The top 10 most expensive cities in the USA

  • cost of living in the US
    Shutterstock.com
Article
Published 2018-08-01 16:09

A hefty salary doesn’t necessarily mean that you can save a ton of money at the end of the month, or that you can afford big expenditure on leisure activities and luxury items. Cost of living has a direct impact on all of the above. Starting with the least expensive, we present to you America’s ten most expensive metropolitan areas, where a six-figure annual salary for a family of three isn’t enough for a comfortable lifestyle. After paying their taxes, debts, housing, and transportation, a family earning $100,000 a year is still struggling to get by in certain US cities.

New York City

New York City
Luciano Mortula - LGM / Shutterstock.com
 

From place number five in 2017, New York has dropped to the tenth position thanks to the city’s relatively reasonable transportation costs. When in any of the other nine metropolitan areas you are expected to spend between $1,200 to $1,400 on transport a month, in New York the monthly cost is significantly lower at $997. New York’s disposable income for a single-child-family is the highest ($505) among the cities in the top ten, but still not quite gratifying.

 

Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut
Shutterstock.com

For those living or thinking to move to Hartford in Connecticut, the good news is that after they pay their monthly housing, transportation, healthcare, childcare, food, entertainment, and utility expenses, they will have an extra $339 a month to spare. Housing in Hartford cannot be described as affordable, but it is the second lowest (after Minneapolis) on this list, as it is taking up just 33% of the monthly paycheck.

 

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Shutterstock.com

Before you choose Minneapolis as your expat destination, carried away by the city’s rich culture and high education standards, consider the cost of living in this very cold American region. At the end of the month, a family of three may very well feel broke, even with a monthly income of no less than $8,000. The estimated state tax in Minneapolis is $506 a month, which is the highest from all the countries on the list. To give you an idea, the state tax in San Jose, California, which is the most expensive city in the US, is less than half ($206) when compared to Minneapolis.

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii
Shutterstock.com

Honolulu’s disposable income has dropped from $302 a month in 2017 to $140 this year due to 30% and 23% increase in childcare and transportation costs respectively. On the other hand, the cost of housing has decreased by about 18%. In real numbers, this means that the monthly cost of childcare in Honolulu is $1,003, of transportation is $1,222, and of housing is $1,983.

 

Oxnard, California

Oxnard, California
Shutterstock.com

Oxnard, also known as “the Galápagos of North America,” is located along the coast of Southern California, and even though is among California’s most populous cities, its agricultural vibe gives the feeling that it’s very spread out. Oxnard’s peaceful environment may be an excellent reason to expatriate there, especially if you love strawberries. However, before you rush into a decision, be aware that you may be financially strapped, even on a six-figure annual salary. The disposable income of a single-child family is about $138, while 38% of the net income is spent on housing.

 

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston
Shutterstock.com

Moving to Boston with a child may be somewhat expensive due to the skyrocketing childcare costs ($1,247), which is the third highest from the list (after San Jose’s and San Francisco’s). Precisely, childcare takes up 15% of the monthly paycheck, and housing in Boston eats away another 37% of it. There’s a lot to see and do in this historic and artistic city, but even with what you may consider a decent salary, expect to be at least minus $31 every month.

 

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Shutterstock.com

If you are working and living in Bridgeport, Connecticut, you may be happily enjoying the benefits of living so close to nature  the beaches, the fields, the river. However, you may be disheartened by having to spend more than you earn in a month. Although food and childcare are affordable in the area, utilities ($342) and transportation ($1,307) costs are higher than they are in the top three most expensive cities (e.g. San Jose, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco). Thus, a family of three spends about 29% of the monthly salary on utilities and transportation alone, meaning that its monthly disposable income is minus $98.

 

San Francisco, California

San Francisco
Shutterstock.com

San Francisco is only about 50 miles (80 km) away from San Jose, but has slightly lower living costs, giving more value to a $100,000-salary. Food, utilities, childcare, and entertainment cost more or less the same in both areas. However, the $270 difference in housing expenses between San Francisco and San Jose, makes San Francisco slightly more affordable. You can save some extra money by leaving the car at home and using the public transport instead, as parking in the city is rightly described by the residents as a “nightmare.”

 

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.
Shutterstock.com

Washington, D.C. is the second most expensive city in the US, meaning that a family’s $8,333 monthly paycheck can never be enough to cover all the expenses and leave the family with a disposable income. Thus, if you decide to move to Washington for work, you should be prepared to use your credit card, if not often, at least towards the end of the month. Housing costs in the area have increased to $2,597 from $2,274 in 2017, making D.C. the most expensive metropolis for accommodation.

 

San Jose, California

San Jose California
Shutterstock.com

San Jose, in Silicon Valley, California, is the most expensive city in the US. A joint annual income of $100,000 for a single-child family isn’t enough to cover the family’s monthly expenses, as the disposable income is calculated at minus $454. This comes as no surprise when we understand that there has been an 84% increase in childcare costs and 30% increase in transportation costs since last year. However, at the same time, there has been a slight decrease in housing costs from $2,916 in 2017 to $2,520 in 2018.