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irontom 11-02-2009 05:22 AM

Living in the US

A silly question from someone in Europe. Is a salary of 36k USD a year something you can live with in the US (say in one of the middle cost of living states). I surfed the job websites, but nothing interesting I can find here. I am not planning on immigrating thought, just curious since I earn my salary in USD instead of the local currency.

Army Chief 11-02-2009 05:54 AM

I just moved back here from Germany, and although I'm on the East Coast, I think it would be difficult to make it on 36k per year, unless you were (a) in a very low-cost area, or (b) getting some help with your housing costs. I'm sure some people do it -- actually, I know many such people -- but usually only while they are early in their careers, in training, or waiting for a better job.

I guess it all really depends upon how well you want to live, if you are raising a family (and whether you will be a two-income household), and what you think your future earning potential might be over time.


irontom 11-02-2009 06:51 AM

36k is good money here (Poland), thought its still not enough to not worry about housing etc. The average people earn is 3 times less here. And here is the kicker:
- 1989 YJ - 4-5k (average condition, usually after extensive repairs, hauled from Germany)
- New JK - 30-40k (depends on the version, 2 doors)
- Gas ~4.3 USD per gallon.

Being tired of all the problems the politicians and other low-lifes choose to throw at me I am really thinking about moving out.

You could say I am early in my career, still 26, but did manage to accomplish a lot I think. But the thing I do now is not satisfying enough. If I did not start a family already I would move, work for a Green Card and join the Marines. Looks like this would give me a lot of more job satisfaction, then the desk job I got now :)

As it is for now my family is the most important thing for me, but I am still looking at options on finding the best place to raise my daughter. When I am thinking on the amount of BS you are exposed with even the most simple things down here... bleh.

Froggy 11-02-2009 07:19 AM


Originally Posted by Army Chief (Post 476995)
I guess it all really depends upon how well you want to live, if you are raising a family (and whether you will be a two-income household), and what you think your future earning potential might be over time.

Yeah, that ^. Single? You could live on $36k with no trouble. Raising a family? Still can be done on $36k but you will be watching your budget. The median income for the whole country is about $43k... that makes $36k below average but not impoverished. The real question is how much you would be paid to do your job in the US and whether or not you could find that job or have to be satisfied with something else.

Household income in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


irontom 11-02-2009 08:09 AM

Guess I am looking at better money if I am employed by a US company on the same position. The company I am working for is based in UK and is on the US stock market, so the experience and work time gained there should prove useful. Hopefully my English proves to be sufficient.

Thanks for the info, it really helps.

05GT-O.C.D. 11-02-2009 08:26 AM

$36K in the US is definately OK for a single person in the US. When I got my first 'real' job making $28,800 w/ a company car 10 yrs ago I thought I made it big. I couldn't go back to that now that I've adjusted to a higher salary, but I could still do $36K if I watched my budget. At $36K you won't be rich, but you can be comfortable.

Also, where you live can make a HUGE difference in what I'm saying. The above is true for NE Ohio.

jeep41 11-02-2009 12:56 PM

I wish I made 36k, I'm making 29k before taxes and their already planning another 2.5% pay cut

adkjoe 11-02-2009 01:05 PM

35k after taxes is like $20...most people in the US make less than $20 an hour. It definitely depends on where you live, the taxes here in Vermont a relatively low but the standard of living is high.

Schmo 11-02-2009 01:07 PM

Here in SoCal, it would be a bit of a stretch even for a single person on $36K per year . . . at least in the areas that you'd feel comfortable living in.

birdhunter 11-02-2009 03:10 PM

In the mid west you can do fine on 35maybe not house
buying good but rent and still
have nice toys around 10 grant
Even better if you can live in the boonies

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