# How much money is sufficient for you?

1. Oct 13, 2004

### Saint

To live a luxurious life, how much do you need to make each month?
10,000 USD?

In malaysia, a family with 2 children like mine, need 3000USD (12,000 ringgit) to live without worry!

2. Oct 13, 2004

### theCandyman

I don't know, just enough to keep my wife (when/if i get married), myself and our children happy. But if I don't have a family, I could live easily with $36000 (~$3000 each month, around what you said would be easy living) annual income. Maybe even less, I don't exactly treat myself very much.

Of course, I am takng about happy/content not exactly 'luxurious'. There probably is a limit to how much money you can get before it stops life from being luxurious, consider doing taxes for Bill Gates...

3. Oct 13, 2004

For me, with a teenage daughter, in the midwest, $10,000 a month average net take home pay just barely cuts it. Ok, she's spoiled. She's going to Switzerland in January. She has a much grander lifestyle than I do. But yesterday I told her I was cold (the weather is getting chilly) and she bought me a bunch of incredible warm clothes (from her own earnings) so I would be comfortable. 4. Oct 14, 2004 ### Moonbear Staff Emeritus Well, I managed to survive as a grad student on$14,000/year, but I ate a lot of Ramen noodles and lived in a 3 room apartment over a bar because that's all I could afford. I think, when I was earning a little over $20,000/year (before taxes) as a post-doc (not that long ago), that was at the level of sufficient. I had nothing extra, but was able to pay the rent, maintenance on my 10 yr old car to get back and forth to the lab, ate real food, not Ramen noodles, but still no steaks or snack food very often. And I had enough to once in a while go out to dinner. I'd have been more comfortable if I didn't have to spend so much on airfares and gifts for all the family weddings I had to attend in that timeframe. 5. Oct 14, 2004 ### Saint Evo,$USD10,000 a month, that is nearly my one year salary, you are so rich !!!!

6. Oct 14, 2004

### Staff: Mentor

No, I have a lot of expenses. My daughter can go through money faster than I can make it.

7. Oct 14, 2004

You have to remember that cost of living is different everywhere. My last apartment (suburban philly) cost about $1000 a month plus utilities. My sister's smaller apartment in Boston cost$3000. A buddy's bigger apartment in southern Mississippi cost $600. For me at just under 30 and expecting to have a 2-3 bedroom condo in a year, a half decent car, and enough money to play with it a little takes about$3,000 a month (after taxes) - $2,500 without much play-money. The problem with setting a "comfort level" though is your spending will virtually always inflate to equal (or exceed) your income. Last edited: Oct 14, 2004 8. Oct 14, 2004 ### Gokul43201 Staff Emeritus I eat Ramen noodles. 9. Oct 14, 2004 ### Zantra that's a loaded question, because what's a fortune in one place, is a pittance in another, as illustrated by some of the responses. I can get away with$500/month rent in the midwest and have a decent sized 1 bedroom 700 will get 2 bdrms. But try that on the west or east coast and the price litterally doubles.

I have to agree with Russ- you will spend what you make. So if you make 1k/month, your "comfort level" adjusts to that. If it's 10k/month, likewise. Short of being a millionaire, you will learn to live within whatever means you have, and adjust accordingly.

10. Oct 14, 2004

I seem to be doing quite well at $5.70 an hour with about 20 - 30 hours a week. I guess it helps that I like to save my money. However, I've been known to be a bit of a spendthrift every now and then. Of course, that cash flow won't be like that for long. Just until I graduate. 11. Oct 14, 2004 ### Kerrie Staff Emeritus i had an easier time living on a take home pay of$2000 with a family of four then I do now with just two people and that number significanly higher. your expenses go up when you make more.

12. Oct 14, 2004

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
:uhh:

Uh, no offense Evo (I can't tell if you're joking or not) but no teenaged girl needs to be spending thousands of dollars a month, no matter where you live.

- Warren

13. Oct 14, 2004

### JasonRox

Expenses go up when you make more, but are those expenses necessary.

I am making 8.50/hour and working 24 hours a week. If I had to live on my own, I would say it is still possible because I would choose not to drive to school. Insurance is very high, so it is almost equivalent to rent. (I just spent $1500 to fix it.) Personally, I think you can live with 8.50/hour, but you'll have worries. If I made$10/hour, that would perfect.

