Now that $250,000 is the official definition of a “rich” family, let’s compare budgets.
The Washington Post reports that “$250,000 is etched in the minds of policymakers and pundits as the number that separates the middle class from the wealthy.”
To see how the other 2.9% of couples live, the Post got an accounting firm to calculate a budget for a two-earner, professional couple with two kids (one toddler, one in school), assuming $250,000 of earned income. (They did it for 8 cities, which I just averaged here.)
Here’s how they might spend their money:
The total is actually about $260,000, but it’s likely a family with that kind of earned income has some investment income coming in, so they’re probably still in the black.
On the other hand, here’s a basic budget, from the Economic Policy Institute, which has a calculator of basic-needs costs for cities across the country. Their estimated necessities for a family of four in Akron, Ohio is about $52,000, broken down like this:
To scale with the “rich” budget, it would look more like this: