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How many of you make over $100,000/year?

335 Comments- Get free updates of new posts here

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How old are you?

What do you do for a living?

How did you feel once you started earning a six-figure income?

What, if anything, changed?

If your friends earn a lot less than you, does that ever present problems when hanging out?

It’s very rare to double your salary overnight (unless you just got your first post-college job). But thousands of my students have used my negotiation system to boost their salaries by $5,000, $10,000, or even more. You can use it free with my compliments. (But let me know if it helps you break the $100K mark!)

Learn how my students get $5,000 and $10,000 raises.













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335 Comments

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Ben P
Ben P
5 years 11 months ago

I’m 27, and I’m an attorney practicing in a medium-large midwest city.

Honestly, not much has changed from how I lived when I was a law student. (aside from hours worked on a weekly basis) The only major increase in my living expenses was that my rent increased significantly when I moved from a college town to to the city I work in. But I’m also presently focusing on paying off student loan debt as fast as possible. At the rate I’m paying I realistically expect it to be gone in another 2-3 years.

Jason
Jason
5 years 11 months ago

I’m 31, and I earn about $120k a year. It can vary depending on bonus, but it’s never less than about $105k. I work for a Fortune 100 Property/Casualty. I can honestly say that I am no more “happy” than I was when I made $30k, but more money does take the stress out of paycheck to paycheck living (it does raise the stakes of lost income, however).

It doesn’t really present problems with friends because I don’t live a $100k lifestyle. I doubt they have any idea what I make.

Zac M
Zac M
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 23 years old and I am an international drilling engineer working in remote and hostile locations. For me it was a night and day transition. In college I was burdened with bills such as rent, utilities, cell phone and internet with ZERO income. Upon graduating and starting a job overseas I have nearly no expenses as everything is provided for me yet now I am making over six figures. Having expatriate status also dramatically reduces my tax burden. In terms of hanging out with friends, the situation has changed. Since some of my friends are still jobless since graduating… Read more »
Erica Douglass
5 years 11 months ago

I’m curious as to how your friends reacted, too. I didn’t realize how offensive this was to some people. To me it was like “Hey, I’d like to hang out with you and this is an easy way to do it.” To many others it reads as “You’re rich and waving money in my face and bragging that you can do this.” This was NOT what I intended and it made me a really unhappy camper to have it interpreted in that way. Money is a touchy subject for a lot of people–particularly when you don’t have much.

-Erica

Ren
5 years 11 months ago

Erica, this is good insight. Sometimes, it’s not even about perceived bragging, but rather a feeling of indebtedness to the friend footing the bill. That can be pretty uncomfortable despite the good intent!

MaryJane
MaryJane
5 years 11 months ago

Yayyy, reading your post made me smile =)
I’ve always said and do dream that if I was finacially able, I would do things for my friends just as you do yours.

VJ
VJ
5 years 11 months ago

“International drilling engineer?” This guy is so full of it. Guaranteed.

MainlineMom
5 years 10 months ago

Full of it? Sounds like someone is both jealous and ignorant of starting salaries of drilling engineers, especially oversees. I, on the other hand, am quite familiar with them and he is not full of it.

People never used to believe me when I told them I was a 22 yr old chemical engineer making 50K (this was a LONG time ago).

Crystal
Crystal
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 31 and together with my spouse we make 60K (although most of it goes to daycare..if Obama REALLY wanted to help the middle class he’s do something about the daycares haveing to be insured up the like a doctors office incase a kid falls and a greedy parent sees it as a free payday) I work in the health care industry doing Stop-Loss My friends DO make a lot more than we do (over 100k like yall) but their spending/saving habits are so horrible that they are always broke while we have no consumer debt (I love apartments!) so… Read more »
MMH003
MMH003
5 years 11 months ago
Daycares are forced to have insurance for the same reason you are required to have car insurance: if you hit someone, he/she can collect from you (or your insurance carrier on your behalf) to pay for his/her injuries; if a kid is injured at daycare, his parents can collect from the daycare provider (or its insurance company) to pay for the kid’s injuries. As much as you complain about the high cost of daycare due to required insurance, I’m sure you’d be more angry if your kid got injured at daycare and you couldn’t collect because (1) the daycare was… Read more »
Justin
Justin
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 29 and a government attorney (local government, not Federal). In January I’ll be crossing the 100k threshhold. I’ve been making decent to good money since I’ve been out of law school. Since then, I’ve bought a condo and put away good hunks of money toward retirement. My lifestyle costs have gone up, but a lot of that comes from leaving the midwest and returning to the NY metro region, which is a fairly costly place to live. The rest of that comes from being engaged (not that it necessarily increases lifestyle costs per person, but the cumulative effect increases… Read more »
CD
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 37, I am a GM of a 3-star restaurant in NYC. I make around $120,000 but it could be a little more or less depending on this year’s bonus. When I first got to the $100,000 mark, I felt like all my years of hard work finally paid off. As a reward to myself for living on way less for a really long time, I literally take 40% of my post-tax pay check and put it into savings…as what I always used to complain about was that I didn’t make enough to live in NYC and save for a… Read more »
Britton
5 years 11 months ago

I’m 32-year-old engineer, and I make just over six figures, not including bonuses and stock incentives. Like Jason, I don’t live the lifestyle one associates with six figures, so it doesn’t really affect how I interact with my friends.

Mylegs
Mylegs
5 years 11 months ago
DH and I are attorneys and make a combined 270k. It is very, very nice not to have to worry about all the little things that eat into your savings. By the end of this year, we’ll have no debt (graduate loans are all that remains) but our mortgage, which isn’t extravagant by any means–we bought the house when we made way, way less money. We haven’t really increased our day to day spending since we’ve been making $$. Our main vice is traveling and staying in nice places and I don’t apologize for it. We can afford it and… Read more »
TS
5 years 11 months ago

This is very similar to my wife and I. We live in a tiny 1bd/1ba apartment, but will spend quite a bit on travel each year. Also we’ve decided to put some of our hard earned money towards eating better thus increasing our expenses there. All in all, we spend about 40% of our earnings on our day to day expenses as well as travel and food. The rest is put away towards 401k, IRA, and building a cash horde to make sure my wife’s business will weather any storm with relative ease.

Ryan B
Ryan B
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 32 years old now and jumped over 100k in April 2000 (185k/yr today). My current title is “IT Architect”, which simply means that I decide how computer networks are going to be setup but don’t have to do the actual setup work. My salary went from ~90k to ~120k within days of passing a certification exam that was in high demand at the time (Cisco CCIE). I was more excited about the prestige of the certification than the bump in pay. My parents, on the other hand, loved telling people about their 22 year old kid making over 100k/yr.… Read more »
Peter
Peter
5 years 10 months ago

So you’re an IT Architect? I’m 28 and thinking of starting to go back to school and IT Architect was one of the things i was considering…I work as a Hardware Infrastructure Support Tier III right now and are at about 67k. (Yearly bonus included, 62 base) I live in the Tri-State area and with the costs of housing here as well I know I’ve got to do some more to really up my salary if I plan on getting married, buying a place and having kids.

Chris
5 years 11 months ago

I’m 32, and have made $100k+ for the last 4 or 5 years. I work in Search Engine Marketing and my income comes from a combination of salary, freelance projects and various other side projects.

The first year I did over $100K, there was a lot of patting myself on the back. Since then, it’s just the norm.

Most of my friends have no idea how much I make, and I like it that way. I’m driven in my earning, but endeavor to keep my spending at levels more in line with someone making half as much.

Galephico
Galephico
5 years 11 months ago

Err … Are you sure you don’t want your friends to know how much you make ? Why put your website ?

Jeff
Jeff
5 years 10 months ago

Chris,

How did you get into this field ? What sort of background would be useful and what sort of companies would pay this kind of salary ?

Are your side projects also in SEM ?

Michael H
Michael H
5 years 11 months ago

24 years old, 110,000 a year working as a computer engineer. Have my masters and undergraduate degrees in computer and electrical engineering.

I just got my big raise and it honestly has not hit me yet. I am excited about the money I am earning but other than buying a new TV nothing has changed yet. I have been focused on paying off my student loans and have only 5k left.

My friends make significantly less than myself. Other than picking up the occasional bar tab it has no effect on what we do.

Erik
Erik
5 years 11 months ago

Michael H…
Where do you live? (what state)
where do you work?
And how many hours do you work?

Brian
Brian
5 years 11 months ago
27, Sales. To be honest it still doesn’t feel like enough. My month to month pay check is still the same as when I was making $50k, but my quarterly bonuses are now significantly larger. Consequently I still feel like I’m living paycheck to paycheck, and I wind up just socking most of the bonus away in index funds or padding the savings account. Maybe I just keep good company, but most of my friends actually make more than I do, some just a little and some by 2 or 3x. Being that a job is still a job, I… Read more »
Jessica
Jessica
5 years 11 months ago
26 years old Consultant Aerospace Engineer (around $140k a year) I was worried that my days of earning a 6 figure salary would be short lived due to an increase in outsourcing of engineering jobs to places like India and Russia for a fraction of the cost of a domestic engineering firm. Now I realize that great engineers will always demand a premium, afterall, someone has to oversee the work of the outsourced engineers for the domestic companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin. It’s the less than stellar performers and new grads here in the US that will likely be… Read more »
Dan CaJacob
Dan CaJacob
5 years 11 months ago

Hi Jessica,

I’m an engineer too, building small satellites. The company I work for is quite small, so I don’t have access to a real mentor. I would appreciate any advice you could offer – I make quite a bit less than you! Thanks.

Kristin
Kristin
5 years 11 months ago

Jessica, you are a woman after my own heart. I am a few years older than you, and just as responsible. I have a 529 in my own name, which will be transferred to my child (once it is actuallly conceived!). Good for you, especially as a woman in a field that is so dominated by men!

Financial Samurai
5 years 11 months ago

This is great! 26 years old and making $160,000. How can people think the economy is bad with this type of income? People are silly.

Marie-Claude
Marie-Claude
5 years 11 months ago

@Financial Samurai: helloo, this is certainly not the majority of people that are engineers. it does not have any link with the economy.

Daniel
Daniel
5 years 11 months ago
. I’m 32 and a software developer for a finaicial firm and my salary is ~$105K. When I first started working after college, I was making about the same as all of my friends. Maybe a little bit more. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that my salary grew significantly more than my friends. I also was the by far most frugal of the bunch. I came from a background where we didn’t really have much money, and the company I kept never spent extravagently, so me wanting to do things that were more, you know, spendy… Read more »
gmuller
5 years 11 months ago
I’m a 28 year old Software Manager making 100+ Feels good to make this much, but it’s not without time costs. One of the huge differences I’ve noticed is I don’t have time to take care of the little things, like the dishes, laundry, yard work, etc on my own anymore. The added expense of needing someone to take care of this stuff for me is not exorbitant, but it does require me to think about making even more money to offset the costs if I want to continue to save more. Most of my friends earn comparable salaries, but… Read more »
C
C
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 26 and a software engineer. First broke $100k cash this year. When I first passed the limit, I felt initially great – it’s a milestone, of course – but then realized it was just the result of a steady climb in salary over the past few years, so it lost its impact. I’ve focused on paying off debt from my poor college student days and rewarded myself getting it all taken care of this year with a new car. A lot of my friends indeed make a *lot* less than I do, and it does present problems – nobody… Read more »
Dorothy
5 years 11 months ago
I am 29 years old, I work for an Intelligence Company overseas, and make about 120k (I am a contractor and only doing the gig for one year). It feels great seeing those paychecks coming in, knowing that I can build a huge nest egg in a short period of time. The biggest change was how much I could save (and the fact that I had to move to the Middle East for a year). I started in October last year, and was able to max out my company’s 401k and my Roth for 2009 and 2010 in my first… Read more »
Maxime
Maxime
5 years 11 months ago
Hello, How did you handle it with your family? I’m not making that much this year, it will probably be the case next year. I have lots of friends in Africa who are making 3x less than me still working a lot more than me. Some asked to borrow money, some to invest in their businesses and others to pay their rents. At this time, I always said that I don’t give money and that I want guarantees because I don’t want them to become assisted like so many are. I think this is going to become increasingly hard as… Read more »
Elizabeth Polis
5 years 11 months ago
I am 29, and own and operate a small physical therapy private practice. Patients are seen for wellness concerns as well as acute and chronic injuries. They are treated primarily with an array of manual hands on techniques and instructed in exercises plus lifestyle modification. The practice is cash based and therefore we don’t deal with insurance (patients can submit if they so choose). Doors opened 11 months ago, and we just cleared 100,000. The practice is in a northern Virginia suburb outside of DC. I feel really blessed to have had a successful year. Plus I have made excellent… Read more »
Vaishali
Vaishali
5 years 11 months ago

Hi Elizabeth,

I’m halfway done with my schooling to become a licensed massage therapist. I am thinking of starting my own practice and incorporating more holistic practices. I would love to touch base and have a mentor who has been through the process.

Thank you.

Nick M
Nick M
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 22. I’m a photographer. My earnings are due to royalties on a reasonably successful iPad app, and it’s really weird. My cost of living is less than $20,000. I use to pride myself on discipline with money, but now that seems pointless as I just throw half or 2/3s of each royalty check into savings/investments and that still leaves thousands of dollars each month in money I can do whatever with. The idea of not being to comfortably afford something only comes up with cars and houses. My actual tastes haven’t actually changed, I just buy more of the… Read more »
Nick M
Nick M
5 years 11 months ago

Also, Ramit, I’m a perfect example of the importance of negotiation. When my boss asked me to completely drop my life in order to get this project done I insisted on a better cut of the revenue for the sacrifice. It turns out that was worth many tens of thousands of dollars.

latestarted
latestarted
5 years 11 months ago

Ramit, I know you left location out of the equation, and that your focus tends towards the YUPs, but cost of living is a huge part of the equation.

I make 100k+ and so does my wife, but it sure as hell doesn’t leave us a lot at the end of the day figuring in housing/commute and daycare (whinge whinge whinge)

Bob
Bob
5 years 11 months ago

This “Nice Job” reply is suspicious. It keeps following me down the comments page!

Christopher
5 years 11 months ago

I should mention that your book helped me get to where i am. (amongst other things)

Dominique Brown
5 years 10 months ago

My salary is 80% based on my negotiation skills and 20% on my ability to do the work… I know people who have so much more talent and skills than I have. But, they lack the ability to sell themselves so their income suffers.

KC
KC
5 years 11 months ago

Hey, Nick, may I ask how the iPad app happened? What kind of work do you do? Thanks!

DF
DF
5 years 11 months ago
i’m 35. i currently make $63,000 as a designer in NYC (worked hard to get those bonuses and pay raises at the job!). it’s pretty good pay for someone 4 years out of grad school and compared to peers in the same profession who make less or are unable to find employment in the past year. i had started at $43k. i have $150k still left to pay in graduate student loan debt and about $7k in credit card debt (from grad school days). previous to grad school, i was working in finance and my salary increased more than 2-fold… Read more »
George
George
5 years 11 months ago

That’s just an amazing story.
To have a courage to quit your lucrative job is quite a hard thing to do!
I hope you’ll find your way, good luck!

