Most of us believe, or deceive ourselves into believing, that we need about $1,000 to $1,500 a month less than we actually do need to go on living the exact same way we live right now. Surprisingly, this figure seems to vary only a little bit regardless of income levels. If a client writes down that she needs, after taxes, $3,000 a month to live, invariably the truer figure is $4,000. If the client thinks he spends $10,000 a month, the actual figure is closer to $11,500. Where does this month-to-month self-deception lead us? Into financial chaos.
— Suze Orman, The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom