ABC Article on "Long-Term Renters" and Home Ownership - Ridiculous

I find the entire premise of this article absolutely absurd. Granted, the concept that home ownership is beyond reach due to circumstances that are outside of a person's control seems to be something we can all sympathise/empathise with.

That is, until you get to the second paragraph:

The 35-year-old teacher lives in Sydney's south-west and has been saving to buy a property for four years, ever since she moved out of her family's home.
Both she and her husband save 10 per cent of their pay cheque towards a deposit

  1. She only started saving at age 31?
  2. She is only setting aside 10% of her pay?

I might be missing something here, but this reeks of entitlement.
How can anyone choose to spend their entire disposable income until the age of 31 then complain four years later that they cannot afford to buy a home.

I personally started setting aside money when I first started earning money - before I was even 15. I am just over double that age now and have 2 apartments - both with approximately 50% equity and 50% loan outstanding. No help from family or otherwise.

Since @GrueHunter was kind enough to try and challenge my numbers:

To anyone that thinks this couple can't save more than 10% of their income, have a look at a brief weekly budget below, and tell me what else you add that accounts for spending the rest of your disposable income of $1,700 per week after rental expenses.

$160k gross income - let's say $120k clear after tax.
$620/week rent. That's $32.2k/year.
So they clear just shy of $90k/year, which is $1,700 per week for bills and food.

The below expenses total $612 per week. Add whatever you want as monthly subscriptions. But that couple could be saving MUCH more than 10%.

Items Weekly Monthly Quarterly Yearly TOTAL WEEKLY
Electricity $ (300) $ (23)
Gas $ (100) $ (8)
Water $ (200) $ (15)
Contents Insurance $ (1,000) $ (19)
Fuel $ (40) $ (40)
Car Insurance $ (900) $ (17)
Car CTP $ (600) $ (12)
Car Rego $ (300) $ (6)
Car Payments $ (500) $ (115)
Health Insurance $ (397) $ (92)
Gym $ (100) $ (23)
Mobile 1 $ (60) $ (14)
Mobile 2 $ (60) $ (14)
Internet $ (60) $ (14)
Groceries $ (200) $ (200)


  • +117

    Its pretty simple, just get your rich parents to buy the house for you

    • +44

      ever since she moved out of her family's home

      Seems like she was living with her parents until she was 31 so should have been able to save up a deposit by now (I haven't read the article).

      • +69

        I'm 31 and don't have any savings for a house deposit. I had about 25k but decided to spend a year backpacking Europe instead of saving more for a deposit. Starting over sucks, but it was my own choice, and I wont be complaining about not having a deposit.

        House prices however, those I will complain about.

        • How much do you have now

        • What age did you start working? Do you still live at home rent free?

        • +8

          When I was 31 (nearly 10 years ago) I had done several trips overseas including spending 6 weeks in Europe, months in the US and Canada as well as smaller trips to NZ, pacific islands and lots of Australia too and still had over $100k saved and my partner had similar. I’d also paid off all my uni fees for both undergrad and postgrad studies, dined out, bought new computers and cameras etc when I wanted. So I kinda see where OP is coming from. It’s possible to enjoy life and save. but this really depends what your income is I noticed that friends who earned $20-30k less per year lived the same lifestyle but didn’t have savings. I kinda made it my mission to get the best paying jobs I could within my industry and for my experience as I quickly saw how much of a difference the extra $ made.

          Also now days $100k isn’t a deposit for much especially in Sydney, so for single people and lower income earners it would be difficult to save a deposit and do all of the typical things people do in their 20s. I also always lived in share housing until I met my now husband and then shared rent with him, so that was a significant saving.

          • @morse: Did mum and dad feed you till 31?

            • +5

              @sheepzpal: Nope, they fed me until 17 when I got my first job (quite old compared to my peers but before that I did work for my family's business) I moved into share housing at 19 got a little youth allowance whilst also working casually. I only really started 'saving' once I finished my studies and had travelled a little and was working full time, before then I just made ends meet. I'd say by about age 23-24 I was starting to save on top of my living expenses (as well as travel and have fun). I worked pretty hard on my career so that my pay increased steadily. So that gave me 8 years to accumulate those savings if we're using age 31 as the comparator, without relying on support from anyone else and also travelling etc. I think that's OPs point, it is actually possible to save money if you have a reasonable income, which the person in the article does. For some people there are barriers, but the example in the article doesn't add up.

