Skip to content
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(CNBC)   In today's most relatable personal finance story, here's how a pair of married ballet dancers making $178k/year get by in Chicago   (cnbc.com) divider line
    More: Weird  
•       •       •

3024 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Oct 2020 at 1:20 PM (3 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



99 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all

 
2020-10-29 1:04:44 PM  
First of all, they're not married, they're engaged.

Second of all, they're making (under 10-month contracts), $77,000 and $66,000, respectively. This is working as full-time dancers who are, from how they're described, at the very top of their game. The bigger question I have is why he is earning $11,000 more than she is, but maybe there's a perfectly legitimate reason for that. But while both of those salaries certainly put them comfortably in the middle class on any scale, they're certainly not exorbitant. I doubt either of them would have been able to afford an apartment in Chicago on their own -- it's only by combining their incomes that they can.

The rest of their income (beyond the $143,000 they bring in together, which presumably is before taxes) is earned through what are essentially side hustles. And, apparently, they also draw on some unemployment during their two months of down time each year when they're not being paid from their contracts. Some people may take issue with that, but, as with the apparent gender gap, that's a side issue.

So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.
 
2020-10-29 1:14:23 PM  

Pocket Ninja: So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.


Also, as the article points out, they are essentially professional athletes and at 30ish years old, far closer to the end of their careers than the beginning.  From that POV, their financial position is actually rather terrifying - in 5 years or so, they are going to go from $180K to ????
 
2020-10-29 1:19:29 PM  

OptionC: Pocket Ninja: So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.

Also, as the article points out, they are essentially professional athletes and at 30ish years old, far closer to the end of their careers than the beginning.  From that POV, their financial position is actually rather terrifying - in 5 years or so, they are going to go from $180K to ????


Similar to professional athletes, they are also probably among the best at what they do. With the supporting cast/chorus/whatever you call it in ballet probably getting a hell of a lot less with a whole lot less job security.
 
2020-10-29 1:23:22 PM  
Pocket Ninja:

So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.

Look around you. Do you see a lot of people willing to work very hard? I know I'd rather not if I had a choice
 
2020-10-29 1:24:00 PM  
If they're "mak[ing]up for lost income through extra projects in the dance community," they're fraudulently claiming funemploymemt.
 
2020-10-29 1:25:29 PM  
Dancer that earns > $80k USD annually = ~ .05% of all professional dancers world wide.

So this is an article about how some people do win lotto tickets sometimes.

Go eat turds for this kind of bs POV on American economic opportunity.
 
2020-10-29 1:25:57 PM  
Unlike most millennials, they don't have decades of career advancement ahead of them - at least not as professional ballet dancers. Most dancers retire by 35 or 40, and with that in mind, the couple is diligently saving a big chunk of their $178,000 combined annual income in anticipation of their next act.

That.
 
2020-10-29 1:26:23 PM  

SuperChuck: Pocket Ninja:

So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.

Look around you. Do you see a lot of people willing to work very hard? I know I'd rather not if I had a choice


Your choice, man. I know I don't always give 100% every day, but I do enjoy a job well done.
 
2020-10-29 1:27:37 PM  
Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?
 
2020-10-29 1:28:13 PM  

baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?


I mean if I were a professional ballet dancer, I'd probably be eating pretty well too.
 
2020-10-29 1:28:57 PM  
I thought Trump blocked male dancers from getting up married?  DNRTA
 
2020-10-29 1:30:06 PM  

halifaxdatageek: Unlike most millennials, they don't have decades of career advancement ahead of them - at least not as professional ballet dancers. Most dancers retire by 35 or 40, and with that in mind, the couple is diligently saving a big chunk of their $178,000 combined annual income in anticipation of their next act.

That.


That was supposed to read "exactly like most millennials, they don't have decades of career advancement ahead of them."
 
2020-10-29 1:30:08 PM  
"...the couple bought an apartment together, adopted a Boston Terrier named Kahlua and got engaged in the summer of 2019."

Do we need four more years of this?
 
2020-10-29 1:30:29 PM  

PvtStash: Dancer that earns > $80k USD annually = ~ .05% of all professional dancers world wide.

So this is an article about how some people do win lotto tickets sometimes.

Go eat turds for this kind of bs POV on American economic opportunity.


Most dancers who don't have that sort of potential are going to figure it out by their early 20s and pursue different primary careers (though they may keep dancing/instruction as a hobby or side-gig).  This couple, though obviously very fortunate, does have some unique financial concerns.  As far CNBC millenial personal finance stories go, this is one of the better and more interesting ones.
 
2020-10-29 1:31:35 PM  

Pocket Ninja: The bigger question I have is why he is earning $11,000 more than she is, but maybe there's a perfectly legitimate reason for that.


