Poll: What's your household income? - 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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Old 02-07-2003, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Since we've been talking about how much wealth the typical AP families have - why not find out? What is your annual household income?

"We shape the clay into a pot but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want" Lao Tzu
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Old 02-07-2003, 04:24 AM
 
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Well, I voted but I'm not going to say what my vote was. When it comes to such matters, I'm not comfortable with asking or telling...

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Old 02-07-2003, 09:49 AM
 
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I voted. Let's say if you had asked me this two years ago, I would have had to answer nearly double what I did. Since dh lost his job and just does a teeny teeny bit of consulting, our income level is basically my salary.

I heard on the news last night that nearly 1 million people are out of work and at least another million have actually given up looking for work. Things aren't so good these days.
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Old 02-07-2003, 11:23 AM
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I know quite well what it's like to live on an income of under $10,000 per year, but that's nowhere close to what our present income is anymore!
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Old 02-07-2003, 12:17 PM
 
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I voted, but I also don't "earn and tell!"
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Old 02-07-2003, 02:07 PM
 
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I would love to see or ask for the people willing to tell what they earn, what the cities cost of living where you live?

For instance i make $34,000 a year, and Dp watches kids and works pt and brings in $6-7,000/yr, but cost of living here is on the higher end. Not as high as LA or some where bigger but higher. Three bedrooms here go for $1,200 a month and the cheap end would be $950.00.

I just like to see that because some one could "look" like they made a lot of money when really they have no Extra money.

We figured out that in order to have $200 a month to spend on food, movies, going out, or whatever our combined income would have to get upto $52,000.00 a year because of car insurance, mortgage, heat, water, bills, and every thing else you pay monthy, costs so much here.
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Old 02-07-2003, 02:25 PM
 
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I would love to see or ask for the people willing to tell what they earn, what the cities cost of living where you live?

For instance i make $34,000 a year, and Dp watches kids and works pt and brings in $6-7,000/yr, but cost of living here is on the higher end. Not as high as LA or some where bigger but higher. Three bedrooms here go for $1,200 a month and the cheap end would be $950.00.

I just like to see that because some one could "look" like they made a lot of money when really they have no Extra money.

We figured out that in order to have $200 a month to spend on food, movies, going out, or whatever our combined income would have to get upto $52,000.00 a year because of car insurance, mortgage, heat, water, bills, and every thing else you pay monthy, costs so much here.
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Old 02-07-2003, 02:57 PM
 
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I just hope those of you who are making above $50,000. are being responsible with your money. I cannot talk for anyone else, but I would definitely have better living conditions and food if we made that much. Hopefully once dh takes over his dad's business, we will be financially stable and have some money for extras. I have learned some good things from being poor. Material belongings are WAY overrated, and there is always somebody more poor than you. We are in the 20,000.+ category, although we barely make above 20, but dh is getting even better pay than some others we know. Vermont's economy sucks right now.
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Old 02-07-2003, 04:46 PM
 
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Blade...
I can assure you, we are being responsible with our money. Our living conditions are very nice, we have a great house. Our income also affords us reliable vehicles and private school for our youngest.

like alot of folks though, its not like we are rolling in dough. we have mortgage payments, car payments etc. not a whole lot left over and i still have to watch what i spend.
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Old 02-07-2003, 06:01 PM
 
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I'm seeing an interesting disconnect in the information between this poll (which basically says that over 60% of people on this board earn $50,000 or more), and the thread about AP parents being low income.

It seems like the FACT is, that much of the board is financially comfortable (whether we live within our means is another story - and of course 50k in NYC is different than 50K in Lawrence, KS). But the FEELING is that AP parents are generally lower income (probably because in so many cases one parent works outside of the home fulltime and there is so little support in this country for choosing to be an "underconsumer" and SAHP).
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Old 02-07-2003, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The thing is that if you don't make $50,000 plus it sounds like a lot but when you do it doesn't *feel* like a lot - not for a family of three or more. I wouldn't judge the way any people spend their money because everyone is rich relative to someone else. People in Africa think $400 a year is a lot and look at ANYONE in America as rich even if they only make $15,000 a year!

