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By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.

Helen Hunt Jackson - September
The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Chrysanthemums.
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

John Updike, September
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How much do you need to live on?

mheredgemheredge TeacherHere and therePosts: 27,041 mod
This topic arose from reading http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/budgeting/how-much-money-to-live.htm

If you've ever been strapped for cash, you've probably thought about the value of a dollar and the importance of making it stretch. Faced with a financial disaster or a haemorrhaging bank account, suddenly the memories of blowing savings on extravagant iPod accessories come rushing back. In the midst of researching the resale value of iPod gloves, it strikes you that it's time to reduce expenditures and simplify your life to make ends meet. But just how much money does it take to get by? To find out, we have to distinguish needs from wants. That can be a difficult task.

Even when headlines report bad news about unemployment rates and ballooning inflation, the poorest people in developed economies are doing better than most of their ancestors did. Economist Julian Simon says that there may be no free lunch, but at least it's getting cheaper and cheaper. We don't have to live like monks and take a vow of poverty to live comfortably. But, on the other hand, as our standards of life skyrocket, so do our expectations.

For example, most of us couldn't go without our cell phones for one day. When asked if we really need them, we can argue "for my job" or "in emergencies." We probably won't die without them. But such a utilitarian definition of "needs" arguably takes the life out of living.

So where do we draw the line when we budget? Do we make allowances for our physical and mental health? Although we may get rid of gym memberships and days at the spa, should we cut healthy-but-pricey foods from grocery lists and stop the occasional trip to the movies?

Then there's the saving face factor. Economics expert Adam Smith argues that social embarrassment plays a part in determining necessities of life. For instance, if not owning a microwave oven makes other people think you live in poverty, it counts as a necessity from a social perspective. But people got along fine without microwaves for millennia.

Although it's nearly impossible to determine a definitive dollar amount to answer our question, it'll help to look at one standard: the United States Census Bureau's poverty threshold.

Governments routinely measure poverty, but finding the most appropriate standard is difficult and controversial. Some nations gauge relative poverty -- compared to other people or the median income. Other nations, like the United States, measure absolute poverty -- based on the costs of essential items like food and housing.

To help us draw the line, in the 1960s, research analyst Mollie Orshansky created the basic formula that the U.S. still uses to determine the amount of money sufficient to live on. It uses the prices of food items that make up an adequate diet, based on the Department of Agriculture's guidelines. After adding up a year's worth of food, Orshansky multiplied the cost by three -- relying on a 1955 study that showed that a household spends a third of its income on food. The resulting number represents the before-tax income one person could reasonably live on.

The U.S. Census Bureau adopted Orshansky's method as its official poverty threshold -- meaning that those who make less than the threshold amount are in poverty. The Census Bureau began updating this figure annually, using changes in food costs to account for inflation. In 2007, the threshold was $10,590 for one person and $21,027 for a family of four with two children under 18.
However, some people raise objections to this method when it comes to determining who ranks as "poor." They say that the cost of living varies depending on whether a person lives in a rural or urban region. Other people say that the poverty threshold is outdated and point to studies showing that currently only one-seventh of the American family's spending is for food. Yet other people argue that a person's income should include government assistance programs like food stamps, so that we can more accurately assess whether government programs ease poverty problems [source: CBS].

You may be surprised to learn that 97 percent of America's poor own televisions and that 62 percent have cable or satellite programming. Some people consider these statistics evidence that the threshold is too high. Other people believe that additional factors are at work behind these reports. Both excessive social pressures and the accessibility of credit may encourage people who are already struggling to make unnecessary purchases.

Despite the complications and variables involved in determining exactly how much one person needs to live, there are a few factors to consider when assessing your needs. To find out how much you're currently spending, read How Fixed Expenses Work and How Non-Fixed Expenses Work, then try our Monthly Cash Flow Calculator.

In addition to discovering the amount of money it takes to live on a day-to-day basis, it's smart to consider emergencies and retirement needs.

To get down to the nitty-gritty, let's take a look at some tips to help us live within our means.

WAGING WAR ON POVERTY
The U.S. poverty threshold can help us gauge if poverty is decreasing or increasing.
But can raising the federal minimum wage reduce poverty? This is an ongoing debate. Those who support raising the minimum wage believe that putting more money in the pockets of minimum wage workers will help them rise from poverty.

However, opponents cite the effects of a minimum wage hike on businesses, who will likely lay off workers and decrease hours for the remaining employees to offset the increased cost.

Comments

  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    Whatever your financial status is, if you want to make ends meet, it always helps to become more financially educated. There are several ways to do this. Thanks to the information superhighway, we have countless resources right at our fingertips to help us. Shopping around and finding budget-saving secrets is easier than ever. Here are a few ideas:

    Buy generic: Maybe they don't look fun and appetizing at first, but if you examine the ingredients, you'll find that generic products are often almost identical to brand-name ones. Even if it means saving the old brand-name boxes and planting generic products inside to fool your family (or yourself), buying generic is a smart choice. Keep this in mind when buying prescription drugs: Generic drugs and brand-name drugs are chemically the same but have different names.

    Use coupons: Most likely, you can find coupons for many of the items that you buy on a regular basis, taking a chunk off the cost. Investing a few minutes in finding coupons will save you money. But just because you find a coupon for double-chocolate-chunk cookies doesn't mean you should buy them, which leads us to the next point.

    Don't buy it just because it's on sale: Whether you are on a weekly grocery store trip or are clothes shopping at the mall, you're probably going to spot a tempting sale. Even if the sale is a great bargain, it's still best to pass unless you really need it or it's likely to save you from buying a similar item at a much higher price later.

    Cook: Rather than eating out at restaurants, cooking at home can save money. This doesn't just apply to dinner, either. If you prepare lunches to bring to work, you can save a good deal more -- some people estimate $960 a year on lunch alone.

    One of the challenges of buying food on a budget is making sure that you and your family get a proper diet without breaking the bank. Healthy foods notoriously cost more. But there are ways to eat nutritiously on a budget. For example, some cheap-but-healthy choices include an egg per day for protein and canned rather than fresh tomatoes, as canned contain more of the antioxidant lycopene.

    These tips are just a taste of what you can do to save money. Once you know how to save, the key is to stay disciplined. Check out 10 Tips for Staying on Budget for ideas. Conquering bad spending habits is always harder than it sounds. When you're on a strict budget, it's wise to ask yourself every time you pick up an item, "Do I really need this?"

    strapped for cash – broke, not much money
    stretch – make it go further
    haemorrhaging – bleeding, losing a lot
    blowing savings – spending savings, [money]
    ballooning – mushrooming, expanding, growing in a big way
    no free lunch – you don’t get something for nothing
    skyrocket – increase in a big way
    utilitarian – practical, functional, no-frills
    saving face – appearances, maintain your esteem, project a good image
    millennia – thousands of years
    definitive – perfect, state of the art, best
    absolute – total, complete, supreme
    threshold – limit
    food stamps - vouchers
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    There are lots of ways to economise. The best is to leave your money at home when you go out for a walk! That way you won't be tempted.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 489 ✭✭✭
    > @mheredge said:
    > There are lots of ways to economise. The best is to leave your money at home when you go out for a walk! That way you won't be tempted.

    Another one of this kind: never buy groceries when you're hungry.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,327 mod
    I am having to learn a lot about money management these days, as I am trying to save up for my own house. I have worked out that £1,200 per month is just about enough for me to live on, but I would still rather earn more than that. As a freelancer, it is always difficult to be able to reach that amount.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    If you live frugally, this should be about enough (maybe not in London though) @GemmaRowlands.

    Words that are useful when talking about this topic @april, @marco, @nidhi, @dope, @Nippur, @mohit_singh (we'll be discussing this at In a TAD today).

    When you don't spend much money: frugal, pennywise, penny pinching, miserly, mingy, mean, cost-cutting, economise, prudent, sparing, careful, tight, meagre, parsimonious, (long pockets and short arms!)

    When you spend money like there's no tomorrow: splash out, squander, spend freely, disburse, expend, fork out (slang), lay out, pay out, shell out (informal), splash out (Brit. informal), blow (slang), consume, deplete, dispense, drain, empty, exhaust, fritter away, run through, squander, use up, waste, dissipate, waste, fritter away, exhaust, run through
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,327 mod
    mheredge said:

    If you live frugally, this should be about enough (maybe not in London though) @GemmaRowlands.

