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  1. #1
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    Default Income and quality of life?

    Just thinking about some of the budget thread comments. How important is level of income to your family and your happiness? We have good family income but our quality of life is not that great. I love not having to watch every cent but all my friends work a lot to service mortgages so I'm alone a lot with my baby. Family are all overseas so we spend most of our spare money on these trips. When I look at our expenses it's things like kids activities - gymnastics, rugby, swimming, tennis. Our house is nice but high maintenance. We spend all our time trying to clean or dealing with unruly garden. I'm still wearing maternity clothes or things from years ago as have no time to shop! Only stealing time now as bub sleeping in car!! Dp earns good money but the price is he's not around during the week to help with kids. Sometimes I wonder if we'd all be happier if we sold and rented a little unit. Maybe both of us could find low stress jobs and kids would go to parks instead of all these activities. Some days I feel like their chauffeur/maid and get fed up with dragging bub around to hang out in tiny waiting rooms etc. sigh not sure this makes sense just wonder if we've lost sight of what's important? Well maybe that's just my family. I know we're lucky we don't have to worry about paying mortgage or buying food, I'm just not sure we are happy

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    I would quite honestly rather be broke and happy than rich and unhappy. Dh has an ok income, not great, but enough we can pay the bills and most of the time have money left over. But it came at a cost. A big cost. And dh almost committed suicide due to the stress (on top of other stuff that was going on but the breaking point was hid job). So we talked about it and decided he would change jobs even if meant taking a massive pay cut. As long as we had money to survive, we would be ok. For us, the higher income and what he needed to do for that higher income wasn't worth it. Money can't buy us happiness. Him being home at night to tuck the kids in, or home on weekends and spending time as a family is what's important to us. We have been through major financial stress before, there has been times where we didn't know if we could afford food let alone anything else. So to some extent I guess income does play into our happiness, but its not the most important thing.

    Actually, some of our happiest memories were when dh was only on a traineeship wage (less than 900 a fortnight). We had 5 kids, an unemployed housemate plus the 2 of us. Things were tight but nobody went without. There was always food in our bellies and a roof over our heads, dh wasn't stressed about work and we had a close group of friends who were always over enjoying a laugh or organising a day down at the river or a game of footy at the footy fields. Things were simple and life was amazing. Then dh finished his traineeship and starting earning better money and with that came more responsibility and more stress.

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    Im happy but so, so stressed.
    I want to work, even a few days a week makes a big difference,

    Over half of what comes into my household goes back out in just rent, there are many, many times I have to ring the people I have bills through and sort out payment plans etc

    Im a single mum, no husband to help at all, my ex earns enough (as much as I get) and flits in and out of the kids lives as it suits him, there is no support (financial or otherwise) from him.

    money doesnt buy happiness but knowing you have enough to pay the bills and not have to stress about what's next certainly has an impact on my stress levels and emotional state.

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    I don't think money buys happiness, you need good foundations in your life and they aren't always from money.

    Having said that, stressing about money can be very hard. We are in a pretty good position so lucky we don't have to stress too much about the basics. We've been on a quite high income and back to a middle income and more money didn't make us happier. We were however very fortunate that when we found out we had to do IVF, we could afford it.

    Many, many women on this forum will have had to spend thousands on IVF in order to have a child. We've spent a lot but i know people who have spent 50k+ so in some cases if you didn't have the income, you simply wouldn't be able to afford IVF and couldn't have children. Which is a very sad prospect. So money does come in handy for those kind of things.

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    We are going the through the same thoughts OP. My husband has a very demanding job and warns good money but we never see him and the stress of the job really takes it toll. We have a two year and I'm 35 weeks pregnant with our second and I wonder how it's all going to work. There is an option for my DH to apply for a job in the same field but it's a $50000 pay cut and that's a scary thought. But I just keep thinking in his new job he would be home
    Every afternoon and every weekend and would be less stressed.

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    Money doesn't buy happiness, it buys security. S/O and I have a good set up, I think. He started investing his money in property when he was in his early twenties and it's definitely paid off for us. My job is not overly stressful. His can be sometimes, but not to a point where it affects his mental health. Neither of us earn an amazing salary, but we don't live beyond our means either. I think it's about balance. We're not rich, but very happy with our situation. We are also putting off kids until our mortgage is low enough for us to feel comfortable living on one salary for a year. Income and balance are equally as important as each other I think. Struggling with money means struggling with life, but so does struggling with work.

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    IMO, money does bring happiness because it is less stressful. But I've said it before, studies reveal that once your family income is at a comfortable level, earning more after that does not increase happiness.

    I can only imagine the stress of living week to week would put on my relationship. If we want to go for dinner, we do. If we want to spend $$$ on something new, we can. I know we are lucky. We do have a big mortgage but "things" are not important to us. Our cars are 1998 and 2009 models. We have 2 TVs, 1 iPad mini between 5 of us (I do have an iPad mini for work) and we only have 1 computer.

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    Up until this financial year, we've had a very low income but a very good quality of life.

    In our case, we haven't had much in the way of financial stress because:
    1. We have very low mortgage repayments currently
    2. We have a significant amount in our account offsetting the mortgage, and don't have to ensure that payments go in at a certain time. That means we don't need to live week-to-week, and always have what we need available when we need it.

    If we didn't have those things, then money would be more of an issue. I think we'd both rather sell the house and live in a unit than have to make major sacrifices to keep up with repayments.

    DP runs his own business, works very long hours, and doesn't make a lot of money. He loves it though. It'd be awful for him to have to give up the work and the flexibility that he loves. I work casually, and love that flexibility too...I'd hate to have to find a full time job purely to fund our bills.

    Given that we lack financial stress, our quality of life is largely determined by our relationship, our relationships with others, and little luxuries like buying food we love or spending time together. Very very happy with our life, and would definitely choose what we have over financial "success" with more stress.

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    I do think having a reasonable income is important and certainly increases my quality of life.

    Its not "all" ... my husband, my family, friends etc are the most important things, and without those money means very little.

    But having a reasonable income, having savings, having a nice house and being able to do the things I want to do makes my quality of life so much more.

    Being able to stay at home because I choose to, being able to take my daughter on holidays and show her the world, being able to do whatever activities she wants to, attend the school we have chosen, not have to stress about paying bills or missing things we would like because we cant afford it - all of those things add to the quality of life that I enjoy.

    Money isnt everything - and I am lucky that DH works for a great company that truly understands the concept of work-life balance ...

    its a hard decision sacrificing time for money - a balance

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    Default Income and quality of life?

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    Last edited by xyz987; 10-02-2016 at 20:43.


 

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