Incoming (another clever title)

I honestly believe I have the most engaged readership of any personal finance blog out there. I mean, I write a silly blog post about tax deductions and it gets over 70 comments. It’s insane. It makes me happy. And it makes me want to keep writing.

Sometimes I sit back and think to myself, “Why the heck have over 2,000 people subscribed to my blog?” I’m clearly a terrible writer and I’m obviously not the most financially savvy of the PF bunch. Why do people keep coming back?

Then it hits me. You don’t come to PDITF for my contributions, but for the contributions of the PDITF community. It often only takes a few minutes to read one of my posts (this one included), but it can take 10 times as long to read through the comment section.

A few weeks back I wrote a post titled “What kinda debt you got“. It quickly became the most commented on post in PDITF history. That says to me, you all don’t mind getting vulnerable and sharing a little bit of the “ugly” side of your financial situation. Heck, even some of you long time creepers came out of hiding and contributed to the dialogue. Thanks creepy lurkers!

Since this went so well last time, I figured it’s only fair to give you all a chance to tell the other side of your story. We know how much debt you have from the post a few weeks back. Now it’s time to get vulnerable and talk about how much you’re bringing in. I shared this in my budget just a few days ago, so now it’s your turn.

How much do you make per year?

Remember this isn’t a contest. I don’t care if you are making more money than you know what to do with, or if you’re an underemployed college graduate living with your parents. This isn’t about who makes more. It’s about finding out where your peers are and getting a realistic feel for where we stand against the masses.

You should also probably include your age and general geographic region for context. If it makes you more willing to share, don’t be afraid to fill out a fake name or email in the comments section to keep your identity anonymous (even from me).

168 thoughts on “Incoming (another clever title)

  1. I’ll start off and see if it breaks the ice:

    My household brings in approximately $100,000 total income.
    As an Engineer II, I bring in $65,000 – $70,000 depending on bonuses
    As a Histotech, my wife brings in $30,000 – $35,000 depending on overtime
    As an H&R Block Tax Preparer, I bring in $2,000 – $2,500
    My Investment Income is negligible.

    Unfortunately student loans and mortgage eat up most of the income.

  2. I always want to comment on this site, but after reading the first 50 comments, usually I decide I have nothing new or interesting to post. Not this time!

    I bring home about $40,000 gross. $26,500 after taxes. I’m a new university graduate working my first job, looking forward to increasing my income in the next few years. My spouse is in the process of starting a new business so his income is all over the place, for now we are living comfortably on just the one income, with about 45% of that going to debt repayment (student loans). We live in a rural part of Canada, so cost of living is extremely low.

  3. My wife and I totaled 106K for 2011. We’re both Feds in the Upper Midwest and 30 years of age.
    My income is 70K
    Hers is 36K.

    Love the Unicorn Model!!

      • They’re on different places on the pay scale – like any job, a salary isn’t solely time in the job, it’s about qualifications. Program managers/analysts/accountants/attorneys/engineers/scientists make much more than program specialists because it typically requires more education.

  4. My husband and I together make about $52,000/yr. I think he earns slightly more than half of that, but it’s almost the equal. We are graduate students in the sciences/engineering, so it’s sort of amazing that we get stipends at all, on top of tuition waivers – we are grateful. We are 26 and live comfortably in North Carolina.

  5. 29 years old, New England –

    88,000 in base salary, 15-20 bonus working in finance. No outside income.

  6. I am pleased to say after struggling to find a decent paying job in my field, I’ve finally landed a 53K job. I have about 42k after taxes and now I can really go crazy about retirement.I’m in my 30’s, so I’ve also promised myself to finish off my student loans this year because of my good fortune.

  7. I am one of those creepy lurkers you spoke of…some people aren’t so opinionated and vocal that they have to have people see point-of-view. I can however add to this discussion because I make a salary.

    My husband (31) and I (26) make a gross income of about $111,000 living in Florida.
    He makes a salary of about $30,000 as a property manager and his job also provides us with free housing which I have not counted as income. He also has the potential to make numerous bonuses but I have not counted those in the equation either.
    I make a salary of $68,000 as a tax analyst.
    We make an additional $13,000 renting out our house.

  8. I make $51,000 a year as a Chemical Engineer in the radioactive waste industry (and as soon as I finish my masters, that number should go up a bit within the next year – I can’t wait!!!) I make another $4-$5K a year mystery shopping, and another $3-$4K for some marketing work I do for an online business. So grand total for me is around $60,000 a year. My husband is a disabled veteran, so he gets $5,300 a year in disability pay, plus another $13,000ish a year in BAH payments while he is going to school full time. He also mystery shops and brings home about $1,500 a year from that. So his total is right around $20,000 a year. That makes around $80,000 a year for our household income (pre-tax). Sorry, that was quite a confusing breakdown!

    Oh, and we are both in our mid-20s and live in the South Carolina.

