American household debt totaled a record $12.73 trillion as of March 2017, so cost of living concerns are more pertinent than ever. Americans have high expectations for their standard of living, but the price of sustaining those expectations can be steep — and it’s rising in certain parts of the country much more than others.
GOBankingRates conducted a study to identify which cities have seen the largest cost of living increase over a one-year period from 2016 to 2017. The study evaluated U.S. cities based on two principal metrics:
The increase in its cost of living index, which includes food, rent, utilities and transportation.The increase in the amount of income required to “live comfortably,” a concept used in GOBankingRates studies that combines the money needed to pay for necessities — including food, rent, utilities, transportation and healthcare — with the amount one should budget toward discretionary spending and savings.
We identified the cities where the cost of living index had increased by at least two points (out of a total 100) and the amount of income required to live comfortably had also risen.
Combining these two metrics provides both the objective and more subjective side of cost of living expenses. Most cost of living indices do not account for the ability to save or pay for unnecessary purchases, and yet they’re both important parts of people’s financial lives. Click through to find out the worst places to live because of rising costs.