              • +4

                @morse: Indeed, that was exactly my point. Thanks.
                You don't need to "not live" or rely on anyone else for financial support.

                It's possible. More easily possible with a decent income. But any increase or decrease in income should also be met with a commensurate increase or decrease in discretionary spending.

              • +4

                @morse: Were you single or partnered when you were saving? I found it a lot easier to save when I had a combined income rather than a single one. A lot of that was due to combined expenses only being slightly more than a single expense, as opposed to twice the price.

                • @Intoxicoligist: Both. I met my now husband at 27 and had some decent savings (can’t remember the exact figure maybe $80k) behind me then as did he. It definitely is easier saving for a house deposit with two people and we didn’t end up buying a place until our early 30s by which time we were model mortgage applicants with a very good deposit. We by no means slummed it either, travel, parties, rented nice units etc. We actually spent a fair bit on travel so would have had more if we didn’t. The people in the article could have done similar. It definitely is harder now, but to say they can only save 10% of their income if they don’t have kids doesn’t seem right.

          • +5

            @morse: when I was younger, people saved up to buy a house, then complained they couldn't afford to travel overseas

            more recently (pre-COVID), younger people put multiple overseas trips on their credit card, then complained they couldn't afford to buy a house

            • @Hangryuman: That's actually a really interesting comparison.

            • +1

              @Hangryuman: So true I know people with 50,000 credit card debt most spent on overseas travel. Well paid my house off and now travel overseas once a year. (pre covid)

        • +4

          At least you had some good years in your 20ties. I feel sorry for those poor kids that as soon as money comes in, they all put it away for MAYBE one day, buy a house. No joy in life, all save save save. Maybe Maybe one kid, as those little critters are costing more than a mortgage. Then when they hit 50, and body starts giving, they wonder what they did with their lives, while staring at that monster of a house that ate all their young years.

          • +6

            @cameldownunder: Its really a dammed if you do, damned if you dont situation. Either you scrimp and save to get a house early and lament missing out on experiences, or spend it on experiences and lament having to pay rent!

            I've made peace with the fact having a child and raising it the way I want to is probably not something I'll have the opportunity to do this lifetime. Its not particularly important to me, but a lot of friends who wanted big families as adults are facing the reality its not financially possible to support them.

          • @cameldownunder: That’s me.
            Exactly like what you said.
            Having said that I’m glad that we’re gonna be able to leave things behind for my kids
            Very different mentality but yeah does depend on what you want in life

          • @cameldownunder: I think a lot of young people are 'YOLO'ing their lives because of our messed up real estate market. This will eventually catchup with all Australian citizens when these people retire broke and expect a pension we as a nation cannot afford.

            • @afah0447: Government pension is a funny thing, it is means tested. So you save, you put your money in Super, and when you retire, you get means tested and you don't get any pension.
              On the other hand, you do not save and when you retire, oh look at this, you get the pension.
              So the government says it wants you to build up wealth, but actually "punishes" if you do.

              • @cameldownunder: Punishes? Government heavily subsidises your superannuation savings.

                • @Ponsonby: Subsidised with taxpayer's own taxes.

                  Taxpayers would be better off paying less taxes and not receiving subsidised savings.

                • @Ponsonby: "Punishes" You save, you won't get pension.

                  Government heavily subsidises your superannuation savings.

                  how ?

        • I was in a similar spot, except I started my current savings at the ripe old age of 33. I chose to travel and enjoy life so I'm not complaining and accepted that I needed to buckle down and work extra hard to catchup to everyone else.

          Fast forward almost 4 years later I now have enough deposit to stretch up to an ~800k place - the only thing that bugs me is that it still doesn't get you much in Sydney.

          That's as a single person, helping my parents with mortgage/living expenses on top of my own rent (living on my own since 21).

