Living well on what you make

In which I copy Serendipity’s lead!

Do you avoid a lot of the expenses that many of your peers spend money on, such as technology and meals out?
I don’t spend anything, generally on alcohol. Very little on clothes and technology – I replace my phone every few years (my latest one was free through work) and I did buy a GPS last year which unfortunately got stolen and I haven’t replaced. A smartphone should suffice, I think. We do like our food and eating out is our main entertainment – but I think we spend a pretty reasonable amount on that (usually around $160 for two, plus extra that T spends out of his own money).
What’s your typical meal?
Oh so many! We used to eat a lot of pasta (but not so much now). Dinner could be anything from steak and salad to curry, stirfry, nachos, chili, fried rice, roast, fish … you name it.
What about clothes?
I usually go through sprees – I’ll go months without buying anything, then stock up on a few things and blow a couple of hundred dollars in one go. Last year T and I spent less than $1000 combined on clothes, skincare, haircuts and grooming.
What about going on dates?
After nearly six years together and about five cohabiting, we don’t really do ‘dates’ as such. My year of working Wednesday to Sunday was tough on us, but now that I have weekends back, those lazy weekend mornings are lovely, and I’m trying to make a regular date night once a week where we go out to eat somewhere new.
Do you indulge in any luxuries?
Travel? Either that or concerts. And quality food, sometimes. Mmm, cheese.

Do you have health insurance?
Negative, I live in New Zealand.

Do you have any savings for emergencies?
About $10,000.

Do you anticipate or look forward to having a higher salary one day?
Yes, although realistically, I can’t expect to make much more in this industry. So…we’ll see. I’m not sure I’m willing to give up work I really like in order to boost my income.

What about retirement – do you plan on ever saving enough to retire?
I sure hope so. Home ownership is one of my big dreams, and I’d also like to be mortgage-free when we retire (and presumably sell up to downsize once old and decrepit.) Is 4% enough? It’s going to have to be, for now, although I want to up that to 8% in time.

2 thoughts on “Living well on what you make

  • Reply Paula at Afford Anything October 25, 2011 at 08:16

    Wow, the “no health insurance” thing blows my mind. Oh, New Zealand ….

  • Reply Me. MeMeMeMeMe « Alotta Lettuce October 26, 2011 at 17:29

    […] eemusings, Little Miss Moneybags, Serendipity and Counting All My Stars have already weighed in with their responses, so here are mine. […]

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