Once emblematic of financial success, $100,000 a year no longer guarantees prosperity, especially in many parts of the U.S., where earning $100K or less often translates to financial struggle.
The perceptions surrounding a yearly household income of $100,000 evoke a range of reactions, from excitement about reaching six figures to concerns about financial viability within this bracket
A recent survey by PYMNTS.com unveiled that even among those earning $100,000 or more, 48% live paycheck to paycheck, attributing this to escalating living costs, mounting debts, imprudent spending, and shrinking savings. Location plays a crucial role, as highlighted by finance professor Robert R. Johnson, who notes that $100,000 might stretch further in Manhattan, Kansas, than in Manhattan, New York.
Despite being a common benchmark, Johnson dismisses $100,000 as inadequate, asserting that sound financial practices extend beyond yearly household income levels. He emphasizes the universal importance of budgeting and living within means, applicable whether earning a million dollars or $50,000.
For households struggling with a yearly household income of $100,000 or less, experts recommend tackling debt, adopting disciplined budgeting, and exploring ways to increase income. Pam Krueger of WealthRamp.com underscores the necessity of prioritizing debt reduction, especially in high-cost living areas, urging individuals to make tough choices to alleviate financial stress.
In addition to budgeting, creating emergency funds becomes crucial, with Krueger advising a strategic allocation between a money market account and a CD ladder
While considering ways to augment yearly household income, experts caution against succumbing to lifestyle inflation and encourage prudent spending to sustain financial stability. Furthermore, the article suggests exploring opportunities for career advancement, and certifications, and leveraging employer benefits to enhance yearly household income. Experts warn against the pitfalls of lifestyle creep, emphasizing the importance of living below one’s means, even with a $100,000 yearly household income, and maximizing employer benefits to mitigate financial burdens.