"We shape the clay into a pot but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want" Lao Tzu
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Old 02-08-2003, 03:47 AM
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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.
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Old 02-08-2003, 04:13 AM
 
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I can appreciate the etiquitte rules regarding this subject, but I also think its great to get this out on the table. This causes so much judgement and bad feelings between people.

That said, if you would have told me when I was 18 what my future husband would be making I would have celebrated, but the reality is living in Denver, that got us a modest 3 bedroom home, one car and our luxuries were that we contributed monthly to our retirement and childrens college savings, I stayed home and we could buy organic. We didn't suffer but we watched what we spent to avoid debt. I realize many people can't even have what we did and I'm extremely grateful.

We recently moved to northern Michigan to raise our kids close to family and in a more rural environment. It's somewhat cheaper but very much a summer resort getaway feeling which drives prices up. Average price of 3 bedroom home around 150,000 - 200,000. Unless you can see the water, then add more zeros...:
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Old 02-08-2003, 04:33 AM
 
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along the lines of making life choices (or sacrafices, but I don't consider it that, some might) we drastically changed our lives and are now living on 70% less than we were. That includes my whole salary and a chunk of dh's. Priorities are different. I know we could not have AP'd (w/a sahp) in our previous lifestyle b/c at that rate we were living paycheck to paycheck. Now we're quite comfortable. And scaling back all the time. It's a much more reasonable life and even if it didn't include the tenanats of AP and natural family living, it coincides with my spritual path, if you will, and eliminating areas of affluence and desire that really have little to do with AP choices, only. But have a lot to do with my and dh's growth and humanity. And, I think it will make us better parents.

So, in a sense, we're "poorer" b/c we're fitting into the AP lifestyle, but we're much better off b/c we have less debt and are no longer slaves to the economy, etc.
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Old 02-08-2003, 11:28 AM
 
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I didn't mean to be judgemental about those with more money than us, and I realize that 50,000. is not alot depending on where you live, but I am talking about those where it IS alot. Right now, if we were making that kind of money, it would mean a livable house with windows that didn't have a breeze coming through in 0degrees weather. It would mean clothes that actually fit me. I guess I could give up internet, but then I would REALLY have no outlet. Just talking on here gets my mind off the stresses of our lives.
But, that being said, I think it would be good for EVERYONE to be poor, just once, and for a few months. It really puts things into perspective.
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Old 02-08-2003, 02:45 PM
 
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I live in NYC and am a single mom and make about $32,000 a year...We barely get by. Rent here is insane.. My ds is in a private nursery school on scholarship (his tutiion would be $15,700 if we paid the full amount)

I think it is all very realtive to location. While we struggle here, we would probably do quite well in another area of the country. Something I need to consider..

peace mamas...
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Old 02-08-2003, 03:47 PM
 
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"ours"
X amount of what is actually on the w-2 is dh's business trips that HIS co sends him on
They get a tax break by not claiming it and we get stuck in a higher bracket than we truly are
Personally we would love to have that "extra" income LOL
However Dh worked his butt off for many years to get where we are today and we came up from squeaking to make it to here..
That said we are not rich by any means but comfortable enough for me to stay home with the kiddos
(which with my health problems is a good thing I could never remain employed at this point )
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Old 02-08-2003, 08:42 PM
 
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We made 34K last year for a fam of 3, of which about 25 in the first half and then I lost my job. The first 6 months were the richest of our lifes in financial terms, and we really enjoyed a while of healthcare and a trip to the inlaws that ddidn't have to go on the credit card.

We would get by just fine on 2.5K a month in one of the most expensive parts of the country, but never owned a car, rented cheap, and never buy home stuff or new clothes. Now we have to move out of SoCal because we can't afford it anymore.

I don't see myself ever thinking that 50K is very modest, but then owning a house and/or multiple vehicles in an urban area. However, I'm truly happy for those of you that do. I'm esp happy that some mdc parents are in the high income classes, it goes to prove to me that not all rich people are bad (I'm not being flippant here).

I've been in poor countries. I'm not poor, but I sure have to feel guilty about having highspeed internet now that dh lost his websurfing gig and we don't really need it anymore.

