THE BLOG
08/07/2015 11:07 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

You Won't Survive in the 10 Most Expensive U.S. Cities, Even With These Great Jobs

It's easy to imagine big city life as being glamorous, exciting and expensive. We picture busy professionals with amazing jobs, living in high-rise, waterfront apartments. But wait, how much of their income are they really saving, given the higher cost of living they face?

We were curious about this, so we analyzed how much Americans would need to earn in order to live comfortably and save some money while residing in the 10 of the most expensive cities in the U.S.

We also included high-paying jobs with great reputations, but won't allow you to save adequately and live a cushy life in these cities.

10. Dallas, TX


Brunch time in Dallas is not taken lightly. Plus, you can get all this, for $6.50! Image via Flickr


Average annual spending of a Dallas resident: $80,452
Average annual housing cost: $28,416
Average taxes paid: $11,687

High-paying jobs that won't enable you to earn enough:

- Airfield operations specialist: $60,760/year or $29.21/hour

- MRI technologist: $71,550/year or $34.40/hour

- Registered nurse: $71,910/year or $34.57/hour

9. Stamford, CT


Stamford residents know that boredom can be fixed with a short train ride to NYC. Image via Flickr


Average annual spending of a Stamford resident: $57,027
Average annual housing cost: $20,341
Average taxes paid: $13,164

You'll still struggle if you have any of these respectable jobs:

- Power plant operator: $68,660/year or $33.01/hour

- Human resources specialist: $69,610/year or $33.47/hour

- Computer science professor: $72,450/year or $34.83/hour

8. Boston, MA


Jaywalking isn't just a New Yorker thing. Bostonians jaywalk incessantly. So much so, that they don't even get ticketed for it. Image via Flickr


Average annual spending of a Boston resident: $65,650
Average annual housing cost: $21,384
Average taxes paid: $12,011

Great jobs with great pay, but without the great life:

- Microbiologist: $68,290/year or $32.83/hour

- Market research analyst: $74,010/year or $35.58/hour

- Physical therapist: $82,440/year or $39.63/hour

7. Miami, FL


Rule number one: if you live in Miami, you don't party at South Beach, ever. This guy is clearly a tourist. Image via Flickr


Average annual spending of a Miami resident: $65,516
Average annual housing cost: $16,212
Average taxes paid: $6,328

Welcome to Miami, where these jobs won't suffice:

- Radiologic technologist: $48,310/year or $23.22/hour

- Credit counselor: $49,780/year or $23.93/hour

- IT support specialist: $50,530/year or $24.29/hour

6. Honolulu, HI


Yes, there's traffic in paradise too. Honolulu, Hawaii was once ranked as the second most congested city for traffic, after L.A. Image via Flickr


Average annual spending of a Honolulu resident: $55,460
Average annual housing cost: $19,376
Average taxes paid: $4,677

Living in Hawaii won't be the same as vacation in Hawaii, if you any have these jobs:

- Bus and truck mechanic: $56,170/year or $27.01/hour

- Insurance underwriter: $59,890/year or $28.79/hour

- Marriage and family therapist: $69,560/year or $29.11/hour

5. Washington, D.C.


Not surprisingly, it's very common for Washington D.C. residents to ask, "So, what do you do for a living?" Image via Flickr


Average annual spending of a Washington, D.C. resident: $80,452
Average annual housing cost: $28,416
Average taxes paid: $32,812

Even with these elite jobs, D.C. still isn't affordable:

- Computer programmer: $92,460/year or $44.45/hour

- Mechanical engineer: $110,060/year or $52.91/hour

- Pharmacist: $113,540/year or $54.59/hour

4. Chicago, IL


Anyone who lives in Chicago knows that hanging out at the Navy Pier only means one thing: they're with out-of-town guests. Image via NavyPierChicago Instagram


Average annual spending of a Chicago resident: $57,919
Average annual housing cost: $20,527
Average taxes paid: $9,664

The Windy City will blow you away once you find out how little you save with these jobs:

- Aircraft mechanic: $65,880/year or $31.67/hour

- Chemist: $70,830/year or $34.05/hour

- Registered nurse: $73,540/year or $35.35/hour

3. San Francisco, CA


You're not a true San Franciscan unless you know about ParkMobile (an app that lets you feed the parking meters through your smartphone). A parking ticket in SF costs about $76. Image via Flickr


Average annual spending of a San Francisco resident: $70,807
Average annual housing cost: $25,366
Average taxes paid: $7,690

You wouldn't be able to make it in San Francisco with these jobs:

- Human resource specialist: $86,110/year or $41.40/hour

- Electrician: $86,670/year or $41.67/hour

- Accountant: $87,840/year or $42.23/hour

2. Los Angeles, CA


"We need more actors and hipsters in this town," is one thing you'll never hear an Angelino say. Image via Flickr


Average annual spending of an Los Angeles resident: $55,852
Average annual housing cost: $21,353
Average taxes paid: $7,690

None of these jobs will get you the house in the hills:

- Epidemiologist: $57,640/year or $27.71/hour

- Physical therapist assistant: $64,500/year or $31.01/hour

- Web developer: $69,270/year or $33.30/hour

1. New York City, NY


This "cozy" two-bedroom in NYC's Lower East Side can be yours for a monthly rental price of $3,200. It even comes with its own "exit" sign. Image via Craigslist


Average annual spending of a New York City resident: $60,791
Average annual housing cost: $24,187
Average taxes paid: $10,279

These occupations only sound like they can fund the New York lifestyle:

- Forensic science technician: $64,140/year or $30.84/hour

- Landscape architect: $67,810/year or $32.60/hour

- Tax preparer: $69,730/year or $33.53/hour

Methodology


The most expensive U.S. cities are selected based on Mercer's 2015 Cost of Living Rankings.

Average annual expenditures for U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) are based on 2012-2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Average taxes paid by each state come from the U.S. Census Bureau as of July 2012. Average incomes for each MSA are based on the 2013 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The amount to live comfortably (before taxes) is calculated by adding the average annual expenditure and the average taxes paid.

Occupational employment statistics for each MSA is provided by the the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2014.

Do you live in any of these expensive cities and agree that it's hard to save? Or do we have it all wrong and you find it easy to save? Comment on this story below or chime in our Facebook! To see the story on our site, visit MyBankTracker.com