When I was 13, I remember a friend telling me that his dad earned £30,000 per year. I remember this because, to me, his family was wealthy. My friends dad was a contractor and had people working for him, they had a new fast car, a large detached house, and my friend had all the fashionable clothes like a Helley Henson Puffer Jacket and a Kickers Boat shoes (it was the 90s). Growing up, In my head, £30,000 per year was what you needed to earn to be well off in the towns of rural England. It was my mental benchmark for the income level for a good life, where you did not have to worry about money.
Corrected for inflation £30,000 in 1998 is now equivalent to around £47,000, which is more than 86% of UK earners. For context, the average University Lecturer (including Lecturer and Senior Lecturer) earns just over £45,000 per year (84th percentile), and the average individual UK income is £24,400 (50th percentile). High income is considered to be the top 5% of earners at £76,800 per year.
The estimated take-home pay (‘disposable income’) for someone earning £47,000 after Income tax and national insurance is £35,600 or just under £3,000 per month.
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