|Topic Review (Newest First)|
|07-30-2010 06:17 PM|
I found this thread so enlightening.
|07-28-2010 09:42 AM|
Our income used to be significantly higher. We've been hit hard by the recession. My dh sells wholesale building materials. In Atlanta. Where no one is buying or building anything. He got so excited recently over a 400 square foot addition to a patio at a local restaurant, cause he was able to sell the supplies. Three years ago, that would not have been a blip on the radar, you know?
He (and we) feels lucky to still have a job, after the massive downsizing that his company has done. But, even still, he has taken a 30% paycut in the last 3 years. In that time, we've also had 3 babies. Yikes.
i always thought I'd go back to work in a heartbeat if I needed to, but it's hard to find jobs in my field right now (nursing) as well, plus well, we now have 3 little kids to deal with daycare, you know?
So, we make due, but I do miss that old income.
|07-27-2010 11:03 AM|
|That Is Nice||
It's for the emergency situations in life.
We shouldn't get rid of it altogether. I fully support it's use as a tax expenditure.
Society should have a safety net. It's helps us all and keeps society civil and compassionate. I don't believe we should have elder and child poverty, in particular, and any poverty in general. I'm willing to put my tax dollars to that use.
And I'm not too naiive to believe I will never personally need to be on the receiving end at some point in life, particularly in this economy where things can change in a heartbeat.
DH or I could lose our jobs with little notice, or our investments could halve in a short time, or our house could go down $100k in value before our eyes. It has happened to many people.
We need a social safety net. But it should not be abused or over used.
|07-27-2010 10:57 AM|
|That Is Nice||
|07-27-2010 10:55 AM|
|That Is Nice||
For what it's worth, I think we need universal health insurance AND living wage laws.
Oh yeah, and income parity between men and women.
I'm glad that someone pointed out government assistance comes in many forms, at many income ranges.
I'd much rather my tax dollars go to the working poor to stabilize the economy and prevent human suffering and poverty. For me, personally, I'm more likely to be working poor myself someday (and grew up in such a household) than say, GM. But then again, I see the economic necessity due to the current state of the economy for some of the bailouts.
I'd like to see more regulation in either direction.
|07-27-2010 10:45 AM|
Well I hadn't originally posted details about our income, but since this is still active...
I answered $95k+, and I was surprised how many others did as well. We live in Austin. Our mortgage is $160k. I only have one child who just turned one. So far, I have seen very little expense to having a child. (So far). We've spent maybe $1k tops, including medical, cloth diapers, baby carriers, changing table, toys, clothes. We've probably spent a lot less money in the past year from not doing any fine dining or vacationing.
DP started working when he was 20, making $50k. That was 7 years ago. His pay has steadily increased, and this past year, he got a larger raise of $20k, so now we make $105k/year + $5-10k/year in bonus. Which feels like so much to us. We don't have medical bills, credit card debt, student loans, or even car loans. We bought our cars in cash. We make the max contribution to 401k and Roth IRA. We invest about $4k a month into mutual funds, and our checking account keeps getting larger and larger every month. So, even though the value of our investments has gone down maybe $200k in the past few years, we are still well off.
I can see why even though the poll show the highest percentage of people in the $95k+ range, very few of us have posted details. It sounds like gloating or it's embarrassing to share your financial comfort while others are struggling.
|07-27-2010 09:46 AM|
Mom2GCNJ - thank you!
I agree a thousand times over.
|07-23-2010 02:52 PM|
our household income is not enough and no one will hire me around my DH's work schedule. There are days when he doesn't go into work until 10am and don't get home until 10:30pm. Others its 7am and don't get home until 6:30pm and then 4am to 5:30pm
By the time 6m rolls around i am too tired to function and i am getting supper ready. I cannot afford daycare for 3 kids. We have a $590 mortgage payment, and a $347 truck payment. We don't have home insurance cause it costs too much right now, so yes if anything was to happen to our house we are SO SCREWED. Our Insurance for the trucks is 93.00 a month (for liability and full coverage) Gas for his truck for 2 weeks costs him $80.00 or maybe a little more. Gas for my truck for 2 weeks is like $140. I am so glad i saved the majority of my cloth diapers from my last baby to use for this one. I did buy some girly ones though...But as for clothing my kids use handmedowns. I am sad the fact that they use handmedowns cause that's what i used when i was a kid. I wish my DH could make 6 figures a year but sadly its only 5 figures and its not even the high end its the middle. He is getting a 700 bonus though so i am able to get a crib and a stroller for the baby on the 30th. YAY...I am so excited for that..IT SUCKS REALLY.
