60k a year or less, What Do You Go without?

As a high income earner, I consider my lifestyle average but I'd like to get the point of view of people that might think what I have isn't average but actually a little lavish. what do you go without?

To start, maybe a list of my standard costs of living

  • mortgage
  • refresh wardrobe once a year average spend $3k
  • average $20 a day on lunch, work days
  • cleaner once every 3-4 weeks
  • new iPhone every year
  • new laptop every couple years
  • one major technology buy a year (Apple Watch this year)
  • a couple domestic trips per year
  • ultimate fuel for my car, I don't know why, just feels better
  • 2 meals out both Saturday Sunday, every weekend
  • $4 coffee a day sometimes 2

Feel free to ask questions.. I want to find - are lower income earners actually very good with the money they earn? Do they go into debt? what can we learn from each other

Poll Options

  • 128
    I have everything I want
  • 28
    I want a fancy car and a big house
  • 68
    I can afford my mortgage and I'm fine
  • 217
    I can't save enough for a house
  • 24
    I still haven't got a car
  • 17
    What's a smart phone?
  • 22
    Other

Comments

        • +5 votes

          @andymatter: gumtree and I only do cash in person somewhere public. I don't trust any other way and

          PROTIP generally I'll sell when the new iPhone is announced and use a crap phone for a couple weeks because the resale value is much higher before all the others get on the street as it were.

  • +43 votes

    I consider my lifestyle average…

    Looking at your spending, I guess I'm below average. However I'm fortunately mortgage free, as it's easier to pay that off when you pack lunch everyday, drink instant coffee, and $3k would be my wardrobe budget for 10-12 years.

    •  

      So what do you spend you ex-mortgage money on?
      Save it or upgrade house?

      Definitely the wiser of us

      • +11 votes

        Kids' education? Private schools and piano lessons aren't cheap here in Sydney. Otherwise I'm pretty content with what I've got.

        • +5 votes

          Kids are still a few years till school but I think we will go the public route. We will see when the time comes. I'm sure my priorities will make a sharp change.

        • -1 vote

          @clickship: Private schools are where they will develop all the connections…which I think is worth the extra $20K per year IMO.

      • +9 votes

        Another thing about mortgage-free — it gives you more freedom. I was able to quit my corporate job to run this site. If the business is bad I probably won't get too stressed — I'll just take my time to find another job since I have my roof secured.

        • +2 votes

          You still have operational expenses such as food, fuel, bills etc
          I get what your saying, you need less to continue as you are with that removed.

          Btw- I admire your resistance to changing towards a stronger monetisation strategy. This site commercially is worth at least millions, I wouldn't be surprised if more than $100 mil.

        • +1 vote

          You may be richer than me, but you clearly have no idea about website value. Lol jk.

        • +1 vote

          @clickship: $100 million, with majority being in the form of goodwill then? I don't think so.

        •  

          @clickship:

          Haha you have no idea clickship. Sorry. Maybe you should go see what other similar community sites have been sold for (if they can find a buyer). There have been websites that make decent profits that have publicly listed for far far less than $100mil.

        •  

          @serpserpserp: underestimation is the skill of every poor salesman ;)

        •  

          @clickship:

          Flippant quotes don't justify outrageous valuations.

          Overestimation might work selling antiques but not selling community websites that generate little revenue.

        •  

          @serpserpserp: this site could be very easily monetised

        •  

          @clickship:

          Possibly, but for 100mil? The idea I have no problems with, yes it is worth something, but not 100mil, not even 1% of that in reality.

        •  

          @serpserpserp: I could sell front page ad campaigns for about $150k a week, I could sell rolling impressions on about 3-4$ per thousand. I'd need the traffic to be able to calculate it out but $100 mil is a very realistic target if the site was getting enough traffic

    • +24 votes

      As the founder of Australia's premier bargain hunting website I would expect your spending habits to be below average :)

  •  

    You take home about $3.8k a month approx
    Your expenses noted, not including mortgage, come to about from my estimates $1500-$1700/month.

