What do you consider to be a "good" salary? - Page 3
After going 7 months last year with no income at all, anything seems like an amazing gift. DH currently makes around 12k at his new job, and I'm glad to have it.
I think making 40k would be awesome for our area but I don't honestly know. We're too poor to realize what a decent income is.
I think some of it depends on where you are in life, too. DH is closer to the end of his career than the beginning. And while we don't have student loans anymore, we're past the starter-house phase. We bought what we needed to raise the whole family in. I would dearly love a newer kitchen, but it's not happening right now. Our retirement contributions are pretty important and we might not be able to fully fund them at the level we want this year, even though we make what I consider a very good living. there's just always STUFF - ya know?
When I graduated college I made $18,000 a year, which was enough for me to have an apartment in a good neighborhood with a roomate, pool, window A/C, off-street lighted parking and on-site laundry facility. I saved enough to put a downpayment on a car that year. I could afford my auto-insurance, gas and food. I put new clothes on layaway and paid a little each pay check until they were mine. I really didn't make much, but it was a good salary for me. I was a liberal arts major so it was probably half of what my engineering friends made. It many ways I had a bit more disposable income then (or maybe simpler needs) than now.
Where you live and what stage you are in life make a huge difference.
We currently live comfortably on $30,000 year. $45,000 would be good. However we are moving back to a much higher COL area. We are going from an area thats COL is 90 and median income of $27,000 to a COL of 103 where the median income is $63,000. In our new area what we consider good will be quite a bit higher not only because of the higher COL but also wanting to purchase a home and save for the future.
We could be comfortable if my husband made 100K a year and I stayed at home. We'd still have to be careful, but there would be some extra for savings, retirement, and my son's college fund. Before I was laid off, we made that much combined, but so much went to daycare, taxes, "convenience" items due to lack of time, a mess of home repairs, etc. that we were still struggling to save anything.
The COL index here is 126 and the average income is $45K. We're making about $35K and struggling, but managing to get by. I'd think with $50K we would be out of debt, able to pay all our bills on time, and afford some small extras like eating out, etc. That would be nice. Ideally I'd like to be closer to $60K to feel truly comfortable, be able to save, put the kids into classes they're interested in, etc.
DH is working FT and going to college FT, hopefully graduating in 2013 with 2 engineering degrees, and then we're moving out of here. We're really hoping that a lower COL (the place we're heading is at 92), and an increased income will make the struggle we're going through now worthwhile.
This sounds about right to me. I guess it depends on what the definition of "good" is, though. I'm not really content with just good, to be honest. I'm comfortable with great or really great.
We live in a high COL area too. DH makes 72K (recently took a 30K pay cut and I'm SAHM now) and i'm ashamed to say it doesn't ever seem like enough. We used to make 130K combined, so it's a huge adjustment since taking a paycut and me quiting to take care of the baby. The baby was planned for, but his paycut was not something we had prepared for. We're stretched thin with lots of obligations right now though. Huge child support payment, two pretty new cars, mortgage, rent for an apartment (because we're renting our house out for less than the mortage), credit cards, student loans, new baby, two dogs.... etc. Always seems like something. I'd be super comfortable at 150K. We could be very comfortable at 72K now if my hubby learned how to not spend so much money - he's got expensive taste.
COL in my area is a little under national average. Really varies township by township . It's hard to say what would be a good salary. What we make (under 30k) would be okay if we didn't have student loan debt, but then again, we bought our house for a STEAL so most people couldn't get by on it if they wanted a house in a decent school district. I'd say 50k is good for most people around here, but most probably don't think that's enough. We probably won't make that much for a long time, if ever, and if we continue making just what we make we'll make it, and if we make a little more, we'll breathe a little easier.
Edited to add: We are in our twenties and hoping that these are our skinny years, I want to make more later to save for our children and for retirement.
We live in an expensive area - the COL index is 160 - 170, depending on which zip code you put in. If "good" is defined as owning a small home, 1 - 2 cars, and maybe saving a bit of money each month, I would say you probably need at least $150k/year to live here. Small homes in safe areas range from about $550k - $800k. Plus we have high state income taxes and all that. Our garbage bill was the most surprising cost when we moved here - I think it's around $100 - $125/month.
Thanks for this. Ok, now I totally get why I feel so broke ... lol.
My town is 126 on the COL index with a median income of 106k and median home price of 631k. The state as a whole has a median income of 68k and home price of 348k. So anywhere in my state I'd still be below average in income :(