Author Topic: Here's how much you need to earn to live comfortably in 15 major US cities  (Read 7393 times)

jjcamembert

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 153
http://www.businessinsider.com/salary-to-live-in-major-us-cities-2015-8

If I spent $40k in "discretionary" spending in a single year, have I exercised any discretion? And clearly I don't have enough "necessities" in my life.

The sad part is that this is all based off of "real" data, and according to this calculator (http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/10/19/what-percent-are-you/), if you make $130k/year, you're in the top 15% of earners. So the other 85% are (likely) drowning in debt and/or saving nothing.

Thinkum

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 725
  • Location: SoCal
  • Life is Good
So ridiculous it's no wonder everyone bitches about not having enough money.

sirdoug007

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 587
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Houston, TX
Wow!

I'm astounded that housing costs are generally third after childcare and healthcare costs.

In some places childcare alone is listed at over $20k/year.  Yikes!

EricP

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 477
So the author completely botched what "50-30-20" means.  50% is supposed to go to fixed costs.  Rent, Utilities, Car payments, Healthcare (other issues with including this raw cost in Take Home Pay as a majority of people have the majority of this covered by employers).  30% is day to day spending: Groceries, Gas and probably that "Other Necessities" piece would be included in this.  And then lastly 20% to savings.  This would include all savings.  Savings for future cars, house down payments, etc. would all be included in this.

What this results in is the author double counting money all over the place, so these numbers are all needlessly inflated because the author is a moron just trying to get pageviews.

slugline

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1171
  • Location: Houston, TX USA
This was eyebrow-raising enough . . . and then I realized they were talking about takehome pay, not gross. Does anyone else find it suspect that four cities in the list have identical suggested takehome incomes?

cautiouspessimist

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
Wow!

I'm astounded that housing costs are generally third after childcare and healthcare costs.

In some places childcare alone is listed at over $20k/year.  Yikes!

We pay $19,500/yr and are getting a good deal. Oh right, this is why I'M QUITTING MY JOB.

It's really insane. In fact, I think they underestimated it in the DC area...

jjcamembert

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 153
So the author completely botched what "50-30-20" means.  50% is supposed to go to fixed costs.  Rent, Utilities, Car payments, Healthcare (other issues with including this raw cost in Take Home Pay as a majority of people have the majority of this covered by employers).  30% is day to day spending: Groceries, Gas and probably that "Other Necessities" piece would be included in this.  And then lastly 20% to savings.  This would include all savings.  Savings for future cars, house down payments, etc. would all be included in this.

What this results in is the author double counting money all over the place, so these numbers are all needlessly inflated because the author is a moron just trying to get pageviews.

Thanks for pointing that out. I take the numbers with a grain of salt, and also didn't understand if they were all supposed to be pre or post tax. The data behind it is a few years old I believe. The housing expenses I found to be consistently too low, especially if this is for a family of 4 and they're not living in an apartment.

Kwill

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1440

Thanks for pointing that out. I take the numbers with a grain of salt, and also didn't understand if they were all supposed to be pre or post tax. The data behind it is a few years old I believe. The housing expenses I found to be consistently too low, especially if this is for a family of 4 and they're not living in an apartment.

I found the housing numbers too low for Boston. I'm currently looking for an apartment with roommates, and $2100 for a three-bedroom is the low end of what's out there, with parking but in less convenient, less trendy areas. You can pay $700 or less if you're in a shared apartment where the rent is split 3 or 4 ways among working adults, but their estimate of $1458 for a family of four would just get a studio or maybe a one-bedroom apartment. Maybe the family is very close and likes bunkbeds? I don't think you would necessarily need as much as they estimate to live in Boston, but the housing bit of it isn't realistic.

Suncoast

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
This was eyebrow-raising enough . . . and then I realized they were talking about takehome pay, not gross. Does anyone else find it suspect that four cities in the list have identical suggested takehome incomes?

I agree...that is very suspect.

jinga nation

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1254
  • Location: 'Murica's Johnson
  • Left, Right, Peddlin' Shite
A Business news site that can't crunch numbers accurately... it's a bloody virtual trade rag. Don't even take that shit seriously.

I think they make up these numbers to encourage discretionary spending, because if it is on Teh Internetz, then it "must be true".

vhalros

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 309
I found the housing numbers too low for Boston. I'm currently looking for an apartment with roommates, and $2100 for a three-bedroom is the low end of what's out there, with parking but in less convenient, less trendy areas. You can pay $700 or less if you're in a shared apartment where the rent is split 3 or 4 ways among working adults, but their estimate of $1458 for a family of four would just get a studio or maybe a one-bedroom apartment. Maybe the family is very close and likes bunkbeds? I don't think you would necessarily need as much as they estimate to live in Boston, but the housing bit of it isn't realistic.

Yeah, tragically, the housing numbers are low for a family of four in Boston, even if you remove yourself a ways from Boston itself. The child care number seems pretty accurate. The health care number is really high ($1,600 a month?). The transport number is also ridiculously high ($600/month). I spend about $10/month on transportation. Even for a less frugal person a T pass is $75/month and will get you many places.

« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 01:13:23 PM by vhalros »

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6445
  • Location: BC
http://www.businessinsider.com/salary-to-live-in-major-us-cities-2015-8

If I spent $40k in "discretionary" spending in a single year, have I exercised any discretion? And clearly I don't have enough "necessities" in my life.

