View Full Version : Average wage

27-04-2004, 08:12 AM
The great thread started by Jeffo on careers has got me thinking about priorities I guess.

We all complain about the cost of living so I was just trying to get a range of opinions about what people felt an acceptal household income would be.

We're talking gross here because most of us have wages but I know there's a lot of "self employed" people out there who may have "rubbery" gross incomes. Just give and ideal and maybe a post to back up why?

Viewpoints may differ on stage of live, dependents, loans etc


27-04-2004, 12:17 PM
as a youngun i would be wrapped to get 50g a year ;D

27-04-2004, 12:45 PM

27-04-2004, 01:25 PM
What do you rekon yourself bugman???? I would be happy with anything.....coz im still in school ;D ;D LOL

27-04-2004, 01:55 PM
my last job was 40hrs/wk for $40 K.

no where near enough so i quit and am now a student so i get considerably less. :-)

when i finish i will be on $60K after 6 years. still not enough but going in the right direction.

it is amazing how many people talk up their jobs but earn very little ie $34k or less. and then there are others who stumble into $50k by chance.

and then there is a mate of mine who after hearing what we all earnt figured out that the $120K he earned by making and selling furniture at the markets was good money.

i think more important to money is the time i spend at home and fishing :-).

i nevered worked overtime because my time at home with the wife having a beer and watering the lawn is worth more than any money available.

we only live for a short time and i plan on enjoying it. not making someone else even wealthier.

27-04-2004, 02:12 PM
cripe the most i have ever earnt was 35k a year and that was in the army
own my own busness now and still only get about 32k a year
but i am lucky and tight with my money and already own my own house outright and also two cars and two boats the only thing i own for is the truck ;D

27-04-2004, 02:31 PM
I agree with Jeffo and Matt...I am now considered a senior in my field in the building construction industry. (Truss and Wall Frame Fabrication). I too would be WRAPPED if i could get any where near 50k a year :)
It always has been a lower paying industry,but I have reckoned for years "better the devil i know,then the devil i dont"...
I've hit 10 years service now with present employer,but unfortunately the Long Service Leave rules changed recently stating that any year I worked before 2000 will now only be considered as 0.7 year accrued.. >:(..Result?? Gotta work another 2.6 years to collect Long Service Leave.
Maybe I will make it ??? :-[

27-04-2004, 02:58 PM
Under $50k was ok befor house prises went silly.

27-04-2004, 03:09 PM
Hey Bug,

This is a really tough thread to get proper comparison.

I remember when I was on round 20K and thinking, boy, if I has another 10K I would be laughing. Then I get on 30k and struggled. Then I thought, if I ever got on 40K I would be laughing. Then I got on 40K and struggled. No matter what you are on, it is difficult (yes, yes, within reason).

I would love to have basserman's boats, but could never afford it. Though I am on double that money. How does that work?? He must be good with money (this is not a go in any way, but is a good on ya for doing so much with what you have).

There are so many variations. Eg, as I started saving for retirement late in life I pay an additional 10% of salary to super on top of sgc. Then, as I have young children, my partner and I choose that she does not work so that the kids have 100% direct support. This costs heaps. One income, morgage, bills, etc.

Then the government takes about 30K.

Different people have different views on so many variables. eg insurance. I insure everything so this uses more of my disposable income that someone else may not use.

I buy my breakfast and lunch every day but if planned better would not have to (starting to see where my money is going).

All these variables add up either way. Perhaps rather than average wage, what would be more relevant is what is your "useful wage".

Perhaps those with a lower disposeable income have more money than another on a higher disposeable income as they have better budgetry skills. Mine are obviously crap. I think people get sloppy the more you have. Otherwise, how to people make a million by age 25 and then blow it by age 30?

