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Sex vs. salary: Which would you rather talk about?

Let’s talk about your salary. If you were sitting around with friends eating, and someone asked you how much you make, what would you say?

Ramit Sethi

Sex vs Salary Cover

My friend, a perpetual Manhattan bachelor, just got into a relationship with a sweet girl.
So naturally, we invited them out and asked EXTREMELY uncomfortable questions, primarily for my amusement.

  • “How’d you make the first move? No, no, slow down…literally, tell us every word. Show us your text messages too, please.”
  • “How do you talk dirty in bed? Here, I’ll pretend to be her, and you play yourself. Go ahead.”
  • “Have you said ‘I love you’ yet? Why not?” (They’ve been dating for 10 days.)

Lessons learned: Introducing your significant other to us is a special kind of gauntlet.

If someone had asked me those questions years ago, I would have clammed up and gotten super embarrassed. “…that’s really inappropriate dude!!”

But over the years, I’ve realized that some of my favorite people are brutally, refreshingly honest. You can ask them ANYTHING and they’ll answer.
As I wrote in my book, there are certain areas of our lives — surprising areas — that we HATE sharing:

‘We asked how many people pay off their debt in full every month,’ said Greg McBride, the senior financial analyst for, says. ‘The number of people who said they paid off their credit card every month was high compared to the number of people who actually do. They were more willing to give their name, age, and even details of their sex life than providing the amount of their credit card debt.’ Really? Their sex lives? I would like to talk to these people…alone.

Let’s talk about your salary. If you were sitting around with friends eating, and someone asked you how much you make, what would you say?

In my experience, the vast majority of us would not answer (including me). But why not? Is the number…

  • Too personal?
  • Something that makes us feel bad?
  • Embarrassing because our salary is too low (or too high)?
  • Capable of making things “weird” and damaging relationships?

I think for a lot of us, the answer is YES! All of the above! It’s opening up a can of worms that we just don’t want to deal with.

And yet…we all want to know. How much does SHE make? He makes WHAT? Oh wow…I had no idea you could earn that much at 31.

Beyond pure curiosity, I want to start a conversation about how much we make because there’s amazing support when you’re able to share how much you earn, and how much others of a similar age and educational background earn. You can know if you’re on track and you might discover you’re woefully underpaid or paid very well.

You just don’t want to talk about it with people you know.

So today, I’m going to try an experiment: We’re going to ANONYMOUSLY share how much we make. And as you do, notice how it makes you feel.

Note: If this makes you feel uncomfortable, you should probably check out my huge free guide to salary negotiation and getting paid what you’re worth.

Questions (feel free to answer anonymously):

  1. What’s your annual income?
  2. Stats: Your age, location, job title (e.g., “31, Marketing coordinator for a tech startup in San Francisco”)
  3. What number would be “comfortable” for you?

And tell us what you think about seeing other people’s salaries. Anxious? Relieved? Jealous?

Leave your comment below

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  1. avatar

    Annual Income: 179K
    32 yrs old, Seattle, Software Engineer @ Blue Chip Tech Company
    Current income is comfortable. 130K and up is comfortable.

    • avatar

      Just curious, are income numbers include bonus or just salary?

    • avatar
      Ambitious African

      I earn more than my man and it really is a non-issue. We are planning our wedding and I am footing most of the bills, but we make decisions together and a still get shut-down when I’m heading in the wrong direction…and so does he. We have been open about money since month 2 of our dating and we have been together 4 years. I would say, that if you treat money as “our money” and make decisions based on that, then you will be ok. Problems start when people start being guarded about income.

      Also, we’ve been dating since I had 0-income…aka student. So maybe that’s why it’s always been ok. I asked him after about 2 months, how much he earns and he was honest about it. He even showed me his payslip and other proof. So, I have no reason to doubt him and neither does he have to doubt me.

      If we all stopped being funny about money, we’d have happier relationships.

    • avatar

      i earn USD$27K per year.
      +USD$20K yearly by freelance jobs.

      40, monterrey mexico, manager.
      2 kids.
      private school.
      1 car.
      house rented.

      my wife rise children. we make a lot of sacrifices to pay the bills and keep girls on school.
      not enough to vacations or invest on a beautiful house.

      its not enough to fulfill all the requests. Its not comfortable.

  2. avatar
    I'll be the first I guess

    (1) CAD$125,000 + bonus, retirement match, 5 weeks vaca, education allowance, and many other little perqs in my day job. Side business approx $15,000 per annum.
    (2) 37, Toronto, I manage construction projects.
    (3) This is comfortable. I wouldn’t refuse more, obviously, but we live well and happily and relatively stress-free on my (and my spouse’s) salary.

    • avatar
      I'll be the first I guess

      Also either sex or money discussions can be light hearted or challenging, depending. I can talk about either pretty easily. Hell people talk about the impact of a house purchase or a kid on their bottom line like they talk about the weather, and many people I know (particularly in sales or in govt jobs or self employed tradespeople, and most people we know from my spouse’s home country) talk salary just as easily.

      But I’ve also had challenging and upsetting conversations with friends about their major debt issues or long term unemployment or their partner’s gambling problem, on the money side, and their ED issues, dead bedroom problems and performance issues post-partum, on the sex side. Those are the things that people keep hidden more than dirty-talk bar banter and salary info.

    • avatar

      As a recent grad, I’d love to work up to a construction project manager, and in Toronto! I love Toronto! It’s a second home.

      I think looking through these salaries, it’s easy to get jealous, be we have to take into consideration location and cost of living too.

  3. avatar
    a girl

    1a. Annual Income: $225K, +/- based on fluctuating bonuses
    1b. Side Gig: currently ~$15K/year, just started last year
    2. 37 years old, software-related job at blue chip tech company in Portland OR
    3. Very comfortable. I support a family of four on this, and save a ton. Expect to be financially independent soon.

  4. avatar

    £40k (approx. $70k), 27 year old CRO manager for a digital agency in London.

    I’d say that knowing my friends salary is completely different to knowing a strangers salary.

    Between friends, despite wanting them all to do well, I naturally want to do better. It’s not a competition to me but there’s something about discussing salaries which ties in with a feeling of superiority/inferiority – this could just be a personal issue of mine!?

    I believe I’ll be ‘comfortable’ when I doubled my salary to £80k but I’d always strive for more.

    • avatar

      This is definitely not a personal issue of yours. I think probably a lot of people feel similar ways, like they are better at providing, they can afford more in life, support their lifestyle better – the more they make and one you get to the point where you can live very comfortable and go even beyond that, then you can start to afford increasingly extreme luxuries if you wish.

      Doing so can give you certain “status symbols” like a high end car, personal full time maids or servants, a second house or cottage, lavish vacations, etc.

      When you can have these things, and you get the sense that people are jealous or envious and want to be you – I think it’s pretty natural to feel really good about that.

    • avatar

      Thanks BG

      It’s good to know that other people feel the same. Reading through the posts today leaves me in awe of others earning (in a positive way). I’m not at the stage where I feel like I’m enjoy all of the luxuries I’d like but I’m starting to slow down and start enjoying life more.

      I have only used 1 day of my 28 day holiday allowance so far this year which a plan on changing very soon.

      To add a bit of a background for anyone interested, my progression so far has been:

      First job (2009): after being a digital marketing intern for a month (it was originally a 3 month internship but I managed to negotiate a shorter term) I started on £19k ($32k) working in London’s “silicon roundabout” at a startup.

      Second job (2011): I changed companies to move into a ‘Managers’ role before I felt I was ready. I like to think I’m a quick learner though and my compensation was £25k ($42k). This was in the jewellery industry as a digital marketing manager.

      Current job (2012 until now): I knew I needed to specialise as digital marketing roles are abundant and therefore not the highest paid. I moved to an agency into as a conversion rate optimisation manager being paid £40k + £6k bonus ($70 + $11k bonus)

      For me personally, I have changed jobs a fair bit in order to progress but I initially had personal challenges I wanted to overcome. I left university/college TWO YEARS LATER THAN I SHOULD HAVE. In my mind I had plenty of catching up to do and wasted no more time. I still have the same drive now and am inspired by a lot of the commenters on this blog.

      I’m new here, but I’ll be hanging around.

  5. avatar
    An Aussie

    1. $0. My business is currently earning $40k (and growing). It covers operations but it’s not paying me yet.
    2. 31, Australia, profesional services (quit my day job year ago).
    3. If I could double that I’d be laughing.

    • avatar

      I was you last year until Ramit got a hold of me. Still growing and have a lot of expenses, but paying myself $1,000-$1,500 per month and on track to double that next year, possibly 3 or 4x if I can get my systems in place. Feel free to email me if you want to talk details.

    • avatar
      Mr Me

      1) CAD 32K/year, 25K on the side
      2) 26, Vancouver, Internet Marketing Consultant
      3) Base on my calculation of the lifestyle I want to live in, it would be $126,000/year.

      Actually at this point in life, I don’t really care, if someone asked me, I just tell them I make $32k a year and 2K a month on the side.

      I don’t feel anxious, relieved or jealous, or uncomfortable when talking about my salary, but I am careful if I am the person asking. But if I make more than X amount, perhaps 100K or more, I may be more reluctant to share my income. Just a feeling..

      When everyone just started to get their first job, most of my friends are more willing to share, about 2-3 years down the road, it becomes a topic you want to avoid. Not sure why.

      I am actually very interested in learning how much a person make especially if he is in the field I am in, so that I can dissect what they do, how they do it and apply it for myself. Jealous? Nope. Admire, Yes!

  6. avatar
    I'll Bite

    1. $102k + 10 – 12% annual bonus
    2. 33, Sr. Financial Analyst at a large corporation you’ve all heard of, Dallas-Fort Worth area
    3. I feel like I don’t make enough money compared to my B-school peers. I know that I make much more than the average American, and I’m incredibly fortunate to be in the position I’m in. However, I would feel more comfortable in the $120 – $130k range.

  7. avatar

    1) $140K/yr. Although about to transition to full time executive coaching so it will be a different ball game.
    2) 34, Product Management in software technology startup… Just started my 6K consulting company on Executive coaching so that’s going to change.
    3) Anything over $100K is comfortable for me.

  8. avatar
    Josh S.

    1. $93k (76k salary and 17k side business last year)

    2. 42, Chicago, project manager at a non-profit (with great benefits), plus side consulting

    3. I’m fairly comfortable now, but my target is to make another 20-30% (enough that when we have children we could drop down to one income for awhile without too much sacrifice).

    I don’t feel that uncomfortable talking about salary, but I do feel guilty in some ways for wanting more. I know a lot of people who get by on much less. I’m grateful for how well I do.

    • avatar
      Ramit Sethi

      You mentioned you feel guilty. Why?

    • avatar


      I think he has already answered it – “I know a lot of people who get by on much less.” So he is comparing his salary to people who make much less and probably think they are “happier” than him, but he still wants more, so he feels guilty.

      BTW – Me in India.

      1) I make USD $20,000 per year on an average but Ramit knows by making INR 100,000 per month one can live a comfortable life in India and save for future too.

      2) 40, with 2 kids. Own home, car. Full mortgage paid. Car on down payment. No other debt.

      3) On that income we eat 4 times in a month in a good restaurant, watch movies many times, and take a weeks’ vacation every ear.

      4) Kids going to good English medium school.

      5) We even afford servants to help my wife in household chores.

      6) Wife does not work.

      7) Yes want to earn more as things are getting costly every year here in India. But I know that I can easily live a comfortable life and retire happily in that income even if it does not increase.

    • avatar

      I understand that feeling of guilt especially when you have the mindset of a non-profit professional.

  9. avatar

    1)59k + 5k bonus
    2)26, Oahu, Commercial Solar Designer for a large PV company
    3) With a kid, one on the way and a stay at home mom, 90k + would be comfortable.

    • avatar

      Oahu rates are so low… businesses pay bare minimum. No need to retain talent when plenty of bright eyed youth want to live there for anything!

      I lived there. I left. Pay was paltry. Spent every penny on rent and fish.

  10. avatar

    1. 90k
    2. 26, Detroit MI, IT Consultant
    3. I’m pretty comfortable right now, but my girlfriend will be moving in soon and we will be looking at condos/houses together. I’d like to be at 110k+

  11. avatar

    1. $29,600.00
    2. 30, Accountant for a CPA office in Los Angeles
    3. $50,000.00
    I am amazed that there are people earning over $100,000.00 a year! 🙂

    • avatar

      Ha, Jay, you and me both, and I’m in LA, too. It says something that we are probably in one of the three most expensive cities and so far you have the least I’ve seen, I make even less than that.

      I’m trying to make more with my business (I am making $200/mo. right now and expect that to increase in June) and working as a receptionist in a nail spa for 25-30 hours a week. I make $900-1000/mo there. I do NOT make a living wage and am still kind of working off of savings that I had from my last job (which still wasn’t great, about 30k/year including the tips I made, but it was enough for me to buy what I wanted and save).

      13,200 (I guess, it certainly isn’t going to stay like that all year [it can’t!])
      28 (female), receptionist/business owner
      I calculated that I want my business to net 100k so after putting away percentages for investing, taxes, savings, charity, and travel I still have about 30k, which is totally good for me.

      Is everyone giving figures before tax or after?

    • avatar
      Ramit Sethi

      I’m guessing most of these responses are gross (pre-tax).

    • avatar

      man i do a bit more and i also live in LA, i can’t say i don’t live good, but it could always be better. but yeah people earn A LOT in here…

      I do web design, HOWEVER i am illegal so once i get my green card i know i could be earning a lot more.

      ps yeah i do pay taxes.

    • avatar

      Hi Jay! I’m with you there! I’m in little old NZ, and boy do I wish I chose to study software developing! Looks a lot more lucrative than event managing!

    • avatar

      Hey Jay. I feel you. I’m making $24,000/year before taxes. Also in LA 🙂

    • avatar

      I honestly don’t know how you do it, Jay.

      For comparison, I’m also an accountant in CA (Bay Area) working at a large CPA firm.

      29yo; 55K Salary; married w/ single income; to be comfortable (living where we’d like to and enough to cover a pet, monthly exp, and 40% savings) I’d like to make 120K/yr.

    • avatar

      I was a staff accountant in my first week out of college in Atlanta which is a lower COL area. Then I earned $56k in my 2nd year once I moved to a higher COL area similar to LA. This was all before i got my cpa. After doing some research I found I was paid average. U need to find a new job buddy.

  12. avatar

    28, San Diego, 189K, hydrologist. 70K would be “comfortable”, I live well below my means. I like doing simple things that aren’t too expensive yet still give me a sense of self-development (ie. learning an instrument or improving my archery skill). I made a pact when I was 17 to donate at least 25% of my income per year, after graduation, to homeless children charities (divided among 10 charities for some equalization) since I was helped by these same charities in my early years. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to up that to 50%.

    • avatar
      Way to go!

      You rock, sir. Serious kudos for that kind of generosity.

    • avatar

      I hope to do the same as you one day, good sir.

    • avatar
      Ramit Sethi

      Very cool. Thanks for sharing this comment.

    • avatar

      COOOL! Nice work, just out of curiosity which charities? Local ones here? I’m living in San Diego as well.

    • avatar

      Good on you, mate! I’ll echo AK’s comment – which charities? I also live in San Diego and I’m looking for a worthy cause.

    • avatar
      An Argie

      1- I started my business a little less than 4 months ago after a major career change and I’m making around 500 euros a month so far (6K euros annual at this rate, but getting new and better clients every month so I don’t plan to stay like this)
      2- 37, Independent Food & Product Photographer
      3-I would like to make at least 40k (euros), then grow from there.

    • avatar

      That is seriously awesome. Great job!

    • avatar

      Why is donating this much a “good thing”?

    • avatar

      Very Impressive and rare! It’s great that you give back so much.

    • avatar

      That my friend is why you are making almost 120k over what you feel “comfortable with;) Good on you for trying to help those who cannot help themselves after you were helped early on in life rather than chase the materialistic life that most Americans do………I’m humbled….

    • avatar

      I hope this is an honest response because it is pretty awesome to hear of someone being so generous! Most people don’t need that much to live off of, even if we have families. If we skip the stuff that clutters our lives, the temporary satisfactions, and other luxuries, we can afford to give generously 🙂

  13. avatar

    Household: ~100K/yr
    34 yrs old, one professional and one student in Michigan
    200K/yr would be comfortable with our children, 50-75K less without children (this will be easily obtainable once school finishes)

    I am glad to see others that are around my age doing relatively well. I would like to know their savings rate. Ours is just over 30%.

  14. avatar

    32, engineer in San Diego
    Would feel more comfortable at $120k or so

    • avatar

      Stunned by how much everybody’s making. I feel like I’m behind the curve and won’t catch up

    • avatar

      Don’t worry. Most people inclined to share their salaries are somewhat comfortable with what they are making.

  15. avatar

    1. $110K + small bonus
    2. 30, St. Louis, Project Manager @ Aerospace/Defense company
    3. $200K would be comfortable… ridiculous? maybe… I like nice things.

    As I read through these, I’m struck by the number of people already well over $100K. My next thought was I should have gone to school for software engineering…

  16. avatar

    (1) $71k
    (2) 23, Financial Analyst for a multinational consulting firm in Washington DC
    (3) I can live comfortably (investing 10% of income and traveling 1-2 times per year) with $60k. I’ve been careful to control lifestyle inflation after receiving raises to help keep my ‘comfortable’ number lower.

    • avatar

      Interesting how well you are doing at 23!

      I also work for a super large consulting firm and just moved out of DC. I didn’t break the 70k mark until I turned 26-27.

      Nice work.

    • avatar

      That’s very impressive! You are where I am trying to get to.

      22, Customer Support in Fort Worth, Tx, $24k net per year. I would be very comfortable at $60k since I currently own my own home. Looking to have solid freelance income from programming and rent out the house by age 25.

  17. avatar

    300K. I get 200K salary plus stock grants. Developer at Google in San Francisco. I would be comfortable with 100k or so- I’m lucky and invest a lot of money. Approaching early retirement

    • avatar

      Fellow SF Googler here. $117k + bonus and stock at age 25, would be comfortable with, idk, $90k? After how many years/which job level would I expect your level of compensation?

    • avatar


      I’m 50 yrs old, been at Google for 7 years. Working for 30.

    • avatar

      These numbers are incredible as non-management. Congrats on your hard work.

      I assume you both had very strong CS backgrounds?

    • avatar

      How is the work/life balance at Google?

      Spouse is 27, Software engineer at a defense contractor in Denver… decent benefits, great work life balance, however, he only makes $64k and is only getting 5.5% raise to ~68k after being consistantly told that he’s a top performer, most valuable team member etc. Seems like BS, but work life balance is important since we’re growing the family. Realize cost of living is far lower in Denver… but still.

      We are comfortable, but would love in increase savings and have more room for trips etc in our budget. 80k would be great in the short term, would definitely like to make 6 figures in the longer term. Also, will help when I go back to work. We’d like to retire early too.

    • avatar

      Thanks for the info, P.

      Thanks, CB. It doesn’t really feel like hard work to me; I think I work harder than a lot of people, but there are also tons of people who work much harder than I do and have much less to show for it materially. I feel lucky to be in the right place at the right time with the right genes (kinda smart, kinda dedicated).

      I earned a CS degree with a ~3.7 GPA from a school that just barely ranks into the top 20 in the US for CS. That’s probably considered pretty strong over all, but feels less impressive than the median amongst Googlers.

      Kip, I’m pretty happy with my work/life balance, but I’m young and don’t have much to compare to. Are you referring to amount of time at work vs. home?

      I mostly stick to 40 hour work weeks and that seems to be fine with my team and manager, but I hear about people working a lot more than that. I think that for most engineers, 40 hours is doable, but it sounds like PM, sales, and others might have jobs that really do take more than 40 hours to do. Maybe some people work extra in an effort to get better performance ratings, and maybe that works, but the compensation and satisfaction delta doesn’t seem like an appealing tradeoff for me. A more likely loss of home time is the commute. I spend 3+ hours per day commuting from SF (soon to move closer to the office, woot), though you can do much better than this. Vacation is 3-5 weeks per year depending on tenure, I think.

      Re: recognition for good performance, my experience is that good performance yields great pay, and great performance yields really, really great pay here. Some people say that measurement of performance is too political or inaccurate; maybe I’m just lucky, or maybe they’re just whiney.

      Happy to answer any other questions.

    • avatar

      CB: Thanks. I also got some good advice early on and it compounded for me.

      KIP: Work/life is great. People work hard but we also take vacations. They do lots of stuff to be sure we are happy and productive. Great place to work. By the way, I recommend getting out of Government contracting. I was there in a previous life and it’s much better and saner on the outside. The Gov’t is crazy.

  18. avatar


    22, Engineer in Manufacturing industry, At a small plant of a large corporation. This is my very first job out of school.

    Where I live, 55k would be comfortable. I’m investing and saving what I can.

    • avatar

      Oops, probably closer to 40-45k is comfortable. I’m saving close to 2k/month without even trying right now, after investments, taxes, and expenses.

  19. avatar

    1. Annual income $70k
    2. 29-year old Mechanical Engineer working for City of San Francisco
    3. As a single guy in the bay area, $90k would be comfortable. Would increase as I get a wife, kids, house, etc.

  20. avatar

    37, Finanicial analyst for major corp in Atlanta.

    I’m happy where I am because my wife makes 88k, and this combined income goes far in a city like Atlanta.

  21. avatar

    1. $83K
    2. 23, Engineer for a pharmaceutical company in California
    3. $70K would be comfortable, but I’d like to make $100K

  22. avatar

    1. 240K annual income
    2. 38 years old, game developer/ company owner in Buenos Aires, Argentina
    3. 5 million would be comfortable

    • avatar

      “And tell us what you think about seeing other people’s salaries. Anxious? Relieved? Jealous?”

      Happy that some other people are doing well. Scratching my head thinking how can you live with 30K in USA. Dreamy thinking what I would have done in my 20s if I was making money like some here (I was so broke)

  23. avatar

    1. Zip for myself, AU$150K + car for hubby
    2. 27, Western Australia, Mum… Partner is 34 and a mining project manager
    3. My husband’s job is not sustainable so we’ll be leaving at the end of the year and he’ll probably drop to around AU$35K for the first year. I can’t wait to have him back and doing something he loves instead of selling his sanity for that extra $55K in hand. That said I hope we get back up to AU$80K before tax soon. If we didn’t have to pay rent or mortgage we wouldn’t need much to be comfortable.

  24. avatar

    $100k plus 20% bonus. 34, Asst Treasurer for a corporate in the energy space, southeastern U.S. This income comfortably supports two adults and a child.

  25. avatar
    Some Guy

    1. $85k + profit sharing (20k last year, expecting ~40k this year) + $8750 in 401k match + 8 weeks vacation + free medical/vision/dental + free bus pass + gym reimbursement
    2. 32m, Seattle, Software QA Lead at a ~200 person tech company
    3. I’m comfortable now even without the profit sharing, which all goes directly into savings. I’m trying to get to 100k base salary this year at which point I’d allow myself to upgrade to a nicer apartment in my neighborhood but I can live without that.

    I don’t really like comparing salaries with my friends. A lot of them are social workers and I make more than several of them combined. Despite the fact that after savings and taxes our actual disposable income is about the same, once they hear the pre-tax number it pretty much kills the conversation.

  26. avatar

    (1) $72k + $15k/yr in retirement matching & stock
    (2) 28, Boston, statistical programmer at a think tank; should be getting a raise to about $80k in a month or two.
    (3) I am comfortable now, but $100k base salary would be more comfortable for me – my fiance earns a lot, and I want to make a significant contribution to our finances, but it’s hard to make a dent compared to him.

    I feel pretty wimpy in comparison to all of these other people posting who make so much more than me, but I have everything I need, so I feel guilty for caring. 🙂 I just can’t win!

    • avatar

      Hi! I’m a fresh M.S. graduate in Boston looking for statistical programmer/data analyst positions…any tips?

  27. avatar

    24 year old teacher in San Jose, CA
    80k would be comfortable

  28. avatar
    23 Year Old

    $83K / year + bonus, 401k matching, lots of travel and perks

    23 years old, San Francisco, Design Manger

    I’m definitely “comfortable” and able to save enough for retirement, travel, entertainment, etc, but would target at least $100K since cost of living in SF is so high. It really depends how you define comfortable

  29. avatar
    Some gal

    1. 67k / year with defined benefits pension (I get 70% of my 5 highest earning years of my career and can retire when I 55/56 if I stay with my com

  30. avatar

    These salaries blow my mind!

    My annual income is 43K.
    I’m 35yo and live in a small city in Virginia, USA. I have a technical role at a state university.
    I think 65K would be very comfortable (65K here is the equivalent of 100K+ in SF, for example). I recently earned a MBA as a way of helping me get there.

    I’m mostly jealous when I see these salaries.

    • avatar

      Same jealousy here Anonymous. We live in “Coastal Virginia” and others doing my job in different areas make 30-50% more.

      – Me – Age 40 – 47K a year Technical support for a school system + 5-7K year side business
      – Wife -Age 35 – 44k Business teacher for a high school
      – No Kids
      living somewhat comfortably but would be better if we were around 110K combined (were close). . Vacation several times a year in an RV. Working off a bunch of debt that was piled up from our youth and school. Both have Virginia Retirement Pensions coming + saving about 5% to a 401k. Hoping to retire at me 62/wife 57 and travel the country in our RV.

  31. avatar
    Some gal

    1. 67k/year with excellent benefits. If I stay with my company (govt) for my career I can retire when I am 55/56 with 70% of my top 5 earning years’ salary.
    2. 27 year old, electrical engineering degree, Vancouver island canada, work for govt
    3. My salary may seem low compared to others and I wish I made more but I get to live where I want and grew up which trumps money. It is also hard to find work here and i have a job that I can raise a family with (challanging yet easy hours and low stress usually, good benefits, fair pay) and if I play my cards right and keep being smart with my money I will have everything I want in life. That sounds pretty good to me!

    • avatar

      I think the people on this blog are not a very good sample size when it comes to salaries. Many are in IT, Finance, etc. which tend to give larger salaries than those of us in nonprofits or government. I say if an individual is making more than $60K, they are good. Didnt some researcher find that $75,000 was the maximum income one needed to be happy?

    • avatar
      Mr. Everyday Dollar

      Swinglow – yes, $75k is the magic number. A persons day-to-day happiness didn’t change much beyond that point.

      The only issue I find with that number is that it wasn’t adjusted for city or region. $75k goes a lot further in South Dakota than NYC.

    • avatar

      I disagree with MR. EVERYDAY DOLLAR.

      $75k might mean happiness for 1 person that is providing for themselves.

      Try $75k a year with a wife who doesn’t work and 2-3 children. You will need more.

    • avatar


      I think it probably depends on region. I live in AZ and my 4th child is due any day, my wife is SAHM, and we live off $60k and invest the rest of our income (truly. I know everyone says this). We are quite comfortable. Flexibility and simple needs make it easy. If we insisted on maxing out a mortgage and living the top lifestyle our salary could afford (debt), then, yes, this would not be enough.

      My pet peeve is the frugalistas, as I do think Ramit’s emphasis on earning more is where our focus should be, but so many complain about how they would be comfortable if they ‘only’ had another 10-15k more. Of course, that is the answer at every income level.

      That’s the problem.

      I try to build my business to pay my staff more, serve more people, and increase the reach of my business. No motivation for myself, I could coast from here.