          While I have a decently high income, a couple should be able to do the same especially as they have the advantage of dual incomes, less risk for lending, additional cost savings through combined living and food expenses. They could share a 1bd apartment and cut their rents. Their savings percentage of only 10% doesn't make sense if they don't have kids etc.

        • +2

          Its not too late dude you are only 31yo. You just need to live like a monk for 5yrs (i mean save 60% of earnings, it can be done) and start off in an apartment some distance from the city or a regional town.

          If these two actions are not to your taste, you really dont want property then and you prioritise lifestyle over property ownership. The choice is yours.

          • +1

            @afah0447: Its about choices as far as I see it. I chose to live 3 mins from work because a reduced commute saves a LOT of money, but paying $450 in rent hurts even with the benefits. My partner's studying and I choose to support them while they are on Centrelink, but they dont live with me and pay their own rent (our choice, we'd need a bigger place if we lived together, and the cost of moving as well as increased rent in my area makes it not worth it IMHO). If I move regionally or out of the city the increase in other costs offsets (not entirely, but somewhat) the lower costs of living further from the city.

            I'm planning to stay where I am for the next 3 years and have a lease locked in, after which I'll reassess my skills and the job market.

            Ideally I'll have skills to work remotely 5 days a week while earning over 6 figures. Being able to do this while working anywhere in the world (post covid) would be the dream setup as its easy to save money when getting paid Aussie dollars while living in South East Asia or Eastern Europe.

            Honestly I could probably do this now but my current position is hitting a good balance of money/time/energy/learning/mentoring and my boss is someone I've known since my first IT job 10 years ago. This is definitely a lifestyle choice, but its one that I'm happy with as I'm learning skills that will earn me more money in the future. It might delay my home ownership by a few years but I've justified it with future earning potential (probably incorrectly tbh, but I'm ok with my choice).

            So yeah, it comes down to choices, and I definitely have made some that prioritise quality of life and comfort over saving money for property.

        • +1

          my brother owns 11 houses, bought his first home 35 years ago when they were cheap …..and his capital will now always allow him to outbid first home buyers …’s why other people can’t afford a home, get rid of negative gearing and people like my brother will move his money elsewhere, or jack up land taxes,

          luckily i own my own home already but feel for the 1st home buyer …..especially if interest rates go up one day.

    • -3

      On today's front page tabloid news…

    • -1

      And get a better paying job. Nfi why people complain. Rich parents, better payong job. It's simple.

    • Yea i'm trying to save up to buy for my kids now. Or else they will have a lot of problems buying a home next time.

  • +43

    The mentality needs to change being a 'top tier' earner doesnt make you rich.

    We need to stop basing taxation on income and base it on wealth.

    I know people with 10m net worth but have passive income at 60-70k paying less tax then the person who is making 150k but is million in debt

    Of course no one is entitled to own a home you need to work for it but if you ask me the system favours the top and bottom 1-2% too much and screws of the 96% of people who are in the middle

    • +3

      Interesting concept, but there are pros and cons to that.

      $10m net worth means there are a lot under-utilised assets. This person, albeit only earning $70k p.a. could actually be earning much, much more if they were utilising all of that.

      For example, at a very conservative 1.5% average gross return, that would already be $150k p.a. at least.

      So just because they CHOOSE not to utilise their net value for an income-producing venture, I don't think it means they should be taxed on the value of their asset.
      Hence I would still align with the tax system that taxes income-producing assets only.

      • Ill say this they are a couple they get around 70k ea

        I personally think the tax system now is very out dated a user based system is MUCH better and more fair.

        Ie get rid of income tax and shift the tax burden on something like GST (but a much great %)

        This would result in an inability to dodge tax due to a tax at the service/purchase opposed to a blanket tax on income which is only creating more and more inequity

        People who have money spend it people who dont simply dont, if you are earning lots of money doesnt actually mean you have a lot of money and vice versa - the tax system should reflect the fact there are more asset rich people then income rich people on the planet

        I literally know 80 y.o sitting on 12m houses not wanting to sell becuz they will lose their pension WTF

        • +17

          It's a nice theory, but it really only taxes the poor harder.

