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What constitutes a good salary?

(29 Posts)
bridie69 Tue 29-Dec-15 08:55:25

..and why do people especially in SE England never want to answer that question? My take is clearly it depends on your circumstances, mortgage or not, age, children, lifestyle. I would say that anyone with £2k left from a single income after monthly repayment mortgage payments can be considered to have a good income. I also think people don't want to say "yes that is good money" because it is tantamount to admitting they themselves earn less than that and noone wants their peers to think they might be worse off than them.

CallieTorres Tue 29-Dec-15 08:57:39

That would be lovely
My mortgage is around 800 a month

I earn just over 2000 a month, so that would be an extra 800 for me

LittleMissStubborn Tue 29-Dec-15 10:40:33

Do you just mean earnings or include benefits such as cb and CTC in that? If it is the latter then your theory would mean we just about were on a good salary, but that is because we have a tiny mortgage. Not because I earn a lot. Surveys will actually place our family around what is considered the poverty line.

However we do OK, but in the grand scheme I don't earn a good salary.

Finallyonboard Tue 29-Dec-15 10:43:44

Since paying off my mortgage, I feel that I have plenty of money. IMO it isn't about salary, that's irrelevant - it's the amount of outgoings you have that makes life difficult.

trilbydoll Tue 29-Dec-15 10:46:59

£2k after just the mortgage might not go far if you had nursery / car loans / child maint etc. £2k after all the direct debits would be good!

dodobookends Tue 29-Dec-15 10:48:53

Perhaps it is mostly to do with how much spending money you have left over, after all the bills and essentials are paid for.

MaryPoppinsPenguins Tue 29-Dec-15 10:49:06

2k left if you run two cars, pay high council tax etc isn't a fortune. Especially if it's a month where something extra needs to be paid... (And doesn't it always!)

MaryPoppinsPenguins Tue 29-Dec-15 10:49:25

Sorry, cross post....

YeOldeTrout Tue 29-Dec-15 11:11:33

Do you only want to hear from people living in SE, OP?
I have friends on less than half the median HH wage, 4 kids at home, so maybe £200/month left after bills. And they insist they are Not Poor.
So maybe it's all in the mind?

RainbowDashed Tue 29-Dec-15 11:23:57

I would consider it to be enough money coming in to cover all expenses, expected or otherwise, and still have money left in the bank.

Obviously if you have a big mortgage, high childcare costs etc then you'll need, oh I dunno, 100K p/a to achieve that??

We comfortably manage on a lot less but our mortgage isn't too bad and childcare costs have halved since eldest started secondary school. I would imagine that our combined salary would be a struggle for some in the SE though.

namechangedtoday15 Tue 29-Dec-15 11:44:03

I think its irrelevant what outgoings are - your salary, that is to say what your employer pays you for doing the job, is good if it is market rate or above for that type of position. If my salary was £100,000, in my field, with X number of years of experience, that would be good salary irrespective of what my mortgage, childcare commitments etc were. Just because (hypothetically) I might be paying a whacking great mortgage and private education for 3 children (I'm not!!) wouldn't make it any less of a good salary if you see what I mean. Your employer couldn't care less what you choose to do with your income.

If you're asking how much of a salary you need then obviously thats a different question. I think most people who had £2k a month left after mortgage / bills / childcare / travel costs etc would feel that was a good income.

Branleuse Tue 29-Dec-15 12:24:24


It also wouldnt get you far if you had a massive coke habit, and a mistress to support but we can all choose what to spend our money on.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Tue 29-Dec-15 12:47:58

I think the reason why some people in the SE won't say what a good salary is because people mix up necessary and discretionary spending. Food is necessary but sending your DC to private school isn't.

LBOCS2 Tue 29-Dec-15 12:50:30

DH and I have generous frittering money left over after all our bills are paid (including nursery fees/mobile phones, etc).