    Words that are useful when talking about this topic @april, @marco, @nidhi, @dope, @Nippur, @mohit_singh (we'll be discussing this at In a TAD today).

    When you don't spend much money: frugal, pennywise, penny pinching, miserly, mingy, mean, cost-cutting, economise, prudent, sparing, careful, tight, meagre, parsimonious, (long pockets and short arms!)

    When you spend money like there's no tomorrow: splash out, squander, spend freely, disburse, expend, fork out (slang), lay out, pay out, shell out (informal), splash out (Brit. informal), blow (slang), consume, deplete, dispense, drain, empty, exhaust, fritter away, run through, squander, use up, waste, dissipate, waste, fritter away, exhaust, run through

    The amount I earn would never be enough in London. I earn enough to pay my bills, shop without having to count the pennies, and go on enjoyable days out. And, to be honest, that's all I want!
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    It seems that money can buy happiness. The TED talk here describes how it works.
    https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_norton_how_to_buy_happiness

    'So I want to talk today about money and happiness, which are two things a lot of us spend a lot of our time thinking about, either trying to earn them or trying to increase them. And a lot of us resonate with this phrase, we see it in religions and self-help books: money can't buy happiness. And I want to suggest today that, in fact, that's wrong.

    I'm at a business school, so that's what we do. So that's wrong, and in fact, if you think that, you're just not spending it right. So instead of spending it the way you usually spend it, maybe if you spent it differently, that might work a little bit better. Before I tell you the ways you can spend it that will make you happier, let's think about the ways we usually spend it that don't, in fact, make us happier. We had a little natural experiment. So CNN, a little while ago, wrote this interesting article on what happens to people when they win the lottery. It turns out people think when they win the lottery their lives will be amazing. This article's about how their lives get ruined. What happens when people win the lottery is, one, they spend all the money and go into debt; and two, all of their friends and everyone they've ever met find them and bug them for money. It ruins their social relationships, in fact. So they have more debt and worse friendships than they had before they won the lottery.
    What was interesting about the article was, people started commenting on the article, readers of the thing. And instead of talking about how it made them realize that money doesn't lead to happiness, everyone started saying, "You know what I'd do if I won the lottery ...?" and fantasizing about what they'd do. Here's just two of the ones we saw that are interesting to think about. One person wrote, "When I win, I'm going to buy my own little mountain and have a little house on top."

    And another person wrote, "I would fill a big bathtub with money and get in the tub while smoking a big fat cigar and sipping a glass of champagne."This is even worse: "... then I'd have a picture taken and dozens of glossies made. Anyone begging for money or trying to extort from me would receive a copy of the picture and nothing else."

    And so many of the comments were exactly of this type, where people got money and, in fact, it made them antisocial. So I told you it ruins people's lives and their friends bug them. Also, money often makes us feel very selfish and we do things only for ourselves. We thought maybe the reason money doesn't make us happy is that we're spending it on the wrong things; in particular, we're always spending it on ourselves. And we wondered what would happen if we made people spend more of their money on others. So instead of being antisocial with your money, what if you were more pro-social with it?

    We thought, let's make people do it and see what happens. Let's have some people do what they usually do, spend money on themselves, and let's make some people give money away, and measure their happiness and see if, in fact, they get happier. The first way we did this was, one Vancouver morning, we went out on the campus at University of British Columbia, approached people and said, "Do you want to be in an experiment?" They said, "Yes." We asked them how happy they were, and then gave them an envelope. One of the envelopes had things in it that said, "By 5pm today, spend this money on yourself." We gave some examples of what you could spend it on. Other people got a slip of paper that said, "By 5pm today, spend this money on somebody else." Also inside the envelope was money.

    And we manipulated how much money we gave them; some people got this slip of paper and five
    dollars, some got this slip of paper and 20 dollars. We let them go about their day and do whatever they wanted. We found out they did spend it in the way we asked them to. We called them up and asked them, "What did you spend it on? How happy do you feel now?" What did they spend it on? These are college undergrads; a lot of what they spent it on for themselves were things like earrings and makeup.One woman said she bought a stuffed animal for her niece. People gave money to homeless people. Huge effect here of Starbucks.