  9. Me: 27 yrs old, 83k base salary + overtime etc, which varies a lot. Last year I made 102k (my base last year was 77k, promotion this year to 83k).
    DH: 32 yrs old, 87k base salary + overtime etc, which also varies. Last year he made 92k (but his base last year was 77k, promotion this year makes it 87k).
    Living in eastern Canada.

  10. Creepy lurker here! I’ve been reading this site for about two years and I’ve learned so much, here are my stats:

    Singe 26 yr old female living outside of Boston, I make 45k/yr

  11. Well, in the NYC area you have to take salary numbers with a grain of salt, considering half of it goes to taxes and the other half to rent (mortgage), but…

    Mine: 160,000, plus 40,000 bonus
    Hers: 35,000, plus 3,000 bonus.

    We’re both pretty close to 39 (not 40) years old.

  12. I’m 27 living in Wisconsin. I’m in sales and made 159K last year (base + comission), and my husband makes 29K (also 27, a writer).

  13. Me (31): 160k in 2011 including overtime and bonus.
    Her (30): 65k

    We live in the Mid-Atlantic, she works as a teacher and I work in utilities. She has her masters and I have my undergraduate not to mention several certificates in my line of work.

    Some non retirement investment money in Lending Club and some stock investments (GE, Under Armour)

  14. 97k/year, around 12% bonus workigng corporate finance in TX (which goes a lot further than when I lived in the Northeast).

    Considered being a unicorn model, but decided the hours weren’t for me.

  15. I am 27, my husband is 33, we live in Texas, no kids yet. I make $38,000 and DH makes $62,000. It’s enough to pretty much do whatever we want, and still be able to put away $1000 a month. Can’t complain!

  16. I make 70K a year for a job that I started in September. Before that my wife and I made about 65K combined. My wife is currently not working (she had baby #4 recently) and we have decided that she won’t return to work. We live in an area of the midwest where house prices aren’t too high. The income get eaten (literally) quickly each month but the wife’s student loan will be paid off my April.

  17. I’m 24, with two degrees (Science and Education), paying off my student loan and living with my parents in Toronto making 35 000 Gross. Not as high as I want, but hey you gotta pay off those loans.

  18. Total income is about $105k per year. My breakdown is 50k plus bonus which ranges between 3k – 5k per year. We don’t have the 2011 year end total yet because still waiting on a W2. We live in a fairly expensive city in the midwest.

  19. Mid-twenties, rural Midwest US

    We’re living on my partner’s $20K this year; slightly supplemented by graduate student loans.

    Before I went back to school, we were living on about $45K

  20. Here are our stats:
    ME – 50K/year, plus bonus (typically in the 1.5-2.5% range – not a huge amount, but I never look a gift horse in the mouth!).. 44 years old… Southern Ontario (45 min. South West of Toronto)
    HUBBY – Base pay $48K + O/T (typically gets him to the mid to upper 50K range) + Bonus (aaprox. 5%)… 37 years old… my grocery bill can attest he lives with me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. My wife and I are in our mid-late 20s living in “one of them there southern states.” We are both federal employees, and our combined gross income is about $110K/year. Combined net is about $70K/year, but a big chunk of that (~$19K above minimum payments) goes to paying off student loans, as I just graduated from a university in December, and my wife graduated 3 years ago.

  22. If you combine my 2012 salary with what I expect to make from my website and other side jobs this year, I will make about $90k this year. Single, 26, Dallas, TX. I also have benefits, including a 6% 401k match.

  23. When I was growing up, I was told there are two things a gentleman never reveals: one is his salary, the other you can guess for yourself. It always amazes me how ready young people are to reveal the first of these (though fortunately none of the young men is as open about the second). I still insist on keeping both of those things private – in both cases because such figures can stir up feelings of either inferiority or superiority depending on where you stand. Suffice it to say that I am 63, live 50 miles east of New York City, and earn a respectable salary that enables me to meet my expenses.

    Similarly to the debt question, I think the actual amount is less important than your ratio of income to expenses, and also how much of a cushion you have for emergencies, especially is you lost your job. If you earn $100K and spend $115K, you are in financial trouble. If you earn $75K and spend $35K, you are doing well. So this is my answer to the original question: my net is about 66% of my gross, my expenses are about 50% of my net, my job is fairly secure, and I keep about 3 months of expenses in cash plus another 7-8 in my Roth IRA, which at my age I can tap in its entirety without penalties.

    I think that’s everything necessary to reveal. Now, if Ninja were to ask, “Tell us five interesting things about yourself I might not know,” that would be a question I’d answer freely.

    • Times are a-changing!

      Most people in my generation (Y) are not bashful about sharing this information. Frankly, we aren’t concerned about what you make as much as, do you have a job.

      In fact, salaries are widely discussed coming out of college. How else will you know what different career paths pay?

      • You have your values, I have mine, and I would appreciate it if you responded without the patronizing tone. As for “tom’s” question, one can easily learn about salary ranges for various occupations by looking up Labor Department statistics and the like.

