PB47: Barely Making It on $500K?!


Is it possible to live paycheck-to-paycheck on $500,000? This 30-year old couple thinks so. Join us this week as we review the budget read around the world and try to figure out how a couple making $500,000 before taxes can only have $7,300 in annual take-home income each year. Check out Scraping By On $500,000 A Year: Why It’s So Hard For High Income Earners To Escape The Rat Race from FinancialSamurai.com. After reviewing the budget, Rich and Marcus discuss:

  • $185,600 in taxes? Taxes? TAXES???
  • How a Cost of Living Calculator can be used to help you determine how far your money will or won’t go before you move around the country
  • How incorrectly managing your discretionary expenses led to this couple spending an estimated $134,000 or 48% of their take-home income due to their own self-imposed choices

Be sure to check out the article and give us your thoughts in the comment section below on this couple’s $500,000 “paycheck to paycheck” struggle, where you would cut expenses if you had this amount of income, or if you can relate. You can also always email us with more info or questions.


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  1. Hey Guys!

    Love your energy and dialogue. Caught me smiling and laughing a lot throughout the episode too. Keep up the good work. You guys got a lot of upside! Just keep grinding.



    1. Thanks for the comment, Sam! This was a great and fun topic to discuss. I (Rich was already familiar) will definitely continue visiting your site in the future. – M

  2. Everything you guys said! Hahah!
    So I thought you guys would’ve caught this, but in the 500K article, they mentioned them not wanting to feel left out of their peer group so a lot of it was a self-imposed “trying to keep up with the Joneses struggle.” I would downsize everything. I was always taught never go into anything on two salaries that you can’t take care of with one (or yours). I mean what happens if one of them loses their job. It’s such an excessive amount of spending. Those kids should have trust funds. (side note: I know people who have trust funds and they don’t even have a budget like this. Want to go on a trip next Spring break? They start budgeting for it now. Don’t have car notes because they pay cash.) I’ll come back later with a more detailed breakdown of how I would edit that budget (I’m busy being the chocolate delegate).

  3. Great podcast that everyone who lives on two incomes should listen to! One of the best lessons that I learned from my mother was to buy a house based only on one person’s income. If you’re married and have kids, it allows you to have options and relieves any stress if one person loses his/her job, wants to stay home with kids, or work part-time until kids are in grade school.

    Regarding the amount of money they spend on food, unfortunately it doesn’t seem that far off if there is anyone in the family with severe allergies or dietary restrictions. Having a child with gluten, dairy, peanuts, chicken, turkey, and a long list of other ingredients, our grocery budget went up over 50% as our options were limited in what we could buy. For example, instead of buying the $1.50 box of pasta, I get the gluten-free, protein-based pasta (e.g. black bean pasta) for $8.99 a box!?! Not ideal, but since he doesn’t really eat meat, I did save money on meatballs. Btw, did you know that if you go to restaurant and ask for gluten-free pasta, there is usually an upcharge of $1 – $2?

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