    So if you give undergraduates five dollars, it looks like coffee to them, and they run over to Starbucks and spend it as fast as they can. Some people bought coffee for themselves, the way they usually would, but others bought coffee for somebody else. So the very same purchase, just targeted toward yourself or targeted toward somebody else. What did we find when we called at the end of the day? People who spent money on others got happier; people who spent it on themselves, nothing happened. It didn't make them less happy, it just didn't do much for them.

    The other thing we saw is the amount of money doesn't matter much.People thought 20 dollars would be way better than five. In fact, it doesn't matter how much money you spent. What really matters is that you spent it on somebody else rather than on yourself. We see this again and again when we give people money to spend on others instead of on themselves.Of course, these are undergraduates in Canada — not the world's most representative population. They're also fairly wealthy and affluent and other sorts of things.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod

    We wanted to see if this holds true everywhere in the world or just among wealthy countries. So we went to Uganda and ran a very similar experiment. Imagine, instead of just people in Canada, we say, "Name the last time you spent money on yourself or others. Describe it. How happy did it make you?" Or in Uganda, "Name the last time you spent money on yourself or others and describe that." Then we asked them how happy they are, again. And what we see is sort of amazing, because there's human universals on what you do with your money, and real cultural differences on what you do as well. So for example, one guy from Uganda says this: "I called a girl I wished to love." They basically went out on a date, and he says at the end that he didn't "achieve" her up till now.

    Here's a guy from Canada. Very similar thing. "I took my girlfriend out for dinner. We went to a movie, we left early, and then went back to her room for ... cake," just cake.

    Human universal: you spend money on others, you're being nice. Maybe you have something in mind,
    maybe not. But then we see extraordinary differences. So look at these two. This is a woman from Canada. We say, "Name a time you spent money on somebody else." She says, "I bought a present for my mom. I drove to the mall, bought a present, gave it to my mom." Perfectly nice thing to do. It's good to get gifts for people you know. Compare that to this woman from Uganda: "I was walking and met a longtime friend whose son was sick with malaria. They had no money, they went to a clinic and I gave her this money." This isn't $10,000, it's the local currency. So it's a very small amount of money, in fact. But enormously different motivations here. This is a real medical need, literally a life saving donation. Above, it's just kind of, I bought a gift for my mother.

    What we see again, though, is that the specific way you spend on other people isn't nearly as important as the fact that you spend on other people in order to make yourself happy, which is really quite important. So you don't have to do amazing things with your money to make yourself happy. You can do small, trivial things and still get the benefits from doing this.These are only two countries. We wanted to look at every country in the world if we could, to see what the relationship is between money and happiness.

    We got data from the Gallup Organization, which you know from all the political polls happening lately. They asked people, "Did you donate money to charity recently?" and, "How happy are you with life in general?" We can see what the relationship is between those two things. Are they positively correlated, giving money makes you happy? Or are they negatively correlated? On this map, green will mean they're positively correlated, red means they're negatively correlated. And you can see, the world is crazily green. So in almost every country in the world where we have this data,people who give money to charity are happier people than people who don't give money to charity. I know you're looking at the red country in the middle. I would be a jerk and not tell you what it is, but it's Central African Republic. You can make up stories. Maybe it's different there for some reason. Just below that to the right is Rwanda, though, which is amazingly green.

    So almost everywhere we look, we see that giving money away makes you happier than keeping it for yourself. What about work, which is where we spend the rest of our time, when we're not with the people we know. We decided to infiltrate some companies and do a very similar thing. These are sales teams in Belgium. They work in teams, go out and sell to doctors and try to get them to buy drugs. We can look and see how well they sell things as a function of being a member of a team. We give people on some teams some money "Spend it however you want on yourself," just like we did with the undergrads in Canada. To other teams we say, "Here's 15 euro. Spend it on one of your teammates. Buy them something as a gift and give it to them. Then we can see, we've got teams that spend on themselves and these pro-social teams who we give money to make the team better. The reason I have a ridiculous pinata there is one team pooled their money and bought a pinata, they smashed the pinata, the candy fell out and things like that. A silly, trivial thing to do, but think of the difference on a team that didn't do that at all, that got 15 euro, put it in their pocket, maybe bought themselves a coffee, or teams that had this pro-social experience where they bonded together to buy something and do a group activity. What we see is that the teams that are pro-social sell more stuff than the teams that only got money for themselves.