I would guess is that a top ranked male ballet dancer is rarer than a top ranked female so gets paid more.
 
2020-10-29 1:33:11 PM  

Lochsteppe: halifaxdatageek: Unlike most millennials, they don't have decades of career advancement ahead of them - at least not as professional ballet dancers. Most dancers retire by 35 or 40, and with that in mind, the couple is diligently saving a big chunk of their $178,000 combined annual income in anticipation of their next act.

That.

That was supposed to read "exactly like most millennials, they don't have decades of career advancement ahead of them."


More like "unlike most millenials, they don't have decades of career stagnation ahead of them."
 
2020-10-29 1:33:56 PM  
frinkiac.comView Full Size
 
2020-10-29 1:35:34 PM  

baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?


That's around $50 a person a day. WTF indeed, I could barely manage that if I tried. Maybe eating out for steak every meal?
 
2020-10-29 1:37:15 PM  

baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?


They're both professional athletes, not desk jockeys. They actually need an unusually high amount of calories.
 
2020-10-29 1:37:15 PM  

baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.


Probably a lot more than theirs, too. "Housing: $1,953 " almost certainly includes an escrow account to pay their property taxes.

$2,885 is a stupid amount for food. They say theyr're saving, but put $0 into savings that month.
 
2020-10-29 1:37:59 PM  

Pocket Ninja: So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.


Their food budget is more than my take-home pay. How the fark am I supposed to relate to that?
 
2020-10-29 1:38:02 PM  

OptionC: Also, as the article points out, they are essentially professional athletes and at 30ish years old, far closer to the end of their careers than the beginning.  From that POV, their financial position is actually rather terrifying - in 5 years or so, they are going to go from $180K to ????


I remember seeing something about Cirque de Soleil and how most performers were forced to retire in their late 30's. So once they hit 30, the forward-thinking ones started jockeying for non-performance positions (marketing, operations, choreography, etc.). But many didn't think about the future until it was too late.
 
2020-10-29 1:38:34 PM  

GBmanNC: baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?

That's around $50 a person a day. WTF indeed, I could barely manage that if I tried. Maybe eating out for steak every meal?


My guess is they are also counting alcohol as food.

Even so, my liquor budget has never exceeded $100 for a month. They must be eating at top tier restaurants like Olive Garden.
 
2020-10-29 1:39:35 PM  

Pocket Ninja: And, apparently, they also draw on some unemployment during their two months of down time each year when they're not being paid from their contracts. Some people may take issue with that, but, as with the apparent gender gap, that's a side issue.


I mean, they ARE unemployed, haha, and assumedly pay into whatever the American equivalent of EI is the rest of the year.
 
2020-10-29 1:39:47 PM  

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: They're both professional athletes, not desk jockeys. They actually need an unusually high amount of calories.


$2,885/month very likely includes fancy restaurants where "conspicuous consumption" means small portions.

If it were about nutrition they'd be making smoothies with protein powder, at a fraction of the cost.
 
2020-10-29 1:41:34 PM  

jaytkay: baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

Probably a lot more than theirs, too. "Housing: $1,953 " almost certainly includes an escrow account to pay their property taxes.

$2,885 is a stupid amount for food. They say theyr're saving, but put $0 into savings that month.


They likely get take out once or twice a day, and shop at Whole Foods.

Also regular grocery stores in Chicago (the city, not burbs) are obscenely expensive.  Prices are fairly high and the quality is worse, making Whole Foods a decent deal.

Trader Joe's is cheap for a city grocery store.

That said, I can feed 6 people on less than half that.
 
2020-10-29 1:41:38 PM  
They are spending $3,941/mo on food and their pet.

If they can't solve this problem, there are very few problems they can be counted on to solve.
 
2020-10-29 1:42:48 PM  

jaytkay: MusicMakeMyHeadPound: They're both professional athletes, not desk jockeys. They actually need an unusually high amount of calories.

$2,885/month very likely includes fancy restaurants where "conspicuous consumption" means small portions.

If it were about nutrition they'd be making smoothies with protein powder, at a fraction of the cost.



Yeah, that's covered in the article too: 
While they often enjoy splurging on nice meals out at restaurants, they also see it as a way to build their relationships around Chicago.

baronbloodbath: Even so, my liquor budget has never exceeded $100 for a month.


Oh... I spend more than that on liquor a week 😓
 
2020-10-29 1:46:32 PM  

baronbloodbath: Even so, my liquor budget has never exceeded $100 for a month


What are you, Mormon, Mr. Mormon McMormon?
 
2020-10-29 1:46:35 PM  

Rev.K: They are spending $3,941/mo on food and their pet.

