Save. Spend. Splurge.

At what income do you think this is possible?

I’m curious — at what (gross) income do you think it is possible to do each of these things?

  1. Eat out for lunch everyday (at least $10 each time)?
  2. Go and get a massage (or to the spa) twice a month?
  3. Never take public transportation, only taxicabs?
  4. Go to somewhere fancy like Whole Foods and eat/shop there exclusively?
  5. Go on vacations once a year ($5000 per person)?
  6. Max out retirement plans?

You can set an income for all, or per item.



  • Bridget

    It really depends what else you do with your money. If you live in an expensive home and go shopping all the time, obviously you can’t do all that too, but otherwise I don’t think what you’ve listed is that excessive.

    Lunch every day at $10 = about $300/mo
    2x spa every month = about $250/mo (depends on services, but this would be 1 massage and all waxing + manicure/pedicure or a facial)
    Taxi cabs = depends on distance, but lets say another $300/mo
    Groceries for one person = $250 (maybe Whole Foods is expensive but remember, you’re eating lunch out every day)
    1 vacation per year @ $5000 = $417/mo savings needed
    Max out retirement = depends on income so I don’t know what to estimate here.. I haven’t maxed mine out and I have an employer-matching pension that does the heavy lifting

    Total discretionary spending = ~$1500/mo + retirement contributions. 

    I actually indulge in a lot of what’s listed there, except my massages are covered by work and I don’t max out my retirement plan. I also don’t take cabs but I do take more expensive vacations. I have a decent salary, but when you think of the amount I’m putting towards debt it reduces the amount I can actually spend significantly. And STILL I manage to dine out, go to the spa, go on vacation…. but maybe I shouldn’t? lol

  • Leigh

    I’m definitely guilty of some of those… I:

    1. Eat out for lunch every day (but at an average cost of $8 per day)2. Get facials maybe twice a year, but I get my eyebrows waxed every 4 weeks.
    3. I hate taking taxis. I walk if it’s under 2 miles, bus if it’s on a reasonably frequent and convenient route, and drive otherwise. So the only time I really take a taxi is to/from the airport.
    4. I shop at normal grocery stores? I’m not a huge fan of Whole Foods and there are others on my walk home from work.
    5. I go on vacations more than once a year. This year it has been almost $6k so far, but I’m out of vacation days and might not take another long trip this year. That said, last year and the year before, I didn’t really spend any money on vacations.

    Okay, maybe the only one I’m really guilty of is eating out for lunch every day.

    I think that at least $100k base salary with bonuses for saving would make me feel okay with doing the above. I certainly didn’t feel comfortable doing the above when I first started working a couple years ago, but I’ve also gained almost $40k in gross income over the last few years.

  • Inhae Koo


    Most of the really rich people I know through family/school or by reading about them do NOT do any of those things (maybe except max out retirement plans)… For example, the founder of Hyundai Motors in Korea owned 1 leather jacket he wore for 30+ years until it got all shredded and he had to throw it out. He was known for his frugality, and he never forgot that he built his company in a post-war country with almost nothing, to a global enterprise.

    Mathematically speaking, using my city, Montreal, as an example, I think one could do these things without feeling pinched if a couple had about $200k/net between them, PROBABLY. I still don’t think you should though… Just saying.

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