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What is a 'good salary' in the USA?

I've never had to worry about money before, fortunately. However, I have been told that I need to consider my future salary when choosing a career path. #college #career #money #job #salary #money-management #financial-planning


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Brandon’s Answer

That's a tough question to answer. A lot of it will depend on the cost of living in the area you're at.


For example, I grew up around Washington DC where housing can be pretty expensive. But then I went to school at Virginia Tech, which is in a small town in southern VA. The cost of housing there was a fraction of what it is in DC. To sum things up, it's very subjective to where you live and your lifestyle.


Just remember, you could make a 'good salary' but hate your job - what's the fun in that? Do what you love, work hard at it, and hopefully the money will follow!


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Nick’s Answer

One way to look at this is to use the Debt to Income Ratio used by banks giving mortgages. A ratio where a maximum of 40% (varies under some circumstances) of your gross income (that's before taxes) is used to pay all your debt is preferred. For example in round numbers: A $200,000 mortgage over 30 years for a home is $1000 per month. A new $25,000 car costs about $500 per month. College loans and credit card debt could be $500 per month. The total is $2000 per month. A gross monthly income of $5000, or $60,000 per year is needed for a bank to consider qualifying that mortgage. A 20% down payment is typically required (can be lower under some circumstances) therefore $50,000 cash is required to buy the $250,000 home in this example.

Adjust this for your area to decide what a good salary is according to your standard of living.

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Steve’s Answer

I would say anything around $100K is really good income in the USA. Some areas like Texas cost less to live in than NY or FL and CA. Important to understand the cost of living in a market, then factor your housing and bills at about 36% - 40% and see what you have left to have some fun in your area as well as starting a savings plan. These numbers are not all-inclusive, but will give you an idea of budgeting in the US city that you find that special job.

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Steve’s Answer

I would say anything around $100K is really good income in the USA. Some areas like Texas cost less to live in than NY or FL and CA. Important to understand the cost of living in a market, then factor your housing and bills at about 36% - 40% and see what you have left to have some fun in your area as well as starting a savings plan. These numbers are not all-inclusive, but will give you an idea of budgeting in the US city that you find that special job.

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