How much money do you need to make to live a comfortable lifestyle in major cities across the country? We often feel the pull of cities such as LA or New York City, which boast thriving restaurant scenes, arts and culture and nightlife. But it’s worth asking yourself whether you need to be, well, a rich Millennial to live without total financial stress in the city of your dreams. If you use the standardized 50-30-20 calculator created by Senator Elizabeth Warren to plan out where your paycheck is going every month (50 percent to living expenses/necessities for living, 30 percent for discretionary spending such as entertainment and shopping and 20 percent for saving), the answers may surprise you.


Financial planning website GoBankingRates has come up with a list of what 50 of the country’s biggest cities need in order to live a “comfortable” existence, and the list may surprise you. Of course, NYC and LA have higher incomes of $87,446 and $74,371 respectively, but would you believe that those aren’t even the highest incomes needed to live in a major city?

Not entirely surprisingly, San Francisco’s income need tops out the list at $119,570, while Tuscon, AZ is the lowest at $39,966. The good news is that the majority of US cities’ average income hovers around $40,000 a year, and the definition of “comfort” is so specific to each person that you could happily live in LA on an income of $39,000 per year depending on your lifestyle and desires.

Have a look to see if your city made the list, and if you are making it work with less (or more!).

Does income factor into where you live? Tell us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)