How Much Does It Cost To Live in Middle America?


Like many people, the holiday season (aka spending) have forced us to look at our finances and the picture isn’t pretty. The good news is it isn’t especially dire, but it is going to require some changes in our behavior. What all of those life changes look like, we don’t know yet. But in a world where the American Dream isn’t what it was for some people, I frequently wonder how do people survive? Between student loans, child care and vasts sums of money required for a down payment I’m blown away by people who have kids, a home and food on the table.

I don’t think it helps that money related everything is kept so secretive and social media makes everything look so spectacular. There are some sites out there that are really transparent with their budgets, income and expenses (i.e. Six Figures Under) but location, family size and career hinders people’s ability to really make sense of it all.

As a family of soon to be four living in middle America, I thought it might be interesting to start blogging on the topic. Therefore in 2019, I’ll share our progress, successes and failures, so that if there’s a person out there also feeling overwhelmed and confused he/she can at least see what someone else is doing.

Admittedly, I won’t be as transparent as Six Figures Under but I’ll offer percentages and say that our combined income is under six figures.

To start things out, here’s a look at our monthly budget – at least our targeted budget. I tried to be as realistic as possible but know that it’ll be a learning process and numbers will change (especially after Sam is born).

Our Budget Breakdown

  • 27% – Variable expenses
    • Food, gas/car, Lucas, household, misc.
  • 19% – Mortgage
  • 19% – Household Expenses
    • Insurance, car payment, gym, water, gas, electric
  • 15% – Daycare (3 days for one kid – if we did 5 days for two kids it would be 53%)
  • 13% – Savings (potential)
  • 7% – Digital Expenses
    • Phones, cable, internet, Netflix, Spotify, Google, Amazon

Anyone else tackling their spending in 2019 or pros who have tips to share? Let me know!

2 thoughts on “How Much Does It Cost To Live in Middle America?

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