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You Need $57,984 A Year To Live ‘Comfortably’ In Dallas. The Median Income Is Much Lower

Dallas has the biggest deficit between the money needed to live well and what people actually make, a new report shows.

To live “comfortably” in Dallas these days, you’ll need $57,984 per year, according to a report published this week by Go Banking Rates, a financial website.

Dallas requires the highest annual cost of living among the seven Texas towns featured in the survey of America’s 50 most populous cities.

What’s more, Dallas has the biggest deficit in Texas between the money needed to live well and what people actually make. The median household income is $43,781. That’s a gap of $14,203. Houston’s the only other Texas city with a deficit, which comes to just over $10,000.


“A good way to gauge whether you can live a comfortable financial life is to apply the 50-30-20 budgeting rule, in which 50 percent of income covers necessities, 30 percent covers discretionary items and 20 percent is for savings,” according to the website. “From here, you can figure out whether your income is sufficient to cover cost-of-living expenses in your city."


Here’s how the financial website breaks down the money Dallas residents need:

  • 50 percent for necessities: $28,992
  • 30 percent for discretionary spending: $17,395
  • 20 percent for savings: $11,597
  • Income needed to live comfortably: $57,984 (up from $2,333 from 2016)

The news is much better for Arlington and Fort Worth: In those cities (as inAustin, San Antonio andEl Paso) the median household income is higher than the amount it costs to live "comfortably." El Paso stands out as one of handful of cities requiring the least income, with $40,393.

The median income in Fort Worth comes to $188 more than the cost of living comfortably. In between Dallas’ big gap and Fort Worth’s small surplus is Arlington’s big payoff.

The cost of living comfortably in Arlington, per the study, is $46,420. The median household income is $53,326. That’s a surplus of $6,906, which is behind only Virginia Beach, Va., in the rankings.

The city with the biggest negative gap? Miami, where it costs residents $75,891 to live comfortably and the median income is $31,051 — a deficit of $44,840.

Explore the full study and methodology.