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EXPERIMENT: Compare YOUR basic cost of living (food purchases) against that here in Australia

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posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 11:17 PM
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A currently popular thread Is US Minimum Wage really $7.25? has the OP expressing amazement at the "relatively" low minimum wage applicable to parts of the US and naturally wondering just how many of you in the US are able to survive from day to day based on such a low income. A comparison point was also made by the OP by stating that here in Australia, our average hourly adult wage rate exceeds $AUS20 ... this point was even more relevant when taking into account the fact that the Australian dollar is currently worth a tad more than the US dollar with $AUS1 = $US1.02.

Anyway, this got me to thinking that it would be instructive to do a little “experiment” and try to compare your cost of living to mine using a basic grocery/supermarket shopping list. So when I was in the local supermarket earlier today, I took note of the prices for some basic grocery (produce) items that you and I would be most likely to buy when we do our shopping. I’ve decided to keep it simple and use a spending limit of $80 australian.

Over here the average hourly wage rate is around $22, therefore an Aussie worker would only have to work for a bit less than 4 hours (3.6 hours x $22) to earn that $80 to spend on grocery food items. To keep the exercise simple, I'm not taking out any form of tax.


Ok, here’s a list of essentially basic food items that I could buy at my local supermarket for $AUS80.


washed potatoes 1kg
cauliflower each
onions 1kg
carrots 1kg
broccoli 1kg
lettuce each
tomatoes 1kg
cabbage (half)
apples (granny smith) 1kg
oranges (navel) 1kg
chicken breast fillet (skinless) 1kg
beef sausages 1kg
white bread loaf (sliced)
milk 2 ltrs
eggs 1 doz.
cheese tasty block 250gm pack
margerine 500 gm tub
nescafe gold blend coffee 200gm jar
coca cola (normal & zero) 2 ltrs
can beetroot slices 850 gm
lipton tea bags 200 pack
toilet rolls 12 pack
laundry detergent 1kg


So ... based on approximately the same amount of hours worked (4 hours) and neglecting taxes, would you be able to purchase the above (or comparable) items for the money earned working those 4 hours ? If not, then how MANY hours would you need to work to be able to purchase the above (or similar) items ?

edit on 9/12/11 by tauristercus because: (no reason given)

edit on 9/12/11 by tauristercus because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 11:31 PM
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I could get all this for $60.00 USD. Part 2 of your scenario would depend on the hourly wage. If the pay was minimum wage, then 4 hours wouldn't work. If the hourly pay is $55.00 and hour, then yes it would work.
edit on 9-12-2011 by Gridrebel because:



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 11:33 PM
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Originally posted by Gridrebel
I could get all this for $60.00 USD


I'm extremely gratified to read that !

So.... how many hours equivalent did you have to work ?

If we accept $US7.25 as the minimum US hourly wage rate as presented in the other thread, that equates to approximately 8 hours of labour ... TWICE the amount of labour needed here in Australia !
edit on 9/12/11 by tauristercus because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 11:42 PM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


I live in Far north of Australia and could not purchase that entire list for $80 dollars.
You find that wages work out around the same even though the dollar is different.

Your average home loan is around 25 to 30 years
an average family car is around 1 years pay

you can afford your groceries and utility as well as fuel in the car with not much left over.
this same system works in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and dare say the US



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 11:42 PM
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washed potatoes 1kg - $1
cauliflower each - $2 (depending on season)
onions 1kg - $1.50
carrots 1kg - $2
broccoli 1kg - $1
lettuce each - $3
tomatoes 1kg - $2
cabbage (half) - $2
apples (granny smith) 1kg - $1.50
oranges (navel) 1kg - $3
chicken breast fillet (skinless) 1kg - $1.50
beef sausages 1kg - $4.50
white bread loaf (sliced) - $2.99
milk 2 ltrs - $1.50
eggs 1 doz. - $0.79 to $3.49 depending on variety
cheese tasty block 250gm pack - ummm.. what?
margerine 500 gm tub - $2
nescafe gold blend coffee 200gm jar - Instant Coffee? HEATHENS!!! (and $5)
coca cola (normal & zero) 2 ltrs - $1.99
can beetroot slices 850 gm - $0.99
lipton tea bags 200 pack - $1.99
toilet rolls 12 pack - $2.99 to $7.99 depending on variety
laundry detergent 1kg - $2.99 to $14.99 depending on variety



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 11:43 PM
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I could purchase all of those items for between 55 and 60 USD. Possibly for less depending on the time of the year and sales.



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 11:46 PM
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reply to post by stargate73
 


Just wanted to add that I make a little over 20 USD an hour so 2-3 hours work for the items.



