How Much Money You Need to Live Comfortably in the 50 Biggest Cities | GOBankingRates

3 Jul

https://www.gobankingrates.com/personal-finance/much-money-need-live-comfortably-biggest-cities/

New York: $87,446

  • Income needed: $87,446
  • 50 percent for necessities: $43,723
  • 30 percent for discretionary spending: $26,234
  • 20 percent for savings: $17,489

The country’s most populous city also has some of the highest living costs, which means much of the $52,737 median household income covers necessities only. Based on a 50-30-20 budget, the median income in New York is $34,709 less than the amount needed to sufficiently cover needs, wants and savings.

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What It Costs to Live in the 50 Most Populous U.S. Cities

Here are the 50 most populous cities surveyed by GOBankingRates. The chart compares the income needed to live comfortably in each city to each city’s actual median household income. The cities are listed in order according to the difference between the income needed and the median income, from the biggest surplus ― where it’s easiest to live comfortably ― to the biggest deficit, which is where living comfortably according to a 50-30-20 budget is most difficult.

City Population Income Needed to Live Comfortably Median Household Income Difference Between Needed and Actual
Virginia Beach, Va. 450,980 $50,929 $67,001 $16,072 surplus
Bakersfield, Calif. 368,759 $43,426 $56,842 $13,416 surplus
Colorado Springs, Colo. 445,830 $44,512 $54,228 $9,716 surplus
Arlington, Texas 383,204 $46,904 $53,055 $6,151 surplus
Mesa, Ariz. 464,704 $42,654 $48,259 $5,605 surplus
Wichita, Kan. 388,413 $40,616 $45,907 $5,291 surplus
Albuquerque, N.M. 557,169 $43,895 $47,413 $3,518 surplus
Omaha, Neb. 446,599 $45,560 $48,751 $3,191 surplus
Oklahoma City, Okla. 620,602 $44,180 $47,004 $2,824 surplus
Austin, Texas 912,791 $53,225 $55,216 $1,991 surplus
El Paso, Texas 679,036 $40,227 $42,037 $1,810 surplus
Fort Worth, Texas 812,238 $51,759 $52,492 $733 surplus
Las Vegas 613,599 $50,453 $50,903 $450 surplus
San Antonio 1,436,697 $46,238 $46,317 $79 surplus
Kansas City, Mo. 470,800 $45,311 $45,376 $65 surplus
Charlotte, N.C. 809,958 $53,842 $53,274 $568 deficit
Columbus, Ohio 835,957 $45,466 $44,774 $692 deficit
Raleigh, N.C. 439,896 $55,537 $54,581 $956 deficit
Fresno, Calif. 515,986 $42,496 $41,455 $1,041 deficit
Phoenix 1,537,058 $48,876 $46,881 $1,995 deficit
Louisville, Ky. 612,780 $46,831 $44,806 $2,025 deficit
Tucson, Ariz. 527,972 $39,966 $37,149 $2,817 deficit
Jacksonville, Fla. 853,382 $49,842 $46,768 $3,074 deficit
San Diego 1,381,069 $69,307 $65,753 $3,554 deficit
Sacramento, Calif. 485,199 $53,736 $50,013 $3,723 deficit
Indianapolis 848,788 $46,016 $42,076 $3,940 deficit
Seattle 668,342 $72,092 $67,365 $4,727 deficit
Long Beach, Calif. 473,577 $58,560 $52,944 $5,616 deficit
San Jose, Calif. 1,015,785 $89,734 $83,787 $5,947 deficit
Portland, Ore. 619,360 $60,195 $53,230 $6,965 deficit
Memphis, Tenn. 656,861 $44,180 $37,099 $7,081 deficit
Milwaukee 599,642 $43,281 $35,489 $7,792 deficit
Denver 663,862 $62,842 $51,800 $11,042 deficit
Baltimore 622,793 $53,897 $41,819 $12,078 deficit
Dallas 1,281,047 $55,651 $43,359 $12,292 deficit
Minneapolis 407,207 $64,170 $50,767 $13,403 deficit
Atlanta 456,002 $60,285 $46,439 $13,846 deficit
Washington, DC 658,893 $83,104 $69,235 $13,869 deficit
Nashville, Tenn. 644,014 $61,015 $46,758 $14,257 deficit
Houston 2,239,558 $60,795 $45,728 $15,067 deficit
Cleveland 389,521 $42,589 $26,179 $16,410 deficit
Detroit 680,250 $42,772 $26,095 $16,677 deficit
Chicago 2,722,389 $68,671 $47,831 $20,840 deficit
Philadelphia 1,560,297 $59,384 $37,460 $21,924 deficit
New Orleans 384,320 $60,782 $36,964 $23,818 deficit
Los Angeles 3,928,864 $74,371 $49,682 $24,689 deficit
Boston 655,884 $84,422 $54,485 $29,937 deficit
New York 8,491,079 $87,446 $52,737 $34,709 deficit
San Francisco 852,469 $119,570 $78,378 $41,192 deficit
Miami 430,332 $77,057 $30,858 $46,199 deficit

Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed monthly living expenses in the 50 most populous U.S. cities according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. This cost-of-living comparison included the following factors for a single person: (1) housing, using the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in each city, sourced from Zillow’s January 2016 rental index; (2) groceries, using the recommended amount reported by cost-of-living database Numbeo.com for each city, sourced March 9, 2016; (3) utilities for a 915-square-foot apartment in each city, according to cost estimates from Numbeo.com, sourced March 9, 2016; (4) transportation costs according to the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator for each city or its nearest metropolitan area; and (5) health insurance premiums as estimated at the state level for 2013 by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Monthly costs were totaled and multiplied by 12 to get the annual dollar cost of necessities in each city. This dollar amount for necessities was then doubled to find the actual annual income needed to live comfortably in the city, assuming a person is following the 50-30-20 budgeting guideline, which requires an income double the cost of necessities. This study also compared the amount of income needed in each city to each city’s actual median pre-tax household income according to 2014 U.S. Census Bureau data. The amount of money specified for savings is equal to 20 percent of the total income needed, and the amount specified for discretionary spending is equal to 30 percent of the total income needed.

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