    One way to think of it is: for every 15 euro you give people for themselves,they put it in their pocket and don't do anything different than before. You don't get money from that; you lose money, since it doesn't motivate them to perform better. But when you give them 15 euro to spend on their teammates, they do so much better on their teams that you actually get a huge win on investing this kind of money.

    You're probably thinking to yourselves, this is all fine, but there's a context that's incredibly important for public policy, and I can't imagine it would work there. And if he doesn't show me that it works here, I don't believe anything he said. I know what you're all thinking about are dodgeball teams.

    This was a huge criticism that we got, that if you can't show it with dodgeball teams, this is all stupid. So we went and found these dodgeball teams and infiltrated them, and did the exact same thing as before. So we give people on some teams money to spend on themselves. Other teams, we give them money to spend on their dodgeball teammates. The teams that spend money on themselves have the same winning percentages as before. The teams we give the money to spend on each other become different teams; they dominate the league by the time they're done.

    Across all of these different contexts — your personal life, you work life, even things like intramural sports — we see spending on other people has a bigger return for you than spending on yourself. So if you think money can't buy happiness, you're not spending it right. The implication isn't you should buy this product instead of that product, and that's the way to make yourself happier. It's that you should stop thinking about which product to buy for yourself, and try giving some of it to other people instead.

    And we luckily have an opportunity for you. DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit for mainly public school teachers in low-income schools. They post projects like, "I want to teach Huckleberry Finn and we don't have the books," or, "I want a microscope to teach my students science and we don't have a microscope." You and I can go on and buy it for them. The teacher and the kids write you thank-you notes, sometimes they send pictures of them using the microscope. It's an extraordinary thing.
    Go to the website and start yourself on the process of thinking less about "How can I spend money on myself?" and more about "If I've got five dollars or 15 dollars, what can I do to benefit other people?" Ultimately, when you do that, you'll find you benefit yourself much more.

    https://www.ted.com/topics/money

  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    On the theme of how money can buy happiness, here's Bill Gates' view on the subject (remember, he's the richest man in the world).

    https://www.ted.com/talks/bill_and_melinda_gates_why_giving_away_our_wealth_has_been_the_most_satisfying_thing_we_ve_done
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,327 mod
    mheredge said:

    It seems that money can buy happiness. The TED talk here describes how it works.
    https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_norton_how_to_buy_happiness

    'So I want to talk today about money and happiness, which are two things a lot of us spend a lot of our time thinking about, either trying to earn them or trying to increase them. And a lot of us resonate with this phrase, we see it in religions and self-help books: money can't buy happiness. And I want to suggest today that, in fact, that's wrong.

    I'm at a business school, so that's what we do. So that's wrong, and in fact, if you think that, you're just not spending it right. So instead of spending it the way you usually spend it, maybe if you spent it differently, that might work a little bit better. Before I tell you the ways you can spend it that will make you happier, let's think about the ways we usually spend it that don't, in fact, make us happier. We had a little natural experiment. So CNN, a little while ago, wrote this interesting article on what happens to people when they win the lottery. It turns out people think when they win the lottery their lives will be amazing. This article's about how their lives get ruined. What happens when people win the lottery is, one, they spend all the money and go into debt; and two, all of their friends and everyone they've ever met find them and bug them for money. It ruins their social relationships, in fact. So they have more debt and worse friendships than they had before they won the lottery.
    What was interesting about the article was, people started commenting on the article, readers of the thing. And instead of talking about how it made them realize that money doesn't lead to happiness, everyone started saying, "You know what I'd do if I won the lottery ...?" and fantasizing about what they'd do. Here's just two of the ones we saw that are interesting to think about. One person wrote, "When I win, I'm going to buy my own little mountain and have a little house on top."

    And another person wrote, "I would fill a big bathtub with money and get in the tub while smoking a big fat cigar and sipping a glass of champagne."This is even worse: "... then I'd have a picture taken and dozens of glossies made. Anyone begging for money or trying to extort from me would receive a copy of the picture and nothing else."

