This is a topic I’ve touched on before, so bear with me if you’re a regular reader, but I’m astonished all over again.
The median family income — not for an individual, but a family — in the United States in 2013 was $51,939.
My personal income — just for me — in my current job (alas, old overpaid-for-my-field job, I miss you!) is $47,500.
So I make about $4500 below the median income. That’s probably a take-home pay differential of, say, $3000/year. While I could certainly put an extra $250 a month to some use, it wouldn’t pay for a spouse and children, that’s for sure.
And I’m using every penny. Granted I’m putting a lot towards retirement savings. But in theory we all have to do that, especially those of us starting late (as I’m sure most people at or below the median are.) Rent, food, car expenses, it just…adds up.
I’m fine — I can definitely live decently on this amount of money, though God knows I’d rather have more so I could travel more freely to see my friends, or save up for a house — but I just don’t know how families are getting by.