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Struggling on $150,000

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  • #254986
    Wazza
    Member

    I was reading comment on the budget about families not being eligible for family payments when household income exceeds $150,000. One woman said: “I’d like to know why the government thinks earning $150,000 makes a family rich? $150,000 is nothing in all honesty. We’re struggling on our income, living from pay packet to pay packet.” I voluntarily simplified my life many years ago, so I guess I’m out of touch with mainstream society, but $150,000 household income doesn’t sound like “nothing” to me. We are constantly told Australia is an affluent country and we’ve never had it so good. Sixty years ago my Dad was able to pay a mortgage, raise us kids, have a car in the garage and a 2-week holiday by the sea each year on one wage (Mum didn’t work) – and tradesman earnings at that. The only family payment back then was 10 shillings a week per child, paid directly to the mother. I really wonder what progress we’ve made if people are struggling on $150,000 earnings and need family payments to keep up.

    #496278
    sharsmaree
    Member

    Hi Wazza, I have to agree with you. We were living a fairly costly lifestyle for a while, not intentionally but just slipped into it. We never used to be drawn in by material things and it did start to worry me. Incomes in the country are a lot less than 150,000 but we still were reasonably well off. We have pulled our heads in and are now back to what we consider normal. Growing our vegies, killing our chooks etc etc. I have just sold our later model car after realizing the higher price in rego and insurance I was paying. I now have a low mileage 95 ford. I’m not a car person though and as long as it goes and is reliable I’m happy.

    The strange thing is after our income reduced and we went back to “normal” we’re saving more money and are more relaxed than we have ever been.

    Sharsmaree

    #496279
    dianne
    Participant

    Wazza post=311344 wrote: One woman said: “I’d like to know why the government thinks earning $150,000 makes a family rich? $150,000 is nothing in all honesty. We’re struggling on our income, living from pay packet to pay packet.”

    :jawdrop: I was going to comment but think I might crash the site with the language I would use. :blink:

    #496280
    zygo
    Member

    I think the joke is on us, the every day consumer. We are inundated with marketing campaigns that tell us we need more. better, newer and most of the population falls for it.

    I and my child live on less than $30 000 per year. To me, $150 000 is unimaginable.

    It is extremely difficult to go against the “normal” trend of work, consume, die! We are influenced in so many insidious ways – our self esteem is attacked, our parenting ability is questioned, our children brain washed into the consume mentality.

    I saw a tv documentary recently where an American Doctor was treating 16 year olds who were depressed and suicidal because they did not get a new Mercedes Benz car for their birthday or a huge birthday bash with their celebrity of choice as the guest of honour!

    The modern parent deserves a medal for surviving our modern society and its warped view of what we need to survive.

    #496281
    mudhen
    Member

    We watched hungry beast on the ABC last night, it was all about “power” and one segment talked about shopping malls and the power they exert over us. Considering that the majority of the population would shop weekly in a large suburban mall, it’s no wonder people are having a hard time surviving on any amount of income. So much of the media we are exposed to is designed to make us feel that we are missing out if we don’t have lots of stuff. Having spent the last month with my shopaholic brother visiting me has been a real eye opener into how the other half lives. If he sees it, he has to have it, and not just any old it, has to be the very best it whether he can afford it or not. I asked him not to buy excessive gifts for my kids as we would have to sell them later to bail him out of bankruptcy and even though it was said jokingly, I was actually quite serious!

    #496282
    casalenta
    Member

    Parkinson’s Second Law: Expenditures rise to meet income. I guess this is how people get to be struggling on $150,000 a year. I live quite happily on one tenth of that – and much happier than when I was making much more.

    I was thinking while listening to the budget speech of how many times the words ‘jobs’ and ‘work’ were mentioned. I lost count, but it reminded me of what our society is all about. We are supposed to work (in jobs most people hate, and even if they say they like them they still wish their lives away wishing it was the weekend, public holiday or annual leave time). In the jobs we make stuff nobody actually needs, or support those who are making the stuff nobody actually needs. With the money we earn, we are supposed to buy stuff we don’t need, so the ‘consumer sentiment’ stays high and the economy continues to grow. When we get enough stuff we can get a bigger house to put all the stuff in. When the stuff is obsolete (like after about 12 months) we can throw all the stuff out and get the latest model stuff.

    Remember George W. Bush on Sept 14. 2001: ‘Americans, go shopping’. He didn’t mean go and buy stuff you need – you do that anyway – but it was go and buy stuff you don’t need.

    It would all be funny if we weren’t consuming the planet and trashing it.

    I’ve also been thinking about this video:

    http://youtu.be/Xbp6umQT58A

    It’s true. When I look at my high-consumption brother and sister-in-law (ex-bankrupts), who are struggling on $150,000 or thereabouts, they are nervous wrecks and constantly stressed out having to work such long hours to pay for their big house full of beautiful stuff and their brand new 4WD monster car (their old one was too old at 3 yrs old). Most people really are farm animals, the government are the farm hands, and the 1% of the population who own practically everything and have all the power are the farmers.

    #496283
    porgey
    Member

    opps

    #496284
    porgey
    Member

    zygo post=311358 wrote: I think the joke is on us, the every day consumer. We are inundated with marketing campaigns that tell us we need more. better, newer and most of the population falls for it.