27-04-2004, 03:25 PM
Could my new best friend please message me so I can know who he is. ??? ;D (i.e. the one that ticked 150k) Looking forward to hearing from you good new buddy. ;D ;D ;D ;D

27-04-2004, 03:34 PM
This is "what do you think" not "what do you get" question, so your new best friend might not get as much as what he thinks is acceptable.
If he/she does then can I carry your bags

27-04-2004, 03:42 PM
Hi all
self employed
taxable income of 5000 to 6000 for the last ten years
turn over has been 100,000 on the best couple of years
down to 20,000 0n the worst
big turnover only equates to bloody long hours
low turnover equates to plenty time fishin and being extremely tight fisted
try to keep some where in the middle

27-04-2004, 03:44 PM
Know what you mean Mark. I'm putting my hand up for deckie and boat washer. ::)

Couldn't be a pollie either cos they don't get that much. :o ;D

27-04-2004, 03:47 PM
Hi all, the more money you make the more the ex wife takes off you ;D

27-04-2004, 03:50 PM
Geez I really didn't need to be reminded of that tks BJ :'(

27-04-2004, 03:57 PM
no probs mate :-* I`ve still 3 odd yrs to go myself :-*

27-04-2004, 04:36 PM
Uhhhmmm bit embarrassing but got bitten twice. ::) Yeeeooouuuch. :'( Definately ain't going for the 3rd time lucky. ::)

27-04-2004, 07:20 PM
Hi Guys,
I think working for wages gives you no control over your wages. You will always be working for what you are told and if you dont like it the employer will employ someone cheaper. That is the way it is heading in the future. Sack the BOSS and buy the company then set your own wages.

Then buy a boat and fish all day EVERY DAY

Cheers, Steve

27-04-2004, 09:34 PM
Hey fellas
I'm still in school and WOULD BE ABSOULTELY wrapped if i got $50k a year for what i do id save alot by living with mum n dad then i'd be set for fishing well and truly no if this 4m boat im talking at least 7m!! cos id had enough time to get set as well!!
Tight Lines

27-04-2004, 09:58 PM
There is some fantastic money to be made frome the tourism/leasure industry. My cousin gets well over $100 000 US and it's tax free :o, he was a cheif engineer and now a captain of a large super yatch that cruises the Greek Isles and the Carribean Islands. Good job but he is away for at least 6months at a time and he says he is always on duty.


28-04-2004, 04:23 AM
This is hard topic to nail down.

I agree with many answers so far in that; the more money I have the more I spend. I guess my question was related to, how much income I could cut back and still survive.

Leanne and I are pretty comfortable with a combined household income of well over $100,000 gross but it we struggle to keep up with the pack rather than get ahead.

It seems lately the more I earn - the more I borrow but I'm hopeful that will pay off somewhere in the long run - only problem is that I can't live the lifestyle I really want now.

I was thinking of quitting and living on Leanne's wage - maybe even become a house husband. Lots of time for fishing - but then I'd have to buy a new boat.

Starting a business is so attractive for nothing other than minimizing tax. $50-$60,000 of our income goes to the government in direct taxes and how much more in indirect. I've got friends that earn $100,000 plus through businesses and pay a flat 24 or 30% tax rate. That's what I need.


28-04-2004, 10:13 AM

Interesting topic mate (have yet to read through Jeffo's on 'How much we earn').

The whole thing about earning a buck is about what extras you can buy with the 'Leftovers' or Lifestyle choices.
You start with the basics, a car that works, somewhere to live, Boat and a shit load of fishing gear ;D
When you start to earn a little more the extra is put into upgrades, e.g. A new car, better/bigger boat, move to a new house etc, so at the end of the day no matter how much you earn you just spend it to upgrade your standard of living.
Oh, are we suppose to save any money ??

Well that's the basics on my philosophy of life. My 35k doesn't allow for Houses or new cars, but I did get the boat upgrade and fishing gear ;D ;D. Naturally a spouse and children would re-shuffle these priorities ;)


28-04-2004, 10:24 AM
pensioners havn't been covered here, i am on a disability support pension and work perm part time, that may end tho after the next lot of back surgery, or all goin well they may get it right for once and i can go back full time. :) bugger they have had two attempts now, if it don't work i will have a boat for sale. :(

28-04-2004, 10:35 AM
Acceptable wage is a hard thing to define. As cheech said there are a lot of variables to consider and what is accpetable to a single person and a family will be vastly different.

As a single 27 yr old with no dependents i reckon my wage (60k) is great for me but if i had a wife and 3 kids it would be a different story. I agree with the others, the more you earn the more you spend.

28-04-2004, 10:55 AM
By annual income, I actually meant entire household husband/wife and I guess a couple of dependents.

