Earn $100,000 and Still Be Broke in These 8 California Cities: Study

Jill McLaughlin
By Jill McLaughlin
May 26, 2023USshare

California is home to eight of the 16 largest U.S. cities where families can earn $100,000 and still be broke, according to a new study by Lending Tree.

San Jose, in the heart of Silicon Valley, ranked first as the most expensive city in the nation, according to the report, issued April 24. A family of three that earns six figures there would be in debt each month after spending on housing and transportation, the national loan company reported.

“It may be the land of tech giants and millionaire entrepreneurs, but for a family of three living in San Jose, Calif., earning $100,000 annually would land them in the red by a whopping $1,493 per month – making it the top metro where six-figure earners may struggle to make ends meet,” Lending Tree wrote in a statement about the survey.

The survey used U.S. Census Bureau cost estimates from 2021 to predict how much a family of three would spend to rent a two-bedroom apartment, pay for weekly childcare, transportation, vehicle costs, and travel expenses. It also considered the cost of health care, student loans, food and entertainment, and taxes. The survey also assumed the family put away $500 each month in savings.

The survey revealed that the financial margin of error for most Americans is “perilously small,” according to Lending Tree’s chief credit analyst Matt Schulz.

“Lots of people in this country make six figures and are broke in this country for as many reasons as there are people,” Schulz said in a statement. “Some of it may be the result of questionable choice, but for many, it’s simply due to things that are out of their control, such as outrageous housing prices, the high cost of gas, grocery bills or health care expenses.”

San Francisco was listed as the second-most-expensive city in the nation. The estimated monthly income for a family of three would be $8,333 but living expenses would be about $9,500, leaving them in the hole by nearly $1,170, according to the report.

The third priciest city in the nation was Oxnard, according to the study. In the city, along the southern California coast, north of Malibu, a family of three would need about $900 more each month to break even.

Housing in San Francisco and Oxnard rank second- and third-highest of any metro analyzed, Lending Tree reported. Oxnard also had the second-highest transportation costs of the top 100 metros, estimated at nearly $1,380.

The fourth most-expensive city for families was Honolulu. The high cost of living in the capital city of Hawaii would leave families making six figures $865 in debt each month.

San Diego ranked fifth priciest city for a family of three. According to Lending Tree, a family making $100,000 would be in debt by about $770 each month after paying for their living expenses.

Los Angeles ranked eighth most expensive for families. After expenses, they would still need about $660 to make ends meet.

Other California cities to make the top 16 list were Riverside (11), Sacramento (12), and Stockton (16).

The high cost of living is a major reason why California is losing hundreds of thousands of residents who move to other states each year, experts told EpochTV’s California Insider in “Leaving California: The Untold Story.”

California lost nearly 700,000 residents from April 2020 to July 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In the documentary, California resident Faith Lersey said the state’s high home prices are out of reach for her young family.

“Even though we’re trying our best, we’ll never be able to achieve the life that our parents achieved, or our grandparents achieved,” Lersey said. “The housing market is outpacing even my ardent savings efforts.”

From The Epoch Times

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