Oh and if it wasn't for goverment insurance my kids wouldn't have any medical insurance cause we cannot afford that...and all technicality I am paying 192.00 for a year for my kids insurance so yes we do have to pay for it. We do get Foodstamps and i think that's a slap in the face of what we're getting for that..HAHA 25.00 FREAKING DOLLARS A MONTH to SUPPORT A FAMILY OF 5.....HAHAHAHAHAHA Yes that's COrrect...25.00 a month for Foodstamps... STUPID HUH? My SIL get's over 600 a month for her family of 4
|07-20-2010 06:01 PM|
I think my DH earns about $15K lower than the family median income in my area. We live pretty simply and frugally and our house is tiny and furnished with hand me downs. We have no debt other than our mortgage but every bill or tax or insurance is a huge stressor. I've managed to stay home for 7 years and felt it was a smart decision. Now that the youngest one is entering school, I realize I'm not only bored but we can't continue at this financial pace. We can't save for the future, we don't contribute anything at all, hardly, for RESPs or our own retirement. And we have real practical needs in our house that need attending to.
I also have several medical conditions for which I require attention and products that are not full insured or insured at all. My DH's RRSP plan sucks and his benefits are not great too. So in a nutshell, we struggle.
I have to say, I guess I'm having a bad day, but I envy those SAHMs with high incomes. My mom was one and I grew up in a well-to-do household and it DOES make a difference when the parents are not stressed out about making ends meet.
|07-20-2010 09:09 AM|
This is not directed at anyone in particular - it is not meant as a criticism but is offered as "food for thought" only.
Here is my take on government assistance: it comes in many many different forms and from my perspective, generally speaking, government assistance directed to the poor is considered by many to be an egregious use of taxpayer dollars while government assistance directed to those who are financially better offer is, again generally, considered to be a fair, just and appropriate use of tax dollars.
Corporate bail-outs, reductions in capital gains taxes, $8000 home buyer tax credits, "Cash for Clunkers".......if I thought about it I could think of many other programs that benefit those for whom our economic system is working pretty nicely. I'm not implying this is necessarily a bad thing - just pointing out that it is.
The numbers of healthy unemployed adults who receive cash assistance for themselves and their children has declined dramatically since time limits and welfare to work programs were instituted. I don't think I can include links, but data on this is easy to find. Our economy benefits mightily from the contribution of the working poor. In fact some would argue our economy as it is now would collapse if all employers were forced to pay all workers a truly living wage. That is why food support, medicaid, and low income housing assistance need to exist - because we as a society have decided to have the type of economy that depends on low wage workers - and yet we force the working poor to live with the stigma of there use.
It is incredibly ironic to me that there is a stigma attached in this country to receiving free health insurance in the form of medicaid when most other economically developed countries consider health care a human right that all citizens receive regardless of income.
Anyway, my point is there are many many hard working contributing Americans that benefit from government assistance programs - at every economic level. And there are many Americans that cheat and lie to get ahead - or to keep their heads above water, as the case may be.
|07-19-2010 11:24 PM|
|geekgolightly||I think *most* people on govt help need it, are honest and hardworking, even if the work isn't paying off. I'm really glad I can work and contribute to the funds which are spread around to those who need it. I might need it someday, too, and I would hate to think of all those people who judge me for it.|
|07-19-2010 10:17 PM|
We reported less than 20k on our taxes for 2009, down from 39k 5 yrs ago. It's going to be WAY less for 2010 I'm sure, because I didn't work in 2009, and my wages now are like 1/2 what he was getting for UI benefits.
DH has been laid off for more than 1 1/2 yrs and he does search for work. Daily. Unemployment benefits, exhausted. He has a hard time b/c he's almost 55 and has no degree, an old felony charge (from before I knew him), and we live in a state that has hemorrhaged manufacturing jobs, and jobs of types for that matter. The outlet mall here is a retail ghost town! But he keeps trying. He does a little work for a friend that has a farm, and he pays DH a little cash here & there when he can afford to help out. Do we report it? No. I also don't report it every time my mom helps me out with $50 for gas when I clean out her basement. Does that make us users and cheaters? IMO, no. We just do what we need to do to get by. Rent, utilities, gas & car insurance are not free. And the state doesn't let you claim vehicle expenses in terms of living expenses.