Looking at the poll so far - a whack of people out there are either

a) doing it tough
b) have worked out how to live frugally (please tell me)
c) are single without dependents.


28-04-2004, 11:20 AM
Learning to live within your means is the lesson most people miss. Its all too easy to let it get away from you. You have institutions offering you loans, credit cards etc, you have places like crimeconverters that lend you a grand at the drop of a hat & then charge 25% interest or something like that. Interest free periods, no repayments for 36 months and all that. Soon enough you have more bills and repayments than you do income.

Work out a budget & live within it. Not having a go at anybody or demographic but people always seem to have money for smokes or a case of piss, but then ask for a couple of bucks for the nappies for junior. Where are their priorities?

3 years ago I dropped about 25K in wages when my shiftwork ended. It hurt like hell for the next 6 months learning to wind back spending. But in the end you can do it... you have to!

That was 3 years ago, while having clawed about 10K back since then, in the last 12 months have bought a renta, new boat & car, so while learning to budget hurts, it does allow you to move forward at a rapid pace a few years down the track.

28-04-2004, 11:34 AM

I agree. I'm really into forced saving nowdays. I used to be very frugal but like Craigie said - got a bit caught in the upgrade mentality.

Now I borrow shitloads of money from banks for investment purposes and have to pay it back (or at least the interest) on regular basis. Hopefully the investments make more money than the loan repayments and supposedly make money in the long run. Keeps my short term spending limited though.

I'll let you know how I go in 50 years.


28-04-2004, 12:40 PM
Ah Brett, what a subject !

Most of the people who have popsted info here sound genuine in their story, and THAT is the key. Most people out there are struggling to a degree.

Being in the building industry, I see every side of the wage/ salary/ pps/ contract debate. I see guys form painters to brickies make $2,000 a day, and then the same guys down the track get a bounced cheque for $10,000.

Brett was amazed when I told him my ' tax ' rate, but in the long run, self employed people have deductions for reasons. That is to keep our heads above water.

50K on salary sounds good, but knock off the 20k in tax, and that is not so good. Cheech and others are right, the more you have the more you spend.

example :- Phill buys XXXX Gold........Brett buys Caffery's. triple the price............triple the income.

Another thing that bugs me is the big money guys. Take big income to a bank, they'll lend you the world, take the average income ( or worse still, tradesmen taxable income ) to the bank, It's like someone told a joke and the whole world is laughing.

I am definately well under the 50k bracket, and I live to that amount. Although people around me wonder about that, as I take at least 6 weeks off a year.

The answer is, Brett, live to your current income and the lifestyle will follow. Life is far too short to be worried about what Mr Jones next door is buying.

( Keeping up with the pack ) ???????????? which pack you running with ?

Run in my pack Brett, and you can toss the job, you won't need the extra $$$$$. You won't be able to drink Cafferry's either ;D

Good post, good replies, and damn good people !

Cheers Phill

28-04-2004, 02:09 PM
i am lucky if i make $22 000 a year wich most people would think is crap money (i do to) and that is b4 tax mind you.. i am a brickies labourer and it would have to be the worst job i have ever done but i keep doin it cos it is great rugby league training..


28-04-2004, 03:13 PM
damn, now u made me think.... wife and i are on $100 K +, used to live the high life. have toned it down and are slowly getting ahead. Best advice is work to a budget and stick to it. its tough but worth it in the long run. set goals and work towards them. am thinking of chuckin job in and taking one that pays less but more time at home. i have all i need, food, shelter, and family, and cars and boat.might not b the flashest, but its mine!!!!hope this helps.
cheers bubba....

28-04-2004, 03:17 PM
Don't you hate it when you struggle from week to week to earn an income and penny pinch just so you can put some away then you get real happy when you get a pay rise (catch up/safety net) only to get kicked in the guts when the cpi ends up greater than your pay rise. Then there's an election and less than a fortnight after the dust has settled the pollies vote to get themselves somewhere near 10% pay rise when you have to fight tooth and nail for a 4% one and be lucky to get 2% "phased in over three years."
No wonder nobody is ever happy with their income. Invest in lifestyle choices and be around to see the joy in your family. If you can't keep up with the Joneses move to a place with a lower cost of living. You'll give up a few luxuries but you'll gain plenty that you didn't pay an arm and a leg for too. I'll never be able to afford to buy the same quality of property etc in Sydney or Melbourne because what I've got here will cost me 5-6 times its value if it were there.
You can always earn more money but its what you give up for it... that's the real currency.

