What is considered a good pay now?

With the rampant inflation I haven't kept up, what is considered average and a good pay now? Assuming 1 person.


    • -2

      Nurses and doctors not only get paid overtime, they get paid crazy penalty rates.

      Pretty much all officeworkers who are earning these high salaries are doing 80+ hours a week with zero overtime pay.

  • -1

    I would say 1mil upwards.
    Your question is rather worded ridiculous

  • +3

    Are we all talking before tax or after tax?

    I think BEFORE tax income of >$100k for a single and >$130k for a household is considered decent (i.e., middle to upper middle class).

    An individual BEOREE tax income of >$150k for a single and >$220k for a household considered good (i.e., upper middle class to upper).

    The really upper class Mosmonite type people, I often see earning BEFORE tax >$350k, with a tonne of deductibles, smart tax structures and investments via private wealth advisers - in other words they have a high BEFORE tax income and AFTER TAX income. The caveat with this is it often comes with a high pressure job, broken families and surpringly higher financial stress. As they say, 'more money, more problems'. Not all the time, but it is rare to see high income earners who are content and consider their income as 'good'.

    Our household is currently on BEFORE tax income of $160k. Dual income, 1 kid. We don't have a mortgage and want to try save for a healthy deposit in the next 5 years. Fingers crossed inflation doesn't eat away our purchasing power too much by then..

    In the end, it doesn't even matter. No purpose in comparing other incomes than for the sole purpose of scoping out the market for a job. There are many factors to be considered when it comes to what is (subjectively) good income, notably the kind of lifestyle, family dependents, hours of work, etc.

    • +5

      This whole "more money, more problems" is a HUGE cope. There is no evidence other than people saying it to make them feel better. It's really subjective.. I know plenty of people who have no money and more problems. I know people who's dad is CEO and has no problems. The point is.. its a cope. And it's not true when averaged out. Sure in pockets its true..

      However I do agree.. "Keeping up with the Jones" It is a thing among everyone. Envy and Jealously is natural. It is also a big reason why we drive innovation and try to "win".

      • Perhaps those that have 'more money more problems' are more vocal at times. I doubt something who is relatively comfortable with a lot of income/assets would be crying about the little problems they have.

        Hence I say, not all the time, but in my experience the high income earners i've come across have mostly fallen into the category of 'more problems'. This could also be the fact they are mostly business owners so recent times haven't been good for them.

        • It's confirmation bias. It's likely not true. It's just you happened to know people with more problems who are rich.

      • +2

        I agree. The only people that say they are happier since leaving their high income jobs behind are those that accumulated serious wealth during their high income years and are now living a flâneur lifestyle on their self-compounding wealth.

        Like, duh, of course living a fully self-actualised lifestyle funded by investment income is satisfying.

        • +4


          The only folks who say "money can't buy happiness" are ones who:
          1) already have heaps; or
          2) don't have much and are pulling a "grapes are sour" type cope.

          • @ThadtheChad: Spot on.

          • @ThadtheChad: I dunno man, I know plenty of people who come from nothing, like third world countries, get a pretty good life here but still envious/greedy/bitter disgusting human beings and some become alcoholics.

            Even our family has moved up quite a bit over the last decade and I don't know if we're anu 'happier'. If anything, sometimes having more money makes things troublesome.

      • -1

        People who's dad is CEO and has no problems

        Yes the kids shouldn't have a problem but the dad will

    • +1

      Fingers crossed inflation doesn't eat away our purchasing power too much by then..

      That is biggest problem of them all. The house price is increasing much higher than the official inflation rate. You would need to find a place in areas far from the city, without good public transport, school, and shopping centres.

    • -1

      To make it interesting, a single income of $350k will ended up paying more tax than a couple earning $175k apiece.

      A $350k combined income isn't likely to get you to live in Mosman either unless it's one of those shoebox units that's rather close to the zoo.

  • 50k

  • Also depends on where you (want to) live. A $200k salary in Adelaide will make you feel richer than that same pay in Sydney.

