Financial happiness tops out at $96k

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by AirborneRanger, Dec 28, 2021.

  1. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    "Anyone who says money doesn't buy happiness doesn't know where to shop." -- Attributed to Gertrude Stein

    They say that's money
    Can't buy love in this world
    But it'll get you a half-pound of cocaine
    And a sixteen-year-old girl
    And a great big long limousine
    On a hot September night
    Now that may not be love but it is all right

    -- Randy Newman, "It's Money That I Love," 1979
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  2. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I remember about 10 years ago, the number was $75k. That seemed like a far off dream I might never reach. Now that I'm finally within striking distance, they move the goalposts!!! :emoji_face_palm:

    Not to be overlooked - being frugal with one's money changes the ballgame entirely. Neither my wife nor I make anything near $96k, but we're still earning well over twice as much as we're spending. While we'd always like more money, we're living extremely comfortably with our modest apartment, used car and home cooked meals. :emoji_relieved:

    For those who may have been following my tumultuous financial saga over the years, you'll know that this is FAR from where I was when I started, or even 3 years ago. I'm hoping, and working hard to make sure, that the winning streak continues.

    "Anybody who tells you money is the root of all evil doesn't f&$#ing have any." - Ben Affleck as Jimmy Young, Boiler Room
  3. Steve King

    Steve King Member

    The magic number for income surely depends on where you live.

    My company moved our family from relatively expensive Northern Virginia to low cost Southern Illinois. It wasn’t just housing costs but nearly everything cost less, from after-school activities for kids to dentist’s visits. Sure, stuff from costs the same but enough other things cost so much less. It was remarkable. (We’ve since moved back.)

    This article [LINK] suggests there’s a state-by-state minimum income but I bet the urban/rural divide is more important than in which state you reside.

  4. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    A more useful index might be the percentage of income left over after essentials are taken care of by state (and as you note, rural or urban status.) In this case essentials goes beyond the basics of housing and food, and could include retirement savings, health insurance (for Americans) and other staples of middle-class living. A friend in DC pays $1700 a month for housing. Here in rural Iowa, $1700 covers my housing, utilities (electric, gas, water, internet, phone), car insurance and food for the month. He makes more than me, but my dollar goes a lot further than his does.
  5. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    There’s always another level though… and it’s often all relative to your closest circle of family, friends, or peers…
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  6. Very true. My sisters from the military with pensions. My economic status is based on my having a ok-paying "job" (1 1/2 jobs) on top of that. My kids are constantly talking with their friends at school about how much "Dad's" make. I'm frequently reminding them that it's not "how much" but "how lucky" we are. :)
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  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Much more. In keeping with your example, any economic comparison that would lump Northern Virginia in with the Southwestern part of the state is pretty useless.
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  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You said it. I wonder if people outside Virginia make those distinctions?
  9. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Does civilization in Virginia exist outside of NoVA?
  10. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    The amount of money you need to be happy is $1 more than your brother in law. To be serious, I think that point is that there is a level where more money does not buy more happiness and it is lower than some might suggest.
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    While our traffic jams, high prices, and suburban sprawl will always be home for me, over the years I've found that each of Virginia's regions has its charms.
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