    That gives you about $2k/month for all other living expenses including mortgage, insurance, groceries etc.

    I mean, its livable, depending on your mortgage costs but looks a bit tight.
    A lot of room to save though, which is a positive looking forward.
    Could easily save a further $500/month, if not $1000/month

    • +2 votes

      sorry I didn't specify my income. I earn in the top tax bracket.

      • +1 vote

        sorry I mis-read it. just looked at the title. why ask the question then?

      • +7 votes

        If you're earning in top tax bracket 180k+ then what you spend is very reasonable, I reckon.
        I earn under <60k but I spend about the same as you minus the mortgage.

        I think main problem with low income earners is saving for a house, but then again, at the way I'm spending I'm not surprised I don't have money for a house.

        • +2 votes

          The poll is showing the same. Housing prices in relation to income are pretty insane, I mean parents will complain interest rates were like 17% in their day but the mortgage payment was 30% of their income. Most people are playing 30% of their income now at 5% interest rates- imagine if interest rates go up!

        • +1 vote

          @clickship: It was at least 50% of an average income

        •  

          @clickship: Actually the sad thing is most people these days pay a lot more than 30% of their income, as the banks will let you borrow to the capacity of 30% of gross income, not nett.

        •  

          @Tiggrrrrr: banks job is to make money, people need to make responsible borrowing decisions

      •  

        What is your gross income then?

      • -2 votes

        i think its only fair that you share what you get paid , not like we're going to know, oh its john from commbank on ozbargain and there have been others that have provided what they earn too, how you think they feel giving their income for your satisfaction and research

        • +2 votes

          Revealing my income only provides a unit of measure and the purpose of the thread is not for people to measure themselves but learn from the experience and knowledge of others.
          sorry it won't be happening

    • +12 votes

      I am on a $25,000 a year, live out of home (rent = $165 per week + bills) and am able to save ~$200 per week.

      • +5 votes

        Go you! I have far more respect for low income earners who can save. It shows you understand the value of saving as opposed to having the newest this or that just for the sake of it.
        I doubt there are very many people (especially in your income bracket) who can confidently say they save 40% of their income.

      •  

        well done, keep up the hard savings
        '

      •  

        Any tips I earn about the same and my rent is 200. At the moment I am struggling to save at all.

        • +1 vote
          • Prepare all meals at home. I make epic meals and put them in tupperwear in the freezer and pull them out the night before I want to eat, pasta, risotto etc all freeze very well and keep for ages. Buy whatever is cheap at the supermarket and build meals around that, for example capsicum is cheap at the moment, ~$2.5/kilo, so I made stuffed capsicums. Also porridge, add a banana and some cocoa powder and you have a healthy tasty breakfast made quickly for less than $1 per serve.
          • Ride a bike to get around.
          • Get some hobbies that require little money… I'm studying so I spend a lot of my spare time doing that. Through the uni I have access to a basketball stadium and gym so I go there occasionally. I also train with a local football team 2x per week and volunteer at the local surf lifesaving club. All of these activities are free.
          • Organise holidays using state owned camping grounds, $6 per night in queensland and there are some beautiful spots, once you outlay initial costs, tent, sleeping bag, mat you can have a fantastic holiday very cheaply.

          Thats pretty much how I do it, that said occasionally there are things I need to purchase which eat into savings, ie. night out, new clothes etc.

  • +9 votes

    relax guys, if Rhodes and Beckett shirts and iPhones make him happy, then it's not a "waste"

    he's living the iPhone dream the way I see it

    • +1 vote

      I'm sure it is a waste and in the next stage of my life when my kids are a little older and I'm a little wiser - I'll think I shouldn't have but the way I see it - my phone is with me almost 100% of the time so in terms of usage per $s spent, its actually very little to spend on a phone.

      Same with work wear, I use it 71% of the year.

