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 # 45
    1400 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2020

    I think this depends a lot on where people live (cost of living), and how they were raised.

    Both my Fiance and I live in the midwest and grew up here. My mom raised three kids on 35k a year, with the mortgage being her only debt. We had horses and went on vacations, but she was/is constantly stressing about money and retirement is still far off for her. In school, I would get free or reduced lunches because we were always on the brink of being considered poor. It worked well in my favor for financial aid tho! We had a 150k house on 5 acres of land.

    My Fiance grew up with two parents and one sibling, with a combined salary around 70-80k. They had four wheelers, snowmobiles, cable TV, a cabin up north, hunting land, and flipped small houses on the side. They built a nice 300-350k house with 4br 3.5bth on 2ish acres of land.

    For my Fiance and I, we could comfortably live on 60k low end, 80k high end. Considering he’s going to be a mechanical engineer (still have to graduate, but he’s on co-op right now), his starting salary will be 70-80k. I’ll work in media, which makes 40-60k a year. So we’ll have a lot more than we’re used to, but still plan on living a more modest lifestyle, like our parents, but have extra traveling. When we have kids, I plan on being a stay at home mom, but we will still live comfortably off just his salary.

    Oh, and we’ll only have 10-15k of student loans to pay off once we graduate, which should only take us 2 years to pay off. We have no other debts. This is also a factor when determining what’s comfortable for us to live off of.

    Post # 46
    574 posts
    Busy bee

    These salaries on here are baffling my mind. Wow! I just can’t imagine earning this kind of money! 

    I’m a teacher, I was on 23k in the UK and then moved to Spain where I’ve taken a pay cut, now on 20k….but life is cheap as chips here. Order a drink and you get free tapas 😉 

    My view of money has completely changed since moving here and since meeting my SO. The Spanish work to live, not live to work. My salary is average for where we live. Money is spent more on eating out and socialising than on cars or houses. People tend to live in modest houses and drive little cars. Evenings are spent with friends or family having a late dinner, espcially in summer.

    Come and live in Spain. 😉 

    Post # 47
    358 posts
    Helper bee

    I’m in the 76-125 bracket. I live alone with rent, student loan, car payments, insurance, all the normals bills, and no I do not feel comfortable haha. I’d be happy to move up a bracket. For reference I live in NJ and rent is not cheap. 

    Post # 48
    190 posts
    Blushing bee

    We don’t have any debt but live in a very high cost of living city (rent is $2400+ for a 1 bdrm with den, same size apartment sells for $700k +). We earn $200k+ combined before tax and can save, but it’s like you just breathe money in this city. What you do earn doesn’t go far and the income tax is high. Even at those salaries we’re still renting as we can’t afford to buy. I never imagined I’d have such a high number to be ‘comfortable’ but the expenses keep going up each year disproportionately to increases in income. I checked $125k+ in the polls because if I didn’t have a spouse with an income I wouldn’t be able to live alone in this city on a lower salary. 

    Post # 50
    211 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: January 2015

    We live in an area with a fairly low cost of living, have no kids, very little debt other than our mortgage and regular monthly bills, have enough in savings to cover at least 6 months of expenses in an emergency, and a decent amount saved for husband’s retirement. We’re also not very big spenders in general other than eating out 2-3 times per week on average and buying the occasional wanted item every now and again, so we would be very comfortable at $35k even though hubby makes a bit more than that. I’m 45 and no longer work or freelance due to health reasons, so I guess I’m considered to be early retired. 

    Post # 51
    722 posts
    Busy bee

    *I am still in school so can’t contribute much to this thread but I enjoy reading people’s comments.

    View original reply
    happybridetobe1988 :  What Spanish do when they no longer working? Do they got pension, have retirement fund set aside automatically, live together with children, etc? I am genuinely curious because retirement and getting sick after retiring is one thing that make me anxious about income. 

    Post # 52
    331 posts
    Helper bee

    I noticed some differences in reactions by Europeans vs Americans. To that, I need to say that in general wages are much lower in Europe but there is enough social safety net and health services available. In America, there is almost no guarantee. Any medical emergency can bankrupt someone who makes “comfortable” wage.