I started my degree program in 2008 and I am set to finish in 11 weeks. I do work, 30+ hrs a week. We do get food stamps & medicaid for DS & DD, but I can tell you this - if we didn't have kids our choice would be to NOT receive assistance. But they are more important than my pride or anyone else's opinion on welfare losers.
|07-16-2010 07:37 PM|
So that's why I have a chip on my shoulder. I don't actually think that every single person on aid is a loser, I just know so many that it's hard to keep an open mind.
|07-16-2010 06:09 PM|
I live in south africa so the numbers wouldn't really make sense.
Basically, we live in a middle to high income neighbourhood and our joint income before I stopped working put us squarely in the middle to good income bracket. However, we had and still have a lot of debt - mostly because we were just reckless.
I became a SAHM by fluke too. I was laid off when I was 8 weeks pregnant. I got a pay out from the company that assisted in helping us survive till now. And will hopefully get some assistance from the govt when baby is born (i'd like to talk more about this later) for a couple of months.
We've done the number crunching and we can survive on a modest lifestyle if i remain a sahm, but we want a little more financial security and want a bigger house etc. So, when baby is about 6 months old, I'll go back to work on a part time basis. Not just because of the better lifestyle - but because I need to work outside of the home for ME.
It sounds odd to me even to read that I'm willing to sacrifice spending more time with my children in order to have a better lifestyle, but it makes sense to us. I want my children to have a garden to run around in, I want to drive a safer car (current one gets half a star in the NCAP) and I want to be able to send them to good universities and not have them worry about student loans etc. So, we're trying to get the best of both worlds by having me work half day.
About government assistance, I got the distinct impression on this thread that getting aid from the government is somehow a 'bad' thing, and that it is 'better' to survive on your own. I don't understand this way of thinking. The government is meant to represent the people - we vote them into power in order to do OUR bidding. We pay taxes (in a variety of ways, not just income tax) in order to have a safety net to catch us should we fall. There's nothing wrong with making use of that safety net when you need to.
In SA, you get 4 months maternity leave pay on a sliding scale of up to 33% of your salary. I will most certainly be using that assistance as my taxes have contributed to it and it's there to assist - and we need the assistance.
|07-16-2010 11:20 AM|
We bought a house before we were married. 3 bedroom ranch $150k. The plan was this was our "starter house" and we would buy a bigger one. Now it is our "nest egg" our property is worth $500k. (They would just tear down our house and put up 3 houses.) DH says we are holding onto it until it gets to a million. I would not sell until we are ready to leave this area. Say another 20years. Our house will be paid off in 3 years.
DH is a town employee so he pays into a mandatory retirement fund. We were surprised how much having a 3 child changed our tax refund. The $5k return will cover the cost of DS braces.
I would say we are in a middle COL. I shop at yard sales. We have bought a couch, recliner and mattresses as new. The rest is hand me downs.
|07-15-2010 04:17 PM|
|treeoflife3||My husband makes less than 30k per year. We make it work but we struggle a bit. our kiddo is on WIC. I would like to bring in more income for us as much as I prefer to be a SAHM but anything I make would probably go to daycare anyway. I'm not prepared yet to care for other children (in home daycare) and I don't have the skill or focus to make things to sell so I'm not really sure what my other options are for working at home. Oh well, we manage to pay our bills and we have food so we are fine.|
|07-15-2010 04:06 PM|
|pleasantlyfurious||Wow! That is a wide and varied range. We are in the under 25k currently. But I'm a SAHM by a fluke, too. I got laid off right around when we found out we were expecting. I made the big paycheck before (in the 70k range) and now DP is trying to get a "big ticket" job so that I can stay at home indefinitely, but more likely I'll have to go back to work in a few months -baby is 8 wks old. Still, it was amazing to me the world didn't crumble when our income plummeted. Granted, it's been a struggle. We don't do much going out, we have creditors calling, we used up our savings, and even cashed out a retirement account (which I know we were very lucky to have to begin with) - but I was sure the world would end when the paycheck stopped coming - and now we are pretty happy with our baby and pennies.|
|07-14-2010 03:45 PM|
|Pookietooth||Wow, what a big range. You actually didn't include the range ours fits into, which would be between the 65-75K and 85-95. That's including bonuses and it may be different this year depending on the bonus structure. I'm amazed how many are 95K plus -- must be nice! We live in a fairly high COL area, and I'm one of the few moms I know on one income in an apartment.|
|07-04-2010 09:02 AM|
|That Is Nice||
I married relatively young (right out of college). I'd also dated my husband for many years before marriage and lived with him for a few years.