          There's 3 things you can do with your money: spend, save or (financially) invest. ('Financially' because: Investing in a house will have a GST cost on it, but investing in the stock market does not - the latter is the 'financially' one I'm discussing because you can easily invest $X in the stock market. You can't easily buy a house for $X).

          GST doesn't apply to savings or investments (which are the 2 hardest things for poor people to have).
          If you spend 100% of your income, the GST is a tax on 100% of your income.

        • +9

          I'm right there with you on the multi-millionaire pensioners, but

          People who have money spend it people who dont simply dont

          Proportionally, poor people spend far more of their money than rich people do. e.g. if you only have $20 a week, you're probably spending it all on necessities. If you have $20000 a week to burn, you're probably investing a fair chunk of it.

          Wealthy people can also partially avoid consumption taxes by doing their consumption offshore, or through company structures.

          • +1

            @abb: Wealthy people avoid income tax by tax loop holes in other nations far easier then buying a car O/s and importing it

            A consumption tax simply can close this loop whole with a import tax - Right now if you buy something on Ebay they ad GST i dont see why we can do that with other items?

            As for poor people spending on essentials i agree thats why you have essential items exempt or taxed less

            • @Trying2SaveABuck: Physically being overseas to go shopping/holidaying was the scenario I had in mind.

              If you have no income tax, a person could own half of Australia, collect the proceeds, live elsewhere, and never pay a cent in tax.

              • @abb: This is still happening under the current system - ill use 2 simple examples - BHP and TLS are Australian companies listed on the ASX but have a 'shelf' company in Singapore due to the cooperate tax rate being no > then 15% there

                In the scenario you mentioned you are correct they wouldnt take tax (or only a nominal) on the income made but the cost of up keep for the investments would be more then what a normal person would pay in tax.

                Ie you have a commercial property the cost of maintaining the building etc would be 5-10 times higher - most regular people dont have commercial properties so it doesnt really affect the poor but it ensures wealthy people pay there fair share of tax in one way or another.

            • @Trying2SaveABuck: They already do. I doubt you'll be importing a $100k car from Japan without it going through customs and having tax slapped on top of it.

          • +2

            @abb: Rich people are the people who don't spend money. Otherwise how do you think they got rich.
            To be rich you must not spend, you must focus exclusively on earning/making connections who balance positively in your "get rich" vision.
            So the lower earning people, who "gratify" themselves with a new TV, and Apple Watch, an Apple Phone and a car, are the one who then will carry the onus.

        • Then it's not $10m net worth. It's $5m per person.

        • People who have money spend it people who dont simply dont

          Have you not seen those people buying Marc Jacobs handbag for $6000 maxing out their credit cards and paying it off for two years at like 36% interest rate? It's only one example.

          • +4

            @CocaKoala: In ever society there are idiot's you cant protect people from their own stupidity

            • -5

              @Trying2SaveABuck: Yeah just because someone is an idiot let's come up with a cunning plan to wipe them out. Very empathetic.

              • +2

                @CocaKoala: lol im not wiping anyone out if you're unhappy with the current taxation system then talk to ur local MP to make a change?

                Im not empathetic if people spend 10k on a handbag on credit and have to pay 25% interest. It isnt my job to stop stupid people being stupid.

                We live in a 'free' country if you want to take out a 2nd mortgage and gamble or waste your money away go for it.

                Why would I or anyone else feel sorry for you when you cant pay your debts?

                Perhaps if we stopped putting stupid people at the forefront of our decisions instead put the best and brightest there we might not have so many people struggling to survive.

                • @Trying2SaveABuck:

                  if you're unhappy with the current taxation system then talk to ur local MP to make a change?

                  Perhaps you wanted to respond to someone else in here? If not, when exactly did I tell you that? I am very happy with the taxation system, but all I said to you was that people who spend money need not necessarily have it with them, and I cited a simple example for that.

                  Poor people cannot go without paying rent or bills and they still need to get groceries, food, petrol and what not. They are going to have to use some form of credit to do it. There are also the other kind of people who become poor because of spending money they don't have, but do consider for a moment that they are perhaps like that because they did not have the education and/or upbringing as you do (assuming you don't spend like that based on your responses).

                  We do not build a society with an "I don't care about them" attitude. We care for each other, and try and make sure that everyone has at least the basics and that's why we have things like medicare safety net, public health system, and so on.

