Woman Says Making $100K A Year Is Not Enough To Support A Small Family Without Living Paycheck To Paycheck

She used to think it was a dream, but not anymore.

woman budgeting with calculator and putting money in piggy bank Africa Studio / Shutterstock

Money is a major concern for so many people these days. Prices continue to rise, while wages do not, and it’s a struggle to make ends meet and buy even basic necessities.

As a result, it's necessary to make more money than ever before to get by. According to one woman, that means more than six figures.

A wife and mother says her family’s combined income of $100,000 a year is not enough to meet the cost of living.

The woman, Blaire Allison (@blaire_allison on TikTok), said she saw a recent video in which a teacher was discussing her struggle to pay for necessities like rent and her car payment. This made Blaire think about how impossible it feels to survive financially right now.




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“I don’t understand how people are affording life right now,” she said. “How are they affording life without going in [to] a bunch of debt?”

Blaire addressed the problem directly when she said, “The cost of living is rising, and our salaries are stagnant.”


TikTok users largely agreed with Blaire, leaving comments like, “I’m making the most money I’ve ever made and it’s still not enough to cover [the] cost of living.”

In a subsequent video, Blaire went into even more detail, describing her personal circumstances. She explained that when she was in her 20s, her mom told her about a couple they knew that was making roughly $110,000 a year. At the time, she thought it sounded like a dream come true. Now, she is living that life, but it’s far from the dream she expected.



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She posed the question, “In today’s economy, do you think a couple that brings home $100,000 is enough to support a small family of like 3 to 4 people?” Blaire explained that many people who commented on her previous video said they were struggling, so she assumed the answer was no.

“I don’t mean is it enough to buy, like, luxuries. I just mean is $100,000 enough to live comfortably without having to live paycheck to paycheck?” she clarified.

One TikTok user summed up Blaire’s point in the comments: “If households make under $100,000, they are struggling.”

This might sound shocking to some. After all, the Census Bureau reported that the median household income in the United States in 2022 was $74,580. But, the math suggests that even Blaire’s number is too low.


One financial expert says the income needed to meet the cost of living is closer to $300,000.

Sam Dogen, author of "Buy This, Not That," and owner of the blog The Financial Samurai, recently took things even further, saying that a family needs to make $300,000 a year to comfortably remain in the middle class. Dogen broke down the expenses of a family living on the coast with one child to prove it. He stated that “a middle-class lifestyle is all we really want.” 



However, when the median U.S. income is less than a third of the amount Dogen is proposing, it can be difficult to relate. Many families are making do with significantly less than six figures a year.

People are struggling, regardless of the income bracket they are in, though it is undoubtedly difficult for many surviving on considerably less than $100,000 to feel sympathy for those with that amount of money.


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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.