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Member since Jan 2010 • Last active Feb 2017


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  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Sample size for a 30k median salary in London, don't know, ask the Evening Standard. Rightmove... like I said, that's my own median. 600 a month for a houseshare doesn't sound right?

    You'll get rinsed by transport costs anywhere, that's why I choose to ride to work too - Zone 4 to the city is 45 minutes-ish, about the same as my commute. Replace my occasional car use with occasional public transport and broadly it'll be similar. A few people can't ride, but most people can. In some cities most people do.

    Like I've said, you can't live the same lifestyle and expect to save more. But it's not easy and not everyone's able to do it, you're right. But I think most people on a median salary can save a fair chunk, and even on a low income it's possible to save a bit.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    If your post-tax pay is less than 60% of your gross income, congratulations on being a higher-rate taxpayer? Unless I'm missing something.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    even if I reduced my pension to the absolute minimum

    I count my contribution to my pension as saving.
    The absolute minimum is zero as you can always opt out.

    becoming increasingly aware and quite angry at the levels of consumerism around me and the throw-away attitude the people around me have and the environmental impact this has...
    New Zealand

    Ah you'll love it. It changed my outlook on life practically 180 degrees.
    It's not an environmentally-friendly place though.

    The article might not be showing any hard numbers, but you're just making them up.

    No, I got the numbers from the Evening Standard and rightmove. What am I missing (genuine question)?

    i really don't see what you're saying with this thread apart from telling us how good you are with money

    To see who else is saving and why and how. I guess the first post wasn't my greatest moment.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Well the beauty is that it's not complicated if you've already got your ducks in a row...

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    That means you are living on a fairly small percentage of your post-tax income then? Do you eat much?

    No we're both vegetarian*. You don't pay tax on the first 11k you earn, and you also don't pay tax on your pension contributions (so effectively 20% free money). That's about 50% of my income that I don't pay tax on before the money even hits my bank account. Everyone benefits from the 11k threshold and tax-free pensions, and if you're on a reasonable wage you can really pump a lot into the pension to get a great savings rate (plus employer contributions which are basically free money).

    *untrue, I occasionally eat meat when she's not looking.

    Is it even possible to save 60% of your pre-tax income?!

    Outside of London and with two pretty normal early-middle-aged salaries, yep. It's extreme though. No doubting I'm on the extreme end of the tightwad scale.

    But again, not in London, and not with kids, not on a low income (although I think most but not all people can save). London's a choice we made, not having kids until 30 is another choice. Some people don't get that choice and that sucks.

    Considering most people on this forum live in a city where on average two thirds of the monthly pay check goes on rent

    Yeah that's a tricky article because there are no hard numbers in there. According to the ES the median London income is 30k. According to my very rough sample (page 20 of 42) the median London rent is 600pcm (for a houseshare). That's about a couple of grand less than I earn, and about a grand more than an equivalent houseshare in my city. So all other circumstances being equal (and I am aware they are often not) maybe it's a 40% savings rate instead of 60%. But I've never lived in London so maybe I'm talking out of my arse, I don't know.

    I'm not saying saving so much is easy (especially when starting out) - it's hard everywhere in the UK because consumerism's the norm. It's additionally hard in London because of the relative cost of rent vs income.

    I think it's incredibly simplistic and borderline insulting to basically say "you buy so many TV's and watches that you can't afford to buy a house".

    Sounds pretty Daily Mail when you put it like that, I admit. Reading my very first post I am talking about the habits of about 20 people I know. Maybe my mates and colleagues are a particularly spendy bunch, but I doubt they're anything but typical.

    I'll be clear though. If you're on a low wage, life's hard, and you don't have the choices that I do. Consumerism only makes it worse but you're not really on a level playing field to begin with. Plus there's the compounding effect of financial impotence; you can't enjoy the free money of an employer pension if you can't afford the 5% sacrifice in the first place. I campaign and vote against it, for what that's worth. I can see how it's insulting, so, sorry.

    Funny you should mention watches (I don't think I have?) a friend at work has a 4 grand TAG and just bought his wife a 3k Rolex (whilst on a trip to Dubai no less), but was saying it's impossible to get a deposit together... you're fucking wearing half of it.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    two kids... Thanks!