    • avatar

      Jason, I could not disagree more. We have four children (expensive teenagers, at that), we live in an upscale area outside of DC, and we have never needed that much income. While our income is much higher, our yearly spending is right around $84,000 per year, including mortgage and thousands of dollars in travel each year.

      That said, we rarely eat out (because I don’t enjoy it – the food at home is always so much better), we drive older cars, and we buy most of our everyday clothes second-hand. For me, I’m glad to make those trade-offs so that we can comfortably save nearly 30% of our income and make expensive purchases when we want to.

      Just my 2cents.

  32. avatar

    1. Currently $65,000. But I just got a new job where I will be making $90,000. Woo hoo!

    2. 31 year old female in Washington DC. Technical Analyst

    3. The new income is very very comfortable. I’m not planning to get used to it though. I plan to put ~30% in Savings + 401K. I don’t want to ever feel I can’t leave a job because I’ve gotten too used to the money.

    • avatar

      Congratulations on the new job Swinglow!! That’s also great that you plan to save that much. I’m 30 and also work in DC doing security. I currently make about 43k plus another 8k a year for the military education benefits. I currently save about 25% of my income and I’d be very comfortable with a 60k dollar salary.

  33. avatar

    1. $23,000/year (plus full tuition remission for my PhD and health insurance)
    2. 25, grad student (so I research and teach one class/semester), small town in Texas.
    3. It’s very comfortable, but I’ve been house sitting for my “side job” for the past three years and so have hardly paid more than utilities and have not needed to buy furniture, dishes, etc. I travel a lot, eat well, paid off my small ($1500) student loan, and have saved $6k/year. I drive an ugly car, don’t wear fancy clothes, and have to move at least once a year. The most uncomfortable thing is that I’m not making rapid progress towards financial independence.

    • avatar

      I’d be curious to know how you find clients. (I house sit as well in a small town in Northern California)

    • avatar

      I find out (through my university) which professors will be teaching abroad and contact them directly, usually via email. I also keep my feelers out for profs on sabbatical or serving as visiting profs at other universities. Another good client: people (again, usually associated with the university) trying to sell their houses. I offer to keep the house ready to show while they’re away.

    • avatar

      Anneke, I am super-impressed with your lifestyle design. You are rockin’ it!

    • avatar

      Thanks for the encouragement, Fourgirls!

  34. avatar

    24, Cape Girardeau, MO, Missionary on University Campus

    • avatar

      And tell us what you think about seeing other people’s salaries…I am more worried about increasing my salary and business than what other people make, I have bills to pay. Actually a lot of them, I am going through three major surgeries with several months spent in the hospital.

  35. avatar

    1. £6.50 an hour
    2. 21, Northern England, Admin Assistant (only while I’m at university)
    3. I’d like £7.50, but while I’m at university I work from home, plus I’ve already negotiated recently

    I’ve just got another job in the summer as a Research Assistant at my university (thanks Dream Job!!) and that pays £9.68 an hour 🙂

    • avatar
      Mr Tim

      Interesting to see a comparatively low earner talking about how Ramit’s course had helped them. I work self-employed in the arts, and I’ve often thought that Ramit’s work probably wouldn’t help me so much when his client base seems made up of those working in IT, finance and management.

      I bring in about £6,000 a year, I’m 31, Midlands UK working as a storyteller and narrative consultant. Comfortable would be a steady £24,000

      Talking about money? Well it’s two sided. It’s been interesting to see so many people here doing so well and I don’t begrudge them that, (I expect they’re doing work I wouldn’t want to do) but I do wish I had a better plan in place for where I’m going. Other people in my field are equally happy to chat about how hard it is doing this job, but there seems a lot less talk about how to actually make it financially viable. As for sex, well I think the same goes. It’s easy to chat the good stuff, to flirt and be provocative deliberately. Harder to feel safe exploring the less positive.

  36. avatar
    Jon A

    1. 370k from 495k in revenue in 2013
    2. 31 year old independent .net/sql programmer in Phoenix AZ for myself thru LLC working from home.
    3. $100k is comfortable to support wife and daughter, only debt is 15yr affordable mortgage @ 2.75%

    • avatar

      Wow. Very impressive to get to that range at 31.

      How did you manage to become an independent worker at 31 and still pull in enough contracts?

    • avatar
      Jon A

      Thank you CB, started a contracting job for a regional bank and caught the eye of the Chief Accounting Officer. Please him and the whole C-level and when the bank failed and the leadership started their next jobs they all called me to build things for their next job. All relationships and recommendations from high-level people for my simple work, 4.5 years now and still going strong with no marketing or advertising. Only downside, I’m mostly paid for my direct efforts (besides the markup on providing staffing).

    • avatar
      Jon A

      After reading more comments.. thought I should add to this. I’m a normal guy that works hard and took steps in my career to get here and also caught lucky breaks while taking risks.
      2000: $6/hr
      2001: $10/hr
      2002: $15/hr
      2003: $20/hr
      2005: $45k/yr
      2006: $60k/yr
      2007: $72k/yr
      2008: $85k/yr
      2009: $100k/yr + $15k consulting
      2010: $100k/yr + $50k consulting
      2011: $100k/yr + $184k consulting
      2012: quit day job in June made $50k/yr + $398k consulting but worked 80 hour weeks
      2013: $370k after expenses
      2014: $162k so far this year and work 55hr/wk, life is good

    • avatar

      Here’s a question: How much of a pay cut would you take if it meant you didn’t have to work? I mean like Tim F’s 4hww.

      There’s work for me to do, but very little urgent. Everything I do is optional to build my business, so I have tons of flexibility and take a month out of town every summer.

      How many would do this if it meant cutting your income, say, in half?

    • avatar

      Jon, nice job! I’m a 30 yr old independent recruiter in NYC and love hearing about other people doing really well independently. Hopefully some of the relationships I’ve developed will become more profitable in the years to come. Congrats to you and good luck!

      1 – 200k in 2013
      2 – 30 year old independent recruiter (mainly technical, but do quite a bit in other areas) in NYC (Manhattan). Working for myself from home and sometimes onsite for clients.
      3 – I think 120k is comfortable to support my new wife and I. We rent a 1 bedroom apartment in a nice part of the city, enjoy going out to nice restaurants/bars and traveling every couple of months. Her salary alone probably covers most of our lifestyle, so we’re able to save and invest quite a bit.

    • avatar

      After thinking it through a bit more, I have to edit my #3 answer. Comfortable would have to be more like $150-160k for my wife and I in the city.

  37. avatar

    Nice starting to look like glassdoor except with real people behind the salaries instead of just numbers

    1. $105,000, $4500 stock award, 401K match up to 3%, 3 weeks vacation, High deductible medical plan
    2. 25, Seattle, working for big tech company as Software Engineer
    3. $150,000 so I can max out my after-tax 401k match in addition to my Roth and Pretax 401k, I believe in compound growth so much I didn’t even get a car so I could invest instead

    Everyone here is really impressive, it’s a real eye opener. I guess I never knew my starting salary wasn’t that high for my field because I was comparing it to gdp/capita.

    • avatar

      Hi Colin. Solid for your age…but just a heads $150,000, you’d not be able to contribute to the Roth, you’d be making too much! Good that you are doing it now while you can, I missed my window. C’est la vie. Cant complain.

    • avatar

      You absolutely can do a Roth – it’s a called a Back Door Roth – google it.

  38. avatar

    1) 59k euro ~= $81k
    2) 33 year old software test consultant in Holland
    3) I’d like to grow to 75-80k euro in the next 5 years to comfortably support our children, pay off our mortgage early (with at least 10-15k per year) and travel a bit (more)

  39. avatar

    24, Civil engineer, Riyadh – Saudi Arabia

    Annual income roughly equal to 14K

    More is always welcome. I want to be in the 40-50k range

  40. avatar
    videogame anon

    Base salary is 75k. With bonuses, overtime, et all it comes out to around 90k to 100k.
    23, software engineer/developer at a video game studio in the Bay area
    I’m comfortable with my current number (I very consciously took a pay cut to work in games, and though this is pretty standard with engineers at game studios, it doesn’t feel great). At the end of the day I would feel very comfortable with a salary of roughly 120k.

  41. avatar
    Oh Well!

    1. $50k
    2. 35 year old, female. SW Manager, at the world’s best graphics company, located in India.
    3. 50k is actually comfortable for my lifestyle. I wont mind 2x, 3x though 🙂
    I do know that I’m paid way less than my peers, and looking at the numbers below, I had a serious wtf moment, wishing I’d taken job and salary negotiations seriously. Or moved to the US.

    On a positive note – working to set up my own coaching/online business soon. So that’s going to be a completely diff ball game.

  42. avatar

    1. 25K as customer support for a tech startup + 60K with side income on my own publishing company
    2. 32, Barcelona (Spain)
    3. 200K

    • avatar

      Hey Soso

      When you mention side income with your company, how do you distribute your companie’s earnings? You pay yourself a salary or the earnings of your company are also yours?

  43. avatar

    1. Annual Income 76k, in the Northeast
    2. 33 yrs. old , CRM Administrator @ Biue Chip Manufacturing Org.
    3. Would feel comfortable at 150k , working towards that with certifications and building my portfolio of projects deployed , costs saved, and ROI gained in the organization. Also in one month going to start looking at Consulting or starting an online business and generating side income.

  44. avatar
    Andreas Rönnqvist

    I am 33 years old and work as a project manager in Sweden for our municipality. I make 62500$ per year before taxes. I hope to turn that into 100’000$ by 40.

  45. avatar

    1. 43k euros (59k USD), plus a free 750 sqft condo to live in (and 5 weeks vacation, like every other Finn)
    2. 40, Finland, Software engineer
    3. If by ‘confortable’ you mean how much is enough for my current job, then my current salary is OK in my situation (no kids).

    “And tell us what you think about seeing other people’s salaries. Anxious? Relieved? Jealous?”

    Jealous, definitely. But I guess people living in SF have much higher expenses as well…

  46. avatar

    Annual income £36,000
    49 years old, Cambridge, England. Senior Technician @ Tech Startup
    From my £36,000 I save £8,000 a year into my pension, so I live on £28,000
    Current income is comfortable – living in the UK I practice extreme frugality
    that would be unthinkable in the US. (Where I am from)
    The biggest cost is Petrol to get to work (£4,500 per year)

  47. avatar

    1) $115k
    2) 24, Manhattan, Software Engineer
    3) No number is “comfortable”. Wherever I’m at, I can always do better.

  48. avatar

    Digital Marketing Specialist outside Boston, make $34,000/year. I need to be making more like 60k, working on building up more specialized skills.

  49. avatar

    (1) CAD $103,000 + $7,000 bonus, 3 weeks vacation, 4% retirement contributions
    (2) 32, Toronto [Oakville], Senior Product Manager at a Financial Services company
    (3) This is comfortable, but I’m working on moving up to Director of Product, where I would like to receive between $135,000 and $150,000

  50. avatar

    1. $82K + up to 10% of that in commissions annually
    2. 31, proposal manager/writer for a staffing firm in Manhattan
    3. I used to make 105K plus better/bigger bonuses in DC, but I took a pay cut to get up to New York. I love my new job, my new city, and how much less stressful my life is, which gives me more time and energy to work on my freelance hussle. I would be more comfortable around 130K and very happy/comfortable with 200K.

  51. avatar
    Curiously sharing anonymously (you got me, Ramit)

    $72K + $3.5K target variable pay (USD)
    28, Midwest, Commercialization Engineer
    Current is comfortable given low cost of living here, though I’d love to get to >$100K ASAP.

    • avatar

      To build on the details… I’m more curious than anything. A little jealous, sure, but I’ve taken an active role advocating for myself (and looking at other jobs) that’s led directly to increases. Big corporations don’t always move quickly but I know I’m valued by upper management and hope to hit $80K+ this year.

      Also, for a point of reference, $75K here is equivalent to $95K in Seattle, $115K in DC, $130K in SF, and $140K to $180K in NYC. So, comparatively, it’s not too bad.

  52. avatar

    1. I make about $7,000 a year.
    2. 20 years old. I make sandwiches at the sub shop down the street in small-town Waukesha, Wisconsin.
    3. Honestly, I’d be happy with $30,000 a year. Right now I’d just be happy with financial independence. I guess I still haven’t learned to be rich yet. 🙂 But I’m getting there.

    • avatar

      Glad you shared! There are those of us who would be happy with a $30,000 a year salary, including me.

  53. avatar

    1) $175,000 w/ bonuses
    2) 31, Wisconsin, Software Developer
    3) Honestly I would easily be comfortable with $100,000? Maybe even $75,000? Somewhere around there as I have tried to keep my lifestyle inflation low. It would still be tough to take a giant step backwards even though I know I would be fine.

  54. avatar

    1. $125,000 plus 10% employer contribution to retirement fund (no match required).
    2. 37, East coast US, professor.
    3. My partner and I pay all our regular expenses out of my income and put my partner’s income toward savings, travel, fun projects, philanthropy, gifts to family and friends, etc. I’m not comfortable about money, though – I spent so long as a poor graduate student that I still can’t quite believe that checks come in every month. But at least I recognize that I don’t think there’s any amount I could earn that would stop me from being nervous about it. It’s a psychological barrier I’m working on.

  55. avatar

    1. Around $70k
    2. 28, self-employed writer/publicist, upper Midwest town where the median income is around $46k
    3. I’m thrilled! My old job paid $24k so this is great.

    I do feel jealous of all the 100k people on here, but it confirms my decision to look for financial advice on this site.

  56. avatar

    1) I make $90k+
    2) 33, Sales Manager in Boston, MA
    3) We get by on my salary with a little left over for savings – I estimate comfortable would be $110k – $120k

    I’m not surprised by the replies and I’m expecting my next career move (looks like it’s happening soon) will push me past my comfortable number, easily.

  57. avatar

    Annual income: $270K
    38 years, VP for a software and services company in Kansas City
    Salary is adequate for anything I’ve wanted thus far in life

  58. avatar

    1) $50,000 USD
    2) 27, Brownsville TX, lab technician in a startup
    3) This is comfortable because everything is so cheap here. I’d rather have more days off than a higher salary, but the salary is also about 2/3 of what I was making last year, which is… upsetting.

    • avatar
      Same Anon

      One thing I noticed looking through these salaries is that I find a really high one and think ‘wow, I could do that’ and then I look at the job title and find that it’s not worth the money to have that job, to me. I’d rather stay in the sciences and not have these massive salaries than switch to tech or project management for more money.

    • avatar

      1.) $60 k
      2.) 34 years, McAllen TX, logistics manager.
      Living in South Texas is not expensive at all compared to other parts of the country so things are good for now, but would like to be around $75k range in the next 1-2 years tops.

  59. avatar

    Annual income: $110K + bonus up to 20%
    Stats: 44, Midwest, solutions architect for an IT consulting firm.
    I would be comfortable at $200K. That number should be lower. The reason it’s not is, for a long time, I over-spent and did not really manage our family finances well. Now, with 3 kids, money seems to go out the door quickly, and I feel like I’m playing catch-up every month. If I’m honest, I want to upgrade our lifestyle as well. If I had made better decisions earlier, I could get by on less. I’m fortunate to have a good job that I like. By all measures I should be satisfied but I’m not. I also envy those like the commenter that gives generously to the less fortunate. I give some through volunteering but want to do more.

  60. avatar
    Anon E Mouse

    1. Annual salary 113k – but after bonus/stock my total comp was 132k last year
    2. 26, Seattle, PM at a tech company
    3. This is more than comfortable for my current lifestyle, very grateful. I’m young and single, saving aggressively – 70% saving rate last year.

  61. avatar
    anonymous female

    annual income: $50k with excellent benefits
    26 years old, southern california, i work at a large university as a manager of services for students. At the moment, my current salary is def comfortable (single, no kids, super cheap rent, low-maintenance car, etc). Later in life (when i choose to move to a better area, get a bigger car, etc) I think $80k would be comfortable.

    Learning other people’s salaries makes me want a job in software engineering! No, but really, the salary is just the tip of the iceberg – so for me, it raises questions. I always say; it doesn’t matter how much money you earn, it’s how you manage it. For example, I have plenty of friends who earn 2x+ more than me, but have nothing put away in savings or retirement.

  62. avatar

    1. Base salary 80k + 10% bonus
    2. 27, Validation Engineer at a Pharma company in CA
    3. Probably 100k? I really don’t know, as I feel I make less than my peers. I am comfortable where I am at now (single, no kids), but honestly I am very competitive, and want to be better than them.

  63. avatar

    Super interesting! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

    Two friends recently told me (separately) how much they make and I was shocked that with university degrees and two or more years of experience they are making 35k and 45k per year. I would have guessed much higher.

    I am a stay at home parent. My husband is a intrument engineer ( he has a diploma and completed an apprenticeship and has over ten years of work experience) and makes between 175 and 200k per year depending on bonuses.

    • avatar

      And can I just add, why the heck are so many people who feel like their ideal income is actually lower than what they’re currently making reading IWTYTBR? Clearly, they feel rich enough already.

      My ideal number is 500k per year household income. We’re tentatively planning to start a business within the next two years to accomplish that goal.

    • avatar

      “And can I just add, why the heck are so many people who feel like their ideal income is actually lower than what they’re currently making reading IWTYTBR? Clearly, they feel rich enough already.”

      It’s because having a rich life means more than having enough money to be comfortable. Just because some have more than enough money doesn’t mean they are satisfied in all other areas of having a rich life.

    • avatar
      Ramit Sethi

      Because this site is not just about making money. It never was. It’s about living a Rich Life, including careers, psychology, entrepreneurship, and social skills.

    • avatar

      What is an instrument engineer? I own laundrymats….about 60k USD. All cash

  64. avatar

    1. Less than $0 this year so far due to business loses on a spec project

    2. 36, freelancer outside of the USA

    3. $3k per month would be doable and much higher than the average and median salary in this country, and awesome from a part time effort. $5k per month would be very comfortable. $10k per month would be superb.

    Jealous of the high salaries BUT I cosole myself with the fact that as long as I live here I have access to decent national health insurance coverage which is not dependent on employment status, so that’s one less lingering fear. And the beach is a 10 minutes drive. And there are a lot of national holidays.

  65. avatar

    1) Annual Income = $61834.95 plus bonus targeted @ 5% (usually ends up around 4.5%)
    2) 35 y/o, Business Analyst, Living in Albany Oregon but work remotely for business in Michigan
    3) Would be comfortable @ 75K but to speed up the process would like 80K+.

    I should note that OR has a cost of living about 15% higher than Michigan and currently I’m living in OR on a MI wage. I’m considering a job move but working from home is very nice and convenient We are working on getting starting a business for my wife in nutritional coaching and education since she gave up a sweet gig teaching part-time at the community college in MI.

    • avatar

      Oh and seeing these other salaries makes me a bit jealous since a lot are stating they are younger them me and make significantly more. However, having said that it also makes me wonder what they do to earn such a high income since I know it’s not just luck/timing at work in most of these cases.

  66. avatar

    1. 10k equivalent
    2. 31, F, Eastern EU, consultancy department manager
    3. Despite being the double of the average wage in the region is way too low, does not cover the monthly expences of a famliy of four, without a second salary in the household life would be pretty much impossible

  67. avatar

    160k, 41, Seattle, Director @ Major Corp.
    135k+ is comfortable working for someone else.
    75k is comfortable if I worked for myself. 🙂

  68. avatar

    1. $121,000 Small software startup as a developer.
    2. 45, with wife and 3 kids, Boulder CO
    3. More is better. Kids are expensive.

    The readers here seem biased to higher salaries. Or people making more are more likely to feel OK about posting? I know this is a self selected group, probably interested in finances, so very biased. Nice way to do a survey of your readers and get more responses than from a form. You are a Jedi master Ramit.

  69. avatar
    MD in TX

    30 years old, currently making 60K as a resident physician. Will be making 244K plus production bonus once I graduate, working in Washington state. I also negotiated a 15K sign-on bonus.

    I am a physician working for a large hospital group.

    I imagine that 240K will be a hell of a lot more comfortable than 60K is.

    • avatar
      Nick MD

      I went through similar, the most important thing you can do is prevent lifestyle creep, establish your comfortable life at your 60k now, then the bonus will be better. Avoid the big house and new cars…

  70. avatar

    35, 60K Site Designer for a Large Multidisciplinary Engineering Firm in Providence RI, I’d say 120k would be comfortable.

  71. avatar

    1) If I continue to make as much as I’ve made the past couple of months, around $6k.
    2) 22, eBay reseller of vintage dolls & books (my primary income stream)/Etsy seller of crafts/writer of short stories for eBooks/etc, the suburbs between DC & Baltimore.
    3) I’d be ecstatic in the short term if I could double that. Right now I’m just barely keeping up with my share of the bills (split an apt) and it’s tough. I quit my day job 5 months ago & every month gets better, so I’m optimistic. Ideally I’d like to get up to $30-50k, though more would certainly be nice.

  72. avatar

    I’m 25 living in Kansas City making $52 plus benefits as an occupational therapist working in early intervention. I also make an extra few thousand teaching piano students. I’m comfortable with that right now as my job is flexible and not really full time allowing me to finish my doctoral degree and work on launch my own business. I would be comfortable with 100k+. And I’m Equally comfortable talking sex or money 🙂

  73. avatar
    some guy

    1) Annual income: $100K (Started out at $37K less than 2 years ago at the same company…thanks to Dream Job for the increase)
    2) 25 yrs old, manager at software/telecom company in San Diego
    3) This is comfortable, especially since I don’t have a family to support. But more is always better.

  74. avatar

    Annual income: $29k
    Stats: 34, news reporter in Northern California who is beginning an online publishing company.
    I would love to be at least $50k. I’m single, no kids and no major expenses. If I was at 50 I don’t think I would have any sleepless nights.

    • avatar

      Annual income: $57K + decent benefits as Copywriter / side gig: freelance writing income: $1-2,000k per year
      30 years old, NYC, single, no children, $30K in student debt
      Ideal income: $80K ($100K is a dream!)

      Would love to go full-time freelance eventually. Trying to ramp up the freelance writing business to achieve that goal.

      Replying to this thread to commiserate with fellow media professional!

  75. avatar

    1) $60K + $5-10K in side income
    2) 28, Boulder CO, Analyst for a small CPG startup
    3) That $100K figure is a mental block I’m trying to break through.

  76. avatar

    1. $34,000
    2. Age 43, Washington State, Park Ranger stringing together seasonal jobs with two different agencies.
    3. Since my husband is self employed and only brings in about 10K per year and I am our main bill payer, I would say that $50,000 would be comfortable. It would get us out of the paycheck to paycheck world and allow us to live where we want, travel more and save for retirement and our son’s college.

  77. avatar

    Sr Education Services Coordinator 67k. I’m comfortable where I am as long as it keeps going up.

  78. avatar

    My previous life – (until marriage at 30)
    ~$25k- no benefits, no sick days, no paid vacation/holidays
    Hourly English Foreign Language Teacher, Chicago IL
    I was living month to month trying to save 15%, but definitely wished for benefits and job security, more so than more money.

    My current life – (32)
    trophy wife with an super part time job to keep me sane –
    ~5000 euros this school year (I’m the spending money here) as an extracurricular english teacher
    Husband – $100ish take home +benefits, European vacation time, and ex-pat extras
    I think we’re comfortable with room to spare. He’d like to make more and is working towards retirement before 45. I think he’d feel comfortable at double and me in a real job, especially as we start talking about kids.

    I find this entire thread to be fascinating. I’m really surprised at how many people out there make what i consider to be A LOT. I come from a liberal arts background and would be shocked if many/any of my good friends were making over $50k. But of course, it’s relative. My husband compares himself to what he thinks his college colleagues (mostly lawyers) make and finds himself on the low end.

  79. avatar

    1) < $15,000/year
    2) 20 years old, college student, software engineering intern. I make and sell custom-built speaker cabinets.
    3) I can't give a comfortable number, since I haven't really had the full experience of living expenses + working a full time job. I'm sure my comfortable amount would fluctuate based on what my full time job will be and where I will be living.

    I wouldn't mind making $20,000 / year right now, since it would help me pay for the rest of my college education and pay off current student loans.

    • avatar

      And I’m amazed by some of the salaries I’ve seen. Perhaps even jealous. But I hope to make enough money one day to live comfortably as well as donate a percentage to charities, as another gentleman on this thread is doing.

  80. avatar

    $82K base , Target bonus $32K. 28 years old, Orange County, CA. Western Region Sales Manager. Would be “Comfortable” with $120 base and $80K bonus.

  81. avatar

    1. $90k/ year
    2. 35 yrs old, scientist at a biotech company in SF Bay Area
    3. $150k

  82. avatar

    $321.00 an hour, pro-rated more if person makes over $250,000.00 per year, much more if person is very wealthy and requires intensive consultation. I will also charge less for those in real need who are unable to afford serious money. I do a ton of free consultation on musical shows in senior housing communities etc. as ‘staff psychotherapist’ and assistant to directors too.

    51, psychotherapist/consultant with speciality in buddhist psychology and old-fashioned multiple personality, NY area. Working maybe six paid hours a week is comfortable and the limit my health wants to do right now, since some of those hours involve extreme life-and-death situations and violence and there needs to be some limit of time as well as activity.

    • avatar

      That sounds like really interesting work! Could you elaborate on what you do? I’m just curious.


      1. Maybe like $9/hour, but I am a college student with a part-time job.
      2. 21, college student in Los Angeles.
      3. I’m not sure, as I’ve never had to pay for my living expenses.

  83. avatar

    These numbers make me pretty embarrassed. So many people making 100K+. I’m pretty ashamed at how low mine is so certainly won’t be posting 🙁

    • avatar

      This is very depressing. I’m happy for the successful professionals out there, but I’m no where near these numbers.

    • avatar
      Ramit Sethi

      I find this really puzzling, especially since it’s anonymous. Other people make more than you. Maybe they’re older. Maybe they’re in a different industry. Maybe they’re better at negotiating, or just better at their jobs!

      It’s one thing to be embarrassed (which is fine), but my natural way of thinking is to say, if that’s something I want, what am I going to do to get it?

    • avatar

      “It’s one thing to be embarrassed (which is fine), but my natural way of thinking is to say, if that’s something I want, what am I going to do to get it?”

      Feeling a little floored.

      So, I got all fired up from this response Ramit, and told my self “Dammit, just do something about it!” So I was ready to go tell my Boss I would turn in my two weeks and just strike out on my own doing freelance work I didn’t have everything figured out, but figured sometimes you just need to jump and work like crazy.

      He turned around asked me what number would make me consider staying. I didn’t even know what to say, so I just threw out a 15k-20k raise. He then said he would talk to the partners and consider it. I really think he’s going to comeback with an offer somewhere close to that. Who knew getting a raise was that easy?

      Nothing is final yet, but I’ll keep you posted. That felt soo good.

    • avatar

      YAY JOE!!!!! Fingers are crossed for you!

  84. avatar
    Mike Chapman

    Look I make about $45000 a year and wish I made more.
    My sex life is great Tonya and I are open in are sex life.

    • avatar
      Ramit Sethi

      The simplest and maybe best comment of this thread

  85. avatar

    1. Anual income £23K from my full time job (which I’ve quit) and 10,000$ a month in my business which I started 6 weeks ago.
    2. 22, London, Graphic Designer
    3. Comfortable? Hmmm.. £35K but who wants comfortable?

