment instead or removing dh from health insurance as ways of trying to get by. I'm hesitant to do either, so we keep hoping the economy will turn around soon so dh can work more and we can be financially stable again.
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#51 of 107 Old 02-27-2003, 05:55 PM
 
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Wow! Lots of answers here.

Well, I will not give away my answer, but I live near Boston and the cost of living is insane here. We live "outside of 128" which means the cheaper communities. We both were in graduate school earning about $200-$300 a month for a while (and living apart) so we both know what that is like. Heck, I still have clothes from high school in my closet (I am 31..soon to be 32!)

I think the cost of living and what you feel is important is the key to rich I forget who said this but the quote goes "A man who earns $42 a week and spends $43 is poorer than a man who earns $20 a week and spends $19."

So true...
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#52 of 107 Old 02-28-2003, 03:06 AM
 
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Okay, now I am truly bummed. I wish I could FIT into some of my clothes from HS!!! LOL And I am only 25.... sigh.

Emily
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#53 of 107 Old 02-28-2003, 09:45 AM
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I'm 42 so any clothing from high school has gone back to dust if you know what I mean.

'Couldn't fit into them, either

db
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#54 of 107 Old 03-02-2003, 09:36 PM
 
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After we got pregnant, dh took the corporate job. We did quite well. We lived in oregon, I stayed home and just didn't worry about $. For us having money meant that we were able to live more responsibly (not get into the consumer trap) and save. We even went solar!

That being said, when dh's job moved to houston (2 months ago) we did not move with it. We took the severance, moved into a family home (in wisconsin) and are living very simply.

It has been a difficult adjustment- I REALLY miss oregon but it is great to be able to take a step back and figure out what we want to do with our lives. We are looking for work overseas!
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#55 of 107 Old 03-03-2003, 06:52 PM
 
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well, I think categoris need to be more precise. I am in $50-70 K, but it is actually $53K. 70K would have been great!
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#56 of 107 Old 03-04-2003, 01:59 PM
 
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Before I quit working to be a SAHM, I made $30K and my partner made $40K. By our standards, even living in Seattle which has a notoriously high standard of living, we were rolling in it. We had more than enough.

Just about the time I quit working, my partner got a big fat raise and is now making around $50k (lucky, eh?). Unfortunately, his job doesn't provide health insurance for the babe or me, so we pay out of pocket for that ($110/month for the bare bones plan - we use it as catastrophic insurance and pay out of pocket for a ND for regular care). No rx coverage so we pay $80/month for the medication that keeps me sane.

But, we bought a house (a cutie patootie teeny weenie house for $160k - a steal in the Seattle market and I love, love, love it). We have a car and a truck that are less than 5 years old (and the car is paid off!). We are still rolling in it, basically. Our big financial decisions are what kind of new flooring to put in the kitchen to replace the ugly old linoleum, not can we eat today or can we buy the medication we need. We are blessed.

I grew up really poor. Food stamps, government cheese and charity Christmas gifts kind of poor. I recently watched 'Roger & Me' again. Whenever I start thinking, "Oh, if only we had more money..." I will remember the image of that family getting evicted on Christmas Eve.

Money stuff is complicated for me. It is complicated for most of us, I think. Money is emotional stuff. My class issues run deep, and are far more intense than any of my other 'issues'. I have prejudices against 'rich' people, which isn't fair and I'm working on it (I have a dear friend who is wealthy, and he is so responsible with his money. Donates an amazing amount of money, spends a lot of his time volunteering, acts out of an awareness that most people don't have his kind of wealth... His friendship has been good for me). Hell, by some people's standards (and certainly compared to how many of the world's people live) we are rich. It's relative.
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#57 of 107 Old 03-04-2003, 05:31 PM
 
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If it helps, I was size 6 in highschool and then go into size 12 (really, I should have been in 14s, but I refused to accept reality). I have a thyroid condition and I went on "super reduction diet" (ie- ate better and exercised) and got back down. I just can't throw out good clothes, KWIM? I guess that is why DH and I do well financially, we always live below our means because we don't like to waste stuff
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#58 of 107 Old 03-07-2003, 04:39 PM
 
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Is it odd to say that I'm proud of my under $15,000/year raising 2 children on my own??

I'm trying for state assistance now on rent, bc 950/mo is high, but the state tends to be extremely slow at helping out...

I do have child support from one of my children's fathers, so that does help out a little, too...

I'm very surprised at the income level of my peers!! Not a negative, bc I know you've all worked hard to get to where you're at, and many probably have a couple of years on me, so my time will come, but it's interesting to see the income levels and percentage of people in each...

Warmly,
Emily

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#59 of 107 Old 03-07-2003, 10:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by happyday8598 Is it odd to say that I'm proud of my under $15,000/year raising 2 children on my own??
Heck, no! I'd be proud, too!
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#60 of 107 Old 03-09-2003, 12:30 PM
 
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Very good reading this thread. Since I live in the CA Bay Area, cost of living is about as high as it comes. Yet so is our income, so I feel fortunate (knowing that all who live here do not get paid well). This year, dh decided to stay home with our 9 month old twins. He has been doing this for 3 months. Hard work, I have so much respect for his choice and the wonderful job he is doing. I have been the bigger earner for most of our marriage (almost 5 years) so losing his income has not been too big a hardship. Counting out the cost of the nanny we had before, we are doing ALMOST the same.

Money has been such an emotional issue for me. On one hand, I think if women spoke outloud about earnings, lots of inequities would be "outed" and more fairness would come about. However, I was raised not to discuss it. To this day, my parents are dying to know my salary, but are afraid to ask. My step mom gathered her courage, and when I did tell her, she seemed like she just could not believe someone who she never believed in could actually get someone to pay her that much. My feelings of not deserving it conflicted with my belief that I earn it.

I like being able to earn what I do, and I don't take it for granted. I just remember that it does not define me. I am not what I make. Now "Who I Am" is a totally different topic for a different thread.

Keep up the good work, all the mamas, and keep on supporting each other.
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