Ongoing debate: Can you struggle on six figures?
It all depends on where you live.
Can a family with an income of $100,000 or more really have a hard time getting ahead? FreeMoneyFinance's recent post on that question has prompted quite a discussion among commenters at his site. FMF launched the debate by remarking on a family mentioned in one of a package of MSN Money stories about the "squeeze on the middle class."
couple make six figures, but are unable to save. "We struggle to stay
afloat with the rising costs of car insurance, gas, utilities, food and
other necessities," one of the family members said. FMF's assessment:
"They're simply spending too much. They have no control on expenses."
He also guesses that they live in an expensive area, noting that
"$100,000 per year is a lot, but it's more in Omaha than it is in Los
- Bing: Compare the cost of living
Many commenters agreed with that last point. "In much of the NY Metro area you can make six figures and just barely be getting by," "pauld" said. Reader Erin told FMF, "Don't be so quick to judge if you don't live in an expensive area such as Boston, DC, New York, or California."
"So what? Get over it or move," reader Toby said in response to that argument. "If you are making six figures and can't make it, then you've let your 'American Dream' definition get bloated."
Many other readers argued that people need to learn to
live within their means. Commenter "escapee" said she earns $100,000
while her husband stays at home with their child. They live comfortably
in an expensive area, she said, and here's how they do it: They have a
1,400-square-foot house, drive old cars and buy secondhand clothes. "We
don't have a lot of stuff," she wrote. "What I am saying here is that
if you are content with living with less, it's possible to live very
well on this salary."
Published Feb. 15, 2008
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