I thought I knew him, and his values.
I really thought he'd want to be a good provider, and work hard, and do well in his career. He was/is very smart and he has a decent degree. But it didn't translate to career success very easily for him because he's not very motivated, he is not a go-getter about applying for jobs or looking for promotional opportunities, and he really wants to coast on cruise control. He doesn't want to be the main or single provider for our family.
It's frustrating for me because with his degree and field, he could be a pretty good provider, just as many of his co-workers are. And since he's in the field, it does require a lot of hours and not too much paid time off. And so I've lived many years with that part of it, but not with the pay.
That is the hard part.
I have friends whose husbands are in careers that earn much less, but their husbands get time off! Ample vacation, paternity leave, time at Christmas or other holidays.
I can't remember the last time my husband had more than 2 days off in a row. He is never home. I feel like I've never had much help from him with anything.
So I feel if I have to live with that he might as well make it worth his while to be at work so often and get paid well.
I work too. And I have struggled to have my own good career. That is hard when the other person is working so much.
So, I probably would look for different attributes now if I married again or had married later in life. It's not so much fun being married to a "putz" who spends a lot of time at work but who never goes anywhere with the time commitment.
|07-02-2010 09:58 PM|
I think a lot of people misunderstand that whole thing. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say that you can actually be penalized if you get a raise that puts you over the next tax bracket, but just barely. But that's not the case (as the quoted poster pointed out).
We live in a high COL area. We're moving to another high COL area in a state that has plenty of low COL areas. Seems like being within an hour of an international airport in the states available to us just work out that way. *sigh*
|06-30-2010 01:45 PM|
We had an income of 41K last year and because of that tax bracket shift (the year before we made substantially less), we are no longer eligible to receive a lot of the benefits we did before, which sucks because this year I'm on EI/maternity and am only making 55% of my previous wage
|06-30-2010 01:16 PM|
Good to know, I was pretty surprised about the 49% and was imagining that someone making 100k was only pulling in 50k, which is scary!
|06-30-2010 12:44 PM|
* 15% on the first $40,970 of taxable income, +
* 22% on the next $40,971 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $40,970 and $81,941), +
* 26% on the next $45,080 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $81,941 and $127,021), +
* 29% of taxable income over $127,021.
Provincial taxes vary on top of that. And yes, we also have HST/GST consumption taxes. But I guarantee no one is paying 49% of their income in income tax. In BC the highest tax bracket will pay 44% and that is that portion of your income in the highest tax bracket only. So if you make $500,000, yes you are paying proportionally larger taxes than average earners, but go find me the world's tiniest violin.
I'll take the tax nerd glasses off now.
|06-30-2010 12:25 PM|
I became a SAHM by accident. My husband-then-BF and I were still living separately when we found out I was pregnant. Literally 2 days later I get laid off from my job. Because of our new circumstances, he had to move in with me in NJ, break his lease, buy a car (my rent & living expenses were significantly cheaper than his so even incurring some additional expenses was still cheaper than him living in NYC) and we later married... but we weren't financially ready to make these changes yet. We both had personal debt (cc's, student loans) that we brought together and his salary alone is really cutting it tight. I do get unemployment, and it helps, but it is NOWHERE close to what i was bringing home with my previous job (its only about 40% of my last job's salary). It basically is just keeping us from having to file bankruptcy, that's about it. So now, we've got our DS, which is more expense. The income limits for any aid is low, so we don't qualify for anything. I think if we didn't have the debt we'd be a lot more comfortable. I started as a real estate agent to see if I can make some side money til I find a FT job paying enough money where I net AT LEAST the same as my unemployment check after daycare costs, but finding that open position and actually getting a call back - let alone a job offer - is next to impossible.
Could we move to a lower COL area? Sure, but it wouldn't be in the tri-state area that's for sure, and DH would have to find a new job which wouldn't pay the same salary he's making... so what really would we gain?
