Here's how much you need to earn to live comfortably in 15 major US cities while still saving money

City life is expensive, but just
how expensive?

Using the Economic Policy Institute’s family budget calculator, which accounts for two parents and two kids, research engineĀ FindTheHome created a cost of living index to compare over 600 US metros.

They then analysed the data in 15 major cities to determine a suggested take-home household income to live comfortably in each area using the “50-30-20 rule” of personal finance, meaning 50% of after-tax, take-home pay goes to necessities (such as housing, food, childcare, healthcare, and transportation), 30% towards discretionary spending, and 20% towards saving.

Note that these numbers are suggestions based on the available data. They are meant for a four-person family and suggest a generous amount of annual savings, which may not be preferred or possible for some families.

Scroll down to see the suggested take-home income for 15 major US metro areas, plusĀ the estimated annual cost of necessities, discretionary spending, and optimum savings.

13. Miami

Shutterstock
Miami, Florida.

Estimated cost of annual necessities: $US65,700

Suggested annual discretionary spending: $US39,420

Suggested annual savings: $US26,280

Suggested annual take-home income: $US131,400

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12. Chicago

Shutterstock
Chicago, Illinois.

Estimated cost of annual necessities: $US65,700

Suggested annual discretionary spending: $US39,420

Suggested annual savings: $US26,280

Suggested annual take-home income: $US131,400

Scroll over the graphic for monthly cost estimates.

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11. Portland

Shutterstock
Portland, Oregon.

Estimated cost of annual necessities: $US65,700

Suggested annual discretionary spending: $US39,420

Suggested annual savings: $US26,280

Suggested annual take-home income: $US131,400

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10. Denver

Shutterstock / welcomia
Denver, Colorado.

Estimated cost of annual necessities: $US65,700

Suggested annual discretionary spending: $US39,420

Suggested annual savings: $US26,280

Suggested annual take-home income: $US131,400

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8. San Diego

Shutterstock.com
San Diego, California.

Estimated cost of annual necessities: $US67,824

Suggested annual discretionary spending: $US40,694

Suggested annual savings: $US27,130

Suggested annual take-home income: $US135,648

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5. Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Estimated cost of annual necessities: $US71,412

Suggested annual discretionary spending: $US42,847

Suggested annual savings: $US28,565

Suggested annual take-home income: $US142,824

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4. San Francisco

Shutterstock.com
San Francisco, California.

Estimated cost of annual necessities: $US76,776

Suggested annual discretionary spending: $US46,066

Suggested annual savings: $US30,710

Suggested annual take-home income: $US153,552

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2. Washington, DC

Alex Wong/Getty
Washington, DC.

Estimated cost of annual necessities: $US80,220

Suggested annual discretionary spending: $US48,132

Suggested annual savings: $US32,088

Suggested annual take-home income: $US160,440

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1. New York City

Shutterstock
New York City, New York.

Estimated cost of annual necessities: $US84,972

Suggested annual discretionary spending: $US50,983

Suggested annual savings: $US33,989

Suggested annual take-home income: $US169,944

Scroll over the graphic for monthly cost estimates.

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