        • what made you decide i was patronizing? i said “relax” out of respect for Ninja because you replying to the post by an individual who regularly shares his salary and net worth.

          and for the record, the Financial Samarai recommmends never sharing your salary with people you know, not random readers like us.

          your “amazement” over our readiness to reveal our salaries assumes we don’t know any better–ergo you believe you know better than us. is it just me or does that reek of condescension?

          • I would say it’s just you. Ninja’s willingness to reveal his salary is his own choice, and yes, it does continually amaze me that people of his generation are willing to do so. But even if I revealed my salary anonymously on this thread, I’m most likely one of the few contributors over 60, and therefore I couldn’t possibly conceal all my personal details while remaining truthful. Is your comment to “relax” patronizing? Absolutely. You’re treating me as if I’m some kind of uptight old fart, in contrast to the others here who are all willing to let everything hang out. I think there are good reasons that this information should remain private, and I still do so. And to pick up on what Samurai says, his advice is clear: “never tell anyone.” I agree with very few of his positions, but in this case, he’s spot on.

          • Well, that being the case, since I’m apparently not as “relaxed” as I’m told I have to be here, this is the last time I’ll comment on this blog. And that way, all you “relaxed” types can continue to write whatever you like without having to endure any replies from me.

          • Larry… thicker skin man… don’t let some schmuck prevent you from continuing to make insightful comments.

            Jackie… Sounds like you need to relax. Larry was only pointing out a fact of the different generations. There was absolutely no need to tell him to “RELAX”. In fact, you are the one overreacting to a reasonable comment.

    • I’d be totally up for a “5 interesting things about yourself I might not know”… hopefully Ninja will make this tomorrow’s post!

  24. Alright, first of all, speaking of creepy, where on Earth did you get that picture??? I’m hoping you didn’t finally reveal your face to us, becuase if that’s the case, I think I need to be d.o.n.e. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m 43, live in Nebraska, am a mid-level manager for a major corporation, and my base salary is $96,700. I am also eligible for a bonus that is 25% of my salary. That payout varies, last year my bonus was $2,500 (bad year!) but the previous year it was $37,000.

  25. My husb is 41, a graphic and web designer, makes $50,000 a year

    Me, 34, no income, but rather I count all the things I do as a SAHM to keep money from going out, like cooking and baking totally from scratch, 100%, cutting kids and husb’s hair, shopping the Dig N Save second hand store to find great condition clothes and sewing or altering items to give us a full wardrobe at pennies per item, huge garden and canning all summer and fall.

    Its hard to quantify all that I do to “save” our income for other things. When I was working part time nights and weekends I made 10,000 a year in retail mgmnt. I certainly save more than that by being home. Whenever we talk about me going back to work, once we crunch the numbers I would need to bring in at least 30 to 35,000 a year just to break even after childcare, clothing for work, car expenses, etc. So I “make” at least that by staying home.

    We have 3 kids, 2 with special needs.

  26. Denver area, 30, 64K base with tiny bonuses ~ a few hundered bucks, working as a government consulant in private industry (civil engineer)

    my GF, 30, 70K base with massive bonuses and benefits – CPA

    our debts are pretty high though

  27. Wife and I are 28… $140,000 combined + benefits… teacher and program manager, living in the southern midwest.

    PS….I love these posts. It gives everyone a great idea of what different career paths pay, in many locations.

    • right here! =)

      I make 31,000 (I’m 22) as a nonprofit manager. I know I’d make a lot more in an equivalent job in the for profit industry, but there are a lot of reasons that I am not only content but, when I was first hired- excited, about this salary:

      1) I love my job! The rewards of doing what I do and making a difference is much more than the salary.
      2) Its more than twice the amount I got paid at my previous job in direct services at a nonprofit (15,000- full time, heh)
      3) The benefits package working at a nonprofit, since the salaries aren’t much to talk about it, is often pretty good. I don’t contribute anything for my health care or dental, and get an automatic 7% match on my 401(k) no matter my contribution, and 1 day off a pay period. Can’t complain!

    • C – You’ll have to clarify what constitutes “crap” for pay and “poor people”.

      People here “make so much” because they’ve worked extremely hard to get to where they are. They chose fields that pay well and have excelled. Making “so much” is actually quite easy if you are willing to put in the time and energy and have flexibility to relocate.

      • I make 8000 dollars a year. And I’m below the poverty line, which is around 11000 dollars. I am WELL below the poverty line and the poorest person who comments on this blog and keeps my own blog. I feel the harsh bite of poverty every day of my life, something most here cannot imagine. I’ve been poor my whole life and I’m nearly 28.

        I like the implication that I’m lazy and/or undeserving.

        • C – how can you say you’ve been poor your whole life when you spent years maxing out your credit cards and living off your students as if you didn’t have to pay them back? Your networth at that time was in the negatives, but your lifestyle was definitely not poor.

          If working only 2 days a week with the unwillingness to work more doesn’t constitute as lazy, I don’t know what does. Do you expect someone to just hand you a job as if you’re entitled to one?

        • Well… I didn’t imply anything.

