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Struggling on $150,000

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    Misty hollows wrote: No apologies for not fitting the sterotype here and slightly offended that there are so many unpleasant comments on this thread that lump all higher income earners all together. The grass is always greener???

    I don’t think we have anything against higher income earners, but the question is why? What for? Is it to be happy, put the kids in private schools, or pay the motgage on the country property? I guess it’s easy for me. Came in from the property tonight and smelled squab roasting in the oven. That’s the sort of tucker $150,000 earners eat in haute cuisine restaurants for $40 as a main course. I’m enjoying it in our low cuisine kitchen with the lady I love, over candle light, for just a few dollars with fresh herbs and vegies from the garden. Superb! Even if you earn $500K, you’ll never enjoy such home grown delights as us on a $30K income.


    $150,000… I wish! Struggling my…..foot.


    I hope no one has taken my comments as a blanket rubbishing of higher income earners as I am one myself. Our combined income is over two thirds of that. The point is that we are not complaining about struggling. We are thankful everyday that we have it so good. We also worked very had and sacfriced a lot to get where we are now.

    My comments are only aimed at those who think they are doing it tough on $150 000. I feel sad that they have learned to grateful for what they have.

    The people I feel for is those who do earn low incomes. I know people who are raising whole families on less that $40 000. That would be a struggle.


    I think the problems come in when you become used to living up to your income level. We used to be like that. Our combined income would be 2/3rds of that figure and before i saw the light we managed to get ourselves into bad debt that we are still a couple of years away from paying off. I recently dropped around $10000 a year to take on a better job and when you are living a comfortable lifestyle that matches your income that hurts. I have since become a bit wiser and we are turning around our lifestyle. It takes a bit of a shock to bring a stubborn horses head around.

    I have seen some big changes locally in the way people are living. We have three large produce shops within walking distance here and they constantly sell out of chooks and goats becuase of the boom in people interested in raising their own.


    Fatima post=311484 wrote: $150,000… I wish!

    No, I don’t wish! As I posted earlier – expenses expand to take the income available (Parkinson 2).

    I used to have a high income, and have voluntarily simplified my life, turned down high paying jobs and I enjoy a much lower standard of living now. I really mean that. I have much more enjoyment in life, and lots more fun than I used to when I was on the treadmill.

    Like Wazza, I don’t resent anybody else earning high incomes and certainly don’t mean to offend anybody – but the question is why? What for? Surely, life is to be enjoyed and not spent working yourself into an early grave just to have this or that. Is there anyone who on their death bed with the tubes stuck in every orifice says ‘I wish I had made more money’, I wish I had worked longer hours’, ‘I wish I had managed to buy (xxxx)’. Don’t think so. The important things in life don’t actually cost any money, they cost time (like time spent with people you love, time spent having fun).


    I have always been a relativly high income earner and make no apologies, I raised 3 children on my own and have never recieved any govt handouts. This because I was fortunate in that my parents ensured I had a good education. This is not about envy- no matter what you earn given the average income is a lot less than $150000 I think it is a reasonable figure for the government to set as a cut off point for assistance. With an income at that level you can borrow for a morgage, many people these days are facing the prospect of never being able to afford their own home. We all need to take responsibility for our spending and on that income after a morgage most people would still have a considerable amount of discresionary spending.

    Yes life can be a struggle if we choose to live differently BUT there should be more support for pensioners (15000a year)and the disabled and ill.

    Why is it that so often if income goes up people have to spend more to show they have it. No matter what your income you can only wear one set of clothes att a time & eat 3 meals a day.

    The best things in life cannot be purchased, The love of a partner/children/family and friends and contentment.


    penny post=311513 wrote:

    Why is it that so often if income goes up people have to spend more to show they have it.

    It isn’t just to show they have it at all. I recently turned down a high-paying job because during the time I was considering whether to take it or stick with my low-paying part-time freelance work, I started to think of all the things I would be able to do with the money and all the things I could buy. I initially thought I would take the job for six months, but then when I considered all the things I would buy, that blew it out to a year or more to pay for it all. Of course by then…

    Then I thought about the new clothes I would need to get for working in an office. I would need to have new shoes, and probably get my hair done regularly. The petrol cost would be astronomical for the 1.25 hour commute each way, and my old car would soon break down so I’d have to get a new one. With my old car parked next to all the flash cars in the car park, I would probably want a new one sooner rather than later anyway. Hmm, better add another year or two.

    With the commuting I’d be tired when I got home so would buy some takeaway on the way home, sleep in late and not have time to make lunch, so I would buy that almost every day as well. My health would suffer because I wouldn’t have time to eat right or tend to my garden, so the medical bills would go from practically zero to… what? Then with the odd jobs around the house, I’d have no energy or time for those, so I’d have to hire someone to do the jobs. On and on it goes. Better work another year.

