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Is $28,000/year a good salary to start with?

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I'm 18 and i have a wife and a son. Im graduating High School in a year and i am entering a Police Cadet Program that pays $28,000 a year with tons of benefits. After i turn 21 i will become an officer and make $46,238 to $72,426(i would start at about $46,000 then move up)

my question is; would i be able to live comfortably(not luxurious, just be able to eat well and have an okay house or condo or something while being able to get my family things) making $28,000/year??

please dont criticize my life, i just want some answers


First of all, I admire you for taking responsibility for your family. You're young, but you manned up and married the mother of your son. It will be difficult, but it will be worth it. You're already several steps ahead of most people who find themselves in your situation.

The $28,000 isn't a lot to support a family on, but if you have great benefits, that number increases.

Medial, retirement, life insurance, etc., could effectively double that number if you were to pay those things out of pocket. You gotta have medical for your family.

You'll also get the Earned Income Credit on your tax return. You probably won't owe any federal or state income tax.

Unless you can find something better, this really doesn't sound like a bad deal, assuming you want to go into law enforcement. You'll struggle for a few years financially, but I've been on both sides of life - from homeless to somewhat affluent - and I can tell you happiness comes mostly from things other than money. Having money helps, but the bottom line is there are times I was happier when I was broke, and there have been times I've had a ton of dough where I was miserable.

You can maybe find other ways to supplement your income.

Good job. You're a good husband and a great father. Keep plugging away and you're going to be on top of the world one day.


The starting pay is low but your future pay looks much better. On to your question: living comfortably on 28K w/ wife working 7.65/hr * 40hrs wk (~$300/wk, $1,300/mo). Depends what your expenses are. Figure out your food, housing, etc. and subtract from you monthly earnings, then you'll know how you'll do.

BTW, Good luck with your career.


Would yours be the only income? If so, then it's really low. For a single person it may not be a bad start (depending on where you live) but even then it probably wouldn't be enough for anything more than an apartment.

The Count
The Count

Of course it is but you have to understand you ALWAYS must live beneath your means because you

can ALWAYS outspend your means.



28 000 / 12 months = 2 330 a month.

that's $583 a week.

25% should go to life expenses (food, clothing, gifts, emergency funds, entertainment, etc.). AKA, $145 a week - can you buy groceries and still live on that amount??? If you were living on your own, easily, but with two other people?

15% should go to debt repayment (or if you have no debt, use it for your savings), and 15% goes to transportation: $88 a week, that's doable for transportation unless you have more than one car, so you could use the debt repayment that you don't have to use for debt to help boost.

35% should go to housing costs: $815 a month... how much does your current place cost?

Not to mention, being a cadet means good money for starting out with virtually nothing, but look at the longterm costs. They are severely strict, and even those with the best intentions end up being demerited and expelled from the program.

Boyfriend's best friend is a cadet ; his review comes up in a couple months, and he is pretty close to that maximum demerit point... do some more research!

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