The Saints are currently eighth in the table, but Pochettino believes that to be able to compete with the clubs playing in Europe, they must adopt similar financial plans.
"This season we're improving standards again, finishing higher than we did last season," the Argentine told reporters. "It's moving upwards all the time.
"But to break that barrier of eighth position we'll need to look at what other clubs are doing, in the Europa League and Champions League.
"You need to look at other teams, to look at other teams above us, to look at average salaries and budgets."
Southampton take on Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.