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How Much You Need To Live Comfortably in 50 Major US Cities

GOBankingRates Logo By Joel Anderson of GOBankingRates | Slide 1 of 52: There is no one answer to how much money you need to make to live comfortably, but one oft-used rule of thumb in budgeting is the 50/30/20 rule -- which calls for half your income to go to necessities, 20% to savings and investments and 30% for splurges and fun. For most Americans, that's a pretty sensible approach to defining a living wage, but plenty of residents living in America's largest cities are probably reading that and thinking "Are you insane? Half my income doesn't even cover my rent and I live in a converted dumbwaiter." See: States Where Your Retirement Will Cost Less Than $45,000 a Year Check Out: 35 Surprising Cities With Low Costs of Living And it's true: How much money you need to live comfortably is just much higher in the big city, putting the 50/30/20 rule out of reach for most of its residents. That's why a new GOBankingRates study lays out just how much you need to earn to live comfortably in each of America's 50 largest metropolises based on the cost of living by city. Using Zillow to calculate housing costs in each locale and Sperling's Best Places to estimate the price of other necessities like transportation, groceries and healthcare, the end result is a clear sense of just how much you would need to be bringing in to stick to the 50/30/20 rule at average levels of spending in each category. Don't Move: 50 Cities With the Most Overpriced Homes With the average salary in each major U.S. city falling well short of what's needed to live comfortably there, the study should make it clear that a lot of America's urbanites probably have to make cuts elsewhere to afford living in the big city. So if you're thinking about living in a major city, keep reading to see the ideal salary and cost of living in America's biggest cities.

There is no one answer to how much money you need to make to live comfortably, but one oft-used rule of thumb in budgeting is the 50/30/20 rule -- which calls for half your income to go to necessities, 20% to savings and investments and 30% for splurges and fun. For most Americans, that's a pretty sensible approach to defining a living wage, but plenty of residents living in America's largest cities are probably reading that and thinking "Are you insane? Half my income doesn't even cover my rent and I live in a converted dumbwaiter."

See: States Where Your Retirement Will Cost Less Than $45,000 a Year
Check Out: 35 Surprising Cities With Low Costs of Living

And it's true: How much money you need to live comfortably is just much higher in the big city, putting the 50/30/20 rule out of reach for most of its residents. That's why a new GOBankingRates study lays out just how much you need to earn to live comfortably in each of America's 50 largest metropolises based on the cost of living by city. Using Zillow to calculate housing costs in each locale and Sperling's Best Places to estimate the price of other necessities like transportation, groceries and healthcare, the end result is a clear sense of just how much you would need to be bringing in to stick to the 50/30/20 rule at average levels of spending in each category.

Don't Move: 50 Cities With the Most Overpriced Homes

With the average salary in each major U.S. city falling well short of what's needed to live comfortably there, the study should make it clear that a lot of America's urbanites probably have to make cuts elsewhere to afford living in the big city. So if you're thinking about living in a major city, keep reading to see the ideal salary and cost of living in America's biggest cities.

© benedek / Getty Images

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