I think it is safe to say that we all know the cost of living in D.C. is high. We consistently rank within the top five most expensive cities in the U.S. and D.C. was just ranked as the 26th most expensive city in the world on the "Worldwide Cost of Living" report. Now, we are being told that to live comfortably in Washington, D.C. takes an annual income of $83,104.
A study from GOBankingrates.com discovered that residents of Washington, D.C. earn a median household income of $69,235, which is $13,869 less than the income needed to cover necessities, savings and additional expenses. Housing costs, groceries, utilities, transportation, and health insurance were the factors being weighed. The study used the 50-30-20 budgeting rule to represent "comfortability," which divides income into three buckets: 50 percent of income being spent on necessities, 30 percent set aside for discretionary expenses, and 20 percent put toward savings.
The study found that 15 cities have median incomes above what is needed to live comfortably, whereas the other 35 cities investigated have below what's needed for comfortable living, including 18 cities with median incomes that are at least $10,000 below the amount needed to live comfortably.While citizens in Virginia Beach, Virginia have an average median income $16,072 over what is needed to live comfortably, Miami residents are coming up $46,199 short, on average.
To live comfortably in D.C.:
- Income needed: $83,104
- 50 percent for necessities: $41,552
- 30 percent for discretionary spending: $24,931
- 20 percent for savings: $16,621
Interestingly enough, Baltimore, which is only about 40 miles down the road from D.C., residents only need to make $53,897 to live comfortably. However, the median household income of $41,819 still puts them $12,078 short of that comfortable benchmark.
If you're planning on moving:
5 Cities Where People Can Easily Afford to Live Comfortably:
- Virginia Beach, Va.: $16,072 surplus income
- Bakersfield, Calif.: $13,416 surplus income
- Colorado Springs, Colo.: $9,716 surplus income
- Arlington, Texas: $6,151 surplus income
- Mesa, Ariz.: $5,605 surplus income
5 Cities Where People Struggle to Live Comfortably:
- Miami: $46,199 deficit income
- San Francisco: $41,192 deficit income
- New York: $34,709 deficit income
- Boston: $29,937 deficit income
- Los Angeles: $24,689 deficit income