    As I’m young – I get super excited when I see people earning a lot because it makes me want to reach that! I get put down by people in my country (portugal) who are settling for 300e a month with the excuse that times are hard.

    Love this post!

    • avatar

      Hey Joana

      I am 23 and I’m also starting my own business.

      Congratulations for reaching the 10k so fast! I have a few questions if you don’t mind sharing :).

      1. How do you handle your company’s earnings, do you pay yourself a salary or do your company’s earnings are your earnings?
      2. Are you in Earn1k?
      3. What system would you recommend to follow the lead to contract process?


  86. avatar

    I’m 28 and make $36,500 at a marketing company doing writing and PR. I live in a city of 350,000

  87. avatar

    Salary: $90K a year
    32 years old, Seattle, Project Management with a large construction company
    Happy with my current income, but wouldn’t turn down more 🙂
    $75K and up is comfortable for what I do

    • avatar

      I should also point out that while I’m a little jealous and somewhat floored by the salaries I’m seeing posted here, the big takeaway for me is that there is money out there to be made, and a lot of it. You just need to be smart about the industry you pick, the skills you develop, the ‘roadmap for success’ that you create for yourself, and most of all have the guts to go after it if it’s what you really want. Like the saying goes, “There is no failure, only feedback.” Congrats to everyone going after what they want and making that good money!

  88. avatar

    1.) 66K
    2.) Age 42 in Cleveland Oh working as a Systems Administrator for a Health System
    3.) 100k

    Would like that 100k since my husband hasn’t worked in 3 years. I am a bit surprised with the salaries. Makes me think that after being in IT for 22 years that I should be making more.

  89. avatar

    250 k (Salary) +Distributions (800k)
    I want to make less in salary this year. But I’d be comfortable when my company hits $15 mm mark.

    • avatar

      I’ll be 24 this year

    • avatar

      Awesome accomplishment at such a young age.

    • avatar

      This is impressive at 24. But one question: How much time do you have for your personal life?

    • avatar

      How on earth did you get to your position at your age?
      This is amazing, and I want to hear your story.

    • avatar
      Almost $300k

      Has to be friend or family’s business, BS, or own company.

      You don’t get hired in corporate america at 24 to be a CFO.

      Congrats though, enjoy!

    • avatar


  90. avatar

    One of my US friends were really surprised to find out, how we, in (certain parts) of Europe can talk about it as much as some other people can talk about wheater…
    I don’t see any big deal about it, and so doesn’t any of my friedns or family…

  91. avatar

    Wow, are you ever right about salary discussions making you feel bad about your life!

    I’m 42, make $53k CDN per year. My husband makes the same. We’re quite comfortable with our combined incomes, but i can see how others might not be.

    We’re on track to be debt free (mortgage included) in the next few years, and after that we’ll be VERY comfortable. We’ve got a good retirement plan, so the next decade of earning will subsidize more discretionary and ‘fun’ spending than necessities.

    If I lived in the US, I wouldn’t be comfortable with less than $100k each annually , as I’d be terrified of being wiped out by a sudden medical emergency. Here in Canada, that’s a comfort level I have that’s worth a lot to me.

  92. avatar

    $65k USD
    24, Chicago, Project Manager (Technology)
    Pretty comfortable where I am at now as far as compensation

  93. avatar

    Income: 38K/year
    Age: 34
    Job: Cancer researcher

  94. avatar
    J Lopez

    Brand specialist, Dallas, 36, 110,343

  95. avatar

    1. $45K + All living expenses (rent, utilities)
    2. 32, Northern Virginia, Logistics Manager for Commercial and Govt contracting start up.
    3. I’m comfortable where I am, but far from content or satisfied.

    Seeing other salaries confirms how underpaid I am, but every situation is different and I only want to compare my past and present self.

    • avatar

      I would add in the cost of rent and utilities as your “real” salary. So, even if your rent was cheap at 1k per month and utilities were 300, you are actually making $60,600. Furthermore, you are not being taxed on the extra 15,600, so you should multiply the 15,600 by whatever your effective tax rate on the additional would be–around 20%, so REALLY it’s an extra 18,720 and your “real” salary would be 63,720. If they pay for your car and gas too, that’s another 300 to 600 per month that you are “making” and not being taxed on. Hopefully that cheers you up about it!

  96. avatar

    60k from current position. Starting my own side business soon.

    24 year old Information Security Analyst 1 at a Hospital in Salem Oregon

    Goal is trying to reach 100k between side job and current position in 2 years.

  97. avatar

    Annual Income: 25k
    24 years old, Core Banking Software Consultant in Colombia South America
    75k triple current amount and I’d be happy down here…

    Definitely a wake up call..

    • avatar

      Hey SD

      Qué tal? Soy Simón y tengo 23. Yo soy de Colombia pero vivo en Costa Rica.

      Es difícil encontrar gente interesada en negocios a nuestra edad. El hecho de que leas ITW ya es buena señal.

      Estás en alguno de los cursos premium? Sería genial charlar de negocios con el contexto de este lado del mundo!

  98. avatar

    Income: 38K/year
    Stats:34, molecular biologist, cancer researcher, Durham, NC
    Goals: Comfortable income: at least 100K but the sky is the limit. I’d like to get involved in a startup.

  99. avatar

    1. 77,500
    2. Stats: Your age: 30
    location Pacific northwest
    job title: Software Engineer in the web stack (ruby, rails, javascript, ember)
    3. What number would be “comfortable” for you? 100,000

  100. avatar

    1. 16 K
    2. 28, India
    3. Well anything more will be fine. Even now I am fine.

  101. avatar

    Primary Income: $73K (CAD – Civil Engineering Designer)
    Secondary Income: $25K (Real Estate and Consulting)

    48 Years Old in New Jersey with no college education

    I am comfortable with my current income but after a nasty divorce 8 years ago I still have a long way to go before I can retire.

  102. avatar
    Some guy in England

    1) 42,000 GBP + 5k GBP bonus
    2) West midlands United Kingdom, 28 y/o software developer in the manufacturing industry
    3) I’d be financially stable at a much lower salary, but clearly I’m aiming to increase my income.

    And as for what I think by this exercise and other’s salary — I’m definitely jealous of those my age or younger making much more, so this serves as social proof that it’s not unreasonable for me to make big salary asks.

    The only friends I ever discuss salary with are those that I know make quite a bit (MBAs, consultants etc.) because I know I will be making something similar (and won’t embarrass anyone).

    @Ramit, do you have any friends that discuss salary openly (in a non-arrogant way), and if so, what are your observations of these people? (eg: are those that are open about discussing salary more likely to increase it consistently?). I wonder if it’s similar to posting a “before” picture on the internet in your underwear before undergoing a fat loss journey — not something many feel comfortable with, but may help in the long run.

  103. avatar

    1. Stipend of 1800/month, so 21,600/year. I take home about 17k of that

    2. 28, physics student and research lab programmer/assistant in Durham, NC.

    3. I’m not sure. I’ve never made over 25k since I started working at 19, and that was with 5 jobs at once. The most luxurious lifestyle I can see myself accepting wouldn’t need more than 40k, and the bulk of that would be going into savings.

  104. avatar

    1.) Annual Income 70k
    2.)40 and a new mommy! 🙂 Marketing Manager for a tech company, starting a marketing consulting business as a side biz
    3.) Should be at 90k + for what I do. Going back to school for some grad certs to help bridge gaps in my resume to take me to that next level and better reposition myself in the marketplace, make more money and SAVE!!!

  105. avatar

    1. $10k a year
    2. 22, Colorado/Iowa/International, student graduating soon
    3. $50k

  106. avatar

    1. 190k
    2. Lead software engineer at a little tech startup in Mountain View (no, not Google – *actually* little)
    3. Comfortable? Dunno. Maybe 150k? It’s expensive out here and I have a family.

  107. avatar

    Annual Gross income: 76k
    25 yr. old Occupational Therapist in Philadelphia, PA – full time in Early Intervention (children 0-3)
    I am comfortable, just bought a house independently. I support my boyfriend in college and we have 2 cars, 2 dogs, and I will be going back to school for my doctorate. I would be more comfortable with 90k+ (or 2 incomes at least!)

  108. avatar


    I live in Brazil so I’ll have to put the currency conversion used:

    Today Us$ 1.00 = R$ 2.25

    1) Anual Income: Us$ 58613.33
    2) 36, Campinas (BR), Project Manager for software company in Insurance market
    3) Us$ 90,000.00 would be comfortable….

    Sucks, hum…


  109. avatar

    $160k + stock bonus that may range from $50k-$150k, depending on stock performance.

    36, I am moving to the SF bay area for this job at IT tech company (not Google or Facebook) into Strategy and Market growth position.

    I think this is comfortable but not high at all given the cost of living in the region.

  110. avatar

    Self employed consultant just starting out and my projected income this year is $40,000 CDN. I am 24, Calgary Alberta, business development.
    I am curious to see what others put and I am aiming to make $100,000/year in my combined businesses.

  111. avatar
    non-profit gal

    What’s your annual income? £23500
    Stats: Your age, location, job title: 33, South East of England, Marketing for a non-profit
    What number would be “comfortable” for you? £30,000

  112. avatar
    Lei Lani

    I earn more than just money, but my salary is $49,920 per year. I am 49 years young, and I am an engineer/CFO/CIO, etc. at a small (4 person) engineering firm in Hampton, VA. I am comfortable with what I pay myself, even though it is VERY low by industry standards, and we have very good non-monetary benefits (as I try to justify my low salary to myself and others!) Good point, Ramit…

  113. avatar
    That lady

    Annual Salary $130K. 33 years old. Director of Finance, mid-sized government contractor, Washington DC. With my husbands salary (~$70K), we’re fairly comfortable, and almost never worry about money.

    • avatar
      That Lady

      Reading other comments reminds me both of how far I’ve come (A little over 5 years ago before I started with my current company, I was making $44K), and how I can still work to make more. I’ve made negotiating my salary a priority over the past 4 years, even getting a $29K raise when I moved to my current position a few months ago.

    • avatar
      New girl

      Thats awesome- congrats on negotiating. I feel terribly cliche, as a woman who doesn’t negotiate at all. That takes balls.

  114. avatar

    1. 57K as an account coordinator for a Call Center + estimated 15-20K from new eCommerce startup,

    2. 25, Florida, Account Coordinator

    3. I am comfortable now and would be at much less – what is important to me is the lifestyle I can lead while bringing in the income. Which is exactly what I am focusing on by starting my most recent business.

  115. avatar

    1) $104k salary.

    2) 26, UX Designer for a tech startup in Austin, TX

    3) $70k+ is comfortable (but I’m single and don’t have kids)

  116. avatar
    Adventuring Nomad

    1) $15k.

    $12k from working with various agencies doing event marketing. Approx $3k from side hustle (aka building my own business via a coaching practice & purpose acceleration program).

    2) 24. (SF & PHX) More accurately I have become a Digitial nomad. Traveled across the US for 2 months on a work tour & to Europe for over a month for personal adventure tour.

    I realize I am experiencing what I value & am grateful for that much.

    3) $80k is my next ideal step.

    I’ve taken an alternative approach to life. I know that & genuinely feel so wealthy in most areas beyond money (relationships, experiences, memories, love, impact, legacy).

    That said, I do want to open up to greater abundance in a financial manner as well. My personal coaching practice is gaining momentum – now the important thing is elevating my imagination to what I belief I can earn from the massive impact I make.

    How I feel from reading others..

    Inspired. Humbled.

    It’s awesome some of you are banking the high incomes that you are. It inspires me that one can graciously receive that amount of value. I’m humbled by seeing the transitions many are making, the sacrifices some take on to make what they do, & the possibility that exist for myself plus everyone else.

  117. avatar

    What’s your annual income?
    $159k USD

    Stats: Your age, location, job title
    31, Virginia, Software Engineer

    What number would be “comfortable” for you?

  118. avatar

    1. 39k about 10k from my production business. Less than what I was making in the Air Force, but I’m so free right now, and doing something different

    2. Currently in Las Vegas, 24 yrs old working in corporate finance for big company.

    3. I’m technically comfortable, I don’t have many expenses and I save a lot, but let’s be real.. 39k ain’t nothing really. I need like 100k..once I get that, I’ll want more… I cannot believe how many ppl are making high six figures! Proud of y’all. I’ll get there too. You guys are making me reconsider an MBA and go learn engineering or something.

  119. avatar
    Alexander Heyne

    Interesting – these comments are VERY skewed because…

    The only people responding are the ones who are making (objectively) “a lot” of money.

    Most others making less than 50k are probably like me: why would I respond? I have nothing impressive or to brag about.

    Annual income: 32k.
    Comfortable income: Around 50-60k (while still in my 20s and unmarried).

    • avatar

      my income is 32K, go us for being brave! haha

  120. avatar

    1. $57,000
    2. 33, Education administrator for a private school in Chicago
    3. $75,000 would be comfortable, but I find it interesting you said “comfortable”. $75k does it for me because, right now, the things that make me comfortable don’t cost an awful lot. But with an extra $1,000/month, I could afford to be a little more carefree and spontaneous.

  121. avatar
    Joseph Boscoe

    17,888.00 anual income.
    Never had sex
    Lost a job for 1 year
    8k hospital
    8k credit
    25k house
    Thase are my debts.
    COL 1400 to 1600/ month basics. Lights,Heat Water, Sewer, Gas ,clothes, FOOD for my family

  122. avatar

    1) $350k gross commissions and fees. $75K net after all business expenses, etc. $36K as a director of a small public co. Another $15K from rental, vending biz and other small side gigs. Total: $126K. No paid vacation. No paid sick leave. No other benefits or perks but total flexibility and control of my time.
    2) 48, independent financial adviser, Owner, 3 part-time employees. Hawaii.
    3) $250K net would be really comfortable.

  123. avatar
    Jonathon Barton

    1) $64k + 45k
    2) 46, Denver, IT System Administrator @ Denver International Airport and 26, Denver, IT Dedicated Desktop Support @ CU Boulder.
    3) We’re plenty comfortable on my salary alone, but I know that we’ll have a lot more (high 5 figures) earning power in 8-10 months when we have more experience supporting the (fast growing) ServiceNow system we started administering 4 months ago if we want to continue being an employee, and substantially more than that if we get into the hustle of being a consulting team.

  124. avatar
    Speaking of sex...

    1) I make:
    $700-1000/month from my books
    $300/hr as a sex coach, thanks to our culture being afraid of sex
    $100/hr for phone consultations

    2) I’m 33, female, I “live” in 3 different US cities, and job title? Fuck jobs.

    3) I would be comfortable with much less, like $10k/year, but I wouldn’t be comfortable with a job or a full time business model.

    • avatar

      What route did you take to become a sex coach/therapist? It’s something I’ve considered for a while. My background is all over the place — undergrad in art with a Spanish minor, currently working in corporate marketing for a major retailer. I’ll be 35 this year, single female, living in Los Angeles.

  125. avatar
    Another Anon

    1) $70k + bonus (last year was $5k)
    2) 40, Wisconsin, Vice President – Operations for a construction company
    3) With a stay-at-home wife and 2 young kids, $100k would help. But comfortable? $150k+

    Construction industry is slowly recovering and hopefully my income will increase 10-20% in the next few years. Surprised by some salaries (especially IT/coding) but I really like where I live and what I do. We live below our means and have significant savings (over $100k) and retirement/college funds (over $250k).

  126. avatar

    23 years old, Washington, D.C., Program Analyst @ Government
    Current income is underpaid. Earns only 43k.

    • avatar

      Let me add up little bit on here.

      I do have side business that I generates at least $150 dollars monthly (started on last January). However, within a year and half – I’m schedule to make at least 75,000, working as Program Analyst for the Government. Aside from the government job, I am pushing hard to move up my side business (network marketing business).

      Currently applying Google’s Community Partnership, hopefully, I’d be fortunate to get into this legitimate program for a year.

      As I do not know any of you, and I am not sure if anybody on this bulletin board can relates this with me. I’m Deaf employee and the government job is my first job coming out of Gallaudet on last May 2013.

      I do live by its mean, such as owned a paid for car, paid off 80% of my debt since November 2013 (19k in student loan) before press the acceleration shift toward investments and savings within two months.

      Any tips would be much appreciated.

  127. avatar

    Annual 40k
    Prospects of 2500-5000 in bonuses
    25 years old Store Manager in Los Angeles

    In the middle of finishing my B.S. Biz Admin

    120k would be comfortable, I am recently engaged ( Fiancé’s annual is 40k ) we have loans and debt to pay off. My Fiancé’s passion is writing, I want her home so she can pursue her passion.

    • avatar

      Comfortable would be 200k yearly.

  128. avatar

    1. $40,000/year
    2. 21, Office Assistant at a Tech Start-Up, San Francisco
    3. I would feel more comfortable at $50,000 as I’m still paying my way through school and trying to maintain a social life. I haven’t taken out a student loan yet for school, but probably will have to soon.

  129. avatar

    Annual income: 33K
    28 yrs old, Alexandria VA, Purchasing Clerk @ contracting company in Reston,VA
    Comfortable income is 85K+
    Goal income is 350K using all my planned avenues of revenue.
    Currently researching my startup.

    • avatar

      Don’t have a problem seeing other salaries at all or talking about it. I realized my position and know what I need to do to get there. See those salaries means that there is money to be made.

    • avatar

      Great goals Ash. Keep them in front of you – eat, sleep and give life to them with your words, actions and thoughts. Be. Do. Have. Aloha!

    • avatar

      Great outlook!

  130. avatar

    Annual Income:132K
    36 Software Engineer SF Tech
    130K comfortable

  131. avatar

    I am a 27 year old Mechanical Engineer making $160,000/year in the Nuclear Industry.
    Have a side business that is just beginning to gain traction, but not paying me yet.
    My income is comfortable, but I desire much more; not solely for material gain, but to increase my ability to help others and invest in any one of the many business ideas I have.
    However, if I could make $80,000 and set my hours or work from home; I would not hesitate to take the cut in pay as freeing up time to spend on things that I care about or with my family is far more valuable.

  132. avatar

    Income: 15k, which is less than half than last year. Freelance graphic designer since one year (hence the hopefully momentary drop).
    34 years old.
    I would be very confortable with 50 k

    I do not know what feelings I get from seeings some figures here.
    With such incomes, I would probably retire within 5 years and still upgrade my lifestyle. But I would certainly still be doing about the same thing, maybe with some travelling.
    Making my own mountain to climb, as stupid as it may look.

    Weird, I would have guessed that this blog readership to be young graduates with middle to low incomes.
    Or maybe they are in majority, but do not share?

  133. avatar

    This is a really interesting social experiment. I’m quite shocked by how much people are earning. It would be fascinating to know whether people earning less are less likely to post and therefore filtered out. Does the more you earn mean you are more likely to share even though you are anonymous?

    I earn
    1) £57,000 + bonus (£14,000 last year) = £71,000 ($113,000 approx USD)
    2) 28, Software Sales/Account Manager, London
    3) Honestly £50,000 – I’m comfortable now and can save. For me comfort is really about not being tied to a job though so I’m a long way off that.

  134. avatar

    111K + 10-15% bonus
    34 year old, Raleigh-Durham, Working for an Analytics company
    200k+ would help me think of early retirement

  135. avatar
    Anonymous Coward

    132K, 10% bonus
    24 yrs old, software engineer at SV company
    comfortable, will be more so once I’ve payed off the debt of bad decisions past

  136. avatar

    Annual Income: 56K. Dietitian at a large corporation.

  137. avatar

    $64200 salary + vesting in ~$20k in stock per yr (depending on stock price at time of vesting which tends to fluctuate by ~$100 through out the yr)

    27 yrs old, Network Admin for massive e-commerce website

    Despite tripling my salary over the last 3 yrs,my income isn’t quite comfortable yet partly due to my past spending. My wife and I are currently trying to dig our way out of debt along with her quitting her job last month to stay home for a little bit with our new born. I would be comfortable with $100k base with my stock bonus every yr. Would love to start up a side gig but just haven’t come up with that great idea yet.

    • avatar

      Ask your wife why she married you and what are your best abilities!

      I asked my wife and it was incredible to see how she saw.

      Play of your strengths

  138. avatar

    1) $80K/year + ~10% annual bonus
    2) 29, Twin Cities, MN – Engineer for a mid-sized medical device company
    3) We live comfortably. But… my wife also works and we have a young child we don’t see much except on weekends since we’re at work most of our child’s waking hours. I would like to earn at least double what I earn putting in 75% of the time or less while allowing my wife to stay at home if she wants…or not, if she wants to work (she loves her work, but it doesn’t pay great).

    Overall, this makes me feel proud because I’m earning more at 29 than my parents ever did. It also makes me strive to earn more because I know it is possible and I am capable of it.

    Seeing others’ income doesn’t really surprise me. Many earn more than me and many earn less but I think some of that is a function of location (Bay area vs midwest vs third world). What I find more interesting is that I was always curious about what my friends make (I can guess, but some are harder to pinpoint). Now I realize that even if I knew, it probably wouldn’t surprise me and it doesn’t affect me either, so who cares? Why did I care in the first place?

  139. avatar

    82K annually. Statistician.
    Washington DC.

    Comfortable would probably be 130K.

    This is sad as all the jobs connected to Finance etc, which do not necessarily create anything new, just transfer wealth and so well paid. But a cancer researcher makes 34K? Sick

    • avatar

      A lot of jobs in finance are not automatically wealth transfers. The bulk of finance employees aren’t bankers, HF (in which case I agree with you), they’re people who manage the financial statements and reporting of the worlds companies, which is a necessary part of business. As a finance cog in a big company wheel, it’s ridiculous how much effort goes into getting the books closed each month.

  140. avatar

    28 yr old female, Sr. Healthcare Consulatant based out of Phoenix, AZ

    $95k+20% annual bonus.

    Not dissatisfied with income at this point but would be more comfortable at $150k

  141. avatar
    Justice Wordlaw IV

    Chicago, IL
    $60,500/ per year
    Director of Digital Marketing
    I would of be comfortable at $85,000 per year.

  142. avatar

    115 k… 28 days paid vacation.. clinical pharmacist in Detroit, MI..

    90 K and up is good for me.. pretty nice hours and work every 3rd weekend.. NEVER bring home work with me.

    • avatar

      forgot to include I started this job at 24 and I am currently 26

  143. avatar
    Atlanta Guy

    Annual: 118k base plus bonus
    40, Global IT Strategist in Atlanta
    Comfortable number: Hard to say, right now 150-200k would be good.

    Seeing other comments, I feel a couple of things
    1) Any jealousy/envy is fleeting because I know that I can make changes to get to the next level
    2) Realizing that I’ve possibly over stayed my current position and will need to plan around the skills I need to a) either switch companies for a 30-40%+ bump that I know is out there or b) start something on the side and build it to the point where I can just quit or negotiate for a severance package at some point.

  144. avatar

    36, s/w engg for a mid size co in sf bay area.
    given that we are a single income family living in silicon valley, we’d be more comfortable in the 220k range

  145. avatar
    David Robertson

    1. Annual income 169k
    2. Age 36, Moorpark, CA Sr. Account Executive at a mortgage company.
    3. Comfortable is 250k, still trying to get to that mark.

    Thank you so much Ramit, this was very eye opening!

  146. avatar

    30 years old. Client Services Coordinator at a large Commercial Real Estate Company. $38K +bonus. $60K would be comfortable. Reading everyone else’s posts is depressing…

  147. avatar
    NGO Guy

    Annual income: $42,000
    27 years old, Program Coordinator for an international development NGO/non-profit, Washington, DC
    I’m comfortable now, but I’d like to at least get up to $50,000 so I can save more.

    • avatar
      NGO Guy

      Seeing other people’s salaries is frustrating for me, as I feel stuck. I’m currently taking math classes and thinking about going back to grad school to gain more quant skills so I’m more valuable. I like my work being involved with international issues, but also would like to make more money, specifically as I hope to start a family.

  148. avatar

    1.I made 44k last year after taxes
    2.I am 24 was a captive insurance agent
    3. Recently married just moved new baby and new business. I am comfortable at 50k but i will make $142,789.00 this year after taxes of course

    • avatar

      I am from El paso TX

  149. avatar
    Young and Dumb

    1. Last year I made 23k doing menial labor
    2. 19 years old, Princeton NJ, Massage Therapist at a spa
    3. I’d like to reach 100k in the next 1-2 years.

  150. avatar
    Why Not

    Annual (2014 estimate): Between 200k-225k depending on hours booked
    Side work+Affiliate income: 50k
    44 yrs old
    Database Architect/developer/BI Developer – “Just call me data!” Consultant.
    NYC, NY
    200k is comfortable.
    How I feel about others incomes? I don’t know really. Some I say – wow, maybe I should look into that field, others I say could do better by making a change.

  151. avatar

    Job #1-Large balance debt collector: 40 hours weekly, 47.5k yearly average depending on commissions
    Job #2-Nightclub bouncer: 16 hours weekly, 32k yearly, mostly made in tips.

    I’m 26, living in Seattle WA.

    Wow… I’m beginning to feel priced out of the IWT readership… I guess since I’ve been following Ramit since his Stanford days when I was still in school I expected there to be more students/low salary people on here looking for a leg up. After reading the comments I’m starting to feel like I’m in the wrong place for help, like the crowd here is all already way beyond my skills making 100k plus. I know that probably a fallacy and wont change me using the IWT material to improve myself, but the feeling is still there when I read this, which surprised me.

    • avatar

      I get you… kinda feeling that way myself.

    • avatar

      i retired early at 42 and i still read IWT. i think you should take it as a very good sign that so many people making bank are here — if they’ve done well for themselves, they’re probably on top of their game, and if they’re hanging around IWT, it must be a good place to be.

      also, some of these comments reveal how quickly you can go from making okay money to good or great money in a short amount of time.

  152. avatar
    The Dragon Overlord

    1) £27k

    2) 24 years of age, BI Analyst at an insurance company in Surrey (outskirts of London)

    3) At this stage of my life, I am earning a comfortable amount of money. I have the money and ambition to do the things I want to do in life, so I can’t complain really.

  153. avatar
    danger mouse

    About 35k a year- working part-time
    34, IT in Chicago
    This is actually pretty comfortable- I make it work

    Seeing other people’s salaries- I feel a tinge of competitiveness, and a desire to make more, but then I remember that money isn’t everything for me. I once made >100k consulting for a big firm, and it was the unhappiest I have ever been. I work part-time and on my terms. I’m free to pursue things I never had the time to pursue before, and I get to spend time with my kids that I’ll never get back.

    Sure I’m not saving/investing/earning what I wish I was, but that’s just my season right now.

  154. avatar

    1. 135,000
    2. 39, producer for a television shopping show
    3 . 200,000

  155. avatar

    Age 35, Game Producer
    105K base with roughly 50-100% bonus based on sales performance.
    Numbers are pre-tax.

    Currently pretty comfortable with my income; reviews are coming up which should boost the salary number and a big project shipped which will boost the profit share, so I cannot complain.

    That said, I do need to keep the number private, particularly the bonus as it is very atypical.

  156. avatar

    I’m at 37K pre-tax, bi-yearly bonuses add a small bit to that
    32, in Seattle, a manager at a boutique cleaning company
    Comfortable income would be $70,000 +

    Seeing everyone’s income (thanks all for sharing!) is incredible. There’s a chasm between me and that majority of others sharing and I’m starting to think I’ve been selling myself short, not asking to be compensated appropriately for what I do. Well, that, and why the eff am I not in technology?! There’s money all over the place there!

