Post # 61
andielle: i am in NY and depending on where you are in NY, the salary to be a Stay-At-Home Mom depends. Where we are, $100K is comfortable, but there would be no room to save money for a house, and going out, vacations are not on the table anymore.
So both of us are working, saving money for a house. When we have a house, we will discuss the possibility of me working part time close to home. Because at that point our daughter will be in school, so there is no point of me being a Stay-At-Home Mom 100% because I could be working during the school hours
Post # 62
I don’t have children yet, but my fiance and I have talked about this subject a few times. I’d like to be a stay at home mom (or work part time from home doing something online) until at least my kids turn 5 and are old enough to go to school. In our town, I think we could pull it off on 40k a year. To be comfortable (continue to enjoy the same luxuries we do now), we’d have to make at least 60k. Right now he makes somewhere in between that.
Post # 63
When we lived in Texas, we lived very comfortably on 200K a year and made a lot of progress on DH’s 6-figure grad school debt and were able to pay cash for multiple rounds of fertility treatment. We have since relocated and are making about 130. We’re still paying extra on debt, but when I have our baby this fall, I’m concerned about what our budget will look like. I do plan on continuing to work from home as I do now but it would be very tight for us to go any lower than that as our base monthly student loan payment is more than our mortgage.
Post # 64
BrookeClouser: can I ask what company you are working for from home and what kind of work you do? I’m interested in doing something similar!
Post # 65
larissakay: I was surprised as well. I guess comfortable means different things for different people, and this tends to be a well off community that is not representative of the general U.S. population. I don’t feel that I need nearly as much as most bees on here to be just comfortable, and I live in an expensive city. My Fiance and I are in the suburbs, and most likely will always be, and mine is probably around 60k minimum as well.
I guess it also makes sense that some couples who have, say a combined income of 200k, will likely purchase a home and cars that are nicer than your average and be stuck making payments that are made for a family with a 200k income. Obviously not the case with everyone, but may be a possible situation for some.
Post # 66
I’m also surprised! We live in North WA state and I would guess, for a four person family, 60/70k would be doable? A lot of it would depend on your house payment, that’s usually the biggest expense for a family.
Post # 67
It depends on where you are really. The area we are in now, 95k gets a LOT. But we are moving to San Jose on that & it doesn’t get you anywhere near as much there.
Post # 68
I live in upstate NY. We are going to try it on my husband’s income of about $60k. We will have to make some changes in our lifestyle (not going out to eat as much, etc.) but I think it will be doable at least for a while. We do not have debt aside from a car loan. For a comparison of cost of living, we live in a single family home in a nice area that is valued at aprx 200k.
Post # 69
larissakay: I don’t think $60k (for a family of 3 or more) is nearly enough to live in the suburbs of Chicago. I’d be hard pressed to say you could even do it for $80k/year. Maybe if you have absolutely no debt except for a mortgage, but for the average couple that has student loans and a car payment, I don’t see $60 or $80k going very far. You would not be able to save very much if at all.
Post # 70
Not everyone has the same ideas of what is “enough” though. For example, a 2500 sq ft house sounds excessive to me because I’ve always lived in homes that are 1,300-1,700 sq ft. Your personal experiences/lifestyle are going to be different from others. And not everyone has a car payment or student loans or own a house, so of course monthly expenses are going to be different as well.
Post # 71
califlorican: of course I realize that. I was just trying to point out that living in the Chicago suburbs is anything but cheap. Property taxes are outrageous, for example. Now, if you want to move 3 hours south of Chicago, or to southern Illinois, where the cost of living is much lower, $60k is much easier to live on.
If someone said they could live comfortably raising a family in San Diego or southern California on $60k/year, you’d probably question it.
Edit: I think people in general have the idea that Chicago is such a cheap place to live, but it’s not. Maybe compared to NYC, but people come here and see the COL and realize it’s not as inexpensive as they thought.
Post # 72
Well, I live in the Bay Area and we lived off of 46k last year, and able to save every month. We’re up to 52k this year most likely, and all we do differently is save more. If we had kids, we’d probably be happy at 60k. No car payment, no debt, and no mortgage though. Just expensive rent haha 😀
Post # 73
sunnierdaysahead2: As others have said, it depends on your circumstances. I’m not making the case that every couple would find 60k comfortable, I’m making the case that we could. There’s lots of personal habits that lead to that call, and for us, we have very low monthly costs. We’ve run the numbers because we plan to buy our home in the next year or two and want to make sure our mortgage costs enables us to live on one of our incomes in case I need/want to stay home with our children or any number of reasons that would leave one of us unemployed. I’m guessing our definitions of comfortable are very different and possibly also our mental picture of the suburbs, which have dramatically different housing costs suburb to suburb.
califlorican: Your situation sounds a lot like mine. We’ve briefly discussed a Bay Area move and I thought we couldn’t afford it — glad to see it’s possible to live there without becoming a programmer. 🙂
Post # 74
We could make it at $65k, but that would be pretty bare bones for us. To live a little more comfortably for us, $100k. For reference: we are a $200k+ income HH in Dallas, only debt is our mortgage and one vehicle. Interesting topic and to see the variance in region and lifestyle.
Post # 75
I’m not sure how much, but Darling Husband and I have already decided that after baby #2, I’ll stay home until they are in school at least, because the cost of childcare for 2 kids is astronomical in our area, with insane wait lists. My BFF is pregnant, due in May, and we get 1 year mat leave in Canada, and the shortest waitlist she found in her area is 2 years!