{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Anyone else feel like they just can’t get by? My wife and I make about 155k combined and we are barely getting by with our mortgage and bills. We made a budget and everything seems to be necessary. Are prices of things going up that much? We barely eat out or spend lavishly.. Anyone else in the same predicament?", "post_id": "615fcd10df7ce60039bb5e7d", "reply_count": 583, "vote_count": 75, "bowl_id": "5e6fe1c31f5e51001d267e46", "bowl_name": "The Work-Life Bowl", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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Anyone else feel like they just can’t get by? My wife and I make about 155k combined and we are barely getting by with our mortgage and bills. We made a budget and everything seems to be necessary. Are prices of things going up that much? We barely eat out or spend lavishly.. Anyone else in the same predicament?

likefunnysmarthelpful
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It obviously depends upon your location, but $155k isn't really that much anymore (but it's also a great salary!)

The days of a middle class family of 4 existing with 2 or 3 cars, a large house, taking lots of vacations, are dead. Competing recurring costs combined with monumental wealth inequality killed it.

Maybe you're not middle class. In many cities you're upper middle, in many you're lower upper. But only 6% of families making over $100k think they're upper class, which is extra scary.

Even scarier, it doesn't get better for a long time. Look at your savings. That's what makes you feel fine. Anecdotally, I don't think people start to feel comfortable until they have a seven figure nest egg. Most people never get there so never feel financially comfortable. And many that get there had lifestyle creep so they push that number out further.

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SVP if you want to feel better the median house sold price for all 7 counties in the Bay Area is over $1 million.

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I feel for you. I know that feeling well. I used to have it. I would constantly think that another raise or another bonus would really turn things around and I’d be living more comfortably. Raises and bonuses came and went and my budget felt just as tight.

Eventually I realized I had an unhealthy relationship with money. It’s an itch that can never be scratched, no matter how much you make. I started doing lots of pro bono legal work with families making $25k a year or sometimes less. That really opened my eyes to how good I actually have it.

Now I practice intentional gratitude on a daily basis and it has transformed me. So much happier even though still have to check my bank account before I tell the kids we’re going to order pizza. I’m profoundly grateful for the ability to house and feed my family and do work that I enjoy.

Good luck! I hope you find peace and something that works as well for you as gratitude does for me.

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You probably bought too much house.

likefunnysmartuplifting

Pick up a job, focus on dividend investing, pick up real estate income. Raise your income period. All the choices unfortunately are sunk unless you are willing to make drastic changes to your house, car, groceries, discretionary spending. Ideally you’ll both cut your expenses and raise your income, only way to get out of the hole and start generating real wealth.

likefunny

My husband and I live comfortably with 60K salary. Are you living within your means?

likefunnysmartuplifting

60k a year? That is fine as a single person in east over-shoe upstate-uncommutable, work at a company that will keep you for more than 5 years, holier than f'in thou, mom and pop shop, with a woodstove, cistern, victory garden, compost hill, & tiny house etc. Good for freakin'you. Not not being Laura Ingells Wilder, I want to go to the movies now and again, and I am not rinsing the kids diapers by hand and hanging them to dry on the shack instead of curtains. Oh and I neuter my pets.

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We are on the $200k combined and with maxing out 401k we barely save any money in DC. Out take home is around 7,500/month. Mortgage + HOA = 3k a month, car payment with insurance is $700. We spend at least $1k a month on food and barely eat out and there are always one-time expenses especially as we’re getting the nursery ready 😬 don’t know how we’ll do it when the baby comes

likehelpful

Where is the non 401k savings / investing. This is way more important IMO

I mean really look at your budget - might be time as Dave Ramsey says to live on bean and rices, rice and beans. Stop eating out, that’s not essential. No more trips. How much are you spending in car payments - that’s often what tanks most budgets. With the supply chain issues you’d likely be able to sell the car back and get your money back. Shopping and buying things ever money isn’t essential. I would focus on eliminating any and all credit card debt that you have. Those monthly payments are killer and could be used for savings. Are you saying? How is that compared to your debt ratio? Can you really afford your mortgage payment on that salary? You could be house poor. Lots to consider here - I would recommend listening to and reading Dave Ramsey.

likesmartfunny

This.

likefunny

155k? My household is making under 60k a year and we are barely getting by, but making it. How are you not getting by on 155k? Do you have a huge house and expensive cars? No offense but the concept that you are struggling to get by on 155k just boggles my.mind and is so far out of touch with normal working class peoples incomes.

likeuplifting

@PWC10 maxing our your 401K means you put away 19K in your 401K - I doubt you lived in a high rise, paid off your car and saved 19K on $54K - that math just does not add up.

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Check this example out (“How a Family of Four Survives off $350,000 Living in An Expensive Metropolitan Area). It’s depressing how much you have left.

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likefunnyhelpfuluplifting

I have noticed prices going up a lot in the last few months. Our grocery bill is getting ridiculous.

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It’s crazy

The problem is people want the big fancy house, car, and vacations to impress others. I purchased my house before I even started working at Deloitte and before I graduated college with a lower salary. House is older but i made it my own. I don’t feel the need to buy a bigger/newer home or nicer car even though I can because then I would be struggling. I rather save and not have to worry about being able to pay my bills. I’ve also always been a single mother of two kids I support on my own.

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We live in a tent we literally stole from Walmart and bike everywhere including interstate travel. Only eat what we find on the road. Y’all are living above your means! 🤪

funnylike

Inflation is insane right now.

likesmartfunny

Let’s go Brandon!

likesmart

İf anyone is interested in a side hustle 😂😂😂

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funnylike

Author, literally eff these people who are like why don’t you watch your budget and eat beans and rice and skip premium cable and avocado toast and Starbucks. The essence of what you are saying is that you make good money and you still struggle. I am scratching my head too definitely noticing an uptick in pricing, most notably in our day care expenses, utilities and taxes which I can’t trim out like a luxury car and a vacation.

