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$32,000 gross per year?

PLEASE DONT FLAME ME :( We are a family of 5 living off my DH income of $32,000 gross per year, we pay child support for 2 children monthly ($520) and we have a mortgage and home equity and taxes that we pay each and every month, on top of all our normal utility bills (water/sewer, electric, oil heat, garbadge), food and gas in the car.

I am reading alot of posts with members having $200,000-$300,000 mortgages and in order to be approved for such a mortgage you have to make enough to cover the mortgage and taxes, and it puzzles me how someone with a mortgage that high would be struggling??? We bring home after paying CS approx. $1500 a month and then again we have bills to pay and stuff like that and we wind up with about $100-$150 every 2 weeks to survive off of, sometimes less. (We pay our mortgage bi-weekly and home equity once a month).

Does anyone really have a income of $32,000 gross or less per year and understand where I am coming from?

I just find it hard to understand with people bringing home $5000+ per month and are struggling. JMO!
 

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Nobody better flame you or I will definitely sit on their head, and recite all my germ killing paranoid cleaning hints

ONE BY ONE!!!!!:toothy:

be afraid, be very afraid. I will even explain in glorious gross detail about parasites and dust mites!:toothy:

Ok to answer, there are a lot of different incomes here.

It's less important how much, as it is how does a person manage it.

It can be very discouraging at lower income levels to read about someone with a higher income who struggles with spending

but the main thing is it doesn't matter so much what comes in, it's how you handle it.

And the challenges are much bigger, the lower the income level.

HUGS HONEY, it just means that the rest of us can listen and take our hats off to you who manage on so much less.:angel:
 

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And I admit, it can be discouraging when there isn't money for meat or rice or toilet paper, and someone is talking about paying for the mortgage on top of a huge Visa bill, and talks about the bargain they just got on something you can't even dream about having.

our disposable income varies widely but the techniques of frugal living apply at all levels.

Getting spending under control at a high income (like Oprah's debt couples) is MUCH easier.

There is more room to play with, and they can cut out a few frills and pay for the debts just by cutting back on cable TV and the extra vehicles.

Whereas someone on a lower income can cut all they can, and it might only be a 5 or 10 dollar savings.

it can be very discouraging.

HUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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well as i have found out "the more you make, the more you spend" and we found out the hard way. my husband has a good job and makes good money. we also get paid weekly, which is both a blessing and a curse. when we got married we both worked at walmart. we werent struggling, but we also didn't have anything. then he went to work at michelin, we had a kid and i ended up staying at home. we learned we could live off his pay quite well. so we did, too well. so even tho he was bringing home 650-700 a week, i was having to put groceries on the cc because of all the bills we accumulated. so that was a wakeup call for me, since im the one in charge of paying the bills.
with our taxes we paid off all our bills except 1 card (which im working on) his truck (but payments are held out before we even get his check, so i never even see that money) and our furniture
(we buy it at a little store where we live and they let us pay it out whatever we can when we can at no interest) and we use our second card wisely now. since it is a rewards card we use it for gas and we pay it off every month so my hubby can still aquire his points. so its not really how much you make, its how wisely you spend or dont spend it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks! I just struggle every month and wonder how those with higher incomes seem to be struggling, I wasn't trying to offend anyone, just curious I guess.

Thanks!
 

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(Sorry, just posted at the same time, didn't see the posts above till mine finished posting.)

Oh and yes, there are several ladies here who do manage in that ball park figure.

I'm not going to name names, but refresh this thread a few times, and they may come out of the woodwork and share.

They are people I have the utmost respect for, and really listen to.

LOL which ISN"T TO SAY I don't listen to everyone else, and respect them too!!!!!!!!!!:toothy:
 

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Cost of living is different for people too. They may make more but housing, taxes etc. costs more.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I understand cost of living is different but some have posted how much they bring home and what their bills are and some are left with a substantial amount left over and I mean substantial.
 

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We are a family of 5 and live under $25,000.00 per year and have now for a few years.

However, for me it doesn't matter what income members have or what their mortgage is because it depends where you live, what your tax bracket is, what the cost of living is, etc. etc. Most of us are in the same boat, otherwise we wouldn't be here. We've all had debt and all have struggled or are still struggling.

I don't know everyone's story - it could be they had illness, loss of income, unemployment, etc. etc. It could be their company downsized or sold out to another company. What does matter is that we support each other in whatever income bracket we are in. Thats why we are called the village.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I agree with that, I just want to know if my and my family are the only ones with a low income and wanted to see how other manage. I also, do NOT know other people income or situations here, that's why I asked.

