(Closed) At which combined salary would you be happy?

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
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    140K-180K

    180K+

  • Post # 61
    Member
    9430 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

    i would like DH to make closer to what i make.  that would put us in a super comfortable position.

    Post # 62
    Member
    9430 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

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    babeba :  combined income of $180k is nowhere near the 1%.

    if my DH made what i made, we would be over that.  and we would be sitting comfortably in middle class.  we wouldn’t even be in the upper class.

    Post # 63
    Member
    1580 posts
    Bumble bee

    I won’t get into details, but I have six figure income and so does SO.  But, we live in an area with a relatively low cost of living.  

    We could easily get by on his or mine.

    Post # 64
    Member
    1199 posts
    Bumble bee

    We are at a combined $250,000ish before taxes in a high cost of housing area of the Midwest (not HCOL overall, but housing can be rough). I am happy with where we are as we don’t have debt and don’t struggle to pay our bills, but since we still can’t afford a down payment on a house and since we are saving for retirement and college for our kids (and have a baby on the way), I wouldn’t want to make any less. Not saying that we couldn’t get by on less, but it would put our goals even further into the future. We aren’t swimming around in extra piles of money–saving for a house is a daunting task, and daycare is stupidly expensive too. 

    Post # 65
    Member
    487 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2017

    We have a combined income of £106k but we live in London and would easily be more comfortable on a total of £35k back in my home town where house prices/mortgages/travel aren’t all complete daylight robbery.  I guess location/age/career all play a factor.

    Post # 66
    Member
    3219 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2016

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    TravelingBride31 :  yeah… it’s kind of gross how there are some people on this thread claiming they “need” to make over 250k+ to be comfortable or happy. Even if they were too 25%, they are still very privileged compared to the majority of citizens around them. 

     

    Do “poor” people not deserve to be happy? 

    Post # 67
    Member
    426 posts
    Helper bee

    Midwest area.  Cost of living is pretty affordable, but housing is starting to get expensive where the good schools are.  

    We are at $110k and saving about 2-2.5k a month. Sadly, all of that cash is going to my grad school (*which we are paying out of pocket) and the residual is paying of DH undergrad loans.   Kinda stinks, but when I graduate and we have everything paid off, I am hoping for a substantial raise. 

     

    Then all of our savings will go  for daycare  🙁

    Post # 68
    Member
    1316 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2016

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    babeba :  it seems we’ve interpreted the posts here very differently. What I’m seeing from most bees is that they feel that an extra $X would allow them to feel better about meeting particular future financial goals (purchase house, pay student loan, etc). Since the Bee is skewed towards a more affluent audience the salaries are closer to the top rather than bottom of the income range. 

    I’m not clear on how them stating that additional hypothetical money would be welcome in any way influences or reflects opinions on “poor” people. 

    It’s not that every bee who responded here is currently unhappy and only people earning $x could possibly be happy. The phrasing “would be happy with” means “is sufficiently high that you would be OK walking away from more” so people are responding in kind. The problem is that our brains are wired to be greedy… Once we have that additional money our expectations adjust and we find ourselves wanting just a bit more money. And so the cycle continues.

    This is no reflection on rich v poor people, it’s human psychology.

    Post # 69
    Member
    368 posts
    Helper bee

    My SO and I currently make about 95K combined and we live in NYC and we have a son. It’s hard because I have undergrad loans to pay off and I still make less than my SO. Once my school loans are paid for I will feel more comfortable. We are fortunate to be able to live in a really nice area of BK in a rent stabilized apartment but eventually we want to purchase a condo probably in NJ so the extra income would definitely help us save.

    Post # 70
    Member
    480 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2017

    I would be happy with making 100k combined. We’re already happy, but having more savings would help us feel more relaxed. Currently make about 75k, live in the midwest. FIs salary will be increasing this year, and I got my first promotion at a new job so we’re on our way.

    Post # 71
    Member
    15020 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I’d say I’m happy, cause I really can’t say that I’m UNhappy, but not satisifed.  We naturally don’t spend a lot on *things* and eating out and I think we are generally pretty frugal, but we do splurge a lot on international vacation every year and doing fertility treatments now.  We save aggressively for retirement as well.  And there’s enough left that we don’t worry about affording anything reasonble. BUT it would be quite a bit tighter if we had to pay for day care and save for college.  So I’d say at 300k, I think I could be completely happy with no financial worries.

    Post # 72
    Member
    5 posts
    Newbee

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    beverlykay :  We make mid $200s but live in the NYC metro area. With such a high cost of living, it definitely doesn’t go as far as you’d think and we don’t even have student loans. It’s a shame because this is where our family and friends are, so I don’t see us moving to less expensive area. We are very happy now and live comfortably but when we buy a house, start a family etc. I’d definitely want to be closer to the $350K range. 

    Post # 73
    Member
    510 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    I love that you say assuming you are not in a freakishly high cost of living area. That would be us, in So Cal. We are currently at a combined income of $140K and I just got a promotion so we will be close to $150K in a few months. Unfortunately, in So Cal, that gets us a 3 bedroom 1400 sq foot house and we are itching to upgrade, but we would need to make so much more! I say I would be “comfortable”, meaning no worries and financial stress (I feel like that will never happen!) at 175-200K in So Cal or making what we are making now, 150K, but in another state. 

    Post # 74
    Member
    2650 posts
    Sugar bee

    This is interesting. I think “dream scenario” vs. “live comfortably” are very different things. I live on about 30k a year right now (I’m in grad school, in a fully funded program w a teaching fellowship) in NYC. That is VERY tight for me and frankly not enough to live on, but the plus side is that I will not have loans from grad school & only have about 10k in undergrad loans to pay off. In NYC, I think 50k would be about the minimum to be “comfortable” for me as a single person – by no means would that be a lot, but enough to comfortably afford (modest) eating out, a small vacation now and again, and ability to build a small savings and put away money for retirement. (Others may disagree, but I know I could comfortably live on about that amount, as I have relatively few expenses, little debt, etc.) I put 80-100k because I think for a childless couple, that amount would be comfortable in NYC for a modest lifestyle, assuming little to no debt to pay off and not needing to save aggressively for a particular goal. Adding kids to the mix would definitely require more, though, and if you wanted to own property or save for a similar goal you’d also need far more. 

    If we’re talking dream scenario where I have enough money for an extensive trip to Europe every year, a beautiful home, go out to expensive meals and go to pricey events regularly, have kids who I send to private schools and various extracurricular classes, be able to donate to charity regularly, etc. that would change things. In that case maybe the 180+ category, though that’s hard for me to conceputalize right now since I’m living on so much less.

    Post # 75
    Member
    5363 posts
    Bee Keeper

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    beverlykay :  Whatever salary allows me to save, put enough towards retirement, pay off my debt and buy a two bedroom two bathroom house and STILL have enough to take an overseas trip once a year. THAT would be the best. But if we’re talking happy, where we’re at is pretty good minus my student debt which is not small, but not huge. If we didn’t have any debt where we’re at is just fine. But we still wouldn’t be able to afford a house. I have medical bills on the regular so that extra bump would mean we could live like others do on our income without the added + 13% of income going towards medical stuff give or take each year.

    I really think that most people can be “happy” with less, but the part of it is the stress of not being able to meet your needs that eats into the happiness. If you’re not sure if you can pay your rent or pay your doctor (if you have a chronic condition) is what really eats into the happiness. I don’t think it’s a magical number because cost of living is relative. IF we moved to another state and made the same, we would be considered quite well off. However where we are, we are average but can’t afford more than a one bedroom apartment. So the fact that we can afford that at all is a good thing. It’s all relative.

     

     

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