      •  

        so then why would you say "I'm sure it's a waste"?
        I didn't say it was a waste and you have tried to justify it.

        so ignore all the plebs who don't understand the concept of 100% and 71% of time

        • +1 vote

          I was saying that I actually do think it's a waste.
          functionally I could get a phone that serves my purpose for probably $150 these day or I probably could have stopped at the iPhone 4.
          The rest of the response was how I sleep at night with buying it anyway haha

        •  

          @clickship: so then why didn't you stop at the iPhone 4? genuine question seeking a genuine response.

        •  

          @edwinlin88:

          the speed and the camera I guess was enough to get me to upgrade. the iPhone 6 Plus got me with the bigger screen and camera and the fact that it would replace my iPad (which it has)

          I think the iPhone 6 standard size would actually have been the better buy overall as the 6 plus is too big for non internet related use but the stupid optical image stabilisation on the video got me.

          It didn't take much, to be honest I'd be a liar if I didn't admit seeing people get the new one didn't make me jealous too.

        • +4 votes

          @clickship: that's how I feel everyday when I see people with iPhones :(
          gonna work harder, make 60k+ and buy myself one of them fruit one day

        •  

          @edwinlin88: even up to a few years ago I was working multiple jobs and running my own business to make more money.

          Ozbargain is a great platform for entrepreneurs

        •  

          @edwinlin88: It's ok, android is better anyway.

        •  

          @algy: I think you confused cheaper and better

        •  

          @clickship: I did not.
          As a linux man, I like a(n) (apparent and usable) *nix based OS, that's one plus in Androids court, then we have the more impressive spec'd hardware, the much better battery life and lastly, the price is an added bonus. I have no qualms spending cash, and if I thought iPhones were better, I would buy one.

        •  

          @algy: Spec means nothing if it's not run efficiently by the software and how can it be when the software is built for one size fits all million variants?
          I refute the spec is actually better when considered together with the software, aswell as battery life. Can't argue on price except if you care about quality, service and build materials.

        • +1 vote

          @clickship: The software is not the same on different hardware. Or at least, it isn't unless you want it to be. Each manufacturer tweaks the base 'ASOP' Android system to suit the specific hardware of the device. That's like saying that iOS is inefficient because the exact same copy of iOS runs of every iPhone. It doesn't; that would be wrong.

          I still hold that the battery life is better on a top-of-the line Android phone to the latest iPhones, not all the time, but a chunk of it.

          If you compare $200 Android phones to an iPhone, you aren't doing a fair comparison, you need to look at the top of the line Android phones in order to fairly compare them to the competition. There are some (plenty) of android phones that done hold up to Apple's build quality - apple make great hardware - but there are some Android phones that are at least on par, if not better, than Apple's offerings.

          I know you won't be convinced, but maybe you will stop belittling a product that you obviously have no experience with.

        • +1 vote

          @algy: how do you already forget that you started by saying android is better anyway? you only have to scroll up a few lines. I have plenty of experience with both android and windows OS, I still occasionally unbrick one for a friend or help them install a new rom or perform a root.

          I bet i speak from more experience than you when i say there are many individual pieces that are debatable one way or the other like battery life but when you look at it overall, apple is way ahead.

        •  

          @clickship: When did I say Android wasn't better, how could you possibly get that impression? I 100% still hold that it is. You obviously don't have more experience than me if you think "apple is way ahead" - they aren't, and the way they're going they will never be again.

          Everything you've talked about is on the hardware side for Apple positives, do you actually have any positives of iOS? Or are you just trying to ignore the OS completely? iOS is limited more than bloody Windows, which I didn't even think was possible….

        •  

          @algy: how about stable, not ridden with malware and you don't have to choose what app to open everything in.

          How about consistency across devices in terms of user experience. How about family sharing, FaceTime which is video calling built in without needing to manage a background app.

          Do you need more?

        • +4 votes

          @clickship: 'Ridden with malware' - are you joking? Since when has malware been a substantial issue on android? Or even mobile in general? You'd have to be really stupid to get malware on a phone.

