Get Inspired: How This Couple Live on only 6% of their Income

I stumbled on this amazing story today on Quartz. 

The couple in the story make around $245,000 a year which puts them in the top 10% of income earners in the U.S.

Yet they after paying their taxes and contributing to their savings, they only live on just over $15,000 or about 6% of their income. Think about that! They live on less than 10% of their total income. And they’re not starving, or skimping or miserly. They are completely normal, happy people. And the rest of the money they’re not living on? They give it away to Charity every year, just under $100,000. That’s more than 40% of their income. Mind blowing.

To break it down a bit more. Assuming they have no kids and few special situations, their combined $245,000 income puts this couple at around the 33% tax bracket. However, The US tax code is a progressive one not a flat tax so their  effective tax rate is only 23%. Which comes out to about $56,380 taken out of their income to pay for the government services, roads, bridges, police, fire service, welfare and all that they and other citizens enjoy. 

They’re left with around $188,620 out of which they live on $15,250. That leaves $173,372. We are told they give around $100,000 to charity and then we assume the balance of $73,372 goes into their savings. This is the real power couple, guys. They manage to give away 41% of their income, save 30% of it, pay 23% in taxes and only live on 6%. 

I know the excuses I make to myself when I don’t pay my tithe. I know the excuses I make when I don’t hit my savings target. Yet here is a couple maxing out their savings goals and their giving goals and still living a fine, perfectly normal life. I’m awed and inspired.

The next time I want to tell myself stories about paying my tithes, giving to others or saving, I’ll remember this couple and be advised. You should too. People are out here making the impossible look like nothing. What is your (and my) excuse?


  1. Consider this: Their effective tax rate is actually considerably lower. If they are giving $100k to qualifying charities, their approximate tax bill would be $35,000. Charitable donations, within limits based on AGI, are deductible and lower taxable income. So really, they’re saving $100k/yr


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