Friday, April 28, 2006

DH reveals her most shameful secret!

Following on in her series, "Nothing to hide, nothing to lose?", DH has decided, as a service to the public, to reveal her most shameful secret!

And what is middle Australia's most closely guarded secret? Hardly scandalous tales of wild abandonment and illicit goings on. As if! Most of us are worked way too hard and are way too exhausted at the end of the day to even think about it.
No, she's talking about the family budget, the embarassing story of just exactly what we earn, and what we spend those hard-earned dollars on.
So here it is. A completely detailed breakdown, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually of a middle income Australian's household budget.
Read the spreadsheet and weep.
ANATOMY OF A MODERN SUBSISTENCE INCOME:
Desperate Houso's Annual Budget.
The Spreadsheet
(published in HousoLink, a newsletter for Public Housing Tenants)

Summary of DH's Weekly Budget

Total Family Income : 974
Total Govt Clawbacks : 247 (Tax, HECS, Austudy. Overpayments)
Department of HOusing: 300
-----------------------------------------------------------
Remainder : 426

Necessities : 439
-----------------------------------------------------------
What's left $13 out of pocket a week
Fines and penalties 22.00 **
-------------------------------------------------------------
- 35.00
========================================

* NECESSITIES: Includes averaged groceries, (food and non-food eg cleaning products), transport, health insurance, medical gap fees (despite exorbitant health insurance fees and medicare), prescriptions, contents insurance, $400 worth of basic clothing a year, uni fees, budget haircuts, telecommunications, utilities and memberships of poliitical, disability, community groups, union fees)

Does NOT include such "luxuries" as : a fortnightly movie for self and child, books, newspapers, birthday presents, Christmas presents (she doesnt buy them anymore anyway), holidays, lattes, an occasional bottle of wine, or anything that makes life beautiful really, the occasional taxi, a CD or video hire now and then

The weekly cost of these basic "luxuries"? $125

*
* PENALTIES: (Bank fees, parking fine penalties, overdrawn fees. ACOSS documents how the poor pay more for everything because they cant afford to pay on time)

SO HOW DOES DH MAKE ENDS MEET?
Well, her car was due for rego, but she cant afford it this year. So now she has no car, though with a disabled dependant, her need is greater than most.

She scrounges what she can. She borrows from Peter to pay Paul, and vice versa. She has humiliating encounters at Vinnies. She borrows money from her mothers' pension.
What a life, eh, in the richest country on earth, for a woman with a responsible job in the public sector, a higher degree, and a disabled dependent?

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