- It’s gotten harder for many people to afford basic necessities, says GOBankingRates.
- The personal finance site examined the cost of living throughout the U.S. over the past few years to see how much it has increased. Then, it surveyed Americans to find out how much they’re spending on necessities.
Things look pretty good. The economy is strong, and unemployment is low.
Yet in some locales, people are finding it tougher to afford the basics, according to GOBankingRates, which surveyed 5,000 people online in August.
Based on data from the Consumer Price Index, the cost of living in the U.S. has shot up by 14 percent in just the past three years, the personal finance site said.
If that doesn't sound like much, consider that if you paid $2.69 for a dozen eggs, a 14 percent increase would mean you now pay $3.07.
The numbers are worse if you look at bigger-ticket items, such as rent. The median rent in the U.S. was $981 in 2016, according to the Department of Numbers, a data-crunching website. That rate of increase would now mean writing a check for $1,118.
The survey uses the 50-30-20 budgeting rule: 50 percent of income for necessities, 30 percent for nonessentials and 20 percent toward savings. In most cities, the income needed to live comfortably is higher than the median household income.
Renters in these 13 states are spending more than 50 percent of their income on necessities.
If you live in a state where it's difficult to keep up with the rising the cost of living and to save for the future, you might want to consider moving. GOBankingRates found 13 states where respondents spend much less than 50 percent of their monthly income on necessities.
In some cities, GOBankingRates found prices for the basics have gone up by more than $17,000 in one year. That's 35 percent.
Prices are soaring in these 10 cities:
The income needed to live comfortably in 2017 was $49,415, according to GOBankingRates. This jumped to $67,011 this year, which is 36 percent higher.
Last year, you'd need $54,631 for all the basics. This year, $73,163 would cover it; that's a 34 percent increase.
The income needed to live comfortably in 2017 was $44,852, which jumped to $58,973 in 2018. That's an increase of 31 percent.
The income needed to live comfortably in 2017 was $44,648. This jumped to $58,616 this year, which is 31 percent higher.
The income needed to live comfortably in 2017 was $46,420. This jumped to $60,592 this year, which is 31 percent higher.
The income needed to live comfortably in 2017 was $53,026. This jumped to $68,636 this year, which is 29 percent higher.
In 2017, $52,649 was needed to live comfortably. This year's estimated $67,568 represents a 28 percent increase in costs.
The income needed to live comfortably was $56,786 last year. A 27 percent increase means you'd now need $72,079.
The income needed to live comfortably in 2017 was $43,644. This jumped to $55,345 in 2018, which is 27 percent higher.
An income of $46,154 likely met your needs for a comfortable life in 2017. Now, a 27 percent increase this year means you'd need $58,504.