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new neighborhood

September 11th, 2015 at 09:30 am

The neighborhood we live in is great. People seem less rushed and less stressed. The houses are very middle class and if I had to guess most people are solidly middle class.

But what struck me is a lot of the phrases I'm hearing. Before we lived in a very upper income, affluent area for the country. Average house price was $1M, condos were around $500k+, so you can imagine that the average salary I think was $100k. Where we lived that was scraping by.

Now the area we've moved to the houses are running around $400-500k and it's considered one of the more affluent areas of the city we live in. Honestly expensive compared to many other suburbs. Most people here are 1 or 2 working professionals like where we lived, and I'd guess the average income is also $80-100k.

But I've heard from a lot of people that they are on a tight budget, living paycheck to paycheck, and stretching it. I don't get it.

I know where we moved from people made a lot of money, but I also know there were MANY two income professional couples trying to keep up with the Joneses. But here people don't seem to be driving Audi, Lexus, BMW, Benz. They aren't sending their kids to tons of activities that cost exorbitant amounts or hiring nannies to pick up the kids and chauffer them.

But they are talking about leasing a new Rav4, not affording activities for kids, and being paycheck to paycheck. I am surprised. I thought that they are living so much more modestly they would be saving more. But it seems that no matter what the house price, income, or area, many people aren't saving and struggling.

I thought it was mostly those who tried to keep up with the Joneses at the highest levels of income that were in trouble. Now I think that at all income levels people are trying to keep up with the "joneses" of their level.

FWIW we fit in better in the neighborhood carwise and stuff. We don't seem so frugal. But I wonder if knowing we can afford more might not encourage us to spend more?

3 Responses to “new neighborhood”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Yes, ALL income levels try to keep up with the Jones, but of course not everyone does as evidence of those of us on SA. I'm surprised you thought it was just upper levels of income. If everyone would turn their wants down a few notches they might be able to afford their needs and not feel so tight!

  2. VS_ozgirl Says:

    When it comes to saving and spending there should always be a happy medium. It's good to hear that you fit in a bit better in this neighbourhood and don't seem so frugal. However I'd still be sticking with your current lifestyle and spending and saving habits. You should always try to do the best you can and be the best you can.

  3. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I guess the higher incomes just seemed so obvious with luxury cars, eating out all the time, private school. I thought a more moderate area would have less of that. But it's just on a smaller scale but it's still the same.

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