If they can't solve this problem, there are very few problems they can be counted on to solve.


Are you suggesting they kill and eat their dog? Because it sounds like your suggesting they kill and eat their dog...
 
2020-10-29 1:46:43 PM  
Most of the dancers who make big bucks are paid in dollar bills...
 
2020-10-29 1:48:04 PM  

OptionC: PvtStash: Dancer that earns > $80k USD annually = ~ .05% of all professional dancers world wide.

So this is an article about how some people do win lotto tickets sometimes.

Go eat turds for this kind of bs POV on American economic opportunity.

Most dancers who don't have that sort of potential are going to figure it out by their early 20s and pursue different primary careers (though they may keep dancing/instruction as a hobby or side-gig).

~


Said someone that I would suspect is not particularly familiar with the professorial ballet company scene and what the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corps_d​e​_ballet is.

A larger group of dancers that will be comprised of young up and coming talent that may go on to be a principal dancer, as well as all the seasoned life long professional dancers that do not.

For every principal you can know of, there are likely to be a couple dozen  life long professional core dancers.


Like getting a PhD and pretending you will just of go on to have a tenure tract professorship anywhere.
When in fact the field is so tightly packed that of all who assume that, only a tiny fraction manage to actuality do that. While many of them may still wind up in field related jobs, but jobs a masters would have been plenty for. Or to the analogy here, core jobs are more common than principals. And people do make life long  careers of core jobs in all fields really.
 
2020-10-29 1:49:44 PM  
oh, BALLET dancers.

that's why they are in shape.
 
2020-10-29 1:50:33 PM  

Shryke: baronbloodbath: Even so, my liquor budget has never exceeded $100 for a month

What are you, Mormon, Mr. Mormon McMormon?


Well, I only drink on two days every month.

Today, and Yesterday.
 
2020-10-29 1:50:45 PM  

Rev.K: They are spending $3,941/mo on food and their pet.

If they can't solve this problem, there are very few problems they can be counted on to solve.


they're dancers, not financial planners
 
2020-10-29 1:50:51 PM  

jaytkay: $2,885 is a stupid amount for food.


that is my annual grocery budget, I live alone.
 
2020-10-29 1:54:00 PM  

baronbloodbath: GBmanNC: baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?

That's around $50 a person a day. WTF indeed, I could barely manage that if I tried. Maybe eating out for steak every meal?

My guess is they are also counting alcohol as food.

Even so, my liquor budget has never exceeded $100 for a month. They must be eating at top tier restaurants like Olive Garden.


Fark user imageView Full Size
Started this one Saturday night. Been working long days and late nights all week long. Going to need a refill. There goes another 100.
 
2020-10-29 1:54:09 PM  

Rev.K: They are spending $3,941/mo on food and their pet.

If they can't solve this problem, there are very few problems they can be counted on to solve.


They don't seem to be complaining, this is just a snapshot of what their finances are like. The only problem they seem to have is that their careers are unlikely to last more than maybe 10 more years. That said, TFA says they save $500/week (I'm assuming that's combined, through the 40 week ballet season, so $20k/year into savings) plus are eligible for pensions.

But yes, that's a hell of a lot to spend on food (the pet has cancer and I'm not going to fault them for taking care of it). I'm sure it's expensive to eat healthy meals when you're burning a ridiculous amount of calories every day, but they could certainly cut way down on that budget if they need to.

On a side note, I'm very disappointed that the article didn't delve into how tragic it would be if Joe Biden's tax plan got implemented and these poor folks would be destroyed by it. It could be because they would be completely unaffected by it, as despite earning a solid middle class income they wouldn't be taxed more, but I bet it's just that CNBC is slipping and forgot to insert a rant about that.
 
2020-10-29 1:54:27 PM  

OptionC: Pocket Ninja: So this is a story about two professionals who are apparently working very hard and very well in their chosen careers and the decisions they're making to build a life together. If that's not relatable, I'm not exactly sure what is.

Also, as the article points out, they are essentially professional athletes and at 30ish years old, far closer to the end of their careers than the beginning.  From that POV, their financial position is actually rather terrifying - in 5 years or so, they are going to go from $180K to ????


Porn. The answer is always porn.
 
2020-10-29 1:54:55 PM  

halifaxdatageek: I mean, they ARE unemployed, haha, and assumedly pay into whatever the American equivalent of EI is the rest of the year.


No, they are almost certainly making cash or 1099 income that they aren't reporting while collecting funemployment.
 