  • +20

    This thread is depressing

    • I know right

      • +3

        Agreed. May I have a 'username checks out'.

        • +1

          As requested… Username checks out. (although I hope you feel relatively happy, I think there's far too much flexing in this thread).

          • +2

            @onesandtwos: If you think people here are flexing, wait till you see the threads at Whirlpool.

    • +7

      I made the mistake of clicking on this thread. I do not earn the 150k that many purport is a 'good' income for a single. It's reading threads like these that contribute to the feeling that somehow, the income I was completely fine with was not 'enough'. I think 85k is the start of the fairly comfortable band.

      Part of the issue is also the question. For me, a 'good' income is one where you have capacity to save, travel a little, and enjoy the weekly nice meal out without worrying that you're not living within your means.

      In contrast, if your definition of good means that you are having take out/uber/dining out every few days, going on an annual big overseas trip, a gadget upgrade, then that's quite extravagant to me; it doesn't really sound like there's any trade offs at all, so of course 150k will just barely cut it. Factor in kids and the purported 'cost of living' is insane.

      • +7

        i worked my ass off to get to 80k a year so i could feel "comfortable" with a mortage with wife who makes 80k year.

        then i had a kid.

        oh boy 80k felt like poverty.

        got to 130k a year and started to feel "comfortable" again.

        now second kid on the way and OH BOY do i feel like poverty!

        • What is so expensive about raising your children?

        • +1

          I have a kid, there aren't many expenses. The biggest expense for the first 3 years is nappies. Apart from that, its formula for the first year or so, then after that they can eat solid foods.

          What's so expensive about kids? Speaking from experience, kids are not as expensive as people think. If they are, you ain't doing it right. I had a look at the prices of private schools, there's no way I will pay for them to go (even though I can afford it easily). I just don't see them providing value. I pay my taxes and on top of that, I need to pay an extra $20k for private school, for what? Public schools are just fine.

          • @techlead: Ummmm, do you get free childcare or something? Do you not work, partner doesn't work, or grandparents to look after your kids for free? Private school fees are a bargain compared to childcare.

    • Maybe the thread was started by a psychologist

  • +2

    Depends what you want to be comfortable.
    I agree with most people ~150k pre-tax.
    I buy most stupid things that pop up on ozbargain, I pay most of the rent with my partner (have investment property, but choose to rent for taxation purposes like debt structuring etc.)
    We get take out and have nice dinners. No debt (investment paid off). Credit card always paid off.
    As others have said, it's what you burn not what you earn. I like buying stupid things, and happy having a little less in savings. We have 2 European cars. Could never do the barefoot investor style anymore. That was a past life.
    I'm happy this way.
    That said, I do need to get onto smarter tax structuring, getting better wealth advice. I'm paying way too much tax.
    And also I'm aware that people say "the things you own end up owning you" - I end up throwing away a lot of things.

    That said in my past life, I was also happy and comfortable as a student on ~30k (centrelink + casual work here and there).
    I'd buy my own groceries, come home to cook. Rarely went out to drink/party with friends etc because it wasn't a luxury I could afford. Never traveled in that period of time of 7 years.

  • Depends on which city you are in.

  • +2

    Any pay that hit my bank account is a good pay

  • +13

    Wtf do people spend their money on that they think you need 150k or whatever to have a decent life? When I was on 60k a few years ago I felt like I had more than enough to eat well, rent a nice place, travel, socialize etc.

    • +3

      100% agree.
      I had the same experience as you and never had an issue. on 60ish k a year i had a decent car, nice house, travelled and ate out regularly.

      But lifestyle must play a big part of it for some.
      I don’t smoke, don’t drink a lot and don’t go into debt.
      I’ve Always lived within my means.

      All I’ve found from earning more money is i spend more 🤷🏽‍♂️

    • +1

      Yeah you don't have kids

      • +1

        Some low-income families live on less than $60,000 pa.

        • +1

          They don't have a decent car, nice house, travel and eat out regularly.

          • @serpserpserp: People that live on social security can't afford any of those things.

            The same goes for people that get paid minimum wage.

            • +3

              @rektrading: What point are you trying to make with your replies? A guy says he lives comfortably on 60k with all these lifestyle features. I simply make the point he doesn't have kids. If he did he wouldn't have those features on 60k.

              You start talking about low income families and social security… But what is your point? We inherently know what you are saying.

          • @serpserpserp: what wrong with an Au falcon? and renting a modest house? we have not been eating out regularly due to covid or traveling either.

        • +4

          Some low-income families live on less than $60,000 pa.

          Yeah but we are not talking about survival, we are talking about good.

          $60k is not good.

          • @trapper: 60k without a family might be okay depending on what area you live, certainly not good anywhere near the CBD though.

      • +1

        Question was assuming one person, pretty sure that implies no kids.

    • +1

      Where do you live? What do you eat? How often do you travel? What do you do for entertainment?

    • +3

      Read my comment above.
      I was on 30k previously (Centrelink + casual work) and made do. I was happy. Like you I could eat well (although home cooked 90%+ of the time), rent a nice place (my place wasn't half bad with a roommate), travel (that one I couldn't afford), socialize (went out with friends occasionally) etc.
      Instantly made 3x that after graduation. I'm still happy but burning through a lot more money eating out, buying everything stupid thing on ozbargain etc. Could afford to travel prior to stupid COVID but these aren't necessarily the things that make me happy. It's just something I do now.

    • +1

      the answer is kids, because its not the day to day bills that make you feel uncomfortable.

      It's the future bills that make you feel uncomfortable with your income. Sending them to good schools, taking them on holidays, feeding them healthy, trying to give them good experiences so they can enjoy their youth before they finish school and realize they are (profanity) for the rest of their life and you have to apologise to them for bringing them into this world.

    • +1

      Wtf do people spend their money on that they think you need 150k or whatever to have a decent life?

      Probably home loan repayments? It's not too hard to guess, unfortunately, in Sydney and Melbourne at least.

    • Eneloops mostly. They are expensive.

  • +3

    Cost of housing is the killer, which is of course after tax.

    If one doesn’t pay rent or doesn’t have a mortgage then depending on your lifestyle choices you have more flexibility not to worry as much about income.

    Keeping up with the joneses or pushing to have more and more wealth then how long is a piece of string.

  • Good pay equals 300k

    • Only about 2% earn over 200, so very few doing well.

      • +3

        Its a good sanity checker when all these people on whirlpool and ozbargain say they earn 200k +, either the law of averages means fuk all online…….or everyone is just full of shit.

        I subscribe to people on the internet just talk heaps of shit

        • Agreed.

  • In 2010, $60k a year could get you a very comfortable life, a good house, etc. Heck, with my income of $28k of that time I can live well and still have some savings. Fast forward to 2022, I think it is right, you would need $200k as an equivalent, considering the tax, etc. The real inflation is definitely more than 10% each year.

    • +4

      I think you might have just grown up and realised what is worth spending extra money on and what isn't.
      E.g. I never bought any luxuries previously but now I buy stupid things that pop up here.
      E.g. I used to never take toll but now I always take toll if it saves me more than 1 minute per $1 of toll.
      (I could be completely wrong but this has been my experiences)

      • +5

        I may exaggerate too much, but I remember a Big Mac meal used to be $5, and now is more than $10. Not to mention the house price, which is where most of your spending goes to.

        • I remember Big Mac used to be Big

      • +1

        I think you might have just grown up and realised what is worth spending extra money on and what isn't.

        I find @leiiv's comment kinda correct. With the house prices (which usually takes one of the biggest portions of expenses), the change between 2010 and now 2022 is hectic to say the least, with not much changed in salaries/ wages in comparison of the house prices.

    • +4

      This is mainly due to the perpetual housing bubble and outrage costs required for a decent house in Melbourne, Sydney etc. in 2012 the prices were less than half what they are now.

  • $150k in Sydney, no kids.

