For anyone who has trouble with negotiating salaries and benefits for oneself, it helps to go into negotiations with a full picture of exactly how much the life you want to live (a reasonable life with the cost of living in your area) costs. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to make this amount, but it’s important to have a clear idea of what the ideal world would be and you can use this to determine if you need a new job, need a second job to make up for missed income, or if you can possibly negotiate for higher pay at your current position.
While this calculator is not perfect, it’s a start. It takes major budget categories and addresses the total salary required assuming a total of 40% taken out for state and federal taxes. It also takes into consideration a tax-advantaged retirement account (401k), so this helps reduce the total salary requirements (and if a job does not offer a 401k for tax-advantaged savings then it can be considered an addition to the total salary required.)
In order to reach my goal of saving $75,000 per year, assuming $1200 per month rent (50% of the average 1 bedroom in my area) and maxing out my 401k, I need a pre-tax income of around $175k. (*I currently make around $120k with my bonus, so I have a lot of work to do to get to my goal salary.)
What salary would you need to make to live the life you want and still be able to save the amount you would like to save?