Life is similar to walking down a dark alley full of muggers. At the start you are unsure of where you are going and where you will end up, you just sort of walk blindly. As you continue down the alley you seem to lose more and more of your money, before coming out the other end, tired and dazed, and wondering where both your time and your money disappeared to.
I want to paint a picture of the average life of Joe Bloggs. I want to see if the life we are told to live, the life we are encouraged to live, is actually beneficial to us. Are we rewarded for our endeavours? Or are we simply caged in the modern life? Is it true what Palahniuk says that “the things you own end up owning you”? Personally, I am not convinced that buying into this society, and this way of life, is of benefit to people. In order to express my point, let us look at Joe.
Joe Bloggs is an average man, with an average life and an average job. He finished three years of education in University, before getting a car, a job and a house of his own. He is now progressing down the career path. He lives near Birmingham where, according to Monster, the average wage is £26,171. Luckily he is male, and so he benefits from the higher average salary they receive. Just as luckily he did not dip into his overdraft whilst at University. Coming away with not only a degree, but a £0 bank balance.
As he is now earning money he must start to pay back his Student Loan and his University Tuition. This is 9% a month, and with the increased tuition fees, his total debt is around £36,000. (Though this figure does not include the interest that is almost immediately added on to what he loaned. In truth the figure he owes is higher than £36,000. MUCH HIGHER). Annually he pays back £2355.39 towards his debt, which split over twelve months is £196.28.
So Joe earns £2180.92 a month. His debt payments (£196.28) are taken out of this and this leaves him with £1984.64. The government then tax him at the rate of 20%, on his earnings which are taxable (£16,731) which comes to £278.85 a month, he also has to pay rent on his one bedroom flat which is £500 a month, as well as council tax payments which come to £128.43. After these deductions he is left with a monthly take home of £1077.36. Luckily Joe’s flat came furnished so he did not have to go out shopping for a new sofa.
Just as luckily Joe – he is a very lucky man – had driving lessons, passed both his tests and got his license before leaving University. Therefore once he found his job in Birmingham, he only needed to buy a car. And pay for the MOT. And pay for the road tax. And pay for insurance, and petrol, and breakdown cover. Joe decided to get a Ford Fiesta, which is the most popular car in the UK. This costs him £182 a month, he also spends £100 a month on petrol and £175 a year on road tax and an MOT. After these deductions Joe is left with £780.78 a month. Luckily his car is fairly reliable, he does not have to spend anything on repairs and the place where he works has free parking. YES! He does have to insure it though, and protect it against theft, burglary and breakdown. This costs Joe another £900 a year, which equates to £75 a month. RAC provide breakdown cover for Joe’s Fiesta. This is £78.99 a year. Leaving Joe with £699.20 a month.
According to a document prepared by Helen Webb, on average electricity will cost £42 a month, gas will be £61 and water will be £36. Bringing Joe’s monthly disposable income to £560.20. A TV licence costs £12.13 a month, and Sky’s broadband (£25.40) including line rental and a Sky TV package (£21.50), as well as Joe’s mobile phone contract all need to be deducted from his income. This leaves Joe with £471.17. To save money Joe does not have a landline phone, using only his mobile for outward calls.
As Joe has only just moved in he doesn’t really conduct many repairs or maintenance on the house, it is all in good working order, and as mentioned earlier, came fully furnished. Joe also does not pay for house insurance, content insurance, life insurance, and he has no pets, so he does not pay pet insurance either. Joe has a haircut twice a month costing him £40, he buys contact lenses at £10 a month, has a gym membership (£15) and plays football on the weekends (£16). Luckily he has not needed to go to the Dentists lately and he is in good health, probably due to his lack of smoking and active life. After these monthly deductions Joe is left with £390.17.
Once all these things have been paid for, Joe still has to purchase food in order to continue living his joyous life. An average of £44 is spent each week on the shopping. This is £176 for a month, and leaves Joe with the titanic figure of £214.17. That is £214.17 for himself. To live off and to enjoy. After all his hard work, after making a home, heating it, lighting it, after feeding himself, and staying fit and presentable, Joe is left with just over two hundred to spend on himself each month.
This two hundred pound has to cover any dental issues he may have, any health issues whereby he needs a prescription, any repairs needed on his house or his car, any new piece of furniture for his flat, any parking fines or speeding tickets he may receive. This money must cover all his socialising, all his take-aways, all his eating out, all the new clothes he may need to buy, all the charities he wishes to donate money to, all the birthdays he has to attend and buy presents for. This money must cover contributions towards Christmas, towards holidays, towards newspapers, magazines, tattoos, alcohol, DVD’s, music, hobbies, laundry, books and toiletries.
This two hundred pound is his. To do with as he pleases. To enjoy himself. Joe is very pleased with his hard work, he is very proud of what he has achieved. Unfortunately though, when Joe gets his monthly pay check of £2180.92, he feels a little disappointed, a little cheated that he only really receives £200 of that. He thinks to himself, “Is this all worth it?”
As always, if you have liked what you have read please Share, Like, Comment and/or Reblog.
Don’t forget to check out the related articles.
And please Follow for all the latest updates and posts.