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    How much would you say a couple needs to earn pre-tax to be able to: Own a home (in or around a major urban city), own 2 cars, send 4 children to yeshiva and summer camps, and put money away into a 401 k for your retirement. Lastly, what type of Job would you need to have to earn the money?


    easy 200k+++..these days 100k’s won’t cut it close….try for the big professions (you’ll need the education,schooling,resources=money) g’luck!




    what jobs do people have to erarn 200k?


    and here I was thinking this topic had to do with The Apprentice


    With no real education, the easiest way to make nice money is real estate or investing in the stock market. Otherwise Accounting, Actuaries, CEO, CFO, COO, Construction, Engineering, etc.


    “With no real education, the easiest way to make nice money is real estate or investing in the stock market” with whos money :)???


    miamigirl613— There is no real “easy” way to make nice money. Most of the jobs you listed do require a real education and those that don’t like CEO, CFO, COO require you to start at the bottom of the corporate ladder and slowly move up. Want to make serious money, become a plumber or electrician. I wish that’s what i would have done instead of getting my bachelors degree. Is it a glamorous job, no but you will never be out of demand and just think about how much you last paid the plumber for 30 minutes of work… $75-$100??


    And to the original post. at least $200k…..


    Truth be told, in NY you need $200,000 per year pre tax. There are also alternatives – places like Baltimore, North Miami Beach, Toronto and Montreal where you don’t need nearly as much…


    duvdl – you also earn considerably less in those areas.


    I did the math many moons ago & 200 sounds about right….

    The problem is – 200K is not your typical dual-family income. Not in the real world. Most people simply don’t bring in that much, even in the big professions.

    And I’m not so sure that there is much, if anything, to put away into a retirement account.

    Let’s do a quick run –

    Mortgage – 36K

    Utilities – 24K

    Phones – 4K (home, cellphones)

    Tuition – 50K (conservative number for 4 kids)

    Cars – 20K (conservative number for 2 cars – lease+upkeep+gas)

    Camps – 20K (conservative number for 4 kids)

    Food – 18K (don’t even think Pesach)

    I haven’t yet touched on take-out, cleaning help, clothing, laundry, dry cleaning…not to mention real luxuries like vacations, etc. Nor have I included Uncle Sam or retirement

    We’re already at 172K!

    Something’s just not right in the Frum world of NY


    Just a note re: the above — Some may find these #’s inflated. In Brooklyn life tends to be cheaper than the rest of the NY frum areas.

    Also, if a mother & father both have high-powered positions, there are many addt’l expenditures that they’ll need to keep the kids & house in check.

    Now let’s understand why some prefer not to work at average positions and decide to stay home & collect from our favorite Uncle. He may not offer much, but the numbers are often higher than when one works


    illogical – frum people outside NY dont earn enough to make it either with frum expenses and tuition.


    If indeed like you all claim, one needs 200+ per year, how on earth do the kollel families or teachers make it?



    The less you make, the less you need.

    I was going to say 1500$ + 1500$ off books and you are done.

    1500$ on books allows you to get all sorts of programs (Zero income disallows many tax credits).

    1500$ off books allows you to get your non Food Stamp / WIC items.

    Tuition & Camp is zero – you can’t afford it, so it gets collected for you as Tzedaka.

    Housing is Zero – Section 8 or HUD.

    Utilities are small and paid for by programs.

    But this is too cynical, so I didn’t post it.

    But since you asked…..


    did you really mean 24K for utilities? And 4K for phones? (I pay $100 per month for land and cell. Don’t have more, so I don’t spend more) I live out of NY so Our mortgages are more like $1700-2000 but why so much for utilities and phone? And who leases cars when they have income issues? $1000 plus should be more than enough to own two cars. I think that if you have the lifestyle listed above you may be outta luck. My guess is that those of us living on much less (ridiculously less 🙂 ) aren’t even looking to cover those types of bills because we are buying differently.


    In northern NJ, 4 kids in a local yeshiva will cost you between $60,000-$72,000/year.

    Average mortgage+property taxes is around $30,000-40,000/year.

    $200,000 might mean you are paying your basic bills, but it could be tight.


    And as a post script, now that I have read GAW – I won’t even use the services of others who go off-the-books, I’m with you on that. But my kids don’t go to camp because we can’t afford it. We drive a yeshivishe car because it’s all we can buy, we wear a lot of hand-me-downs and I can’t even imagine what food you can spend 18K a year on, I spend $200 a week on my ‘millions of kids’, 4 kids shouldn’t come close to that.


    24K for utilities = 2K monthly. Family of 6, heat, air-conditioning, gas + maintaining these (boiler, etc.).

    4K for phones = $333/mth. Family of 6, kids usually have cel phones nowadays, parents have cels (need at least 2 plans with add-ons) + landline

    These are reasonable estimates.

    My point was that these are CRAZY numbers. And I don’t understand how people are doing it…


    You are 100% correct. But my point was that those aren’t reasonable estimates for people in Kollel or teaching. We don’t consider 6 phones, many of us have one unlimited and one pay as you go or prepaid. I assume utilities varies state to state but we pay $400 per month (our house is considerably smaller I assume). Those numbers aren’t unreasonable, but they aren’t realistic for the purchases and lifestyle we have chosen for ourselves. (I never know how my tone comes across in posts so let me add I am not arguing or even disagreeing, just giving a view from ‘my side of the fence’)



    I also think the numbers are too high. But ask Rav Belsky, and he will tell you that Camp is a requirement and you can collect tzedaka to save the neshama who will otherwise be in the city (heard it with my own ears).

    Many live like you and are better of for it, as Mistapek B’muat is on of the Drachim that Torah is Niknais.




    The flipside is that those in Kollel are more likely to have larger families. So instead of 4 kids in yeshiva, you may have 8. If you live in Lakewood, that’s $40,000/year in tuition.

    Your mortgage may be less (lets say $1500/month = $18,000/year) and your groceries may be $1,000/month if you keep it really cheap.

    That’s already $80,000/year (after tax money) and there are many, many more expenses.

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