    At least in the lifestyle I prefer.

  • +1

    Weird question, weird replies.

  • +5

    Given the amount of up votes I've seen for $1k+ graphics cards and teslas, I thought everyone was earning $200k+ p.a…

    • gotta meet those minimum spend requirements on all the credit cards

  • Oh about Tree Fiddy, Damn Lock Ness Monster!

  • Depends on state. Employers pay differently for the same role depending on which state you live in.

  • +1

    I think if anything your lifestyle is a big determinant of what you think is considered good pay. Obviously you cant compare someone who has kids with someone who doesn't or someone with a 500k mortgage with someone who has a 1.5mill one. I know people making good money (200k+ FIFO) but piss it all away on alcohol, gambling useless things to fuel their depressing job life balance obviously all the money in the world wouldn't be enough for them.

  • +36

    🥺 Here I am on $48k a year and I’d be over the moon with anything more than what I’m getting atm. I believe everyone is different on what income is good.

    I believe I am living comfortably, 4 kids, no debt, single income, entitled to FTB and i use that to pay my $420 a week rent. I’m Viet so it’s a lot of home cooked meals for us plus eating out/ordering once a week.

    We go out once a week, (more on school holidays) Birthdays and Xmas’s are great for my kids. They dress nicely and they have most gadgets a kid could want. Dont know how I did it but I definitely wasn’t stingy but I never overspend. I work only 3 mins from home. I have savings just over $20k (please don’t judge, I have been just “free” for 2 years on our own) Before I wasn’t even allowed to work or have money so any money I get is awesome and appreciated. Definitely proud of myself. Only way for me is up now!

    • +8

      the silent majority is not that different to you.
      in fact being debt free,single income and raising 4 kids is actually incredible in itself.

    • +1

      Honestly, kudos to you!

      I'm earning just under double what you are, and I don't have half those stressors so, well done!

      Also, never judging your savings balance! Saving is stupidly hard and it's not something to judge anyone about. If anything, I feel sorry for the people who don't have any because life is all about savings.

  • +2

    Recall at some point seek.com.au has one click job search button for $150k+ job then it became $200k. Seems like removed now.

    Tho income is a relative thing. Friends doing part time & making circa $70k or less with fully or partly paid house from inherited money looks far happier than full time $100k+ earning someone.

    • +1

      its still there on seek.

      you can search 200k +

  • How long is a piece of string? No matter how much you earn, you're always going to want more and realistically, there isn't a huge difference between $150k and $200k after taxes. You can live happily and comfortably on any income really depending on your lifestyle choices. Be content, work hard and focus on other things in life that are also important.

  • +3

    If you can save $40k per year in the bank, then it'll be great

  • +1

    good? maybe 200k

    although if i was in sydney or melbourne I would say 300k

  • +1

    Ask the question once interest rates rise and people start going broke.

    But what is a high income?

    Well the first apparent step is when middle class welfare is lost

    Probably 150000 to 170000ish depending on how many children you want other taxpayers to help you bring up.

    Then there is when div293 kicks in and when private health rebate go bye bye. I can't recall what that level is

    But I think I agree with an above poster, about 350-400k is high income in my books , half of that is good income.

    • From 1 July 2017, the Division 293 threshold is $250,000. Prior to this, it was $300,000.

      • Ok. When you start paying it, you don't need to know when it kicks in. Cause it will never go up.

        I think I heard it is 270kish when private health rebate is the lowest. But once again, it doesn't really matter, just extra taxes by stealth and all.

        • I guess once your earn 250k + a year, a few extra g in tax isn't the biggest worry on your mind.

          your doing fairly well by that stage

          • @MrThing: As is the attitude of most people who love me working for them.

            Middle class welfare is the worst.

            Shiny imported trinkets / iPhones purchased by lazy people (which I don't waste money in) from the fruits of my labour

            • @mdavant: horses for courses. some people think having the latest iphone is a must have, like somewhere to sleep each night.

    • Ask the question once interest rates rise and people start going broke.

