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Up your Standard of Living--Not Necessarily your Salary

Aug 17, 2007
Your cost of living is just as important as your salary. Sometimes the cost of living is even more important that your salary. If you make $60,000 per year, but live in an area where the average house costs $500,000 per year you may be better off taking a job for $30,000 per year where you can buy the same size house for $80,000. Most people tend to look at their yearly income, but forget to pay any attention to their expenses.

There are many other expenses to think about as well in addition to the cost of living. If you take an high paying job some where that requires a two hour commute each way the cost is really going to add up very quickly. Even more important than the cost of gas and mileage, is the amount of your life that you'll be giving away. If you end up in traffic for 4 hours each day, you are basically having to spend the same amount of time you'd spend on a part time job just to get to work. You might be better off taking a lower paying job and putting in 20 hours per week at McDonalds.

The point is that you need to really consider how taking a particular job will impact your financial situation and quality of life as a whole. You can't just focus on how much you are going to make, you have to focus on the entire big picture. Many people think they are rich because they are making a lot of money when in reality they are poorer than people with half their income living somewhere else.

You can't just focus on your income you have to look at your income and expenses in order to be able to make a good decision. You also can't focus just on the money, you have to look at your life holistically. If you just look at one part you can convince yourself that you are making a good decision, when in fact you are setting yourself up for poverty.

It isn't how much you make that matters. What is more important is whether or not you are getting to live your life in a way that you are happy with. If you just focus on the money, you can convince yourself that you are happy with a situation that really amounts to living in poverty. Look at your life as a whole. If you don't you'll get to retirement age and wonder where all the years went and why you didn't spend them differently.
About the Author
The Money 501 offers insights into managing your personal finacnes. You can find more personal finance articles at http://www.money501.com. You can find more information about your standard of living at Money501 as well.
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