Standards of Living: What type of lifestyle can I afford?

These days it seems like the cost of living is getting higher and higher. How much money do you need to feel financially secure these days?

If you’re curious about how someone on the other side of the world makes it through the month, let me tell you about my cousin in China.

She graduated from university in Beijing in 2016, and is now working at an internet startup company in Shanghai, with a salary of 9000 RMB (7500 after taxes and insurance = about $ 1, 140) per month.

Monthly Spending:

Rent: 3,000 RMB/40 m² (one bedroom/one bathroom)
Food: 1200 RMB (5+20+15 = 40 per day)
Daily necessities: 200 RMB (Mostly from online discount shops that are very popular in China, using coupons
Clothes: 500 RMB (Discount shops, can’t afford big name-brand designer clothes)
Makeup and Skincare: 600 RMB (Mostly Kiel’s, sometimes Estee Lauder)
Dinner/Movies/Going Out: 500 RMB
Snacks: 200 RMB
Haircut: 100 RMB

She clearly gets by, but there’s not a lot of room left in her budget to save. She’d have to wait for her annual bonus at work in order to get something major like a new purse or iPhone.

What about your lifestyle?

Could you snag the latest iPhone 8 / iPhone X without even worrying about the price tag, or would it require some careful budgeting to make happen?
How much do you usually spend on electronics?
Do you have enough left over to pick up any new Anker products might strike your fancy?

Share and discuss in the comments!


Despite not having a high wage in my IT role (well I do work in education :grin:), I get by and still get to have some creature comforts along the way. My normal yearly spend on electronics would be easily under the cost of a new iPhone, thanks in part to resale value on items that I deem need to be replaced, if repair or upgrade is not possible or economical.

Possibly :wink: but chose against and opted for an iPhone 7 128GB, with two years warranty. The specs between the two were not that dissimilar for what I use the phone for and I will easily take storage over wireless charging anyday. With trade in on my iPhone 6s, a new phone with the features I care more about (and didn’t mess with my existing use of the iOS ecosystem) only cost me £200…


Money makes money, debt makes debt, so there is a constant cause of inequality, which requires progressive taxation to redistribute money. This varies by country.

How much money you need is s function of location. For example a bag of rice varies over 12 fold by country.

Define need. Varies by culture. In Europe once the Soviet Bloc wall came down there was a large migration of workers from Eastern Europe to Western Europe and the same human could live for less and be paid less, so happy in smaller homes, buying less.

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This is highly regional. So here in “silicon valley” the average IT salary is say $100k ~£76K. You probably think that is high.

But to rent a one room home is $3000 ~ £2200, you probably think that high too. To rent a house and share is $1200/person.

To buy a home you can’t get one in a reasonable commute time for less than $1.1M. Where you live it is about a 1/5th that.

“Need” is where, aside from location, is the most varied. So here we have Craigslist where you can hunt down a used iPhone for less, use a PAYG sim, and get a couple of years older phone for significantly less, or the opposite end walking into a store pay >$1000. Last evening I did s software upgrade on a >1yr old Moto G4 Play costing $99 and it works just fine. So “afford” iPhone is hugely subjective.

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True, very true.

With a yearly wage like that, I would think I’d have won the lotto!

With some areas in the UK, even less :laughing:

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Move to Wales, buy a new iPhone. Use that phone to look up “when will it stop raining”.

Quick, buy a new phone while your currency has some value.

OECD says reversing Brexit would boost economy -

UK inflation at highest since April 2012 -

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I work full time for Local Government and also do security work at gigs and festivals and sporting events. I have a family (Mrs and 3 girls) and I struggle to find the spare money to buy nice things.

This is why I also love the Power User program and other ways on here to win lovely products that enhance my life in some way or another.

I have won a few things in competitions on Facebook and other sites.
2 x Liverpool v Man U tickets last week
A face recognition security camera & climate monitor last week
Nest Thermostat
Phillips Hue Starter Kit and Strip Light

but when it comes to my iPhone, I cant live without it. Luckily, I’m not on my upgrade year so I haven’t got to find £1000 or pay £80 a month on contract this year. But, I will try and win one hehehe

I could buy a new phone every year, but I prefer to save money and only spend money when I truly need something. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should:slight_smile:


Im the type to buy something if I really need it.

Ive learned my lessons growing up with childish impulses that led me to buy so many things that were used once or a couple of times before collecting dust

Now I usually buy it if I see the potential use factor in it and so far it has worked out great. I buy things on deals and use them pretty much whenever I need it!

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I’m in a pretty well paying job in IT, however I do not yet own my own home (currently saving…it will be another 3 years at least before I can afford something I want if I continue my current life style).
This is due to many and varied reasons but it allows me to have toys and comfort I would otherwise probably not be able to afford. So my “big” motorcycle (BMW F700GS) is my most expensive luxury that if need be, I could easy do without. My little motorcycle (Honda MSX125/Grom) however costs me less than £10 a month for run and insure. Mostly thanks to its impressive 140mpg. I could sell this easily for some quick cash to fund 80% of my living expenses for 2 months, but it saves me lots over the long term and is something I really enjoy.