    Ramit, thanks for this.

  157. avatar

    Annual income: $40K
    23 years old, San Diego, graduated college 8 months ago. Business development / content strategy at a marketing agency.
    Not happy with $40K (I’ve got $30K in student loans to pay damnt!). I’d be more than “comfortable” at $80K, which I hope to achieve in the next 3 years.

    But honestly, my goal is to have $30K of student loans paid off by the time I’m 26. It’s so incredibly stressful having that much debt hanging over me, with only a $40K salary. Anyone else feeling this way? Seems like most commenters are a bit older than myself (and making bank! 🙂

    p.s. current Zero to Launch student, so I’m hoping to get to that number soon enough

    • avatar

      I’m 23 and make about 40k. i don’t have any student loan debt and i’m still stressed. I live in DC where the cost of living is one of the highest in the country (im sure san diego isn’t cheap either). I’m expecting to pay ~$1,000 (this is lowish) per month in rent which is almost half my take home pay. Factor in my car payment, groceries, transportation.. there isn’t a whole lot to save/spend for fun.

      if you’re on this website, you probably have a good head on your shoulders and are financially responsible, so good job and good luck.

  158. avatar

    1. My annual income is $31,000
    2. I’m a 23 year old administrative assistant
    3. The salary I have is comfortable for me. More of course would make me even more comfortable.

    I did not get hung up on the number while writing. I did get hung up typing my title since I feel more like I do more work than the normal assistant, but you would never know unless you worked with me or heard me talk about the job.

    I ask people all the time what their salary is for the industry they work in just for curiosity sake. I don’t want their job. I don’t want to judge them. I just want to compare salaries and jobs in my mind for the work environments which allow me to figure how and/or why they get that number. Some feel comfortable answering that question, some get sensitive and anxious which reveals more to me than anything. I easily share my salary amount and did so even when I was server.

  159. avatar

    Between my husband and I, his part-time retail job, fashion design, me running shipping and website, still less than 40-50k/year! Waaaay below these people here, still trying to figure it out. Trying to do it without working for someone else, but it seems that may be the way to go to get started! YIKES! I don’t share because it’s embarrassing that I am SO OBVIOUSLY missing something. I know there are people our age (25 and 30) who are creating success, and it’s not the talent that’s lacking here. Just utterly horrible at building a business I guess. Comfortable would just be debt free. We have ave about $5000 to go to get there. Ideally though, we will eventually be making millions. So many people do it, and we have BIG plans. Just… HOW?? Right now it’s just trial and error.

    • avatar

      Just read the responses again… Like WTH!!!!!!?!??! Racking my brain right now…….

  160. avatar

    1. I honestly don’t know. My last corporate job was in 2009 and I made $75k. Lots of experiments, travels and freelance gigs since. I just started my consulting business fall 2013 and still growing it. I only worked 4-5 months in 2013 and my tax return was based on $18k in freelance income. For 2014 I think I’m on track for $70k.
    2. 30, NYC, strategy and marketing consulting
    3. Would be comfortable with $100k.

    • avatar

      forgot to say, that seeing the higher salaries make me feel jealous b/c i want to be there. and down on myself b/c i know i could be there but have just taken some different paths the last few years. and then encouraged b/c i wouldn’t trade the paths i’ve taken for anything and am now focused on making more so i can do more.

      seeing the lower salaries remind me that i’m doing fine and can certainly do with much less and am grateful for where i am.

  161. avatar

    1. 58k (pre-tax)
    2. 30; Columbus, OH; IT Consultant (Business Intelligence)
    3. I’ve always lived within my means, so however much I’m making right now is what I’m comfortable with. If I ever get the inkling that I am uncomfortable with my income, I find a way to get a raise. For me it’s not about the number, it’s about what I want to be able to do with the money. With that said, my “comfort zone” right now is 98k (pre-tax).

  162. avatar

    Annual Income: 84K
    33 yrs old, Los Angeles @ a medium sized company with a consumer facing website
    Like the people I work with, lots of perks like flexible hours and vacation. I really wish I was saving more though. Really want to make 100K to be comfortable. Currently trying to get a promotion.

    • avatar

      I forgot to mention my job title: Front-End Engineer

  163. avatar

    1. $54k
    2. 22, Mechanical Engineering INTERN for an SLA 3D printing company in Boston…I wish I had known about Ramit before negotiating this up, so I could have gone further.
    3. $120K. This number depends and would likely go up as I get older and start a family. Also because of my strong ethnic heritage ties, I would like to be able to support not only my kids but also my parents. Ideally, 100% of this would come from multiple passive income sources so that I would not be dependent on someone else for my sole source of income.

    Looking at others posts, I know I am financially better off than some, but also feeling like I know I can do and will do much better than I currently am doing.

  164. avatar

    1. 120k

    2. 26, NYC, Account Manager, Google Ad Sales

    3. 180 – 200k would be comfortable for NYC (could buy an apartment and save more), but my current salary would feel comfortable almost anywhere else for those same goals.

    • avatar
      why not

      Agreed on the 180-200 for NYC being comfortable. EXPENSIVE city to say the least. As a consultant who has done a bit of travel throughout the US – at the same rate I charge to be in NYC I have been constantly surprised at the difference in lifestyle you can have elsewhere for the same income. How people (and I know many) can actually live here – not “exist” but live here – on less than 100k is beyond me. Further, I am born and raised NYC – not a transplant.

  165. avatar

    $240K (+/- from bonus)
    26, LA, Fashion Tech startup
    This is more than comfortable. I don’t see adding 10s of thousands as ‘life changing’ so would say that targeting 7 fig income is the next goal.

  166. avatar

    1. Current income 55,000
    2. 26 yo Speech Language Pathologist
    3. Comfortable : 85,000

  167. avatar
    Malcolm Ocean

    Ramit, I’m really curious who the “we” is in the story, that invited your friend and his new significant other out. You and your SO? Or…?

    Anyway, really loving the vulnerability and openness here. I just forwarded that email to my partner. We just started officially being in a relationship last week, and we were quite explicit in designing that relationship. We haven’t said “I love you” yet, although I think it would be cool to have a conversation about what that very-loaded phrase might mean for each of us.

    I’m a student, software developer, and entrepreneur, who made about $50k last year and will be making I’m-not-sure-how-much this year because unlike last year where I spent 8 months doing software internships for ~$40/h in the Bay Area, this year I’ve got more school and I’m spending the summer working for myself on a startup as well as freelancing.

    I’m skimming some others’ statuses and I notice I’m not comparing myself that much with them, so it’s mostly just interesting.

    For now, I haven’t been thinking so much about a comfortable income, but a kind of minimum income—how much would I need to be able to support myself on my own so that I don’t have to go “get a job” which is <$15k on a studenty budget (aside from tuition). To be very honest, I don't think I'm calibrated about what would actually be "comfortable." I'd love to be able to travel to San Francisco much more regularly, and elsewhere around the world, and I'd like to feel a bit more financial security… I think at this point what feels most important about "comfort" is having the power to decide how I spend my time.

  168. avatar

    ~£65k, google conversion came up ~$110k. I’m 30, live in London, work as a business analyst in an investment bank (on a contract so no benefits).

    I don’t have kids so this for me is comfortable, I save/invest around 20% of my income anyways and only work around 10 months a year.

  169. avatar

    24, Consultant for government contractor in sunny San Diego
    doing alright for now but would like at least 60-70K within the next couple of years

  170. avatar

    1. $32,000
    2. Stats: 28, Central, NY , Telecommunications Assistant
    3. $52,000 a year annual salery would be comfy.

  171. avatar

    1. $86,000 + 5% Bonus + $18,000 Net Rental Income. Note: In Canada after tax and deductions the $86,000 turns into $56299.70 depositied into my account.
    2. 30, Edmonton Canada, Marketing Manager
    3. $114,300 would be comfortable. We will get closer as my wife starts working this year. (She’s been finishing up school) This would let us Travel, Entertain, Eat Out, Invest 10% – 22%, Give 3 % to charity, purchase more rental property and live very comfortably.

  172. avatar

    24 years old.
    Economics consultant.
    Make $104k.
    $100k is very comfortable.
    Don’t like my job. Thinking of moving to a startup where I’d take a 50% pay cut. Scared of that.

    • avatar

      Forgot to mention – Boston, MA. I save about 35% of my take-home currently. Huge pay cut would mean lifestyle downgrades and saving a lot less.

    • avatar

      What don’t you like about your current position? Are you currently in Boston or the suburbs? I’m currently feeling around as well and am north of Boston.

    • avatar

      Mostly culture. Leave an email and I’ll send you a message if you’d like to chat.

  173. avatar

    24 year old Bartender, East Village in Manhattan
    ~$100,000 would be comfortable for my location, but I aspire and am working to way more than that

  174. avatar

    Holy hell people! Those are some salaries!

    1) Mine annual income is $82,400.
    $57,200 (Salary) + $25,200 (Money I make in rent – I have 3 room-mates.)

    2) I’m 25, and I work as a data analyst at a big oil and gas company in Calgary, AB. I just finished my first year, so 1 years experience.

    3) Comfortable would be around $120,000 – this would make sure I can pay my mortgage, travel twice a year, spend up to $10,000 on self-improvement/learning per year, up to $10,000 for donations/generosity fund (I currently donate about $2000 per year, but spend wayyy too much on gifts… it’s making my budget kind of tight.)

    I feel a bit anxious looking at other people’s salaries… So many young people making so much money! I feel like maybe I didn’t choose the right thing to concentrate on in school (I have a philosophy degree). On the other hand I have a technical job with a philosophy degree… so I don’t see why I couldn’t get a sweet paying tech job. So anxious AND inspired.

    And actually a bit surprised about how much money I actually do make… though property taxes and insurance are killllllllerrrrrs!!!!

    • avatar

      Annual income: 145K salary, ~75K bonus and stock
      39 yo software engineer in silicon valley
      comfortable would be closer to 300K total.

      I have to say I love seeing what other people are making, whether less or more than me. It’s super reassuring to know that some people have been able to make something work really well, and also a reminder of how much I have to be grateful for.

      Re what’s comfortable, I’m married w/ 3 kids, just squeaked into buying a house in one of the top 5 most expensive areas of the country, and would like to be able to send all three kids to private school. The first one starts this fall, and believe it or not we got financial aid from the school (I thought it was unlikely, but it just shows it never hurts to ask). Wouldn’t have been able to afford it otherwise.

      Someone earlier mentioned maybe having chosen the wrong degree. I didn’t start out in computer science; I have a BA in political philosophy. Early in my career I was a web developer without real tech training, so I was making peanuts (~40K). Then I joined a training program at a hedge fund, age 29, and a few years later I made $300K.

      Then I got fired (it was 2007 before the financial crisis), so I took my savings and went back to school for CS (age 34 by this time). I graduated with a net worth of negative $100K, but got a job in tech.

      Now I’m earning a decent salary, but I have student debt, houses are expensive and so are private schools.

  175. avatar

    Annual Income: $8,000
    26 years old, Houston, freelance graphic designer + web developer
    I would be comfortable making $24K this year

  176. avatar

    $16880.71 annually, part time customer service at an online start up in Europe

  177. avatar

    What’s your annual income?
    Primary Job: 52k + 17 days annual vacation + 4 personal days + retirement pension(I contribute about 1% of total salary).
    Second Job: Opened a business in April 2013, taking about $1k per month out, hoping to make it 2k. It did allow my wife to quit her job and work at our new business 30 hours a week. She makes about 24k/year.
    Freelance: 3k annually, web design, consulting
    Starting another company this year. I want to have 10+ income streams. Need to save more.

    Stats: Your age, location, job title (e.g., “31, Marketing coordinator for a tech startup in San Francisco”)
    29, Missouri, Marketing Manager at a University; small business owner

    What number would be “comfortable” for you?
    I’m comfortable now, but I spend too much. 502k was the comfortable threshold. I’m striving to earn $100k myself. ultimately, $250k is my goal.

  178. avatar
    John Doe

    Annual salary: $231K
    Annual bonus: ~$100k RSU / $30k cash
    27 years old / UI designer in Silicon Valley

    Feels like I’m getting paid way too much, but companies are competing for talent.

    • avatar

      Wow. What kinds of UI? The BF’s experience in the video game industry doesn’t even come close to those numbers.

  179. avatar

    Annual Income: 120K + perks
    Just turned 33, I live in Colombia and own a Translations Firm
    I must be honest, I am striving for more. This barely covers my monthly expenses (for a family of 4). Living in Bogota is quite expensive

  180. avatar
    Happy Girl

    I make 46k a year.
    I am a university professor, 33 years old, Cincinnati, Ohio.
    I would love to make 70k a year, that would be comfortable.
    I usually feel envious of others’ salaries, which I am trying to neutralize at the moment 😉

  181. avatar

    1. $0
    2. 27, Chicago, Graduate Student. Just started an online business as a health coach.
    3. I would be comfortable with 75K.

  182. avatar
    Black Dude

    1. Annual Income $300K-$320K
    2. Male, Black, Canada, Age 26 — Marketing Consultant
    3. This number is comfortable but I’m aspiring for more. I want to make a difference in my community and help the next wave of youth from my town to aspire to do something more than the chasing stereotypical & societal expectations.


    Ramit, I read a post like this from you probably 2 years ago where you asked people to write their salary and story in the comments. That post struck home. I saw people my age making $100K and thought – Why not me? Why can’t I do this? Then, I said, let’s make it happen. I was making $27k a year – I was 24 – And I started a side business – I grew it to $50K, quit my full time job and now I’m at a place I thought I’d be when I was 35-40. I hope my comment inspires someone to realize they can double their income too but they have to be willing to take a risk. Also, take the time to go read Ramits blog from start to finish. The info here isn’t just fluff. It’s shit that can change your life.

    • avatar

      Thanks Dude! I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do/how I want to contribute to the world and my family’s finances. You are very inspiring. I’ll have to give myself a kick in the pants, get out there and start taking risks and trying things.

    • avatar

      Very inspiring. Screenshotted this comment and saved it!

      I am 21 years old, and about to graduate with a degree in Philosophy and minor in math from a small liberal arts college. I’m hoping that I can take a few months off before I take up a full-time job, so I can use Ramit’s and others’ material to start an online business.

    • avatar
      Freelancin' Gal

      Thanks so much for sharing this! Seeing all these 100K+ incomes (coupled with younger-than-me ages), I started feeling jealous, then immediately afterwards started justifying why I’m not willing to trade-off my quality of life for a high income. But I like your stance better: Why not me?! And how can Ramit help me make it happen??

      Here’s me/us now:

      1. Annual income: $35K (net, after taxes, after expenses)
      2. Stats: 37, Toronto, self-employed wedding + editorial photographer (married to another self-employed freelancer in the wedding industry who is making almost exactly the same amount as I)
      3. A combined income of $100 – 120K (net, after taxes, after expenses) would be awesome. We’re feeling pretty “comfortable” now (I think we have a pretty good thing going with all the freedom we enjoy, plus no kids and a plan to be debt-free in 2.5 years / mortgage-free in 15 years) but it is really, really tough having to pay bills 12 months a year when you only make money for 8 of them.

  183. avatar

    Annual: $17,280 (before taxes).
    Age: 22
    Job: Various part time and freelance jobs. (I transcribe about 10 hours a week, Work in Marketing/Social Media management about 10 hours a week, and freelance design for about 10 hours per week).
    Goal: $75k annually (because studies have shown that happiness tends to peak around the 75k mark. I wouldn’t mind testing that theory myself). Also, because I’ve estimated that this is about how much I would need to make in order to pay off my student loan debt (I’ll have about $80k by the time I finish my master’s degree program) in a reasonable amount of time (before “retirement”).

  184. avatar

    1) 62k
    2) 23, NYC, IT Consulting with Big 4 Firm
    3) Given my current lifestyle/goals, 80k would be ideal- allow me to save more and spend a little more freely

  185. avatar

    Annual income: 21 000
    23 years old , Montreal Canada ,Customer service rep,
    I would be happy with 200 000 a year .
    I am young i have saved up 20 000
    would like to start my own company at 25 currently working on it.

  186. avatar

    Annual Income: 20k
    22, Bay Area, Customer Service/QA
    It’s a struggle to meet bills and University expenses. 35k+ would be “comfortable”

  187. avatar

    What’s your annual income? – $85,000
    Stats: Your age, location, job title – 29, DC, Internal Auditor
    What number would be “comfortable” for you? – $130k

  188. avatar

    1. 34k CAD
    2. 34, Office Administration, Canada
    3. Would be comfortable at 45k, this would allow for more savings, and family trips.

    I am very jealous of all the 100k jobs!!

  189. avatar

    28 year old
    Martial Arts & Fitness Instructor
    Annual Income: 28k aprox (dependent on student and client retention)
    Comfortable income: 40k + (I lived on 36k in japan and had some room to play however in the years to come I would like to be pushing into the 50k – 70k range.)

  190. avatar

    1) $170K + 0.5% equity
    2) 27 years old. I work remotely as a web/software engineer for a NYC startup
    3) $120K, but ONLY IF it was from my own business. $170K is great, but not if it’s out of your control.

    • avatar

      It’s validating to see that I’m ahead of the curve for my age/experience group, but it does make me uncomfortable (in a good way) to see other engineers in their 30s making $300K+ from their own gigs. It reminds me to not get comfortable and go out and build something sustainable on my own.

      For those of you that think $170K is out of reach, know this:

      3 years ago I was making $64K with a job that I hated. Since then, I’ve increased my salary 265% by:
      1) constantly learning and applying new things in my industry, and going above & beyond my normal job duties
      2) learning how to create a resume that doesn’t suck
      3) learning how to interview and negotiate like a businessman instead of an engineer (Ramit’s Dream Job videos were surprisingly helpful)

  191. avatar

    34, $40,000/yr minus business costs, East Idaho, Real Estate Agent. I was comfortable at $75,000 but got laid off. I feel like 40k is no where near enough, I think in this area $80,000 would be just about right. Of course more would be better.

  192. avatar

    33, Sales Engineer (i.e. commissioned) for a large company, Canada
    Roughly $80K per year (in Canadian)
    Not sure if we’re keeping tabs, but I am a woman working in a predominantly male field.

    I am pretty comfortable with this salary… which is a shame, because I’m pretty sure I could be making more. (And apparently am too lazy to do anything about it since things aren’t “bad”.)
    Money isn’t everything, but it definitely gives freedom.

  193. avatar

    23 years old, Washington, DC, Commercial Real Estate Researcher
    $70k would be “comfortable” everything else held constant

  194. avatar

    1 – ~$80k a year. (Depends on bonuses, etc)
    2 – 22 y/o in Columbus OH, working in digital marketing
    3 – I’m comfortable now – money’s not a real concern. But I’m just getting started, so I hope I’m not capped here.

  195. avatar

    1) $70k

    2) 25, San Diego, Software Design Consultant

    3) Considering I’m living in one of the pricer US cities and my taxes are insane as a sole proprietorship, somewhere around $100k would be great.

  196. avatar

    1. 670k, potential additional 100k depending on business distributions
    2. 38, east coast, medical
    3. 5M lifetime

    • avatar

      Sorry didn’t understand question no. 3. I am way above what I need to live comfortably. 100k/yr after tax would be more than comfortable. 5M lifetime is total passive amount assuming 3% return pre tax that would be comfortable (about the same number yearly).

  197. avatar

    First annual income: $40k.
    Last year was my first full year after grad school. I’m 24 and a freelance musician. My goal had been $25k, so I feel pretty great surpassing that by a good deal.

    Looking forward, I would be comfortable with $50k, but my Rich Life target is $60-70k: enough to live on my own, pay all my own bills (parents still cover cell phone and health insurance), and still afford my Big Wins.

  198. avatar

    You are totally right – I am now embarrassed. I’m 26 and will probably make around $40K this year as a freelancer. Currently doing your Earn 1K program, so hopefully I can stick to my guns and not cave into working a regular job, due to sheer embarrassment! I don’t know about a particular number; I just want to live a quality life the way I envision! Empires take time to build. Your sex questions are hysterical and I could probably look you dead in the eye and answer those questions in depth, no problem!

  199. avatar

    28yo, Portland OR, firefighter, at 60k a year. No kids and not not married, so it’s more than comfortable for just me right now. Get to put 500 bucks a month in deferred comp and have a decent pension if I make to retirement age and don’t die on the job (cancer, injury, accident) first. I’ve made the lifestyle choice to have low overhead as far as bills go.

  200. avatar

    250k + on a good year.
    50 – 75 – Side business.
    I am much wiser about money now. But was very wasteful before and didn’t invest at all. Over the last 2 years I’ve learned to invest all the time have much more float, and have reduced my debt to $500 from $100,000+
    Would like more because I want to afford my own luxuries on a fixed income rather than spend any money I make from my investments as I treat them as securities for the future.
    I would also like to start helping people through school.

  201. avatar
    Anonymous Monster

    30, Midwest, IT Security

  202. avatar

    Annual Income: $55K
    Stats: 47 yrs, Sacramento, Music Artist, Awesome Dad, Web Site Administrator/Web Site Project Manager for NY/SF -based Jungian image archive institute.
    Comfort level: Right under the next tax bracket. 🙂 Seriously though, I’d be satisfied with $150K, very satisfied with more.

    ZTL in da house!

    • avatar

      Forgot to mention, seeing other people with higher salaries makes me feel great – what a great country/world we live in. I don’t ever feel jealous of people who make a lot of money – it’s awesome. I’m striving to make a lot more myself!

  203. avatar

    age 46 annual salary $71,000 Healthcare. Over $100,000 would be comfortable. Michigan

  204. avatar

    Annual Income: $33,000 (CAD)
    Stats: 33, Web Designer and Content Strategist at a small web marketing firm in Ottawa
    Comfortable: $150,000

    I am definitely feeling like a slacker next to all of these salaries but I’m guessing that my lack of formal education and associated complex have held me back. The whole being a woman and feeling guilty about wanting to earn a lot doesn’t help either.

  205. avatar

    Age: 37 years
    Annual income: €19,000 (pre-tax) working as a customer support agent (cause I desperately needed a job) and doubling as a copywriter in the company (because I want to prove to my boss that he needs one, and I’m the guy to do it + get a raise). For a customer support agent, the pay is decent. But for my skills and experience, I feel sorely underpaid.

    Side income: €35 per hour on average – but I intend to bring that up to €100 per hour (I know I’m already delivering value to match that – all I need is to rake in the testimonials)

    Currently, my side income has just sky rocketed because:

    1. I have secured a retainer contract with a company for €200 a month for 12 months

    2. I have secured a 2-month retainer fee with a company as a content marketing consultant and copywriter. They’re extremely happy with my work and I’m getting €1200 per month. Plus I’m pushing to make myself indispensable so that they renew for a longer period.

  206. avatar

    1. $29,000 + a little extra from freelance music jobs
    2. 22 yrs old, Nebraska, Box Office Manager at a non-profit Symphony
    3. $40,000 + more gigs would be comfortable, but I’d not be upset about making more

    I’m honestly really surprised at the amount of money people think they need to have to be “comfortable.” Having more money is always enjoyable and not a bad thing, but when I think “comfortable,” I think enough money to pay the bills, invest/save a bit, and have a bit left over for a couple fun things. Of course, in Nebraska, the money goes a bit further, but it’s interesting how much “extra” people think they need to make to be happy.

  207. avatar

    In the last year I earned around 8000 euros (before tax) from a mixture of freelance design projects, DJing, research work, and working as events manager in a bar. The bar has financial problems and still owes me money, which I’m not very optimistic about receiving. Even though I’ve been working more than 40hours/week, I’ve relied on borrowing money from my partner to pay my rent and basic expenses, which is obviously unsustainable, and frankly, it’s embarrassing.

    Age: 33
    Job titles: Market Researcher, Graphic Designer, Events Manager, DJ

    Anything about 30k (euros) would be comfortable. I live very frugally but I would like to pay off my student loan and start saving.

    • avatar

      That should read “anything ABOVE 30k (euros) would be comfortable”

    • avatar


      I know this thread isn’t really intended to give advice. But I have a little something that I would like to share with you, because I feel it might help you. If the comment goes again moderation rules, it will be deleted anyway, so I’m gonna take the plunge.

      When I was just starting out I had the problem of having no professional reputation because I lacked a decent portfolio (I’m still relatively unknown, mind you, but at least I’m getting requests for work).

      Here’s how I solved it:

      I picked two friends who had a project that they really cared about, were boot-strapping it, and could benefit from my services. So I got in touch and said,

      “Listen, I know you’re in love with your project and that you need a lot of help. I have the skills and knowledge to help you out This is my area of expertise. I am willing to do it for free because 1. I believe in your project and, 2. because I too am just starting out and I need to build a client portfolio. All I want from you once my work is done, is to tell people about my work without telling them I did it for free.”

      Both of them were overjoyed. They accepted my proposal and were extremely thankful. This got me rolling.

      Then I did another thing, which secured me my first retainer contract with a company. I received a promotional email from a company promoting an upcoming talk. It was horribly written and had a spelling mistake in the headline. So I replied with this email:


      “Dear XXXX,

      Thank you for the invitation. The course sounds like it could provide teachings that would prove to be an asset on many levels, both personal and professional.

      However, it worries me that you have allowed your message -and therefore your professional credibility- to be handled by someone who would miss a mistake such as the one that is so painfully evident upon opening your email.

      I would like to show you how things could be different. You see, I am a writer by profession, and here’s my offer:

      The next time you’re about to send an email newsletter, I am willing to not only proofread it, but also re-write it for you, free of charge, no strings attached, no commitment required. If what I give you is to your liking, you may use it, obviously free of charge as already stated and we can talk further business. If you don’t like it, you are free to do with it as you please. You can trash it, use parts of it or even use it in its entirety.

      Honestly, it’s the best I can offer. If you’re willing to give it a shot, I can be contacted on XXXX-XXXX.

      Thank you for your time and attention. I look forward to hearing from you.

      Best regards,”


      The guy took me up on my offer, and this has led to a good business relationship with a 12-month retainer fee.

      I hope this helps Bella. I wish you luck and success. Those are two things we could all do more with.

  208. avatar

    1. 40k
    2. 26, phoenix, work in customer service for a growing software company.
    3. I would be conformal at 90-100k as I want to move to San Fran and will need that to get by.

    I am reluctant to talk about this with friends as I know most of them make much more and there is definitely some insecurity/inadequacy with that. It does make me a little jealous to see people making so much more but also is interesting that almost everyone says that would be comfortable at a higher number than they are at currently.

  209. avatar

    1. £25k
    2. 24 years old female, southwest UK, cad technician at large construction firm
    3. Currently moving on up thanks to dream job – becoming a bim lead and looking at 30k+
    More interested in being paid in relation to my job and performance as I live comfortably already (I’m sure I’ll find fun things to spend money on)

    Had convo at work about money – was told I was doing really well for a graduate in the industry, but chatting to admin staff and grads from other departments was eye opening as they were pleased about 17k offer.