28-04-2004, 03:32 PM
another way to look at it is
What value would you put on an hour of your life
cause thats what you are selling

28-04-2004, 04:02 PM
Starting to wonder if this is a fishing site.
First we had "What do you do for a Crust" and yes i replied.
Now we have Who has the most Money.
Next we'll have What nights of the week you dont have sex. Thats ones easy for me to answer, only on Full Moons ;D
As for Money, yes most or all would like or dream of owning a house on the water, with the Yacht parked on your private jetty.
My motto is, You cannot take it with you, so why hold onto it, if your happy and contented, paying your bills, and still have some left over for pleasure, what more do you want.
If your going to go through life, trying to keep up with the Jones, your life will be over before you no it, As they shoved the dirt on top.
Christ there are thousand out there, that dont even have a computer and there quite happy the way they are.
Anyway thats my 2 bobs worth.

28-04-2004, 04:02 PM
oops hit the b utton twice

28-04-2004, 04:17 PM
I earned $53k last year and my wife brought in $38K then the tax man wanted his cut.
but from my 53 i don't get sick pay or holiday pay and if it rains i don't work. take the good with the bad.( thank goodness this is the sunshine state ) ;D ;D ;D ;D

29-04-2004, 05:33 AM
Thanks for the all the replies,

I realise this can get to the level of personalisation and I'm not trying to pry more get a sense of persepective - so thanks again for the replies.

Now having said all that I've made a value judgement on my lifestyle and one I'm quite serious about.

I've decided I need a decent boat again and this time I plan to buy a boat that I can have for quite a long time and one that I can use for more than just fishing (short island holidays or family day trips etc).

Since I'm now looking in the $40 to $60,000 mark - how do I convince Leanne that my motives aren't selfish and that by decreasing our investment base I'm not robbing us or our (possible) kids of a better future.

I get it - she doesn't.

Maybe time for a new thread.


29-04-2004, 05:42 AM

Try the same line that my brother used last week to (sucessfully) secure funding for a boat - "But Honey, we will get to spend so much more time together if I buy a boat" #;)



29-04-2004, 06:13 AM
I thought the Q? was What do u consider is an ACCEPTABLE annual wage? Not how much do i actually get. so a house payment + living expenses + a new boat every year $100,000 thanks.

29-04-2004, 06:50 AM
Gotta agree four stroke

29-04-2004, 06:59 AM
a guy i worked with last year had worked hard all his life and was an honest, clean living kind of guy. at the age of 50 he was diagnosed with cancer and died less than 6 months later.

during a chat in the lunch room one of the staff discussed buying a big expensive cruiser (100K) and asked everyones opinion.

one guy said it was stupid and she should invest it.

another guy said "ask our former collegue what you should do".

the moral was you can live clean and work hard but the aweful truth about life is death. and if you can predict death you could be very wealthy.

29-04-2004, 07:21 AM
"Money is the Root of Evil" I think i saw this saying hanging on the wall of someones house, when i was ten.

I guess the more we make the more we spend, and in the end we cant take any thing with us... :-/

29-04-2004, 10:59 AM
Hi Guys,
I agree, you cant take it with you, so use it while u have it!
My wishful income would be around 100K combined, but is not getting close yet. I cant see the light! Lol
My partner and i have a combined income of around 70K with no dependents.
We choose not to have them yet because on this wage we wont give them a good life.
The wage is not big, but like mentioned, you make do with what you have.
We live on the Goldie, have a boat and cars. None of them are new, but the most improtant boat is as new as i can afford (95).
We make do with what we have, and i have to say pretty happily too. We dont worry about money to much, just live.
If i earnt more, im sure i wouldnt be any happier, just have a newer boat and bigger 4x4 to tow it!
In the end, it doesnt really matter, as long as your happy.

29-04-2004, 06:18 PM
Darren - Youre spot on there. All the money in the world will not buy true happiness. My work takes me to places like Fiji and PNG (unfortunately not to the known tourist destinations - PNG tourism ?? maybe not just yet) and the majority of people are the most generous and happy people you could meet. At the mine I go to in Fiji the local workers would get around $5FJD an hour and live in tin sheds with no running water or electricity.