          I can SSH into my Andriod phone, or sftp or whatever I need, that's all the consistency I require, and iOS can't even offer that super basic functionality.

          I've never felt the need to video call, and if I did I have no qualms installing an app given how easy it is to do so on Android. Facetime is a background app, what makes it 'foreground' to you? It's installed by default, but other than that it's like any other app. iOS doesn't allow other apps to integrate with the system, but on Android I would get the notification that a call is coming through, which I can then answer, exactly like a normal call.

          I definitely need more.

      •  

        I like your logic in terms of time spent versus $ spent,

        But still we spent more on the leather couch than on the mattress where you spend 30 % of your life :-) and have most of the fun.

    • +3 votes

      It's your money do whatever you want with it and makes you happy. If it means a new iPhone every September, go for it. In your case, there's not much you need to do without.

      I earn less than $60k a year. A lot less. I do without smokes and booze, which saves a lot. I don't buy health insurance either. I rarely watch movies in the theatres. I don't dine at fancy restaurants. I buy most food from supermarkets and make it myself than pay what Subway charges for a roll with a bit of ham in it. I buy my phones grey imported and on special, and get cheap plans or prepaid, instead of paying off a phone on an $80pm plan. Oh and never iPhone, because those don't get discounted much.

      I have a mortgage too, but I get by with a small amount of savings.

      •  

        Movies in cinemas way too expensive. I bought a benq projector and 120" screen and more than happy to wait a few months and buy a bluray when it's on special. My phones usually grey market too and keep it for minimum 2 years. On yatango with 500mb data and $10 payg credit.

  • +11 votes

    I earn no where near the 100k mark and wife is on <30k year. We have one kid.

    I do think I have everything I want however I'm looking to increase my income. Here is my expenses against yours:

    • mortgage
    • refresh wardrobe once every 2 years, cost $400
    • average $20 a day on lunch, work days pack lunch for both myself and my wife
    • cleaner once every 3-4 weeks
    • second hand iPhone every 3 years
    • new desktop part every couple of year when the old part dies
    • no major technology buy
    • a couple domestic trips and international trip per year
    • E10 for my car
    • 1 meals out every weekend
    • instant coffee
    •  

      ive had my desktop computer for like 5+ years… havnt had anything die yet… maybe you keep yours on 24/7?

      •  

        I don't keep them on 24/7 but my mobo and VGA died on me within the last 2 years.

      • +1 vote

        I replaced my desktop with a nas drive and media player. It wasn't doing anything other than serving media anyway.

        Laptop does everything else. I guess I don't play games tho…

      •  

        I had mine for close to 5 years, couldn't take it no more and went and splurged on it the last month. 970 card, 27" monitor and 212x heat sink to give the cpu a boost. Should keep me happy for another 5 years I hope.

    •  

      A lot of what I read I expected but 2 things really stand out:
      1- most people eat way more meals at home or take food to work
      2- i spend too much on clothes

      How do you find travelling with a kid or are they older, like self sufficient age?

      • +1 vote

        exhausting. but fun

        •  

          Have been toying with this for a while but just cannot image how they will cope on a long haul flight. Maybe we should start somewhere like Bali

        •  

          @clickship: buy them an iphone I rkn. should keep em occupied. I'd recommend the iphone 6 plus with a bigger screen and camera

        • +1 vote

          @edwinlin88: hah, I'll chuck them on the old iPads but my wife has a 5minute rule with technology.

        •  

          @clickship:
          How does this 5 minute rule work?

        • +1 vote

          @movieman: she goes into the Clock app and sets the timer, then she watches until the timer rings. 5mins of usually straight to YouTube. It's amazing how they find the most efficient way of finding what they want when they are on a timer

        • +1 vote

          @clickship: That's a pretty bullshit rule to be honest. There is an insane amount of information on the web they are missing out on, not to mention important skills in the technological sector. But I don't know your kids, if they waste the time anyway I guess it doesn't matter.

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