Money

Here's how much money Americans think is enough to live comfortably

The Pearson family on NBC's "This Is Us"
NBC | Getty Images
The Pearson family on NBC's "This Is Us"

According to a new survey from Charles Schwab, Americans say it takes an average of $2.4 million to be considered "wealthy." As for how much it takes to be "financially comfortable," survey respondents say it's an average of $1.1 million.

By that standard, less than 10 percent of American households qualify as "comfortable," since less than 10 percent have over a million dollars.

That begs the question, how much money really is enough?

It's a complex and highly subjective question, but one that "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer took a shot at answering on an episode of Farnoosh Torabi's "So Money" podcast.

"How do you determine how much money you need?" Torabi asks Cramer. While it's different for everybody, Cramer offered a general rule of thumb: First, determine what expenses or extravagances are important to you. Next, aim for the income required to spend without guilt on those extravagances, and then be more restrained in other areas of your life.

Jim Cramer on Mad Money
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Jim Cramer on Mad Money

"I am a big believer in finding something that you really like that's expensive," he tells Torabi. "You can put your money on that, and then be frugal besides that."

Cramer's splurges include box seats at the Philadelphia Eagles games and one nice vacation a year. Besides spending on those experiences, he's a "Stanley Frugal," he tells Torabi, and still challenges himself to spend less every month, despite his financial success.

"How much you need is totally dependent upon the extravagance," Cramer says. "My wife and I are of the same ilk: We're not crazy about spending, but when we do it, we do it big."

Of course, we can't all enjoy weekly NFL games from a box seat, but anyone can use Cramer's rule. Start by determining what major expense is important to you — whether that be travel, a membership to a nice gym or box seats — and then focus on generating enough income where you can afford it without compromising your other savings goals.

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