Friday, July 19, 2013

Different Rates for Different States

Article Written by Ian Applegate.If you're a family of four (2 parents 2 kids) not drawing six figures, and you live in New York City, you don't need a calculator to know that you're financially strapped. 

What about New Haven?  According to this calculator, a single parent with one child needs to be making at least $61k/year in order to be comfortable.  

Depending on where you live, your income can have a significant impact on whether or not the Economic Policy Institute thinks you're living comfortably.  These numbers can vary dramatically from city to city, with some urban metropolises, such as NYC, where it might cost $93,000 to be "comfortable."

The family size options were one or two parents, and one, two or three kids.  They did not include nephews, neices, or uncles who can occasionally provide free child care.  

New Haven - Meriden CT HUD Metro FMR Area

One Parent, One Child

Monthly Housing$1316
Monthly Food$369
Monthly Child Care$899
Monthly Transportation$480
Monthly Health Care$974
Monthly Other Necessities    $431
Monthly Taxes$658
Monthly Total$5128
Annual Total$61534

(in NYC it's 67,153)

One parent, Two Children

Monthly Housing$1316
Monthly Food$546
Monthly Child Care$1360
Monthly Transportation$480
Monthly Health Care$1401
Monthly Other Necessities    $477
Monthly Taxes$727
Monthly Total$6307
Annual Total$75683

One Parent, Three Children

Monthly Housing$1639
Monthly Food$735
Monthly Child Care$1821
Monthly Transportation$480
Monthly Health Care$1454
Monthly Other Necessities    $608
Monthly Taxes$1037
Monthly Total$7773
Annual Total$93280

Two Parents, One Child

Monthly Housing$1316
Monthly Food$598
Monthly Child Care$899
Monthly Transportation$607
Monthly Health Care$1399
Monthly Other Necessities    $490
Monthly Taxes$541
Monthly Total$5850
Annual Total$70204

Two Parents, Two Children

Monthly Housing$1316
Monthly Food$754
Monthly Child Care$1360
Monthly Transportation$607
Monthly Health Care$1451
Monthly Other Necessities    $530
Monthly Taxes$597
Monthly Total$6615
Annual Total$79381 (in NYC it's 93,502)

Two Parents, Three Children

Monthly Housing$1639
Monthly Food$921
Monthly Child Care$1821
Monthly Transportation$607
Monthly Health Care$1504
Monthly Other Necessities    $655
Monthly Taxes$811
Monthly Total$7958
Annual Total$95496

What can you do with this information?

If you can afford any number on this chart, then you can pretty much live anywhere you want.  With as many kids as you want, as well.  As for the rest of us, we're so busy trying to make rent every month that it's very difficult to find the time to study data.  Is this a guideline, for employers to determine what's technically fair to pay workers depending on their demographic (married/single, with # of kids?)  Or is it a tool, for city planners and economic development teams to determine what states are worth investing in, because the cost of living is so much less (Asheville, NC for 1parent 1 child is $46,153 compared to our $61k, almost a difference of 30%).  What if you get to that state, only to find out that the pay rates for everything are also lower?  Maybe it just turns out the the NorthEast is financially inflated compared to the South.
You can try the calculator [right here] but we printed out all the available results for New Haven.  The available category was "New Haven - Meriden CT HUD Metro FMR Area" and there were 4 options.