Even With a $100K Salary, You Can Be Broke in Seattle

Seattle and Bellevue rank among the affluent cities where a six-digit salary isn’t enough to make ends meet, new study finds
Updated: Mon, 10/14/2019 - 08:08
 
 
  • Seattle and Bellevue rank among the affluent cities where a six-digit salary isn’t enough to make ends meet, new study finds

Many studies point out how expensive a place Seattle is to live for the average person, but a new study points out that the city and nearby neighbor Bellevue are too expensive for even those earning a $100,000 annual salary.

In fact, according to the study by personal-finance platform GoBankingRates, after paying average monthly rent of $2,238 and accounting for overall annual expenditures of $124,02 ― as determined from the  federal Consumer Expenditure Survey and Sperling’s Best Places’ Cost of Living Index ― an individual earning $100,000 a year in Seattle would be $24,062 in the hole. For Bellevue, the outlook is even worse, with average monthly rent of $2,421 and overall annual expenditures of $140,908, that same $100,000-salary earner would be $40,908 in the red.

That means even high wage earners in Seattle and Bellevue have to find ways to reign in expenses by finding cheaper rent and crimping on expenditures or sharing costs with other individuals. Sound familiar?

The study analyzed 200 major cities across the country to identify the 25 cities where a six-figure salary was still not enough to make ends meet. Seattle ranked as the 10th most expensive city in the nation based on that cut, while Bellevue came in at No. 5.

“Overall, 17 of the 25 cities identified in the study can be found in California, including Sunnyvale — which took the top spot — where you would wind up an astonishing $138,333.99 in the hole after expenses,” the study notes.

Ranking second through fourth, respectively, are San Francisco, with a deficit of $85,303; San Jose, with a deficit of $58,119; and Fremont, with a deficit of $54,409. The only city outside the California and Washington to make the list was the Big Apple, at No. 8, with a deficit of $27,285.

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