San Diego has been named the second most expensive city in the nation.
Fox 5 San Diego says financial planning website SmartAsset reviewed data from the MIT Living Wage Calculator, and found nine of the 10 most expensive cities in the country were along the coast, and three were in California, including the Bay Area and San Diego as the two most expensive.
The study looked at the living wage someone would need to support themselves and various family sizes throughout the country based on “geographically specific expenditure data related to a family’s likely minimum food, childcare, health insurance, housing, transportation, and other basic necessities”.
The also used a common budgeting method known as the 50/30/20 rule that allocates the after-tax income to three categories: basic living expenses (50%), discretionary spending (30%), and saving or paying off debt (20%).
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 their analysis, SmartAsset focused on the basic cost of living for an individual with no children for the nation’s 25 largest metro areas.
The study said the Bay Area needed a salary of $84,026, and San Diego needed $79,324.
These are the 10 cities where an individual with no children needs the highest salary to “live comfortably,” according to SmartAsset:
Rank Metro Post-tax annual salary needed
1 San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, California $84,026
2 San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, California $79,324
3 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts $78,752
4 New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania $78,524
5 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington $77,634
6 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California $76,710
7 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, District of Columbia-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia $76,194
8 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Oregon-Washington $74,086
9 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado $70,892
10 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida $67,740
The most affordable cities were spread throughout central states from the Midwest south to Texas. An individual with no children living in St. Louis, Missouri, requires the smallest post-tax salary at $57,446. Though much lower than the salary needed in San Francisco, it’s up nearly $10,000 over the salary SmartAsset calculated last year for the city.
Just three cities on this year’s list require a post-tax salary of less than $60,000: St. Louis; Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan, and San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas.
Nationally, SmartAsset found you need a salary of nearly $68,500 after taxes to live comfortably, up about 20% from last year’s $57,013.