Recently one of my friends has come into some money and she is conflicted over what to do with it. She sees the money as a problem because she is afraid she’ll make a mistake in how she spends it and cause issues for herself later on by not being responsible with it now. Her solution is to use the entire sum to pay off her mortgage just so that she and her husband can’t waste it on frivolous items, even though they also need money to repair some things around their house and she is recently unemployed. I suppose if she knows she has no impulse control, or the ability to say no to her husband, spending the money to fully pay off the mortgage is a smart move but it got me thinking about what people do with the money they see go through their accounts.
I totaled up the money I’ve made since I became a legal adult and realized that despite my rather low wages I’ve still managed to see over a million dollars flow through my bank accounts since I turned 18. That doesn’t include any of the money my husband has earned since we got married. Just for me to live a moderate life and pay off the student loans on my BA it’s cost about 1.1 million so far. If I add up the money my husband has brought in the sum increases by a couple hundred thousand. Even counting for the fact that this needs to be spread out over 14 years, if I look at the money I have left over after bills are paid, it leaves me with a COL of roughly 72k a year. That totals out to a wage of about $35 an hour. I have never made $35 an hour yet that is apparently what I spend at.
I do not eat out very often, I do not buy a lot of alcohol or things of that nature, I only travel about once a year and keep those vacation costs to around $1000 each time. I shop consignment stores and rarely pay full price for anything. I drive a fuel-efficient car that I paid off years ago. I do not own the latest electronic anything. Entertainment totaled less than 5% of the budget. Yet despite my frugal nature I still have a COL of $35hr. Makes me wonder how they think anyone can actually live off a minimum wage that’s almost $30 less than what my COL sits at.
I shudder to think what the numbers would look like if I totaled up husband’s income to expenditure numbers. I suspect he’s earned and spent way more than me considering he was earning over $16 an hour when he was 18 and making close to $80k a year by the time he was 22. Somehow he never saved a cent of his money though, I imagine his entertainment budget was pretty high. Together we’ve made and spent at least 2.5 million.
Have you ever taken the time to total up your income over the years and compare it to what you have left over? What do you think your COL is? I can’t even imagine how expensive things will get when we add kids to the mix. How can people afford to live nowadays jeez.