Marisa
Marisa
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 31 and just hit $100,000 in February with my latest role at a Fortune 10 company. I think my husband is more excited about “the number” than I am; to me, it feels like pressure. Suddenly I’m looking around and thinking, “we should have nicer stuff – I make $100K!” or “it’s pathetic not to have more saved – I make $100k!” So, yea, not nearly as awesome as when I first hit $85k – or $50k (that was a big deal for me). Now, my natural cheapness feels bad. I make more than most of the people I… Read more »
Adam P
Adam P
5 years 11 months ago
I’m a 33 year old CPA in the insurance industry, making over $100k for the last few years. When I hit 6 figures I didn’t really change much of anything but save more, I haven’t experienced a great deal of lifestyle inflation (yet). A few friends of mine that work in call center type “jobs” rather than careers can be resentful of vacations or shopping sprees I go on from time to time, and I would definitely say travel is the biggest area of contention. If you want to go on a trip with your buddies, and they don’t have… Read more »
Para
Para
5 years 11 months ago
My husband hit 100k this year, so with both of us working, our net pay is probably 150k. We’re both private government contractors, and he does have a Masters in his field (with no loans!). Once he got this job, his pay increased dramatically, and several good raises later meant he crossed the threshold this year. Our student loans are long paid off, and our frugal ways allowed us to pay for a lot of expenses this year in cash. This included a $12,000 wedding (with support from parents), a $5000 2-week honeymoon to Japan, 75% down on a new… Read more »
Double A
Double A
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? – I will be 23 in a few weeks, and I make between 100K and 120K, depending on the non-guaranteed portion of my bonus. What do you do for a living? – I’m a software developer. How did you feel once you earned $100k? – Initially, I couldn’t believe it (it happened a few months ago). Now, I have grown into the idea that I make $100K, and other goals seem within the realm of possibility ($250K and beyond). What, if anything, changed? – Nothing really. I am burdened with a significant amount of student loan… Read more »
Cornelius Aesop
5 years 11 months ago

I doubt that I’ll ever make 100K+ but I’ve noticed a difference in friends of mine who make closer to 70k a year while my job pays under 30k but if there is a strong enough friendship the differences between income will only cause an initial problem. Ways to enjoy each others company without making one feel in debt to/bitter or the other feel like they need are obligated to pay for everything will likely prevail as long as both are mature enough to appreciate their friendship.

7
7
5 years 11 months ago
28 (female) Government Employee (I do some really cool stuff—I’ve written you before, but I haven’t had time to compose how I got where I am with my career—one of these days. Let me sum it up with I took risks and gladly so). Accomplished—and awesome. Hello, put myself through college with no help from anyone financially (except Mr. and Mrs. Subsidized and Unsubsidized Fed loans). What’s changed??? A sense of security. I more or less left home prior to turning 18 and haven’t gone back. I’ve kept my nose to the grindstone and not settled. It’s nice knowing that… Read more »
Josh
5 years 11 months ago

It’s funny/weird seeing Government employee in this prestigeous 100K club. Most people don’t picture government employee making that much money. I too am in government – federal engineer. I’m soon-to-be 26 but joined Government about 16 months ago. I’m still well below the 100K club, but hope to climb up fast within next 3 years with my accelerated development program and master’s degree in engineering. It’ll be nice if I get to ref Soccer for some extra pocket money too =)

7
7
5 years 11 months ago

Hey Josh,

As a fed engineer you’ll definitely be there soon. And, if you’re in the DC area I can put you in touch with a soccer ref coordinator. 🙂

Angela
Angela
5 years 11 months ago

I’m in a government field, too (state, not fed). I’m 23 and just started my career in forensic science, and my starting salary is just shy of $65K. MANY of my coworkers make over $100K, so I definitely know it’s not UNcommon for a government employee to make that kind of money.

Daniel
Daniel
5 years 10 months ago

What is this cool shit exactly?

Crystal
Crystal
5 years 11 months ago

Ramit- WRONG. So you think if we made 100k we’d rack up debt and mismanage $ even though we currently do not have/do either? Does making 100k mark the begining of the stupid meter?

Crystal
Crystal
5 years 11 months ago

…but maybe I WOULD start reading and comprehending responces. Sorry Ramit, I thought you were saying we’d turn into my friends given the chance.
Well, time for more coffee..

Tim
Tim
5 years 11 months ago
I made over 100k back 4 years ago when I was 23. I hit the mark but had to sell all my time to get there, traveling like crazy working way too many hours. The money was nice but it didn’t make me happy. I’ve now switched careers and since getting to 100k once it seems far easier to do it again. Like others said above the money is nice, but 100k isn’t going to solve your problems its better to focus on what makes you excited. There are millions of ways to make money, you can never buy your… Read more »
Scott
Scott
5 years 11 months ago
Tim, can you elaborate on your story? I’m in a similar position where I earn a big paycheck (though not quite $100k), but have had to make some big sacrifices and compromises to get it. Ultimately, it’s not a sustainable situation, and I want to make the leap to something completely new…but that would mean taking a $25-$40k cut in annual salary based on my outreach to prospective employers. I want to take the leap, but just can’t bring myself to walk away from that much coin. Can you tell us how you broke free of the golden handcuffs and… Read more »
Mike C.
5 years 11 months ago

Dear wife, attorney, makes $125K. I make $5K.

Thankfully she still hangs with me. If not, I’ll sue the bitch.

All jokes aside, we have no debt. She wants a Holland cruise on our 10th anniversary. I’d better start collecting bottles.

anon
anon
5 years 11 months ago
anon simply b/c I don’t want any friends that read this site to realize who this is How old are you? 27 What do you do for a living? IT How did you feel once you earned $100k? Initially good but now trapped as in “how the hell am I supposed to make more either here or on my own?” There is also a greater fear of “what if I lose my job, how will I make this level of pay again? especially in this economic climate?” Sometimes I feel like I have to FORCE myself to enjoy my job… Read more »
Peter
Peter
5 years 10 months ago

Can I ask what specifically you do in IT?

James
James
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? 29 What do you do for a living? Work for a Bank, in a LDP program (just graduated with an mba in may). It’s mostly general consulting type stuff and project management so far. How did you feel once you earned $100k? Am married, and went from ~110k per year and then quit my 60k/year sales job to get an MBA (full time programs rule!). Then got a 110k job upon graduation. It was pretty awesome to think “wow I am almost doubling my old salary”. I was also pretty stoked to land a job in… Read more »
Financial Samurai
5 years 11 months ago

Full time MBA must be awesome, but part-time MBA is the best if you’ve already got a career and don’t want to skip a beat!

Skrpune
Skrpune
5 years 11 months ago

or you could be crazy like me and do FT work + FT grad school…

Carl
Carl
5 years 11 months ago

I am a blogger from Brazil, and I am not using my real name for obvious reasons. I have a big blog in the car business and I am 28 years old.

Broke the 100k barrier this year. It wasnt easy. Takes around 2 million visitors per month to get there, here in Brazil.

If I was in the US, writing in english, would be making a lot more, twice or more.

HB
HB
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 29 and I work as a recruiter/headhunter. I live in the UK, and my annual earnings are about £80k, which is about $125k. Of that only £30k/$46k is salary, the rest is commission, although I earn at that level pretty consistently. My problem was that I acted like I earned that sort of money when I first started out in this industry six years ago; I saw all of the big earners around me living the high-life, so I spent stupid money on credit cards and got myself into a huge hole of debt. Not good. Now I have… Read more »
Gal @ Equally Happy
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 36, I’m Director of Product Management for a small internet start up and I also do some side projects (thanks for the inspiration Ramit). I make around 150k a year. I didn’t feel any different when I passed the 100k mark but I did feel a little odd a few years ago when I realized how much I was making. Just seemed like an odd number and one I never would have thought of when I was younger. Most of my friends make a lot less than I do which does present issues, mainly around travel. I can’t go… Read more »
iunknwn
iunknwn
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? I’m 32. What do you do for a living? I’m a Software Engineer How did you feel once you earned $100k? While in school never thought that I’d make this much, but once got into industry that viewpoint changed when I started studying everyone’s salary. Came across a job posting that was paying double of what I was already doing, so applied, got an interview, did well and got an offer. Gave my resignation, but my company matched the offer. I was more happy about the awakening than getting $100k. I bet many are sleeping not… Read more »
Maxime
Maxime
5 years 11 months ago

I love this :
“If I work hard, I’d get even $200k, same is not true to get good friends, so I’d rather not loose them for more money.”
I think there is no better way to say it.
Thanks for the eye’s opening comment.

Tony
Tony
5 years 10 months ago
I hate to be the person who says this because I want the story to be true but… I’m calling BS on this story. I think this is just someone’s fantasy. Although I don’t discourage fantasies this guy isn’t there yet. Keep working buddy. What tipped me off was the “3 0-mileage fully paid cars.” comment. So you’re telling me you have 3 cars with 0 miles on them in the garage. Meaning you JUST bought all 3 of them? Nobody buys 3 brand new cars at once. On top of that you’re telling me you bought 3 brand new… Read more »
CC
CC
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 30 years old. I’m a finance and data analyst. I started out 2010 making $45k a year doing an incredible amount of work for a company which was not profitable. In May 2010 I started freelancing. In the month of August 2010 I billed for just under $4,000 and accepted a $60k a year full-time job. So, effectively in July of 2010 I was making $45k a year and in August just over $100k. It hasn’t really sunk in yet and may not be legitimate. I have to see how the side money continues. The nice thing is I… Read more »
Micah
Micah
5 years 11 months ago

CC,

I’m a Finance and Budget Analyst and make $35,000. Can I ask what kind of freelance work you are doing? Is it in the finance field? I’m still trying to get an idea of what to do. Btw, congrats on the new job!

Prissy
Prissy
5 years 11 months ago

Hi, I would also like to know how you began freelancing in finance. Can you give any advice or pointers? Thanks in advance!

Andrew
Andrew
5 years 11 months ago
My wife and I are both 27. I work for a large financial firm and she is a teacher. Together we make about $125k per year. It’s been really nice having extra income available to pay off cars and juice up our savings. It’s also nice to be able to go out to eat or go on a trip and be able to enjoy ourselves instead of worrying about the cost. One thing that concerns me is that we are planning to have a baby in the next year or two. My wife will most likely shift from full to… Read more »
Zach
Zach
5 years 11 months ago
I’m a 28 year old college dropout. Busted my hump in sales for a well-known beverage brand then decided I wanted to run an ecommerce business for the same company. Pitched it, got it, rocked it. Was making $90k, asked for $125k last fall…got it. I’m never satisfied (that’s the hustler in me) so I always want more. Living in SF makes the earnings seem like less so I don’t feel all that different. The main difference is that I’m able to pay my bills. On time. That feels good. The challenge is I’m looking to move on and though… Read more »
Christina
5 years 11 months ago
Zach, Have you tried to interview at other places, or is it a self-imposed barrier – that you’ve heard it’s really difficult to get in the door without a degree, so you’re still working up the nerve to apply? I only ask because I’m at a bit of a crossroads myself. The job I’m in now is nice but not terribly exciting. However, it is a really small company, and I think I could earn a lot (although I’m not earning very much right now). I’m 24, but I do not have a college degree. I’m trying to decide whether… Read more »
MH
MH
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 33 and I earn $100k after bonuses working as an analyst for a not-for-profit. My wife also earns a very good salary. Not much has changed in our lifestyle. The biggest differences has been an increase in how much we allocate towards investing and how much we give in our religious offerings. Our family, friends and acquaintances don’t know how much my wife and I earn although they have a sense that we’re doing well for ourselves. I’ve have noticed that the older generation (parents) always refer to my wife and I having “lots of cash/money” while my (and… Read more »
Marie
5 years 11 months ago

How old are you? 36

What do you do for a living? IT consultant, also own two companies

How did you feel once you earned $100k? no difference

What, if anything, changed? no debt

If your friends earn a lot less than you, does that ever present problems when hanging out?
Cannot relate to their money problems

“The penalty for success is to be bored by people who used to snub you-Nancy Astor”

Pete
Pete
5 years 11 months ago
Just turned 24 working in the Pharmaceutical industry and make just over 100k with 401k matching and bonuses. When I first got my offer, it blew my mind. Now, it’s warn off and I almost expect it just because I know exactly where all the money will disperse. It’s not like my checking account is overflowing, it all gets quickly divided into rent, gas, food, and most importantly SAVINGS! My friends don’t know how much I make because I don’t live any differently than I did when I was in college. I still share a 2 bedroom apartment with 3… Read more »
Antar
Antar
5 years 11 months ago

Pete,

What kind of work you do in the pharma industry? Sales, R&D, Regulatory affairs, etc.. What’s you education background? Where exactly do you work? I live in Canada and I’m looking for job opportunities in the biotech/pharma industry and would love to make a descent salary. At my previous job I was making 45K$ and I feel I could make a lot more.

Paul S.
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? 30 (started making just over $100k when I was 27-28) What do you do for a living? Enjoy Life to the Fullest. Seriously though…I am a Program Manager for a Large Defense Contractor (youngest PM I know…Salary ~$110k) and I own my own real estate firm (youngest broker I know…2010 Income ~$80k). Sad thing is I am more productive dollar per hour doing private residential real estate deals than I do for my full time job. But I love them both and each job allows me to stretch different parts of my brain and soul. Plus… Read more »
Ruben
Ruben
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 34 and @ 150k >> What do you do for a living? Software Dev (management) >> How did you feel once you earned $100k? I thought it would feel great and be incredible. Truth is, since my expenses were mostly inline with my increases it felt no different than before. I’ve started scaling back expenses now so it’s starting to get pretty nice, but I still have plenty of work ahead of me. >> What, if anything, changed? Better vacations and more toys (iPads, iPhones, Kindles) but that’s mostly superficial (except for the vacations). >> If your friends earn… Read more »
Chandra
5 years 11 months ago
I am 38 and I make 130K and my husband makes about the same. We own a company that performs background checks for employment purposes. We’ve owned it for 11 years now. Our salaries doubled several years ago when we finally figured out what the heck we were doing. There is a HUGE difference in our lives now with savings and 401Ks and investments. Sometimes it still ‘feels’ like paycheck to paycheck but the truth is so much of our money is automatically directed to savings or investments that even when there’s only a buck in my checking account, there’s… Read more »
latestarted
latestarted
5 years 11 months ago
***How old are you? 34 (but I didn’t enter the workforce until 6 years out of school, which is average for my position) ***What do you do for a living? Accounting (no CPA yet) ***How did you feel once you earned $100k? It was a great psychological boost. I’ve had 100k+ plus as my income goal, in that I felt if I hit that mark and could maintain it (adjusted for inflation) I would be able to live a comfortable lifestyle. ***What, if anything, changed? Having reached that point my focus is to continue to improve things by increasing net… Read more »
latestarted
latestarted
5 years 11 months ago

doh for #1, meant to say that I didn’t get my BS until 27, so average time from graduation to reach my position is roughly 6 years (acheivable by a 28 yr old)

William
William
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 26, and make a little over 100k as a software developer. There was not much of a change in feelings once I broke the 100k barrier, as I started there in my first job out of university. For the most part, the amount of money I make compared to friends and family has little impact, with two exceptions. My sister is my “roommate,” and in over a year she has offered a partial payment with the rent exactly once. The other is one of my best friends, who I will occasionally help out by investing in his film projects.… Read more »
Dominic
Dominic
5 years 11 months ago

I’m 28 years old and I’m an optometrist earning $110K. Earning more money so far hasn’t made a huge impact on me because I keep my cost of living very low to continue to pay off debt, however I will be using it as a tool to retire with dignity and hopefully early. Just found your blog today and I plan on reading your book!

