Making Good Money? What do you consider? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: How much $ per year is "good money?"
Some figure under $30,000 1 0.61%
$30,000 2 1.21%
$40,000-49,000 11 6.67%
$50,000-$59,000 28 16.97%
$60,000's 29 17.58%
$70,000's 20 12.12%
$80,000's or higher 64 38.79%
Other because there is always an other 10 6.06%
Voters: 165. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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After reading a lot of threads in this forum, I am curious as to what people consider "making good money." On some other sites, I have heard people refer to $8 an hour as "good money," which surprised me as its barely over minimum wage.

Soo...don't feel like you have to answer about your personal income, but what income level do you consider to be "good money?" There is a huge range as to how the government defines middle class...

As posted further down, base this on combined total family income for a family sized 4-6.
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#2 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 07:41 PM
 
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Well, it's hard to choose an exact figure because it is all relative. Our HHI is only adequate for where we live (San Diego) but would definitely be "good money" in another part of the country with cheaper COL (such as, say, Kansas).

It's a HUGE difference. A tiny, dumpy 2-bedroom condo here will cost at least $300K, while the same $300K buys a big McMansion in Kansas! Plus gas costs more in San Diego, etc...even such things as the cost of homebirth midwives have a HUGE price differential ($4500 here; my friend had hers in Iowa for under $2K).

So, it's really impossible to say what "good money" is unless you link it to the area that someone is living in.
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#3 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 07:48 PM
 
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I agree that "good money" has a lot to do with the general cost of living in your area. For instance, a family of four can make up to 99K a year here and still qualify for deed-restricted/affordable housing because the housing market is so out of control. IMO, I don't think a family making "good money" would qualify for affordable housing, but there you have it.

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#4 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 07:51 PM
 
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For me it's a moot point. It's your net worth and how you are handling your finances. There are people out there who make minimum wage and have a net worth in the millions and people making six figures that are negative on net worth. I think that's the biggest problem with people in the US - they care about what they make a month rather than how they are handling it.
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#5 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 07:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normajean View Post
After reading a lot of threads in this forum, I am curious as to what people consider "making good money."
On some other sites, I have heard people refer to $8 an hour as "good money," which surprised me as its barely over minimum wage.

Soo...don't feel like you have to answer about your personal income, but what income level do you consider to be "good money?"
There is a huge range as to how the government defines middle class...
Before I vote, do you mean individual income, or do you mean one income for a family of four? or six? or 12?

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#6 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I mean for a family. So if a family is making good money, whether that is one breadwinner and one SAH parent, or whether its two working people...combined for the family what is good money.

As for family size, say a family of 4-6 people.
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#7 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 08:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normajean View Post
I mean for a family. So if a family is making good money, whether that is one breadwinner and one SAH parent, or whether its two working people...combined for the family what is good money.

As for family size, say a family of 4-6 people.

OK, thanks, now I'll crunch the numbers and vote.

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#8 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 08:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
For me it's a moot point. It's your net worth and how you are handling your finances. There are people out there who make minimum wage and have a net worth in the millions and people making six figures that are negative on net worth. I think that's the biggest problem with people in the US - they care about what they make a month rather than how they are handling it.
Nah, I don't care what my net worth is as long as I have a big house and a shiny new car in the driveway!

This is too true - I think its about how content you are with what you have. Since most people want more and more and more, they are never content with what they have, so they always think "good money" is just a little more. Happiness I think comes through being content with what you have.

I'd be interested to see the same poll, but instead of absolute values, ask in terms of above and below what the person answering currently makes. I might post that out of curiosity.

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#9 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 08:28 PM
 
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It's all relative.

In our small town and in our small house (that we just bought) $40k would be great (we make about $30k now).

We could handle mortgage, utilities (including cable internet, tv, and digital phone) as well as taxes for the cars and house, house insurance, health insurance along with saving some money and spending a bit extra each pay period.

Right now we are really struggling (but only becuase we just bought the house and underestimated a few fees.

Yeah, $40k would rock
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#10 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 08:34 PM
 
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And to add- the things I listed are things we have now.