  210. avatar

    1) 62K USD (~38K USD after taxes, health insurance, federal pension and other federal programs)
    2) 26 years old, research associate at a 2nd-tier university in Dresden, Germany
    3) Things are comfortable now, but I noticed recently that my bank account is holding about steady, not exactly growing at a noticeable rate after 2.5 years of employment. As long as I don’t have dependents this is fine, but as I plan to find a long-term woman and produce several dependents, it might not be fine for too much longer! Currently I can fly back to visit my family in the US twice a year, and generally spend on hobbies and social activities without thinking too much about saving. Something like 80 USD goes to charity each month.

    Seeing others’ salaries is slightly aggravating, but I recognize this as a kind of hard-wired biological reaction. Can’t seem to avoid reacting according to this bias that insists the grass REALLY is greener on the other side.

  211. avatar

    ANNUAL INCOME: $15/hr, ~$37K-$40K
    AGE: 22
    SPECIAL #: $50K – $75K

  212. avatar

    annual income: 55000 + education benefit 5500, bonus 4% of annual salary

    23 yo, New York City based healthcare IT consultant at a big company.

    I don’t know what would be comfortable since I am single and I just graduated from college last year; Perhaps 120L after tax would be great.

  213. avatar
    Jane Doe

    1) $60,000 plus what is looking like $25,000 from freelance projects this year (thanks Earn 1K and 6 Figure Consulting System)
    2) 29, NYC, marketing manager at a non-profit, doing marketing projects on the side
    3) I would feel more valued making $80,000 from my full-time job, particularly after seeing the averages listed here. I am pretty comfortable now already, though.

    I’d be interested to see the chart comparing salary info of the IWT audience compared against US averages. I assume it’s much higher here because we are badasses.

  214. avatar
    Anon UK

    £36k (approx. $60k USD)
    30 yrs old, Marketing Manager in a University in the South West, UK

    Current salary lets us live a comfortable life, the only major thing missing is the ability to save for a deposit and qualifying for a mortgage on a house in the UK (we want to buy due to the limitations on what you can do to make a rented property feel like “home” over here) – If I was on £50k (approx. $84k) we’d be very comfortable.

    I’m not too fussed about what other people earn – I’ve earned as little as £1k a month while starting up a business and was happier than when I earned £43k (approx. £72k) within 3 years of graduating. Money is completely subjective, you can’t tell how comfortable/happy etc. someone is by the amount they earn, it’s all relative to their expectations and priorities in life at that time. I ‘d rather focus on the things I can do (and actually getting on with doing them) to increase my earnings to the point my partner and I can live the life we want, as that’s the only thing within my control.

  215. avatar
    Hayden S.

    Annual income: €20K – approx $28K

    25, Architect assistant/3D artist for an architecture firm (MJMDA) in Malta Europe.

    Right now i’m doing Ok as don’t have huge expenses… till i start paying the house loan and refurbish the house. I will be comfortable and super happy with €30K – $41K

    My jaw dropped when I saw people earning that kind of money .. $100,000+.. BUT we live in different continents and the standard of living is totally different.

  216. avatar

    $29,000 for part-time work (25 hrs a week), because I have a disability.

    28, Colorado, Research analyst in a small (<10 people) marketing agency

    I'd like to move up to 40 hours and have my hourly rate go up, and I think my value to the company would command more like $60K a year, eventually. or move to another company. A lot of it depends on helping the company to grow its business.

  217. avatar

    1) $45K
    2) 28, pharmaceutical researcher in Southern California
    3) $55K would probably be comfortable

    Seeing other people’s salaries definitely has me feeling jealous, but also more motivated to seek a higher paying job, which I’m on track to do later this year after I finish my graduate program.

  218. avatar

    24 years old, graphic designer, 23k, Omaha Nebraska

    A more comfortable number would be about 50k

    Seeing other people’s salaries makes me feel like I’m missing some piece of the puzzle.

  219. avatar
    Anonymous Coward

    1. 85K USD
    2. 30, Federally-employed electrical engineer in San Diego, CA
    3. I’m comfortable where I’m at now, but I’d like to make double what I’m making now to fast track my goals.

    All the 100K+ responses don’t surprise me because top performers tend to flock to forums like this. I’m pleased to see people doing well, and it motivates me to seek out more opportunities. For years, I’ve become complacent and out of touch with what I really want to achieve in life. But since the end of last year, when I discovered IWTYTBR, I’ve been taking action to shift all that.

    • avatar

      Totally agree! I negotiated my latest position and salary using Ramit’s advice — after being stuck at a dead-end job for 5 years.

      Cheers to bigger and better!

  220. avatar

    1. 70k + 10-20k in bonuses, commission. + 401k match, 4 weeks vacation, full benefits.

    2. 26 male, Senior accountant, CPA at a public accounting firm in Washington DC.

    3. I’m comfortable now, anything more will just go into my savings. Over the next 3-4 years in should be well over 100k.

    As far as talking about salaries with friends and family, I try to avoid the topic all together. I’m making more then just about all of my peers and I have no interest in making them feel bad.

  221. avatar

    1. 80K (60K from my own biz and 20K from Stock trading)
    2. 42, Bogota, Owner ( started own biz 1 year ago)
    3. 100K

    • avatar

      What type of business do you own?

  222. avatar

    1. 60K
    2. 40 years old
    Garbage man
    Seattle area
    3. 60K will be much more livable once all my debt is paid off. I’m making huge progress.

  223. avatar

    1) 42k a year
    2) 31 Accounting Specialist, Charlottesville VA,
    3) 62K (already have a few pokers in the fire to work on this)

  224. avatar

    Annual Income – 200k or so

    a. “Real” job – 75k
    b. Consulting – 100k+
    c. Real estate – 25k

    30 year old software developer in TX

    75k is more than comfortable, if I can just get it without working for someone else 🙂

  225. avatar

    1. Annual income: $40,000 plus about $3,500 per year in rental income + $12,000 spouse.

    2. Stats: age 36, marketing/editor for small religious non-profit in Indianapolis, IN,

    3. Comfortable number: Ha Ha Ha! MUCH MUCH more. I’m married with 2 kids, so we are barely making it. $75K sounds nice, but once I hit that it won’t seem like enough.

    I do have lovely “intangible” benefits, such as flexible work hours, 5 weeks vacation, 15 minute commute.

    • avatar

      At least on the flip-side to “only” making $55,500 is the fact that Indianapolis is an extremely affordable place to live. I hear you though, “comfortable” differs from person to person as a definition as well as physical location.

  226. avatar

    1) 45k (base +bonus)

    2) 24, HR Coordinator, Boston, MA

    3) I make my current salary work, but I’d love 65k+

    Seeing the stats makes me think I picked the wrong line of work.

  227. avatar

    29, living in Berlin (a notoriously cheap city, though getting more expensive)

    diverse freelance jobs, mostly to do with marketing and translation, making around €10k (ca $14 k) per year for the last few years, working on changing that with a change of career

    comfortable would be €36k/$50k, but that would be REALLY comfortable, I can afford everything I need right now even a vacation here and there

    am astonished at what people are making — not hating at all, just wondering what I’d do with all that money. probably work for 5 years and then quit for good…

  228. avatar
    trying to afford rent in nyc

    1. $65,000
    2. 24, NYC, Consultant for an IT company
    3. Ideally $70k and up

    When I compare with my peers I don’t feel anxious or worried about the number (though I do get jealous of the quality of life my friends in smaller cities experience), but when I see the massive shift in people aged 28 and up, some making 100k and up and some making salaries close to what I make now, I start to get worried about my career path and which direction it will take me.

  229. avatar

    Annual Income: 70K

    29 yrs old, Downtown LA, Operational Analyst @ start up branch

    Wish I made more, thinking 100K+ would be comfortable

    • avatar

      With the high price of living in LA + out of state student loans I’m still paying off, I can still save with 70K, but I stress about how I spend

  230. avatar
    Happy Momma

    1) income varies. I am a freelance web / graphic/marketing designer. At previous job, made $42k. (Just 2yrs ago). Independently, about $65k and work much less, and at home. Spending more time being a mom. My favorite client just offered me $90k to work for them, but I declined because I’ve learned that TIME is much more valuable than money. I hate working my ass off to make someone else rich. If I need to make more, I put in more effort, on my own terms. I’ve been laid off a few times and it’s hard to feel secure in a job.
    2) 34, Strong, independent woman. Design/Marketing. Omaha, Ne. (Clients are all over country though).
    3) I’m comfortable at $60k, have plans to build passive income to generate money while doing whatever I want with my time. Ultimate goal is to travel and be a full-time giver, teaching my kids that life is about much more than trading our precious time for dollars.

    • avatar

      agree with you completely re: time being worth more than money and not feeling secure working for someone else. when my husband quit his engineering job to work with me at my business, his family thought it was too risky. one by one, his brothers were laid off while we built the business up. when times were tough, *we* laid people off! much more security on the boss end.

  231. avatar

    26 years old, living in Nashville. Communications specialist making $40,000/year. About to quit and make considerably less as I start up, so $40,000 seems pretty comfortable!

  232. avatar

    1. I make 25k a year and I’m typing this on the bus route to work.
    2. I’m a 23 year old man, live in Phoenix, Arizona and I work full time as a Warehouse Distribution worker. It’s very physically demanding and I’m 10 credits away from my associates degree in Communications. I contributed 10% of my pretaxed income to my recent 401k.
    3. I just want to set the bar to live free. And play my guitar and live a rich quality of life. I feel like I can still have a good life with what I make but I’d have to be completely debt-free! I’ve been sharing I will teach you to be Rich with my friends since I bought it. And they don’t believe that you and your book changed my life. I showed them the cover and they’re like “Look at this guy, who does he think he is?” I say he’s “Ramit Sethi Bitch!” Lol “Get educated!” But I want to make at least $55,555.55 to be comfortable. What do you think Ramit?

  233. avatar

    1. $40k
    2. 30, Salt Lake City, UT, Account Manager for a small company
    3. $70k would be very comfortable even with 2 kids for the way we live now.

    Seeing so many higher salaries makes me feel like I’m not living up to my potential. Like I should be doing something more with my life. I don’t like talking about my salary because I’m not proud of it. We’ve never had money problems, our only debt is our mortgage but my wife and I both drive old beater cars and have to think twice before spending money on anything fun.

  234. avatar

    I am a 25 yr old male living in Palo Alto founding a Behavior Design firm. Currently I make about 45k/year

  235. avatar

    Unbelievable the salaries that are on here. I am definitely behind.

    1. $16k + $3k, husband’s salary $60k
    2. 37, Virginia, part-time admin at a public university and violin teacher. Husband is a professor. Biggest benefit: flexibility, as I go to Austria, Croatia and Bosnia for a month every year for a study-abroad trip.
    3. When I was single and childless, I made $48k a year as a litigation support analyst at an international law firm, and I was comfortable on that – I could save (enough to quit my job and move to Sarajevo, Bosnia for 6 months) and spend without watching too carefully. NOW, with a child and a mortgage, we get by on our salaries, but are clearly the “poorest” in the family that includes a marketing consultant and a farmer who has lots of land, and I have to watch what I spend, whereas they don’t. I feel guilty for making what we do in a world where lots of people live on less, but also jealous that I’m nowhere near where I used to be.

  236. avatar
    John S

    1. I was making 41k for 6 years. I just got a new job making $19 an hour with no benefits but the role itself and the environment is 10x better than where I was so the slight disadvantage of pay really was worth the change to not be yelled at by my bosses each day.

    I also just started an SEO service online with a partner, with about 20~ clients I’m up to about $1500 additional income each month give or take some. So I suppose if the clients sustain and grow I’ll be in the 60-70k range on top of my day job.

    2. I’m 29, have an associates degree in IT/Software

    3. I’d be happy with 100k a year, I just want to be able to buy fun toys and enjoy life without ever worrying about paying for things like car repairs or stuff that decides to break in the house.

  237. avatar

    Annual Income: $63K

    24 Years old, Financial Analyst @ F30 Retailer in Atlanta

    Comfortable? For a single 24 year old guy yes, but I would be happier right now with a salary closer to $75-80K, which would allow me to live the same lifestyle I do now but save much more aggressively for big purchases in the future such as car, wedding, travel etc.

    I also came from making over $70K before 20-60% bonus working in investment banking in New York City. I would say despite the deep pay cut & “shame” I felt leaving such a competitive top tier career path, I feel much more “comfortable” that I work 50% less hours on average, pay $1000/month less in rent, have the flexibility to take a vacation and completely unplug when I choose to, and can leverage my free time to pursuit other goals such as fitness and side hustles.

  238. avatar

    1. 84k
    2. 28, Epic Software Support – Boston MA
    3. Would be comfortable in a 120+ range allowing me to save more

  239. avatar

    1. $40k/year
    2. 24, FP&A Analyst in the Boston Metro Area for a small wholesale company.
    3. $100k/year by age 30 would be “comfortable”

    I plan to significantly increase my income after acquiring my MBA in two weeks, performing well on my current work, picking up extra work for others, and a performance review in July. Also, I plan on starting to write an ebook and creating a blog this summer to help supplement my income and “keep me busy”.

    I’m surprised by some of the salaries posted on here. Very impressive, and I plan to be closer to some of these shortly. Any pointers from anyone who already posted on here about how you got to where you are?

  240. avatar

    Myself (39 yrs old): $62k/year (+ $5k for web development business 1st quarter 2014. Going to grow that as much as possible but have no guarantee what it will be by the end of the year.)
    Partner (49 yrs old): $50k/year
    North Carolina

    I am essentially an office manager for a research facility for my day job and then have my own web development business that I have had for a few years but is really starting to ramp up now since I plan on it being the primary source of income in a year or so.

    $50k/year would be comfortable since we live way beneath our means but I have so much more I want to be able to do that more $ will mean more that I am able to do for charity/community and new business ideas.

    Seeing how much more some of the folks are making makes me slightly jealous. I’m damn proud of what I have been able to do with what we bring in – paying off $20k+ credit card debt, saving of $50k over several years, have purchased and will have our dream property paid off in a couple of years, purchased and will have paid off a home for my mother in the next couple of years. I have never felt to ask for a raise where I am at other than the standard that they give out each year because I moved to this position from somewhere else in the company and I am already being paid much more than what the position would normally warrant. We are moving across the country in a year and at this point I am just hanging onto the day job since it is guaranteed, steady income as I build my own business on the side.

  241. avatar

    1. 83K, Regulatory affairs for medical device company
    2. 58 – female
    3. No, not comfortable at all. Husband’s salary keeps going down as mine goes up. Debt due to special needs child.

    Shoulda stayed in software.

  242. avatar

    62 500$ CAD
    35, Montreal, Canada, IT Analyst,
    75k would be comfortable to allow a few free spendings.

  243. avatar

    1) ~5k per year
    2) 23 year old full time student, part time tutor/HW grader
    3) ~65-70k would be comfortable

  244. avatar

    1. 120K
    2. 53, Landman, Texas
    3. 200K would be comfortable with our kids

  245. avatar

    1) $60k salary
    2) 25, IT Leadership Development Program for a BIG science company in Pittsburgh
    3) I’d be comfortable at any six figure level. I will be retiring from the corporate world in the next few months working on my businesses full-time.
    It is quite interesting to see the many six figure salaries at young ages.

  246. avatar

    1. 150k/year.

    I am happy that everyone on Ramit’s blog is, fittingly, living rich lives. I am dismayed by my own income, however. I’ve worked so long and so hard for next to nothing to show for it, doing something that makes me dread each day. I can’t complain, though. These years of hard work can be only matched by years of continuing to do so, except working towards things that I want for a change. Happy that you guys are doing so well!

  247. avatar

    Annual income between my hubby and I is aprox $135,000
    I make about $35,000 as a dispatcher for a plumbing company. I’m 34, in the greater Seattle area
    He makes $77,000 as an aerospace engineer (for a small company, not Boeing). He’s 35, also in the greater Seattle area
    The rest is rental income from two houses we own in the area – both are doing slightly better than breaking even.

    I’d be comfortable in the $100,000 range. Our goal is to get there without me having to work. We’re about 3-4 years away from that happening though.

    • avatar

      Also, I should say, I get some perks on top of my salary – full health & dental insurance paid for, cell phone paid for, a vehicle to drive with gas & insurance paid for, 2 weeks vacation a year and a flexible schedule.

  248. avatar

    1) annual income: 53k
    2) digital marketing specialist for an agency in Milwaukee
    3) It’s “comfortable” now, I just want more. That’s why I signed up for Earn1k

    • avatar

      forgot my age… I’m 27.

  249. avatar

    Annual Income: 80k gross income (but equity + benefits put me at 107k)
    Age: 30, San Francisco, Technical Project Manager
    Comfortable number: I live comfortably within my means now (and actually live on ~35k/year), however:
    I am embarrassed of my low comp wage based on the number of years I’ve put in at my company, and am aware of colleagues at other companies who do the same work, but make roughly double.
    A more comfortable flat income number to share would be above 100k.

    The year prior I did make just over 100k, but doing so involved putting in an amount of overtime I found unacceptable, and not worth it personally. I get the same work done in much less time now.

  250. avatar

    Annual Income: 80k
    40 years old (turning 41 in June). Moving to Pasadena, CA in a week. Have a remote job based out of CA but want to keep looking for better opportunities, both remote as well as local. Current income is tight because of current and prior obligations. 160k and up is comfortable.

    I’m a senior front-end developer who learns new technologies quickly, can solve complex design challenges, can train other developers in new technologies, and am often the one on the team who gets the “big picture” when others might not. 80k a year at 40 is pathetic. I can do better than that.

  251. avatar

    Chicago Software Developer

  252. avatar

    1. 75K +5K Bonus
    2. 28, Milwaukee, WI, Marketing Manager for Enterprise Software Company
    3. 175K

  253. avatar

    I make about 42K a year as an hourly employee working as a solar installer.
    At 42 years old living in Ventura County Ca this doesn’t cover tent for a decent place to live, let alone home ownership.
    Doubling my current wages, while still under 100k, would make a huge difference! With no schooling other than a high school diploma I feel at a lose as to how to improve my financial situation.

  254. avatar

    ~110K/year; software engineer; 38yrs old.
    7 children, sole breadwinner; my wife stays at home with the children (homeschool, because public ed in the US is pathetic);
    borderline comfortable

    6 months ago I left my job and took a 50% pay cut (was making >$200k) so that I could:
    * work somewhere temporarily that would pay the bills and still let me own my ideas and start a company on the side (non competing of course)
    * start a company that makes a real difference in real people’s real lives.
    Am shooting to have this 2nd company be my primary income stream within 2 years.
    So I’m puttin’ in lots of hours 🙂

  255. avatar

    $67 K
    23 years old, Washington DC, Financial Analyst @ Federal gov’t agency
    Comfortable with this, even renting in a very expensive city. Probably couldn’t afford a car if I needed one. Would need to double hh income w/ kid(s), however.

  256. avatar

    Annual income: $35k
    24 years old, Madison, graduate student & lab manager. I supplement my meager teaching assistant salary through web design and sports officiating (fun & surprisingly lucrative). Probably a third of my income is from self-employment.

  257. avatar

    1. Right now I make about $35,000 a year.
    2. I’m 45 and living in Los Angeles for 5 years. I’ve been a self-employed musician for about 20 years (composer, performer, teacher) with various sources of income and levels of success (going into debt, getting out of debt, rinse, repeat).
    3. Probably about $55,000 would be comfortable, although since I’m more generous then wise, I should probably aim higher.

    Seeing other peoples salaries makes me feel: tentatively hopeful, mystified, and determined

  258. avatar

    1. 50k
    2. Personal trainer in Detroit.
    3. 100k.
    Seems like everyone here is software/IT. Guess it’s a good job to be in nowadays.

  259. avatar

    1. 50k
    2. Personal trainer in Detroit.
    3. 100k.
    Seems like everyone here is software/IT. Guess it’s a good job to be in nowadays.

  260. avatar
    Ashley F.

    1) $70k+
    2) 29, Director of User Experience for an ecommerce company + adjunct English Professor + Consultant, Minnesota
    3) I’m comfortable now.

  261. avatar

    31, Front-End Web Developer
    Income is too tight. Feel like I should be at $50K+ & growing.

  262. avatar

    1. ~$20K

    2. 28, Boston, “Jackie-of-All-Trades-Freelancer” – Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, Healthy Cook/Housekeeper, Virtual Assistant.

    3. $60K+ would be comfortable. I like quality food and toys

    It’s a relief to talk about $ openly and encouraging to see others my age and younger than me making way more. I’ve currently dug myself into a corner by filling up my schedule with all sorts of gigs that are fun, fulfilling, and fairly flexible but my income depends on my presence at various places over a 12 hour period each day. This lets me know it’s possible. Now to cultivate one area and reach my comfort level!

  263. avatar

    1. Annual salary $102k, wife’s annual salary $100k. Variable other income from investments, side projects.

    2. 38, Chicago, associate director of an educational not-for-profit based at a public university. Wife is a VP at a medium-sized not-for-profit organization (she just started this job this year after a couple years not working due to kids and health issues).

    3. Comfortable would be probably $250k in total salary/income. With two kids (and thus childcare), aging parents, and some recent medical expenses, we’re basically saving nothing (and indeed have drawn on investments quite a bit, especially while my wife wasn’t working). We’re doing fine overall, because I worked in finance for nearly a decade and lived well within my income, so we have ample savings. But it’s shocking to realize what our “run rate” is compared to being a single person, even living in Manhattan; the negative cash-flow does cause me stress, whether it should or not. And I echo the comments of those who felt some guilt about those who have much less.

  264. avatar

    Annual Income: About $20k (plus a free ride)
    Age: 23
    Occupation: Master’s student, graduating in June with no debt but no job lined up

    Comfortable: Let’s say 75K a year – but that’s to feel comfortable mentally. Physically, I feel like $1500 a month is letting me live like a king. Money isn’t really important to my comfort, but making more than others my age definitely is. If I could shake the desire to compare myself to others, I think I’d be comfortable on maybe 50k gross, properly managed.

  265. avatar

    29, Female, Software Engineer, 71.5K. 150K would be comfortable.

  266. avatar

    Annual Salary: $54,500
    35, South Bend, IT Support Consultant
    I would be comfortable with $75,000-$100,000 it would depend on work/life balance

    • avatar

      My feelings are that I am behind. Where I live has a low cost of living but I would like to “play” more, couple more toys, enjoy activities. I think there is more out there, but I need more education and sometimes it seems like it isn’t attainable.

  267. avatar

    $44,000, 27 years old, office job (too complicated to explain briefly) at a major art museum in Washington, DC. I am a federal employee, which means my salary is really non-negotiable. There was also a 4 year pay freeze for all federal employees that just recently ended. I was hired in the middle of that, but I can’t imagine being a long-time employee and then suddenly NO increase (even for cost of living) for 4 years. Hooray government!

    It’s interesting because I absolutely love what I do (art kid’s dream!) and for the art/museum field, my salary is actually above average. But compared to all of my friends in the DC area working in other industries, my salary is quite low.

    I also find it fascinating that *most* (not all) of the people who seemed to jump on these comments make $100K+. Perhaps more willing to share (brag?) than us 5 figure-ers??

    • avatar

      The stark figure of income is only half (or less) of the story though. Some people commenting have 7 kids, others are single 23 year olds. Some may have large college or consumer debts, alimony, have huge mortgages, support family back in their home country or just really expensive vices and hobbies. Some may have none of that and indeed may have inheritances, side businesses and additional spousal or passive income.

      Personally, I make decent money now but made a lot more – real “braggable” cash – in a previous job and city. But my career owned me and made me isolated and miserable. Never again. My life is a lot better in just about every way now, despite my income being lower, and like most people of varying incomes who read this blog my net worth still goes up every year, if less quickly. I would never judge happiness or attainment or even flexibility based purely on a salary figure and flashy job title, having been there.

  268. avatar

    1. Annual: 85K
    2. 24, Boston, Software Engineer
    3. 85K would be comfortable if I didn’t have student loans

    After reading other people’s comments, I realized that what I thought was a pretty high salary is on the lower end for my field.

    • avatar
      Someone Else

      Honestly, when I did Ramit’s Dream Job, 80k to 90k was the general ballpark average of engineers in the Boston area.

  269. avatar

    I’m 32, have a BS & a MPA.
    I’m a database analyst at a university in Michigan.
    I make a little over $52,000.
    I wish I made something closer to the $70,000 mark.

    • avatar

      Forgot to add, I’m also a race timer part time on weekends. From that I make about an extra $6,000 a year.

  270. avatar

    8,000-9,000 broke poor
    27, student
    100,000+ to be comfortable, I need to find a way out of poverty first.

  271. avatar

    1. Current: $85k + stock options
    2. 28 y/o, female, do business development for a seed funded healthtech startup in San Francisco
    3. Comfortable: $150k

    Writing this out makes me realize I’d prefer to make a lot more than I do now (almost double). I have an MBA and think I should be making more when I see other ppl’s comments…

  272. avatar

    1. Annual Income: $109K reg job+ 23K side business-E1K ( Thanks Ramit!!)
    2. 38, Government Investigator , Los Angeles
    3. Current salary is comfortable, but I am ramping up side business to leave my full time job by the end of the year. Would feel good at 70k, working for myself. Currently on track to meet that goal by Dec.

  273. avatar

    Income: $170k plus company car
    Age: 32
    Location: Boston
    Job: Sr Manager-level position in the Medical department of a pharma company

    I’m comfortable, but would be more so with around $225k – we live in an expensive area and I’m the sole provider for a family of five.

  274. avatar

    Annual income: 50K

    23 years old, Arizona, Recent hire staff accountant @ a medium sized accounting firm
    Used to living on college budget. Most college grads especially living in Tucson would be happy with 35-40k.

  275. avatar

    $128k job (85k base, 43k bonus/stock/401k etc…)
    7k rental income
    28 yr old, Houston, corporate finance for big oil
    Would like a base of $150k

  276. avatar

    1. $0 (shut down my startup and have been on the job hunt for the past few months. I’ve earned around $1k in consulting services since then)

    2. 30 yrs, Toronto, aspiring Product Manager.

    3. $80k would be comfortable

    I’m quite impressed by the number of high-rollers on this site! I would have thought people who are earning that much wouldn’t feel the need to supplement their income with side gigs. Kudos to them, but I would lying if I said I wasn’t envious. I have too much student debt from all the years of schooling I’ve been through and my upcoming wedding isn’t making it easier either! Sometimes I feel like I’m the most educated bum around.

    Btw, Ramit, great way to scan your readers’ overall well-being! Would you say you’re surprised too?

  277. avatar

    F, 29, Toronto, Financial Analyst for a Retailer
    Comfortable would be $80K
    Seeing / Talking about salaries makes me feel informed and motivated.

  278. avatar

    Annual income varies with OT. Between 75k and 90k at primary job.
    1k-5k with side jobs.
    28yo Machinist in mid-size aerospace shop in CT.
    Hearing about others with higher salaries makes me jealous and motivates me to do more.
    Hearing people with lower I usually try to offer advice (almost never gets through).
    Can say the same about myself when given advice at times.
    Comfortable for my expenses is 50k with still saving, but would like to see 150k
    Just bought a condo with cash and don’t have credit cards. Need to build my retirement now. (Outside of “qualified plans”)

    • avatar

      Have only taken some college classes for my pleasure and no degree. I did go to a Vocational school(Trade school) for manufacturing.