    And so many of the comments were exactly of this type, where people got money and, in fact, it made them antisocial. So I told you it ruins people's lives and their friends bug them. Also, money often makes us feel very selfish and we do things only for ourselves. We thought maybe the reason money doesn't make us happy is that we're spending it on the wrong things; in particular, we're always spending it on ourselves. And we wondered what would happen if we made people spend more of their money on others. So instead of being antisocial with your money, what if you were more pro-social with it?

    We thought, let's make people do it and see what happens. Let's have some people do what they usually do, spend money on themselves, and let's make some people give money away, and measure their happiness and see if, in fact, they get happier. The first way we did this was, one Vancouver morning, we went out on the campus at University of British Columbia, approached people and said, "Do you want to be in an experiment?" They said, "Yes." We asked them how happy they were, and then gave them an envelope. One of the envelopes had things in it that said, "By 5pm today, spend this money on yourself." We gave some examples of what you could spend it on. Other people got a slip of paper that said, "By 5pm today, spend this money on somebody else." Also inside the envelope was money.

    And we manipulated how much money we gave them; some people got this slip of paper and five
    dollars, some got this slip of paper and 20 dollars. We let them go about their day and do whatever they wanted. We found out they did spend it in the way we asked them to. We called them up and asked them, "What did you spend it on? How happy do you feel now?" What did they spend it on? These are college undergrads; a lot of what they spent it on for themselves were things like earrings and makeup.One woman said she bought a stuffed animal for her niece. People gave money to homeless people. Huge effect here of Starbucks.

    So if you give undergraduates five dollars, it looks like coffee to them, and they run over to Starbucks and spend it as fast as they can. Some people bought coffee for themselves, the way they usually would, but others bought coffee for somebody else. So the very same purchase, just targeted toward yourself or targeted toward somebody else. What did we find when we called at the end of the day? People who spent money on others got happier; people who spent it on themselves, nothing happened. It didn't make them less happy, it just didn't do much for them.

    The other thing we saw is the amount of money doesn't matter much.People thought 20 dollars would be way better than five. In fact, it doesn't matter how much money you spent. What really matters is that you spent it on somebody else rather than on yourself. We see this again and again when we give people money to spend on others instead of on themselves.Of course, these are undergraduates in Canada — not the world's most representative population. They're also fairly wealthy and affluent and other sorts of things.

    Money can definitely buy happiness! But it isn't as simple as rich = happy. It all depends on how you spend it, and I agree that spending it on other people not just yourself is more rewarding than anything.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    In the UK, how much money is needed to live on @GemmaRowlands? Even if you cut out expensive items like running a car and holidays abroad, I think it is still a lot.

    A single person with no children and under retirement age is estimated to need about £17,000 for a minimum acceptable standard of living. (http://www.minimumincome.org.uk/step1) However if you wanted a reasonable lifestyle in London, you would be looking at needing more like £45,000 a year (https://www.quora.com/How-much-money-do-you-need-to-earn-to-live-a-comfortable-life-in-London).
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,327 mod
    mheredge said:

    In the UK, how much money is needed to live on @GemmaRowlands? Even if you cut out expensive items like running a car and holidays abroad, I think it is still a lot.

    A single person with no children and under retirement age is estimated to need about £17,000 for a minimum acceptable standard of living. (http://www.minimumincome.org.uk/step1) However if you wanted a reasonable lifestyle in London, you would be looking at needing more like £45,000 a year (https://www.quora.com/How-much-money-do-you-need-to-earn-to-live-a-comfortable-life-in-London).

    It depends on so many things like where you shop, whether you own your home, the interest rate on your mortgage, how much energy you use etc. But yes I would imagine that in most areas £17,000 is about right. I live in a cheap area of the country, which is good for me.
  • jackelliotjackelliot Posts: 737 OTT
    Fresh air to breath

