guestpost by Crystal Hammond of Sophisticated Spender
How much money does one need to consider him or herself financially secure? According to a recent MSN article, a study of Americans shows that most people say $150,000 per year is the magic number.
$150,000 is the amount people said they need to pay for necessities, afford some extras and put some away in saving. To me, that just sounds like a lot of people who wish to live beyond their needs.
You can do all of these things and more NOW, no matter how much money you make, if you simply live within your means. The national median salary for 2010 was $49,445 and that's enough to put a household into the top 10%. However, for some reason people don't think that's enough.
The study asked people to choose which of four categories best described them:
1. I can't even afford the basics;
2. I can barely afford the basics and nothing else;
3. I can afford the basics plus some extras; and
4. I can afford the basics, the extras and I'm able to save, too.
And only at the $150,000 salary level did 85% of respondents pick option #4.
I can say with confidence that I fall into the category of option #4 and I don't make $150,000 a year-YET! However, I can say with confidence that I live well within my means, don't carry a credit card balance, and paid off my car super-early.
What's my secret? No, I didn't marry rich. I watch every single penny that leaves from my hand. I am very selective and picky on where my money goes. I work hard for my money, and will gladly spend it on things that I absolutely love.
How much money do you think you need to be financially secure? What steps are you willing/trying to make to get there?
Or, do you think you already have enough money, and you're perfectly happy living within your means?
Which category in this study would you put yourself in?