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Flubber's avatar

How can you be financially strapped making 100k yr?

Asked by Flubber (12points) April 18th, 2008

Without going into all of the details of our budget, I will start with some basics. We have no credit card debt! I have an AMEX that must get paid each month in full so it keeps us out of trouble. We have one car payment at $375 month. our mortgage is $1,900. which includes school taxes etc. The rest is your basic living expenses and we always end up going over our net income because of a birthday, christmas, this or that must doos… How on earth can we make a dime less? I better be employable at this rate for the next 30 yrs too! I am stumped each day at folks making 25 -45k yr or 60k per family. In Chester County, PA, you will be forced to move out. Any home under 200 which is very RARE is a shack of a dump. ARGHHHHH! What are my options at 100k yr? Move into a 1200 month appartment? That is what 100k buys in America? I feel very stupid. I really do… where is the other money going? 500. gas, 400. food, 150. cable and internet, 120. phones, 80. auto insurance, and I am forgetting other basics. No FAT to cut unless we scale down to a small appartment.

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17 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

We can’t answer this for you. It’s time for the old spreadsheet. Track your spending. Your answer will be staring you in the face.

Flubber's avatar

We use a spreadsheet. It is rock solid. I am looking at simple math. Net Pay – Expenses. We are left with like 145. month. Yeah nice savings if you dont leave the house and nothing happens to you and your car etc. Can we retire on this little over a 1,000. per year savings? Yeah I have a 401k but I am ranting.

russellsouza's avatar

500. gas?
150 cable and internet?
120 phones?

Learn financial responsibility and don’t blame the American economy. Move close or get a vehicle that is better on gas. 1900 is less than the average American in housing cost.

gailcalled's avatar

Car pool, ride a bike in the nice weather. And I was shocked also at your $270/month telecommunications bill. Read, play scrabble, spent time outside (Chester County is beautiful all year round).

LunaFemme's avatar

It’s real easy when you spend more than you earn. It really is that simple. And, as other people have pointed out you DO have fat to trim. You can go without cable and internet; you can move into a smaller house or apartment; you can get a more fuel efficient car or begin carpooling, etc. Do you go out to eat or entertain a lot? The reason that other people can live on less money is because they MUST make more compromises based upon the money they bring in. It’s all about priorities and yup prioritizing how you spend your money sucks sometimes!

osakarob's avatar

The expenses that you mention only amount to $42,300. You are literally spending more than half your income on things you cannot account for because you do not have a monthly budget. I’m guessing you go out to eat a lot, the mall, take expensive vacations, etc. I might suggest that you start listening to personal finance guru Dave Ramsey. He is on hundreds of radio stations, FOX business channel, i-tunes. You may be wildly out of sync with what your real lifestyle should be. The good news is that you have a great income, the bad news is that nobody ever taught you how to make sure you use it wisely.

I know people who live in Tokyo and London, the two most expensive cities in the world, on less than what you earn and are very content. I suspect you need to be brutally honest with yourself. Get everything down on paper. It is the only way to REALLY know what you spend your money on. Then, when you can see the glaring misuses, you will need to find the WILL to change.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.”

judochop's avatar

500 for gas is just silly. I am also guessing that you pay an arm and a leg for auto insurance? What kind of clothing are you wearing? Where are you eating out? Are you paying for a housekeeper? I don’t get it.
I make a little less than 100K a year and I have a super fine living on the west coast with a family.
No offense but your money management is terrible if you can’t make that work. Your mortgage is less than mine and your auto payment is less than mine, your internet is less than mine…...Hmmmmm

Flubber's avatar

Thanks for all of the feedback Yes we do own a truck. $61.00 at the pump to fill up. I have to drive to work and get stuck in traffic and run the same errands as anyone else. I am 100% pro Dave Ramsey and I too HATE credit cards. They are for suckers. I have a great budget and we dont eat out too much. At the same time here we have lost a serious amount in savings. Taxes come up, we always owe money, I have to pay an accountant like 300., Um yeah we do take a vacation each year under 2k but I would sooner go broke before giving up living a little. As far as clothes I am sooo good with that. I have had jeans between 5–8 yrs old and wear t-shirts.

judochop's avatar

@Flubber, I suggest then that you talk with a Financial Advisor. I understand that sometimes when it rains, it pours.

boffin's avatar

You spend to much….Duh!

simon's avatar

Cut the costs where ever possible. Lower minutes on the cell plans, drop HBO on cable, get a slower/cheaper internet line, set the thermostat to 68 and put a sweater on. And stop buying DVDs, I always found myself out at the Target buying something I need and picking up the latest Spiderman/Pirates/whatever movie on the shelf. Got to be able to say no to things you don’t need, then you’ll be fine.

gailcalled's avatar

68 degrees? I consider that tropical. I keep my heat set at 62 and consider myself warm-just add layers. You can also get books, DVDs, audio tapes, etc at your library – most have an inter-library loan system so almost everything is available.

shared3's avatar

As others have pointed out, spend less by keeping meticulous records of your spending. While others have made good suggestions for lowering specific costs, I must emphasize, a personal spreadsheet is the MOST important thing you can do. After you have identified what you are spending too much money on, then you can fix it yourself.

helpinghand's avatar

Well I also make over 100K and we have over $2500 left over each month with a $1800 mortgage and 3 kids. Here’s how I did it.

1. Budget – sit down and get all your expenses in a spreadsheet or just on paper, if you don’t have this program already I highly recommend at some point getting Quicken, a spreadsheet program will help you in the mean time.

2. Cut the fat – figure out what you don’t need to spend on and either drop it, sell it, or lower it. Cable you can get a lesser package.

3. Pull out cash for items like groceries, gas, spending money. Set limits and once it’s gone it’s gone (especially for things like birthdays and Christmas).

4. Get your expenses below your income and develop a savings program, pay yourself first.

5. Start paying off debt

6. If need be work a 2nd job or if you can do any side work do so, to help you out in the short term.

7. Look for alternatives (any telecommuting, mass transit, energy). One thing we were doing was spending a lot of movies ended up getting a Netflix account and started saving around $20 month.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.
Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, 1849
English novelist (1812 – 1870)

mcschultz1615's avatar

i agree completely. i am single with no kids and a 2000 a month mortgage plus 650 car payment and i make a little over 100k and feel strapped. people ask me how, and dont get me wrong i have a nice life ,but i am taxed to death as a single male with no dependants. i thin k in todays world the less kids you have should get you tax credits! why should i pay for someone elses kids to go to school. its my opinion that the more kids the more a family should pay. maybe we would help the environment as well? ahhhh!

LT52's avatar

I have always earned between 125K and $450K per year. If I could do it over again, I would pay (save) 15% of earnings…..or max my lifestyle out at $150K regardless of my income. I’m an average joe married w/ 2 kids. We are always broke and only have $100K net worth after 30 years of work. I am stupid. We never had a budget, and became ultra consumers….the money owned us and we thought we would just sell the business and retire. Whoops, technology and the recession killed that plan. SAVE-SAVE-SAVE. Enjoy spending some money, but don’t be a fool like we were.

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