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Old 12-30-2011, 10:37 AM
 
27 posts, read 64,825 times
Reputation: 21
Default 100k and struggling in NJ

Just wanted different views on this.

Our household income is around 100K before taxes (actually this year looks to be arount 90K) and we are just getting by. No money left for savings/retirement.

Its just the 2 of us, we live a modest lifestyle
rent a house
1 car
cook most our meals etc.
just the basic cost of living expenses

wanted to get some opinions,
we make 2x the national average and still cant survive here in NJ!
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:47 AM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,336 posts, read 13,260,435 times
Reputation: 4241
switch from a house to a 2 bedroom apartment , move into a dense suburban or Urban town like Weehawken or Bayonne , ditch the car. I know alot of couples who live on 100k with no problem and quite a few singles. The cost of living for a person in North Jersey with Taxes factored in is 17k..... Utilities , Food , daily life needs , and Transportation....
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:48 AM
 
Location: North Metro Atlanta
4,760 posts, read 5,757,913 times
Reputation: 3806
My guess is your are paying off a hung amont of debt. Ie: in july/2011 you were asking about filing bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Attorney Nutley Area
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:04 AM
 
Location: NJ
252 posts, read 209,669 times
Reputation: 380
As my dad told me when I was a kid, it's not what you make, it's what you spend. You can live in NJ with that income.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:05 AM
 
Location: NJ
17,580 posts, read 19,955,756 times
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So where does all your money go? Impossible to answer your question without more details.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:26 AM
 
1,837 posts, read 1,761,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fred44 View Post
As my dad told me when I was a kid, it's not what you make, it's what you spend. You can live in NJ with that income.

Not saying NJ is cheap because we know it isnt but those words above me are so true. A lot of people are in bad situations making a decent nut yet when you ask them what they spend money on you will hear.

Nails and Hair
"top notch" clothing
top of the line cars
50 million channels on cable
cleaning person?????
eating out
the latest and best gadgets
dumb thing for kids
tobacco
alcohol
over the top vacations
eating out lunch at work all the time

Dont get me wrong if you can do all that stuff good for you but just dont expect to have money left over because all those luxuries are very costly.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:34 AM
 
6,320 posts, read 4,847,879 times
Reputation: 5288
Either you're renting a mansion in Alpine and the meals you cook are Kobe Beef with Beluga caviar, or you have more expenses than you've mentioned. If you really can't figure out where it's going, you need to start recording all your expenses so you can figure it out.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:44 AM
 
27,359 posts, read 20,689,340 times
Reputation: 24712
Do you have a lot of debt? That's what my situation is. I make a good salary but I have tons of debt from the days when my salary wasn't as good, the years of paying off the debt incurred by my ex during our marriage, and raising my daughter in a better town with better schools than I could really afford. I do not regret that last part one bit, and now I have to take out loans to get her through college and do not regret that either, but the debt will be with me for a while and prevents me from saving.

I can't save but I wouldn't say I'm struggling, though. I can pay my bills every month. I just don't spend anything on luxuries or go on vacations away from home.

People might also want to note that if you're making $100K, have no dependants and no deductions for a mortgage, you are truly getting whacked with taxes.
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:12 PM
 
1,093 posts, read 1,563,706 times
Reputation: 515
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS11654 View Post
Just wanted different views on this.

Our household income is around 100K before taxes (actually this year looks to be arount 90K) and we are just getting by. No money left for savings/retirement.

Its just the 2 of us, we live a modest lifestyle
rent a house
1 car
cook most our meals etc.
just the basic cost of living expenses

wanted to get some opinions,
we make 2x the national average and still cant survive here in NJ!
My recommendation is downgrade the house to studio or 1bedroom (downgrade living standard) and pay off your debt ASAP. If you aren't already doing so, sacrifice vacation trips and self rewarding gifts such as consumer electronics for years. Also consider getting a second job or side job to work after hours or on weekends (whatever it maybe) to pay down the debt. Right now in current economy, with very minimum opportunity to invest your money anywhere. Your opportunity cost is low for using the cash to pay off the debt instead of investing somewhere.

On personal note, I made about 80k when I lived in NJ for my spouse and I. We were fine, saved quite a bit by being cheap and sacrificing a lot. We lived in a large studio, 1 car (paid off), went on vacation trip once every 2 year, put 15% of my salary into 401k, and didn't gift each other anything major (over 50 bucks) for 3+ years we lived in NJ.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:44 PM
bay
 
425 posts, read 1,850,748 times
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That's the income we had when we just got married 7 years ago. We rented 1 bedroom apartment in Jersey City for 2 years before we bought the condo. However, at that time, our weekly grocery only cost $30 for two and electrical bill is around $50 in summer. we brought lunch every day. We share 1 car which my husband owned since college and even now we move to suburb, we still share 1 car (new SUV). We were able to save up and bought a 2 bedroom condo after 2-year-renting. For now, the cost of living went up a lot comparing to 7 years ago, but I think 100K still can survive ok and save up in NJ if you don't have kid.
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