                  We live in a 'free' country if you want to take out a 2nd mortgage and gamble or waste your money away go for it.

                  No need for strawman arguments - I did not tell any of these are good. Neither have I endorsed gambling, so why bother with all this codswallop unless you meant to respond to someone else?

                  If fact, even the rich will spend money that they do not have. I borrow money from the banks for buying equipment and supplies, lease a car, etc. because it helps me offset some of the tax. This does not necessarily mean I am poor or broke or that I'm squandering money away; in fact quite the opposite. Leave little me alone. Gigantic companies like Microsoft, Google, etc. borrow money (and thereby "spend money that they do not have") not because they're poor but because they are rich.

                  In poor people's case they still will spend money because they cannot live a decent existence otherwise and that money is going to be borrowed. They don't need to have it to spend it.

        • +2

          GST or Consumption taxes are (proportionally) skewed to the less wealthy as well.

          • @Rumstein: There is some truth to that but at least the skew will happen at a domestic level right now we got foreign companies taken money out of Australia paying not tax.

            A consumption takes would ensure more money stays here - no system is perfect but it is a fairer system

            • @Trying2SaveABuck: Consumption tax isn't aimed at businesses, it's aimed at end consumers. Businesses can claim back the majority of GST paid on their expenses.

    • +3

      Don't you punish me for saving since I was about 15… I will pay my house off by the time I'm 35…

    • Problem is it's very hard to value some assets and also you don't want to penalise people for not spending all their money and incentive people to move assets of Australia.

      You'd be better off advocating for wealth taxes at fixed points e.g. death.

    • +5

      How do you define wealth and net worth to tax people? Wealth is variable, it can be 10 million in shares today but it could be 0 tomorrow i.e enron. A retiree lives in a family home for decades might sit on a million $ home, but they don't have an income so you force people to sell their home to pay tax? That is kinda robbery. Taxing on wealth is double taxing as well. I paid tax on my income, i accumulate that and let say i put it in 0% interest account, you would tax on that again?

    • Being charged on "wealth" is stealing, no two ways about it.

      Implement a good income tax, don't try and backdate mistakes by taxing something so nebulous as "wealth".

  • +33

    If you live in Sydney rent is very expensive. A teachers salary wouldn't get you far. Maybe 10% is all she can afford after rent, bills and food.

    • +43

      Not to mention the supply issue as well - it doesn't help if people are buying extra properties for investment purposes and so forth.

      To own 2 apartments and casually say "Well I managed to get some" reminds me of the toilet paper hoarders of 2020, creating a situation that they intend to profit from.

      • +12

        He was just having a humble brag. Let him have his smug moment.

      • Gone are the days of the Great Australian Dream to own your own home, now it's to have multiple IPs.

        • +1

          *multiple negatively geared IPs, a family home worth a mil, and still drawing the aged pension

    • +2

      The couple has a combined income of $160k.
      They are paying $620/week in rent. That's $32.2k/year. So just shy of $130k clear/year.

      Take even more ouut and let's go with a conservative $100k/year in disposable income.
      I don't know about you, but I don't know many couples that spend anywhere near $2k/week on bills and food.

      • +20

        620 a week in rent and saving for a home.


        Hearing migrant stories of people working two jobs etc. You can tell that most Aussies don't have the discipline to save. To make big lifestyle changes.

      • Could be $160k gross so lop off another 30 - 40k for tax

        • +16

          $120k clear after tax.

          Less $32.2k/year for rent.

          Just shy of $90k/year, which is $1.7k per week for bills and food.

          That's more than enough to indicate that they could be saving FAR MORE than 10%.

          • +34

            @CrushJelly: Are you suggesting they shouldn't have bought two new BMW's on lease, and shouldn't eat out 5 times a week? How would they survive?

          • +15

            @CrushJelly: Seeing as though you seem to be constantly revising that number down because you're bad at maths, how about you take off electricity, gas, Internet, mobile phones, health insurance, contents insurance, clothing, shoes, petrol, parking, rego, car insurance, (probably) a car loan, prescriptions, groceries, HECS / HELP debt repayment, and then see how much is left? You're welcome to say they should live like medieval peasants so we'll leave out modest entertainment expenses like the occasional meal out and gasp a Netflix sub. You can even say they're left with a zero balance in their account every week, because that's smart, isn't it?