The sad part is that this is all based off of "real" data, and according to this calculator (http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/10/19/what-percent-are-you/), if you make $130k/year, you're in the top 15% of earners. So the other 85% are (likely) drowning in debt and/or saving nothing.

This is my beef with living wage calculations , they start with the average discretionary spend of the average family, and only adjust for healthcare, saving, one 5 yr old car and housing costs of a 3 bedroom rental..    When the living wage family is supposed to spend more than my top income bracket family, highly taxed family, something is wrong with the calculation.!

Matt_D

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 171
  • Location: Virginia
Yeah I call bogus. Sorry, but I can't believe that Miami, Houston, Sacramento, Chicago, Portland, and Denver all cost THE SAME to live in...

Never mind the assumptions going into this.

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4061
  • Location: On my bike
That article is almost too dumb to even make fun of.  And I have a very high threshold when it comes to this stuff.

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Portland, OR
Wow, I live in Portland and I don't even make enough money to pay for necessities!  Good thing they told me.  Un-freaking-believable. 

Are they really saying that you will spend $7,000 on transportation?  Portland is like the most walkable/bikable city ever!  Plus, we've got a pretty extensive transit system.  Yeah, if you want to park downtown you'll end up paying to park, OR you could park 8 blocks away for free and walk downtown. 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 04:02:18 PM by AllieVaulter »

Apocalyptica602

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 271
Yeah this article is crap unfortunately.

I live near Baltimore and came from near New York City, the difference is way larger than the 30K or whatever they claim.

Additionally, if you look up the mean and median HHIs for these cities... it's impossible.

I know the average American is probably in debt but if both sets of numbers are to be believed then why isn't the world burning. Haha.

MgoSam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3643
  • Location: Minnesota
Wow, I live in Portland and I don't even make enough money to pay for necessities!  Good thing they told me.  Un-freaking-believable. 

Are they really saying that you will spend $7,000 on transportation?  Portland is like the most walkable/bikable city ever!  Plus, we've got a pretty extensive transit system.  Yeah, if you want to park downtown you'll end up paying to park, OR you could park 8 blocks away for free and walk downtown.

Yup, and you can get plenty of fresh air and exercise by doing so...which will lower your healthcare expenses and many more things.

I know a guy from high school that was pretty hefty after college and moved to Portland, he dropped the weight completely. He doesn't exercise but walks everywhere and that coupled with eating healthier due to positive peer pressure from his friends did it.

Kriegsspiel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 977
Wow, I live in Portland and I don't even make enough money to pay for necessities!  Good thing they told me.  Un-freaking-believable. 

Are they really saying that you will spend $7,000 on transportation?  Portland is like the most walkable/bikable city ever!  Plus, we've got a pretty extensive transit system.  Yeah, if you want to park downtown you'll end up paying to park, OR you could park 8 blocks away for free and walk downtown.

Yup, and you can get plenty of fresh air and exercise by doing so...which will lower your healthcare expenses and many more things.

I know a guy from high school that was pretty hefty after college and moved to Portland, he dropped the weight completely. He doesn't exercise but walks everywhere and that coupled with eating healthier due to positive peer pressure from his friends did it.

I agree Sam, people who say fat-shaming doesn't work are dummies.

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8896
  • Location: Oregon
Wow, I live in Portland and I don't even make enough money to pay for necessities!  Good thing they told me.  Un-freaking-believable. 

Are they really saying that you will spend $7,000 on transportation?  Portland is like the most walkable/bikable city ever!  Plus, we've got a pretty extensive transit system.  Yeah, if you want to park downtown you'll end up paying to park, OR you could park 8 blocks away for free and walk downtown.

Right? I had no idea I was so poor. Here I was thinking I was positively rolling in luxury and opulence, and I have less than HALF of what I need to live! My mistake.

MgoSam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3643
  • Location: Minnesota
Wow, I live in Portland and I don't even make enough money to pay for necessities!  Good thing they told me.  Un-freaking-believable. 

Are they really saying that you will spend $7,000 on transportation?  Portland is like the most walkable/bikable city ever!  Plus, we've got a pretty extensive transit system.  Yeah, if you want to park downtown you'll end up paying to park, OR you could park 8 blocks away for free and walk downtown.

Yup, and you can get plenty of fresh air and exercise by doing so...which will lower your healthcare expenses and many more things.

I know a guy from high school that was pretty hefty after college and moved to Portland, he dropped the weight completely. He doesn't exercise but walks everywhere and that coupled with eating healthier due to positive peer pressure from his friends did it.

I agree Sam, people who say fat-shaming doesn't work are dummies.

That's not what I was going for, I didn't say anything negative about his weight, and certainly hope that's not how it came across. The positive peer pressure was that if his friends wanted to cook a healthy meal, he would be there to help them make it and eat it and over time he started eating better.

FLA

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 587
my brother has lived in Boston for 20 yrs.  I think that stat about housing being 22% of your budget if you were making I think it was 150k is way off.  He makes very good money but doesn't know how to manage it so in 20 yrs he never bought! Arghhh. There are downmarkets when he could have and should have.  A couple of years ago, housing in Boston was #1 on the list, more than NYC and LA.  And I suspect if housing is a lot more than 22% to be in a safe, good school neighborhood, 150k is not gonna get you there