Seeing the way others live makes me very grateful when I come back home to Australia for all the things I previously enjoyed without a second thought.



29-04-2004, 06:24 PM
i to voted as 100k to be my ideal acceptable wage,,but when i actually think about it,,,im(wife and i)are 12 months off owning our home,,which we are just in the process of doing renovations to that will double the size of it,,own our car,,i have my toys (4x4's.bikes,,boats etc),,,2 kids,,and all on less than 50k a year combined and both under 30 years old..so really,,,,im livin life pretty darn well,,may not be as flash as the jones's up the road,,but god damn the quality is good ;)...

30-04-2004, 03:34 AM
Good thread,I was a bricklayer in brisbane,going all over the place doing work and earning good money. my wife was working at the sushine coast as an accontant earning good money.Problem was i was travelling so much and my wife was working so much we never saw the kids, (kids always in day care)
So my wife brought an accountancy practice here on the coast and i now stay at home as a house husband, have been for five years.We earn more now because my wife and i arn't going two different ways all the time. Plus there's less expanditure with me staying at home and tax benifit's.In the end we're saving money. Best thing is the kids go to school and i go fishing three times week.I think life is what you make it so you can work it for your benifit in earnings.
Regards Steve #:)

30-04-2004, 05:45 AM
Like everyone else I started on an average salary 35-45k year working the good old 40+ hours a week. Then after years of working for some one else I finally went into business myself (Mortgage & Personal Finance), in our first year we grossed over 150k in gross profit (after costs, before tax) the second year was better and so on. Now you may have to work longer hours occassionally, but as soon as that 5-10knot report comes in it is amazing how supportive your staff can be!
I could't imagine working for anyone but myself now, and I really urge any one who feels they have no control over their income future, to have a good look at the business world. We love it!

30-04-2004, 03:30 PM
Just for some scope there was an article in the Cairns post (yeah I know they have been mentioned on Media Watch before ::) )today that gave the Median Aussi income (more honest then average wage numbers I understand)- $292 per week!!!!! so if a person is above this total income they are doing well and should be fishin veri muchly! #:o.nq

30-04-2004, 04:35 PM
Ive read all the posts, and seem to be in the majority with my way of thinking, in that if you are happy then you are better than half way there. I ticked $80K on the proviso that it is an after tax figure, and is a wage with the associated benefits.

I am currently self employed in the transport industry and my turn over is substantially higher than that. But with the way my business is structured, and the tax system the way it is, I end up with about $40-50K combined. Factor into that I dont have the usual benifits such as sick days, workers comp, employer super, then that figure goes down dramatically.

I, like most people have a family of 3 kids, a sizable mortgage (not as big as some, I know) and the various living expenses associated with living in Sydney.

At this stage in my life I would have thought that I would be better of, but I have recieved a few curve balls that most people get and that has changed a few things in my life. But then again..I look around me and see people that should be better of, with the better jobs and so forth and realise Im doing OK.

I guess what Im trying to say...Is money isnt everything. The more you earn the more you spend. You guys all seem to realise this.

Im relatively happy. My family is safe and healthy. I am still able to provide for my family. And I thank God daily for all my blessings! 8)

30-04-2004, 07:21 PM
Location,location,location. The minimum wage needed to live in some parts of the country is considered well off in others. Lifestyle is the answer, not wages. Be happy if you have a full time job!. The more money you make, the more you spend! Its not what you earn, but what you do with it! (Cliche overload.) :-/Cheers

01-05-2004, 06:51 AM
Exactly budgie,
Lifestyle is the answer. more money wont make you any happier and as others have stated, working longer hours to provied supplementary income will burn you out.

01-05-2004, 02:01 PM
I voted 50k as I'm single no dependants but I must say I could manage my money better.

I read in the paper a couple days ago that we reached the day where the average person has paided the taxman for the year and starts making money for themselves.

IE earn 50k pay 20k make 20k by April 28 .(approx figures)

Now apparently in 1920 that day was mid January
1950 early Feburary
1970 early March
1990 early April
2004 late April

Note how it seems to be escalating.
Makes you wonder where we will be in twenty years.