    I and my child live on less than $30 000 per year. To me, $150 000 is unimaginable.

    It is extremely difficult to go against the “normal” trend of work, consume, die! We are influenced in so many insidious ways – our self esteem is attacked, our parenting ability is questioned, our children brain washed into the consume mentality.

    I saw a tv documentary recently where an American Doctor was treating 16 year olds who were depressed and suicidal because they did not get a new Mercedes Benz car for their birthday or a huge birthday bash with their celebrity of choice as the guest of honour!

    The modern parent deserves a medal for surviving our modern society and its warped view of what we need to survive.

    You are so right Zygo. Wants & needs are two totally different things. Intentionally & insidiously marketers and advertisers have turned wants into needs and it is causing so many problems for vunerable & impressionable children and there poor parents. Humans are so capable of so many amazing things without all the crap that modern society deems we “need”.

    To me $150,00 is so much money but its what you decide to believe, how you choose to live, and what you consume that determines how that money is spent.

    #496285
    karyn26
    Member

    Struggling!!! how does one struggle on that amount of money.

    I suppose these people have the big house,a couple of expensive cars,designer clothes for everyone including the dog and cat.

    Every gadget imaginable and wanting more.Big plasma screens in every room (maybe even in the dunny)

    Best of the best education for the kids,(not that there’s anything wrong with that)

    Overseas holidays,probably a boat,jetski.

    I wish my son was “struggling” on $150k then he’d get the loan he wants for his $300k home no worries.

    Gosh for years we struggled,we paid our mortgage and bills bought our food I baked cakes,biscuits,slices for the kids for school,we didnt have much extra but we did manage and had a chinese meal once in a while.

    I made the kids clothes when they were little and would make their PJ’s up to a certain age,I bought from OP shops etc.As they grew older they realised their friends had better this or that and I think the eldest got sucked into that world.

    Now there is only 2 of us, we are comfortable we still dont overspend on unnecessary items,we dont eat out all that much – DH is a mean cook- but he is bringing noodles home for tea tonight.

    We are back growing our F&V again .DH does the shopping and does it better than me he looks for bargains and will go from shop to shop looking for a bargain.

    He even decided we needed a better chipper and got a good deal on the expensive one which will do a better job than the one we were going to buy.

    Our DD (my stepDD) got sucked into the “keeping up with the Jonses” by her older sister who was adopted out as a baby and grew up in an influential home, anything her sister “wanted” she bought so DD started doing the same thing which landed her family in a lot of debt that still trails them now.

    Struggling shish

    #496286
    weaver
    Member

    It really is all a matter of perspective. What is struggling to one person is luxury to another. Being on the consumer treadmill would be a struggle in itself as so many people become anxious and depressed because no matter what you can afford someone always has something newer or better that you then have to strive for. The simple pleasures in life disappear.

    I have just read “Radical Home-makers” and that describes just this exact scenario. I am opting out of that consumer world. 4 weeks tomorrow until redundancy :clap: :laugh:

    #496287
    bushy
    Member

    Gee……wish I had an opportunity to struggle on $150,000 a year….

    #496288
    murphyslaw
    Member

    Struggling on #150,000. Must be the definition of an oxymoron!

    #496289
    Kristy
    Member

    Love this thread. I have managed to avoid consumerism since stopping watching tv with adds and listening to mainstream radio shows. This has definitely helped…

    It can be very hard to not be pulled into what is classed the norm now… It’s all around us everywhere.

    #496290
    Iduna
    Member

    I had to go away and calm down before I could post, what I wanted to post wasn’t PG rated. I think my husband and I are doing well and we are are on 1/3 that amount, not that I don’t worry when rates go up or the price of food or the bills keep going up even though we are using less than ever. Our bills are paid, we have food in the cupbord and the mortgage is paid, we have clothes on our backs (so what if some are from the op shop) and the only debt is the mortgage and my husbands hecs. We even pay a little extra into the home loan each pay. We have some savings and it’s not like we don’t have some nice things (I guess to someone earning $150k a year they are not nice enough to count). I don’t see how you can’t be well off on $150,000 a year. But then I don’t like to go shopping, I don’t like to go out to eat, I don’t like to go to the movies, I don’t like going where their are going to be alot of people so I guess that saves us a lot of money. But still where does all that money go, i would love to walk around behind her for a month and hit her with a rolled up newspaper each time she spent money on something that wasn’t needed.

    #496291
    Wazza
    Member

    I think the government has the same spending disease as some citizens. Australia has $200 billion racked up on the credit card and it’s heading for $250 billion. I’m not being partisan political here. I’d say the same thing if it was the Coalition, the Shooter’s Party or the Legalise Marijuana Party in power. For a “tough” budget, I can’t get over the set top box handout at $300 per age pensioner. Remember the ceiling insulation? Here we go again! I am a doddery old age pensioner with an analogue TV. A year ago I purchased an HD set top box at Dimmeys for $49, read the instruction book, connected it, brought up the menu, hit auto-tune and within 2-3 minutes had all the digital channels. I find it an insult to senior citizens that we are considered so dumb and stupid by the government that we can’t do anything as basic as that without their help.

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