2020-10-29 1:56:12 PM  
I have a family of four. On the weekend I cook large meals as leftovers for the rest of the week. I balk at a grocery bill that hits $150, but it does happen when I bulk up for cooking. Plus we do get take out maybe once or twice a week since the kids like their fast food and occasionally sushi for my daughter. When you add in various quick runs to the grocery store for incidentals and a bulk up of meats at Costco every other month, I'm maybe looking at roughly $1200 a month for food for a family of four, which includes a lot of over priced snack crap. I can't imagine spending over $2000 a month for two people. Unless you are eating out all the time and getting Starbucks twice a day ( which I know is what some people at work do, which seems like shoveling money into a fire pit ).
 
2020-10-29 1:57:11 PM  

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?

They're both professional athletes, not desk jockeys. They actually need an unusually high amount of calories.


Lol.

Powerlifters aren't even hitting that amount of money spent on food.
 
2020-10-29 1:58:33 PM  

baronbloodbath: GBmanNC: baronbloodbath: Food: $2,885 (groceries, eating out and takeout)

Holy shiat. That's my mortgage, tax, insurance, and all utilities combined.

The Fark are they eating? Gold plated gold?

That's around $50 a person a day. WTF indeed, I could barely manage that if I tried. Maybe eating out for steak every meal?

My guess is they are also counting alcohol as food.

Even so, my liquor budget has never exceeded $100 for a month. They must be eating at top tier restaurants like Olive Garden.


Or eating deep dish pizza.
 
2020-10-29 2:00:35 PM  

cleek: Rev.K: They are spending $3,941/mo on food and their pet.

If they can't solve this problem, there are very few problems they can be counted on to solve.

they're dancers, not financial planners


Whole Foods, amirite?
 
2020-10-29 2:01:15 PM  

Rev.K: They are spending $3,941/mo on food and their pet.

If they can't solve this problem, there are very few problems they can be counted on to solve.


Are you saying that they should eat their pets?
 
2020-10-29 2:01:18 PM  

snowshovel: I have a family of four. On the weekend I cook large meals as leftovers for the rest of the week. I balk at a grocery bill that hits $150, but it does happen when I bulk up for cooking. Plus we do get take out maybe once or twice a week since the kids like their fast food and occasionally sushi for my daughter. When you add in various quick runs to the grocery store for incidentals and a bulk up of meats at Costco every other month, I'm maybe looking at roughly $1200 a month for food for a family of four, which includes a lot of over priced snack crap. I can't imagine spending over $2000 a month for two people. Unless you are eating out all the time and getting Starbucks twice a day ( which I know is what some people at work do, which seems like shoveling money into a fire pit ).


Food wise, yes, I agree. Even with takeout here and there I'd say our budget is about the same for family of four and we eat really well and healthy. However, they include alcohol in their budget and that adds a up quickly. Easily another 150 to 300 a week in our house. Wife likes her a bottle of wine a night and I like my liquor while working late. We haven't been to a bar since March so that keeps it lower. Never been a fan of fancy restaurants on regular basis, but I can see that adding up quickly.
 
2020-10-29 2:01:56 PM  

Shryke: baronbloodbath: Even so, my liquor budget has never exceeded $100 for a month

What are you, Mormon, Mr. Mormon McMormon?


I have known Mormons that spend a lot more than that on alcohol.

/It was very ugly

//better to learn to drink responsibly than destroy yourself and a family.
 
2020-10-29 2:02:50 PM  

GBmanNC: Rev.K: They are spending $3,941/mo on food and their pet.

If they can't solve this problem, there are very few problems they can be counted on to solve.

Are you suggesting they kill and eat their dog? Because it sounds like your suggesting they kill and eat their dog...


Damn it
 
2020-10-29 2:03:36 PM  

Lochsteppe: halifaxdatageek: Unlike most millennials, they don't have decades of career advancement ahead of them - at least not as professional ballet dancers. Most dancers retire by 35 or 40, and with that in mind, the couple is diligently saving a big chunk of their $178,000 combined annual income in anticipation of their next act.

That.

That was supposed to read "exactly like most millennials, they don't have decades of career advancement ahead of them."


Why do you think that?  GenX is the smallest generation, so you'll have more opportunities to move up in management.  Additionally, COVID is doing you a favor in some sense in that it's killing off a lot of old people.

Your biggest threats are automation and economic stagnation.  One's a training/career choice issue and the other is largely a political issue.
 
2020-10-29 2:05:31 PM  
$14.95 for a salad + $5.99 for a smoothie + tax + tip = $27.  Times 2 people, twice a day, gets you to over $3k a month without a drop of booze.

I'm not saying that it's financially prudent to always eat out or get delivery from upscale places. I'm saying that if you do, you can easily get to their food budget in a big city without gold plated lobster.
 
Displayed 50 of 99 comments


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all


View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking





On Twitter



  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.