    To me, “comfortable” wage isn’t just tied to lifestyle but security in old age. I make six figures now, but who knows how long I can be of sound health and mind to earn this kind of income. So I sock away as much as possible into 401K and savings that it “hurts”. Even if I’m making up to 200k I think I would live modestly as if I’m making 80k (which is where I think is comfortable for most). Maybe I’m paranoid, but some times I can’t sleep at night thinking what would happen if one of us loses our job, or if we get sick, or have some other family emergency.

    Two things that worry me most are costs of healthcare and education. I have no idea how to forecast the future costs of these things, so the best I can do is to just hustle as much money as I can when I’m young and able. Basically I never feel like I’m making enough money because I don’t feel secure enough as a citizen.. we are not taken care of, not unlike our European cousins.

    Post # 53
    630 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    “Comfortable” definitely depends on more than income. I’ve been in a place in life where I made 25K and felt rich, because I was living with my parents and my only regular expense was my student loan. I’ve been in a place where me and DH made well over 100K and felt poor, because our financial needs were completely out of our reach.

    For me, the big things that made a difference were one, whether or not I was living on my own, because housing costs have gone through the roof while I was growing up. Two, whether or not I had kids, because suddenly you need a bigger place, child care, and/or the ability to cut one family member’s work hours and not end up in debt. 

    Post # 54
    373 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I make 100k with my businesses, my husband makes around 100-115k, and then we have 2 income properties that bring in 40-50k a year. We live in Nashville, and the average house that we are looking for is between 600k-800k. We have a mortage on the current house we live in, and a I have a small business loan. We have no credit card debt or any school loans. I feel we are pretty comfortable however I wouldnt say we have a ton of extra money. We are comfortable for our lifestyle we live. Taxes take out quite a bit as is. (I shop at TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack) and we are extremely DIY with all home stuff. We are not on a budget, however we are pretty frugile. 

    Post # 54
    133 posts
    Blushing bee

    A lot of it depends on the cost of living in your area. In 2016, I would have been comfortable at what I was making at $36k or so a year, but I was also supporting my ex and his friend and her daughter. Not exactly the best situation. With that I paid rent, electric, food, water, car payment, car insurance, cable and my personal bills.

    Right now, I live back at home and make $25k. I pay about half of what I did in rent, car and insurance. I don’t have to worry about the other bills except my personal ones and I’ve finally been able to pay off debts that should have been paid off by now.

    When it comes to living on my own here, my 2016 salary wouldn’t get me very far and my current wouldn’t get me anything. I would absolutely need my fiance’s help, but together we can be comfortable. Our combined salaries put us squarely middle class for where we are considering moving.

    Post # 56
    208 posts
    Helper bee

    It depends. I do not want kids and neither does my S.O. However, I will soon have law school debt. My S.O is not college educated so I would assume he would max around 40k and I will max around 100-150k. So total income MAX ~200k.  I live in the south, but the city I live in has similar rent prices to Boston. Will probably have to relocate to another city.

    Post # 58
    5870 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    You know, I’ve earned a lot of different salaries over the years, and I’ve always been comfortable. In fact, I’ve always been able to arrnage it so I was saving a signifigant portion of my income.


    These days, my DH and I both do well, but we live in a very HCOL (SF Bay Area).  Thta said, we’re still comfortable.  We have a financial philsophy that has set us up well.  We do without some things that others may consider essential, but we also enjoy a lot of luxuries and a lot of freedom.

    For me, what’s comfortable is all about where you live.  In my curent city, comfortable looks like at least $200k family income.  In smaller towns, we could feel very comfortable more like $80k family income.

    That said, if you are DINKs it’s almost hard NOT to be comfortable.

    Post # 60
    125 posts
    Blushing bee

    I would make about £22k a year if I was full time (I believe that’s about $29-30k?) (I’m on 30 hours so it’s more like £19-20k) my partner earns about £24k. We are just getting by due to childcare costs. We have a few bills that will disappear soon so we will feel a bit more comfortable in the sense that we won’t have to struggle to afford food and petrol costs. But it’s not enough to save therefore other half is looking to pick up overtime which will be paid at double time so that we can afford to treat ourselves even if is one cinema trip or a takeaway/meal out once a month and then we can save the rest.

    What jobs does everyone do to be making so much?! I’m a paediatric nurse and he’s a forklift instructor (though his company don’t seem to pay as well as others, he has to stay for two years or pay for his qualification, so it will hopefully get better) 

    Leave a comment

    Find Amazing Vendors