          Now that you mention it, you said you’re a cashier… Do you have any education? Do you have a college or associates degree? Have you ever even tried to get a higher paying job or go back to school or get retrained in a new position? If your answer is no… then yes, you are lazy and undeserving.

          Instead of bettering yourself to get a higher paying job, you are complaining that you are a cashier making $8,000 a year. I mean, what did you expect? You are a cashier! Do you even have a 2nd job? Minimum wage is $7.25. Full time employment is 2000 hours/yr, which means you aren’t. Why don’t you have a 2nd job? Are you in school? If so, of course you are below the poverty line, join the club.

          This is all very harsh, but all I’ve seen from you here is saying how bad you have it and how you could do so much with an extra $10,000. I’m asking, what are you doing to earn that extra $10,000?

        • C,

          The year that my husband and I got married, we were both full-time students, working part-time crappy jobs (at a donut shop and a hotel). Together, we grossed roughly $9K/year. We have also felt what it’s like to live in poverty…we used to buy those Lipton noodle packets (10/$10 at Homeland) and split them for dinner. We used to scrape together change for gas. We have paid our bills for the month and had $30 left for groceries that month. It is terribly difficult to live that way. After we finished college, we began to move up. I’m not trying to imply that you’re lazy and/or undeserving, certainly not, but I’m curious to know more about your situation. Is schooling not a possibility for you?

          Caitlin

        • I’m 25, living in a very poor region of Virginia. I’m a cashier also and I make just under $13,000 a year. However, I don’t complain because I know it’s my fault as I have not pursued a higher education and done anything with my life.

  28. I’m a 30 year old female — I make $43k base as a marketing assistant just outside of Chicago. I also make $5k on the side with an eBay business.

    Boyfriend is 35 and makes $97k base + bonus as an economist/pension consultant in Chicago.

  29. I am outside Vancouver BC.
    I am 33 and have a B.A., B. Ed, and a M.Ed I make 67K as a teacher and 30K as a second job (government).
    Husband 34 and has a B.A., M.Sc, and PhD he is doing a post doc so he makes around 25K
    We became debt free in Sept. now saving like made for an upcoming move overseas. For his work for a couple of years or at least one ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Love the unicorn picture and since you haven’t revealed your face I am running with the comment that it is you.
    Cheers

  30. Me: 29 in NC – $52K base with $3K bonus (if the stars align perfectly) in software & application support for commercial real estate firm
    Soon-to-be hubby: 36 in NC – $95K+ base with $25K+ bonus (usually more since the stars almost always aligns for him) in construction project management for commercial real estate firm
    —exact numbers unavailable ’cause we had the finances talk at least 6 months ago before recent engagement

  31. I’m 42, a software engineer in the Puget Sound area. I make around $200K, while my wife hasn’t been able to find a job yet. No debts (other than mortgage), but 3 kids, and am already paying college tuition for the oldest.

  32. I am a single women in the DC area working as a software tester and I make 82k base, with a potential 8-10% bonus at the end of the year.

  33. My wife and I brought in $83,000 last year without taxes. Once taxes, medical, and 403(b) contributions are taken out your looking at around $70,000.

    San Diego CA

    26 years old.

  34. I’m 29, female and live in the Portland area. I’m a systems engineer and I make roughly $80k/yr. My husband is 30 and he made approx $64k/year but is currently unemployed due to moving out here with me for a job transfer.

  35. I’m in WI, married with three kids, wife is a writer and made her first $100 for writing last week… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Right around 200k. We are trying like crazy to suck less on how we spend it, trying to downsize the house and actively downsizing the lifestyle. Paid off second mortgage last year, still working on the last 35k of student loans. Sold the truck and got a Outback with 103k miles to save on gas, dropped cable, run the house at 63-67 degrees, etc.

    I come for the pictures of course… ๐Ÿ™‚ There are lots of places to learn about personal fiances, but having an engaging story line and personality keeps me coming back here.

  36. Just turned 40, NYC
    I used to make upper 50s(w/ 2 jobs), now w/ 2 jobs I make about 45k (w/ xtra hrs at my pt job). I’m hoping to become permanent at my ft long term temp assignment and I’ll keep my p./t job so that I can get out of debt quicker and boost my savings.

  37. I make bank ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I’m a 21 year old fulltime student, working 25-35 hour weeks at a coffeeshop. I made about 14k last year to offset the cost of tuition.

    • Oh, I forgot to add – I live in Orange County, California. Which means I still live at home, because rent prices are through the roof here.

  38. I’m a single female, mid-20s, DC-area. I make about 52K base every year as a teacher, but with all my “extras” (tutoring, reading AP exams, teaching summer school) I usually gross about 56K.

  39. 24, Boston area, 2 years out of undergrad in engineering, was making ~70k/yr. Currently in graduate school with a stipend at half that rate, with tuition and books covered. I have no debt except monthly credit cards – I didn’t go back to school until I found a way to get a fellowship.

  40. My wife and I live in West Michigan. Both early 30’s.

    Me: Teacher $61K (2 MA degrees and 11yrs exp) plus about $5-7K teaching Driver Ed as a second job.

