The Professional Poor


Hi Scott,

We are in our early 40s and, despite a combined income of $185,000, are feeling like the ‘professional poor’. Working long hours, drowning in our mortgage, two young kids (with two depressed parents), no support to even have a Barefoot Date Night. Our last holiday was four years ago and we were all vomiting with a virus. We are sick and tired of life and need help. I would rather live in a tent, but can’t even afford one. We are a sinking ship.


Scott's Answer

Hi Amanda,


Let me hit you with the reality stick: according to, you are in the top 0.07 per cent richest people in the world, based on your income. That makes you the 4,262,959th richest person on earth by income. In other words, around 7.1 billion people would love to have your First World problems. You sound like what I call a ‘postcode povvo’: you’ve over-borrowed so you can live in a fancy house in a fancy suburb, and all it’s doing is making you miserable.

Now, all jokes aside, I totally understand the depression that financial stress brings. It’s horrible and it’s no way to live. Thankfully there’s a simple solution: sell and buy something you can afford. On your income, and working as a team, you can do this. Then you — and the kids — can start enjoying life.