The other major factor in me being able to quickly fund new toys is the fact I do not have children, who I understand are a major drain on most peoples incomes :-p I also don’t go out drinking often and do actively look for bargains when out food/household shopping. I am one of those folk who stalks the reduced sections in supermarkets for cheap meat, veggies and fruit near closing time :smiley:

Usually I’ll impulse buy something I like the look of with only a few hours of thought if it costs less than £30-£50 or so (depending on its function). If it costs more, I tend to do a lot more research into it and compare it to other things. I then spend more time working out if I really do need it and what I would get out of it if I did buy it.

I’ve never been drawn to Iphones, but the price tag is similar to my gaming pc. It took me 6 months to be comfortable spending that much money on it, and even then I got a lot of the components during sales and built it myself.


Well for starters the wife and I own our home. We live in a tiny home! Built with our own blood sweat and not that many tears. Coming in at a whopping 399 SQ FT. It was built with a cost that was completely upfront hence, no mortgage. We live entirely offgrid so the only expense we have a month is car related and food of course. We spend about $100 a month on fuel/insurance/wear and tear on our 2006 Accord (Paid Off) Our food budget is roughly $280-300 a month as we consume mainly fruits and vegetables, and the occasional animal protein :hamburger: :grin: Many might wonder where clothing and entertainment comes in on the monthly budget, well to be honest I havent bought a new pair of clothes since my Highschool days and I am perfectly fine with that, as for entertainment, we have a dog named Cadillac who is a Shetland Sheepdog he is full of energy, very entertaining and rounds up our sheep. While we are on the topic we have hens lots of hens, so therefore we have eggs and chickens and chicken milk (jk), but you get the drift we live a simple life but one that makes us extremely well off financially. I know I know you all want numbers, everyone does nowadays online it seems. Just like the IRS guy that called me the other day needing my SS number and banking info before he sent the cops to my door and had me arrested, pheeew Im glad I obeyed. The Nitty Gritty: I work as a flight medic as you all know by now perhaps? Monthly after our Uncle Sam takes his portion it leaves me with about $6850 give or take. The wife whom would not like to be revealed as to where she works, I will say its in the health field as well :joy: brings in $12600 after taxes and that is every month after everything is said and done. We do take 2 trips a year usually in the beginning and one in the end of the year. Even then we do our homework we pack our own foods we stay in affordable but nice accommodations, and we eat out only once on that trip. Everything else is prepared by yours truly. There you go, my life in a vocabulary nutshell. :laughing:


When I was younger I use to do security, after 9/11 I made bank working government job sites. I made 110k one year and I don’t even know what happened to all that money. I quickly learned that my had to continue to work hard and because after that year I lived paycheck to paycheck.
I had a stroke when I was 26, thankfully no ill side effects and ever since then I had to work twice as hard for mediocre pay.

I do have my degree in IT Networking, am a master certified repair technician for all the major brand computers/laptops and cell phones as well. But do not work n that field as living where I live in Vermont doesn’t see many jobs opening up for any it positions.
I recently started working two jobs in hopes of saving some money as my wife works but most of her paycheck goes to child support from her first marriage. I receive child support for my son but somehow we got screwed on that as I was forced to take a reduced amount of what my son’s mom was paying because she chose not to work. So combined out yearly income is less than ideal and we still struggle…there’s my life in a nutshell

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Have sympathy, > 25 years ago it was just me on my salary and I bought all I wanted and never had to budget, then along came babies and I really had to focus and cut down to essentials.

A slightly similar problem arose nearly 10 years ago and basically to let the children eat I had to not, I used to go business events and stuff my belly and live off oatmeal at home. Vegetarian is one of the best ways to cut costs. I would visit supermarkets at that time of day the best-before-dates expiring products would appear and grab mostly pre-made snacks.

Necessity is the mother of invention, in both pinch points it basically made me focus and in the 1st situation I had tripled my income in the next decade, in the 2nd situation I had doubled it about 7 years later.

I know you are cyclist from photos so when I had the 2nd financial squeeze problem I got a bike for free and renovated it, and this summer I merged two broken bikes into 1 whole and ordered some components.

In the technology world some items tend to be more important to focus spend on that others. I repaired some old tablets, these I use when I do not need performance to make the most expensive item used where it particularly helps, this stretches spend over longer period. I also keep a spare phone so if anyone has a broken phone they can use the spare to not rush into an expensive purchase decision. I also buy all the gadgetry and know the best deals.

10 years ago I could tell you the price of a 12 pack of waffles at Iceland, Sainsburys, Asda, Morissons, Farmfoods, Aldi… oh and a 3 pack of beans.

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You too??? Wow, we all must be making goo goo dollars. NOT!!! LOL. Now I know how you can afford the Nebula. :stuck_out_tongue:


That is currently sitting in its box useless… :joy: I posted it on Offerup for $100 not one single bite. I dont blame them, I may just use it to teach the wife some target shooting at 60 yards. :joy:

We currently use a LG PF1000UW I got as a review unit and let me tell you something. We now have a 80 inch TV which is literally almost the entire wall in our tiny house, and I am just content with it. Oh and the bluetooth actually works :wink:

better than Nebula? I guess harder to steal :slight_smile:

Net and no mortgage!