I love the Village and all you wonderful ladies and their stories, I just wanted to see if anyone had a similar story like mine. :hugz:
 

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I hope you don't mind my asking, I don't want to step on any toes. What is it that your husband does for a living? Could he perhaps make a bit more working for another employer? Is moving an option?
 

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There are a number of income levels here. Some have had trouble in the past, and learnt to live frugally and others are in trouble in spite of high incomes and are learning to live frugally, and others are struggling on very low incomes and here to pick up any extra tips and techniques to improve their situation.

So our village has all kinds of people from all kinds of income levels.

It's discouraging on the lower incomes to read about what someone in a higher income is doing with hers, but it's important to keep in mind that the reason they are here, is to share and swap ideas and tips.

Just like not everyone will agree with me about using hot water in the wash --LOL to use a recent example of one of my little obsessions-- not everyone will have the same challenges.

what is important is the understanding that trouble happens at all income levels.

It's about the wants being bigger than the income.

Our village is about turning the tide in society from a spendy culture that encourages debt financed high living

to living within your means, whatever those means consist of.

It's a hard balance because we do have very low almost no income ladies here swapping tips and stories and concerns with ladies who have a lot more income, but as always it's about turning the tide of what is "normal" in our north American spendy culture.

As a side effect it does make living better for less possible but this gap between income levels makes it hard for someone on a high income to understand that NOPE, the budget just won't STRETCH for meat, it's beans or bust.

I've had people in my life, with way more, tell me I should just SPEND it, and "make it up elsewhere' because if I truly "tried it" I'd be able to make it work! If I made it a PRIORITY I would FIND the dollars!!!! (from clothing to organic food, people are big on changing my priorities to spend more in other areas!)

YUP right.

I try NOT to take their heads off because after all they are ignorant of my own challenges and often simply haven't managed on very little.

LOL one friend who did this to me often sang a different tune when her dh lost his job and she had no income after a hefty honkin big income.

NOW she understands when I budget my one trip a payday to see her, and stop in and cherry pick the specials on the way to make it pay.

Before she used to just think I was being silly and paranoid and too fussy about not spending.

Now she has the utmost respect, and even though her dh is now making a good income I haven't heard that "you could if you'd just try" out of her mouth anymore.
 

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We are also a family of 5 (soon to be six) and make under 30k a year. That is with my hubby working a fulltime job, a p/t job (15 hrs a week) and me working roughly 15 hours a week. We slink by, but i know if we didnt have our debt, life would be alot easier. It is amazing what you dont need in life :)
 

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FrugalMomof3 said:
I am reading alot of posts with members having $200,000-$300,000 mortgages and in order to be approved for such a mortgage you have to make enough to cover the mortgage and taxes, and it puzzles me how someone with a mortgage that high would be struggling??? I just find it hard to understand with people bringing home $5000+ per month and are struggling. JMO!
Cost of living...for the most part, that's all it is. Cost of living. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to find a house for less than $200,000 or $300,000 or even $500,000. If that's the case, you could possibly bring in $5,000 per month and have it be just enough to get by.

Now, if as you said, people are bringing in that amount of money and after bills have quite a bit left over, then I agree...there have to be areas where they can cut stuff out so that they aren't struggling.

Right now, with me out of work, we are bringing in half of what we usually bring in, my husbands salary doesn't even cover the mortgage, which is why we are struggling. However, our situation is temporary and when we are both working again in September, things will be easier. We won't necessarily be "struggling" but we won't really be in a position to save anything until my oldest son is in kindergarten and we only have one daycare payment for the baby. That's not for 3 more years. My husband and I make roughly the same amount, so me staying home and cutting out the daycare payments doesn't help the problem, nor would he staying home. We've worked the numbers.

However, and this is important...we have no debt with the exception of our house and our car. We do not carry a credit card balance, and have no loans or liens or anything like that.

It just really depends on where you live. You and I don't really live that far from each other, but our costs of living are drastically different. I find that fascinating, and I think that's one of the best things about this board...seeing how other people live and hearing all the different ways we manage our lives.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Amy,
I agree, we do live pretty close and yes our COL is completely different, I understand about the COL in various areas.

I just didnt know if I was the only one with the same or almost the same income and paying out as much as we do.