Note: I read that the average debt in the US is $450 000 per family of 4. This includes the mortgage. Is this a sign that everyone wants to live the dream they can't afford? There must be a lot of people in need for a reality check. 14. Oct 14, 2004 ### dekoi 120 thousand dollars a year (USD) ?! That is higher than some doctors get paid in Canada. What is your profession Evo, if you do not mind sharing. 15. Oct 14, 2004 ### Moonbear Staff Emeritus Yes, it's true, the amount you need depends on where you live. When I lived in MI, if you lived near campus, you could get an efficiency apartment for about$600/mo, and a one bedroom for $800/mo. Being willing to commute a half hour to another town meant I could get a two bedroom apartment with my own washer and dryer and a swimming pool in the complex for about$850/mo (the washer and dryer alone made it worth the commute for me...I hated laundromats or shared washers in basements). Where I live now, you can get a fairly large 1 br apartment for about $450/mo, and I have a comfortably sized 4 br house (more bedrooms than I need, but it sure helps when I have out-of-town company) with a mortgage payment only slightly over$1000/mo. I think I live quite comfortably, but yes, my expenses have grown with my salary. I used to manage just fine on $20,000/yr, and now I earn substantially more and still find I have little left at the end of the month. And I still live more frugally than a lot of people I know. It's also why I'm not overly sympathetic to people who complain they can't pay their bills, etc. I've lived at that poverty line and you just have to be frugal. I wasn't miserable by any means, but I also didn't include ice cream and potato chips on my grocery list. 16. Oct 14, 2004 ### Moonbear Staff Emeritus Yes, there are. I used to wonder how my neighbors, who I know earn less than I do, can always be driving around a new SUV every few years, or have that huge TV, etc. Then it occurred to me, they are in hock up to their eyeballs. It's all on credit, and they'll never get out of debt. I have cousins who spent$20,000 on their wedding receptions and then had to live in a tiny apartment for years because they couldn't afford to put a downpayment on a house. You're just as married if you have a potluck dinner in a barn for the reception as you are if you have a formal sit-down dinner in a fancy banquet hall on the beach, so I thought they were crazy to spend so far beyond their means on that.

17. Oct 14, 2004

I take home about $4k a month after taxes, and I pay for an expensive apartment, a very nice car, all my food, gases, clothing, and even expensive hobbies with no problem at all. I also support my girlfriend to some extent. - Warren 21. Oct 14, 2004 ### Saint For a fresh graduate, let say he/she work as an engineer, how much can he/she earn per month? 22. Oct 14, 2004 ### chroot Staff Emeritus Saint, It depends very strongly on where you work geographically, and also strongly on which engineering discipline you're doing. I would say about$50k per year for an electrical engineer in a modest city is not unusual.

- Warren

23. Oct 14, 2004

### Staff: Mentor

It's very easy to spend that much on food eating out. Even if she only eats 2 meals a day, staying under $30 a day is difficult. Let's say she eats lunch at Hardee's, a hamburger, fries and drink are going to cost around$6. For dinner, let's say she eats at Olive Garden (cheap), $16.95 for the entree,$1.25 for an iced tea, she splits an appetizer with a friend ($3.50 for her half), that's$21.70 BEFORE tax and tip. Minimum tip (15%) is $3.26, but like me, she always leaves a minimum$5 tip for dinner, so before tax, and no dessert, that's $26.70 just for dinner. Plus lunch that's$32.70. Of course this doesn't include a few sodas during the day, at $1.25 for a small drink at a fast food place that can easily add another$5, if she wants a snack during the day, that's even more.

So, realistically, eating only two meals a day at $37.70 a day x 30 days a month, her food costs are$1,131.00.

Where the heck do you people eat??

24. Oct 14, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
I haven't eaten a 25 buck dinner in months now.

25. Oct 14, 2004

### Staff: Mentor

Aww Gokul, I will take you out for dinner.

Honestly, I work long hours, I often have to attend cocktail parties after work (for work), have to go out of town, etc...

One area I will not cut back on is nutritious meals for my daughter. If it costs me a bit more, I really do not care.