I have enjoyed this thread so I will contribute:
South East UK, 20k (pounds) (so 40k dollars) salary.
Own home, about 40% mortgage only so can hopefully manage a house crash.
I am lucky and i know and appreciate this. I am single and have no children, nor the desire to reproduce. A child would bankrupt me; as a
marriage/child/divorce did my brother.
I have everything i need. I have the big TV, the games consoles and computers. I don't NEED to make any big purchases for years, nor do I want to.
It is only in the last 2 years that I made that crucial mental disticntion between want and need.
My living expenses are low. I have downsized my mobile phone to pay as you go, have no satelite/cable, lowest internet suitable.
Even with this I can only manage to save 200 pounds a month max. Something always manages to crop up (vets bills etc, I have a cat). I have minimal
savings and I have no debts. I think I could survive 3 months with no wage before I became desperate.
I dont drive so fuel is irrelevant to me, but food and utilites bills are hitting me hardest, but thankfully not as much as many. I am trying new
recipies (and enjoying the process of cooking) to achieve cheap food. I my first fish pie yesterday; it was lovely and could feed six for about 5
pounds... I am freezing some.
I am thankful of my situation and I acknowledge I am lucky to work close to home, and can thrive without a car and children.
In the UK I think there is too much pandering to the unemployed and slackers. I mentioned previously that 3 months and I would be desperate... well,
thats probably not the case as I would have most things paid for by the state. In my heart of hearts I do sometimes wonder "whats the point?" of
working when you can get so much for free. This mentlity is something the younger generation has latched onto wholeheartedly. I really don't blame
them, it's there on a plate.
I sound like an old codger, but I'm only 33
[edit on 6-7-2008 by randomdan]