How Much Money You’d Need To Make To Live Comfortably In The 25 Cities Of The USA

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Kansas City, MO: $45,311

Income needed: $45,311

50 percent for necessities: $22,656

30 percent for discretionary spending: $13,593

20 percent for savings: $9,062

The income needed to live well in Kansas City is on par with the city’s median income of $45,376, with about $65 extra in locals’ wallets.

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Long Beach, CA: $58,560

Income needed: $58,560

50 percent for necessities: $29,280

30 percent for discretionary spending: $17,568

20 percent for savings: $11,712

Long Beach residents need to earn $5,616 more a year than the $52,944 median income to live comfortably in the city.

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Tucson, AZ: $39,966

Income needed: $39,966

50 percent for necessities: $19,983

30 percent for discretionary spending: $11,990

20 percent for savings: $7,993

With the lowest total needed to cover necessities out of the 50 biggest U.S. cities, Tucson residents can likely make do on the $37,149 median income, which is just $2,817 short of the amount needed to live well there.

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Milwaukee, WI: $43,281

Income needed: $43,281

50 percent for necessities: $21,641

30 percent for discretionary spending: $12,984

20 percent for savings: $8,656

Milwaukee households earn a median $35,489 annual income, which is $7,792 less than what’s needed to live comfortably in this city.

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Las Vegas, NV: $50,453

Income needed: $50,453

50 percent for necessities: $25,227

30 percent for discretionary spending: $15,136

20 percent for savings: $10,091

Las Vegas residents earn a median income of $50,903, which is $450 more than the amount needed to live well there, showing this city offers earning opportunities that match local living costs.

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Portland, OR: $60,195

Income needed: $60,195

50 percent for necessities: $30,097

30 percent for discretionary spending: $18,058

20 percent for savings: $12,039

Based on the Portland median household income of $53,230, residents’ earnings fall $6,965 short each year of what’s needed to live comfortably.

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Oklahoma City, OK: $44,180

Income needed: $44,180

50 percent for necessities: $22,090

30 percent for discretionary spending: $13,254

20 percent for savings: $8,836

Oklahoma City has a median income of $47,004, which results in a $2,824 cushion beyond the amount needed to live comfortably.

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Nashville, TN: $61,015

Income needed: $61,015

50 percent for necessities: $30,508

30 percent for discretionary spending: $18,305

20 percent for savings: $12,203

The typical Nashville household earns the median income of $46,758, which is $14,257 less than the amount needed to live comfortably in Music City.

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Boston, MA: $84,422

Income needed: $84,422

50 percent for necessities: $42,211

30 percent for discretionary spending: $25,327

20 percent for savings: $16,884

Boston’s high cost of living isn’t easy to cover on the typical local income. The city’s $54,485 median income falls $29,937 short of the amount needed to live comfortably there.

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Washington, DC: $83,104

Income needed: $83,104

50 percent for necessities: $41,552

30 percent for discretionary spending: $24,931

20 percent for savings: $16,621

Based on the District’s median income of $69,235, locals’ earnings are $13,869 below the amount needed to live well in the nation’s capital, a deficit of $1,156 a month.

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Seattle, WA: $72,092

Income needed: $72,092

50 percent for necessities: $36,046

30 percent for discretionary spending: $21,628

20 percent for savings: $14,418

Residents of Seattle earn a median household income of $67,365, which is $4,727 less less than the income needed to cover necessities, savings and additional expenses.

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Detroit, MI: $42,772

Income needed: $42,772

50 percent for necessities: $21,386

30 percent for discretionary spending: $12,832

20 percent for savings: $8,554

Detroit has the lowest median income of the 50 cities on this list at $26,095, which results in a gap of $16,677 between actual income and the amount needed to live well in this city.

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San Francisco, CA: $119,570

Income needed: $119,570

50 percent for necessities: $59,785

30 percent for discretionary spending: $35,871

20 percent for savings: $23,914

San Francisco residents face one of the of the biggest gaps between their actual incomes and ideal incomes needed to live in the city, with the $78,378 median income falling $41,192 short of the income needed to follow the 50-30-20 budget.

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San Jose, CA: $89,734

Income needed: $89,734

50 percent for necessities: $44,867

30 percent for discretionary spending: $26,920

20 percent for savings: $17,947

With a high cost of living, San Jose’s median income of $83,787 is $5,947 less than the amount needed to live comfortably.

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Dallas, TX: $55,651

Income needed: $55,651

50 percent for necessities: $27,826

30 percent for discretionary spending: $16,695

20 percent for savings: $11,130

The median income in Dallas — $43,359 — is a substantial $12,292 less than the ideal income needed to live comfortably there.

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San Diego, CA: $69,307

Income needed: $69,307

50 percent for necessities: $34,654

30 percent for discretionary spending: $20,792

20 percent for savings: $13,861

San Diego residents earn a median of $65,753, which is $3,554 less than what they need to earn to comfortably manage their finances with a 50-30-20 budget.

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Philadelphia, PA: $59,384

Income needed: $59,384

50 percent for necessities: $29,692

30 percent for discretionary spending: $17,815

20 percent for savings: $11,877

The typical Philadelphia household earns an income of $37,460, which falls $21,924 short of the ideal income required to match the city’s high cost of living.

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Houston, TX: $60,795

Income needed: $60,795

50 percent for necessities: $30,397

30 percent for discretionary spending: $18,238

20 percent for savings: $12,159

The median household income in Houston is just $45,728, which is not enough to match the high cost of living in the city, resulting in a gap of $15,067 between the median income and the ideal income to live comfortably.

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Chicago, IL: $68,671

Income needed: $68,671

50 percent for necessities: $34,335

30 percent for discretionary spending: $20,601

20 percent for savings: $13,734

Chicago’s median household income of $47,831 covers necessities but puts residents’ earnings $20,840 behind the income needed to comfortably cover needs, wants and savings in the Windy City.

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Los Angeles, CA: $74,371

Income needed: $74,371

50 percent for necessities: $37,185

30 percent for discretionary spending: $22,311

20 percent for savings: $14,874

Los Angeles residents face high costs of living, which means living comfortably requires a higher income — $24,689 higher than the city’s median income of $49,682.

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New York, NY: $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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Denver, CO: $62,842

Income needed: $62,842

50 percent for necessities: $31,421

30 percent for discretionary spending: $18,853

20 percent for savings: $12,568

Denver’s median household income of $51,800 is $11,042 behind the amount needed to live comfortably, which means many Denver residents could struggle financially without sticking to a tight budget.

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Miami, FL: $77,057

Income needed: $77,057

50 percent for necessities: $38,529

30 percent for discretionary spending: $23,117

20 percent for savings: $15,411

The Miami median income of $30,858 is less than half, or $46,199 short, of the amount needed to live well in this city — the biggest gap between actual and ideal incomes of any major city in this study.

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New Orleans, LA: $60,782

Income needed: $60,782

50 percent for necessities: $30,391

30 percent for discretionary spending: $18,235

20 percent for savings: $12,156

The median household income in New Orleans is just $36,964, which is not much compared to the city’s high cost of living. That income falls $23,818 short of the income needed to live well in The Big Easy.

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Memphis, TN: $44,180 

Income needed: $44,180

50 percent for necessities: $22,090

30 percent for discretionary spending: $13,254

20 percent for savings: $8,836

Memphis has a median income of $37,099, which is $7,081 less than the total annual income a resident of the city needs to earn to be financially comfortable.

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