Tuesday, 23 Apr 2024

Do you earn enough to ‘live comfortably’ in St. Louis? – Analysis

what is a good salary in st louis

Are you satisfied with your current income? Are you able to cover all your expenses, enjoy some luxuries, and save money for the future? A recent analysis has examined the income needed to achieve a comfortable standard of living in various U.S. cities. Let’s take a closer look at the findings.

Calculating the “Living Wage”

The analysis conducted by SmartAsset relied on data from the MIT Living Wage Calculator and a popular budgeting approach. The MIT Living Wage Calculator uses specific expenditure data to estimate the minimum income required for food, childcare, health insurance, housing, transportation, and other basic necessities. It provides living wage estimates for states, counties, metro areas, and the District of Columbia.

The 50/30/20 Rule

To determine the income required to live comfortably in each city, SmartAsset applied the 50/30/20 rule. This rule involves allocating after-tax income to three categories: 50% for basic living expenses, 30% for discretionary spending, and 20% for saving or paying off debt.

Using the estimated living wage salaries provided by MIT as the baseline, SmartAsset doubled that amount to allow for the remaining 50% to be spent on wants, saving, and debt repayment.

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Analysis Findings

Not surprisingly, cities along the East and West coasts were found to have the highest income requirements for a comfortable life. Nine out of the top ten cities on the list are located on either coast.

The city that topped the list was the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley metro area in California. To live comfortably in and around the City by the Bay, a single working person would need an annual post-tax salary of $74,282.

Boston-Cambridge-Newton came in second place, with an income requirement of $68,630 for an individual.

On the other hand, St. Louis emerged as the most affordable metro area on the list. In St. Louis, a salary of $46,864 is considered enough to meet the 50/30/20 rule. The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn area, with a salary requirement of $46,914, closely followed St. Louis.

Cities in the South and Midwest also made appearances on the list. In 22 out of the 25 cities analyzed, a post-tax salary of over $50,000 is considered adequate for a comfortable life.

According to SmartAsset, the average salary required to live comfortably across all major metro areas is $57,013.


Q: What is the 50/30/20 rule?
A: The 50/30/20 rule is a budgeting technique that suggests allocating 50% of after-tax income to basic living expenses, 30% to discretionary spending, and 20% to saving or paying off debt.

Q: How was the analysis conducted?
A: The analysis used data from the MIT Living Wage Calculator to estimate the income required to support individuals and families based on specific expenditure data. SmartAsset applied the 50/30/20 rule to determine the income needed for a comfortable life in each city.

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Q: Which city requires the highest post-tax income?
A: The San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley metro area in California requires the highest post-tax income to live comfortably, with an annual salary of $74,282 for a single working person.


When it comes to achieving a comfortable standard of living, the income required varies significantly across different U.S. cities. Coastal cities, particularly those on the East and West coasts, tend to have higher income requirements. However, more affordable options can be found in cities like St. Louis. To determine the ideal income for your desired lifestyle, it’s crucial to consider factors such as location, cost of living, and personal financial goals.

For more information about various cities’ living wages and income requirements, visit Pesstatsdatabase.