(STACKER/WRIC) — Do you feel like you make enough to cover your bills, buy the things you want and set some money aside? A new analysis has found how much it takes to be able to afford to live in the biggest U.S. cities.
Using data from the MIT Living Wage Calculator and a common budgeting method, we’ve figured out the average living wage cost of Richmond. The results are varied depending on the number of working adults and children in the household. The results were measured by hourly wages.
The MIT Living Wage Calculator estimates the living wage needed to support individuals and families using “geographically specific expenditure data related to a family’s likely minimum food, childcare, health insurance, housing, transportation, and other basic necessities.”
The lowest wage requirement is clearly two working adults with no children; they are able to live on only $12.06 an hour, each. The most expensive cost of living, on the other hand, is a single parent of three; required to make $49.05 an hour.
The graphic above shows the typical expenses for necessary services in Richmond. Housing is overwhelmingly the most expensive, requiring $10,986 every year for a single adult household and $17,251 for a three-child household.
The occupations that are most profitable in the Richmond area are Tech, Engineering and Management; with Management being the only occupation to average a six-digit salary ($112,845 per year). The lowest income occupations are Custodial work, Personal Care Services and Food Services; with Food services earning the least at $21,781 per year.
How does Richmond compare to these cities?
The Living Wage Calculator has also been used to calculate the 25 major U.S. metro estimates as well. Living wages have been calculated for each state, the District of Columbia, and multiple counties and metro areas throughout the U.S.
Using the required annual income after taxes estimated by the living wage calculator, SmartAsset determined how much you need to make to “live comfortably” in the nation’s largest cities using the 50/30/20 rule. A common budgeting technique, the 50/30/20 rule allocates your after-tax income to three categories: basic living expenses, discretionary spending, and saving or paying off debt.
SmartAsset used MIT’s estimated living wage salaries as the “needs,” or 50% of one’s budget. They then doubled that salary for their analysis, allowing for an individual to spend the rest on wants, saving, and paying off debt.
For example, the calculator says an individual living in Richmond would need to earn $26,829 after taxes. Assuming that covers the basic living expenses, SmartAsset says an individual living in Richmond would need to earn $53,658 to be comfortable following the 50/30/20 rule.
If Richmond were on this list, it would be city number 15, between Dallas and Baltimore.
The average salary needed to live comfortably across all of the major metro areas is $57,013, according to SmartAsset.
Stacker.com contributed to this story.