Natalie
Natalie
5 years 11 months ago

Finally someone in the medical field! I’ve been reading all these comments and as a pre-med, graduating from college in a year and starting the medical school application process… started to sound like I’ve picked the wrong field! Of course it’ll be years before I’ll actually be making anything but since medicine is all I ever wanted to do – so I’m sure it’ll be worth it. 🙂

I’m glad optometry has worked out for you! Definitely read Ramit’s book, I love quoting advice from it to my friends!

Anon
Anon
5 years 11 months ago
Wife and I make over $160K a year. Both are in the software engg. field. Once we earned over 100K, we 1. upsized to a 2 BR 2 BA apartment from a 1 BR 1 BA. It cost us $200 a month more. This was because family was visiting us. We have a lot of visitors since we live in Socal. 2. Changed both cars. Old cars were $700 and $2200. We switched to 2 new(er) used cars with low miles by paying $4000 and $5000 in full because commute increased for both of us We ramped up our savings/investments… Read more »
Jeff
Jeff
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 32 years old and I am a Marketing/Sales Manager for a large equipment manufacturer. I will make about $115k this year plus benefits. My wife is 29 and works for a major department store retailer and will make over $70k this year making our combined income just under $190k. Our combined income has been over $100k from the time we started dating seven years ago. We live way below our means and save over half our income yearly and have not changed our lifestyle much. We have upgraded our home with a recent job relocation and we have taken… Read more »
Kat
Kat
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? I’ll be 50 this year. OMG, half a century! I think I might be the oldest commenter on this post. What do you do for a living? I work in international trade compliance. How did you feel once you earned $100k? It was a milestone number for me, I was pretty proud to reach it since I’ve been working full-time since I was 17 years old, didn’t finish high school (GED), and am just now going to college. It’s funny because the position that I have required a college degree, however, my specialized experience got me… Read more »
Michael
Michael
5 years 11 months ago
I am a 31 year old attorney in a large firm in Los Angeles. I make approximately $170k per year, my wife is a stay at home mom. I honestly wonder where all the money goes. I max out my 401k and also our HSA. After that and taxes, $500 for car payment, $2000 for rent, $1600 for student loans (combined) and then various amounts for all the other good stuff like cable, phone, gas, electric, insurance, baby stuff, food, a little entertainment… I feel like we are living paycheck to paycheck. What do friends think? Those that make less… Read more »
Financial Samurai
5 years 11 months ago

I hear you 100% on making 170K and then wondering where it all went with house/rent and all that stuff! Where it goes is to good old Uncle Sam that’s where! 🙂

Dawn
Dawn
5 years 11 months ago

Michael, We were in your shoes for many years. See my post below. You can stop feeling this way! 🙂

Sunil from Extra Money Blog.com
5 years 11 months ago
30 yrs old. I recently rejoined corporate America as a Senior Manager. I have responsibilities developing internal capabilities over various functions, offshoring / outsourcing as well as over E-commerce. I also maintain several niche websites and a blog. Everything combined, including bonuses and options my annualized salary is $310,000 I first made over 100k when I was 25 – I used to work in Mergers & Acquisitions. Nothing much has changed, except my investment portfolios (stocks, real estate, investments in small businesses) have risen. I still do not own my house (not a believer as yet), and no kids so… Read more »
Wille
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 32 and I make the equivalent of slightly less than $200K as a freelance IT strategy/integration consultant – I also have some very small online income streams. Nothing really changed dramatically in terms of lifestyle as it’s been a slow upwards progression – I’d say it’s just given me the benefit of allowing me to do the things I want and have the freedom to turn down work I don’t want and have quite a comfortable nest egg for a rainy day. I probably make the most out of my immediate group of friends, though I have some friends… Read more »
JM
JM
5 years 11 months ago
31 years old, 150k. I work in technical sales for an IT company. 100k was a huge personal milestone for which I felt very proud and privileged. But in reality its just a number. What’s changed? I’d like to think not much, except that we have more money to take trips, fund retirement, and generally not have to worry about watching every nickel. The luxury of knowing that our bills are paid each month is something I don’t lose sight of, especially during times of +10% unemployment. We don’t talk money with friends for the most part. I don’t think… Read more »
Kevin
Kevin
5 years 11 months ago
I’m a 29 year old homemaker. My wife is a 27 year old attorney making $170K/yr. When she summered in 2004, she was offered $140K. Her firm was so competitive and growing that by the time she started her first year in 08, they raised her to $160K. Meanwhile, I got laid off in 08 and was only making $35K/yr. Even though I made beans, I managed to max out both my 401k and IRA every year and still support my then girlfriend through school. We certainly don’t feel like we have a large income. We rent a modest apartment… Read more »
nycguy
nycguy
5 years 11 months ago
@ CC September 1, 2010 at 9:30 am what did you do on the side to take in income, as I am also a Financial Analyst and wouldn’t know how to apply my Corporate Accounting/Finance skilsl to freelance. @ latestarted September 1, 2010 at 11:31 am How did you make it to $100K + in 7 years without earning a CPA? Did you make it to management level and consider yourself lucky in the right place at right time or did you search and were hired makingthat much money? ——— I’m asking because I find it hard increasing my income… Read more »
latestarted
latestarted
5 years 10 months ago
short anwer: I did well enough/was lucky enough to make it into Big4 accounting despite it taking me 10 years post high school it figure myswelf out and finish a bachelors. Only took me 5 years post-graduation, not 7. Did 3.5 years in Big4 (Tax) and got RIF’d Dec 2008. Good news is that I had a ton of goodwill and picked up a new job with a good firm as a senior accountant. Pay bump in private put me over 100k (financial services, San Francisco) still working hours similar to public accounting though. Figure I need to get my… Read more »
Motivated
Motivated
5 years 11 months ago

26 years old Electrical Engineer. Trying to get a raise to $80k this month.. Thought I was doing pretty good, until I see these comments.

Scott
Scott
5 years 11 months ago

Motivated… same here. Really surprised to see so many young people making such great money. It’s awesome to see and it’s motivating. Hopefully the Earn1k course and promotion next year will help me get up around some of these numbers.

young'un
young'un
5 years 11 months ago
I have made over $100k for the last 3 years, I’m 25 and am an engineer with a small/midsize oil company. I actually am going to break $250k this year, Obama would call me rich i guess. It was a big change, leaving college broke to this…It’s pretty cool. No one really knows. When I get a big bonus i wish i could tell people but i am afraid of what they might think. My last bonus was bigger than what my dad makes in a year. My brother and mom and dad know i make over 100 and they… Read more »
Bob
Bob
5 years 11 months ago

> How old are you?

29

> What do you do for a living?

Own my own software business. I do custom development and sell my own software.

> How did you feel once you earned $100k?

I had no idea so no feeling…

> What, if anything, changed?

My wife and kids have a better standard of living but not by much. Still no TV. Though I would argue that lack of a TV improves your life.

> If your friends earn a lot less than you, does that ever present problems
> when hanging out?

Nope, I’m cheaper than a college student.

Bob
Bob
5 years 11 months ago

PS: You didn’t ask how much, but I earned $250K in my business for the last two years running.

Bob
Bob
5 years 11 months ago

Actually, the first month where I made more than $20K, I was having lunch with my accountant and related this milestone.

At that time, we were buying a new car (yeah, I know, I know) and was fretting about the cost. He told me I was insane for worrying as I could pay it off with two month’s revenue.

I never thought about it till much later but it was a pretty good feeling to be able to say “I can cover my year’s living costs in 3 months, how about you?”

Though I never said that.

Evan
Evan
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 27. I’m a resident (doctor in training) and a software developer for iPhone and iPad apps. As a resident, I make $45k; my wife makes about the same. As a developer, which I do in my spare time outside my 60 to 80 hour a week at the hospital and clinic, I made ten times my resident salary in the past 12 months. When I crossed the $100k mark, I knew I was going to able to achieve one of the goals I set for myself at the start of medical school: Pay off all the student loans by… Read more »
Anthony
Anthony
5 years 11 months ago
Surprised that you didn’t ask for location, although I guess the thing you were looking for was how it affected their lives and their relationships. I agree with the comment a couple of posts up about location being important. $100k in NY and $75k in the middle of Nebraska are probably about the same. Agree with Motivated’s comment that it’s useful to see what other people are earning. It’s also pretty clear that people don’t really talk about how much their friends make. It’s sometimes strange to have family that makes less than I do. My sister asked one time… Read more »
John J
John J
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 34. I’m a software developer. When my salary crossed that 100k milestone, I felt a sense of accomplishment. Nothing life changing, but it was nice. My favorite milestone was hit subsequently when I hit the maximum Social Security contribution and got a bigger paycheck in December. I didn’t even know such a thing happened until it happened to me. Now I use the month that I max out Social Security as my benchmark. September nowadays, for what that’s worth. As a practical matter, not too much changed from an outward observable standpoint. I still drive a ’99 Honda Accord… Read more »
lynnor
lynnor
5 years 11 months ago

I’d also be interested in location. My husband makes just over 100k as a software engineer (finally — we’re in an older age bracket than most), but that salary is harder to come by for that occupation in the city we are in. He even has a MS and is published, etc. At first I thought it was because he prefers to work for startups (low on funds) and open source, but after asking around find the lower salaries hold true even for the big companies around here.

Gerard
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 24. Make c. $100k in base plus bonuses on top in investment banking Felt good to make over 100k but comes at a price. The biggest change was a loss of time more than anything else. I’m aslo less concerned about the smaller expenses and not tracking every dollar spent as I did at university. More focus on the big wins and making sure money’s going to the right place / allocated correctly. No, can’t say it has affected my relationship with friends. My lifestyle hasn’t really changed – spending is still about the same.The only thing that’s really… Read more »
Dd
Dd
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? What do you do for a living? – freelance architect / developer How did you feel once you earned $100k? – stressed What, if anything, changed? – didn’t like the bills I had accumulated with it If your friends earn a lot less than you, does that ever present problems when hanging out? – no. They spend a lot more than I do. If anything they are mad I’m cheap and make money. Ps- I have decided not to make that much anymore. I’m at about 70 now and my wife and I are much happier.… Read more »
Jay
Jay
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? 37 What do you do for a living? IT Architect How did you feel once you earned $100k? Proud – it seemed like a major milestone What, if anything, changed? I spent more… At the time my wife was also working and combined we were making about $140k, but she stopped working to have kids shortly after, and we never dialed back our spending. It meant we accumulated a lot of debt in the 5 years following until we got a windfall stock option payout that allowed us to pay it off. We took that as… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago
I turned down >$100,000 y so I could get a PhD and do basic research in medicine and infectious diseases. I’m only making $50,000/y as a postdoctoral researcher at a top institution. It can be bittersweet when I think back on the consulting and i-banking invitations I got after college and in the first few years of grad school (and when I see where some of my non-academic friends are now), but we only have so many hours in life, and this is my contribution to the world. My parents were unhappy lawyers earning well over $400,000/y, and I didn’t… Read more »
6:00 p.m. Anonymous
6:00 p.m. Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago
You’re right: many of us make career choices based on little information. My mother grew up in a cash-strapped household and with a drive to “succeed” (as defined mostly by others); my dad grew up in a legal culture and thought it would naturally lead to politics. Both had parents who worked reasonable hours and were pretty happy, or at least hid their disappointment. Neither of my parents had a good sense of what law would be like decades later, and their attempts to exit were unsuccessful. I grew up in an area with ridiculous amounts of pointless wealth (our… Read more »
Jeremy
Jeremy
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 29 and a software engineer. When I crossed the threshold it was kind of an ego boost since most of my friends were earning half that or less. I’m from humble roots so I usually end up chucking most of my extra cash into savings or investments, but if I want something I really don’t hesitate buying it. With my friends, what we do as a group kind of level-sets to the lowest common denominator, so my earning more money has no effect on what we do as a group. What’s a bigger hang up for some of them… Read more »
Todd
Todd
5 years 11 months ago

Hi Ramit,

I am a pastor making a meager salary but I have supplemented it with commercial real estate investments. We are approaching a 6 figure income now from the cash flow on those. I can say that having the ability to save 50% of our income for investments is a nice feeling. We live comfortably and my kids are able to experience so much more than I did as a kid. Money doesn’t really buy happiness for us. but it does give us options that most of our friends do not have.

Victor
Victor
5 years 11 months ago

26 year old/EVM Specialist (Project Management), yes I love my job.

What, if anything, changed? – Don’t feel guilty buying larger Pot Belly sandwiches once in awhile but still get cup of ice and bring it back to my office to drink with my soda can. I’ve only grown frugal throughout the years.

If your friends earn a lot less than you, does that ever present problems when hanging out? – No doesn’t matter, we’re still frugal. I encourage us to eat out at places that takes coupon or I tend to cook ramen noodles.