            While you're at it you can lend them your time machine so they can go back and buy at whatever prices were when you bought a place.

            For someone who reckons they're only 30-something, you f'n moan like a boomer. I saved for four months to buy my house in 2002, and here you are complaining that someone who reckons four years is a bit much has to be weak.

            • +12

              @GrueHunter: Let's put your money where your mouth is.

              The below totals $612 per week. You can add in your HECS repayment, Netflix subscriptions and change some of the numbers. But at the end of the day, does it look like it adds up anywhere close to $1,700 per week?

              Items Weekly Monthly Quarterly Yearly TOTAL WEEKLY
              Electricity $ (300) $ (23)
              Gas $ (100) $ (8)
              Water $ (200) $ (15)
              Contents Insurance $ (1,000) $ (19)
              Fuel $ (40) $ (40)
              Car Insurance $ (900) $ (17)
              Car CTP $ (600) $ (12)
              Car Rego $ (300) $ (6)
              Car Payments $ (500) $ (115)
              Health Insurance $ (397) $ (92)
              Gym $ (100) $ (23)
              Mobile 1 $ (60) $ (14)
              Mobile 2 $ (60) $ (14)
              Internet $ (60) $ (14)
              Groceries $ (200) $ (200)
              • +13

                @CrushJelly: Potentially my comments below will help with refining your costs. This is feedback based on my own experience:

                1. Car Costs - Potentially should be x 2 for all categories to account for two cars for the couple? They each may require a car for work/personal requirements.
                  Not sure if Car Servicing is also included, which could be between $500-$1500/yr.
                  Car Insurance can be closer to $1500 in SW Sydney as well.
                2. Public Transport - Some allowance for public transport for when the car is not utilised. If there is only one car, then this number needs to be higher to account for the higher usage costs for the other person.
                3. Fuel - This could be on the lower side, especially if they have to travel large distances for work.
                4. Medical/Health - To cover things that are not covered by Medicare/Health Insurance. This can be things like on-going prescriptions (which can be substantial) to unforeseen medical requirements (e.g. IVF to emergency dental work to say a new pair of glasses).
                5. Professional/Union Memberships - Can be typically around $500-700/year for each association. Could be about two for each person.
                6. Household Goods - General household goods such as furniture and appliances. Will need to include a depreciation amount to ensure the items get replaced in future as well.
                7. Discretionary Spending - Eating out/entertainment/holidays/etc - Definitely non-compulsory from a financial perspective but arguably required from a mental well-being perspective.
                8. "Rainy Day" savings - It's possible that they have other savings in addition to the 10% for the deposit? Generally it's good to have separate saving funds (e.g. deposit and rainy day).
                9. Life insurance/TPD/Trauma - Some may elect to have these insurances outside of super.
                10. Child costs - It may not be applicable to them but if they have children, this would be an additional expense that needs to be considered. Generally all grocery/insurance/health categories will go up with additional provision for schooling/daycare. Daycare can be around $300/week for one child for 5 days.

                You've done pretty well for yourself. I guess the question is if you would be able to replicate what you did from 15 years old in today's climate with the current property prices and income.

                • +4

                  @dannyboi: Car costs, public transport and fuel are all inter-related costs. One goes up, the others will go down. My numbers are based on a number of assumptions.

                  Medical/Health - that amount could arguaby be baked into the savings. Pair of glasses every year should be fully covered under private health insurance. You have a myriad of options for no-gaps dental and optical. Emergency health such as emergency dental work should always come out of savings.

                  Professional Memberships are predominantly reimbursed by the company you work for.

                  Household goods - yes agree with a depreciation schedule for this. One off costs, however, I am not including in the budget for simplicity's sake.

                  Discretionary spending - I left out of these numbers on purpose. The large discrepancy between the calculated $612 and the $1.7k disposable income should be enough to evidence that there is definitely room for discretionary spending to occur.