    @ChasnotRobert Cheers. Truth be told I am unsure whether this can continue when we have kids. Childcare costs are quite high even though our region has great provisions (salary-sacrifice vouchers etc). I don't really know where the balance lies between paying for childcare and one of us being a stay-at-home parent... I mean ideally one of us would stay at home until the kid goes to school (by which point Kid 2 comes along) but whether that's economically feasible, I don't know. How did you find it? I've been eyeing up a nice Skoda Octavia for when we have two kids in the back... I can see how it's easy to slip.

    mortgage paid off in full in the next 5-7 years. I'm 31 and have a good pension through work - some people I know of the same age have no pension provision at all and that would terrify me.

    @princeperch Congrats on the mortgage. In my situation I'm unsure whether it's going to be worth paying off a mortgage early or investing the money elsewhere... I'll probably just try to do a bit of both. My pension is one area that potentially sucks - I've only been working in the UK for 8 months so I've just been matching my employer contributions. I am thinking of ramping it up to a 15% contribution since my house deposit is good. But then again, you can't usually touch pensions until normal pensionable age... again I think a mixed approach is probably best.

    I read Walden when I was younger but was devastated to find out that when writing it, Thoreau lived about three miles from town and went back every few days to stock up, hah! But still a good romantic read. I'd like my own cabin up in the highlands... but we're limited on wild space in this country and I wouldn't want to impose upon it, so a nice tent will do.

    The fact is that most people on average or even good money still wouldn't be able to get the money together for a deposit, even if you went with out

    Maybe in London, and possibly the south east. The rest of the country... if you're on 'average or good' money I think it's entirely possible. Heck for two years I was earning about 17k and I saved most of that. But up north/in Wales/the west country, I think the difficulty is getting the 'average or good' wage in the first place, not the house prices.

    @Sumo crossed wires I think, apologies. The point of the thread was to see if anyone else is doing the same thing - and it looks like some people are. I don't often talk about this to my friends because they are mostly incredulous that I can actually enjoy myself at all, which is I suppose why I assumed you were thinking the same.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    No, Dunedin. The other university town. Palmie's fucking fancy compared to Dunners.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Right... sorry. Technically this is all my own doing. Realistically only possible because I had a stable home, lucky enough to go to a grammar school (a free one), and had a bit of financial education as a teenager. Being lucky enough to live in NZ for a few years had probably the biggest impact on my life, because it's a place where people don't give a shit what car you drive or what clothes you wear - where people spend more time together and seem much happier for it.

    So despite sounding smug (sorry again) I do think it's possible to live a less consumerist and more stable and fulfilling life by just being a bit of a tightwad and focusing your money on the things you enjoy, and that's probably better for everyone. Wank over.

    Life's too short. You may get hit by a bus tomorrow so enjoy what you're doing now.

    @Sumo I do enjoy my life. I have more time to go hiking/biking because I'm not overly-worried about getting in as much overtime as I can. I'm in the pub 2-3 times a week. Expensive meals with friends/a weekend away/Christmas presents don't cause any stress, because I don't have cripplingly-high rent or a Volvo to pay off. But the first couple of years were rough.

    not surprising that 'the young' spend so much money... many of them have sod all chance of buying a property so instead of saving for a deposit they spunk it on the latest gadget.

    To be clear the housing situation in this country is absolutely awful. It's possible for young people to buy a property (I have a family friend who just bought her own 180k flat at age 21, and she's a receptionist, which shits all over my achievements) but it's far more difficult than it should be. It would be all too easy to say 'young people are choosing gadgets over a deposit', because we live in a consumerist society, and it's difficult to overcome that. Especially if you don't have that little bit of education and confidence that a stable home brings.

    as to the important things: you drive a banger but what about your bike(s) ?

    Surly Krampus Ops (MTB-bikepacker) and a 40 quid Raleigh 3-Speed that I commute on. But I'm thinking of getting something on C2W because my commute is 25% road, 50% bridleways or doubletrack, and 25% shitty raised bit between two farmed fields, and the 3 speed is not really suitable. And a Brompton that my partner and I share.