GOBankingRates just released its 2019 Cost of Living study for both homeowners and renters. Using government and industry data, GOBankingRates put together totals of “necessities” such as housing, health care, groceries, utilities and transportation costs. It then applied its “50-30-20 Rule” to determine which cities would be the most affordable and/or unaffordable places to “live comfortably.”

The “50-30-20 Rule” translates into 50% of income being spent on necessities, 30% targeted for discretionary spending and 20% directed towards savings. Obviously owners and renters alike would need an income twice the amount that goes to basis living expenses if those owners/renters wanted to live comfortably.

Least Affordable Metros Based Upon Average Annual Expenses     

 Metro                 Median Income                   Deficit/Surplus for

Owners     Renters

San Jose             $96.700                               -$2,100    +$24,800

Boston               $62,000                               -$2,700     +$1,800

Oakland             $63,300                               -$9,400     +$900

Long Beach        $58,300                               -$11,000    -$4,000***

Honolulu            $80,100                               -$15,000    +$17,400

Denver              $39,000                               -$15,500    -$12,600

NYC                   $57,800                               -$16,400   -$6,500

Miami                $34,000                                -$18,500   -$20,800***

San Francisco     $96,300                                -$18,900   +$14,200***

Los Angeles        $54,500                                -$20,700    -$13,600***

Clearly, San Francisco is the most costly metro in which to live for mortgage holders. A person would need to earn $230,000/year to live comfortably, almost $134,000 higher than the city’s median income. Renters in San Francisco would need to earn $82,000/year to live comfortably, -$14,000 below the city’s median income.

Miami is a tough place to live comfortably for both mortgage holders and renters. Mortgage holders would need $52,500/year to cover the basics in Miami; renters would need $54,800.

Most Affordable Metros Based Upon Average Annual Expenses

 

City                     Median Income                   Deficit/Surplus for

Owners     Renters

Virginia Beach     $70,500                               +$28,900  +$26.800

Raleigh               $61,500                               +20,700    +$21,300

Charlotte            $58,200                               +$18,200  +16,700

Omaha               $53,800                               +$17,900  +14,500

Fort Worth          $57,300                               +$17,700  +13,700

Okla. City           $51,600                               +$17,700  +$14,400

Kansas City         $50,100                               +$16,300  +$14,000

Colo. Springs      $58,200                               +$15,800  +$16,600

Arlington            $55,600                               +$15,200  +$11,000

Columbus           $49,500                               +$15,100    +$11,900

 

Note that owners with mortgages do “better” with more “surplus money” than renters in 3 of these 10 most affordable metros.