                  Child costs - of course. Huge. Article made no mention so I made no assumptions to the contrary.

                  At the end of the day, these numbers are based on MY family's numbers. We are a family of 2 adults and 1 child. Living in Sydney.

              • +1

                @CrushJelly: Gas bill is a little light and the Gym can be deleted entirely but apart from that this budget is definitely feasible.

                Agree with @dannyboi in adding a modest line-item for Discretionary/Free spend to stop them going crazy.

              • @CrushJelly: Sorry, $300 a QUARTER for electricity?

                You might want to have a look at this:


                • @caitsith01:

                  You might want to have a look at this:


                  Average Electricity Bills in Australia
                  New South Wales $1,421

                  I'll do the maths for you - $1,421 / 4 = $355 per quarter.

                  Oh, but let's have a look at the explanatory text:

                  The costs reported include households of all sizes and should only be considered as a general guide

                  The couple in question are a household of 2 people. Arguably a 2 person household represents less than the average household. Hence a commensurate reduction to $300 a quarter.

                  • @CrushJelly: Hey, you're right. How the hell are people getting away with $300-400 per quarter for power? I misread it because my power bill is easily $700-1000 per quarter.

                    • @caitsith01: How big is your household and what appliances are you using?

                      $1,000 per quarter is almost $11/day. If we use a highly conservative $0.30 per kWh (usually it's between 20c-30c per kWh), it calculates that you are consuming 36kWh per day.

                      If I assume $0.25 per kWh, that means you're consuming 55kWh per day.

                      For either of those above numbers, that is A LOT of energy.

                      A fridge would be typically consume 2kWh per day (24hrs) at the most. So there is something wrong with your consumption.

                      • @CrushJelly: 36kWh per day is spot on per my last bill. Fridge is new and efficient. Main problem is probably a big relatively old house with poor insulation, electric hot water and R/C air conditioning leading to a lot of power being used on heating/cooling air and water.

                        • @caitsith01: Air conditioning doesn't need to be on 24/7. Conservatively, if you're running a 2.5kW system at half capacity 24 hours a day, you're already consuming 30kWh for air con alone. That's insane.

                          Wear a jumper.

                          It might only be an extra few dollars a day, much like an extra coffee would cost. But it all adds up - as you can tell from your electricity bill.

              • +1

                @CrushJelly: with $620/w rent a couple can be less than 5km from cbd and get 2 push bikes so you can get rid of all car related expenses .. On that income they are below Medicare surcharge so no need for private health … contents insurance is also BS.. again on that income you shouldn't really have expensive sht when you dont have any wealth yet.. mobile is more like $10/month these days ..$100 year .. Groceries, we eat meat everyday and I still can't meet the Coles $120/weekly threshold to get the flybuys bonus.. you were very kind your numbers there ;)

      • +5

        Are the comments she makes in the article about $620/week in Sth West Sydney reasonable? Had a quick look on and I don't see how they think they can't do better there. It's probably the biggest expense saving they can make as far as essential spending goes.

        10% saving on that salary simply doesn't make sense. Something is missing, facts getting in the way of a good story? That's's speciality, ABC moving in on their territory.

      • +10

        $620 a week rent is also a new thing for them. So for the majority of those 4 years they were paying only around $520 a week rent and still could only stash away 10% a week. Their whole sob story is pathetic, especially the idea that they could not possibly find cheaper. Really ABC do themselves and us a huge disservice and greatly diminish the value of the story with these 2 entitled muppets.

        • to be fair the article says moving further away "wasn't an option" due to where her husband works (can her husband not find a different job? the article makes no mention of the profession) and I presume they want to buy were they are now which I presume would be costly (around $806K based on 4% residential rental yields). Also $620 feels kinda steep for just a 2 people, I'm curious where this is and what type of accommodation, it's substantially different situation if they are in a small studio apartment vs a 2 BR house with a yard because they like the life-style (when you have a goal you want to achieve).