      People have been hearing this for far too long.. this sounds inevitable but when's it gonna happen to the extent that it really makes an impact?

      • Well since people have borrowed iimsane amounts due to money printing generated boomtimes. A lot faster than if the govt didnt gift as much almost free money to the banks.

        High inflation and high levels of debt are not good bedfellows

  • -3

    nothing for me, invested in btc back in 2016. living pretty well off for now……

  • +1

    A "decent" income really depends on which state you live in. For me, I have the issue of always wanting more and not being content with what I have.

    Our household income is 200k, no kids, two mortgages and we aim to put aside 4-5k each month. Any commission is a bonus to our savings for the next investment property. We're in our late 20s.

    I felt richer when I was in uni on 15k a year lol

    • 100% agree with you.
      Similar situation, ~150-200k each. I'm saving quite little right now. Have enough for a rainy 6 months, and after that income insurance kicks in.
      One paid off mortgage. I have no time to do anything really.

      I felt richer when I was in uni on 15k a year lol

      Can't agree more. I actually had time to do life.

  • Gosh this thread is a bit much (way better than Whirlpool though). People need to consider expenses when discussing salaries.

    I will say earning roughly $60k a year after tax is decent in like Brisbane but if you are in Syd then that probably needs to become more like $80k.

    • +3

      The OP is asking about a "good" pay, not just decent.

  • +4

    Considering all ozbargainers are overachieving millionaires I would say atleast 500k + minimum.

    • millionaires who all drive a 10yr old Toyota Camry but

      • Millionaires who come to ozbargain looking for sales

        • to save 2% on a woolies shop

  • +8

    So much hyerpbole in this thread. People will always live within their means and push that to the uppper limit. Fools will go over that limit.

    There was a thread on reddit the other week where someone had done a sankey diagram of their income/spending from the perspective of a very well off couple on ~$300K per year living in NYC. People were roasting the poster because they were spending $300 a week on eating out on top of groceries which most users thought was absolutely atrocious. Crunching down how much they were actually saving - they were still saving about 25% of their income a year and investing it or putting it into their superannuation. That's a higher % than most people are saving.

    So lets break this down into some actual figures taken from the ATO FY19 (https://data.gov.au/data/organization/australiantaxationoffi...). You could adjust for inflation/wage growth if you really want to drill down but below is a good enough esimate.

    Minimum Wage for full time worker = $38.5K
    Low Salary (25th Percentile) = $40.7K
    Average Salary (50th Percentile) = $60K
    Good Salary (75th Percentile) = $90K
    Very Good Salary (90 Percentile) = $131K

    • +2

      I know they're not your figures, but it's a bit surprising to see that the gaps between the 'levels' are so small. Especially between the 'Minimum' and the 'Average' - which is actually two steps - it's only about $20K (even less after tax, at about $15K).

    • This is from May 2021, more recent:

      Also better to look at median instead of average.
      Median salary/wk:
      Full-time males 1,662.00
      Full-time females 1,496.00

      • +2

        I note large discrepancy between ATO and ABS data.

        My take is ATO is the more credible of the two. ABS can only sample a population, whereas ATO has REAL data on every taxpayer in this country.

        • +1

          The problem with ATO data is that its skewed by all these generous tax concessions like negative gearing and franking credits which reduce taxable income.

      • Pre tax or take-home pay?

  • +1

    When you earn more you spend more…

    Bought a bunch of roses yesterday for Vday. About 12 and cost me $95 bucks… Prices have gone crazy…

    • +3

      I wouldn't use the price of roses on (or during the lead up to) Valentines Day as an indicator. This is the one day of the year that florists can rip everyone and they're definitely not shy about it! haha

      • roses are allllllllways expensive as you say in the lead up to V-day

        defs not a sign of inflation……just again…….as I have said earlier……..greed (plus supply and demand)

    • cheaper to be single.

  • Anything above $100K.

    Having said that I have very little mortgage left. Some of my mates are earning ~$120K, but have around $700K+ debt, no idea how they manage this…

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