From the Editor: Spending Money

June 30, 2010
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The results are in and quality professionals make an average of $74,028 annually.

While the $74,028 average is a decrease of 2.4% from last year’s average salary of $75,861, half of the respondents are expecting a salary increase at the time of their next performance review. Read the full results of our annual Quality State of the Profession Study starting on p. 42.

Summer is officially underway, and here in the Midwest it’s hot and humid. It’s the perfect time to take a little vacation from reality and daydream about escaping from it all.

Assuming you had no other financial responsibilities, let’s take a closer look at what you could do with $74,028, excluding taxes, documentation fees and the like.

You would be able to buy an item from McDonald’s dollar menu every day for 202 years.

At an average of $2.79 per loaf, you could buy a loaf of bread every day for 72 years.

Those needing a break from the stresses of work could buy a Nintendo Wii for 372 of their closest family members and friends. Of course you would have to get a part-time job to afford the extra controllers and games.

If you have a penchant for losing or breaking things, at $499 each, you could buy 148 Apple iPads.

For some family fun you could take a family of four to the ballpark to see their favorite major league team 12 times a year over the next 30 years. The average price to take a family of four today is $194.98 and includes two adult and two children’s tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking, two programs and two hats. If you’re taking in a Cubs, Red Sox or Yankees game, you’ll be able to take in considerably fewer games as their average ticket prices are more than $25 higher than the league average.

For those who are a bit more practical when it comes to spending money, it would take 2.7 years to pay off a home at the current U.S. average median price of $198,400.

J.D. Powers & Associates ranked the Hyundai Accent first in its subcompact category in the 2010 Initial Quality Study. With a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $13,645, you could buy 5 Hyundai Accents with some money to spare for gas. On the other hand, at $65,645, you could afford only one Lexus LS460, the study’s highest-ranked large premium vehicle.

Now back to reality. If you had a child born in 2009, it would take $222,360 to raise that bundle of joy to maturity, or a little more than three years’ pay. So much for escaping it all; it’s back to work.

If you didn’t have any other financial obligations, what would you do with an annual salary? Share your thoughts with me at campbellg@bnpmedia.com, with other members of the Quality community at the Quality Magazine LinkedIn Group page, the the Quality Facebook page and on Twitter .

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