    fresh bread to eat

    fresh water to drink

    fresh conversation

    fresh smile to sustain

    http://jackelliot.over-blog.com/2017/06/the-things-we-need-to-live-with.html

    -
  • aryarchiaryarchi Posts: 864 ✭✭✭
    As humans, most people prefer to live a long life. As some people say, the longer you live, the better it will be. This long lasting life wouldn't always be the way you wish. That's why a long life without enjoyment is not what we dream. One can enjoy life in a number of ways even when they are so old. It could be having a great love of your family, having the ability to think wisely, and having enough properties to live better.
    According to what I noticed a few years before my grandfather passed away, people can even touch happiness even when they are so old. As senior citizens they can share lots of their time with the new people added to their family, specially when it comes to their grandchildren.
    After many years of living, we could also be able to obtain the ability of thinking wisely, which might not be easily obtained at early ages of life. Consequently we'd make better decisions without bearing the stress of making mistakes.
    One more thing that we would be able to have in seventies or eighties is what we would make lots of attempts in our twenties or thirties. Getting older, you'd have more properties which provides an easier life.
    I like to live as much as possible, if I enjoy every moment of my life. Otherwise Life without enjoyment can even be worse that living in hell.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,327 mod

    Fresh air to breath



    fresh bread to eat



    fresh water to drink



    fresh conversation



    fresh smile to sustain



    http://jackelliot.over-blog.com/2017/06/the-things-we-need-to-live-with.html



    -

    Fresh conversation is definitely necessary to live a long and happy life. I know of a lot of people who just don't have that, and they become bored incredibly easy.
  • alexndalexnd Posts: 34 ✭✭✭✭
    You can be happy with not much money, but money can help to reach happiness...
    To avoid unnecessary expenses, think to: avoid ads (as far as they are lies!), do not be worried about others' eyes or fashion trends, and enjoy simple things! :)
  • AlyGhayathAlyGhayath Posts: 24 ✭✭
    I think this can varies so much from one to another , some people like just simple life with simple foods , others want all expensive stuffs . Although there is some essential expenses that you can not live without , like Health and Education , so i think all governments must fulfill sufficient amount of those two to all Citizens .
  • BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 30,058 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    @AlyGhayath I agree with you. I like simple life as it is hard to manage and maintain sophisticated life. I don't know how do people live in big houses! I can't even imagine it!
    But, again personal choices matter alot!
  • AlyGhayathAlyGhayath Posts: 24 ✭✭
    @Bubbly , some people can not see the point that with every new day , a newer model of a car , tv , clothes , etc will appear , and they will never reach the point of the best , they just need to accept what they have and use the things that they really need , not things which Media and friends tell them to buy .
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    One thing I notice here in the south of France, the elderly get out and about much more and even when alone, they look like they enjoy life. It is very common to see old people on their own in restaurants and cafes or even just sitting on one of the very numerous park benches by the side of the road or on the promenade. I suppose the nice weather helps, but it helps make for a better quality of life.
  • jackelliotjackelliot Posts: 737 OTT
    for water, air and a crumb of bread
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    Air is still free @jackelliot but the other two need to be paid for unless you live by a stream and grow your own wheat!
  • jackelliotjackelliot Posts: 737 OTT
    auch aye

    @mheredge

    air is for free

    yes in what dreams

    capital in bottling in for a profit

    http://jackelliot.over-blog.com/2017/07/bottled-scottish-air-for-sale.html
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    Of course if you're climbing Everest you might need to buy canisters of oxygen @jackelliot.
  • jackelliotjackelliot Posts: 737 OTT
    or if you have a lung disease etc.

    I was with somebody that had a oxygen canister

    I was in Chester UK on a bench with him when somebody came and sat down and started to smoke

    I told them not to smoke or smoke elsewhere

    the smoker refused and gave me a hard time

    until I pointed out that their life expentacy was now sharply cut down if they would continue to smoke beside an open oxygen canister.


    @mheredge
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 27,041 mod
    Ha ha I bet he shifted away pretty fast or put out his cigarette!
  • jackelliotjackelliot Posts: 737 OTT
    @mheredge yes quite fast
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,327 mod
    alexnd said:

    You can be happy with not much money, but money can help to reach happiness...

    To avoid unnecessary expenses, think to: avoid ads (as far as they are lies!), do not be worried about others' eyes or fashion trends, and enjoy simple things! :)

    This is very true. If you use your money in the right way, you will be able to increase your happiness.. but if the reason that you aren't happy doesn't have anything to do with money, then it isn't going to help.
  • jackelliotjackelliot Posts: 737 OTT
    from within
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