You are what you eat

It’s a good thing the phrase “You are what you eat” isn’t true, otherwise I would be a french fry filled burrito…

But I did hear something the other day that I think holds a little more truth. Someone told me if you average out the income of your five closest friends, your income is probably pretty close to that average.

While I may not have asked all of my close friends their annual incomes, I think I have a good idea of what they’re making. Let’s see if this little hypothesis works…

Friend 1: $110,000

Friend 2: $70,000

Friend 3: $28,000

Friend 4: $40,000

Friend 5: $80,000

Average salary of all five friends: $65,600.

My salary: $62,000

Whoa. I guess the theory has some legitimacy to it. I need to go find richer friends…joking…kind of. Let’s run a little social experiment today shall we and see if this works out for you too. In the comments below list the average salary of your five closest friends along with your salary. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing that information you can either just say “Yeah it worked” or “This was the stupidest blog post I’ve ever read” or you can always just comment anonymously. Is your salary close to your friends’ average?

23 thoughts on “You are what you eat

  1. My estimates put the average of my 5 friends at about £6k less than me. But then, the only one of them who earns more than me is my fiancee, and it’s not enough to balance out the others.

  2. All of these our estimates:

    Friend 1: $50,000
    Friend 2: $35,000
    Friend 3: $25,000
    Friend 4: $22,000
    Friend 5: $25,000
    Average: $31,400

    Me: $60,000

    Outlier?

  3. Are the five friends also each others’ closest friends? I only ask because, while the average works for you, it would only really work for Friend 2 (and not, say, Friends 1 or 3).

    But still – an interesting measure, nonetheless.

  4. Okay…

    1- $30K
    2- $50K
    3- $100K
    4- $80K
    5- $120K
    Total= $380K w/ avg. $76K

    Me aprox. $90K

    But those of us in the higher salaries are also in more lucrative industries, while those in lower salaries are in education and public service (counseling, etc.). However the true test is how many of those in the higher/lower salaries love their jobs…

    Funny thing is those making less (among my friends) tend to like their jobs more! That’s far more telling for me. I guess what who I need to surround myself with more of is not so much people who make more money but rather people who loves their jobs more!

  5. I’m with me in millions… I don’t know exactly how much my friends make, and I don’t think they know exactly what I make.

  6. I am just guessing my friend’s salaries but the average comes out higher than mine. I have a feeling this would work better for married couples where salaries and lifestyles are more similar.

  7. Naturally most people are going to gravitate towards those with similar interests and backgrounds. If you sit in the bleachers, you’ll get to know others sitting in the bleachers; likewise if you sit in the season boxes. We all give out signals to others regarding our interests, education, employment, housing, and so forth. The guy renting for $1000 a month in Queens who goes out for pizza once a week is not likely to associate with the multi-millionaire co-op owner on Park Avenue with a nightly table at Le Bernardin. So it should be no surprise that your friends earn on average what you earn.

  8. most of my close friends are people from HS/college..so lets see…

    1. $50,000
    2. $55,000
    3. $30,000
    4. $28,000
    5. $32,000

    i actually know approximately what they make because they’ve all told me–normally they want financial advice from me or my dad. ha! friends 1 & 2 are good friends, and friends 3,4 & 5 are good friends with each other.

    and i make around $45k..all of those ladies live by themselves though, and i live with my fiance (dual income, no kids) which i think makes a huge difference (together we bring in around $110k)

    • What about your husband..does he make more..maybe when you include the both of ya’ll in the calc, you’re about right.

      Also, I think age might have something to do with it too. If you’re younger, but have older friends, it makes sense that you make less.

      • Good point Sandy L. Let’s see based on our core group of couples:

        1) (mid 40’s) $80,000
        2) (late 40’s) $50,000
        3) (early 40’s) $100,000
        4) (early-mid 40’s) $110,000

        Average: $85,000
        Mr. BFS and I (late 20’s): $82,500 – hahaha…there we go. 🙂

        Wow, I just now realized that absolutely all of my closest friends are 15 years older than me or more…huh. I knew I had a few older-than-me friends, I just didn’t realize all of our closest friends fit into that category.

        If I add in my extended friends as couples (close friends that we only get to see once in a while due to distance):

        5) (early 30’s) $60,000

        Average: $80,000
        Us: $82,500 🙂

  9. Yup. It works.

    The main reason is that I hang out with people I work with, who make about the same as I do. My 2 closest non-work friends (one makes very little and the other makes tons)…so the two of them cancel each other out.

    When I was waitressing, I hung out with other waitresses. As an engineer, I hang out with other engineers. It’s only natural. I’d be surprised if it would be wildly different.

  10. This doesn’t seem to work for me…

    Friend #1: $200,000
    Friend #2: $100,000
    Friend #3: $100,000
    Friend #4: $100,000
    Friend #5: $90,000

    Average: $118,000

    Me: $50,000

  11. This seems a pretty trivial exercise. Of course, in many cases the average of your friends salaries would be close to yours. Your friends tend to be a) people you grew up with (so same socio-economic background), b) people you went to college with (often in the same or related fields), or c) people you work(ed) with (so often similar jobs). They are also usually a similar age to you – so at approximately the same point in their career.

    Now blog about something useful – like where to find those French fry filled burritos. 🙂

  12. Probably not..all of my friends are still students!

    And most of them will probably outearn me before too long, thanks to their chosen fields. Media jobs aren’t exactly notorious for big bucks.

    I’m not sure I would be able to accurately guess their salaries once they start working, but some of them would probably openly share anyway.

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