  279. avatar
    25, Los Angeles

    1. 100k + 10K bonus
    2. 25, Los Angeles, Assistant Controller
    3. 130K


    It is true that most of us feel uncomfortable to share salary information with friends and family. And as you pointed out in your email, it’s because we feel our relationship would change. However, I did find that at a previous position where my colleagues all had the same title and did pretty much the same thing, we were all very willing to share with one another when we weren’t willing to share with our lifelong friends. Even as we’ve moved on to other positions, we know how much the other makes.

  280. avatar

    75k per year + ~6-7% annual bonus + 5 weeks vaca + fitness subsidy + CPE expenses paid + 6% 401k match
    28 year old male in San Diego. Senior Consultant (IT auditor/consultant) with one of the Big Four.
    100k would be comfortable I think. I would say I am only financially uncomfortable right now because of student loans.

    I’m amazed at some of the very nice salaries on here and people’s ability to save and donate such large amounts. I do feel like I am very behind simply because I have spent so much time, all of my 20s, studying to become super certified in my field (CPA, CISA, CITP, CGMA) and it doesn’t seem to have paid off in enjoyment or money.

    • avatar

      Forgot to mention: I love to share salary information with strangers, especially those in the same industry/job, takes away the power the employer has to push down pay and instead offer what people are worth, but I do feel uncomfortable with sharing with friends because I feel like it changes how people see you and creates a sense of competition between friends.

    • avatar

      Yep, at my partner’s company just about everyone at the associate director level and below is open about what they make and discuss (or complain about) it regularly. I think perhaps because there are a lot of salespeople on board there, who in my experience can be quite shameless (in a good way!) about money. Colleagues and ex-colleagues also share the salaries offered when they interview/take jobs at other firms. That group are remarkably open in a way I haven’t seen at a non-government workplace. It is interesting because as you say it definitely takes a lot of power away from the employer at review and promotion times.

    • avatar
      25, Los Angeles


      Don’t you worry. I was in the same boat as you. You will see the dividends once you move on to private. I’m assuming you’re a sup-senior now?

    • avatar

      Wow, your coworkers freely share? Mine do not. I guess they see us all as friends and have the same trepidation as noted above. It’s a shame. Glad to see your coworkers are willing though.
      25, LA,
      Yeah, spot on. The external offers are much higher. However, I’ve come to realize that this isn’t the type of life we are supposed to live, sitting in a cubical for insane hours, to give people advice on how to better document nonsense…There’s no real creation or value-add happening. It’s time to change that.

  281. avatar

    Annual Income: 156K
    25 Yrs old, Washington DC, Cardiovascular Perfusionist
    Current income comfortable. Anything over 85K without student loans is comfortable.

    • avatar

      Wanted to add that I am moving to LA shortly and taking a HUGE pay cut – 85K a year + 15% 403(b) contribution and FREE UNIVERSITY TUITION for my future children. I am making the move because, though making 150+ a year is great, I really want to pursue freelancing and my hospital job in DC doesn’t allow much time for outside endeavors. I am following my dream with the nice safety net of 6 figures after bonus pay. I completed the Earn1k course and it really opened my eyes about my true potential as an individual. I made about 5k on the side working 3-5 hours a week for 4 months doing fitness and nutrition consulting. I want to do more of the work that I enjoy instead of working just to pay the bills.

    • avatar

      I am really interested in your (only loosely connected) different sources of income. I am also based in Washington DC. I work in energy development but am mildly obsessed with fitness/nutrition as well s personal finance. How did you get started in fitness/nutrition consulting? Did you get any qualifications/certs?

      And in contribution to the rest of broader the discussion:
      – 31, Annual about $130k
      – Project manager at a large multilateral organization
      – Comfortable now. My ideal $$$ figure has less to do with amount and more to do with type of income (would prefer to be own boss/entrepreneur).


  282. avatar

    1) $75k
    2) 26, Business Analyst, Washington DC
    3) Technically, this is comfortable, but for me to be able to pay down those massive student loans quicker, I would want to be more in the 100k arena.

  283. avatar

    37, Business Analyst in Atlanta for a tech company – 75K + 12% bonus. I’m comfortable.

  284. avatar

    since this is anonymous (to others), Ramit, I love you. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m married and expecting a baby, you’d have a lot to worry about 😉

    in a bad year I gross 80k as a consultant and coach. In a good year I gross 300k. (that’s high/low over the past 5.)

    of course, I travel when I want, don’t go to an office and don’t start work til 11 or noon. I paid for my own health insurance until I got married. I never got a tax refund.

    • avatar

      OOps! or not anonymous!

      I forgot: I’m 33, NYC and would like to be making 500k a year working about the same hours (40 hours a week), some from products, not services.

  285. avatar

    I am 22, live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, work as a Corrosion Engineer for an oil and gas consulting company making 65k right now.
    I think about 125k would be absolutely perfect for anything you could ever need and give you the power and flexibility to be able to help others who are in need.
    I like seeing other peoples salaries and I wish it wasn’t such a big deal to talk about it in person. As in most situations, I think ego and jealousy plays a large role in this conundrum. If anything, seeing other people’s salaries that are higher than mine motivate me to work harder, and seeing those lower than mine doesn’t make me look at that person any differently than I would have before.

  286. avatar

    1. $60,000 base, plus profit sharing.
    2. 29, Los Angeles, Associate Attorney at a mid-size firm (~15 attorneys total)
    3. I feel like this is a good start for a first-year attorney. If I didn’t have insane student loan debt, this would be comfortable. I think I would be very comfortable with $75K+. Aiming to be making $100K annually within 10 years.

  287. avatar

    1. Right now, $170k.
    However, this is due to the fact I have 2 full time jobs currently. 1 job pays $70k, the other $100k.

    2. 36 in Louisville, Kentucky.
    1st job is “Senior Search Marketing Strategist” and 2nd job is “VP of Performance Marketing”. Both companies are marketing agencies.

    3. $120k seems comfortable if your working for someone else and have a family.
    Personally, my comfortable level is upwards of $5MM.

    My income is very unstable. Even though I have no mortgage ( house is paid off ) and no loans ( cars paid for and no debt whatsoever ), the $70k a year job was barely keeping me above water so to speak. I think I feel this way due to the fact I have been laid off 4 times in the last 10 years and I am the only paycheck for the family.

    I went from making ~$30k a year from 1996-2006, with a jump to $80k a year in 2007. Then in 2008, I made $1.3MM in 6 months working for myself after my 2nd layoff.

    Since that time I have struggled with money and my business. I went back to work in late 2011 to support my family with a job in the corporate world as things got rough with the economy.

    I can personally tell you, $1MM doesn’t go far ( I’m talking NET after taxes ) once you buy a modest house, 2 modest sedans, pay off any debt you have, and take 2 vacations. You can live on it nicely for a few years, but $1MM is not what it use to be ( as it was when I was growing up ).

    I am grateful for the salaries I have now, but I am hustling and busting my ass in 2 full time jobs for it and I would much rather be back working for myself.

    • avatar

      I should mention I work remotely for both companies and I do almost the same job for both, which is how I am able to pull this off.

  288. avatar

    Income: 60K a year + 11K bonus
    Stats: Roseville, CA. Work from home as QA on financial product.
    Comfortable: 80-90K

  289. avatar
    South Florira

    Annual Income: 68,000
    30, Transportation Analyst, consulting firm
    Current income is comfortable, no kids, goal is to make $150,000+

  290. avatar

    1) $118k base with approx 20% bonus
    2) 34, database administrator (almost said 32 – can’t cope with the face that I’m already 34) in Manhattan
    3) 150 is probably comfortable but we’re doing ok right now.

    I don’t talk about salary generally because a) I’ve had friends freak out because I make much more than them (when I was making 40k!) b) I don’t want them to feel bad and c) I don’t want to know what coworkers make because I don’t want to get jealous and pissed off and uncomfortable.

  291. avatar

    1) What’s your annual income? $95k
    2) 26, marketing/PR for tech company in NYC
    3) What number would be “comfortable” for you?
    Good question. I’m not sure. I’m comfortable now but wonder if I should be saving more. I saw some people below planning for early retirement and maybe it’d be nice to make more & save more.

    • avatar

      save as much as you can in your 20s — makes a huge difference down the line!

  292. avatar

    Salary: 69k
    Age 28, Mechanical engineer in Nebraska
    We’re ‘comfortable’ now…but I’m impatient and don’t want to wait for retirement. Current goal is $200k per year.

    I am incredulous at the salaries and ages of some folks and while definitely happy for them perhaps a little jealous. It does make me want to make changes though. The one caveat is that my job is a consistent 40 hrs/wk. Would’ve been interesting to see if/how people have to sacrifice for those high salaries.

  293. avatar
    Hush Hush

    Current Me:
    1. ~ $170k (depends on commissions) plus ~$20-$30k in equity annually (made $48k when I started 7 years ago)
    2. San Francisco, 36, Ad Sales/Biz Dev for major web publisher
    3. earning more than enough to be comfortable now, but trying to save as much as possible, support unemployed wife, and aiming for early retirement. Lucky we don’t have any debt other than rental house mortgage.

    24 year old me (12 years ago):
    1. $24k
    2. Portland, OR newspaper ad sales
    3. $30k woulda made me more comfortable

    For those feeling underpaid: if you don’t live in a top real estate market, your money likely goes a lot further (I pay $2400/month in rent and that is a steal!).

    For those young folks making substantial money: please save & invest like crazy, you will create so many more options for yourself in life if you put a big chunk of cash into stable investments. I didn’t start saving until I was 30 and it sucks playing catch up, even with my strong earning

  294. avatar
    Sven Skarie

    1. $57,000 last year
    2.Realtor with long and foster in Maryland/DC Metro Area.
    3. $90,00-$120,000.

  295. avatar
    CT Commuter

    1. $45k + bonus ($5k last year), company also comps my commute and gives regular raises (+health/dental/vision insurance and a stocked office kitchen so I don’t go out for lunch)
    2. 25, Live in CT/work in NYC, Digital Project Coordinator at a large media company
    3. Current income is comfortable– our household income is over $160k. My husband is a compounding pharmacist at a sterile lab. I could definitely get behind making more, though. Market salary for my job is closer to $50k and we have a ton of student debt we’re paying off so we can afford to have a kid and still do nice things.
    4. I feel fine seeing other people’s salaries. I think it would be different if this were a discussion among members of my immediate team at work than among strangers. My non-work friends and I do openly discuss salary because we feel that it’s important to be open about who’s getting paid what to do what. We’ve exchanged negotiation strategies and compared notes on offered benefits.

  296. avatar
    Sven Skarie

    1. $57,000 last year
    2.Realtor with long and foster in Maryland/DC Metro Area. 31 years old.
    3. $90,00-$120,000.

  297. avatar

    1. $60k + commission (quarterly)
    2. 25 yrs, Global recruitment firm – Compliance division, New York, NY
    3. Fairly comfortable, not thrilled about my job but giving me good skills to build on. Trying to save as much as possible and travel/teach english in either South America or Southeast Asia.

  298. avatar

    earn 108k (new job soon, should be getting around 130k)
    .NET consultant Denver – 37

    Side biz just started – $65/hr (through recruiter, so expect that to go up)

    Comfortable – likely 130k with family
    I have an internal ‘benchmark’ to reach $250k to really live the ‘Rich Life’

    I’m actually ecstatic about these numbers — see immense potential to really grow and provide more for my family. I didn’t really start “playing the career game” until less than 2 years ago really. This certainly offers encouragement on the side biz.

  299. avatar

    Annual income: 16,500
    25 yrs old, Mexico City, administrative assistant
    Current income: uncomfortable, I need at least 25,800

  300. avatar
    Motivated By These Responses

    I knew we made our money stretch to support a young family (3 kids under 6), but I’m blown away at the incomes reported here!

    1. Averaged right around $45k/year the past three years. Both cars and motorcycle paid off and no other debt, too.
    2. Turning 35 this month. Central California. Random business consulting/coaching + a number of failed launches. Wife stays home with the kids.
    3. $120k would be very comfortable (ie: travel more, save, invest, etc)

  301. avatar

    1. $37,000
    2. Age: 26, Location: Denver, CO, Job Title: HR Coordinator
    3. $70,000 would be comfortable

  302. avatar

    1. 29K hoping to make 135K post-graduation
    2. 28, PhD Student at Indiana University
    3. I just calculated this number a few days ago and I’d be comfortable around 70K (luckily I graduate next week!)
    Seeing other salaries is actually very encouraging because grad school distorted reality for a bit. It’s cool to see the number people would be comfortable with too as it seems many here have realized that number is a small part of grander scheme.

    I’m curious, how many people calculated the number for comfort versus just a feeling / guess?

  303. avatar

    Annual Income: 50k
    Age: 23 years old, Assistant Project Manager.
    Comfortable: 30k and up is enough to live on, for me. I live in a big city, so I’d want at least 30k to pay for the necessities plus a few dinners at restaurants, concerts, etc.

    I’d like to be closer to 100k/yr in the next 5 years, adding on side projects.

  304. avatar

    Incredibly interesting. I’m curious about how this conversation reflects the demographics of your readership, and not necessarily averages as a whole. That said, I am very pro talking about salary, to the point where I probably make my friends uncomfortable – which means this comment thread is probably the best thing that’s happened to me this month.

    1) 65k + minimal amount with side business (maybe 4k)
    2) 31, Copywriter, San Francisco tech company
    3) Admittedly, I’m pretty comfortable where I am – but I’d be a lot more comfortable with 90k. Like other readers, I’d feel guilty. People live on less. And I’m living on what I have – plus I love my job and my life.

  305. avatar
    Another Girl

    Being somewhat cowardly and not using my name in case some how, in some strange world, my office finds this (I’ve had a lot of animosity about salaries in this office, specifically, one person who thought he should be making a lot more than everyone else and wasn’t).

    Annual Income: $66,800
    32 yrs old, higher education fundraising, donor stewardship
    I’m primary support for myself, my wife and the tiny tyrant arriving in October. My wife started her own business last year and income is rising, but slowly. We can live on what we make and own our own home, but to be truly comfortable, I’d want to make another $15,000 – $35,000 more. This won’t happen until I move out of this job or unless I want to start a side business. I’m currently finishing a masters and get really good tuition discounts (plus upcoming maternity leave), so I am here through May 2015 at least. Not sure I can balance school, work, a side job and a new born, though I’m tempted to try.

  306. avatar

    Annual income: $36,000 pre-tax
    32 years old, Arkansas, dance studio owner exploring other income options (ZTL student) and working part-time
    I would be much more comfortable in the $75,000-100,000 range.

    Man, hearing other salaries here gives me a combination of feelings… total dread and anxiety mixed in with a little drive to start kicking some ass.

  307. avatar

    Current: $46k
    Stats: 31 yo, MT, non-profit director
    Comfortable: $60k

  308. avatar

    1) A laughable $48k (Cdn dollars)
    2) 29 (soon to be 30), Halifax, Canada, Affiliate Relations Specialist with an MBA and CPA accounting designation
    3) Comfortable for me at this point would be hitting the $60k mark. I live in a city with relatively low cost of living, so this would allow me to pay off my debts and start investing in setting up my own business.

    Hard to get perspective when seeing stranger’s salaries to be honest…not nearly as awkward feeling. It’s much different to discuss it with friends and family.

  309. avatar

    Annual is 28K; am 31, a control desk advisor /supervisor at a support desk in Toronto. Comfortable is 75 k +

  310. avatar
    Laura Brown

    Annual Income: $65K
    34 yrs old, Atlanta, Accountant II at a non-profit hospital company
    Current income is getting small, considering it’s supporting 4, soon to be 5 people. It would be nice to make over $100K.

    I have to say, since I work with payroll mostly, seeing others’ salaries isn’t a big deal to me. It’s all just a number on a page. I rarely compare my income with others, unless we’re talking about people with 2 incomes who whine about how much they owe on their house and credit cards while taking vacations almost every month. Seeing others’ salaries though does make me wonder what they’ve done, or how long they’ve been at their company, or how much education and overtime they put in. I know I wouldn’t want to put in 60+ hours a week just to make $100K. My family is more important than the money.

  311. avatar

    I’m 50 years old. I have a masters in professional writing from USC. I currently work two part-time retail jobs. I make about $27-28k a year. The highest I’ve ever been paid is $75k/year. I estimate that my career average has been about $30k/year. I’ve been woefully underpaid or underemployed. I’m embarrassed and depressed.

    • avatar

      I’m 40, have a Civil/Environmental engineering degree from USC, spent a decade in the oil industry, and never broke $50K before taking a decade off to do the mom thing. I am right there with you on the underpaid and embarrassed bit. With a strong side of “WTF have I been doing SO POORLY that I got shafted so hard with income numbers?!”

      I’m currently working on a master’s in Library and Information Science based on the job satisfaction I’ve gotten out of recent volunteer gigs. Will definitely have to work on the negotiating for decent pay thing…

    • avatar
      25, Los Angeles

      I’m sad to see fellow Trojans struggling to be paid well. Have you made use of the network or the career center? I believe the career center changed its policy a couple years ago so only recent grads can meet with advisers (it used to be open to all alumni) but you can still go to pick up a lot of great material to then use while you reach out to the vast Trojan network.

      Be confident in what you bring to the table and add value and I can assure you the income will increase.

    • avatar

      25, LA – the USC career center is actually how I got my job in the oil industry in the first place! They called me out of the blue, I wasn’t even looking, offered me a paid internship as a junior, and then brought me on full time when I graduated. Apparently I should try again and better prepare myself on what is and is not acceptable terms of employment this time!

  312. avatar

    1. $110k
    2. 34, telecommute for a software company in southern CA as a software developer (live in upstate NY)
    3. $80k

  313. avatar
    Alex Bodensieck

    $49,000 plus random gigs; part-time tax season work, buying/selling concert tickets
    25, Schenectady, NY, Accountant for a public school district
    $100,000 seems to be the number in my head but once I’m there, I’m sure it will increase.

    I don’t really care about seeing other people’s salary, if they’re making anything doing what they love or getting paid what they’re worth, that’s good.

    Also, the sex is great!

  314. avatar

    1. $90K + annual bonus (~5%)
    2. 37, Austin (TX), Applications Developer
    3. Comfortable right now but Austin in getting expensive so $105K-$110K would be nicer.

  315. avatar

    33 yrs
    Female, SLC ut
    Retail specialist.

    I’m definitely in the wrong industry. I’m barely making enough to scrape by let alone invest or live on my own.

    • avatar

      Hi Bridge,
      Interestingly enough, when searching for “retail” through all these reply’s, indeed they’re all on the (way too) low side, in comparison. My manager once mentioned something: “retail just doesn’t pay well”, almost adding “only the ones that really love it, keep doing it”..

      In a sense seeing the figures here does feel comforting to me, knowing it’s not just me being a bad negotiator, it’s in the industry as well (even globally).

      Even so, I wonder what’d happen if retail would start paying people what they’re worth…

  316. avatar

    1. $45k
    2. 32 yrs old, Financial Analyst at a fortune 500 company – Buffalo, NY
    3. This is “comfortable”, but I’m definitely striving for a lot more.

    It’s interesting to see others salaries. Seeing people at my age making a lot more than I do motivates me to try and get to the level I’d like to be at, but I don’t get any feelings of jealousy or relief if I make more/less than someone else. Salary is just a starting point, I know people who make a lot more money than I do who are in far worse places financially.

  317. avatar

    31, Corporate Accounts Coordinator and Photographer 55k
    Current income is uncomfortable. 80K and up is comfortable.

  318. avatar

    36, Hawaii, GIS Analyst
    60K is enough to support myself, but 100K would be comfortable & I could afford to enjoy travel and save more for retirement

  319. avatar

    1. $59K
    2. 30 yers old, marketing manager for a not-for profit association in Minneapolis
    3. “comfortable”, while relative, would probably be about $80k

    I am stunned by the high salaries of the majority of the commenters on this post. It’s likely just the readership of Ramit’s blog but WOW…perhaps I need to consider a new career choice.

  320. avatar

    1. ~$90k (last year figure)
    2. 28; poker player
    3. $200k (£10k/month) would be comfortable and I believe I’m capable of it

  321. avatar

    1) $73,000 salary for 9 to 5.
    Freelance photography business brings in another $8,000 yearly.

    2) 27, Washington, DC. Multimedia Developer.

    3)I’d be comfortable with $150,000 My goal is to crest $200,000 combing base income and other revenue steams (photography and other multimedia services). My partner and I also want kids, so the more, the better.

    Reading other incomes here, I feel pretty ok. I’ve gotten damn close to my goal of $100k before 30, and unlike every one of my friends, I don’t have a college degree. We still enjoy the same things and I’ve found my passion in life — and that’s priceless to me.

  322. avatar
    College Guy

    1. Income: $13K, primarily coming from part-time jobs and scholarships that exceed tuition

    2. Stats: 21 year old college student in Nashville, TN, who works part-time at a tech startup

    3. What’s “comfortable” for me now is relatively low (like less than $10k), but I’d love to be earning AT LEAST $50k upon graduation

    To me, these posts are AWESOME and don’t scare me away or even make me anxious.

    Because even though what I make per YEAR is what a lot of these guys/gals are making per MONTH, I want to hang out where and do what these people doing… so I can be like that one day.

    Being on this site is obviously a step in the right direction, because that’s not an average sample pool for people making over $100k, even over $200k.

    I feel like when you get uncomfortable about something like salary you’ll either run back to your peer group where you feel “comforted” or “good” about what you’re currently doing


    You’ll find a way to join a new peer group by pushing yourself and learning from the best –Ramit included in the best:)

    • avatar

      Love this!!! Keep up this attitude and you will go far!

  323. avatar
    Go Brewers

    Gross income in 2013 was $129K plus $14K distributions, I expect to be around $160K total this year.

    27, Chicago, Cost Analyst/Consultant for Defense/Aerospace contractors.

    My wife and I are comfortable with my income plus hers (she is a HS teacher and makes about $60K gross) but we have lofty goals, I would like to be bringing in over $500K in the next few years.

    To be honest it feels weird sharing this – even with strangers. Maybe it is because of the way my parents raised me. They never shared how much my dad made – ever. I don’t think I’d be comfortable telling my friends what i make either.. I do use indeed and glassdoor sometimes though to try to gauge where i am at compared to people i know.

  324. avatar

    Annual Income $70k
    Age 26, Salt Lake City, Web Developer

    I think the key difference for me would be feeling comfortable and being comfortable. I could be comfortable with my current income and not require much more even as the primary breadwinner for family of five.

    To feel comfortable I would like to see my income $200k+. The truth is I *could* be comfortable with my current salary, but everything is going fine now. I can learn to better manage internal variables that could harm my financial well being, but there are too many external variables. Company downsizing, rising cost of goods, unexpected vehicle breakdown, family death or many other small variables could all upset my ability to take care of my family.

    Long term, a Rich Life for me is much more than financial security for the sake of money. I want the ability to help others when I feel like I should. That extends beyond writing a check. It’s the freedom of taking time to help someone move to a new home, or teach a skill, or as simple as listening to someone having a bad. It’s the ability to help coach my kids in soccer. It’s the ability to cover a ticket for a neighbor to fly home to help their ailing parent. It’s the ability to contribute to my community and the world around me.

  325. avatar

    OK, I’ll bite.

    1. $50K a year
    2. 58 years old – Office Manager/Sales Coordinator – Publishing – Detroit area
    3. $100K because I like the number 🙂 – I’m putting my last child through college so it’s very ugly right now.

    Would love to try tech just to do something new and fascinating. Advice from an old lady to you young ones, take the classes!!! Wish I had.

  326. avatar

    I’m a 38-year-old woman with a Master’s degree in a different field. I make $64K a year in Seattle as a technical project manager and QA guru. I know I’m being underpaid for the software management field, but I’ve chosen to continue working here because of several reasons.

    * My husband also makes an OK salary, so put together, the two of us are comfortable here in Seattle (a high-priced town). Although we have to budget and scrimp on some things, we have enough for eating out every so often, sending the kids to gymnastics class, buying new tires when we need them, etc. So I feel as though we have enough right now to be happy. 🙂
    * My job has good work-life balance, which allows me lots of flexible hours to take care of my two kids. I wouldn’t jump to a job where I had to work 60+ hours a week desperately scrambling to ship software: my kids are only young once, and work isn’t worth that much aggravation. (My lack of ambition is why my career is a bit stagnant, but I’m ok with it!)
    * A low-pressure work environment without any toxic personalities trying to cause drama
    * Good benefits, including lots of vacation for longterm employees and chiropractic / massage / counseling services.
    * I _never_ work more than 40 hours a week (often less)… which would not be typical for other technical project manager jobs I see that pay a lot more.
    * I’m learning skills here

    There’s no 401(k) company match, so I’m putting money into a Roth IRA to save towards retirement. My husband and I are aggressively paying down our mortgage and are on track to be rid of it in less than 15 years, when we’ll be in our late 40s.

    If I made $80 or $90K a year I’d be able to max out my Roth IRA savings, donate more to charity, buy more clothes and shoes new instead of thrift-shopping it, increase my budget for eating out, pay for more camps and fun classes for the kids, get some remodeling done, etc. That would be awesome. 🙂 But not at the cost of my sanity or time with my kids.

  327. avatar

    Annual income: $75k

    Stats: 23, Director of Admin for a non-profit in Boston.

    I feel pretty comfortable with my salary right now, but would feel more comfortable at $100k-120k range. I also feel guilty for earning at my salary level since I’m at a non-profit.

  328. avatar

    I am a 36 year old currently on maternity leave for the next six months or so and bring home $0. I am comfortable with this because it’s what my husband and I have decided is best for our family right now. I plan to resume working as a massage therapist and labor doula when the baby is no longer exclusively breast fed.

    My previous income was 37k per year. Although I am comfortable with that, I hope to increase that amount in the future.

    • avatar

      Go you! I took 6 months for maternity. Thank god for PFL. I didn’t mind being broke at all to be with my little mama. Enjoy! No money is worth it.

  329. avatar

    I am making 1800€ per month without the taxes and other stuff taken away.
    I am 23, egineer in Germany.
    I feel ok telling it ecause this is a pretty low salary for an engineer in germany and this is because I am making this special program for beginners.
    I would like to have more but more would not make me feel so much comfortable with people that are not in the fields than me, especially guys I meet: I don’t like to be earning more than a guy I date and I have the limiting belief that if I do they won’t be the gentleman offering flowers or paying for the dinner, which I like (for the romantism, not the money saved!!!)

  330. avatar

    Annual Income: 26500
    29 years old, Pittsburgh, Paralegal in small law firm
    36k would be comfortable

    It’s a bit distressing to read about how far others have gotten at various ages, but also kind of inspiring. I feel like I put way too many things ahead of money and feel the sting as a result.

  331. avatar

    Just before I quit
    1) $28,900 annual plus benefits and a tiny $1000 bonus if that @ kaiser Permanente as a performer educator (we would do educational plays at schools)
    Oakland, ca (it’s actually getting pricey!)

    100k would be comfortable to support myself and save. I also have a 1 year old I should be saving for but I can’t.
    Quit my job to go back to school in psychology but now I’m thinking I need to jump on the software engineering train!

    I’m impressed by some of these incomes. It’s inspiring!

    • avatar

      Oh and I’m 26.

  332. avatar

    1. ~ $100k
    2. 33, Europe, Active Duty Officer & Veterinarian in U.S. Army
    3. I’m comfortable at this level but would love to make more in order to reach financial independence.

