Use access key #2 to skip to page content.

How is disposable income these days?



April 11, 2013 – Comments (9)

I am wondering how disposable income is looking for people these days.  I'd appreciate people commenting whether they think their's is better or worst over the last 5-10 years and if there are significant reasons for the change.

In my case, I moved to northern Canada for a job in 2007.  Prior to that disposable income was tight as I was somewhat under employed (maybe 70-75%) and housing was very expensive.  We also sold the home so that really reduced costs so since then I have been fortunate to have very good disposable income.  But I would say prior to moving to the north, disposable income was tight my whole adult life first from putting myself through university, and then while I was in university the housing market practically tripled in Vancouver.  But, even if I hadn't been under employed, I still think money would have been tight because housing was just so expensive.  It would have made the difference between feeling like debt was never going away and being able to get it under control, but the money would still be going to housing.

So, good disposable income now, but had to make massive changes in my life to achieve that and I think I would still feel buried in debt with limited disposable income if I was still in Vancouver. 


9 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 11, 2013 at 2:09 PM, CMFbbmaven (100.00) wrote:

It's been awhile since we connected Deb.  I have always admired your intellectual curiosity and how you think about things.

I think it will be difficult to make apples to apples comparisons that have meaning outside the context of the individual stories.  Your story, for example, cannot be projected broadly.  If you had stayed in the same situation in Vancouver there might be a useful comparison.  I think your conclusion though, that the move was a good one for you, is absolutely valid.

In my case, five years ago I had three teenager, a beloved partner who had just completed her MSW and reentering the workforce, and a job that was torpedoed just as I was beginning to love it.  Today, the partner has a thriving therapy practice, one of those teenagers has completed college, one is in college and one is preparing to enter in the fall.  I have more disposable income - but some of that is illusory as I have taken some education loans out.  Balanced by a second income.  I don't know how to draw a conclusion from my experience that might apply to anyone else - or what connection that has to the economy overall.

Thanks for asking the question - be well.


Report this comment
#2) On April 11, 2013 at 2:19 PM, CMFbbmaven (100.00) wrote:

I was looking through some old stuff and recently ran across this exchange I had forgotten about.  We go way back, don't we:)

Report this comment
#3) On April 11, 2013 at 3:55 PM, Teacherman1 (< 20) wrote:

Hi Deb

It seems like all of my income these days is disposable, at least that seems to be how my wife thinks about it. :)

My life has been one of significant fluctuations in income, from good (in the O&G business and as a banker), to great  as a real estate investor and developer), to adequate (as a teacher), to comfortable (as a retiree).

I was blessed to make a lot of money in the RE business and make some good investments with it, and even though I ended up giving most of it away, there is still enough left to supplement my retirement income and allow me to have fun "playing" the market.

My wife likes to think of herself as the "breadwinner" these days, since she is still working and earns more than my retirement income, but she tends to overlook the fact that I pay all of the bills, so all of hers and some of mine is "disposable".:)

I do not include the income from my investments as part of my retirement income, but just my teachers retirement and some SS.

Be carefull when the ice breaks up, or has that already happened?

Hope you don't have too many more years to have to work, but if you enjoy it, then I hope you stay with it.

I would still be teaching myself if it weren't for my body falling apart. I loved the interaction with the kids, but it just got too physically painfull to keep it up.

Have a great day and enjoy your upcoming vacation time.

Report this comment
#4) On April 11, 2013 at 4:23 PM, pjani06 (28.47) wrote:

lost job 3wks ago

Report this comment
#5) On April 11, 2013 at 4:56 PM, thecherryz (84.54) wrote:

Hey Deb, haven't seen you in a while.  Longtime lurker here, almost never post.  Thought I'd post about this.  I would say my parents have a significant amount of disposable income.  Hard to tell because my father recently bought a commercial property and I guess that eats a large amount of money.  I am a recent college graduate.  Graduated at the end of 2012 in finance.  Scored in the 98th percentile on the bloomberg assessment test.  I'm still looking for a job, I realize 3 months isn't too long to have been looking, but I was hoping something finance related pops up sooner.  It seems most of the replies I get are for non-finance things.  Anyways, I have an interview with Paychex tomorrow, if I do well I should have a significant amount of disposable income =P.

Report this comment
#6) On April 12, 2013 at 2:34 AM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

"better or worst"?  Did you mean worse? And you teach?  So not impressed.

Report this comment
#7) On April 12, 2013 at 12:22 PM, jac58 (51.19) wrote:

Hey #6 take another look at dwot's post.  She never claims to be a teacher.  Yes, she made a couple of spelling errors, but who doesn't sometimes?  However, your reading comprehension could use quite a bit of work, apparently. 

So not impressed.

Report this comment
#8) On April 18, 2013 at 1:12 AM, dwot (29.30) wrote:

bbmaven, Vancouver's economy was so tough for me, I have no faith that if I'd stayed much would have changed, and I think it is still very hard for a lot of people.  I looked back at what you linked to and I was surprised.  I was in such a strong focus then and I've been away from it for so very long now.

Wow teacherman, did you ever have a lot of very different jobs.  I guess how many years I have left to work really depend on what I want for lifestyle.  I want to get back to Vancouver.  Where I live is just so small and I am missing city life and all the options for things to do things these days.  But, when I lived in Vancouver there just wasn't the income to enjoy the options, which is also a part of lifestyle.  I guess in about 4 more years I could afford to go back and know that I have basic expenses covered for retirement, but I'd be back in the position of low disposable income.  I really like having good disposable income so I don't want to go back to that.

It is still a bit early for the ice break up.  I found the link I posted about it the first year I was here,  It has been a cold winter here, but I also think the most snow so it is anyone's guess as to when break-up will come.  The snow actually insultates so I'm not sure what to think about how that would affect the ice on the river.  It was a cold year this year so that would make me think break up would come later, but then we had a lot of snow.  When I got my roof shoveled the pile in my front yard was as high as my living room window, which is on the top floor...  So I think that would insulate and prevent it from getting as thick as you'd expect with so many -30 days.  

I sure hope we don't end up with flooding, but with the amount of snow to melt...  Flooding up the river complete buried about 80% of the small community there. 

That's awful pjani06.  I hope you find something else and something that you like, soon.

thecherryz, hope you get the job! 

Report this comment
#9) On May 09, 2013 at 1:37 AM, JedBarleycorn (< 20) wrote:

  My wife and I recently retired and this has affected our disposable income somewhat. However, we both worked hard, saved religiously, and caught the real estate bubble at just the right moment. In the process we have found that, while old age is not for sissies, every day spent in retirement is like a day at the beach.


Our financial situation in retirement has actually improved. Since we have sufficient disposable income to do just about anything we want, our activities in retirement are now more subject to the constraints of good health rather than finances.


Good luck in your enquiry.



Report this comment

Featured Broker Partners