Ryan
Ryan
5 years 11 months ago
I’m a 28 year old software engineer. For the last 2 years I was working for the Omypics in Canada in a non-engineering position for $40k, just enjoying the experience. Earlier this year I moved back home to Australia to work on the old career and, after a couple of months searching, I got a job earning ~$110k. This is a big jump in salary for me – last time I was in this country I was earning only half of that. Best of all, I’m never working more than 40 hours per week. Two things changed for me, but… Read more »
Jackie
Jackie
5 years 11 months ago
43 – Senior Engineering Project Manager. When I first broke six figures, I would giggle whenever I thought about it, mostly because I am a high school dropout without a technical degree. But other than my own amusement, nothing changed. Over the years, I’ve certainly spent a little more than I would have otherwise but in 2008 I quit for 12 months and that year of earning NOTHING was the best year of my life. My friends, other than coworkers, have no idea what I make. Most are under 100k and I know that because they occasionally brag about their… Read more »
Jason
Jason
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 24 and just graduated last year from Pharmacy school. My base salary is around 120k, and it felt great to finally be off my parents “payroll” and providing for myself. The only thing that changed was being dumped into the real world having to work full time instead of hanging out all the time, being in class, etc. I’m enjoying the financial freedom of not living on a very tight budget, although loans are still looming over my head. Most of my friends are in the same profession, so it doesn’t feel weird hanging out with them. But some… Read more »
Steve
Steve
5 years 11 months ago
I’m old (38) and dev enterprise and web content management systems. I only make 80k but pad that with up to 20k in side income so I’m over the 100k barrier in some years and slightly under it in others. It didn’t feel much different breaking 100k because the extra 20k goes into savings. So I’m still technically making only 80k if you look at my lifestyle. I’m pretty frugal but like to travel. I’ve got three kids so expenses will be going up. Because I’ve got my financials well in hand, though, I’m not worried about them having much… Read more »
nicole
nicole
5 years 11 months ago
DH is 35 (I’m 31). He is a doctor in the Navy and I am a stay-at-home mom. I think he makes about $140K if you include the tax-free housing allowance we get. He’s been making good money for about five years, but I I was a recent law school grad with about $80K in student loans when we got married (3.5 years ago). I certainly don’t worry about whether I can pay my bills anymore. But honestly, I do not feel anywhere close to rich. I am furnishing our home slowly with items from craigslist and I shop for… Read more »
Thea
Thea
5 years 11 months ago

Wow, nicole… With my very first full time job, making 38K a year, I was able to save half my salary living exactly the lifestyle you describe. How do you do it not to have anything left at the end of the month ? No offence, but it blows my mind.

Lily
Lily
5 years 11 months ago

27

Private Equity Operations

I felt it was not a significant milestone, that “6 figures” technically describes a very wide range 🙂

When I hang out with friends who make less than me (most of my closest friends are financially strapped), I do things that are financially comfortable for both of us; if it’s borderline, I try to fill in the gaps in small ways. Most fun things don’t require much money. Company more important.

Paul
Paul
5 years 11 months ago
For me it’s meant freedom — Me and my wife are on about $200k between us and we manage to save 80% of our take-home pay for the last few years (we were both graduate students for a long time and those old but good habits are proving hard to break.) As of this month we have enough in savings that we can live on our current expenses forever (assuming nothing catastrophic happens) without any income coming in. This has meant a dramatic change in how we see the world — her grandmother is sick and probably won’t make it… Read more »
V
V
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? – 23 Years What do you do for a living? – Soon to be a pharmacist, graduating next year. How did you feel once you earned $100k? – I have not earned $100K. But I have a offer that states if I work 52 hrs/week (13 to 14 hours/day), I can make $140K/year. What, if anything, changed? – Not to long ago I realized that I don’t want to practice pharmacy. I feel miserable today because i wasted 6 years of my life and this offer makes me more sick. If your friends earn a lot… Read more »
Yohami
5 years 11 months ago

34 years old, frelance game developer. I felt nice when I reached 100k and made me more ambitious, it also made me spend way, way more on my lifestyle so I became more attached and dependant to the money . When I hang out with friends that earn much less than I do, I end up busting balls and having mini fights about theirs excuses and me trying to push their boundaries about whats possible. It made me to dislike people in new ways.

AP
AP
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 24 and just crossed the $100k mark. It felt wow the day I got to it but since most of my finances are automated (401k, savings, bills, etc and I’ve added a new savings account to fund my MBA), I don’t think I’d see more than a few hundred dollars difference in my account. I now have more money to play with and I usually buy something nice (like clothes, books, treats, etc) once in a while. Most of my friends are in the same category and all of us are responsible spenders. So, we don’t go overboard with… Read more »
abbelani
5 years 11 months ago

Soooo fascinating to read through these comments. I love that most of the people who make over 100K think that there is no issue with their friends. I bet if you asked their friends, they would have completely different answers ( I make a whopping $0 as a student, and then get paid in monopoly money at a startup).

Jules
5 years 11 months ago
@ abbelani: As one of those people who don’t make $100k, I can attest to one thing–it means that you never ever get asked for money 🙂 However, being close to several people who make more than $100k isn’t really so bad. Then again, we have weird tastes and don’t follow any of the trends, so envy doesn’t really compute. And sometimes you get really nice presents 😀 We straddle an interesting income divide: some of our friends make a lot more, and some of our friends make a lot less. Frankly, I think being at a higher income level… Read more »
David Brown
5 years 11 months ago

I am 22 and still a student. My dad is a Doctor and he makes well over $100k. Can’t really say how he felt when he reached that mark but he looks happy enough right now. Most of my friends are in the same category; so money is not really an issue. I am about join the race soon and I do hope to make $100 sooner than expected. However, I believe it won’t make me feel any different. Money alone cannot change your feelings in a major way. It a combination of things that do.

Andy
Andy
5 years 11 months ago
My wife and I both, 28 and 27, make around $103,000/year. I am a commercial lender and she is marketing manager. It certainly takes the stress away from worrying about the monthly bills, but with one kid and one on the way, there is always more expenses on the way. We purchased a home and use our excess cash flow to pay down debts aggressively so we are never cash heavy. We try not to flaunt our money/financials to our friends. We try to keep it real and just have fun. The harder relationships are with family members that have… Read more »
Dustin Sanchez
5 years 11 months ago

I’m 32 and was making a nice chunk of change as a nuclear engineer. Then I read The 4HourWorkWeek and quit my job. Haven’t figured out what’s next, but I’m way below 100k for the next month or two.

Chuck
Chuck
5 years 11 months ago
First, congrats to all you young folks making over $100k. Here’s some perspective – I’m late 50’s and retired on well over $100k living in a low-cost, low-tax part of the US. I just looked it up, and $100k now was $35k in 1979, so in inflation-adjusted dollars I crossed that line then, mid-20’s (computer pro). I have made over the equivalent of $100k every year since, but actually crossed the $100k line in nominal dollars in 1991, when I moved from software engineering to management. It made no difference as I’m an extreme saver (money hoarder) and did not… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 32, no college degree, and broke the 100k mark at age 23 (I work as a Network Engineer). I am now averaging about 180k a year due to bonuses (last year, I made about 220k). It took a long time to notice a lifestyle difference, since so much of the additional income goes to 401(k), taxes, stock purchase, etc. I have, however, been able to purchase more than one property in expensive cities and have amassed a fairlyl sizable nest egg for both retirement and short/medium term goals. The friends who work in my industry are making about the… Read more »
writereditor
writereditor
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 25. I guess I’ll make about $110K in the next year in an area of the country with a very low cost of living. My base salary is only $50K but I am making extra on the side as a freelancer (writing/web design). It’s nice, but I still live the same I did when I was making $10K/yr on unemployment. When I met with my financial planner this year, she told me I should have an emergency savings fund and to put 6 months of expenses, so I asked her $5K? and she laughed. My parents have not been… Read more »
Anon
Anon
5 years 11 months ago
26 and a software engineer, married to an analyst 4 years older. Together we make around $200K. Both retirement accounts are fully funded. We live in a tiny cheap apartment and save about 2/3 of our combined take home pay so spend less than friends making $40K-$60K. Partially we like this lifestyle – we enjoy the thrill of saving the way others enjoy the thrill of shopping. I think it mildly annoys or confuses our friends who have a vague idea of our combined earning power when we don’t want to eat out as much as they do and bow… Read more »
Wayne
Wayne
5 years 11 months ago
Hey Ramit, First, thank you for the blog. How old are you? 32ish What do you do for a living? Lawyer, but I don’t know much or feel like I add much value. The only reason I get paid so much is that I went to a top law school, graduated at the top of my class, won every conceivable award and academic accolade, and can BS with the best of ’em. How did you feel once you earned $100k? Like I didn’t deserve it, and I felt like it could be taken away at any time. I saved every… Read more »
Patrick
5 years 11 months ago

Wayne,

I hear you on the bit about feeling the anxiety about investing in the further education programs. However I did take Ramit’s E1k program (as well as a quarter of the B1k program) and will definitely attest that it’s some top notch content. It’s not right for everyone but if you are looking for some way to get into freelancing or ‘being your own boss’, it’s a legit program and worth checking out.

trackback

[…] always felt like I was doing OK for myself but reading this post over at I Will Teach You to be Rich just left me feeling kind of […]

Amber
Amber
5 years 11 months ago
I am 31 and make about $150k a year. I have owned my own engineering business for the past 5 years and have 2 technical engineering degrees. I’m pretty frugal and invest most of my money back in my business. I make more money than most of my family which is where the problems come in (I feel I have to help support them), my friends really never talk money to me. I have taken my family and friends on trips with me that I know they cannot afford and that is fulfilling for me. No one has ever been… Read more »
Rebecca
5 years 11 months ago

Ramit, I’m guessing you have something up your sleeve for asking these questions other than pure curiosity, but I’d be interested to know what everyone’s work/life balance is at this pay level and also if everyone truly enjoys the work they do.

I hold this belief that the more you make, the less of a life you have. I’ve witnessed my coworkers get raises and disappear into the oblivion of long Corporate hours with little to show for it other than bags under their eyes.

But perhaps I’m wrong and this belief is another barrier cropping up…

Anon
Anon
5 years 11 months ago

He’s censusing the readers/customers with cash. Looks like a bunch of code monkeys.

JT
JT
5 years 11 months ago

In all fairness, Ramit, earning lots of money can *easily* entail a deeper moral compromise. What the market demands and what humanity needs aren’t completely aligned. I do worry about people who focus on earning $X without thinking about the broader impact of their activities. Not all activity is good activity, even if it makes you rich.

Steven
Steven
5 years 11 months ago

Did you look at the article? It didn’t say anything along the lines of “… people who earn more are unhappy.” That is missing the entire point.

It says that earning more money and happiness are almost perfectly correlated, but at 60k the marginal utility of money in regards to happiness is very small.

I agree that you shouldn’t set your goal at 60k then stop. I earn over 60k and I plan on earning more. Knowing that the extra money wont make me happier has shifted my priorities slightly to help me enjoy life more.

Brandon
Brandon
5 years 11 months ago
Agreed. It’s not money in and of itself that creates the happiness. It’s the knowledge of achieving your goals that creates it. Being at the top of a field is a huge accomplishment… it just happens to come with a nice pay check. As for the question, I do not earn more than 100K. I’m 25 and I earn about 45K/yr. However, I’m the first person in my family to ever attend college and I make as much as all my siblings and my mom put together. It’s been an interesting transition to go from poverty when I was growing… Read more »
Justin
Justin
5 years 11 months ago

As I had said earlier, I’m just getting to the 100k level, but my work-life balance is good. I work about 40-50 hours/week. My weekends are my own, other than maybe once or twice a year when I’m coming up on a court deadline.

curious
curious
5 years 11 months ago

my questions is….if all these folks are making over 100K/year, why are they on this website?? i don’t want to start any trouble but, 100K is a lot of money and if you’re making that much a year, i think you’ve pretty figured out how to be rich. am i wrong??

Anon
Anon
5 years 11 months ago

Curious, if you read the comments, you will see that 100k is not really impacting people’s lifestyles that greatly.

The truth of the matter is that money comes to money. People who care enough about earning money want to take their earnings to the last level. The amazing thing about this country is that pretty much anyone can earn money if they *really* want to.

curious
curious
5 years 11 months ago
couldn’t agree more you more anon. its about perspective. anyone making 100K (or even 30K, 40K) is considered filthy rich if you compare on a global scale. yes, everyone’s case is different, but you can’t deny the fact that we are incredibly blessed to live in a country where we can make as much we want to. sadly, there’s a lot of unhappy people, regardless of how much they make. even skimming through the comments here, 100K seems to not be enough. i guess my question is for ramit. what was the purpose of this blog post??
Julie
Julie
5 years 11 months ago
Depending on where you live, 100k isn’t really much. I know my mom and her boyfriend combined make a bit under 300k after bonuses, and they really don’t consider themselves rich–just upper middle class. For the most part, people who make more tend to spend more. She has a nice house and a new baby, he pays 3,000 a month in child support, etc. My mom occasionally buys lottery tickets. Because she wants more money–to buy a better house (she needs the space), to help my grandmother out, to save for my brother’s college fund. Sure, they are not struggling,… Read more »
Steve
Steve
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 34 and work in IT security. Job pays about 140k, but I make another 20k or so freelancing. Hit the 100k mark about 4 years ago. Being in the NYC area, I don’t feel rich. I went to buy a new car a few years ago, and opted for a certified pre-owned with 17k miles and saved about $10k. My goal in making money is to reduce the time I have to work, so most extra is saved or reinvested to earn more. Things like nice used cars and gourmet coffee purchased at Marshalls will not change. Similar to… Read more »
Rohit
Rohit
5 years 11 months ago

Some on here are including bonus / stock options etc. I am really curious if we can get a breakout of base salary vs options and cash bonuses etc.

My base isn’t where I want it to be but the bonuses and stock make me go wellover the 100k mark quickly. I guess the thing that’s changed for me is that I can walk into a restaurant, order anything I want on the menu, and then not have to worry about it later.

Steven
Steven
5 years 11 months ago

Ramit,

Check this out. Once you hit 60k, any added income adds negligible amounts of happiness to your life.

http://www.mymoneyblog.com/happiness-is-earning-60000-a-year.html

Steven
Steven
5 years 11 months ago
Ah, sorry, didn’t catch that. I agree with you about being the best you can be. I think that the main thing that pushes me to get out of bed before 10am is the quest to take my family’s business as far as I can. Hitting lofty goals is important. I am just starting to believe that people are unnecessarily attaching too much of their self worth and happiness to the money involved in being the best the can be as opposed to being the best developer/salesman/manager/writer they can be. I don’t know if you have watched the TED speech… Read more »
Steven
Steven
5 years 11 months ago

Hmmmm… My last comment doesn’t seem to have gone through… Can you see it or is my computer on the fritz?

Abe
Abe
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? 36. What do you do for a living? physician researcher. Post-doctoral fellow How did you feel once you earned $100k? Earning 100K wasn’t the key for me. I felt really pleased when I saved up my first 100k rather than when I earned my first 100k. I had saved up 100k at 34. I save 50k per year. What, if anything, changed? Zip. If your friends earn a lot less than you, does that ever present problems when hanging out? Nope. I live frugal. I don’t have extremely high tastes. I enjoy reading and watching cinema–my… Read more »
Another postdoc
Another postdoc
5 years 11 months ago

Wow. Is the income from clinic work? The NIH and NSF (and HHMI) practically mandate that postdocs earn only ~$39,000-45,000/y. Curious how you pull this off.