We can pay our bills but have to be really creative with making lunches and dinners. Sometimes we can't afford to by food to make kailey's lunches, but also can't afford the $1.25 for her to eat hot lunch- so we get a loan from the school and pay it back when we can (I won't let her go with pennies and nickels for lunch).

But all this is compounded by the fact that Mark is a first year teacher and I am a fourth year student.

I would be content with what we have if we didn't have so much. I only need reliable internet to do my classes. I don't want the TV or digital phone.

I want the basics. I want to live simply. But, I don't live with someone who wants to do that
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#11 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 08:36 PM
 
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I picked $40-49K. That's of course, assuming only one person is working (cause otherwise, $20k/each isn't much IMO). Obviously, anything above this point is good - and i'd even be happy in the mid-$30k/annually area - but $40,000 is my ideal.

We live frugally, so off $40k a year, we can save 1/2 of our takehome. To me, that is good money!
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#12 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 08:48 PM
 
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I chose other because I don't think that a specific figure is good money. I think that good money is having enough to get everything you want/need. I don't mean like a whole bunch of ridiculous pointless stuff, but enough to have good food, nice things for your children and your house. I mean enough to live comfortably with out having to worry about money. I don't mean living in a mansion with an Olympic sized swimming pool and ten cars you don't drive KWIM?

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#13 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normajean View Post
I mean for a family. So if a family is making good money, whether that is one breadwinner and one SAH parent, or whether its two working people...combined for the family what is good money.

As for family size, say a family of 4-6 people.
And where do they live?
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#14 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 09:29 PM
 
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You nailed it, MM. Off to post in your poll.
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#15 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 09:32 PM
 
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Quote:
There are people out there who make minimum wage and have a net worth in the millions
Who are these millionaires making minimum wage? I'm guessing they didn't always make that little.

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#16 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 09:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
For me it's a moot point. It's your net worth and how you are handling your finances. There are people out there who make minimum wage and have a net worth in the millions and people making six figures that are negative on net worth. I think that's the biggest problem with people in the US - they care about what they make a month rather than how they are handling it.
Totally agreed.

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#17 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
And where do they live?
I am more interested in what people conceptualize as good money, I am not looking for a target figure of what really is good money, so area is irrelevant. Just vote based on where you are now, what you feel you would need to make (or are making) to be making "good money."

Does that make sense, its more about getting into people's heads and seeing the range of difference on thought, than it is about standardizing a definition.

For those who haven't seen the other poll, its good too, check it out.
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#18 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 09:35 PM
 
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i said 80,000 or higher. but truly i think it depends on each family life style, needs and budget

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#19 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 09:37 PM
 
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It really depends on the area too much for me to give a flat amount. Here, I'd say 60-70K is pretty good money, career type job (albeit early in such) as opposed to hourly temp type job. But where we lived before, 30-35K would be the same.

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#20 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 09:38 PM
 
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Where I live, under $60 if fine but not good imo.

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#21 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 09:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normajean View Post
I am more interested in what people conceptualize as good money, I am not looking for a target figure of what really is good money, so area is irrelevant. Just vote based on where you are now, what you feel you would need to make (or are making) to be making "good money."

Does that make sense, its more about getting into people's heads and seeing the range of difference on thought, than it is about standardizing a definition.

For those who haven't seen the other poll, its good too, check it out.
The reason I ask is because our rent is 1800 a month, same place in another area would be 600 and 3500 in another area. So for one family 40K could be good money and for another it wouldn't put a 3 bedroom 1,100 sq ft roof over their heads let alone feed them.
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#22 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 10:55 PM
 
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The reason I ask is because our rent is 1800 a month, same place in another area would be 600 and 3500 in another area. So for one family 40K could be good money and for another it wouldn't put a 3 bedroom 1,100 sq ft roof over their heads let alone feed them.
I feel the same. To me, good money is all about context, not a state of mind. I live in NYC right now, so less that $40K is really struggling for a family of 4-6. If I lived in rural WI, where I am from, that would be great money!

