The Economic Policy Institute is a think tank based in Washington, D.C. and among other things, they have come up with a family budget calculator which works with a number of factors such as costs of child care, food, housing, health care, transportation and others, and then comes up with the income that a family requires in order to be able to afford a “secure yet modest” living standard.
Business Insider and FindTheHome have used this calculator to find out what a four-member (two parents, two children) family would have to earn in order to live comfortably in major cities in the U.S. They used the 50-30-20 rule while doing their research, meaning that 50 percent of the combined paycheck goes to necessities, 30 percent goes to discretionary spending and 20 percent to savings.
Unsurprisingly, the most expensive o the major U.S. cities is New York City, where a family will need to bring home $169,944 per year in order to lead a modest but comfortable life. Washington, D.C. comes in second place with $160,440 needed for the four-member family to make a decent living. Boston is the third most expensive, requiring an income of $156,504.
San Francisco is in fourth place with $153,552 required, mostly due to the housing expenses which are relatively much higher than in other cities. Philadelphia’s housing costs put it at the fifth spot, with $142,824 needed for a 4-member family to make it in the city. The following five cities are Baltimore with $142,392, Los Angeles with $141,408, San Diego with $135,648, Seattle with $133,320 and Denver with $131,400.