Karisma
Karisma
5 years 11 months ago

I’d have to agree, having saved 100k seems a huge accomplishment rather than earning 100k (but really who am I to judge as an unemployed student)

Were you debt free when you hit this benchmark in savings?

ko
ko
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 25, female, and I work as a consultant electrical engineer. I recently got a new job and a big promotion, jumping from $76k to $127k/yr plus a $10k-13k annual bonus. I didn’t make any major changes in my spending habits. I live very frugally and I’ve always saved roughly 50% of my income. The biggest shock with my promotion was looking at my new pay checks and thinking to myself “what am I going to do with all this money!?” I honestly didn’t know how to spend it. So far, I’ve put most of it in investments. I finally… Read more »
Creative Image
Creative Image
5 years 11 months ago
My wife and I are 31 and will be doing 250K this year. I’m a Electrical Engineer and she’s a Medical Sales Rep for Los Angeles area. We make more than our friends but we put away most of our money so we only see in very little due to Automation through ING and use Wellsfargo as primary. We have our own tab when we eat out with friends and throw bottle service from time to time. When we made our first 100k, it was only money to pay off previous debt from school, but when we made over 200k,… Read more »
Joe
Joe
5 years 11 months ago

Hey Creative Image,

Do you or your wife have any advice for someone looking to get into the medical sales industry? I’ve got almost two years or account exec work, but have been trying to learn more about sales in that industry. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Joe
osborne.joseph@gmail.com

Creative Image
Creative Image
5 years 11 months ago

Joe,

Go to http://www.medreps.com/ and look there and pay for the services. If you want to get into this industry, my best bet is to get to know who the head hunters are and get in touch with recruiters. It’s hard field to get into but the answer again for any field is based upon on who you know.

Most people start at pharma then get a break at medical.

Good Luck!
CI

Sam Patel
Sam Patel
5 years 11 months ago
Hi, Ramit – I am a gujju and an investment banker in Chicago. I make north of $125k a year excluding bonus. I was born to hard-working parents (farmers) in India and I walked 9 km each way to school up until the 9th grade. My parents couldn’t afford to buy me a bike to go to school. I self-financed my entire education including my MBA. In short, my life has been a struggle in the beginning years. Honestly, I don’t think my life has changed a bit. Majority of my friends don’t know what I make, since lot of… Read more »
Justin
Justin
5 years 11 months ago

I’m an engineer in the military making about $150K a year.

…not really, I make about $52K a year including housing allowance and stuff.

So do I make $100K yet? No- but I’m building a side business to get there so that hopefully by the time I can get out of the military I can work for myself full time.

If for some reason that doesn’t work, I’ll probably get some kind of corporate job. All you engineers my age or younger making over $100k make me sick 🙂

Jennifer
Jennifer
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? I’m 40 years old. What do you do for a living? I’m a project manager for a Fortune 500 company. How did you feel once you earned $100k? It felt surreal. I’d been way under that bar for so long, I felt like I’d finally “made it”. What, if anything, changed? It made it a bit easier to pay the mortgage and start to pay down some of my debt. Unfortunately it wasn’t a drastic change — even just recently I had some emergencies (medical bills, etc) that had me literally scrounging for loose change all… Read more »
Erin
Erin
5 years 11 months ago
I started making $100k when I was 32. I’m a project manager for a technical consulting firm. Honestly, not a lot changed because it was a slow and steady climb toward that number. But, once I got there I reevaluated my life and realized I wanted to become a mom. Since I was single, I wanted to be free of any and all bills once I had kids. I paid off my car, credit cards and socked money away like crazy. When I had to do IVF to get pregnant, it was no big deal because I had a great… Read more »
commenter1
commenter1
5 years 11 months ago
34, engineer, just under $120K. Spouse is 40, has a similar career, makes about the same. Sure, our lifestyle inflated when we began working. We moved to a higher COL area closer to our jobs. We bought a car. We had a child. We have iPhones. We have no debt, max out our retirement accounts, save and invest on top of that, travel frequently to visit family, and live in non-extravagant middle class comfort. Day to day, our lives are not substantially different from the time when we were on graduate student stipends. The main difference is that the amount… Read more »
JTN
JTN
5 years 11 months ago
1. I’m 37. 2. I own small business. Sales and marketing. 3. I was 28 and felt like I had hit one of many milestones. I was working for another company at the time. 4. I made bad decisions. My debt went up incrementally with my earnings. The first year I made 100k, I had more debt than ever before, and not from buying a house or car. 5. No, my debt and spending habits kept my actual cash flow or wealth accumulation similar to many of those who earned less. I actually was the one avoiding doing things I… Read more »
Ariella
Ariella
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 29, and am an attorney practicing in a private practice in a small midwestern city. I make about $110,000 in salary plus bonus, which doesn’t include perks paid for by my firm. Last year was the first year I earned over $100k. It felt like I’d reached a milestone, and made me feel very proud of myself. My earning power has never made me feel uncomfortable or unconnected to a friend. I tend to be as generous as possible, and if a friend doesn’t make as much as me, I will foot the bill for a dinner out.
Jonathan Atkins
5 years 11 months ago
28 years old, Systems Analyst for Mutual of Omaha 2008 was the first year I broke 100k and it felt amazing, I was regularly working overtime and on a contract basis. 2009 I became an exempt employ but now that I knew making $100k/yr was possible, found consulting opportunities and have been doing them along with the day job since to stay above 100k. I am on track again this year as well and try to meet or exceed my previous years earnings. I make more than all of my friends but it doesn’t cause any issues, I am frugal… Read more »
6:00 p.m. Anonymous
6:00 p.m. Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago
It’s funny how depressed this thread is making me. I feel like I sacrifice a lot to try to do meaningful work that will help many people in the long term. I work 50-60 h/week (sometimes more) on science and spend money on mostly organic groceries because I feel it’s usually the right thing to do. I worry I might not have enough to retire or comfortably reproduce; jobs in my field are high risk, and grants have a ~10% funding rate. I’m doing this because it’s awesome to feel like I might contribute to solving important problems, but it’s… Read more »
Anonymous XY
Anonymous XY
5 years 11 months ago

I’m with you, depressing reading, especially when I see the age of these people. I’m happy for them, but I’m not too happy about my own career path. Jobs that I enjoy doing are not of those that are well-paid. I really wish I like to do engineering, was in the field for a short time, not long enough to make the 100K mark, but good enough salary. Unfortunately, I could not stand being alone in a cubicle. Having big salary but being depress didn’t feel good to me. Having little salary does not feel that good to me either.

6:00 p.m. Anonymous
6:00 p.m. Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago
I’m increasingly convinced I need to earn more income on the side too, since my financial worries are interfering with my normal work. There’s no industry option for my full-time research job–I’m sometimes doing the research that industry *won’t* do (because it threatens their bottom line) that nonetheless needs to be done from a public goods perspective. I’d be really excited to read a series about the kinds of lucrative work people in non-profits or non-profitable research do on the side. It’s especially tricky in academia because we have to be very, very careful about conflicts of interest. Thanks for… Read more »
Kristin
Kristin
5 years 11 months ago

You have no reason to feel sad. Your work IS valued by people, and many of us in soulless industries wish that we had the courage to quit and work on something meaningful. I think about it every second, but I will admit that I have become spoiled by the income.

It is our society that is warped when we pay celebrity athletes and the like some obscene amount of money, and PhDs can be making 50k.

Thank you for what you do.

FinanceGuy
FinanceGuy
5 years 11 months ago

Ramit, did you know that if you reply by clicking the “REPLY” link, then your comment will appear immediately under the post you’re replying to – instead off many screens farther down the page, like this one.

Frustrated, Curious and Mad
Frustrated, Curious and Mad
5 years 10 months ago
I read every single post with rapt interest. But like my name, I’m Frustrated, Curious and Mad and quite frankly, unhappy, after reading the comments here. Now listen, this isn’t a sob story; I just need a few good suggestions. Have a look: I’m 25, live in a rural area in the southern US and work in a family HVAC business where I perform day to day duties as well as filling the VP role. Often times, I practically run the company. Lots of responsibility here. In my younger days, I felt trapped and wanted -even tried- to leave but… Read more »
Dominique Brown
5 years 10 months ago

I think you can take from many of the posts.. 100k isn’t all that special. It’s like a new car. You’re happy for the first month, but after that, everything is status quo, and you go back to living your life. It seems that you have reached great success within two lines of business. Many people would kill for the ability to have two substantial streams of income.

6:00 p.m. Anonymous
6:00 p.m. Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago

Kristin, thank you. Really.

XY, I hope we can find a middle ground.

Ramit, I understand the selection bias in these replies. They’re also echoed by where I work (expensive city) and the paths of many acquaintances and friends. Together, these anecdotes don’t approach a random sample, but they still seem to be a lot of the ‘outside world.’ It’s odd. I worked in a very poor country years ago and saw firsthand how much I have, but I still compare myself mostly to peers with similar background (or web users with similar browsing habits). Not good!

Karisma
Karisma
5 years 11 months ago

Thank you for this post Ramit. I will be graduating with 2 degrees next may (Finance and Real Estate Development) and it’s encouraging to see so many people doing well in fields that I am interested in. Though we don’t have money to speak of now, my fiancé and I have goals and a financial plan which will (hopefully) start us out on the right foot.

Tim
Tim
5 years 11 months ago

Ramit, reading these are motivating indeed. I’m curious tho. Why did you leave out the very important question “where do you live”? If I moved from Florida to California with my same job I’d easily be over 100K. Cost of living is a big factory in salary esp for cubicle dwellers.

Dashel
Dashel
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? 23 What do you do for a living? Software engineer fulltime. Started a real estate investing business on the side. How did you feel once you earned $100k? Just hit that mark but didn’t really notice the $100k. Felt good though seeing the big chunks of debt I was getting rid of each month :). What, if anything, changed? I sleep better at night due to the huge payoff of my debt. If your friends earn a lot less than you, does that ever present problems when hanging out? N/A since most of my friends seem… Read more »
Kelvin
Kelvin
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 29 and I develop leading iPhone games. I just recently broke through $100k by changing jobs (from PC Titles to iPhone, negotiating hard, and working with a recruiter. The biggest change for me was a great sense of validation. I know I’m the best at what I do, and to have someone back that up with cash feels better than all the encouragement from friends and family ever did. Even on the worst days, I feel that I am a highly valued contributor. Now that I make more money than I need to be comfortable, I find that spending… Read more »
Christopher
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 28 and mobile app developer. Last year I was a associate producer making 42k and now I make 109k. It was exciting at first and then i realized how much I would pay in taxes. So i set my goal to be at 219k by the end of the year. I’m pretty sure I’l hit it or come close. So far nothing has changed since I was making 42k except I work a lot less. Before i was working 40 hours and now I work about 10. 2/3 of my friends make as much or more then me. Even… Read more »
Shih-tzu
Shih-tzu
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 31 and make $175K+. I work part-time for a nanotech startup and have a manufacturing/consulting company on the side. I’m a physics PhD on a semi-academic track and was worried that I’d be stuck in a low pay grade forever behind my peers who jumped ship after undergrad. I doubled my salary last year after deciding to quit my job at a premiere firm that paid peanuts for the level of work its employees did. This was a big jump psychologically but it put me in a position to control my work more, make more money, and build a… Read more »
Leila
Leila
5 years 11 months ago

Nanotechnology sounds so cool, I’ll bet it is fun.

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[…] at I Will Teach You to Be Rich had a short article asking the question “How many of you earn over 100k / year? ” It generated some great comments and […]

R
R
5 years 11 months ago
I disagree with the general feeling like “more money more problems.” I make more than six figures and very happy. The only thing that changes is as the money increases so does the responsibilities and you need money for those. 100k at 22 yrs is fun but soon is very less when you compare with the mortgage, student loan, marriage, kids, etc….. So one needs 100k+ money. so that he/she can enjoy and move on to next stages in their life. If you didnt even have 100k+ you cant enjoy all those pleasures easily. I dont think there is an… Read more »
NK
NK
5 years 11 months ago
I’m a 37 year old working with my family contracting business. For the last two years, we have had a good run and my total compensation has hovered between $120k and $150k. But I hate the work and recently made the decision to move back into the wine industry, a move that will more closely align my vocation and my avocation but will result in a dramatic reduction in income. Based partly on my decision and partly on some factors in our industry (increased regulation, more aggressive competition, reduced margins), my family has decided to sell our business. This will… Read more »
Brandon
Brandon
5 years 11 months ago

I’m a Web Developer in the south. This year I will make well over $100k. Next year, there’s the potential to make much more than that. It was my goal to make six-figures, so it makes me feel good that I will accomplish it.

Nothing changed though…I still work everyday like everyone else…

I don’t show off making alot of money when with friends. I’m not that kind of person. Besides, even my best friends don’t realize how much i make!

Victoria
Victoria
5 years 11 months ago

I am Research Scientist in a federal national laboratory (GS14). I’m in my 12th year of service. In addition to the normal grade/pay increases, scientific staff have an independnent “merit systems promotion board” that evaluates technical performance of your career. This is how most scientists move up the scale rather than through yearly performance evaluations.

I’m accomplished, frugal, and financially independent. Money is simply a tool. I’m wealthy in many intangible ways.

Leila
Leila
5 years 11 months ago
I am 41 and recently hit the 6-figure mark. To be honest, it sort of crept up on me. I work in Information Security and got a big bump in salary after another company made me an offer and my company decided to counter. Not long after that my company introduced a bonus program and a couple of years later that pushed me over the mark. When I saw it on paper I was like, “Wow, I’m making 6 figures.” I came across that piece of paper again the other day and still am amazed. I have some college but… Read more »
Steve M.
Steve M.
5 years 11 months ago
I’m a 27 year old Operating Engineer in IUOE Local 94 in New York City. I didn’t really realize that I had a 100k a year job until I entered all my salary data into a spreadsheet, saw 100K as the final number, double and triple checked it, and went “Holy Cow, I’m making just over 100k annually.” It instantly changed the way I felt about what I do for a living and killed any desire I had to change jobs after I earned my bachelors from Thomas Edison State. My white collar envy evaporated. At the I was considering… Read more »
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5 years 11 months ago

[…] September 3, 2010 Kevin Leave a comment Go to comments Ramit Sethi’s blog got me thinking how our life would be different if we earned over $100,000 per year. We currently […]

Dave
Dave
5 years 11 months ago
Happened to stumble across this thread- first thing that is striking to me is the number of people in their 20s making well over $100K. I’m 32, work as a Program Manager for a large defense contractor, with a base salary of $125K and a 5% bonus target. Together my fiance and I are just under $200K but amazingly in the NYC metro area it doesn’t mean an extravagant life. We both have student loans, are paying for 100% of our wedding (poor families), and everyone knows what a drain a house can be. For some perspective, I was making… Read more »
trackback
5 years 11 months ago

[…] I got inspired by all of these young people commenting about making $100K+ (click for the post here).   My current income (see next post) is nowhere close to the magic number but I know reaching it […]

Adam
Adam
5 years 11 months ago

You should have also asked where we live. $100k/ year in South Carolina could be $200k/ year in San Diego or Boston.

I guess the number is kinda arbitrary to begin with anyways.