We have CC's 4 to be exact all but 1 with no more than a $400 balance on each, 1 with a balance of $1000 and I am making double payments to them.

I wouldn't classify myself as super struggling as we do have money left over after each bi-weekly paycheck are are ok but if something arises like needing to fix the car or something ,we would have to rely on a CC to pay for it.

Thanks for your input! :)
 

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Tracy,
When I first quit my job, DH made $600 a week & brought home $467.76. I still know this amount. :) It's implanted in my memory and I shall never forget. :)

Income was...2026/ month if you factor in the extra week every three months.
Mortgage, taxes & ins - $575
2 nd mortgage - $270
Car pmt - $195
Utilities - $250
Phone & internet - $100
Cable - $45
Garbage - 23
Car ins $70

So, our expenses left us with 598 a month for food, gas, MEDICAL, clothing, any music lessons, camp, etc. It was tight!

To top it all off, we had $20K in credit cards. We were hurting major. We also needed that extra payday, so often our bills would go out late because it would be 2 more months before the extra week.

It took us 5 years to crawl out of the ccards, and the experience taught us many valuable lessons. ;)

Now he makes a little more, but our expenses have gone up, too. We still don't have alot of spending money, but it works better without the debt.

We're one kid away from qualifying for the food pantry. DH is self-employed technically, but it's for his dad. They're partners in this and DFIL thinks sneekers cost $2.50. So you can imagine the issue we have with getting raises. He'd do it, but it'd be a fight all the way & we'd have to listen to the "you kids don't need...bla bla bla." His house cost him $40k (1700 sq ft) to build and he paid it off in like 10 years. He just doesn't understand today's prices.

Anyway, I didn't mean for this to be a whine session for Jamee. :)

We *do* struggle. Many of us here at FV do. Some make $5k a month, but their mortgage is $3k of it. Some have made bad choices and are here for information to help them dig out. Some have had bed things happen & weren't prepared. We're quite a diverse group of people. :)

I understand the frustration. I have people I'm very familiar with that make what we do & have $240k mortgages & new furniture every other year. I get so irritated sometimes. :) How come *they* can do it!?! The answer is that they can't. They are indebt up to their ears & are getting worse. I have to curb my jealous issues & remember that things aren't what they appear.
 

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i find this an extremly interesting topic thank you for bringing it up. i read how families of 5 and 6 live on 30 or less a year and i am in awe at how you do it. we are a family of just 3 and i dont know that we could! let me put it this way, it would be a horrible struggle for us to. my husband comments on what he and his mother and sis lived on when his parents got divorced and im at a loss for words. he talks about eating nothing but beans, or living in the car and it makes me thankful at what we have. i applaud you guys for being able to do what you do.
 

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Tracy, my hubby is retired and we are in your income range now, but it wasn't always this way.

I used to work and made very good money for our area. That combined with my hubby's pay and we made really good money. I was in charge of the bills for a long time and everything was always paid on time, but I had never heard of paying extra on them until I came here. By then I was no longer in charge of the bills.

But let's go back to when I was in charge of the bills. Everyone is right, you tend to spend what you earn, unless you are smart, which of course I wasn't. Not being able to have kids and being infertile was very depressing for me. So my way of thinking was we deserved everything we bought. We went on vacation 6-8 times a year and I don't mean cheap ones either. Gambling to Atlantic City at least 4 times a year and generally dropping over 1K each time. We always did Florida once a year for 2 weeks and stayed at Disney World, then in the fall we always went to Williamsburg, VA for 4-5 days. We easily spent 10K-12K a year on vacations.

I don't even want to know how much we spent in eating out every week! :eek:

Then I got sick, quit my job and boy oh boy did our lives change! I was brought up frugally but never thought of it like that, we never lacked for anything and I thought everyone lived like we did. But then things really changed when I got cancer and Murphy showed up and wouldn't seem to leave. So we ended up going in debt to the tune of about 17K in 3 weeks! Now we struggle and get by. IF we go anywhere, it is now once a year and only for a couple of days. We only eat out once or twice a month now. Believe me it was really hard at first, but I am now getting used to it. Hubby on the other hand has a hard time with it.
 

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How come *they* can do it!?! The answer is that they can't. They are indebt up to their ears & are getting worse.
it reminds me of that commercial i LOVE. the guy with the big grin on his face the whole commercial saying he plays golf at the country club and has new home and new this and that and "how do i afford it all? im in debt up to my eyeballs." im sorry, but i get a kick out of it everytime i see it. :D
 
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