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What is considered a really good salary these days?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
I was wondering what a good household family salary is these days. Is there an average across the country or does it depend on where you live?

I always thought about $50-60,000 would be considered a decent salary, but lately I'm more apt to think $100,000 is more in line with a good family salary, especially in these times with increasing prices, gas and such. I'm sure my guestimate is more for the eastern or western part of the country. I'm sure in the country a family can get by on much less.

What do you all think?
post #2 of 51
It most definitely depends on where you live! $100K here would be a fortune even with increasing prices! I think we could live on $70k quite nicely here.

I don't look at median salary levels unless it is by MSAs or some other census tract data. If you look at it by state or by the nation it is very misleading. For example, Florida would be a very high salary, but my part of Florida (panhandle) is much more reasonable than say South Florida where salaries would have to be much higher for the same level of living.
post #3 of 51
I'm from Missouri, now residing in Iowa, and I know of a LOT of people whose combined family incomes are in the 40Ks, and they appear to be doing okay. But who knows, maybe they don't have debt and shop at the Salvation Army. I don't get that from them, tho.

Our household income is in the 60Ks for two young adults and a baby. We both have school and credit card debt, and medical bills, but we're not hurting. We could benefit from a little more, but who couldn't? We definitely don't go without.
post #4 of 51
It definetly depends on the profession and where in the country you are.

I'm in Nebraska and 100,000 is for the rich.

My DH works in sheetmetal installation in heating and AC. He makes about 30,000 a year which for here is top of the ladder for his trade, yet his same job pays more in other states.

Our cost of living isn't really out of line compared to other states, but our taxes rank at the top and that hurts us more than anything else. Also, the city we are in has some of the highest taxes and prices in our state.

We survive though and keep 4 kids fed, clothed and warm and dry on this income, without gov. assistance, which we make too much for. Thank God for thrift stores and hand me downs!

On the other hand we have some friends who make 70,000 with one child and can't make ends meet. Sad!
post #5 of 51
We live outside of Boston. It would be very hard to make it here on less than $100K. In fact, I would say that to live comfortably, you'd need closer to $125-150K, and that's because we live about 30 miles west of the city. If you lived closer you'd need a lot more money.
post #6 of 51
This really depends on where you live. My FIL retired on $90,000 as a schoolteacher and lives in a very modest home with a tiny little backyard in the subs. His brother, also a schoolteacher, retired on $40,000 and lives on a huge farm with all kinds of animals.

Personally, I think his brother has the better deal. Better quality of life.
post #7 of 51
We are in the eastern part of the midwest in a suburban-almost rural community. Our combined income is in the 90's. I would say that live "comfortably with very few extas". I dont shop and we eat out only once a week. We have a new house and decent cars. I work part-time out of the home to supplement my DH's income. If I did not work, things would be much tighter. I think that a family could do ok on less where we are, perhaps with an older house and no car payments. But, I think that food, gas, and utilities are hitting everyone around the country these days
post #8 of 51
It really differs so much, person to person - just depends on so many things.
post #9 of 51
totally depends on where you live. I live outside of SF and right now to qualify for a median priced house, you have to make at least 130k, that's just to qualify! You're not considered to be middle class until you make 80k.

It's also how you look at it. I know people that make 100k and are very comfortable, own a modest home and do not stress on money, they really think before they spend. I also know people who make over 100k and are always stressed and fighting about money. Perspective is a large part of what you think you can "live on comfortably".
post #10 of 51
I guess it just depends....we make around $40K and we are comfortable. I am a sahm and my hubby just works in a steel factory. We have friends that make double and triple what we make and are in WAY more debt than us. We don't have vehicle pmts, our house pmt. is fairly low, I shop at thrift stores, cook most dinners at home, don't have fancy cable/satellite pkgs., etc. I guess it really depends on what you do with your income, it's all in the choices that you make.
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