Jill
Jill
5 years 11 months ago
22 years old, single, making just over $80k before bonus in petroleum engineering. Many of my good friends were not in engineering or business and most of them do not have full-time jobs, living off parents or boyfriends or tips. Now that I’ve moved, I’d like to fly them out, but I feel conflicted–like they’d prefer $300 cash, if they were going to take any giveaways at all. Given the industry I went into, I’m making around 30% more than my classmates, who are by all accounts just as smart and hard-working. We’re all making way more than anyone “needs”… Read more »
Financial Samurai
5 years 11 months ago

The problem with engineering is that you will cap out at around $150-200,000/yr. I’d think about changing roles eventually if you plan to make more by 30.

Michael
Michael
5 years 11 months ago
To Ramit’s comment on Crystal : Ramit, Correct me if I am wrong here….but what I have seen is this. If you are savvy with money (save, invest etc.) you will do it whether you make 30k or 100k. It’s like a habit. However, if you are used to living beyond your means when you make 30k, it will continue even though you make > 100k. I think it all comes down to your financial “personality”. So if Crystal makes x amount of dollars, and she says she would do a lot more in terms of investing if she made… Read more »
100kJoe
100kJoe
5 years 11 months ago
100k is not lavish. “6 figures” doesn’t mean what it used to mean. People in the DC area easily make a 100k. In fact Arlington county has one of the highest concentration of 25-34 yr olds making 100k. What I found funny was the person who posted that she sold her company for 1.1 million at 26 and retired. haha! I hope you are planning to move to Nicaragua. The fact is if you want to 2-3 standard deviations above the norm LIFE STYLE wise you need to make at least 250k+ a person. Hence, why the administration wants to… Read more »
Jane
Jane
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 38, an academic and earning ~$150k/year. I left home at 18 to join the military because my family didn’t have/want to spend money on college (I’m first generation college). I went to classes 4 nights/week for four years in the military, working around deployments, to get my bachelor’s degree, then used the GI Bill to help pay for my PhD. My PhD isn’t in a traditionally big bucks area, but I changed my research area slightly so that it’s within an area designated as high interest to NIH; I obtained a loan repayment grant from NIH, and they paid… Read more »
6:00 p.m. Anonymous
6:00 p.m. Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago

Jane, would you be comfortable divulging a little more about what area of academia you’re in? I don’t know in what field one pays for a PhD. Sounds like you’re tenure-track assistant prof? What percentage of your income is from grants? How close is your consulting to your research? As a 30-y-old postdoc, I’m trying to figure out what earning prospects are. Seems they vary enormously between institutions. Most state universities won’t pay their top profs above $120k.

Jane
Jane
5 years 11 months ago
6 p.m. Anonymous: A lot of medical/health care fields like mine do not provide paid PhD training. I’m an associate professor (as of this year); 75% of my salary is from grants and 25% is from “hard” funds. I also make an additional $25-30k/year in consulting. I work at a private university, and I crank out grant proposals, which increases my value to my department. I believe The Chronicle of Higher Education provides annual reports on salaries by field. My consulting includes some work directly relevant to my research (i.e., helping other organizations write grant proposals, set up research programs,… Read more »
Mark
Mark
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 32 and make around $110K. I’m a Freight Train Conductor for the Railroad. I’m pretty frugal (save $48,000.00 every year) and live a modest lifestyle. I don’t think anyone has any idea how much I earn and just assume I’m a low paid blue collar worker. I’m more interested in having a few million in assets by my 50s than wasting money on fashion and depreciating status symbols. I used to be a Prison Guard and made under $30K till I was 25. When I started making $100K I just kept spending like I was still in law enforcement.… Read more »
DJ
DJ
5 years 11 months ago
I don’t make 100k. If I worked my butt off at my company I probably could achieve it in less than 5 years. I’m 23, and I am a home based employee at Ramit’s favorite bank. I graduated from college last year with a degree in marketing. I make under 30k but have good benefits and the perks of working at home everyday (I work in my boxers!). I would be much happier making 50k and having the freedom to work anywhere in the world than making a 100k in New York or San Fran and being stuck in my… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago
Age: 29 Industry: Sales Income: ~115k Feelings: When I first hit the 100k mark, I really didn’t know what to do. I grew up dirt poor – food stamps, thrift stores, missed meals, the works. I worked my way through college, and didn’t graduate till I was 25. So when I finally realized I was going to be making more than anyone in my family ever made, I cried. And then I opened up a savings account. I’m still flabbergasted. True story: sometimes I open up my online bank accounts to just stare. Friends: they don’t really know. I’m kind… Read more »
Financial Samurai
5 years 11 months ago

This is why I’m bullish on the economy. Everybody makes over 100,000 a year! It’s such a farce when the data says the median income is only $50,000 per household.

Julia
Julia
5 years 11 months ago

Ramit,

I think you need another question on the list. How many hours a week on average do you work for that >$100K salary?

anonymous
anonymous
5 years 11 months ago
Combined with bonuses/options etc, and small investment income back home I made slightly more than $100k last year. I’m 26, software developer. I went to making somewhat less than that, and then that 2 years ago; before that I made about $35k back in Russia. I only feel good once when income goes up, as a token of worth, in normal life I don’t feel any difference between the two; I don’t spend even half of it (and if I didn’t pay outrageous rent it’d be like a third) and I dunno what to do with the stuff, other than… Read more »
Chance
Chance
5 years 11 months ago
I am 45 and have made over 100K for several years. The money allows to have more choices. I have been able to take risks, in investments and small startups. I work long hrs. and have capped out my income ability. I sell cars for a living. The money has allowed me to send my kids to amazing private schools that I feel are more empowering than the to local public schools. I had the money pay for good legal representation without which my kids would not be living with me. I was ill and unable to work for a… Read more »
JD
JD
5 years 11 months ago
Age: I just turned 23. Although I don’t make 100k/year (I make roughly 40), I make as much as someone making 100k makes per hour because I only work 15 hours a week (Around $40-50/h). What I do: I edit scientific and medical papers as a contractor for a firm in India. I started freelancing shortly after reading Ramit’s book with little experience. I quickly realized I was underpricing myself; after quadrupling my rates, I saw an increase in business! Shortly after, I cold emailed for contract jobs with firms and got a job! How I felt: Once I realized… Read more »
Tim Rosanelli
5 years 11 months ago
I am 39. I’ve reached the 100K mark in two capacities that were totally different. First, as a Regional Customer Service Manager then as a Martial Arts School Owner. The corporate job was totally stressful and long hours. I hated it and it left me drained mentally, emotional, and spiritually. Then, I started a Martial Arts School owner. I decided to quit my soul draining corporate job for alot less money to pursue my martial arts business. I had to make huge sacrifices to my lifestyle to make it work, but found that the reduced stress and working less hour… Read more »
Tim Rosanelli
5 years 11 months ago

One more thing I forgot to mention… Income in my business is worth more than my corporate salary. With a business, you can move many personal expenses to business expenses. These expenses are paid on pre-tax dollars so my earnings go much further.

Thea
Thea
5 years 11 months ago
I am 29 working in the medical field. I hit the 100K benchmark this year. 60K from my salary and another 60K in dividends and capital gains from investments unrelated to my work. I must admit that I only realised that I crossed the benchmark while reading these comments. It feels weird, since my lifestyle has not changed much at all (I made a humble 38K when I started working full time at age 25, which has grown gradually to a total of 80K with investment income last year). Now, I just add larger sums to investments and saving accounts… Read more »
S
S
5 years 11 months ago
36, project manager, in a small, international market research firm. Usually in SoCal, currently working from SE Asia for a few months of my own volition. (Great way to save money while getting to see something new!) I was on track to break 100k about 8 years ago in another field, then quit, and just now broke it this year thanks to a bonus I “negotiated”. I didn’t even think about breaking into six figures until this post. The only thing that changed is I got a jump in my savings and felt a little more secure. As for friends… Read more »
Will
Will
5 years 11 months ago
Ramit, I just turned 25 a few days ago and just passed 100K yesterday. I was hired as a junior interaction designer three years ago, but I have been doing work above and beyond my pay grade and title for at least the last year. Your posts on earning more led me to successfully negotiate my salary and (more importantly) my position up. Thanks for the push. The first change is that I finally got the courage to enroll in Earn1K. No matter how much you make, it never hurts to invest more in yourself. We’ll see how it goes… Read more »
Mitch
Mitch
5 years 11 months ago

Hey Will, I’m trying to work my way to your current position and would really love the chance to exchange some emails. If you got the time, it would be great, if not, no worries. mrmuffler37@yahoo.com

Fred
Fred
5 years 11 months ago
I’m also late twenties with an engineering degree, so I could expect to earn $100k as well after a few years, but unfortunately the field is just not for me. I think I’m doing the right thing by trying out different jobs/careers, and I hope I’ll find something I love one day. Though, I get serious doubts when I compare my $30k with what people of my age and education say they earn here. I try to make up for the difference by saving like mad, and I’m rather successful at that. But it still bothers me, not because I’d… Read more »
Fred
Fred
5 years 11 months ago
I’m also late twenties with an engineering degree, so I know $100k is within easy reach. Unfortunately the field is just not for me. I think I’m doing the right thing by trying out different jobs/careers, and I hope I’ll find something I love one day. Though, I get serious doubts when I compare my $30k with what people of my age and education say they earn here. I try to make up for the difference by saving like mad, and I’m rather successful at that. But it still bothers me, not because I’d like to spend more (I frankly… Read more »
Paul
Paul
5 years 11 months ago

Education and income are two pretty separate things. I heard that a study of Princeton graduates found that the smartest fraction of the class (ostensibly measured by GPA) made significantly less than others below. I see this all the time.

JaM
JaM
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? – 35 What do you do for a living? – SAP at a Fortune50 company How did you feel once you earned $100k? – I had been earning $100K/year since grad school and starting on an SAP career. The income had a sense of accomplishment because I came as an International broke graduate student on a tight funding to the US. Also it proved one of my Profs wrong as he had predicted none of us who graduated could expect a 100K salary! Income dropped 20/30% since switching from a consulting role to a full time… Read more »
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[…] How many of you earn over $100,000/year  It’s all about the comments! I Will Teach you to be Rich […]

Some European
Some European
5 years 11 months ago

This whole stack of comments is just a huge tease 🙂 I make about 20k yearly with my salary and side projects included. I can only guess how nice it is when you dont have to worry about all the small things, just to get trough the month. But then again, I’m rather doing what I love, no matter the cost. 🙂

Alex
Alex
5 years 11 months ago
Currently, My wife is a 4th yr med student and I work in IT. We make about 70k with student loans. When she is a resident we plan to pay off all the loans within 3 years once she is working. When she starts practicing her income will be within the mid 200k to low 300k. At that time I plan to finish my PhD. I think nothing will change outside of moving into the city once we poay out debts and current morgage. So far we have: 80k morgage and about 150k in student loans…hopefully when we start making… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago
I don’t earn 100K, but since this post seems to be about money and relationships, I thought I’d post from the other side of the coin. We are a family of five living on one income, a modest one at that. As far as friends go, I have always assumed that we are on the lower end of the income scale, though we don’t have the debt load they do, so I think it somewhat evens out. The only time I’ve ever had an uncomfortable experience is with my brother, who earns well over 100k. He was getting married, in… Read more »
Dawn
Dawn
5 years 11 months ago
How old? I am 28 and my husband is 31. What do we do? My husband is a CPA and I work for the federal govt. We make $130,000 combined but I only work part time. If I worked full time, our salary would be $170,000. How did it feel? CRAZY. When I was growing up, I just assumed that if you made $100,000 + then you had to be a doctor or other high paying field. And here we are. We don’t feel it though as we are living WAY below our means to completely eliminate our debt. So… Read more »
KP
KP
5 years 11 months ago

How old are you? 30

What do you do for a living? Lawyer ($170k/year right now; will be $210k/year starting in January)

How did you feel once you earned $100k? Happy to be out of law school!

What, if anything, changed? Began paying down debt rather than accumulating it.

If your friends earn a lot less than you, does that ever present problems when hanging out? No – most hanging out involves restaurants with entrees under $20.

Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago

Financial Samurai September 3, 2010 at 9:07 pm

This is great! 26 years old and making $160,000. How can people think the economy is bad with this type of income? People are silly.

————

You must not be too much of a financial samurai if you think that one 26-year-old making $160K has anything to do with whether or not the economy is bad.

Duh.

Anonymous 2
Anonymous 2
5 years 11 months ago

Well said.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
5 years 11 months ago

Maybe not, but there are 200+ comments here saying that they do make over 100k, so at least I’m not blind 🙂

It’s obvious the majority of people make over 100k. Even I made over 100k in my early 20’s too.

Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago

“It’s obvious the majority make over 100k…”

You mean the majority of people replying to a poll asking them how they felt about making $100k?

c
c
5 years 11 months ago

I’m 29 and a sales manager for my company. I crossed 100K at the age of 26. The “moment” that I finally reached the 6 figure mark was kind of cool, but the euphoria lasted no more than a few minutes. Practically speaking, very little has changed, except I spend a whole lot more on golf than I used to. My friends know I do well, but none of them know my exact compensation. It is important for me to keep it that way.

Funny
Funny
5 years 11 months ago

I’d have thought there would be more replies from folks in financial services – mostly IT and engineering.

Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago

I don’t think most people in finance would bother reading a blog like this. They have access to megabucks through their work. Software/Engineering types have more freelance opportunities.

mike
mike
5 years 11 months ago

What happened with me is that my friends dont feel any obligations about me buying lunch or drinks or whatever, they make as much as I do, maybe even more. What happens is when the bill comes around, they all look the other way, or give the ole “left my wallet at the house” excuse. That’s why I dont have friends any more…….

Jim
Jim
5 years 11 months ago
I am 23 and recently moved to a new city. I am intrigued by everyone’s comments about what happens when you cross the 100K line. I just graduated undergrad with a supply chain management degree and am making close to 50K including bonus. With student loans, rent, living expenses, and some money to maintain a social life I am finding it difficult to save. I have decided to find a part time job to help pay the bills, but I also feel as though this will further delay my dream of starting my own business and possibly getting my masters… Read more »
Causalien
Causalien
5 years 11 months ago
30 year old I am not sure if I count, but I’ve been making more than 100k for the past 2 years with the combination of stock investing and my own salary. Obviously the real number varies because of my stock returns, but it is always well over 100k. Things might be changing though since I made the most in 2008. Most of the profit is reinvested in income producing securities that doesn’t fluctuate with the market, so as I make more profit, my base non stock income increases as well. Lifestyle wise, nothing changed. I’ve never had much personal… Read more »
JJ5099
JJ5099
5 years 11 months ago

I’m 37 and work in Sales in the Financial Services arena. I first made over 100k ten years ago, and I was certainly proud, as I never thought that I would earn that much. It hasn’t changed my relationship with my friends, who all make a decent living as well.

