When it comes down to quality of life, we all must decide whether we want to live to work or work to live. Where you live is a key factor in determining just how comfortably you can live on your income, and one overriding factor is evident: City life is expensive.
According to a report by CNBC, a survey by GOBankingRates has determined just how much is needed annually to get by with a minimum amount of stress in the biggest U.S. cities.
To come up with its third annual list, GOBankingRates examined the cost of living for a single person in each city, including median rent and living expenses, from utilities and groceries to transportation and healthcare.
To determine the necessary annual income, the survey applied the 50-30-20 rule of personal finance, earmarking 50 percent of income for necessities, 30 percent toward discretionary spending and 20 percent towards saving.
The 50/30/20 rule is a proportional guideline that can help you keep your spending in alignment with your savings goals.
Texas is well-represented among the Top 20 cities.
Leading the list of Top 20 cities is El Paso, Texas, with an estimated cost of annual necessities set at $20,197, discretionary spending of $12,118, suggested savings of $8,079 and a suggested annual take-home income of $40,393.
The Midwest comes in near the top, with Detroit at No. 2 with suggested take-home pay of a little more than $42,000, and Columbus, Ohio No. 3 with suggested annual take-home pay of $44,852.
San Antonio comes in at No. 4 and Indianapolis at No. 5.
Rounding out the Top 10 are Memphis, Tenn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Fort Worth, Texas; Phoenix; and Austin, Texas.
The second 10 cities starts in Texas, with Houston at No. 11, with a suggested income of $56,223, and Dallas, at No. 12 with a suggested income of $57,984.
Rounding out the second 10 are Philadelphia, Pa.; Denver, Colo.; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; San Diego; Nashville; Los Angeles; Boston; Washington, D.C.; New York; San Jose, Calif.
Checking in at No. 20 is San Francisco, where the estimated annual cost of necessities is $55,179 and the suggested level of discretionary spending is $33,107. The recommended level of annual savings is tabbed at $22,017 and the suggested annual take-home pay to live comfortably in the Bay Area is $110,357.
It should come as no big surprise that many of the largest coastal cities are the toughest places to live on a typical household budget. According to the survey, Miami was the least affordable, since households living on a typical annual salary would find themselves almost $45,000 in the red.