Americans are lucky to have a very high standard of living compared to the rest of the world. However, wealth distribution has been the subject of much debate and controversy during recent years. While you may think you know how much money you make, if you fail to account for some variables, you could be way off.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in 2022 was $49,445. Though this may seem like plenty, it was actually a 2.2 percent decrease from 2021, when the median income was $50,599. However, even if you make more than this and still find yourself unable to afford an unexpected bill, you might be able to use bad credit loan to keep your financial footing. However, better money management means adjusting your spending to account for your real income.
Include Your Taxes
Now it’s time to figure out just how much money you really make. After you determine your annual income, try to incorporate taxes. You’ll need to account for federal, state and FICA taxes for Social Security and Medicare. Look at your last paycheck to see what percentage is getting taken away from each payday. Before you know it, you could be out thousands of dollars, even if you usually get a fat tax refund check.
How Much Does Your Commute Cost?
You can’t get paid unless you go to work, so how much does this cost you? If a car is your primary means of getting to work, you can deduct car payments, insurance and gas costs from your salary as well.
At the end of April, the nationwide average price for a gallon of gas was $3.83. While the price of a single gallon may not seem like a lot, topping off your tank is. If you calculate how many miles you commute against the price of gasoline, you can further deduct this cost from your annual salary to get a better feel for how much you actually make.
The Spending Paradox
If you run the numbers and determine you don’t make as much as you thought, you may want to make some changes to your spending habits. However, even if you have a position with a high salary, overspending could lead to similar financial woes.
This paradox occurs when you justify making more expensive purchases just because you bring in more money. Rewarding yourself for your success is okay, just try not to go overboard.