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How Much Do You Need to Make to Afford Rent?

By Natalie Wise

Can your job support your housing? Zillow has the numbers for average hourly rates needed to afford the median rent in cities across the country, so get ready for some sticker shock. These U.S. cities require much more than minimum wage to make the monthly rent payment.

If you’re into skiing, the best place for living cheaply is Sandpoint, Idaho. At $22 an hour needed to pay rent, you’ll have a bit more cash for the slopes than in other places. Jackson, Wyoming, South Lake Tahoe, California, and Bend, Oregon, can all be enjoyed in a cozy apartment with $30-an-hour jobs.

If a big city is more to your liking, there actually are a few inexpensive options. In Las Vegas and Philadelphia, some of the cheapest on the list, a $24-an-hour job will cover rent. Dallas requires $25 an hour, while Chicago is still relatively inexpensive at $34 an hour. One might think New York requires the highest hourly wage, but it’s in the middle at $44 an hour, while Boston requires $50 an hour and San Francisco a hefty $79 an hour.

Anything near San Francisco and Silicon Valley will cost a pretty penny. To live in Cupertino, you’ll need a job that pays $86 an hour, and for Menlo Park, $103 an hour. The most expensive city in California, though, was Atherton, where you’ll need a job that pays $193 an hour to pay rent.

But the highest price tag of them all is in Florida – Fisher Island, to be exact – where the average rental requires a job that pays a whopping $234 an hour.

Fortunately, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area isn’t quite so expensive. If you calculate how much it takes to cover the rent, renters will need to earn at least $25 an hour. In February, the most recent month that information was available, the median rent was $1,305 a month.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 8, 2016 5:00pm]


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