(Closed) Financially "Comfortable"

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: How much individually to be "confortable"?

    Under $35,000

    $36,000 - $75,000

    $76,000 - $125,000

    $125,000 - $199,000


    I've got an inheritance & don't think about it

    Other - explain

  • Post # 2
    339 posts
    Helper bee

    It depends on where you at…

    Post # 3
    47430 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Comfort level depends on more than current salary. Do you have debts? credit card or student loans? Do you own or rent? Do you have a partner with bills or outstanding student loans etc? What are your current expenses. If you are still living at home, your income goes much further.

    Post # 4
    467 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: January 2016

    depends how much useless shit you want. 

    Post # 5
    1426 posts
    Bumble bee

    Right now I make ~25,000 on a graduate stipend and my fiance is going back to finish his undergrad. It’s definitely not enough to cover 2 people for more than a couple years. When I was living with a grad student roommate, this was enough: I could do everything that I wanted but was not building much savings for the future.

    I’d probably be able to live pretty comfortably (meaning able to eat what I want, go out, do activities, go on some trips and have a comfortable though small apartment) on 30,000 each (so 60,000 combined). But for me to consider my lifestyle “comfortable” I think I should be able to do all those things and save 1-3 thousand a month. For that I think we’d need to be making about 40,000 each (or 80,000 combined).

    Post # 6
    7571 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    In my area, Boston, where rents on a 1BR apartment in a moderate neighborhood will run $1500/month and a starter condo will be $300k, a “comfortable” single income would be probably $125k, assuming a car payment and a 401(k) contribution and not a ton of debt.

    Post # 7
    47430 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    View original reply
    Horseradish :  You raise another valuable point. Housing is even higher here.

    Post # 8
    210 posts
    Helper bee

    Sounds like you’re set up great. I think feeling comfortable also depends on how much people choose to live within their means and what kind of lifestyle they want. My comfort level is far below most here.  I like to live simply and modestly.  

    Post # 9
    2797 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

    It totally depends on cost of living, whether you have any debt, lifestyle and other things.  I earn about $65k Australian and I can survive on that in Sydney (very HCOL city) but it doesn’t leave a lot of fun money.  DH earns just over $100k and between the two of us we are pretty comfortable.  We’re ahead on our mortgage (we both had property when we met, sold them both and bought our place just after we got married), can afford the bathroom renovations we’re about to do, and can go on holiday regularly. Having said that, neither of us has any debt, barring the mortgage, and we’re both good savers.  I have colleagues with similar household incomes who live paycheck to paycheck.

    Post # 10
    192 posts
    Blushing bee

    The salary talk in this site is so interesting and a good cultural education since for me the numbers thrown around here re so insane. I don’t know anyone who would make that much money. I’m from the Northern Europe (not a cheap place by any means) where the average income is $45k and people earning $100k are considered very wealthy. That is a sum of money that I can’t even dream of earning despite being relatively well educated. So for me personally making $50k would be more than comfortable and a combined income of $80k would be amazing. Neither of these are very unlikely ti happen, but my goal is to make it to the average income bracket.

    Post # 11
    176 posts
    Blushing bee

    As others have pointed out, being financially comfortable has to do with more than just income.  I make $105k, my husband makes $175-225k depending upon his sales commission for the year.  We live in the midwest with a really affordable cost of living.  However, I have a hefty amount of student loan debt from my doctorate and I won’t feel financially comfortable until that is paid off.  We live conservatively on my husband’s small base salary and everything else goes towards savings, retirement, investments, and my student loans.  And the government takes a massive chunk for taxes. 

    Post # 12
    969 posts
    Busy bee

    I have to say, the numbers I’m seeing are eye opening. My husband and I are some of the most well off people we know, particularly within the circle of people we went to highschool with. Sure, we are educated, normal 9-5 worker bees and will never be “rich people”, but I thought that was the norm. I just genuinely had no idea this many people out there make enough to feel like 150 isn’t comfortable. I always kind of thought there was plenty of people living very comfortably in the low 100s, but extremely few people above 200- which I would consider much more than comfortable.


    When we lived in Florida (not the nice retiree part), we were more comfortable on our $60k/year combined salary (I was in school) than we are on our $130k/year salary in Connecticut.

    Of course, our taxes are a full 30% higher and I’m paying 25% of my income to student loans… so it’s more like $75k/year comparatively. Once I don’t have student loans I think we’ll feel like we are swimming in piles of cash, since right now our money situation is at level “requires budgeting but is not stressful”.

    Another thing to note is that how you were raised really affects this. I come from a low income household and he comes from a reasonably wealthy one. When we met our standard of living was quite different- I remember being really surprised when he wanted to order an appetizer and something other than water at restaurants, Plus obviously he didn’t consider Applebee’s a “treat”. It also affected apartment choice- he didn’t like yucky kitchens and wouldn’t consider living somewhere with old carpet and laminate countertops “comfortable” but I would.

    But still, it REALLY depends on where you live. Rent is $500/month higher for anything livable, a date night meal costs $100 instead of $30 for the same quality food, etc. 

    Post # 13
    34 posts

    Comfortable is a relative term. I live pretty comfortably right now on less than 60K but I also don’t have kids. I save 400 bucks a month in additon to contributing to a retirement fund. I own a single family home and have a house, clothes, and food so I am pretty satisfied with that considering there are millions of people who don’t. 

     ETA: Having the basic necessities=living comfortably IMO

    Post # 14
    9575 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2015

    Depends on HCOL or LCOL, if other wealth streams/reserves are present, definition of “comfortable” aka lifestyle and debt or lack there of. I would put it at 50k-100k depending on the above. 

    Post # 15
    948 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    View original reply
    zeebee1 :  I completely agree with this. I live in the midwest US and my husband and I combined now make right around $190k a year after he recently got a promotion. I don’t have a lot of upward mobility in my job so I can’t really even dream of making much more than my current salary, and we know few people, if anyone, who make anywhere near $125k individually. That said though, we own a home and can afford all of our bills and some splurges now (baby is due in March though, so time is ticking on that one!) so the cost of living here is pretty well matched to our income. 

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