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Something that’s missing here is OPs expenses. It wasn’t mentioned (that I see) and there really is no room for judgement until understanding that and their full situation- not that I’m a big fan of judging in general when it comes to finances because it’s typically very complex. OP could have a lot of debt, maybe there were additional expenses incurred or a slight change in income while their bills remained the same, etc. Agree that the gist of the post is even with a decent salary like that, OP still has to really monitor their finances and that is eye opening

I think if people are struggling making this much money (unless it’s San Francisco) you need to take a real gut check. 3.5 billion people survive on less then 2$ a day. I know it’s America but you don’t have to have everything. I was in a family of 6. Only my dad worked and he didn’t make much. They drove the same cars till they died. Bought cheap and outright. Didn’t buy too much house. We didn’t go out to eat. We didn’t have cable tv or cellphones early. And my mom shopped store to store for the sales. We handed down our clothes once they didn’t fit. If you are making that much money and are struggling to make ends meet it’s time to look at your priorities. Does looking wealthier than everyone else matter the most to you? Does stuff make you happy? You probably bought too big a house. Too new of cars. Etc.

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@PWC5, it’s an open free market out for everyone. If you feel your current employer is not paying what your true worth is, you should actually be looking outside for other jobs or looking to start your own company!... the whole job market will not correct itself dramatically, you will have to find what is in your best interest in the short term!

Same exact situation. My husband and I make $165k combined and live paycheck to paycheck. Every single dollar goes to bills. I don’t know how people do it.

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It your debt doing you in.

Me and my husband make 210k combined and we are in MCOL. We only contributed 6% 401k, max out HSA and FSA dependent. We have 1 kid who goes to daycare ($1700/ month). We have mortgage about $2500/ month. No car debt. I paid off both car. We take home about 11k a month. After all expense and stuff we save about $6k / month. Idk how people live paycheck by paycheck from making this much. We have always save half of our take home since we started working at 21. We are now $350k in equity and 27 years old
Take home $11k
Mortgage (2.5k)
Daycare after tax saving (1.2)
Gas (150)
Utility Bill: (350) water gas electric and wifi
Subscription: (50)
Dog stuff: (100)
Food: (1k)
=> so we save about $6k a month.

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Yes. Do I say that it’s not great ? It’s your money so you spend it the way you want. People complain they can’t save so I share my tip ? I just explain to people who can’t believe. I don’t think I live frugal, you don’t have to make assumptions like that. People just need to get more education on financial literacy.

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Honestly, I agree with the concept of this post. I make around 100k, single/no kids, do all the right things financially. I live a comfortable life, but I’m not like swimming in money. I used to think this level of income would be glamorous, well beyond comfortable. It truly feels like a Millennial thing, every time I think I’m getting ahead, the world gets more expensive. I still can’t buy a house 😖 it is so frustrating.

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No, actually I’m in a unique situation. I live in FL. Been under contract for 2 years on a new-construction condo & recently it was deemed that conventional financing is not an option. We were misled. Now home prices have inflated so much & the market has gotten so crazy, there’s not the same options anymore.

People in here maxing out their 401k with mortgage payments higher than my monthly income and car payments closing in on my rent with multiple kids in private, high-cost daycare/schools so out of touch with reality.
60k in a HCOL city let's me live comfortably.
Do I save as much as I'd like to? No.
Is my apparenty as big/nice as I've dreamed of? No.
Am I driving a new Range Rover? No and wouldn't ever want to anyways.
Bunch of rich, spoiled, whiney baby's who don't actually know how to appreciate a damn thing.

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I agree. HCOL is hard especially when people have kids and more rooms are needed but with that salary there is room to cut back somehow.

Anyone else feel like it would actually be helpful if people posted their budgets when they post things like this. I think most of us can agree that 155k, especially without kids, should be plenty. But we all sit here and make assumptions about where OP is overspending without actually seeing their expenses. It’s useless for everyone.

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Bingo

Let me state an obvious expense that nobody wants to talk about. Kids. Don’t have them if you can’t afford them. They are expensive.
They make you justify buying a house in a good school neighborhood, a bigger house for them to stay, an extra car or bigger car. More bills monthly on expenses. Not to mention the environmental impact of a new human and their eventual kids.

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ill be another unpopular opinion and mention people go off and have kids without thinking it through. whether you can’t parent very well or can’t afford to care for them properly or you just dont have the time and you put it off to a nanny to raise your kids, remember that the person suffering the most from your poorly-thought-out big huge decision is the kid themselves.

people think having kids is a fantasy. in reality, it’s not. its a lot of work and stress and money and patience and we’re not all equipped for it.

most people do truly love and care for their children. however too many others don’t. i dont feel 100% confident I’d be a good parent, so i’ve made the firm decision to say no to having kids. it sucks to think maybe i’d miss out, but if you’re not 100%, its not the kind of decision to take a gamble on.

Do you live in a HCOL or LCOL area? How much is your mortgage as a percent of take home? Start looking at your actual take home after tax. Your HHI is great but is it all being taxed away? Also, you are saying you guys budget, but there’s always room for improvement. Small things here and there to cut back on that you don’t even think about. How do you budget? Do you use mobile app? I use excel to really feel the pain when I enter the numbers to make it more real and make me really think about and see what I’m spending on

likesmart

We like YNAB for giving us a clear overall sense of budget and also keeping us accountable for little spending that adds up.

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