    Then there’s the stress of commuting, fitting in an office environment, trying not to giggle in the boring meetings in which the pricks bombard you with endless powerpoint presentations and call you a ‘team champion’ or some such BS :sick: . Sucking up to some boss who’s a total dickhead who claims every good idea anyone else has and passes the buck for every bad idea. Then there’s the endless hours extra you’re expected to put in without pay, and the dirty looks you get if you arrive late (ie. on time) or leave ‘early’ (ie. on time).

    It wasn’t a difficult decision at all. I much prefer living on a fifth of what I would have been getting, and of course the reverse of Parkinson’s 2nd law is also true – expenses reduce to meet the income available.


    until Penny above no one has mentioned pensioners who have to live on less than 20% of 150000 ……… for those high income earners to whinge is an insult to every pensioner 👿

    take the disabled who suddenly cant work anymore eg my husband always had a well paid job ……. well paid but not ridiculous some some of those whingers he is a tradesman boiler maker ……. then in 1998 I got so sick I couldnt stay home on my own so he gave up his job to be my Carer ……. so since then he works twice as hard and we get 20% of the income …….. and WE MANAGE to have what we consider a good life and lifestyle…….

    and before becoming pensioners we have never had a single govt handout- no first home owners grant – no family payments NOTHING ….

    we saved and did it ourselves ….. and we have always had a small modest house that those whinging parsites wouldnt even consider 👿 and driven an older vehicle tht is workhorse not some flash status symbol …… in fact we have never in our whole life bought anything that could be remotely considered a status symbol

    I just say roll on TEOTWAWKI …….I hope I live long enough to see it :laugh:


    I could not believe the fact they spent $250 a week on food. My vegie patches got destroyed by major frost then huge amount of rain plus with me being on my own with the kids it’s taken me six months to get them back in order for starting over. My chooks are off the lay so all my self sufficency methods have been out for a couple of months at least. Yet I only spend $60 a week on average per week on food. I could spend less but some days spending $2 on a loaf of bread is easier than the time for baking.

    I drive as little as possible even with my LPG car and spend $30 at most on fuel a week. I just don’t get it! The family across the road is a single parent family of 5 kids all with a whole range of alergies so cheaper foods is really hard for them she spends $250 there. So $250 for two adults and two children is crazy, then $200 a week on fuel they must be driving huge 4WD like the rest of the consumer driven city lot where 4WD are unnessarry.

    On the pension I get buy each week with being able to have money put aside for unforseen extras and have to say I am living modestly comfortably.Sometimes I do wish I had more time and money to really do more for the house and yard but the reality is I have to survive on $500 a week for everything.


    I also feel for the pensioners at the moment with rising electricity, food and just about everything else costs. Both DHs and my parents are on aged pensions and while they live reasonably comfortably on the pension they saved their money prior to going on the pension (just never went over the threshold).

    We are fortunate that although DH does work very long hrs and does a reasonable amount of driving he has a company car provided, this means that we only have the cost of our 9 yr old station wagon to wear. He works the long hrs because he is in a job that he loves doing. Yes, it is hard sometimes but it’s what he wants to do, so I support him (as much as my sanity allows :laugh: ) in him doing that. I love being at home looking after my kids and gardening on our 4 acres. I’ve had the job with the nasty boss and the office politics too and it’s not my cup of tea.

    We’ve lived on $320 a week when we first got married, I was working DH was at uni, that would probably be $500 a week by now. I think though it can be all relative to where you live. If you live in Sydney the cost of living, housing etc is going to be much higher than a rural town. We live in a rural town because we would have to go into much higher debt to live closer to DH’s main office, I would have to go back to work and not be at home with the kids to pay for a house in suburbia and the kids would have to go into childcare. We made the choice when we got married that we didn’t want the kids in childcare and have to pay for that. I don’t know either JazyJae how people can spend $200 a week on petrol, DH probably does close to 1000km/week spending $120/week on average on fuel, I wonder where they get their figures from, he does long distance driving though which gets better fuel economy. I fill the tank up for around $80 every 3-4 weeks on my car and that’s a 6 cylinder car. I allow up to $150/week for groceries for a family of 4 and that’s eating mainly organic and local foods. I don’t buy woolies and coles $2 milk, we pay a bit extra to buy the locally produced milk and support that industry. We’re lucky we can afford to as I limit the amount of processed food we eat due to additive intolerances. I think that if someone is struggling on $150,000 they need to have a good hard look at themselves. We don’t earn that and live comfortably with kids in a private school. I have friends that earn more than us and had to pull their kids out of our school for financial reasons but they don’t manage their $. It’s all about income in -v- income out, if it doesn’t balance up you’re in trouble, no matter how much or little you earn.