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 11:50 PM
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In BC (Canada) our minimum wage is $9.50. In other provinces its around $10. The current exchange rate is 1 USD = 0.98 CDN

I live in Vancouver, which is among the most expensive places in the world. Land is currently being purchased by rich Asians and East Indians, which is artificially driving up costs further. Its very beautiful here, and its very hard to find a place to live, due to the high demand.

As for the food items... there is no way i could buy that list for $80. Probably closer to $100.



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 11:51 PM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


Based on the quantity you listed I can purchase this list for 39.80. Here is a link to local grocery store flyer I shop at regularly Linky

Based on my hourly wage of 16.18 per hour and after taxes about 3 hours work.

Where I live in Northern Ontario Canada, the cost of living is lower then that of major cities. Average size house sells for 150,000 where as same house would cost 400,000 in Toronto or even more in Vancouver.

Rhain
edit on 9/12/11 by Rhain because: spelling



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 12:04 AM
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Originally posted by tauristercus

Originally posted by Gridrebel
I could get all this for $60.00 USD


I'm extremely gratified to read that !

So.... how many hours equivalent did you have to work ?

If we accept $US7.25 as the minimum US hourly wage rate as presented in the other thread, that equates to approximately 8 hours of labour ... TWICE the amount of labour needed here in Australia !
edit on 9/12/11 by tauristercus because: (no reason given)

dude...you're comparing minimum wage in america, to average wage in australia...
/facepalm
unless Australia is communist and I was unaware.

AND you're using the metric system...Americans don't.
edit on 10-12-2011 by Ghost375 because: (no reason given)


On a side note, I think it's very dumb America doesn't use the metric system.
edit on 10-12-2011 by Ghost375 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 12:07 AM
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reply to post by Ghost375
 


very good point.. and to compare apples to apples.. average hourly rate in the US is about $23.00

www.bls.gov...

I used 0.5 lbs for 1 kg.. close enough for this experiment
edit on 12-10-2011 by rogerstigers because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 12:10 AM
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Originally posted by rogerstigers
reply to post by Ghost375
 


very good point.. and to compare apples to apples.. average hourly rate in the US is about $23.00

www.bls.gov...

I used 0.5 lbs for 1 kg.. close enough for this experiment
edit on 12-10-2011 by rogerstigers because: (no reason given)

hehe, I doubt many Americans even know that .5 lbs~1kg.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 12:13 AM
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reply to post by Ghost375
 


Agreed ... in hind sight, not the best comparison I could have made


Irrespective though, the primary point of this thread was simply to give a simple example of basic cost of living here in Oz and allow you to make your own basic cost of living comparisons .. and see how your purchase of basic food items stacks up.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 12:18 AM
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Without doing big calculations, but how does it look in Europe:

* VERY high costs of

- RENT
- UTILITIES (3x more than US, it's insane here in Europe...have a few PCs and an air condition and it will make you broke...literally)
- Gas prices

- VERY LOW costs
- Groceries
- Healthy "organic" food (which is hard to get in the states and then expensive)
- Health care, unemployment insurance etc, better social net

So..there are areas in comparison which are really expensive compared to the US but others are very low.
I think what we save in groceries, health care costs we then pay in utilities and gas.

It's hard to say whether living in the US was cheaper compared to here, really...



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 12:23 AM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


Sorry I am missing something .....well everything.

What is (was) the point again?

Do you hate us too? Come on not all Americans are bad.

Love U Aussie (it's like petting a dog).


edit on 10-12-2011 by demented because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 12:28 AM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


I think you have a great idea for a thread. Just wanted to make sure you're aware of an important variable in your comparisons.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 12:49 AM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


Where I am in Oz, that list will cost me a around $120 Australian.

Most people I know don't earn anywhere the official Average Wage, and I only know a couple of people who earn well above it.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 12:50 AM
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I live in Northern NY and I could get all those items for around 65$. If I shopped at Wal-Mart it would probably cost less. I shop at our local IGA. I can get a 12 oz. can of excellent store brand Colombian coffee for $4.83. Instant coffee, it's so awful tasting, how in the world can you drink it? I make a little more than three times the minimum wage. So maybe I work three hours to get my groceries. The average starting wage where I live is $8.25 an hour.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 12:50 AM
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what kills us here in OZ is the bills.....electricity/water/gas/council rates throw in the mortgage and petrol expense each week and rarely is there any money left over for anything else, regardless how much you earn over here.

If I didnt have a mortgage, and mine is small in comparison to many others, Id be living like a king, but with a wife and several kids at home full time, its a no brainer that your utilities expenses are going to be high.

and with the carbon tax they are just going to get even bloody higher.



posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 12:53 AM
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to say you need money to "live" is a bit much isnt it

cos i can say right now that ofcourse minimum wage is enough..

and thats exactly how the people would think who have all the money..



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