  333. avatar

    Annual Gross Income: $17k
    Occupation: Actor/non-profit arts admin
    Age: 27
    Location: Los Angeles
    Comfort Zone: 100k

  334. avatar

    34k, nanny, SF bay area. I think closer to 50k would be comfortable — currently all things are a stretch.

  335. avatar

    $54K (wife $50K)

    Age 41 – married with 2 kids

    North Carolina – accountant/middle manager at a university

    $75K would be comfortable

    I am jealous of those with higher salaries.

    • avatar

      You shouldn’t be.

      If you and your wife work at a university, you probably get to send your kids for free right? That’s how it works with the colleges where I live.

      If so, thats an easy 10-20k a year as a benefit depending on age of your kids and school.

  336. avatar

    I make 40k as an apartment asst. manager, plus an off the book 4br luxury apartment (utils included – so totally free living). I make 12k coaching a youth soccer team. I’ve earned 4k in a freelancing art business. The latter two I’m pursuing actively. I’m also in Ramit’s Zero-to-Launch program for a third stream of revenue.

    For me comfort is maybe 80k, but is more dependent on me doing what I love and being outside of corporate control. I’ll be comfortable with the discomfort of knowing my destiny is in my hands.

  337. avatar

    1. $67k
    2. 28, Atlanta, Public Health Technology Translator for a giant government consulting firm.
    3. If I had no debt, I’d be living comfortably and putting away about $1k a month on this. As it is, I pay $1300 a month towards debt, and am trying to build enough of a cushion to not live paycheck to paycheck. I’m also looking to bump up my take home from $3600 to about $5000 with AirBnB and ramping up my side gig.

    I have no problem talking about my income and assets, financial or otherwise. 😉 It drove my ex nuts.

  338. avatar

    My total compensation is about 100000 year. This includes allowances for “business expenses” like cellphone, car use, etc. and salary.
    I live in a small-ish town not far from Philadelphia, PA.
    I’d like to be earning more, but I am also well compensated in vacation time – 8 weeks a year plus holiday weekends.
    I have never been embarrassed to talk about how much I earn. Maybe that is because I lived in Israel for a time where talking about earnings is as normal as talking about other day to day things, like what you had for lunch. I wish others would be freer in talking about what they earn – it would make negotiating better compensation easier (“I know that all these other people are earning x.”) and it would help to know where I am in the range of compensation for what I do.

  339. avatar

    Annual Income : 105k
    29 years old, Network Security
    anything over 80k is comfortable for me

  340. avatar

    1. Base $70k + Bonuses. Last year I did ~$95k gross. My wife owns a business plus my side business we netted about $8k on paper [which is up from -$7k last year 🙂 ]

    2. 43, Los Angeles, FT graphic designer / PT producer,photographer,videographer.

    3. I have everything I need right now so I’d be comfortable continuing to make $70k when I leave my job and transition to my own business full time later this year. I plan to make a lot more than that though 🙂

  341. avatar

    1. 70K
    2. 28. Engineer for a medical device company outside of Boston.
    3. With my fiancé, I think I would need 100K to be comfortable. 110k to make serious strides paying off my student loans. Although we may be comfortable once we finish paying for our wedding.

  342. avatar

    Income: $70K / Month

    Job: Online Business Owner

    Yes, I am comfortable. We live WELL below our means. It’s much more than I need and allows me to travel the world with my small family. However, my target is 200K per month. Not for $$ reasons, but it means that more people are making the switch to my product, which has already impacted the lives of many individuals and families.

  343. avatar

    What’s your annual income?

    Stats: Your age, location, job title (e.g., “31, Marketing coordinator for a tech startup in San Francisco”)
    31; Richmond, CA; technical writer for a managed service provider

    What number would be “comfortable” for you?

  344. avatar

    1. 118k (salary) + 40k rental income = 158k
    2. 33, DC, Management Consultant (public sector)
    3. 250k salary would be comfortable.

    I feel bad for being so lazy relative to my doctor friends and to some of the people on this site who work harder. These people deserve to make more. Hopefully one day I can figure out how not to be lazy and actually work hard and concentrate. However Ramit – I do save really well because doing nothing (automating your savings) is easy. You should have had a total net worth question on here, i think that would make me feel a little better, though i recognize that pursuing money probably doesn’t lead to real happiness.

  345. avatar
    IT Girl

    31, systems analyst/it auditor for govt, Orange County, CA based.
    Comfortable at 150k+

  346. avatar
    A. Nonymous

    Annual Income: 43,000
    Age: 28
    Location: New York City
    Job Title: Member Services Coordinator at a grant-based nonprofit

    What number would be “comfortable” for you? I’d rather be at around 55,000 at this point – that number would give me a healthy monthly spending bonus and allow me to fully max out my Roth IRA without cutting back.
    I do, however, feel like most of my peer group makes less. I feel weird saying I want to hang out with people that are making more money (b/c then it sounds like that’s the only reason, making me skeezy!) but if we really are the average of the 5 people closest to us, or only excel as much as our peer group, how else do I set myself up for success?

  347. avatar

    1) $250K
    2) 39, Orlando, CEO of small consulting firm
    3) $140K would provide a good life. Everything received over that is going directly to savings.

  348. avatar
    Hans-Dieter Gerber

    42 years old, Doha – Qatar, Deputy Director Curatorial and Collections @ Museum. 130k annual income (tax free), free housing, 6 weeks vacation, 7 casual days, annual economy class tickets for whole family to our home country. 200k would be comfortable.
    Studies in my home country show that secrecy about your salary benefits the employer. Equal pay for equal work is harder to realize that way.

  349. avatar

    1. Currently I’d guess about 75K Euros. Used to be about 180K Australian dollars. And before that a LOT less, at times 20K a year.

    2. 45, Austria, before somewhere in Australia in the middle of nowhere, entrepreneur

    3. I have always been comfortable. How comfortable and happy I am has never had anything to do with how much I earn. I have also always been comfortable talking about it to anyone, friends or strangers. I do nöt care how much they make, if it’s more or less. I honestly have never, never, ever understood why money is such an issue for everyone.
    Seriously, it just doesn’t matter! (Assuming you are above the poverty threshold, of course.)

    To me, earning money is fun, and spending money is fun, and life is fun whether I have shitloads of money or not.

  350. avatar

    ~$50k after taxes. 28 yr old naval officer in DC. Definitely challenging being in the military in a normal (ie not military town) city that has a high cost of living, esp when it comes to keeping up w peers in the private sector. Would be comfortable making maybe $125k by early 30s. Would let me think about making ‘big kid’ moves like having a family, buying house, etc while continuing to travel, learn, and do things I love.

  351. avatar

    1. $55k/yr + $11k bonus if all goes well, so total $66k/yr.

    2. 25, Washington, DC, but just landed this as a remote job, and my wife and I are moving to Denver in two months. Customer Support/Account Management – type work for a company in Boston.

    3. Comfortable would be north of $100,000+ (That allows for a lot of savings, investment, etc.)

    Already, though, I’m contemplating moving to South America, which would make my relative income go through the roof.

    I’d much rather earn what I am and work from home (or a coffee shop, or Brazil) and have no commute than earn an extra $30k and be tied to an office, so … I’m really happy right now.

  352. avatar

    $79,000. 29, gov’t attorney, DC-Baltimore commuting area. $150,000 comfortable for family of 4. Single: $70-75,000

  353. avatar

    Annual income: after bonuses, around $150K
    I am 27 in Colorado, account for an o&g company.
    Honestly, this is at least double what I would feel is comfortable, but it is great for increasing savings!

    It really doesn’t do anything for me to see other people’s salaries since I don’t know them. If I was asked by someone I know, I would feel uncomfortable sharing because of how high a salary it is – almost like I would be judged for making that much money. I don’t know if I would be, but I am guessing I make more than 98% of my family/friends.

  354. avatar

    What’s your annual income? $48,000

    Stats: Your age, location, job title – 24, Accounts Payable Analyst for international company in Pittsfield, MA.

    What number would be “comfortable” for you? $75,000

  355. avatar

    Annual Income: $34,000
    Stats: Male, 33, Fort Wayne, IN. Meteorologist/Reporter at a TV station for news.
    Comfortable: $60,000

  356. avatar

    I can’t believe some of the numbers!!

    1. 65k + year end bonus
    2. 28, in architecture field, Los Angeles
    3. Comfortable right now as single, but 85-100 would be most comfortable to take care of parents, travel and when I start a family.

    I don’t like talking about salary especially with my friends/ old coworkers probably because when i refuse to answer they say ‘why the big secret’. I worked my butt off going to interviews and researching and finding a number that makes me happy and reflects the value I bring to the company to just turn around and share it with them? No thanks. I think they should put in a little effort to figure it out too.

  357. avatar

    1. I currently make $45,000 a year in my primary job with a small side income of ~$1000 a year (yeah, I know it’s tiny)
    2. 31, primary job is project manager overseeing a $74,000,000 program for the state government in Denver, Colorado. I also run a blog and am a Certified Cicerone for hire.
    3. To be truly comfortable, I would need to make $80,000 a year

    • avatar

      I forgot the second bit (sorry!). Seeing other folks’ salaries is alternately depressing and inspiring. Depressing because some of them are so low that I know I couldn’t live on them, and inspiring because it may mean I’m not stuck at this level forever.

      My partner and I have always been very open about what we make, although my dad was always very private about it. I feel that there’s no reason to be so closed off in this arena as long as you’re not looking for a pity party or to brag (too much).

  358. avatar

    What’s your annual income?
    Stats: Your age, location, job title (e.g., “31, Marketing coordinator for a tech startup in San Francisco”)?
    27, Physical Chemistry Specialist, Houston, Tx
    What number would be “comfortable” for you?
    There is no comfortable number. I will always want more. More money to help charities, family, and friends. More time to spend with my ailing wife. More time to become the person I want to be…

  359. avatar

    1) $81,800+ 12.5% (give or take) annual bonus
    2) 31, Denver, CO, senior scientist technologist
    3). It’s a pretty comfortable salary. My husband makes about the same which puts us firmly in comfortable camp with three kids

  360. avatar

    1. $90 K annually + benefits

    2. 27 year old guy, Denver, Colorado, Product Development Engineer for a small medical device company.

    3. I live very comfortably on this salary now (I’m single and don’t have any debt). I finished paying off my student loans a few months ago. I want to earn $100k+, not because I need it, but because I think six figures would be associated with even with more responsibilities and expanding my role within my company (I would like to transition to more product management/business development work). Plus, I think it would be cool to be able to say I make six figures.

  361. avatar

    Income ~ $80k
    27 yrs old, Milwaukee (Land of Beer), Sales Controller (Finance Manager) @ large multinational

    Current income is comfortable, but who wouldn’t be striving for more on a daily basis.

    Sometimes I feel guilty because I know I make more than friends while also saving more. But after looking at these comments, I may need to continue to push my requests and I continually see I should be paid more!!!

  362. avatar

    Annual income: 16k (USD) + health care + car + cellphone with unlimited internet + profit bonus +
    26 years old, North of Mexico, Field service engineer in Industry
    How I feel: Not so bad, it’s something competitive for the region, and I’m able to live well, but not so much space to save and get major expenses like getting married and buy a house.
    If you get double income in a company you are expected to work at least 12 hours daily and have HUGE responsibilities!

  363. avatar

    1. $48,000
    2. 33, Office Manager for trade service business, Ottawa
    3. $75,000

    Here’s the funny thing: most of my friends and all of my family know how much I make but putting this up here feels like standing naked in the street and asking for comments on my body composition. *shiver*

    Mostly I feel jealous about other people’s income, but sometimes there’s some resentment; I’m working on those feelings because I don’t want them to affect my relationships. That being said, I openly state that I aspire to being a grown up like my niece, who’s 28.

  364. avatar
    CAD Monkey

    1. 56k
    2. 28, SE Ontario (small city, not Toronto), Mechanical Designer
    3. Much less. I currently max out my retirement fund and get 10% of my salary put away in shares to save for big wants. There’s no realistic magic number for me, I can live on less and do the things I want, my happiness is driven by things like my family and my dog… and pinterest, hahaha! That being said I’ve never said no to more and have asked for it!

    • avatar
      CAD Monkey

      Forgot to mention, that’s CAD and I get benefits, shareplan, pension and annual bonus of a couple %s depending on how the company is doing. Plus all the free bad coffee I can chug down!! And an annual safety boot stipend if I need it.

  365. avatar

    1. $73K
    2. 37, Social Media Specialist for a media company in Brooklyn
    3. $90K – Cost of living is HIGH here and I’d like to be able to save more.

  366. avatar

    Annual Income: 50k
    26yrs old, Legal Assistant, Baltimore, MD
    Income is ok. I would like to add 100k to that number.

  367. avatar

    $58k as a fundraiser for a nonprofit. They say you don’t go into nonprofit work for the money and its true, although I feel pretty fortunate compared to others who are making minimum wage and trying to support a family! I would be comfortable/happy with $100k and consider myself a success as far as salary goes and being able to take care of my future retirement/health care needs. The satisfaction of serving others and trying to do some good in this world is important, if I had to choose between serving a mission at a lower salary or making more money at something I didn’t believe in I think I’d still be where I am.

  368. avatar
    Aus fam

    1. Husbands salary $85K AU, I do bits of consulting work ($5-8K, but tax actually works against me working too much, in this kind of range !), We find it a struggle – I have renovated downstairs bed/bathr to host an OS student – bringing in another $10K a year tax free.
    2. I am a 41 yo consultant and “eternal” student (husband – fish scientist/ manager). I learn as much as I can about developing future businesses using my strengths and skills sets amongst caring for 15 month old and 5 year old at home. I know I am going to be great in a future self developed business (feel it in my bones !).
    3. I think $140K would be comfortable to put some $ into savings and investment.

    • avatar
      Aus Fam

      And other peoples financial journeys here….great to read about what is possible…..

  369. avatar

    Annual Income $200k
    30 yrs old
    I was comfortable at my first position of $90k

  370. avatar

    Annual Income: 40k
    27 years old, Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator at a small literacy nonprofit in Philadelphia
    Would love to make more (60-70k), but my current organization can’t handle larger salaries (fact).

  371. avatar

    Annual income: $93 k
    Age: 39
    Occupation: Information Security analyst, financial institution, NYC

    Stats: I kind of feel poorer after reading this! it may be self selection bias (as most folks who read Ramit’s blog are likely to be young, fabulous and successful) but it seems that most here are doing rather well, and good for them! My job has some perks, even though we haven’t seen good raises or bonuses in a few years. I get 4 weeks vacation, I work from home 2 days a week, and a very flexible schedule. I have 3 young kids and the main reason I have this job is that I am able to spend time with them . If a kid gets sick or has something at school I can just work from home rather easily.

    We have a house, 3 kids and live in NYC. My wife is in a medical field and we have upwards of 100K in student loan debt. We have paid off all of our cards and car note, so other than the mortgage and student loans we are debt free. That said to be comfortable in NYC I would love to make $125K.

    Am interested in starting a side business to bring in some extra money but have not settled on an idea. is a good resource to see what folks in your field and even your company make!

  372. avatar
    Michael G

    100k, 25 years old, title and escrow in San Francisco, CA
    Living comfortable now, only debt is home mortgage, would love to earn more to further my investment portfolio

  373. avatar

    1. 100k
    2. 32, director of sales in film, nyc
    3. 150+

  374. avatar

    1.) $73K+ a year
    2.) 27, Manhattan NYC, Executive Comms for a philanthropy
    3.) If I stayed single all my life: $110K, but if I end up with 2 kids and a partner $175K+

    I still have $30K or so in student debt and a few other debts I’d like to pay off. I do have a 401K and I invest on my own in stocks.

    I’m pretty comfortable right now–can take trips whenever/wherever I want, eat out for every meal, and live in a great neighborhood in Brooklyn. But will definitely need more $$ in the future to rent a bigger apt, invest in a business, etc.

  375. avatar

    Damn, everyone here is rich.

    1. 37k …and lately i’ve been making 1000/month on the side doing web design.
    2. 26, Associate Producer for a local government TV station near Detroit, MI.
    3. I mean, I’m pretty comfortable right now. I guess if I was making 50k I could literally afford everything I wanted (I’m a cheap date).

    Seeing everyone else’s salaries makes me feel anxious. I feel like I’m working for way too little money compared to most of the commenters! I guess it doesn’t matter much because it’s not like I’m lacking.

  376. avatar

    My tax return for 2013 stated $35K income.
    60, Frederick, MD
    Independent WordPress Web Designer and Developer
    $60K is comfortable for me. (Actually that is a little less than I have made most of my career. Last year was a bit of an outlier)
    How I feel reading other people’s salaries? A bit of an outsider. Do most people make that much?

  377. avatar

    1. Around £24,000 pa gross
    =$40,000 US

    2. Age:40. Location: Surrey, England (about 30 miles South of London)
    Job: Classical musician. So a mix of performing, conducting and teaching.

    3. This is a very expensive area, London even more so, and that is where I aspire to live, along with most pro musicians.

    So a comfortable figure to be able to buy a decent flat in a good area would be £40-50,000
    =$67,000-83,000 US

    because I teach the kids of a lot of middle class parents in this area, I do get a bit jealous of their incomes, which are probably 4-10X mine in some cases!

  378. avatar

    $87,500 – including rental income from 2 properties.

    25, Durham, NC
    Support for two IBM products Business Process Management products (enterprise level)

    Pretty comfortable right now. Try to keep expenses low. Main priority now is freeing up time so I can focus on important non-work related priorities. Would like an extra 10k to invest.

  379. avatar

    Annual income: 110K
    38 years old, Austin, Project Manager @ Startup Tech Company
    Current income is comfortable, but with four kids, I would like to push 175K.

  380. avatar

    1. Working for a large chain gym as a personal trainer manager and a “top producer” – income was 40K working 60+ hrs a week.
    Since I quit that job and started doing private training, income is now about 70K (working 20hrs a week or less).
    Talk about entrepreneurship vs having a JOB (Just Over Broke). Never doing 9-5 again!
    2. 30 years old, DC area, Master’s in Medical field and Bachelor’s in business (both tie me to a 9-5. Thanks, I will take pt any day and devote the rest of my time to building two online businesses)
    3. 70K is comfortable, without kids currently. Don’t know how much more it would take with kids.

  381. avatar

    1. 175k
    2. 40, Palm Beach County, FL, Science Geek
    3. I have thought about how much annual income is enough. Instead of an annual income goal, I think a disposable income goal is more meaningful to me. My past tendency has been to raise expenses to the level of current annual income. I’d like to have about 120k disposable income annually.

    • avatar

      Oh yeah, and I really don’t care what someone makes. I hope everyone here makes more this year, and I am going after more. Because I can.

  382. avatar

    Been clearing $18K / yr for the last 4 yrs. I’m a married dad of 6. Very hard, but somehow I’ve made it. I live in Bristol, va, self-employed marketing and graphic design. Been too poor to get better programs or upgrade my tech, and now I’m so far behind the curve that my skills are useless for the kinds of clients that would pay good fees. But I’m tired this career, and through Ramit’s advice and the searching and learning over the recent past, I am doing what I can with my limited resources to rebrand myself, lift my chin up, and forge new paths. Praying that 2014 will end on a progressive note.

    And after making so little for so long, I would be a rich man if I just made $35k/yr. Though I would not stop there. My goal is to leave my children a decent inheritance. My family is my drive for financial security.

    • avatar

      Man, you really deserve a better deal!

      Makes me feel almost bad for my own level of success since you obviously are working a lot harder for a lot less.

      I hope Ramit gives you a consultation or something. Really wish there was something I could do to help you find lucrative work but I’m in a different part of the world…

    • avatar

      Also, I’m 39 yrs old. Off to a late start, but now I’ve got hardened experience at my back.

    • avatar

      what’s the one thing that will help you in 2014?

      Knowledge? Tech Upgrade? Better network? Better clients? social skills? negotiation skills?

      Let’s start with just ONE thing and then move on to the next.

      You have amazing room for growth…..(although I can’t comment about Bristol).

  383. avatar
    SF Female

    1. 195K total (145 base and 50K bonus).
    2. San Francisco, Advertising Technology Director (Sales, BD stuff)
    3. I’m comfortable now. I support my husband (who stays home with the baby). My goal has always been to get to $500K per year by the time I’m 40. Very confident I’ll get there.

  384. avatar
    A Name

    1. $60K gross
    2. 29, Eastern Europe, Software Engineer
    3. It’s quite comfortable currently as it comes to over 3 times the national average after taxes/

  385. avatar

    75k annually. Virtually no benefits (flex-time, though asked to be in the office as much as possible), $150.00 stipend per month for insurance (Mine is actually double that)
    36, Chicago, Project Manager for a small web development company. We wear A LOT of hats…
    Comfortable? $150-200k though it seems that level is attainable only through a huge hit to quality of life. e.g. To make that much you have to work all the time.

  386. avatar

    Location: Sweden

    Age: 27

    Profession: IT consultant (ie software engineer), self-employed

    Income: I invoice about $12-$15 000 per month, but social fees and tax man eats up a lot of that. Also, I can take out some of it as a yearly dividend at lesser tax rate, plus I can buy a lot of stuff (computers, phones) tax-free on the company.

    So, quite hard to say what I make in US terms but I guess it would be north of 100k.

    What would be comfortable: not so much a number, but more a lifestyle. I would like to work from home doing a product I own instead of selling hours as a contractor. Would take a hefty pay cut. The SaaS business model is something I’m very much into.

  387. avatar

    36yo Client Manager in the pharma industry making 62K a year and suddenly feeling like a total loser compared to most of the salaries posted here. Seriously – this is depressing. I’d be comfortable at 100k as a single dad with 2 kids.

  388. avatar
    El Rando

    1. $51k (pre-tax)
    2. 24, New England, Retail Manager
    3. $100k. I haven’t asked myself the question, “at what salary will I be comfortable?”, until now, and it took me a while to land on that number. I could live comfortably with less, but breaking the six-figure barrier is something I’ll continue to work for.

    • avatar
      El Rando

      As I see others’ salaries, I’m certainly envious, but more than anything else, I’m thinking I need to make changes to get to where I want to be.

  389. avatar

    Income: $105k + $25-35k bonus + options
    Age: 24, SF, Software engineer
    Comfort level: I willingly got into too much debt, so I could be more comfortable with less debt (house + car) or higher salary

    • avatar

      also an additional $30k/year rental income

  390. avatar

    1. Current annual Income: $4k (from fixed income investments) + $24k (from rental property)
    2. 29 y.o. graduate student in Cambridge, MA
    3. Would be comfortable at $75k, since that’s what the research on happiness says. But I wouldn’t say no to more. 🙂

    Looking at everyone else’s salary, I do feel a little anxious — like I should be making more given my age. But then I remind myself that I have a plan to reach 80-100k in 2 years.

    I’ll be on a 2-year contract with a max salary of $50k when I graduate in a month. To make myself more valuable, I’m learning how to code (html&css, javascript, node, backbone, git, ruby, etc.) and I plan to attend a coding bootcamp at the end of my 2-year contract. I’m pretty good at playing defense (I think a 50% savings rate is the very least I can do), but now I’d like increase my salary so that I can reach financial independence while I’m still (relatively) young.

    Also, I’d love to be able to be more financially generous with my parents.

  391. avatar

    – Income- $111K + 5-10% bonus
    – Benefits- pension, 401K matching, incredible lease car deal, 4 wks time off, great medical, excellent work-life balance and short commute = more family time
    – Job- project manager for a design consultancy in LA
    (my background is mech engineering)
    – Age- 44

    I have a good job, but struggle financially due to the cost of living and raising a family in LA. Wife doesn’t make much, so we don’t have much to save and are always tight with money despite being pretty frugal.

    I am continuously frustrated with my financial situation, but also know part of that is my personal priorities. I have turned down $200K job offers because it would have significantly compromised my time with my family. So I try to keep myself aware and grateful.

    $140K would be comfortable and a huge stress relief.

    I find seeing these anonymous salaries interesting, but knowing that my friends are all more financially successful than me (they are in sales, finance, or software) makes me feel like I have underachieved.

    But that also motivates me. My last side gig (apps) made about $1-2K a year until I sold it for $12K. Now I’m working on building something new.

  392. avatar

    1) $130k + 15% bonus
    2) 35, IT Architect, Chicago
    3) 200k

    I like talking about salaries and I like helping people find ways to earn more (e.g. have helped people successfully apply Ramit’s (and similar) advice). I often find, though, that others who make ‘less’ aren’t so happy to discuss and immediately feel like I don’t ‘deserve’ what I’ve earned and worked to achieve. (P.S. I don’t care what they think 🙂 and I can look myself in the mirror every day and be proud of my accomplishments.

  393. avatar

    1. 270k total, 120K from day job as a strategic consultant (Big 6 firm), $220K Gross side business doing Wedding Photography
    2. 31 years old, Washington DC, Strategic Consultant by day, Photographer by Night
    3. Once I pay off the house $100K a year would be amazing…but until then want to expand the business to at least make a 20% more per year – day job 3% and I would be happy.

    • avatar

      This is AMAZING – you basically make 60% of your income from a side job that takes 1-2 days per week? Congrats -that’s huge!

      How long have you been growing your company? What’s your average revenue each gig (inc. extras like albums etc.) [don’t have to answer, I’m just wondering high end or mid-range?]?

      Any insights appreciated!

  394. avatar
    she said

    Wow, I’m noticing a lot of people who are “comfortable.”

    49, Dallas, stay@home mom, household income $192K+bonuses, but I haven’t earned money in years. ..possibly because we were fairly comfortable.
    We re-located several times for my husband’s career and I’ve been hyper-focused on raising kids, -those are my reasons for not earning money.

    Deep down I would like to earn, and earn BIG, but I’m afraid of the changes that might incur. Not the least of which might be -what happens if I earn significantly more than my husband?

    I see the ridiculousness of focusing on something that may never happen rather than focusing on what I want to happen,
    ..but, maybe we need to talk about money AND sex. 😉

  395. avatar

    Annual Income $80k
    29 years old.
    Vancouver, BC
    Supply chain management for an online retailer.

    • avatar

      I’m pretty comfortable right now, but would certainly take more. The $100k threshold seems like a personal barrier.

  396. avatar
    Lauren K

    Annual income: $43K
    28, New Orleans, Special Education Case Manager and Reading Interventionist @ KIPP High School
    Comfortable Income: 70K

  397. avatar
    Low man on the totem pole

    Annual income: $35k
    28 years old, tech support agent for cell phone company
    Comfortable income would be $250k

  398. avatar

    1. $300k (should be $500k this year and keep doubling next couple of years)
    2. 26 years old Male, Kansas, Owner of an ecommerce company
    3. $20k

    • avatar

      I like how your comfortable number is a fraction (6.7%) of your total income! My comfortable number is about half of my current income.

    • avatar

      Well, I’m young, single, and cost of living in KS is dirt cheap. I can buy a nice little house for $50k, for instance. It frees me up to give a lot of the money away to charity, since I don’t need it.

  399. avatar

    1. 70K + 10K Bonuses
    2. 32, Software Developer in Idaho
    3. Comfortable would be $250K (no idea why but a quarter million annually has a nice ring to it and would go a long way where I live)

    I’m stunned by how many people here are making $150+ in the same field. Regional differences maybe? Other? Feels like I’m behind the curve.

  400. avatar

    $100,000 per year, even. No bonus.

    Age 30, Attorney at mid-size law firm in San Diego.

    $100,000 is the most I’ve ever made in my life, but it’s still not enough to pay down principal on my law school loans. $130k would be comfortable – my student loan debt would actually go DOWN every month, not still continue to climb with interest.

  401. avatar

    Annual Income: 45K + the amount made through my freelancing.
    25 yrs old, Toronto | Vancouver
    Marketing Manager @Family Owned Asset Management Company & Freelance Graphic Designer/Digital Marketer.
    Current income is decent. I don’t think I’d ever be comfortable. i’ll always be hungry for more!

  402. avatar

    Annual income 84k; 54k as a CAD drafter for a school district (great benefits), 18k as a graphic designer and 10k renting out my spare bedroom.

    31 year old from the Bay Area, California.

    Honestly I would definitely feel comfortable making the same amount if I didn’t have 20k in debt and only worked one job. I work full time, I run my graphic business pretty much every day of my life (even on vacation, when I’m lucky to get one) and renting out a room obviously has it’s disadvantages!

  403. avatar

    31, Chicago, Project Manager
    I am comfortable now but really need to do a better job at saving and not shopping so much.

    • avatar

      I do feel a little anxious and/or jealous if I see people doing similar jobs and making a lot more or if my own friends who are of the same caliber are making more but it only gives me motivation to do better and ask for more.

  404. avatar

    1. Pre-tax salary of $65k, plus employee dollar for dollar match in 401k

    2. 25, San Francisco, Marketing Operations for a public company focused on small businesses and individuals.

    3. “Comfort” is hard for me to quantify because inherently I always want more. Right now, $85k would be great as it’ll allow me to do some things I’ve really wanted to do and pursue personal goals, but as my goals change over time, so will my needs. A comfortable amount could be $85k this year, but even a few years from now, comfortable might be $150k or $50k.

    Seeing others around with such high salaries makes me nervous. It makes me question whether I’m going to be able to give my future children, my spouse, and my aging parents everything they need to be comfortable and their very best. I understand money isn’t everything, that it doesn’t define happiness, but it is a means to happiness if you know what you really want in life, and I get scared knowing I may not be able to give my kids the education and extra-curriculars they want, my wife the nice house and comfortable lifestyle she’d want, my parents the comfort and care they want.

  405. avatar
    Mapping girl

    – $56K + 4.5% 401K match, 3 weeks vacation, not great health insurance, 9 to 6 type hours

    – 27 yrs old, Washington DC, GIS Analyst for consulting firm

    – Although I started out here at $44K and negotiated my way up to $56K within 2 years, I still feel like I should be making more. After being acquired by a larger company, my benefits have decreased in quality and I don’t feel like the company cares about its employees. I am looking to make a move to another sector and hope to be able to come in somewhere around $70K – $75K so that I can pay down the rest of my student loans, and not be taken for a ride if I encounter medical problems.

    Though I don’t know if it’s within reach, I think $90K would be comfortable given the extremely high cost of living in DC and my tendency for wanderlust. Reading everyone else’s salaries makes me feel more comfortable thinking about asking for more, but also makes me feel lame for not being a 24 yr old CS prodigy making 180K. (Though I doubt I’d enjoy that lifestyle.)

  406. avatar

    1) 104k salary, 20k bonus target, 45k rental income, 10k side business
    2) 29, Boston, Accoutning Manager/Landlord
    3) I know I’m technically ‘comfortable now’, but still don’t have the discretionary income levels I’d like. I’d like to total closer to 200k, but I’m also single and not providing for anyone else yet.

    • avatar

      Jim, this spread is my ideal income set up!

      If you don’t mind my asking…

      are the rentals apt units or houses and how many?
      How many years did it take to get the rental steady?

      since we are up close and personal…no pressure!

    • avatar

      It’s one three-family house for now, and I live in the top floor. It took a lot of upfront remodeling/work, a lot I did myself, to get it up to par for the area. I’ve been cashflow positive on it for a couple years and I’m currently trying to repeat that whole process again this spring/summer, while keeping the first house.

  407. avatar

    1. $31k
    2. 27, Compositor/Artist at a small studio in the Bay Area
    3. I think $75-90k would be really comfortable for me ^.^

    I gotta say that a wave of both awe and depression swept over me as my eyes glossed over all the $100k+ numbers (good job, btw you guys)! Even seeing that the majority of those numbers were coming from software and tech backgrounds it really made me stop and think, “What have I been doing?”

    I love the company I’m at and the people I work with are amazing. The long term goal is to be a part of their growth and help them soar like I know they will (and me along with them), but this made me really step back and think about what I can be doing NOW on my own to achieve my own goals. Will I be going back to school to study software or engineering, no, because I know it’s not for me. But I can definitely be using the skills I do have to get a step closer. A huge motivator this has been.

  408. avatar

    I’m 33, and in public education (for now) so my salary is published in the paper: a measly $53500 for 10 years of experience, a degree beyond a masters, and innovative expertise with technology, literacy, and leadership/coaching.

    I know I’m worth $80K, easily.

    • avatar

      It’s funny – I’m in about the same position as you and would love to be making a “measly” $53K!

  409. avatar

    1. 130K + 15K bonus + ~10K equity
    2. 29, Corporate Counsel for a medium-sized public tech company in the Bay area
    3. 150K would give me enough $$ to pay for a SF rent + the lifestyle I want + save.

    Feel anxious when I see salaries of those around me (mostly those that are 33+) making 200K+. I wonder what I should do now to put myself in a position to attain that salary at that age. Overall, feel satisfied with relation to my direct peers.

  410. avatar

    1) 36K
    2) 32, Vermont, high school science teacher
    3) 45-50K; I could cover my mortgage with more leftover to take care of house project, get a newer car, and pay down college & grad school loans faster

    • avatar

      What’s your annual income? $156,000 + 15% bonus
      Stats: Your age, location, job title 37, Informaticist, NC

  411. avatar

    $457k total comp
    41, NYC, Product strategy
    Reasonably comfortable with this, would not mind an extra few 100k.

  412. avatar

    Project Control Analyst

  413. avatar

    1. 30,000 base sal. but, with commission landed $82,000 last year.
    2. 24 y.o.,Baltimore, MD, Medical Device sales rep.
    3. This past year was my first full year in the work force. Dominated my territory. Think I’m still on the upswing. Payout is comfortable, although I’m a single female with no children. I think if the situation was any different, my answer would be different. With this salary, I paid off student loans from undergrad, paid upfront for every semester so far of graduate school and pay my mortgage on time 🙂 Can’t ask for more than that!
    Have a super day, Ramit!

  414. avatar
    Some guy

    75K a year + options + UNLIMITED vacation!
    28 years old, Boise Id, Marketing Technology Manager working for a startup
    If all debts (medical, student loans, mortgage, etc.) were paid off, really 75K a year would be comfortable; since they are not probably would say around 125-150k. Sole income for a family of 4.

    Seeing all the people who make more than me inspires me to figure out how they do it and copy them. Seeing all the people who make less makes me proud that I’m doing better (yes, makes me sound like a jerk, I know- Of course I’d never say that if this were not anonymous).

  415. avatar

    1.) $78,000 + $5-10K bonus
    2.) 28, Phoenix, AZ, Nutrition company + very part-time Chiropractic practice. Graduated 4 years ago so just gained traction in last 18 months.
    3.) $150,000+, this is the number that allows me to handle existing debt comfortably (aka student loans), save cash for major expenses (ring, wedding, scaled downpayments, etc) as you outline in scrooge strategy, while also maxing out tax-friendly contributions, living comfortably, eating well, and taking 2 nice vacations a year or 1 major trip to say Europe. Also, a number where advanced tax planning starts to apply where you can start to accelerate earnings even more.

    Thoughts on other responses: people who make more are more likely to respond to these types of things (hint, they take action), hence the $100K+, plus readers here are more of the “top performer” variety, otherwise why else are they reading Ramit?

    If we did a “where are you 5 years from now”, could probably predict where people’s incomes are based on the answers to this last part.

  416. avatar

    I make about $30k a year as a retail customer service manager. I’m currently 24 years old living near Portsmouth NH. I am able to live somewhat comfortably as it is, but if I could get closer to $50k it would really take the pressure off and allow me to invest more in my hobbies.

    I don’t think I’d know what to do with some of the figures people are posting and what people would feel comfortable at. It’s hard for me to imagine making more than $50k, let alone $100k or $200k.

  417. avatar

    1. Expecting 225k (pre-tax) this year. But, that’s about 100k more than last year, and about 170k more than 2 years ago.
    2. 30, Boston, Self Employed.
    3. Fairly comfortable as is, but I do want more, I just can’t help it.

    There was a time I was anxious and sometimes jealous, but the last two years have moved me in to the “don’t want others to feel awkward” feeling.

  418. avatar

    €31200 a year, is about $43000.
    29, sales and management trainer / coach at a retail organization in Holland.
    Would prefer more in the line of €45000, however, if the job were all joy, the money wouldn’t be as important to me, we’re living comfortably enough.

  419. avatar

    Just graduated college with a degree in petroleum engineering. Age: 22. Salary: $110K

  420. avatar

    What’s your annual income? $152,000
    Stats: 39, NY, Acupuncturist/Herbalist/Reiki Practitioner
    What number would be “comfortable” for you? $300,000

  421. avatar
    There's Work to be Done

    27, Project Manager in E discovery currently being underpaid @ 68k in New York.

    Gotta face the facts in order to make the change right?

    Not at all shocked by the number’s I’m seeing here but think it’s important to think about how the shame/guilt etc that is obviously the sub-context here creates the block for earning more….at any level!

  422. avatar

    1. $36,000 + health insurance/vacation benefits and cell phone reimbursement; +/- $22,000

    2. 26 years old, Phoenix, AZ, Director of Operations for a Super PAC; Part-time server at a wine bar

    3. I’ve bartended and served all through high school/college, and I’ve been able to afford my lifestyle on that salary since graduation. I recently took a promotion with the Super PAC that included the salary and benefits, so I definitely feel more comfortable financially now compared to my previous income from the bar and my independent contractor consultant work for the PAC. I can certainly live off of this combined salary right now, but it would be great to quit the bar altogether. I also feel like I definitely deserve a higher salary, but I know the organization can’t really afford it right now and I love the work that I do. I think $75k would be more comfortable to pay down debt/loans and save/invest more.

    In the past year or so I’ve started reading more financial blogs like IWTYTBR and Daily Worth, a women’s financial blog, which have encouraged me to be more open about my finances. Taking control of my own finances and learning about other people’s salaries is incredibly empowering, although conversations with close friends can still be tricky. I’ve found that many of them skim the subject, even when I’m open and honest about my earnings and finances. Again, it’s empowering to know what others are making, especially peers in my field, because I think it helps me reevaluate my worth and will push me to demand more. Sometimes knowing that others my age are making much higher salaries makes me feel somewhat “behind” – like I should be further in my career with better earnings. But this recent promotion is a stepping stone and I feel good about where I’m headed next 🙂

  423. avatar

    (1) 74,000 CAD + 4 weeks paid vacation, good insurance and pension.
    (2) 43, Organizational Effectiveness Consultant for gov’t in Halifax, Canada.
    (3) My husband also works a gov’t job and makes just over 90,000 so we are very comfortable right now. A lot of my friends work in the arts, so we are the rich ones of the bunch. The only problem is my job bores me and I work with a lot of negative people, so I’m actively searching for a new job. Seeing other people’s jobs and salaries makes me realize there are a lot of options out there. I think I would be a lot happier working for myself hope to be doing just that by the end of 2015.

  424. avatar

    Annual Income: 90k + some bonus
    31 , Program Manager at a top tier IT Consulting company in Boston.
    Not comfortable with salary especially being sole earner with a kid and high cost of living in Boston. Would prefer to be at least at 120K.

  425. avatar

    Well, that depends. . .

    1. Commission: $150,000+ year
    Salary: $48,000+distributions+freedom (time, schedules, vacation)

    2. 33 years old, Las Vegas, Insurance Broker

    3. I’m OK with my salary, since I know I can access more if I want to go on vacation or buy expensive shoes/handbags.
    I would like to take all that I earn, but I have overhead.

    In my industry, I am in the top 5%. (I even have a plaque!)There is always talk of salary/commissions/earnings, most of it is bullshit. If you have been in my business less than 5 years, you are barely surviving, don’t come to me boasting of how you made $100,000 last year, I know you didn’t.
    On the flipside, those that do make the big-bucks, have egos that don’t fit in a room. I’m not sure why anyone would even do business with the assholes.

    I’m happy plugging along, building my business slowly and steadily.

  426. avatar
    Just Me

    45, Portland, Engineer/Entrepreneur

  427. avatar

    Assistant Recreational Director/Gymnastics Coach
    Current Income: $27,000
    Would be comfortable at: $50,000

  428. avatar
    Classical Singer

    Annual income: 91 K gross on 2013 tax return
    38 years old
    Classical concert production and professional singer. I work about 80 hours/week to make this and it’s not remotely comfortable in NYC. Still, I know I am making a lot more than most of my colleagues. This represents nearly doubling my income in the past 3 years (thanks, Ramit!).

    • avatar
      Classical Singer

      120 K would feel comfortable.

  429. avatar

    Annual Income: 92K
    Stats: 30, Toronto, Commercial Credit Analyst @ Major Bank
    Comfortable Income: 45K

    • avatar

      The posts that I find most impressive are the one’s where the comfortable income is a fraction of the current income. Those are the individuals who have built slack into their lifestyles. I could take a 50% cut and still be okay.

      One post showed an annual income of $300K but a comfortable income of $20K. I thought that was most impressive. That guy could take a 93% pay cut and still be okay!

  430. avatar

    1 – $41,000 / year from FT job, ~$20K / year from my side-gig.

    2 – I’m a department head in CIS for a college in the midwest

    3 – Double this would be comfortable. I’m just making the ends meet sometimes when something big comes up.

    Working for a public education institution, our salaries are public information. The local newspaper posts them each year in a searchable database so I can find out what anyone in the college makes. It only bothers me when my students go see it and make comments about it because they can go get jobs with their degree making more than me right away.

    • avatar

      Forgot to include that I am 30.

  431. avatar

    I am on £70k ($118k USD). I work in HR for an Oil and Gas company, 30 years old, based London. Reasonably happy with this at the moment but want to kick on to 6 figures (in GBP, $167k USD) by the time I hit 35. Comfort level I think is £50k. At the level I am at now I make significant contributions to long-term savings in index funds and company pension – some Indian guy recommended it to me in a book.

  432. avatar

    29 yo, NYC
    Day gig $70k p.a. package, inc health and vacation. Exec Assistant
    Side gig $12k p.a. currently. Music Director, Voice Coach, Composer.

    After moving to NYC in 2011, I really only started establishing myself in business and building my side gig in the last year. Financially overall it’s come up quickly from the previous year (doubled my entire income), but I’m pushing for more.

    Would be more comfortable with $150k plus, especially for living in NYC and having family elsewhere (lots of travel).

    Very rarely discuss with friends, especially my friends who are girls, it gets too catty. Really only my family know what I earn and it can be comfortably discussed with parents and 3 siblings – we all know what each of us earns and talk about money comfortably.

    New york is a place too where incomes vary on a much larger scale. It was something that I wasn’t used to experiencing having grown up in a small coastal town, and would have definitely been able to negotiate for more in the Exec Asst. gig if I had known more… (sigh) will be figuring that all out soon…. (Gotta brush up on your negotiating vids, Ramit!)

  433. avatar

    What is you annual income: I refuse to answer on the grounds it may reduce my current low self esteem even lower. currently for various reason around charity level to your a sick, disgusting drain on society.
    What is your current position, title..blah..blah..blah. In transision between careers and right now being a bit rocky.
    What number would be comfortable to you? Personally figuring that out. Socially 10% more than whatever your current have now.

    This is a very interesting topic because I am personally dealing with this. I figure income is the new sex in the case that it is the topic not to be talked about but like sex many people use similar metrics. And like sex most people lie like hell to themselves. We also tend to not have a good education on the basics of money which is why many of todays millionares are tommorows homeless shelter participants.

    Our society tends to be able to quantify things which is some areas is good but in others totally sucks. With sex we want to know how big, how long, how many times, how often, what angle…etc. This in a sense sets a standard but also makes something like sex “safe” if you can meet the 2.5 orgasm in 30 minutes rule. This takes a hell of alot of fun out of sex and loving but makes it at least comfortable and even lowers it down to almost safe table topic discussion. The real intimate side can be glossed over.

    Income in a sense has become the new sex that we cant even to those we love be honest about this. It is as opposed to sex something that is openly socially approved and has metrics: ie how much, how many income sources do you have, what do you invest in…etc. The problem is sometimes the standards can be harmful such as if a lovers first comment before the first time you have sex is “its not as large as I would like but I guess it will do”. We also want to be equal or above which goes back to the statement that in adult chat no man is less than 10″x6″, can last at least 30 minutes and give the necessary 2.5 orgasms. BTW woman do the same rating system in both sex and economics its just some of the variables may change. And since economic performance is so valued and held as a qualifier of self you rarely will get even close lovers to talk about this openly. It hits too hard on insecurity of worth, self value and to be a doer in society.

    And then on the other side it seems like politicians and such have demonized the pursuit of wealth and the wealthy. Similar to what happened when men/woman who wanted to express their sexuality were held socially as whores and bastards who hurt society. So the wealthy want to deny that because they dont want to be held as the bad guys or uncaring. So here we are striving to become more wealthy but are told in the next breath if you get there you are a bad and selfish person. Trapped if you are poor and trapped if you are rich.

    So in a sense we are royally screwed when in comes to income. For those who say they are the exception I would suggest in private diving deep and asking the same question. If they are honest (and so many people are not that psychologist and psychiatric specialist will have no problem keeping employed for the forseeable future) they will see and learn alot more about themselves. It will be as unconfortable as hell but then those who think the process is easy are probably living in a land where santa claus and the easter bunny still lives. Most people I have found never will and in a sense I feel sad for them. But that is life.

    Thank you for the question. I hope this will help someone. And if the original poster wants to continue the dialog please feel free to send in a future email some information on how to contact you directly. I will be glad to continue this chain.

    • avatar

      And since I have followed this thread a bit after the postings a few notes in general.

      Economic numbers and facts may appear larger in the mirror than in reality. Plus unless the original poster went and got a copy of everyones latest tax form you cannot prove or deny any of the numbers. And really it would take too much energy to confirm or deny.
      The problem is that we rate our self worth by other numbers. Their numbers are higher so thus they are more “worthy” than us. Which is total bullshit but how most of us operate from.
      The questions about income should be (1) Is the amount we are making allowing us to have a comfortable life (2) Is it in our ability to get some other items we desire (car, house..etc) without too much strain or discomfort. (3) Do we have enough of a cushion so if the worst happened we would be able to get through on our resources for six months to a year. And at a advanced level are we in a position that our income is providing our wealth so we have the freedom to do what we want without having to do it.
      Now the amounts and such will differ between individuals. But having these as the basic guideposts is a good start.

      p.s. to the original poster feel free to use and alter the above for future use if it can help others. Try to keep the original intent though.

  434. avatar

    22 years old, AmeriCorps VISTA at a nonprofit in Dallas.
    To be honest, most of the time I am happy, live comfortably, and have everything I need. But I would like to be able to travel more, save more, and not worry if my car breaks down or some other huge, unexpected expense. I would also really like to be able to donate to a few charities and help support my parents. In order to start investing in my future and live the way I would like to live, I think I would feel comfortable at $50,000 with a goal of $80,000 one day. I’m not sure how achievable this is in nonprofit, IR, or food policy though (my fields). I can’t help but feel jealous of everyone else’s salaries on here- at such young ages, no less! I should have gone into software engineering or finance but math really isn’t one of my skills. Hopefully grad school will help me out.

  435. avatar

    $205,000 + bonus; 41, NYC, lawyer at public company; Current comp is comfortable but only barely so for NYC. $225,000 base + bonus would be better.

  436. avatar
    Fred C Dobbs

    1.a. This month earning at the rate of about $190k/yr for 30-hour weeks – as a consultant it could go up or down from there. (Cashflow is a different story, but we’ll get past that eventually.)
    1.b. No side income yet, but working on two streams that haven’t reached the market yet (book and videos)

    2. 53, SF Bay Area, Product Management/Business Consultant

    3. $190k/yr will be comfortable, especially if I can manage it on 30-hour weeks, giving me flexibility for travel and additional income streams. But my target is at least $220k/yr.

  437. avatar
    Girl in TX

    1. $35,700
    2. 23, Brand Marketing Coordinator for a sports nonprofit in Waco, Texas
    3. $45,000 would be comfortable for me. I am in graduate school and have a full time job.

  438. avatar

    1) $85k/year, plus hubby makes household $215K
    2) 49 yrs old, Director of Finance for small elect. mfg company in So California, one in college, 2nd starts this fall, with the 3rd one in 2 years
    3) $100K – but, I did not go to college so I feel very blessed. At this salary, with every extra penny going to college savings and/or retirement (neither of us have retirement plans at work), we have to run a very tight ship. No debt (other than mortgage), but I don’t like what I do. So…. would rather be making less and doing something I enjoy. It amazes me what people can do on less (we’ve had 2 real vacations in 23 years of marriage).
    Kudos to the young folk. Hopefully our sacrifices will provide the same for our kids!

  439. avatar
    A girl

    20k, Nanny, 35 yrs old, Baltimore MD. Barely getting by!

  440. avatar

    1. 60K from salary and about 15K from investment real estate, household is about 160K
    2. 40 year old teacher w/master’s degree, Indiana
    3. We are fine on what we make since I am by nature very frugal and my wonderful husband doesn’t complain about it. However, I would like to make more – quite a bit more. I hope to create enough value for people that I can earn 7 figures. That will take a load of work and sacrifice, but it’s a challenge I can’t quite get out of my mind. I say that because I have never been interested in being “comfortable” either financially or personally, so I can’t really come up with a number for that. I figure if I’m comfortable, I’m not growing, and I always want to be growing.

  441. avatar

    1) $73,000
    2) Age: 27, Location: San Francisco, CA, Job Title: Assistant Project Manager in high end residential construction.
    3) My current salary would be comfortable if I wasn’t aggressively trying to pay off my college loans (~$1000/month). I have a little over a year to go to be completely debt free. Right now $85k would be nice but I’d probably just put all that extra money towards my loans anyway.

  442. avatar

    1. $68k + ~$4-5k bonus. 2 weeks vacation, 4% 401k match (if I contribute 9%).
    2. 30, Oakland (SF Bay Area), geologist (environmental consulting)
    3. $80k + bonus, 4-6 weeks vacation.
    4. Ashamed at not earning at least what is comfortable for my savings goals and lifestyle (which is not particularly extravagant). Envious of others with more vacation time or higher salaries my age or younger. Generally: I feel BAD knowing these numbers.

    I’m burnt out and am both desperate to make a drastic change (towards work-life balance and financial security) and petrified (deer-in-the-headlights style) of taking the plunge. Also, a little wise voice says it’s probably best not to make big decisions and take drastic action when I’m feeling trapped and anxious and exhausted.

  443. avatar
    Random Dude

    1) $65k me, $50k wife ($115 combined)
    2) both 27, me – project engineer, her – doctor in training. Central Florida
    3) We’ll see a big jump in 3 years (wife doubles salary or more once she graduates) then I’ll feel comfortable. Now it feels like we are just keeping our heads above water – not much left after student loans (more than our mortgage), retirement, and standard bills.

  444. avatar
    NJ Anon

    1) $125K + $25K in bonus and benefits
    2) 36, NJ, Manager at a Big Pharma
    3) $200K would be comfortable. Rent in northern NJ is crazy like CA. I pay $1900 for a 2 bed/1 bath house and that is cheap. I need to move to a 3 bed/ 2 bath that would cost minimally $2500/month in rent or mortgage. I don’t save enough for my 2 kids college.

  445. avatar

    Annual Income: $140,000. 31. Attorney@ publicly traded software company. However, I am contacted very frequently to interview for new positions which are in the mid-to-high $200’s. Expect next position (in near future) to be in that range.

  446. avatar

    $160+ 25% bonus. Took a massive pay drop to move to the US (about 10th drop). Worked in sales, now marketing, both at public companies. I consider it not bad since I have zero post – secondary education.

    comfortable? I’m far from it as I give > 50% to my ex… need a good side business to supplement. .. anyone know a good business coach 😉

    • avatar

      Oops… 36 yrs. And supposed to say 100K drop… stupid autocorrect

  447. avatar

    24 years old, Policy Advisor/Political Staffer, Canada
    Comfortable, but not enough. I make more than most people my age, but I still feel undervalued given the pivotal role I play in my office. Age may be a factor.

  448. avatar

    1. $55,000/yr
    2. 37, Raleigh/Durham NC area, technical assistant in engineering dept
    3. $70,000 – $75,000+

    Dang, Say whattt??? Gosh, most of the people on here are making bank!! I’m feeling relatively poor right now….seriously tho, as a single mom of three, making ends meet for me and my kids is pretty hard and I definitely need to earn more. Seems its hard to make alot of money in this area if you’re not in the medical field (oh in hindsight I would do it). I would have figured by now I would be in the $75K range, as I got my MBA in 2008. I haven’t had much luck getting promoted anymore lately and I’ve been with this company almost 10 years. I’m amazed at how young so many of you are making well over my salary…..I was barely making $25K a year when I was 25 years old!!! I guess its time for me to look outside this company for better job opps.. I need to hit comfortable level with the next few years.

    • avatar

      A few years ago I was making about 65K at my company that I had been with for 8 years. They were dead set that they could not give me a raise. i went and interviewed at 5 other companies and got an offer for 75K. I then presented that to my boss who matched me for 85K! I have since gotten incremental raises and now make 93K. If I had sat around waiting I would have gotten a measly 4% raise a year , if that. I bet you are an irreplaceable asset to your company and they would hate to lose you, have to train a new person, etc. Go interview! Find a new job. Let your boss know and see if they can match you. i bet you they will! Good luck!

  449. avatar

    Annual Income: 45K
    26 yo; Minneapolis; Marketing Coordinator
    60K would be comfortable

  450. avatar
    Poorer than I thought I was

    1. 95k + 9-12k bonus
    2. 26, blue chip software, DC
    3. No idea, I guess 70k+?

    First of all, holy shit I didn’t realize how many of the readers of this blog were making a lot more than me. Secondly, I kind of BS’d the 3rd answer. I am more interested in how much I have to work for the money rather than how much I make. Ideally, I’d want to work 2-3 days a week or less with freedom of location and get my annual income from that.

    I live with my parents at the moment, so I save a good deal of money from doing that. I also owe them a LOT for all the help they’ve given me and continue to give me, so I want to make sure I can take care of them when they get old.

    I don’t like to talk about money with people because I talked to one friend when I got my first job, asking him about investing and shit, and he promptly told every one of my other friends how much I had in the bank. Since then, I’ve been really careful about it, especially since I still live with my parents, I get a lot of people who seem kind of resentful of the fact that I save more and want to either put me down about it or exact some sort of retribution. Some people actually say “come on, put in an extra 3 bucks on the bill, you make more than any of us AND you live at home!” Not everyone is like that though, some just say “must be nice” or “damn, you must be saving loads.” It’s an uncomfortable conversation that I always steer people out of whenever I can.

    …. yeah, sorry for the essay.

    • avatar

      Don’t be cheap dude! By a freakin round of drinks. you know, you do live with your parents and are making shitload of money! lol