          I think most people understand that your first home will likely not be your last and you have to compromise, perhaps buying further out and escape the rent trap, renovate the place and then trade. So while I can see some people's view, based on the choices the couple have made I feel little sympathy as I agree with the OP they still do have a lot more options and shows little determination to get to where they want. The ABC would better serve by reporting the many more situations that would suit better to the tone of the article

    • +29

      They have a combined income of $160,000 gross per year, and their rent is $650 p/week. Their tax will be around 48k, their rent is 34k and their savings 11k. This leaves around $93,000 per year to spend on bills and food.

      something doesn't add up.

      • +11

        Exactly. It's a lot of disposable income. 10% in savings is disproportionally tiny.

      • +1

        The ATO's 'Simple Tax Calculator' gives me a figure of $16467 tax on a taxable income of $80k. $16467x2+ Medicare levy of $1600x2= $36134 total tax bill.

        • +1

          So my $160k gross to $120k tax clear seems to be right on the ballpark.

          • +1

            @CrushJelly: Yeah they should clear $123,866.

          • +6

            @CrushJelly: I'm guessing that one of them earns more than the other. Eg/ $100k + $60k = $160k. So they would actually be taxed higher, and shave off a couple thousand more, of what is available to them. Not that it makes a difference. Ideally, you should be saving 10% if you're poor/disadvantaged, if you are decent then 20% makes more sense, whilst people on and above the average-margin will be saving/investing about 40% or more. So that figure itself is progressive, since your cost of living doesn't really change much.

            I should note, I don't disagree with you.
            I think the article is correct, the situation is farked, but it isn't for this couple. I mean they can together grit their teeth for ONE YEAR and have zero expenses and live with their parents. Boom. You have your 10% deposit for a crap house in Sydney/Melbourne that costs a million. Be diligent, and suddenly you have 20% or more.

            I don't have that luxury. Many people also don't. I have the opposite problem.
            Most people here are cutting their expenses, but they're getting further and further away from the rat-race simply because they earn realistic wages. We're talking about $50k/Median Wage, as opposed to the $100k/Average Wage. Huge discrepancy right there.

      • +2

        Cocaine is expensive yo!

      • All those damn PS5s aren't going to pay for themselves!

  • +5

    My only comment is does the pair have kids? If they have kids, then understandable that it'll be very hard to save a decent chunk of money; but if no kids (and I don't think the article mentions kids), then I wonder what else they are spending on to only be able to save 10%. I'm a single income earning less than their combined and can personally still save 20%-40% each month by only spending on the absolute necessities (i.e. no entertainment, which is kind of depressing sometimes).

    For the record, I do agree it is very hard for younger people to buy a house now, the prices and resulting deposit requirements are crazy when you're just starting to work on a typically low salary.

    • +3

      There's always a balance between spending and saving.
      You've found that you're happy to give up some items for a potential future asset. Which also requires a lot of self-discipline.

      • +5

        I find it extraordinary they haven't saved more in recent months given how cheap avocados are currently.

        • +1

          If they lived in Brisbane, there were 4c avocadoes for sale. Would have brought the dump truck.

    • The article does not mention any kids, I'm sure they would if they had kids.

      • No - then the article would be about how they can't afford child care.

  • +2

    Let's say after tax she takes home $60k (seems fair given her age and profession).

    Average Australian spends $18k per year excluding rent.
    $60k - $18k = $42k

    Rent + other major life expenses not included above $2k per month = $24k
    $42k - $24k = $18k

    Quite easy to have a few holidays or pay off wedding etc that would have impacted previous years or the current years.

    Wouldn't be unrealistic to only save 10% especially if they are also putting away some money into investments.

    • +8

      That calculation seems fair for the last four years.

      But what about before - the article reads as if she basically spent all of her disposable income prior to turning 31.

      • +6

        she basically spent all of her disposable income prior to turning 31

        Certainly sounds like it…

      • Average wedding cost in Australia $50k might be a big one plus any honeymoon expenses.

        Potential car(s)? I think at the age range they may have moved on from their first sh*tbox hahah
        - Assuming $20-30k spent on a vehicle or repayments over a few years

        Holidays - teachers get 12+ weeks of leave and at her younger years she may have simply taken the opportunity to holiday more or have recreational activities?
        - some of my friends who are teachers in VIC get so bored they often travel during the term holidays as it's affordable and two weeks is enough time for parts Asia, NZ or interstate

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