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How much do you need to earn to live “comfortably” in the triangle?

Feel like you’re making enough to cover your bills, buy the things you want, and put some cash aside while living in the Triangle area? A new analysis has found how much it takes to afford living in some US cities – including Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.

Using data from the MIT Living Wage Calculator and a common budgeting methodology, SmartAsset calculated the salary a single person must earn to “live comfortably” in the country’s 25 largest metro areas.

the MIT Living Wage Calculator estimates the living wage required to support individuals and families using “geographically specific spending data related to a family’s likely minimum food, childcare, health insurance, shelter, transportation and other basic needs.” Living wages were calculated for each state, the District of Columbia, and several counties and metropolitan areas in the United States

Using the required annual after-tax income estimated by the Living Wage Calculator, SmartAsset calculated how much you need to earn to “live comfortably” in the country’s largest cities using the 50/30/20 rule.

The 50/30/20 rule is a common budgeting technique and divides your after-tax income into three categories: basic living expenses, voluntary spending, and saving or paying off debt.

SmartAsset used MIT’s estimated living wage as “needs,” or 50% of its own budget. They then doubled that salary for their analysis, allowing a person to spend the rest on needs, saving, and paying off debt.

in Raleigh, found WITH that a living wage for an adult with no children is just under $34,000. That accounts for about $11,500 a year in housing expenses, $5,100 in transportation, nearly $3,200 in groceries, more than $2,700 in medical supplies, and $6,700 in taxes owed.

Under the 50/30/20 rule, doubling means a single adult with no children needs to make almost $68,000 to live comfortably in Raleigh.

Raising children adds to that number, as MIT estimates the cost of childcare is about $11,300 per year per child. So a single adult with one child needs to earn about $138,000 a year to live comfortably. However, two adults with one child only need about $122,400 to be comfortable, assuming one of the adults stays at home to look after the children.

According to this model, two working adults living in Raleigh with one child must earn more than $150,000 to live comfortably.

In the Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area found WITH The living wage for a single adult with no children is $31,660, meaning that person would need a salary in excess of $63,000 to live comfortably. Annual expenses are estimated to be $9,700 per year on housing, $5,100 on transportation, nearly $3,200 on groceries, more than $2,700 on medical care, and about $6,250 in taxes owed.

Child care in this area is estimated to cost about $10,100 a year – more than $1,000 less than in Raleigh. Still, a single adult with one child would need more than $104,000 a year to live comfortably, the model showed. Two adults working with a child require more than $141,000, but that drops significantly to $116,000 if one of them stays at home to care for the child.

The minimum wage in North Carolina is $7.25 an hour — just $1.12 an hour above the estimated poverty wage, but less than half the MIT living wage for Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill.

In its analysis, SmartAsset found that cities along the east and west coasts need the highest after-tax revenues to live comfortably. Nine of the top 10 subways fall on one of the sea coasts.

At the top of the list, unsurprisingly, was a California subway: San Francisco-Oakland-Berkley. SmartAsset determined that a single professional would need an after-tax annual salary of $74,282 to live comfortably in and around the City by the Bay.

In second place was Boston-Cambridge-Newton, where a single person would need to earn $68,630.

Ultimately, St. Louis was the cheapest metro area, where a salary of $46,864 is enough to meet the 50/30/20 rule. St. Louis supplanted the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn area, where a salary of $46,914 is considered sufficient.

How much would a single person need to earn to live comfortably in the 25 largest metro areas in the US (SmartAsset)

Cities throughout the South and Midwest also appear on SmartAsset’s list. In 22 of the 25 cities on the list, an after-tax salary of more than $50,000 is considered reasonable to live comfortably.

The average salary needed to live comfortably in all major metro areas is $57,013 SmartAsset.

https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/how-much-do-you-need-to-make-to-live-comfortably-in-the-triangle/ How much do you need to earn to live “comfortably” in the triangle?

DUSTIN JONES

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