    Doesn’t really matter what your income is – the Micawber principle always applies. I’ve tried to follow it since I was much struck by the sense of it as a child forced to read Dickens. Who says the classics are a waste of time? :cheer:

    Mr. Micawber, in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, said –

    ‘Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen and sixpence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds and sixpence, result misery.’


    What the government does is it adds up all the wages in Australia then divides it by the people and comes up with the figure that looks good. So the ones who are on a pension are added in with the high earners. :shrug:

    Youngest son started working for himself and is on good money but he also spends it as fast as he earns it. He was told by his accountant to buy another house to off set his tax. But when the crunch comes he will loose more with 2 houses then with 1.

    the eldest son just stepped down from Manger job at Woolies works 38 hours a week for $120 less then when he was a manger without all the headaches. He was working over 70 hours aweek and gettign paid for 38. He is a lot happy and he said last week he has more money in the bank as he knows he can’t waste it.

    Hubby and I would be better off if he would go and apply for a pension. After he pulled his shoulder out in Janurary and he found out he tore all the muscle away from the bone he has had to cut back on his jobs a lot. His doctor has said he will be able to get a pension at least it will be regular. My job is just part time when they need me they call me so I can’t rely on it.

    I would love $150,000 a year. I could bank 3/4 of it and still live well. :clap:


    I hope my post wasn’t read as having a crack at higher income earners. What I meant is some are crying like babies about perceived discrimination regarding government handouts. Life can deal all sorts of unexpected blows. I believe we need a welfare safety net for those who really need it, not handouts for all and sundry regardless of income.


    I think it is much more difficult for younger people trying to get a start. I have family members, a young married couple with 2 small children, who are on an extremely good income but have no idea how to control their spending.

    They are not stupid, just uneducated about what is important and what is a waste of money.For example, they have purchased two old cottages, one with a bank mortgage, one privately through family. With the private one, they gutted it then went to the bank for a renovation loan and were turned down. Now it sits there, an empty shell and costs them every week. The second house is rented out while they live at their parents farm.

    They do not grow one single fruit or veg and instead of eating the few cattle they have raised, they sell them and constantly buy McDonald’s! Both have the latest mobile phones and a car each.

    They only buy brand name clothes for the children and have all the latest gadgets and big TVs. No savings and a huge child support bill for children from a previous marriage.

    They complain about not enough Government subsidy while they waste money so their friends will be impressed by the purchases in their home.

    OK, written out it does look pretty stupid! But I am (much) older and wiser! :blink:

    And I am not against people earning $150 000 or more, that is wonderful for them, I just think it is a shame that some do not have the skills to manage that income and be comfortable and happy with their lifestyle and feel they still need Government subsidy.

    As I said in an my earlier post, we live on well under $30 000 per year and we manage. My children grew up wearing second hand clothes and both still enjoy shopping in second hand shops. Both can also spot a bargain a mile off!! :woohoo:

    My Daughter knows to buy a second-hand car over a new model and even though she is earning an excellent income, she is frugal with her money and grows her veggies and has chooks at her rental home. These are life lessons not taught in schools but by parents – we may not think our kids are paying attention but be assured, a simple lifestyle does usually rub off on the next generation.

    We are leaving a better legacy than most of western society -no matter our income- we can be proud of that.


    Never had a new car and probably never will, why bother when it loses half its value the moment you take it out of the sales room? I have a personal hatred of airbags too, fine for big people, small people with fragile bones like me are likely to get a crushed ribcage even in a minor dingle, better off with just a seatbelt. My car manual advises me as a small person to sit as far back from the steering wheel as I can. Yeah. there is a good driving position, and that aint it.

    I actually have a mobile phone, someone gave one to me. No idea what the number is, and its prepaid credit probably ran out a year ago, never been used. Won’t work in our valley anyway.

    My son just turned 17, I have bought precisely one piece of school uniform at full price in his lifetime, he has been clothed from opshops. I went into the uniform shop recently, saw that the girl’s uniform is $55 for a cotton summer dress, the winter tunic is $80. She has two summer uniforms, I paid $2 at the opshop for them.

    We are on about $50,000, plus a bit of family tax whatever they call it allowance, average salary with an average mortgage of 200,000. Definitely struggling with bills, but we eat pretty well. We have chooks and a veggie garden, now a cow and some pigs arriving, and a little agreement with the butcher which means almost free bacon real soon. On solar and rainwater so looking on with horror at the recent water rates rises by the govt. Sympathy to those who have to pay it, I can’t see how the pensioners will manage. It is a real crock that they can’t even afford water to grow their own veg for health and budget happiness.

    Get real, Mr politician, water is a basic human right, not a taxable commodity.

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