"Often there's a disconnect with the amount of money they have and how they consider themselves," said Emily Holbrook, the director of planning at Northwestern Mutual. It comes down to their income, expenses, savings and where they are located, she said.
In some parts of the country, particularly where the Winicks live, a six-figure income is not even enough to get by.
Families living in and near Washington, D.C., including Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, have the hardest time, spending more than 100 percent of their income after taxes on monthly expenses alone, according to a separate report by personal-finance site MagnifyMoney, which looked at nearly 400 metro areas across the country, looking at taxes, housing and transportation among other considerations. (MagnifyMoney assumed a two-earner household with one child and a gross annual income of $100,000 and expenses that include childcare, entertainment and some student debt.)
"This just shows that if you are earning six figures and you feel like you are struggling, it's not like you are crazy," said Mandi Woodruff, MagnifyMoney's executive editor. "Fixed expenses are increasing at a faster rate than incomes, making it harder to live the lifestyle our parents lived."
"The number one issue we get is 'I feel like I am making a lot of money but I don't know where it all goes,'" said Ted Jenkin, a certified financial planner at Atlanta-based oXYGen Financial.
Jenkin recommends a 21-day budget cleanse, which involves going through each bill and finding ways to cut it back, then reallocating that cash toward specific financial goals, including retirement and college tuition.