    Wife: RN making about $54K.

    So we make around $120ish depending on DE hours. My pay has been frozen at school for the past 2yrs. Probably won’t get a raise anytime in the near future.

  41. I am 24, female: 32k gross last year including bonuses

    Husband is 26: 61k gross last year including bonuses

    We live in a suburb of Dallas

  42. Ok, I’m a lurker but not a ‘creepy’ lurker ๐Ÿ™‚
    41, Northern California, have earned a BA and MA making $80K as a Research Analyst with a local government agency. Long-time divorced Mom with two college age kids…

    After taxes though only looking at about $54K net with lots of student loan debt. Am focusing more on paying for my kids college so that they don’t get stuck in this particular trap.
    I’ve only been reading personal finance blogs for about a year and this site is just fun, I look forward to reading it!

  43. First of all – I believe this might be my first time commenting. Yay, me. I really enjoy your blog, Ninja. My wife and I are beginning our journey of punching debt in the face.

    I am 31, and make roughly 170,000/yr. My wife is a stay at home mom right now (until our daughter is in preschool, probably). We live in Southern California.

    The flip side of this great income, however, is that we are approximately 100k in debt. Not for long, debt, not for long.

    Thanks for writing such an entertaining blog about serious (and sometimes depressing) issues!

  44. My husband (41) makes $38,000 a year as a truck driver. I (34), am a stay at home mom to 3 (14,12, and 9). We live in a small town in Ohio.

  45. I am a public school teacher in Los Angeles. I do not earn very much, but I have a lot left over. I max out my 403B, IRA and Roth IRA. I travel overseas every other year on vacation. I am able to do this because I live a very modest lifestyle without debt except for a small mortgage.

  46. Midsouth. Sorta.

    I make $28,000 at my full time job.
    And about $10,000 from my side gig.

    And I really wish I hadn’t read the other answers. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • You know, I wouldn’t mind making what you do.

      And it occurs to me that even though these people may make a lot of money, does it really bring them happiness? Maybe not. It might give them security, but it likely doesn’t add joy to their lives.

        • I make less than 10000 a year. I have no sympathy for you. The things I would do with your income. The things I could do. *sigh*

          Amazingly, my goal isn’t to glut myself with money. My goal is to pay off all my student loans, and then live comfortably. Which, if I made what you do, I could.

          • And I really truly have absolutely no sympathy for you. I used to make less than 10k a year. I’ve been poor. I’ve worked retail and been so broke I couldn’t cover my bills. I’ve had shittastic jobs. It sucks, yes, but you could do better if you wanted. You obviously don’t. That’s your thing and that’s cool.

            You could pay off loans and live comfortably with my income. That’s exactly what I’m doing. But if I had more money it would eliminate other stressors in my life (can I ever visit home again? can I afford to have a child? etc) which yes would bring more joy into my life. Sometimes it’s not about the money but what you could do with the money.

          • I could do better if I wanted? Yeah, okay. Because you know me and my situation so well.

            You’re rude and disrespectful. And how exactly do you know I don’t want better for myself? Are you a mind reader? Probably not. By your logic, people with shitty jobs simply don’t want better. Yeah, and sick people just don’t want to be healthy, people in wheelchairs don’t wanna walk. Right.

            Luckily, I don’t want any snot faced demons, so that’s not a concern for me. As for traveling, I could do it easily on your income. I wouldn’t be carrying a huge mortgage and other things like that, so I could travel.

          • You could. I know because I’ve been where you are. I’ve read your blog and there are a lot of parallels to my own experience and life. The same? Nope. But similar? Yes. I did better and I think you could too. You are taking my tone as rude and disrespectful so you don’t have to listen to me. That’s fine, but if you weren’t so closed off you might actually realize that I’m not trying to be mean. I’m trying to tell you that you can move up from your situation. It can be better for you rather than drowning in poverty and worse, bitterness.

            It might take time for people with crap jobs to move up and do better. But it is possible. Even a few thousand more a year could help. And that is extremely possible to achieve. (Also comparing having a bad job and wanting to make more money to being in a wheelchair and wanting to walk is just silly. Not making lots of money is not a disability or an illness… don’t be disrespectful.)

            I love how you think you could do all these things on my income. It’s funny how you do the same things to me that you accuse me of doing to you. But because you are poor I’m a bad person for saying what you “could” do. Not really.

  47. I’m 45 working in southwest VA. Gross about 110K, wife makes another 10K selling crap on ebay. All things considered it’s not bad, except for the mortgage, food, utilities, gas and other non essential bills that take most of it.

  48. Live in the Denver area and both are in our upper 50s.
    My job is about $117k with bonus in the IT field.
    I have $20k in retirment income.
    My BH make $19k at her regular job and $14k at her second job.

    So all together it is around $170k gross.

    Interesting comments.

  49. I’m 46, legal secretary in Florida and make $49K (no raise since 2003); my husband, 52, legal secretary, makes $31K (no raise since 2006). No debt and very few wants means a good life for us. Of course, not many couples would work together, share one car and one 805 sq. foot condo, either!