Steve H
Steve H
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 32 and earn around 100K a year which to mind isn’t that significant (call me spoiled). The reason being, that as your salary goes up, your tax increases accordingly, so really, it’s maybe a $25K increase over what your salary was when you were on 50K. Admittedly, I’ve learned to avoid 95% of income tax (through investment properties) but I still feel as if there really isn’t that much in my pocket at the end. Even when I was on 40K, things were fine as I scaled my spending according to my salary. I’ve always followed a rule that… Read more »
Jen Gresham
5 years 11 months ago

Ramit,

I saw your tweet about salaries for government workers. It’s not hard to earn over $100K (when you take tax breaks into consideration) as a government worker, especially as an officer in the military. I was a LtCol in the Air Force (active duty) and was surprised at the salary I needed to command as a contractor to match my military benefits. Pros and cons to either approach. I eventually left (and joined the Reserves) for the flexibility, which was important to me.

anita
anita
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? 25 What do you do for a living? Engineer How did you feel once you earned $100k? Happy that the number on my paycheck had increased, but so did the amount in taxes. What, if anything, changed? I earned over 100k because of some bonuses. With the extra money, I was able to help my parents pay off some of their mortgage and put more money into my 401k. If your friends earn a lot less than you, does that ever present problems when hanging out? Not that much changed. We don’t usually hang out as… Read more »
RA
RA
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? What do you do for a living? I’m an attorney at a large law firm How did you feel once you earned $100k? I felt like I had finally justified all of my hard work in school, but more importantly, I felt relieved that my own personal life-long recession (I come from a low-income family) was over. What, if anything, changed? Just the immense stress of not having any money. I’m not a different person, I just don’t worry about how to pay for car repairs (I still have a 15 year old car and will… Read more »
That SEO Guy
That SEO Guy
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? I’m under 25. What do you do for a living? I own an internet marketing company. How did you feel once you earned $100k? That was 3 years ago, but when I first made it, it felt pretty damn good considering I hadn’t even graduated at the time. What, if anything, changed? I got a nicer car, saved most of my income and didn’t drastically change my lifestyle. My mind set did change however – I learnt how to think big, set goals, and measure my progress towards achieving them. If your friends earn a lot… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago

I’m 23 years old and live in India. I never finished my graduation.
I work in a job that pays just over $ 6K (and check this…) annually!

Sometimes I wonder how much more worse can it get, really?

Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago

I earned $6k per year in a developing country in my early 20s. You get a lot of value for that much money–there’s no use comparing it to what people make in the U.S.

ND
ND
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 28. I run a web app development company in the Southeast with a take home of a little north of 300k. What changed? After crossing the $200k mark, I got my first brand new BMW. I began to socialize regularly with other similarly aged higher earning friends enjoying $100/person dinners a few times a month. Eventually the dinners with the same group got old as I missed socializing with my larger set of friends. I reduced the frequency of my premium priced dinners so that more friends could join in. Today most of the restaurants we get together at… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago

Yeah, I could see that as being rough for your friend… and it’s going to take him many years (assuming he is in debt from med school) to be close to dropping that much money on a single dinner. It might also be very rough for him emotionally to see you spend money like that if he is working with people who don’t have health insurance, or whose health is in poor shape because they can’t afford basic care. The injustice might hit him hard.

SDS
SDS
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 29. I’m in IT – Sr. Systems Analyst for a Government Consulting company in the Washington DC area. Making 6 figures was everything I always wanted, but after I got it — I was like now what. I haven’t changed my spending habits. I save a lot more now. I thought I would buy a better car – have not done that. I’m still driving the same car that I bought when I made 65k. My friends dont know how much I make (most of them) and those that do know, it doesn’t matter to them or myself if… Read more »
Bullshit
Bullshit
5 years 11 months ago

I’m going to say that 95% of the comments are BS.

Financial Samurai
5 years 11 months ago

Dude, any 22 year old kid who joins finance/management consulting/VC makes $100,000 his or her first full year!

Guess what happens when these 22 year olds turn 28? They are making $300-500,000/year.

If you are a late starter, any 28 year old MBA grad who joins those same industries and more make $200,000 their first year.

You living under a rock my brother? 🙂

debra
debra
5 years 11 months ago
I am 47, and work as a Technical Project Manager. I started making over $100K about 10-11 years during the Y2K/Dotcom boom, and I worked primarily as a contractor only for part of the year (the rest of the time I took vacations). After 9/11, there was a dry spell, and I was unemployed for a couple of years; so, I went back to school. A few years ago, I decided to take a job with a smaller company that doesn’t pay as much as the big boys, but we’ve also not had any lay-offs and still got small raises.… Read more »
Jeff
Jeff
5 years 11 months ago
I’m a 23 year old software engineer. When I graduated in June, the company I was interning for hired me full time, bumping my pay from 43k to over 100k with bonuses/stock. When I received the job offer I was in shock for a good few days and considered all the crazy ways I could spend the money. Since then I’ve calmed down. My girlfriend and I no longer have a third housemate and our current goal is to save $1000+ a month to build up a down payment on a house. Most of my current friends are coworkers who… Read more »
E.
E.
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 24. Options trader. Will be around 250k after bonus this year. Nothing really changed for me that wouldn’t have changed otherwise because I came straight out of college making over 100k. It felt absolutely fantastic to sign the offer letter. It was my goal in college to be making over 100k my first year out, and I achieved it after working very hard in college to put myself in the position to get the exact job I wanted. Most of my friends know that I have a good salary but don’t realize just how much I take home in… Read more »
Imtos
Imtos
5 years 11 months ago

I would be curious to know if the story is consistent for those making more than 250k a year?

Did anything change?

More importantly, If you go from making 2x or 3x as much as what your friends are making to 4x to 6x times, what is the deal? any problems then?

SvenV
SvenV
5 years 11 months ago

31 years old, $170K: 123K Base salary, 27K in housing allowance and 20K yearly bonus.

Petroleum Engineer, expat, Working for a service petroleum company in a Marketing related position.

Not much of a change after crossing the line of 100K. More expenses related to housing and entertainment (travels, bars, etc). Some bad desicions with stock options erased my savings. Regarding my frieds, well, they expect me to pay for the bill every time we go out.

Rick
Rick
5 years 11 months ago
I’m way late to the comments on this one but figured I’d chime in anyhow. I’m 30 years old and just broke 100k for this year and for the first time. Although I haven’t made much less than that the past three years. So it mostly just feels good to finally jump over the line. I’m also a self employed web developer so it feels really good to generate that income all on my own. My wife also makes a comfortable living so I’m definitely familiar with the comfort of having that much money and more. There is no greater… Read more »
Jim E
Jim E
5 years 11 months ago
Sad to stumble across this post so late, was on my way back from China when posted. 31 now, wife and I have combined for over 100k for several years. I’m a project manager (construction trade), she’s now a professor on tenure track When we hit 100k we were glad cuz we’d just moved to SF and it’s easy to have a 2k+ rent. At the same time that’s when I started doing alot of research on wealth and income in this country. For starters all of the middle class 100k people out there, sniff some of this. In 2008… Read more »
Mike
Mike
5 years 11 months ago

Ramit, I think an interesting followup to this poll would be surveys of liquid net worth. Wealth vs. income kinda thing. I know too many $100K earners saddled with so much debt I’d never consider them rich.

Andrew K.
5 years 11 months ago
Q: How old are you? A: Just turned 27 in May of this year. Q: What do you do for a living? A: Medical Device / Operating Room Sales and own a Real Estate Investment Co. Q: How did you feel once you earned $100k? A: I hit 6 figures 2 years ago. The visceral feeling is one of accomplishment and relief knowing that my skill-set of “survival mode” can now evolve into a new skill-set of “wealth maximization / successful business building / financial freedom / make a difference in the world with my abilities” Q: What, if anything,… Read more »
Andrew K.
5 years 11 months ago
One small thing I wanted to comment on was a great statement a mentor of mine who built up a $50M/Year Company from scratch and sold it to a Private Equity Company, they tanked it and he bought it back on the cheap and is currently rebuilding it to it’s former self once said: “Each time I move and change Zip Codes I lose 5 Friends” Although I haven’t personally experienced that yet, I’m sure it might eventually happen. and P.S. – Despite what could be considered my decently successful story to date (relatively speaking), I did not come from… Read more »
Michael
Michael
5 years 10 months ago

Andrew,

Really appreciate your inspirational words of wisdom. I would like to know more about what you do in Real Estate since I am just getting into the investment side. I am also 27 and constantly looking for young entrepreneurs with similar mindsets.

How can I get in contact with you?

TanielHouston
TanielHouston
5 years 11 months ago

i make roughly around 100 k a year and im 16

Ahmed
Ahmed
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? 27 What do you do for a living? Management consultant in the Middle East. How did you feel once you earned $100k? Right before grad school, I was making a grand total of $600 / month in Pakistan. After grad school, I moved to Dubai at around $80,000. Within three years, my compensation jumped to around $110k – not counting per diems and bonuses which add up to another 10k / year. This is all, of course, tax free. So, in a nutshell, it felt GREAT. What, if anything, changed? While before, I had to think… Read more »
Katie
Katie
5 years 11 months ago

My husband and I are both 25.

I’m an environmental engineer for the federal govt and he is a transportation engineer for a small private firm in Denver.

We will have crossed the 100k mark this month and it feels very surreal.

Not a whole lot has changed. We’re very frugal and are taking our raises to put towards retirement. We’ve been saving about $4k a month to eventually buy a house, but we’re not in any hurry yet.

Usually problems arise because our friends want to spend more money than we do and are still living a Joneses lifestyle.

Sonny
Sonny
5 years 11 months ago

I made $750k playing online poker and other online games.

Ship it.

Ps. I dont recommend it to anyone. You are expected to lose at first.

jim
5 years 11 months ago

I’m 39 and work in an engineering position. Hitting $100k didn’t directly change really much of anything about my life. My income had been increasing gradually so it was just another step up. Money hasn’t caused issues with my lower income friends, except we’re careful not to be too flashy with our spending or talk about money too much so we don’t accidentally hit a sore spot with them.

Sophie Western
Sophie Western
5 years 11 months ago
I am 30. I started making over the $100k mark a few years ago when I became an attorney and now I make about $150k. Before law school I only spent one year working full-time, during which I made about $30k. My priorities are the same as they’ve ever been: pay down my loans, max out my retirement fund, and put aside enough savings to feel comfortable. For the first 2-3 years of lawyering I concentrated on aggressively paying down my loans, then I spent the last year saving to buy a house, and now I’m back to focusing on… Read more »
Blake
Blake
5 years 11 months ago
I’m a 34 year old former sysadmin, who now manages a team that runs the front-end applications for mid-size internet sites. I’m at 115k now and have been over 6 figures for about two years now. Breaking into 6 figures was a nice milestone, but I didn’t really want to tell anyone about it for fear of being the jerk who makes so much money. I think the main cool thing about it was registering on theladders I feel a bit less stress about making my mortgage payment and I can give more to charity. But I generally spend my… Read more »
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[…] link surveying people who make over 100K/year is over a week old, but the comments are fascinating.  Neither of us makes over 100K/year, and […]

duke
duke
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? 36 What do you do for a living? IT specialist. 14yrs experience. 8-5 job. How did you feel once you earned $100k? I don’t make this much yet. I am well educated and experienced in what I do but still dont make 6figures. I feel like I am in another planet after seeing all these posts. I am definitely doing something wrong. Perhaps I spent too long at one company. What, if anything, changed? Together with my wife, we make in 6figures. We can’t afford to live any more than a normal middle class life. After… Read more »
Izzy
Izzy
5 years 11 months ago

I make just over six figures and am 22 years old as a reservoir engineer.

Rita S
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 34 and work at an int’l media company. I now make slightly over 100.000, nothing really changed when I started making that. None of my friends/acquintances make even a third of that, but when we go out for fun, they are the ones who want to eat at pricey restaurants and I insist on Subway or a Taco shop. Since I’m the cheap miser, no one remembers how much I make and it doesn’t cause any problems. They usually whine about me being a cheap miser. Most of them are broke and living well above their means, I don’t.… Read more »
someone
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? 34 What do you do for a living? I am an UX Designer in New York How did you feel once you earned $100k? Felt like a milestone. My salary increased like these: 2005 – intern – 15K/year 2006 – 2007 – 35-65K/year 2007- 2008 – 85K/year 2008 – 2010 – 102K/year But here is the interesting this, even though my salary increased, my expenses stayed pretty much same just like my college years. Coming here as a foreign student, I know how hard it was for me to come to this level. So, I stayed… Read more »
FinanceGuy
FinanceGuy
5 years 11 months ago
Congratulations on avoiding the costly trend that so many American-born people get sucked into – the spiral of “I make more now, so I should have nicer stuff / a bigger apartment / a better house / new clothes” ! I see that so many “new arrivals” in the US have the “save, not spend” ethic when their salary increases. Travel more, have a nicer (but still good-value) car, but don’t feel the need to blow all your extra income just because you monthly check is bigger now. And don’t just let that savings sit in a CD or a… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago

Age: 27

Occupation: Software Engineer

Pre-tax income for 2010: About $130,000

Changes: Nothing changed in my lifestyle once I started earning $100K. In fact, the only thing that did change was that now more money was going into my retirement and other investment accounts.

Friends: Hanging out with friends is never an issue.

Ché Ché la Femme
Ché Ché la Femme
5 years 11 months ago
48-yr-old female, freelance photographer, $300,000/yr. No difference when made $100,000, due to taxes and living and professional expenses decimating most of it. Most large financial goals can be achieved with relative ease now, however, at $300,000 annually (paid cash for three homes and a car). Ton of discretionary income allows more fun, particularly floating the expenses of freeloading friends who can’t otherwise afford trips, meals. Have a peace of mind that didn’t have previously (feel “safer” because have huge cash cushion). Enjoy having money earn money, kind of like an unpaid employee working for free. Dating is impossible, however. Men… Read more »
Dee Kumar
5 years 11 months ago

Actually not to much changes except you stop worrying about money so much. I travelled a heck of a lot more and loved my job also. All in all it was good times.

Drake
Drake
5 years 11 months ago

I’m 23, aerospace engineer contractor. I make 120k. I still leave frugal to reach my financial goals. I invest heavily in equity, stocks, Roth IRA, etc. After everything i put away, and the mortage on the my new house, i live just about the same as i did in college. Things are the same with my friends because besides the house (which i say i’ve only obtained through skillful financing) i really don’t have extra money to blow. I wanna retire early.