I don't know the ethnicities of the posters here. But I'm white, and I know that down here I'm one of the poorest white people I know, while many AfrAm's and Hispanics are way worse off than me. This country has a long way to go.
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Old 02-09-2003, 12:18 PM
 
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Well, the salary is dh's, not mine, so I didn't feel comfortable telling, but I will say that I am one of those people who lives in a location where supporting a wife and child on $50,000 a year would be tough. Our income is in the six figures, but the median home price in our area is more than double dh's yearly salary before taxes - and that is not for a McMansion, trust me. Even apartment rentals, of which there are not many (most residences here are private, single-family homes), are very expensive - a two-bedroom in a middle-class neighborhood is $2000 a month on average. Dd goes to a parent co-op preschool, which is a good deal cheaper than the rest of the preschools - and it is still $3700 a year.

I understand that people have a choice about where to live, but you know how it is - you grow up in an area, you have family and friends, and that's where you stay...
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Old 02-09-2003, 03:43 PM
 
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Just wanted to point out that salaries often reflect location, too. The salaries offered in my DH's field are typically six figures in expensive cities like Boston or San Francisco, but in Pittsburgh they would be about $30K/year less.

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Old 02-09-2003, 07:03 PM
 
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"Rich" mamas, please don't make excuses for yourself! Be happy that you're successful, and that you can afford stuff! You are the ones that can buy everything organic and environmentally correct, who can support all these "green" companies that need it.

Remember, poverty is the problem. Having enough money to live comfortably is the ideal, not something to be ashamed of!

If I had 4 times the money I do now, I would be a little embarrassed I guess, but mostly very happy and generous!
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Old 02-12-2003, 03:17 PM
 
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HEY Bamboogirl---

Why do you point out Lawrence, Kansas? That is where *I* am! Do you have some sort of connection here?

We live on a little over $50,000--and 5 years ago I would have thought it heaven, but we barely make ends meet. Owning a home can be pricey, and if you want to buy a home under 100,000 in this town, you need to be prepared to do some serious renovation. I'm not talking a big house, either--we live in 850 square feet, two bedroom, one bath, pretty basic.

We, too, have extremely drafty windows...we are waiting to have enough accumulated in our account to buy new windows, then install them ourselves. Hopefully by spring break. Our roof leaks, and we have also been accumulating money to fix that. But, since the drought this summer, our foundation has shifted, and now we have big cracks in our walls. So suddenly $50,000 doesn't seem like alot, when you are looking at foundation repair! I communte, so I have to have a good car, which we got for cheap but we have put almost $2000 into in the last four monts for tires and tune-ups. I work at a job with NO benefits, so that is also a concern. I never buy new clothes--it is second hand and salvation army for us!

So it isn't like we cash our paychecks and roll around in the money like we thought we would, back in the day when we were both students with in infant, making less that $10,000 a year. So we've been poor, now we have broken into the middle class, sort of, and I won't lie, it *is* better. But instead of one paycheck away from total disaster, we are simply more like 3 paychecks away. There *is* money left over at the end of the month, only a couple hundred, but that is better than putting $500 on the credit card every month, just to get by. And instead of shopping at Aldi's, we buy organic, and can afford (sort of!) a grocery bill that is more than our house payment.

If our house falls down around our ears, though, we are in deep shit! I'm looking at a rather ominous crack right now... but I have a roof over my head (with only a few spots on the ceiling from leaks!) and think, you know, I still have it really good. We aren't starving, we are dry, relatively warm, have a great garden, live in an awesome town, have jobs we like, we have health care access, and all our necessities are met. It hasn't always been like that for us; we have done our share of time completely broke, scared we were going to have to move into our parents' house or declare bankruptcy or something drastic like that. But we made it, and I am glad we have enough. I don't think we will ever earn alot extra (I am a nurse for a midwife, dh is a teacher), but we are happy.
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Old 02-12-2003, 05:52 PM
 
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We're in the 20-30 bracket, closer to 20 than 30. I feel like we're poor, statistically, but I know we are very rich. We just got health insurance thru dh's job, but the kids have always had it. And, so did I while pregnant. If we can't afford food (sometimes he loses his job or his paychecks fluctuate), we are very fortunate to be able to get food stamps. We always have a reasonable dwelling (even if it costs us more in elec. and gas to keep it warm than it does to rent it) , and right now, we love our place. We just got rid of our car, b/c it makes no sense to have one considering gas cost, insur. cost, mass transit availability, and our location.