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#23 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 11:29 PM
 
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Don't get to deep into this. The OP is asking for YOU, what is good money. Not for the area or for what type of apartment someone may live in.

That's why I said 40k is good for US, where we live and what we want/have.
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#24 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 11:46 PM
 
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$60K is the point at which we start to have money at the end of the month rather than month at the end of the money. That's what feels like 'good money' to me, when I'm at a point where I'm meeting all my bills, buying groceries, having a few little luxuries in life like the occasional cup of coffee or dinner out, putting a bit of money away for a rainy day and still have a positive checking balance at the end of the month.

But that's subjective... I could reduce that figure by at least $15K if we didn't have student loan payments.

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#25 of 44 Old 10-11-2007, 11:57 PM
 
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oops, thanks for reminding me Belle- add another 10k for us because of student loans. So $50 would be rockin!
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#26 of 44 Old 10-12-2007, 12:17 AM
 
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I said $80K. Cost of living is obscene here. $80K would mean one of us employed FT and the other employed PT/WAH. I consider us go have good middle-class earning potential in 'grey collar' tech jobs, but neither of us has enough education to truly have a professional job. For me 'good money' has less to do with how much we could live on and more to do with us being compensated properly for our experience.
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#27 of 44 Old 10-12-2007, 06:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Nora'sMama View Post
Well, it's hard to choose an exact figure because it is all relative. Our HHI is only adequate for where we live (San Diego) but would definitely be "good money" in another part of the country with cheaper COL (such as, say, Kansas).

It's a HUGE difference. A tiny, dumpy 2-bedroom condo here will cost at least $300K, while the same $300K buys a big McMansion in Kansas! Plus gas costs more in San Diego, etc...even such things as the cost of homebirth midwives have a HUGE price differential ($4500 here; my friend had hers in Iowa for under $2K).

So, it's really impossible to say what "good money" is unless you link it to the area that someone is living in.

Yep. We just moved back to CA, near San Diego, and I consider what dh makes to be "good money" for our family of 5. We struggle because we maxed out our ccards on the move, and we're still in the red a bit, and rent here is very expensive.

Dh makes over twice what he made when we lived in AZ, and we are living the same lifestyle..same budget, just more zeros on the paycheck and the rent check.

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#28 of 44 Old 10-12-2007, 06:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by normajean View Post
I am more interested in what people conceptualize as good money, I am not looking for a target figure of what really is good money, so area is irrelevant. Just vote based on where you are now, what you feel you would need to make (or are making) to be making "good money."

Does that make sense, its more about getting into people's heads and seeing the range of difference on thought, than it is about standardizing a definition.

For those who haven't seen the other poll, its good too, check it out.

Okay, based on this, for where I live, 80k. This will get you a decent house in a decent area, allow you to eat organic, send the kids to one activity, pay all the bills, have some left for savings, etc.

When it comes to entry level jobs, I think 10+ an hour is ideal for this area...most retail positions pay about 8-10 to start, and most entry level office jobs start at 10. It isn't enough to raise a family, but I think 10/hr is okay...it's 2/hr more than minimum wage.

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#29 of 44 Old 10-12-2007, 07:26 AM
 
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Good money is defined (to me) as enough money to pay for all living expenses, plus at least small luxuries, without struggle. To achieve that, we consider income, as well as cost of living. Debt plays a factor too. So we are right now considering moving somewhere where the cost of buying a house is way down, as a means of accomplishing our goals better.
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#30 of 44 Old 10-12-2007, 12:04 PM
 
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IMO "good money" is a state of mind. After you meet the basic necessities, it's all about upgrading. For us that's been true from housing to food. As I tell DH, we'll spend whatever we make. More organic food, vacations and experiences as a family, more towards retirement, more towards DS's 529, more towards charity...it's never ending. For all we know Bill Gates is up nights agonizing, "If only I made a gazillion trillion, I could end illiteracy AND world hunger!"

Personally, once I hit that "bare necessity" mark, which for me was 30K, I feel everything over that is gravy. We have almost triple that now and trust me, we don't have any money w/ nowhere to go.
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