There are many yardsticks and benchmarks when it comes to measuring the success of a given family, but family income is among the most significant.

Indeed, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of family income. It permeates all levels of family success, whether its the professional fortunes s of the parents, the life prospects of the children, or the day-to-day aspects of family life.

In order to assess these things, though, it’s important to start with a definition. Simply put, family income cane defined as the combined income of the two or more people sharing a household or a residence.

It includes every form of income, including wages and salaries, retirement income, income from government transfer programs such as welfare and food stamps, and ongoing income from investments.

On a day-to-day basis, family income goes a long way toward determining the basic quality of life. The larger the income, the more choices a given family will have when it comes to where to live, the size of the dwelling, major purchases, and so on.

In most families, the welfare of children is the biggest reason why family income is important. Academic performance can often be directly tied to family income, and this in turn allows more choices when it comes to higher education as children grow and develop.

The importance of family income extends to adults as well. If there are spouses or partners involved, couples make significant choices about how much income they wish to generate, and the trade-offs involved in these kinds of decisions need to be carefully evaluated.

All of this plays into social class, and the importance of family income extends into this area as well. Whether a family is an upper class, middle class, or lower class, the rise or fall is determined mostly by family income, and this in turn effects the quality of life as well.

These are just a few examples of how family income and its importance can be analyzed. There are others, of course—its effect on the sociology of family life, the impact on family structure, and so on. Understanding how these factors work can help families succeed, and it can help them determine the relative importance of family income as they continue to make important choices.