Or, as this couple shows, you and your partner could be making $500,000 a year and still end up with very little besides 401(k) money.
Sam Dogen of "Financial Samurai " breaks down the budget of two New York City-based spouses, each of whom makes $250,000 a year as a lawyer. They're 35-years-old and they have two young children. "This one couple shared their story and I decided to anonymously highlight their reported expenses," Dogen tells CNBC.
Take a look at exactly where their money goes.
As you can see, they both max out their 401(k) plan each year and are working on paying down student loan debt. But, even though they qualify as "upper class, " after taxes, fixed costs, childcare and discretionary expenses, there's only $7,300 left each year to go towards other savings goals, investment accounts or retirement funds.
Twitter users have largely responded with irritation rather than sympathy.
Others have turned it into satire.
This couple's conundrum illustrates how difficult it can be to avoid lifestyle creep, especially in expensive cities like New York and San Francisco, where highly paid Facebook engineers recently resorted to asking Mark Zuckerberg for help paying rent.
Still, no matter your income level, living beneath your means can help you out tremendously in the long run.
How much do you save each year? How does that compare to how much you should have saved at every age?
To keep more of what you earn, check out: