Monday, 5 December 2011

Can you live on $50K a year?

I was reading and article on MSNBC today talking about the fact that $50,000 is the median income in the US.

It got me thinking about whether $50K a year is sufficient income to life comfortably. I actually went back and checked my expenses this past year so see where I landed.

I also did a quick check using the tax calculator on to see what the take home income would be with a gross income of $50K. Here is what I found.

- With a single earner, 4 member family (couple + 2 kids), a $50K income would translate to a net, after-tax income of just over $40K.

- $40K net income translates to about $3300 per month.

- This should allow the family to lead a comfortable middle class lifestyle without giving considerations for RRSP, RESP, TFSA etc. Depending on the family's priorities, they may actually be able to invest in the plans to some extent.

So in my opinion $50K should be sufficient for a family.

And in case you are wondering, I did come in under the $40K threshold as well - not counting the RRSP, RESP, TFSA etc. But if $40K was all I had to work with, I am sure that I would have managed my expenses better (maybe there would not have been the 2 vacations or the 2 cars etc)

What about you? Is a $50K income sufficient for you?


  1. I think $50K is pretty good but not if you live in Vancouver (and want to own). A lot of people make $50K and live very comfortably, though they may not be maxing about their TFSAs or RRSPs or even saving.

  2. Of course how far your money goes depends a great deal on where you live.

    Perhaps there are ways to do more with the money we have if we are careful about where we spend what we have.

    Thanks for the comment.