How much does a family of four needs to earn per year to live the upper-middle-class American dream? Forbes.com looks at a major metro region in each of the 50 states and estimates such expenses as primary and secondary homes, private education, taxes, utilities and more, to find out what it costs to live the good life. One thing is for certain: The dream is a pricey one. ~ from Forbes Magazine
I’m slightly puzzled here. According to this article in Forbes the American dream should be defined as private schools for the kids, a large house in an upscale neighborhood, a weekend retreat, a pricey night out once a week and a couple of very nice cars.
According to their statistics, an average “primary” home in a large city in Tennessee is $950,000. I think that the Forbes people think that I should be ashamed of the cost of my home. I paid less than 1/10th of that for my nice 3 bedroom/2 bath house. Granted, we don’t have a great room or a huge master suite or anything like that. I do not have a brand new car. I don’t spend $169 per week eating out or an amount equal to that for food at home. I don’t travel to the tune of $20,000 per year. I don’t have a vacation home or the payments associated with one.
Rather than dwell solely on the negative, I will show you things I am doing without (according to Forbes) that make me happy!
- I don’t have a house payment of over $4000 per month (this is primary home only).
- I don’t have a car payments of over $1,500 per month.
- I don’t have spoiled kids or an over indulged husband.
- I’m not spoiled into thinking that life without a BMW or a Lexus, or weekends at the Ritz are what makes life important.
What I do have is a saving account and less debt than 90% of the “Average Americans”. The annual costs (not including private schools or college) that they list, total over $185,000! I don’t make that kind of money and I’m pretty sure that many of them do not either. Living beyond your means only leads to bad things later on, such as bankruptcy.
I am happy to say that if this is the norm for American, I am not normal!