I'd love to be a SAHM permanently. I think the best bet would be if I find a job to work and save and pay off debt for a few years, THEN to revisit the idea. Maybe we'll be ready for LO #2 by then... but we'll be prepared for him/her this time
|06-30-2010 12:41 AM|
I stay at home with my 4 yr old and 17m old. We make the mid-range for income. I can't believe so many people make over $95 grand!! I just had to say wow!
We also live in a high COL area (gas is $3.59, milk is $5.99, you get the picture). But, we live in a small cabin, don't have running water, get all of our clothes used, have used cars (really, is there any other kind? ) and "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without". Right now we are building a bigger cabin (2 stories! Running water! Yay!) on our land and that is sucking a lot of our money away. My main personal expenses come down to books, yarn, and "real" food (fresh vegs, fruit, meat, coffee). I should probably work on that but I have a hard time giving up things that make me happy.
DP is in the local laborers union, he has a good paying job=works on the pipeline. I never finished college, he's never been, but we own our own home and imho we do pretty well for Alaskan transplants.
|06-29-2010 05:44 PM|
We live in a high COL area. We moved from a slightly less high COL area. (We live in San Francisco Bay Area now, moved from Seattle.) We're not in that top bracket but we're close. In this area, we couldn't pay for reasonable daycare on what I make in a year, which is why I'm a SAHM.
We do what we can to keep costs down. My car is a '98 Nissan - I'm the second owner. My husband drives a '06 Subaru because he has the commute and needs better gas milage. The Subaru is a must because we have dogs and needed the space to put them and baby in the car. We rent here, owned in Seattle. (The rent-or-own in Seattle was comparable, owning here is far, far more expensive than renting. We pay $2,200 for a 1600 sq ft 2 bed, 1 bath with a small yard for the dogs - the house next door sold earlier this year for $600,000 and the yard was been bricked-in to make a patio.) We don't eat out, don't go on trips, don't drive when it is not necessary (doctors and work). We have some other things we won't do, though, that raise our expenses. We won't shop at Wal-Mart, we eat organic as much as possible, we have food issues, and a lot of specific things we need to avoid. We get around this as much as possible by making things at home, shopping online for a better price or selection (I tell you, my Amazon Prime membership with free 2-day shipping has paid for itself several times over).
My husband and I both grew up poor. My mother was a schoolteacher and my father decided he didn't want to work after I was about 9 (my brothers were 2 and 4, so he wanted to be a SAHD - but sent them to daycare, too). We lived on my mother's Texas teacher's salary - which wasn't much. My father kicked me out really young (13) and then did what he could to take things from me. (For example; he cleaned out my bank account when I was 16. I had several thousand dollars in there from working really crappy jobs and had been saving up for college. When I asked the bank why they let him do it they said "Well, he had a copy of your birth certificate showing that he was your father." Last time I dealt with Wells Fargo.) So I started with nothing, repeatedly had my family clean me out and then it went from bad to worse - I married young to someone who lied and stole when he could. I worked three jobs to keep him in good health (diabetic that would rather buy pot than his insulin) and got out of that marriage with even less than I started it with. My husband has a similar back story - step father that collected SSI in his name and made him sign the checks, made him work and took the paychecks, made him buy his own food as a high school student, do laundry at a laundromat on his own dime, (edited to remove information; pm me if you need to discuss.) We're slowly getting things in order - debts paid off or down, life simplified. I've got to say, the best money-managing tool I've found is a partner with similar wants, desires and drives.
You bet I picked my husband based on his interest in earning money, shared values, debt management desires in addition to being handsome, sweet, funny and uh... some other things. I chose my first husband based on "but I love him!" and didn't realize that he should have been someone I dated, realized we weren't compatible for cohabitation, stayed friends with and never married. It may sound very business-like to some people but running a house is a business!
|06-29-2010 03:59 PM|
|06-29-2010 03:43 PM|
I was a single mother by choice with my oldest child. I quit my full-time job and opened a licensed day care in my home. After business expenses I cleared about $20,000 per year. I was on WIC as a bf mom until she was about a year, but received no other government aid beyond the earned income credit, and no child support. I married when dd1 was almost 4 and my family's financial situation has gone down hill since.
|06-29-2010 07:05 AM|
|06-29-2010 03:13 AM|
I live in a very high COL area too, and I just figure I'll never own a home . Even with two incomes its going to take us about 15 years to pay off our college debt. With only his it will never ever happen. I guess it's all about priorities.
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