Her Every Cent Counts
5 years 11 months ago
How old are you? 26. What do you do for a living? Social media marketer & content strategist How did you feel once you earned $100k? Well, I haven’t earned $100k yet, but I’m on track to hit that target this year due to some successful consulting projects and a well-paid contract gig. This is even with two months of unemployment in the year. How do I feel? Terrified. I feel like I’ve set this minimum wage that I can accept which changes my career prospects greatly. Of course if I can’t find anything that pays that well I’d have… Read more »
Sunil from The Extra Money Blog
5 years 11 months ago

a common theme that has surfaced in this discussion is the increasing expenses with increasing income trend, and in some cases almost disproportionately unfavorable to the income earner. i am not surprised by this. speaking strictly from a financial perspective (not happiness or any other variable), the bliss is in exponentially increasing the top line with a mere incremental increase on costs. easier said than done?

Ian
Ian
5 years 11 months ago
Crossed the 100K mark at 26. 60K salary from job as a Network Comm. Engineer and 60K in earnings from side-work. Now, three years later, at 29 my wife and I are at a combined income of slightly over 250K. (My wife works a 50K salary job, and my side work has become a side company.) When I first hit 100K I was on cloud nine. The next morning I woke up and wanted to feel what it would feel like to make 200K. It’s almost addict-like behavior. What changed? I work nearly 12 hours a day, pretty much am… Read more »
FinanceGuy
FinanceGuy
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 43 and I finished college in 1992. I’ve always been interested in saving the max possible and also spending wisely when I really want something. When I graduated, I got a job at a small start-up company in a small city for $30,000 per year (a good paycheck for a new grad at the time). After 2 years I left when I got a position at a high-profile management consulting company in NYC. With bonus, my comp suddenly jumped to $60,000. The move to NYC meant a higher cost of living – though I was able to spend about… Read more »
Alex Dumitru
5 years 11 months ago

I’m 21 and I earn about $500k a year from my online business. I have a few blogs and affiliate marketing websites. I also have a company that takes care of all our internet assets with about 20 employees.
Fortunately, I don’t have to do barely anything, because I’ve organized my company very well and set a very appropriate person as manager, so I can spend my time doing what I want. Most probably, I learn, research and test so I can develop my business and earn more.

Bud
Bud
5 years 11 months ago
God has blessed me. I make just slightly over 100 K. I still live like I did when I was a grad student making 1300 per month. I’ve been able to to invest a lot and max out my 401K. Money DOES NOT make you happier. I’m the same smuck, working 60 hrs a week. I may eat at mediocre restaurants instead of shopping at Aldia’s but that is mostly because I work so darned much that I just don’t have time to shop & I live in hotels/motels. As most of the other posts have mentioned: My friends don’t… Read more »
G
G
5 years 11 months ago

23 years old- I T4’d (Canada’s W2) for ~106k in 2009.

I’m an IT professional, currently working in change management for a large portfolio at an energy company.

The biggest difference I noticed was the steep increase in work, hours and stress required. It was nice making 75k and working 9-5 but I wasn’t challenged enough.

Haven’t noticed too much difference RE my friends. I have noticed though, that I have made some new friends that are older and in higher income brackets.

Almost6Figures
Almost6Figures
5 years 11 months ago
I’m 23 years old – working in Finance in NY. Interesting part: I graduate college about 2 years ago. My first job out of college paid me $20/hr (it was a contract position) from there I went to $45K/year a few months later, then I got about a 50% increase a few months after that, and now I just landed another 20% inrease. Another 20% increase in the next year or two will put me at the 100K mark. Doubling my salary in 12 months, I can say not much has changed. I live in the same apartment I lived… Read more »
Bindu
Bindu
5 years 11 months ago
I am 27 years old and am an attorney in a midsize southern city. I have been making at or over $100,000 since I started practicing law. At the moment, my husband and I are focusing on reducing our student debt and therefore live like we make a whole lot less. I don’t advertise how much money I make nor do I bring it up around friends that aren’t in similar careers. If they bring up that we make a lot of money, we counter it by reminding them that we have the equivalent of a beautiful home worth of… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years 11 months ago
Son in law- 23- no college- will make $100,000 this year after making $18,000 for the last five years. They are debt free. While he overseas, our daughter and grandson will live with us. Should be interesting since their income is about triple ours:>) We are delighted to have them home! Their plan is to put a major downpayment on a house. They are in DC and one never knows when contracts will dry up. If they do dry- they will go to school. He has the reputation for being the best in his department- but since he does not… Read more »
Mike Stankavich
5 years 10 months ago
I know I’m WAY late to this friend, but I’m just catching up on my reading again after taking an expat job in Manila, Philippines for a bit over 100k USD base. I was already near there with my base salary and went over with t-comp in my US role as a DBA/developer/architect. I’m 45, and I’d guess the W2 went over six digits for the first time a couple years ago. It didn’t seem like a big deal to me when I got the six digit W2 as I was busily outpacing my income with bad real estate investments… Read more »
Alan
Alan
5 years 10 months ago

32 Years old, no degree, work in sales. Earn 36K but live in Mexico which makes them seem like 50K because of the USD/Peso difference. Also work from home and have the freedom that comes with it. Looking to hit six figures soon hopefully and report back.

Gracie
Gracie
5 years 10 months ago
I am MUCH happier now that I earn over $100k. I grew up in a trailer park for a while, and in really awful cheap rural housing among welfare people and drunks the rest of the time. I wanted out, and I worked my butt off to get into a top 10 USN&WR college because I wanted some kind of tangible indicator that I belonged in a different group. I got a good job straight out of college as the marketing director for an e-commerce company. It was creative and fun and educational, but the pay was only average. Still,… Read more »
Kirk
Kirk
5 years 10 months ago

I think it’s interesting that many of the jobs in here are contract jobs. What would be the de-rated income with benefits included? Also skewing matters are the petrochemical industry jobs, I for one work for an engineering consulting firm that specializes in the petrochemical and chemical industry. These 100K offshore rigging jobs look great on the outside but they are only skin deep.

KJ
KJ
5 years 10 months ago
I am 33 and make $129k with bonuses that bring me close to $145k year. I’m in the consulting realm and most of our clients are entities within the Federal Government. My >$100k salary came very quickly: I went one from company making $68k and got offered a new job (same area) making $112k. Amazing. As a point of reference, my first job out of college (1999) was making $12.50/hour ($26,000 annualized). Like many of the writers here, it hasn’t changed too much: I am still fairly frugal, I put a lot away into savings; etc. However, I have to… Read more »
Dominique Brown
5 years 10 months ago
How old are you? I am 26 years old. But, I’ve been over six figures since I was 24. My wife is 27 and makes over six figures also. What do you do for a living? I’m am a IT security engineer that provides information assurance services to the government in Washington, D.C. How did you feel once you earned $100k? I absolutely felt great when I made over 100k, it was a huge milestone for me especially at 24. Then after the new paycheck smell wore off I felt exactly the same. But, I realized that we can achieve… Read more »
Early Retiree
Early Retiree
5 years 10 months ago
My wife and I had set a long-term (and audacious) goal early on in our marriage of accumulating enough in cash flow generating investments so that income from those investments (dividends, interest, municipal bond income, etc.) could more than pay for our expenses (that to me is the definition of “enough” for retirement). This was during a time when non-dividend-paying tech stocks were all the rage, and in fact my nickname at one of the firms I worked at used to be “old man” because I only bought investments that paid me dividends or some form of income. By doing… Read more »
Patrick McCrann
5 years 10 months ago
Ramit, this is great. Thanks for sharing….I am 36, self-employed, running several online communities for athletes. Been at this for four years now, broke $100k last year. Earning 6 figures meant nothing, getting almost debt-free (aside from car, house) was what really changed things for my family. We lead a much less stressed life; work-wise I am more motivated to spin off into other areas for sure. I don’t think the money is an issue for my friends; I do work from home and have a great life with my little girls 3x a week (wife works full-time); I think… Read more »
Andru Edwards
5 years 10 months ago
29 years old, earned my first $100,000 when I was 26, now earn about 220k. I run a blog network, and have been doing so since 2004 as a hobby, and turned it into my full-time gig in 2005. I don’t generally flaunt how much money I make to my friends with any sort of number, but I did buy a nice house at 27 and drive a luxury car. When I earned my first $100k, there wasn’t really more of a feeling than any other time, except that I felt a bit more “comfortable” – like I could relax… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years 10 months ago
I’m a 28 y/o college drop out… make a little over 140k writing software. 100k was felt really great when I got there, but it was more like “about time!” since my other coder friends where already there. What changed? Nothing… I was 24 y/o when I reached 100k ($111k to be exact). I was already pretty reckless in the way I spent money, purchasing a $35k used AMG-Mercedes while earning $60k.. so $100k just allowed me to continue being young and stupid. Most of my friends make a decent living, but for the few that are still struggling to… Read more »
Not what I expected
Not what I expected
5 years 10 months ago
I hit $100k at 24 just a couple years after dropping out of college. I’m now 27 at around $200k as a Director of IT & Software Engineering. I’m on track to hit $300k in the next couple of years, more if my side start-up continues growing as it has been. For me, hitting 100k in my early 20’s was devastating. I came from a lower middle class upbringing and it really alienated some of my closer friends. I hid it for a while, just saving money and living the same kind of life I always had. It started getting… Read more »
Steve
Steve
5 years 10 months ago
I’m 37yo and work as a Business Development Manager for a nutritional supplement company that manufactures products sold exclusively to doctors. I make a little over $100k from my day job and then an additional $20k from a little side business I run myself. I can’t say I’ve really noticed anything different after I crossed the $100k threshold but most of that has to do with getting wiped out in a divorce, ha ha. But with every year that passes I do see more and more of the “lifestyle” since I’ve cut my debt drastically. My friends all treat me… Read more »
J
J
5 years 10 months ago
I am 27, just left the military after 4 years enlisted, and make equivalent of $102,000. I say equivalent because some of my income, mainly my ~$1,000/month of disability comp, is non-taxable. My income now, even accounting for the tax advantages of being in the military, is about ~2.5x greater than my military salary; that is a HUGE jump. My friends know that I make a lot of money, but none know that I make 6 figures. In fact, someone asked me point blank if I made 6 figures. I lied and told him “no”. I feel that even my… Read more »
lark
lark
5 years 10 months ago
I’m 33 and I work in the medical field. Earning 6 figures definitely gave me a sense of security. Conscious spending and automating finances has allowed me to increase my net work faster than most of my friends, a lot of whom are in the same income range (They ask me for help with their finances so I know some details) But I guess I am one of those people who are never satisfied, and I am signing up for another part time job. The income is secondary to the learning opportunities and further career opportunities – BTW, I used… Read more »
Michael R.
Michael R.
5 years 10 months ago
I just turned 27 years old. I own a small retail business. I earned my first $100k at the age of 25 and it felt great. I felt like I was on the right track and going to accomplish my goal of being a millionaire by 30. My expenses have changed drastically. I had been living the high life for the past couple years because I made over $150k in 2009 and this year so far. After my 27th birthday passed, I realized that I should have had a lot more saved than I did. I have been making as… Read more »
Matt
Matt
5 years 10 months ago
I actually left the easy $100k jobs to pursue passions and travel and learning to build businesses online. Where I came from in Canada is essentially the most oil in the world and everyone makes $100k minimum just for driving trucks. That’s what my parents did. It’s tempting as he’ll and sometimes depressing since I haven’t earned that having left 7 years ago. Most people though spend it on all kinds of toys and are probably no better off than me except formaybe a nicer car and house. I still aim to make money from something I enjoy thatgives me… Read more »
Craig
Craig
5 years 10 months ago
My Wife and I are early 30s, make a combined $320- $330 range. Careers are both in Management in the Pharmaceutical industry. We have no children, company cars and work pays for food each day as well as phones, internet .etc We have been reading you for a while and have numerous funds set up with automatic investing. We like to help our friends and take a trip overseas once or twice a year. Also, the circle of friends we keep we are at the low to mid end of earning. My neighbor is a 34 year old specialist MD… Read more »
Michael R.
Michael R.
5 years 10 months ago
I responded to this forum before reading most of the posts. It’s really interesting to see that most of the over $100k earners are some sort of engineer or IT manager. It’s been a pretty consistent uphill journey for me. Since the age of 16, I have made more money each year. When I was 21, I bought my first investment home. I was also making $45k at 21 working full-time and going to school full-time. At 23, I bought a townhouse for myself and from 23 to 25 I was making over $60k/year while still in college. I majored… Read more »
hark
hark
5 years 10 months ago

There is something to be said for absolute vs relative income. I believe the argument is that someone earning 100k, working 80 hrs/wk is no better off, compared to another earning 50k at 40 hrs/wk. Unless you are passionate about your work, a job is a job, and personal time is a premium.

Ramit, I’d find it more interesting to know how many hrs/wk they’re putting in…

Great post BTW!

cpascal
5 years 10 months ago

As a computer science student, I’m glad to see how many 100k earners are in computer-related careers. If I ever manage to get a 100k salary, I’ll be one of the people who’ll try to save most of the money. I recently discovered the blog earlyretirmentextreme.com, and the author managed to retire within a few years of leaving grad school by saving most of his income and investing it.

Ivan
Ivan
5 years 10 months ago

Damn, all these stories make me *almost* want to drop my ventures and find a job.

chmd
chmd
5 years 10 months ago
Hi, i’ve been reading your blogs for a while now. How old are you? 20 What do you do for a living? Currently bartend and go to school full time How did you feel once you earned $100k? I started working at a bar about 3 years ago i showed great work ethic and responsibility for someone so young. long story short became promoted really fast and make about 90,000 tax free a year. work on average 3-5 days a week. Although I don’t want to have this as my career i am studying to become a CRNA and i… Read more »
Midwest Engineer
Midwest Engineer
5 years 10 months ago
I’m 24, manufacturing engineer in a town <5k people, and make ~$50k with day job + the occasional side project. $50k doesn't sound like a lot, but out here that's pretty good, well above average. Once I started making this much money after college, life got a whole lot better. I no longer live paycheck to paycheck fearing that a trip to the doctor or auto mechanic will have me eating ramen till next payday. Now two years out of college, I live modestly and am 100% debt free, own my 3 year old compact car that I bought new,… Read more »
Will
Will
5 years 10 months ago
I am 44, and run, of all things, a national non-profit. I started making over 100K maybe 8 years ago. I also do some consulting. I have not substantially changed my lifestyle and am working on saving and paying off my mortgage. However the living expenses can get higher as you get older – kids and parents. Most friends are not aware how much I make. I still drive a 14 year old Toyota, and I rather like the fact that I am not overextended. I do tend to pick up the check a lot when we go out, and… Read more »
Peter
Peter
5 years 10 months ago
So I’ve been reading through all these and I will admit I’m nowhere near 100k yet. I see a lot of people take their spouse or partner’s income into account or supplemental income as well. Interesting to see that base salary isn’t the be all end all, bonuses, raises etc all contribute a bit more to the total. So I’m 28, 6 years out of college and a Hardware Infrastructure Support Tier III. I make 62k a year, contribute about 10k to my 401k which is matched at 8% (my salary I believe). I get a bonus of about 5k… Read more »
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