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Anyone else feel like a 100k salary is nothing. Between 17% to 401k, and 87,000 in student loan debt anyone. I don’t actually have much money left post paying down rent and normal bills

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We don't have to compare everything to the lowest common denominator, or things like "median wage in the US". We've been fortunate and worked our butts off to enter an upper echelon of society. Human emotions still exist, and people can be disappointed when things don't line up with expectations. Calm down, remind yourself of your privileges, and carry on. I'm sure there are pro athletes and Hollywood actors who are "bummed out" when they get short-changed on their next contract or see peers far surpass them. Is it dumb in the grand scale, yes. Is it understandable, also yes.


I think the class of people making from roughly $100K -$250K is set up to be spectacularly miserable these days:

- More often than not living in super-HCOL places like NYC or SFO, where $100K is the equivalent of maybe half that as compared to a city like Louisville or Buffalo
- Taxed to hell and back, despite not being remotely close to being truly rich (many in this income class pay a higher effective tax rate than either the poor/lower middle class or the Davos class)
- They’re most often competing in the market for goods and services (e.g., business class airfare, luxury apartments) with the economic classes one or two rungs just above them - classes which have considerably more means - hence the feeling of being poor when in reality they’re not
- Basically disowned by both political parties - because they’re often highly educated urban/suburban professionals, Trumpers see them as part of the condescending coastal elite; liberal Democrats meanwhile see them as the “dream hoarders” who drive gentrification and income inequality


Easy answer here is don’t live in SFO or NYC; geographic mobility is 100x easier than it was just 2 years ago. Everyone has choices to make. And I would venture to say there’s a significant percentage of Americans that don’t feel they have a political home…a two party system is stupid and broken. Anyone who feels like either party represents them fairly isn’t paying attention.

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$100k doesn’t seem like enough because we (people on this app) want everything to happen now. Live in the big fancy house, fancy car, 5* dinners, fly first class, and stay at the ritz. That doesn’t happen on a $100k salary and people think they are poor because of it. If we live within a normal means, $100k is more than enough to sustain a lifestyle with zero debt, you just don’t get the fancy life… and that’s 100% okay.


You can live a good life on 100k it’s just the fact that we laden people with debt that’s the problem for a lot of people. When you owe 700 bucks a month for student loans all of a sudden your 5000 a month after taxes becomes 4300 oh no you’re employer made you live in a super expensive city that’s 1700 in rent and now all of a sudden you only have like 2500 bucks and you still need to save for retirement an emergency fund food etc all of which cost more in a city.


Right on schedule for the weekly "100k is nothing" post. Maybe don't put 17% in your 401k if you need more cash on hand


Seriously true. How people complaining they don’t have enough money when they sending 17% to 401k. Drop it to 8-10 percent and have more disposable income.


I don't have any student loans and yet I feel 100k is not enough anymore


Sheeeeeeiiiitttttttt son! Don’t be so out touch mate! I agree inflation is high, housing prices are high, but you’re saving and others are working gig jobs. Stay grateful


I make 70k. Max our 401k, IRA, and HSA. Pay rent and all that jazz. I’m still doing fine. Living lavishly? No. Chicago. If y’all truly struggling and the only defense you have is NYC or SF… choose somewhere else?


Is having an HSA a flex?

what are y'all even spending on? making ~110 and this is more than I know what to do with. includes 401k max but no student debt


My husband and I bring home $400k+ combined and are still paying $3k month in student loans. Almost done though!

Making minor lifestyle adjustments helps a ton. I started meal prepping, enjoying one or two beers at a brewery instead of rounds during late nights, casual coffee to catch up with friends, biking to get around, etc. and 100k goes a long way now.

For reference I do 16% to 401k + HSA + IRA + personal brokerage every month in Chicago


Why put 17% into your 401k if you have so much debt?


It is nothing, and don’t let anyone here guilt you into thinking otherwise



100k def peanuts in tier 1 cities


You’re supposed to feel broke at this point. Enjoy the ride. You’ll make more money over time but you won’t get younger.


My immigrant parents raised me and my 2 siblings on minimum wage jobs probably collectively making around 40K a year. Blessed to be making 200k at 26. I get obsessed with money and think 200K is not enough, but then remind myself of my parents


You’re 26 - 200k is incredible. Don’t ever feel like you’re not far far ahead of the overwhelming majority… you are


We did this last week, see that post for details. The obvious answer here is to not put 17% in your 401K, thats too much even if you can afford, would put more in more liquid investments


In 2021 money $100k certainly doesn’t go as far as it used to. I think growing up most of us considered a 6-figure salary as “making it”/rich or something along those lines, but it’s really just barely upper middle class at this point. Especially when you’re paying nearly $1000/month on student loans on top of the cost of rent which is astronomical. You’d think with a 6-figure salary you’d be able to afford a certain standard of living when it comes to rent, but these days it doesn’t go very far. I definitely agree with OPs sentiment even if 100k is still a big chunk of money, it’s not as big as most people think, especially if you haven’t hit the 6-figure milestone


I went from $115k tc to $260k tc and the only thing that noticeably changed was I feel a little less guilty buying coffee


Consider reducing your 401k contribution to meet the minimum for your company match and then directing the difference towards your debt payments.


I contribute far less to 401k and pay the minimum on students loans lol.... still feel broke


Get a roommate if you don't have one.


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