  50. Age 26
    University recruiter
    I make more than $50,000 but less than $80,000 (I know my base salary but every month my income seems to increase thanks to side hustling so I don’t know yet what I’ll make)

    I am horrified by how many women are under-earning here… look at all the men that are making near six figures and their female partner is taking in less than $40,000. WTF.

    • That is a value judgement that you’re making even if you aren’t aware of your assumptions. Some women choose not to work or to work part time. Also, women tend to work in lower paying professions as a matter of choice or circumstance. Public school teachers are mostly women and they’re lower paid than principals who tend to be men. My wife works for a non-profit that is mostly women and non-profits under pay to minimize the amount of contributions they have to spend on overhead expenses. Of course, the recession didn’t help and caused her org to cut salaries (and hours) by 10%.

      At some point the decision to focus on career or family is thrust upon women, mostly because of biological reasons or historical precedent, which often leads to women decreasing their income as they make family the priority.

      • You’re right, Mike. I think I might like to stay home or go down to part time when/if I have a family, in which case my income would decrease substantially.

      • I think that is still classified as under-earning, though? Maybe not specifically “under-earning” but definitely “earning less”. Hopefully their retirement funds and savings accounts are well-stocked from their partners’ earnings if they are SAHMs and putting in their work in ways that are not monetized but supporting the family. Unfortunately that’s often not the case I see with SAHMs in my circle, although I do have a relative where the male/female roles were reversed — he had very little in retirement and assets because he was the SAHD (also unfortunate to see, obviously).

        I do believe this issue is due to historical precedent since I’ve seen an increase in SAHDs (straight couples) in the past years.

  51. I’m 27, in Wisconsin, working as a tax accountant/CPA.

    I make $60k plus bonus (range is 0-25% but I’ve only been with the company for a couple months) so who knows what it will end up being! Single, paying off student loans/car loan but I’m comfortable enough where I don’t need to pinch pennies but I don’t go on shopping sprees either.

  52. Me and desi girl made in the mid-90k range combined last year. I am in IT and she works part-time. We live outside a big east coast city so while in comparison to all comments we make above average, it really boils down to location and cost of living. We cannot afford to buy a house just yet (housing rates are stubbornly high in our part of the country) with our salary, while we could probably be homeowners if we made the same salary in some other parts of the country.

  53. We are 32 (he – engineer) and 31 (she – scientist). We live in Wisconsin and earn ~$110,000 combined (more or less split evenly)

  54. Im 25. 105k this past year with lots of OT. base is 79. NYC. Rent 1400/mon
    It freaks me out that I am not saving/investing more of it.

  55. I’m a 25-year old female living in Los Angeles (San Gabriel Valley to be specific). I work as a software engineer and make $95,000 a year at my full-time job (I have a BS and MS in Computer Science). I also rent a room out of my house and my boyfriend contributes to the mortgage (which is in my name), so I guess my total income would be about $110,000.

    My boyfriend makes $36,000 a year not including commission (he just started getting commission but I’m thinking it’ll be maybe a couple hundred more a month).

    We live comfortably, within our means, have some debt (mortgage, student loans) and are trying to increase our savings. Money might not be everything but I am very happy with the amount I’m bringing in.

  56. ~140K, up from ~55K 2 years ago, now that I’m finally out of training.
    NY but not NYC
    female, 36, supporting a stay-at-home dad (under-earning?) and 2 young kids.
    It sounds like a lot of money but I was amazed at how fast it goes, with taxes and mortgage payments here.

    • It’s probably not much if you have kids. If I was able to obtain that much money I’d pay off my student loans, buy a better car, then live off the rest as long as possible.

  57. I am 27 years old, Live in Richmond, VA and make $39,000/year (Probation Officer).
    I also make about $200-$300/month blogging and teaching coupon classes.

  58. I’m 27, single, and work in downtown Vancouver, and live about 45 minutes out of the city. I make about 55k per year as an operations manager.. I have about 1/2 of a university degree under my belt – may look at completing it some day, and would love to start a side gig someday.

  59. 24, Boston area, ~$56k/year, $46k salary in non-profit management and $10k at part time job (also at a non-profit).

  60. I am 34 and live in Ontario Canada. I am an elementary school teacher. I will make $90K in 2012. My husband is 41 and is a Master Electrician. His income varies, but is usually between $60-70K.

  61. Base salary of 52k from teaching, and about another 23k from side hustles (most unrelated to education).

    Husband: $27,500 as a medical student (which will shoot up dramatically over the next decade). So just over 100k at the moment. We’re 28, living in a DC suburb.

    I’m the only one with student loans, but I’m doing public service loan repayment.

  62. At our day jobs combined, my wife and I should make in the neighborhood of $165-170k in 2012. We both work for the same company (in the energy industry), and our employer very generously matches our 401(k) contributions 100% (so, since we’re maxing out our 401(k)s, we’ll get an extra cool $34,000 in retirement funds this year).

    I will also have some side hustle money coming in. Theoretically, I might start making money with my blog, but I’m still trying to figure that out.

    We’re both 29, and we live in San Diego.

  63. Location: NSW Australia
    DH is 36 and has just cracked $60K gross with his latest pay rise.
    I am 33 and a SAHM but the goverment here have a payment for kids called Family Tax Benefit (FTB) based on your income so we get about $11K which is tax free from them. We have 3 kids.
    I could go back to work, and am considering it, but it was important to us to have one parent home with the kids and even though they are now in all in school we still want someone there for before and after school.

  64. Wow, so late to the party.

    My wife and I make about $30k a year. $18k for me doing freelance work and $12k for her working for an insurance firm. We live in Bangkok, Thailand.

    For comparison last year we were still living in Pennsylvania and I made $72k.

    Our quality of life is somewhat improved in Thailand on less than half of our US income although we are saving less here.

  65. This is just making me realize I am so in the wrong field of employment. I’m dying to know what some of these people do that they can make 6 figures by the time they are 30. Anyone else?

    My husband and I made about 95K this year and we live outside DC and are both 29. I will serve as one of the exceptions to the under-earning female stereotype since I make about 60-65% of that income. We live comfortably, but debt payment isn’t going as quickly as we would like. But we got into debt and we will get ourselves out of it.

  66. I’m definitely a lurker… I’m 23, living in Oklahoma working for the DoD/DAF. I make $38K/yr gross income. My husband is 26, working for the DoD/DAF last year making $32K/yr gross income. However, he lost his job in September with the RIFs rolling out, which was fine with us since he had a ship date for the AF in January. As an E-3, he will bring in $34K/yr gross income (including an estimate for local BAH/Separation Pay/BAS rates for the year of 2012). I’m set for a promotion in a couple of months to $47K/yr gross income. Lots of income fluctuations happening this year for us!

  67. 24 y/o female in barren desert of northwest. $69,000/y engineer 1. bachelors in nuclear engineering.

    note: not feeding trolls.

  68. My gross income: $36,000
    My husband’s gross income: $31,000
    We’re both 26 and live on the West Coast of Florida.
    We both work for a jewelry component wholesaler but in different departments.

    We have $20,000 in unsecured debt, including $5000 still owed on a motorcycle we so stupidly purchased brand new in 2005 and totaled three weeks later with no insurance.
    We’re essentially maxed out, using 94% of our available credit, eek!
    We don’t have any student loans, but we also don’t have college degrees, just a handful of college credits each.
    We don’t have any savings other than about $5000 in our 401Ks.
    We have one child in elementary school and another on the way.

    We talk about being more financially responsible, but when push comes to shove after the bills are paid we end up spending every penny left over on fun and entertainment. I’m hoping we’ll grow up soon and get our priorities straight because even though we’re making all of our payments on time we’re definitely financially irresponsible. Every time we look at our budget we think we’re doing “everything we can” but our income grows every year and our spending magically grows right along with it.

  69. Live in northwest arkansas. I’m 31 and hubby is 26. I make $74,000 plus 20% bonus, he makes $21000, total of $85000. I work in human resources and hubby is a dock worker.

    Our debt has been radically eliminated, with only the mortgage remaining and no kids as of yet. Stockpiling cash is our new game, as he will probably reduce to part time to be a stay at home dad when the time comes.

  70. I’m 28, working as a corporate trainer 95k base plus bonus. Husband is 34 and portfolio manager for a pharma company making 160k with a 40% bonus. Just put an offer in on our first house and are adopting a child all within the next month so all this is about to change.

    Living in the SF Bay Area, it’s all relative since the median home price in our area is 750k.

  71. Last year I made $24,000 gross, but I started law school full-time in August. This year I’m not sure, as I’ll be in school all year, but I’m hoping for $10,000. I’m 23 and in Canada.

    What I find interesting about all of these comments is that once people make above a certain amount, they feel the need to explain it away, saying that lots of it goes to a mortgage, or that they are putting kids through college, etc. And (myself included) if they don’t make very much, they explain it away by saying they are in grad school, or that it will be going up in couple of years.

  72. Seattle area, both 24. I make $40k/year+ ~$5-10k bonuses at my primary job. ~$1-2k at my VERY part time second job. Hubby is in school on the GI bill so brings in~$17k/year in housing stipends. Own our home and rent out rooms, so an additonal $9k income there.

  73. Proud to represent the lady scientists!

    I’m 33 with a BS & MS geology, earning 175k + bonus annually in the energy industry.

  74. We are 27 and 29 and live in Texas. Our household income 80K. Husband is an RN, I work 5-10 hrs/week as an engineer out of my home (most awesome boss ever) and get to stay home with our new baby (which will slowly increase to 10-20 hrs/week as baby gets older). No debt except about $70K left on our mortgage. We save 1500-2000 a month now and looking into possibly buying some rental property. 80K goes a looong way in Texas.

  75. I’m a mostly SAHM mom who made about $2600 working as a cashier one day a week. DH is a machinist who made about $48k last year. We live in Ohio so that’s a comfortable income for us. DH has a 401(k) and I’m about to open a retirement account of my own. We have about $6k in debt, mostly on our car. I want to save for a van and pay cash for it before the baby is born. I’ll be 30 in April and he’ll be 32 in March. We have an almost 5 year old, a 22 month old and a baby due in June.

  76. I’m a sort of lurker too, hehehe. I read your blog because you have good advice/tips, and dude, you are hilarious! So anyway, thanks!

    My husband (26) is a computer programmer, and we live near Nashville, TN. He sorta hit jackpot in his field because he has experience with software that is pretty hot right now, and his yearly gross wage is $112,320. I’m 28 and a church musician (not paid most of the time) and a dog walker ($6 per walk, not much business). The good thing about TN is that there is no state income tax (except income from stocks and bonds), so we get to keep more of what hubby makes at his job, and it makes the wage seem even higher. He’s gotten job offers in other states, and after we considered state taxes (the offers all seemed like more money based on the yearly number), it wasn’t profitable for us to leave TN.

    When hubby and I got married 6 years ago, he worked for Pizza Hut (in our home state of SC, with state income tax), making $6.50 an hour plus tips (sometimes, he actually lost money because he had to buy gas), and now he’s at $54 an hour! We never thought something like this would happen! I know we lucked out, but I’m still very proud of him for working so hard, and very happy that he is doing what he loves, being paid well for it, and he has good coworkers.

  77. Still at my first job, been here since 2009.
    I live in San Diego, CA and make $42k a year.

    My goal for 2012 is to find a new job, hopefully much more challenging with a higher pay or some kind of career track. The job I currently have is dead end (I’m an Office Manager, a.k.a glorified Receptionist).

    The weird thing is I can 100% say I am grossly overpaid. Only because this job is only about 2 hours of real work, the rest of the time I’m just babysitting an office and browsing the internet.

  78. Also – live in a high cost city in southern california and am in my late 20s. I’m expecting a raise within a month and am hoping to break 100k! (Probably won’t, really)

  79. Me fed – $72k + 5% 401k match; DH teacher $47k + 3% 403b match + $4k side hustle. DC suburbs; looking to move to a cheaper area. Enough student loans to hate them.

  80. Live in mid-size city in the Midwest; I make $46/K a year gross plus $1K or more a year freelance side hustle. My fiance makes $35/40K yr. I put 7 percent of my income into my 401k (company matches additional 7 percent, right now!) and have 30K in an emergency fund. Plan to start Roth IRA in 2012. Fiance doesn’t have a 401k since he is an independent contractor but he does have Roth IRA. Especially since we don’t yet have a child (except for our ‘furry baby’), we are able to do pretty much what we want (eat out a couple of times a week, travel to see my family, take a ‘big’ vacation once a year, buy books and music) within reason. We still rent but have a 1500-sq-ft (maybe more) apt in a cool neighborhood for $750/month. Don’t want to buy until we are certain about the city we want to settle in.

  81. My wife makes $35K before taxes + about $10K bonus. She’s in marketing for geriatric acute rehab.

    In 2011, I made $10K working for my church. First full year in my own financial services business, I made about $33K. In 2012, I play to get it up to $75K and then be blowing away six figures in the years to come. Also just started my blog to hammer our debt pretty hard.

    Thanks Ninja for all you do!

  82. Long time lurker…and feel like I should finally contribute.

    Last year I brought in about $24k with the first half of the year at minimum wage and the second half freelancing at a much higher rate. I expect to bring in around $30k pretax this year.
    I work in theater as an electrician and lighting designer. I live in NYC, and currently have health insurance because I am 25 and still on my parents’. Last year was the first year I’ve ever made more than $12k and I feel so flush with cash!
    I was blessed to be on enough scholarship to be able to work to pay the rest of my way through college so I have no student loans.
    My goals now are figuring out the whole retirement thing and start saving up for that and an emergency fund.
    As far as asking other people about their salaries, I ask people in jobs I aspire to have and people freelancing the rates they charge to get an idea of what I am worth. I would hate to undercut myself because I don’t know any better of what every one else is charging. Also, I ask pretty much every one what their rent is because I don’t want to be overpaying. I think both of those things would be rude pretty much anywhere but NYC.

  83. I have three jobs;
    Full-time 31,000 base non-profit
    Part-time (1) 13,000 on-call 24/7 non-profit mental health
    Part-time (2) 7,500 on call 24/7 hospital

    total pre- tax 51,500 post 44,000

    26 years old from the greater Seattle area

  84. 2011 W-2s read the following way:
    Me: 130k, lawyer, 31
    Husband: 90k, but he maxes out his 401k contribution to lessen taxes. he is a lawyer and 31.
    finished my student loans 8 months ago. Husband has 55k in student loan debt left.
    we live in San Jose, CA where home prices are around a cool million.

  85. My wife and I are 31 and 27 respectively and live in a north suburb of Seattle, WA.

    I make 90K base and up to 10% bonus, while my wife makes 40K.

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