Issue 90 is out now

Welcome to The Green Parent Forum

A place where you can chat to like-minded parents, form new friendships, share ideas, events and recipes. Use the search tool to find a wealth of information from the past 10 years of forum discussions. Register today and become part of our supportive community.

Have just been watching the tv and on the news it just informed me of a new study apparently a couple with two children should be earning 37,000 at least to acheive a socially acceptable (whatever that is!) lifestyle. Phahahaha! Who is this aimed at and done by?!

Sorry haven’t bothered to search for the actual study as I think it would make my blood boil but what are your thoughts on this?

I know that 5 years ago in Bristol, when I was working we were living on quite alot even for the basic needs, housing, transport, groceries, etc were all far more expensive than elsewhere.  I have previously lived in the Midlands and Somerset and both were much cheaper.
Now back in the Midlands we have barely noticed apart from groceries the increase in various costs. Obviously they are there but having spent so much for so long…

Thoughts?
sarie

Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children.

LETS number 64

On closer examination to may turn put to have been done by an advertising agency or other company with a vested interest in flogging unnecessary stuff to families with children and convincing they need it to be ‘socially acceptable’. It’s like all the ’ surveys’ telling you the ‘average’ cost of a wedding and how a ridiculous percentage of people alleged take out loans to pay for it that are almost all done by banks!

Trying to conceive my first little green babe

Ah, I can finally be honest.

What The Absolute F*ck Are They Spending 37,000 Grand On?!

That is more than TWICE what we live on!

Anyone who can’t manage on that possibly isn’t being as frugal as possible! I hate listening to people whine about not having enough money… I had a friend say to me the other day “Oh, it’s so difficult for us, we’ve had to only use the second car on weekends, shop at Sainsbury’s instead of Waitrose and we’ve only eaten out twice this week!”

Feck off!

Blue-haired crunchy Mama to Ru (5 yrs), Pixie Willow (3 years) and Baby Gaia (7 months).

Check out the new MamaPixie.com

MamaPixie on ETSY!

MamaPixie on FACEBOOK!

Sounds like a complete farce, and hey, who here would want to be socially acceptable anyway?

The term socially acceptable does make me laugh!
I believe alot of what others deem ‘socially acceptable’ I would consider unnacceptable anyway.

I do think in some places you would easily spend 37,000 even living quite thriftily but these places are few and far between.

These people should try being a carer, living on fluff all and having to deal with everytghing two adults would normally do whilst looking after the other adult and look after two pixies!  I dare them!
sarie

Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children.

LETS number 64

thing is 37000 isnt 37000 is it? We dont earn quite that but not far from it with bonuses. We pay 9% a month towards Richards student loan (he has no choice in this it automatically gets deducted) he looses a fair bit in tax too. We get no benifits at all other than child benefit and have high mortgage/council tax etc to pay. We aren’t poor on this income, but we certainly aren’t rich either. I think the whole socially acceptable thing is nuts anyway - income means nothing until you factor in peoples cost of living. When I worked in london my commute cost thousands for example. A good friend (who is also on here) has a family income more than 10k more than us and still struggles to get by each month as their mortgage is twice ours. I think the difference in lifestyle gets smaller the higher up the income bracket you go as you loose so much of it before you even start. Richard looses almost 50% of any bonuses or pay rises now by the time you factor in his pension, student loan (both deducted automaticlly), income tax and national insurance. Thats before things you need to work like running a car, smart clothes for the office etc etc.

I agree its very wrong for them to say that you need x amount to live - but I hate the implication that we must waste money if we earn that figure. We have to think so hard before we spend money on things and whilst we have managed a nice holiday this year its been because of an award richard got at work and some money I was given for my birthday. If that hadn’t happened then we wouldnt have gone way - if 37000 was as much as people make out then surely a few days away would be achieveable on it?

I really dont want to sound like I’m moaning - I feel very lucky that we are as well off as we are. Growing up we were very broke (I can remember not wanting to tell my mum I needed new bras and freaking at the idea of going to a restaurant with a friend as I hadn’t gone for a meal before and wasn’t sure what was expected!). I do feel privilaged that we are able to live a relatively comfortable lifestyle now - but hate that we are vilified by it on places like here!

Anyway rant over lol!

Fair play to all of you living off less than this, its not easy and you have my ultimte respect! And its more than obvious your kids all have perfectly acceptable lifestyles despite what the papers my say!

Here’s to all of us making the most of what we have without criticising those sat either side of the spectrum!

Sam

Hmmm…I think a lot of it has to do with housing costs. Our mortgage is £400 a month for a three bed house, my sister pays £1000 a month for a similar house 100 miles further south. Also of course, if you earn more, you automatically spend more…nicer area to live in, newer car etc.

So, we earn about half of that figure and are comfortable. But then, we don’t need to run a car.

I understand why people get annoyed with the ‘woe is me I haven’t had a foreign holiday this year’ that some people (looks at my sister) do, there are plenty of people on good incomes who really don’t understand what living on a low income is like…equally, I have NO idea what we would do with £37k a year!

Hippy-anarchist-feminist-eco-crafty Mama of

Helena July 06
Felicity March 09
Miranda December 11

http://theanarchistmama.blogspot.co.uk

http://rosehowey.org.uk - home!

