{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "What salary do you think you need to feel happy and fulfilled? \n\nI was making over 140k for the last 3 years, working over 60 hours constantly, super unhappy. \n\nThe pandemic made me realize that I’m fine with 70-100k working part time, like under 30 or so.", "post_id": "5f2067b2b9d2390030bc5383", "reply_count": 117, "vote_count": 34, "bowl_id": "5565cfca8b2b9a03009acf57", "bowl_name": "Advertising" }

What salary do you think you need to feel happy and fulfilled? I was making over 140k for the last 3 years, working over 60 hours constantly, super unhappy. The pandemic made me realize that I’m fine with 70-100k working part time, like under 30 or so.

likehelpful
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I’ve been at between 170-250 the last few years & it’s remarkable (wife is at 170-200). Before that, I was happy with 50-70, now I’m “happy” because I’m saving religiously and have enough of a financial buffer that I’m not worried about my safety or wellbeing. If I got laid off, I’d be able to support myself for 5+ years unemployed. That peace of mind is well worth it. That said: the trick is to minimize tax burden no matter how much you earn & never get caught up in competing with The Jones’s

likeupliftinghelpfulfunny

Strategist1 I am paying me “fair share”. I still fall into a 24% bracket (which is significant) and am following all legal rules and options allowed. If you want to take up tax law with someone who can change it to be more in your favor, be my guest. But as a minority raised in poverty, you want to pick on me? I’m just learning from y’all and working my ass off to do better for my own family. End of story.

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In Chicago, make 55k now but would definitely be most comfortable making 85-100k. That would ease my mind about having a family, my partner’s student loan debt/coverage for his health issues, and setting ourselves up to be work optional in 10-15 years. My partner makes 38k now. We both got later starts in our careers but have big goals so who knows where we’ll be next year? FWIW, Chicago is pretty affordable on that range I gave. If I was on the coast my number would be way, way higher.

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Partner meaning life partner, Havas! Not copywriting partner :)

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Where are you making 100k working 30 hours a week? Hire me, please.

likefunny

Hell yea! I’d take that for an even 40 😂

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$170 here. Wife makes similar. I wouldn't say it buys happiness so much as prevents unhappiness. My happiness doesn't cost much. Family, friends, a good night out, a well made meal. Love my job so that's huge. None of those are big ticket items. But without money it'd eat away at that. Stress from bills, no healthcare, concern for the future. So I personally think it's less about what you have and more about what you don't have, if you know what I mean.

likesmartfunny

Same. I don't even make enough to count according to most people but once I started earning more than the bare minimum and started being able to save $100 a month it really made a difference in terms of my mental ability to not worry about the future. Suddenly I had a cushion I've never had before - a bank account above zero, and I didn't have to constantly figure out how I'd eat for the next 3 days until paycheck. Now that I've done that for a few years, it's crazy to think I never had that security before. I now have 2 months salary saved and it makes night and day in terms of being able to sleep at night especially during times like these ☺️ Tl;Dr - your response was right on, I'm just trying to relate and reaffirm ;)

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It’s not about the salary. It’s about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. If you can get what you need — housing, food, play — then whatever that adds up to vs the amount of work to get that is “worth it”.

likeupliftingsmartfunny

Uh, “play” as in get nails done or take 5 trips a year? Therein lies the question right?

likesmartfunny

I make 55k in nyc and I manage to have a good time, but I’d like to make more 😅

likehelpful

I managed to make it work on $40K. You got this!! Keep hustling!!

likeuplifting

Outside of NYC, SF, LA or Chicago: $130k is a very comfortable life Inside NYC, SF, LA or Chicago: I’d need like $400k a year so I could actually afford to buy a place. And it would be like 700 sq ft probably (except Chicago maybe)

likeupliftingfunny

Make that <400sqft 🙄

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Not working in this business anymore would make me happy. Can’t understand why any young person would go into this field.

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I don’t think anyone tells us young people enough of the reality, because I agree. I wouldn’t have gone into this if I knew what things would really be like.

At $100k I no longer stressed about money. At $150k I started genuinely hitting big financial goals. NYC.

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Left a stressful six figure job for $80k and super happy. I work 9 to 5 and leave work at work. I already have my finances in order (own home with small mortgage, own car outright, pretty decent 401k and savings, own a rental property for extra income) so the paycut was not a burden. I am ramping down, it feels good.

likeupliftingsmarthelpful

If you don’t mind me asking, which TL office are you in?

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I constantly work 60 hour weeks at 70K. Fuck me I guess?

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Same here 🥺

$400K for a few years so I can then move from Chicago to wherever Fixer Upper films to buy a mansion for $150K and just chill working at some shitty brand side creative department.

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I make good money. And the more I make the more I stress out.

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What’s your point? Is there a question? Are you seeking advice? Or did it make you feel good for a hot second to express you make a lot? Seeking clarity.

I now make about 220k and to be honest, my overall happiness level has not changed much from when I was making 120k. Having said that though, the extra 100k went to paying any debts I had (including mortgage) which I’ve thankfully all paid off as of the end of 2019, so I definitely sleep better knowing that I’m absolutely debt free and all that extra money is going towards my retirement savings.

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5mil for my happiness, but I don’t expect that from one salary at some holding company. I’d be ok with 450k and make the rest of my $ outside the agency

likefunnyhelpful

As much as possible, because I seem to get laid off almost every year. Gotta save to stay alive in the interim.

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When I made $40K, I thought it would be $70K, and when I finally made $70K, I revised up to $125K. You know where this is going... Now that I consistently bill over $125K, $200K seems reasonable! The hedonic treadmill is real. I would retire happily on $70K/year in today's dollars, fwiw.

likefunny

I make 150k at an early stage startup (with stock options). In my mid 30s. I would make 200-230k agency side but I’ve never been happier. It took me a while to get over the idea that “more money is better” and when I see my life now, I’ve never been so serene and satisfied. Sanity has a price tag and I’m willing to pay for it.

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100k for me. Make 80k now, but live at home. Extra 20k a year to cover some of my rent and I’ll be very comfortable.

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Thanks FP1!

You guys made tens of thousands dollar a year? I roughly made 4,7k per year.. :(

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Sounds like you are not in the US. We can have surprise $1,000 dental bills out of nowhere. $10,000 medical bill you didn't ask for and need to negotiate down. Eating at a restaurant is minimum an $80 bill for two. Sometimes you go out with friends and you order appetizers and wine, and you pay $150 for dinner for your part. For our kids not to go to a shitty school, we need to spend $40K/year. And save for college about $150K per kid. For a nanny, $35,000. It goes fast here.

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