Are we able to afford all the organic foods? No way. But, we will have a garden this summer, so that will be good.

I feel like money isn't what makes you "rich". We are all healthy and sheltered and fed and live somewhere where if dh lost his job, we could remain sheltered and fed. That is plenty rich, to me. And, we can afford to rent cars every once and a while in order to travel to another city or state. We're very comfortable, IMO.

Of course, we still don't have a couch! :LOL When that tax return check comes, we'll be shopping!
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Old 02-13-2003, 02:23 AM
 
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I voted $20-30 g's. We have a small but cozy home; DH drives a piece of crap to work - it's literally falling apart - so we got a second minivan that we are making payments on each month. We have no debt racked up, which is a plus... basically, we have our car insurance, house payment, car payment, gas and electric bill, computer bill, and phone bill... we eat less than half organic, but we're making a supreme effort... and we still manage to put a teensy bit away each month. We don't really buy things for ourselves unless we really need them... although we do splurge and maybe do a cheap lunch or a movie on some weekends. Playgroups and womens circles keep me happy They're free, and I get the love and connection with others that money just can't buy....
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Old 02-13-2003, 02:01 PM
 
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Hey Lorijds! I mentioned Lawrence, KS because I had a friend move out there for a few years, and we visited them once. They have since moved to Portland, OR. We all made the about same $$$ at the time, but it seemed to go a lot further in KS, as opposed to the NE. Although now it sounds like it got more expensive to live there. Bamboo

PS - Tried to PM you, but couldn't...
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Old 02-13-2003, 08:59 PM
 
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Well, I dont earn and tell either. However, we make plenty of maney but we do live in a very expensive area. So expensive that when my income tripled after moving here from minnesota, I had less money than ever! So teh area you live does make a difference, but even beyond that we are comfortable.
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Old 02-15-2003, 04:10 PM
 
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xxxxxxx
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Old 02-15-2003, 04:33 PM
 
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Avonlea...you dont know me, but your story touched me. amazing, the human spirit. no, i was never poor like that, but i certainly can see your point. i am in no way being condescending, just thankful i read your post.
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Old 02-15-2003, 09:38 PM
 
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I posted on a similar poll a while back. Here it is again:

In 1988 I made $4000, MORE than my mother that year (my senior year of HS/first year of college)

In 1993 I made about $7000

In 1996 I made around $21000

In 1998 DH and I made around $50000

Last year we made about $120000, but...

I lost my job this year, so it's less than that, but we're still very secure.

I too grew up poor and now find myself in the upper 10% income-wise. It's one HELL of a shock. I'm NOT a spender. I still get a huge thrill out of shopping at the Salvation Army and finding Gymboree outfits and Hanna Andersson clothes for $2. I shop loss leaders--but buy mostly organic. We own our cars, but they're older--a 2000 minivan and a 1996 Saturn. Our house is quite nice but not flashy--and the mortgage is half of that of our friends, because we choose to live in a cheaper area.

That said, we max out the 401K, save for our sons' college, help DH's parents, and carry no debt now other than the mortgage.

We make MORE than many families we know, who consider us "poorer" because we don't drive a new SUV or Lexus, don't live in a "better" Boston suburb, don't blow $8000 on Disney World every year, don't have cable tv, don't...well, there are lots of "don'ts" for us financially.

One thing we do, though, is give money to causes we believe in (like the Mothering boards, for instance ). We aren't perfect--we blow money on fru-fru things here and there, but we don't go nuts being consumers. We do invest in our kids' private school educations (Montessori) which is our real luxury.

I have a friend who is contemplating leaving her emotionally abusive husband. The lawyer she consulted told her she'd get around $50,000 in child support. He told her she couldn't "possibly" raise three small kids on that in this area (Boston suburbs). She told this to me as if it were gospel, and therefore she's going to stay with him for another four years until the little ones are in first grade.

Now THAT'S someone who is TRULY "poor".

Mel
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Old 02-15-2003, 10:05 PM
 
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Simonee, I really agree with what yousaid. We have our own business and make a great living, but of course there are alot of extras...having your own business is the best situation I've been in. And the more we make, the more we tithe to environmental organizations or socially active organizations (right now). I grew up pretty working class, so I feel like I am in a fairy tale.
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