I don’t think there is any way at all to generalise about how much any family needs to live. A family living in London will need a lot more than a family living in a less expensive area. To an extent, yes, living in any particular area is a choice but its a complex one. Ditto the need to run a car-the reality is, some families do need to in order, say to get the wage earner to work, some families find it makes life a LOT easier, and others just like the convenience but would be fine by bus.

What I’m not clear about is whether that figure is take home or gross.

If its take home, I agree its very high and most of the country will be on less than this. I think its enough to have a very nice life but I also think its fair that everyone gets a nice life, no one should be having to bring up kids in poverty. I grew up in a family with a very low wage (sole wage earner was my mum, a part time teacher) and its not that much fun, I SO appreciate as an adult knowing that we always have money for basics like milk, bread, cheese, that there is always money for shoes and clothes if the kids need them. We do not have a lavish lifestyle-my kids have never been abroad, for example-but we do have the ability to allocate money for things we consider important, rather than constantly borrowing from one pot for the other. I also am aware that my childhood does mean I have a rather fked up attitude to finance and I can’t be in charge of the family finance or I will spend absolutely nothing out of fear that we will have no money for rent (we don’t even rent wink )

If its gross, then do remember that the family will not see a lot of this. Especially if there is a single earner in the family they will be taxed on it, they may have loans, mortages etc to pay. £37,000 is too high to get any benefits aside from child benefit, childcare help, housing benefit/council tax benefit help, so this family will be paying everything themselves. I happen to think that this is totally fair, but its worth bearing in mind that houses on higher incomes tend to, fairly, pay disproportionately more, simply because they get an awful lot less from the state. The figures are more complex than they look, is all I am saying.

yes housing costs makes a massive difference! as does childcare (if you use it) and travel costs! Actually i bet they have factored in childcare into the exceptable income - most households would need 2 incomes to get that figure and that would mean a fairly large childcare bill included in their costs!

Incidently when I said we had a holiday it was a 3 night stay at a holiday park that we got for less than half price! I dont know anyone who can afford to holiday abroad except for my inlaws who do it on credit and a friend who does 3 jobs, always complains about being broke but owns a holiday home in spain!

thanks edith - thats exactly what I was trying to say! Completely forgot to factor in the fact rich is the sole earner too so very little of our family income is below the tax threshold!

Actually the study was done by the Joseph Rowntree foundation (I think lol) and what they did was work out the basic cost of living - housing costs, fuel, food, clothing etc, and then ask a cross secion of the public what they thoght were essential items necessary to live in todays world and then added those costs in too. Some of the things deeme essential were a car (apparently not older than 7 years), a mobile phone, minimum of 1 week away per year, broadband access amongst other things.
I guess if you deem all of these things essential then you would need a fair income, especially if you were factoring a contract mobile for each adult in the family of four etc.

Becks xx

Adding - The JRF carry out this study every year in part to try and give evidence that the difference between acceptable basic living costs and benefit rates needs addressing and to back up the idea that theminimum wage/salary levels/benefit levels need to be re-appraised to take people out of the poverty trap. Hmm, just as the government are talking about capping benefits at £26,000, I bet they aren’t too happy with this study…..

Further adding - Link to the study:

http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/MIS-2012

Aisling - 10 July 2012 08:05 AM

Sounds like a complete farce, and hey, who here would want to be socially acceptable anyway?

Hear, hear!

I suppose it depends on where you live and how much you spend on rent/mortgage/travel plus childcare. I don’t earn much but luckily don’t have to pay rent or mortgage, so instead I spend a massive chunk of my earnings on childcare instead.

Pondwatcher

Aisling - 10 July 2012 08:05 AM

Sounds like a complete farce, and hey, who here would want to be socially acceptable anyway?

Hear, hear!

I suppose it depends on where you live and how much you spend on rent/mortgage/travel plus childcare. I don’t earn much but luckily don’t have to pay rent or mortgage, so instead I spend a massive chunk of my earnings on childcare instead. If I had to pay rent on top of childcare, I would be scuppered!

Pondwatcher

benefits of 26k is equivilent to an income around that anyway though - 26k is certainly far more than we take home a year!

Lmao @mamapixie!! That’s exactly what I thought!! wink

My husband earns 15k per year for being a tree climber/ tree surgeon. Considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. His pay is pitiful for what he actually does. He keeps me, and 2 children. We cannot afford a mortgage, so we live in a rented council house in the country, 20 miles away from the nearest shop. His work is 17 miles away. We run a 10 year old car. He uses an old bike to get to work. We live a comfortable, happy, yet very frugal life, yet we want for nothing, and we are happy with what we have.

Need 37k to live off MY BACKSIDE wink

Crunchy hippy vegan mama to four gorgeous boys. Formerly known as bettywobble smile

Blogging again at http://lilpidgesblogspot.blogspot.co.uk/

The bosom of the Mother is the natural pillow of her offspring.

We are equally socially unnacceptable! LOL

I wouldn’t mind one of those roof rack things they seem to think you need though… (lol!)

Trying to do everything - failing madly!

Being constantly & lovingly educated by daughter Freya, 19 cheese

Share this with friends

Recent Posts