I would say that means we have a good household income.

slightlygold Tue 29-Dec-15 20:07:30

I think outgoings are important, it's not just a matter of choice for many people. I'm a disabled parent with a disabled dd and our income after housing costs is over £2k per month yet we're regarded as being on a low income. Not due to expensive choices or having a large family but because some of that income comes from disability benefits which has to go on essential care needs.

We certainly do feel poor and we're entitled to certain grants and things which are based on having a low household income, so it's not just how we perceive it. I am sure that if we were both healthy and could spend our money freely on frivolous things instead of boring sensory equipment or therapies then we'd feel more comfortable.

goingmadinthecountry Tue 29-Dec-15 23:52:46

Mortgage all paid but dc university costs kicking in even though dd1 has already graduated! £970 ish goes out of my account for dd2 living costs/ds hall fees and food, plus dh pays hall fees for dd2. My plan to save has hit a rough patch and no. 1 will return for an MA next year - luckily has been working to help fund it. We're also temporarily cutting down from 4 cars to 3. Poor no.4 will suffer - there will be nothing left!! And we thought three children under 3 were expensive!

ceeveebee Tue 29-Dec-15 23:57:55

Our childcare costs for two DCs in FT nursery are more than our mortgage (and we have a large mortgage too!) so that formula wouldn't work for us.

rollonthesummer Wed 30-Dec-15 00:05:41

Why calculate for a single income??

antimatter Wed 30-Dec-15 00:36:38

Kids going to Uni terrifies me.
They will need cash every month and deposits at the beginning of each uni year too.
That will be money I don't have to at the moment provide now on my single salary.

I was hoping I can just carry on on my average London salary but would need to look for a better paid job for few years.

So IMHO £2K left over after mortgage payment won't be enough for the period of 5/6 years when 2 kids who are 2 years apart are at uni.

They aren't planning to become medics! Just ordinary degrees.

This is obviously jut for living cost living outside of London away from home. They can get £3.5.4K added to their overall student loan for living expenses but you need to find at least another 5K cash each+living cost when they are at home between terms.
So that is 30K in cash over 5 years. or £500/month.

My monthly travel card is £210, council tax + other bills 500.
So food+ other emergencies with left over of £800 per month is not a lot! That is for car loans, car insurance, holidays and all house repairs let's not forget food&my clothes!

I hope you can see that 2K after mortgage isn't comfortable at all. Is doable! But I guess no holidays for the family as ours unless I was able to earn more than I do now.
I am not looking forward to that at all!

LadyB49 Wed 30-Dec-15 04:07:25

I have single income and take home 980. I pay all bills and run an old car. Mortgage paid off. One DD at uni who lives in student shared house.I can't help her with cash but provide bag of food regularly and do her laundry every two weeks.

wickedwaterwitch Wed 30-Dec-15 16:51:23

It'll mean different things to different people I agree

This is interesting though for where you fit in the uk

jevoudrais Wed 30-Dec-15 17:14:19

I think if you have 30% left after all bills/food etc that is good, so depends on your personal situation. I know lots who spend all they earn pretty much on things they need to live. So for them even 10% left would be good, it is subjective.

We have about a grand after food/insurance/mortgage/gas and electric/running two cars. Easily less due to jobs that need doing though. Our mortgage alone is £975. We just bought our first house and are in our 20's, my salary should go up a lot when I qualify fully but I think we're doing a OK. Well enough to get married low key soon, but not have kids yet.

ceeveebee Wed 30-Dec-15 21:03:03

I don't really get that IFS thing. We have 4 yo twins so childcare has been a massive cost for the past 3 years since I went back to work (averaged about £1600 a month cost!) but the IFS profiler lumps in all children aged 0-13 as the same - when my two go to school I will save a fortune!

ceeveebee Wed 30-Dec-15 21:11:36

But that ifs link doesn't take childcare costs into account. With 4 yo twins (winter born) we've spent on average £1600 a month for three years since I returned to work, but the ifs profiler lumps all children aged 0-13 together - we'll save a fortune when ours go to school!

ceeveebee Wed 30-Dec-15 21:12:12

Argh posted twice!

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