Is Living in an Expensive City Worth It?

Low overhead isn't necessarily the only thing important thing about where you live. After all, you could live in a yurt made of recycled materials for free, but the plumbing might leave something to be desired. But what about when the cost of living becomes too much to bear? At what point do you say, hey, city, it's been great and all, but call me when my monthly rent is less than the total cost of my first car?

Tess Wilson at Apartment Therapy ruminates on this exact issue. Her chosen hometown of San Francisco routinely makes the most expensive cities list, and the situation gets worse when you compare income to housing costs. San Franciscans pay an average of $1,905 a month in rent and earn an average income of $71,304 -- only about $20,000 more than the average income for the rest of the country, which is assuredly not spending nearly $2,000 for a two-bedroom apartment. (In fact, as she points out, that number seems low. We know some San Franciscans who would throw people in front of a cable car to get their hands on cheap real estate like that.)

If you are fed up with losing so much of your hard-earned wages to keeping a roof over your head, but want to stay in an urban area, your best bet might be to look at some cities with the highest income when adjusted for cost of living. This Forbes piece lists just that.

The winners are:

1. Houston, Texas

2. San Jose, Calif.

3. Detroit, Mich.

4. Memphis, Tenn.

5. Dallas, Texas

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