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40 Top Cities Where Your Paycheck Goes the Furthest




  • In Business
  • 2021-04-25 19:00:15Z
  • By GOBankingRates
Django / Getty Images
Django / Getty Images  

The average worker traditionally receives a paycheck every two weeks, and those two checks have to cover housing and utilities, plus everything that the worker eats, drinks and does for an entire month. Needless to say, that's a whole lot easier to pull off when paychecks are big and the regional cost of living is low. Dozens of cities in the United States offer exactly that dynamic - you just have to know where to look.

To identify the 40 cities where people can spread their paychecks the furthest, GOBankingRates identified the median household income in America's 100 largest cities, the biweekly paycheck amount, the biweekly cost of necessities (including groceries, health care, housing, transportation and utilities), and finally, how much is left over when those necessities are paid for. The study used data from sources including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau and Sperling's Best Places, then ranked the results in ascending order with the final entry being the city where your paycheck will last the longest.

Money: Cities in Every State Where Your Paycheck Stretches the Furthest

With more and more Americans working from home, a much larger percentage of the workforce can take their work with them wherever they go. This list profiles the cities that might be worth considering for people looking to get the most mileage from each paycheck.

Last updated: April 7, 2021

Lubbock, Texas / USA - Circa September 2019 Various windmills in use on the Great Plains of America on display at the American Windmill Museum, in Lubbock , Texas.
Lubbock, Texas / USA - Circa September 2019 Various windmills in use on the Great Plains of America on display at the American Windmill Museum, in Lubbock , Texas.  

40. Lubbock, Texas

  • Median annual household income: $48,701

  • Biweekly paycheck: $1,873

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $979

  • Amount of paycheck left: $894

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Downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana Skyline, including Allen County Courthouse.
Downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana Skyline, including Allen County Courthouse.  

39. Fort Wayne, Indiana

  • Median annual household income: $48,023

  • Biweekly paycheck: $1,847

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $945

  • Amount of paycheck left: $902

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Louisville, Kentucky, FHA, insurance, real estate, homebuyers, foreclosure, single-family, home median price, mortgage, down payment
Louisville, Kentucky, FHA, insurance, real estate, homebuyers, foreclosure, single-family, home median price, mortgage, down payment  

38. Louisville, Kentucky

  • Median annual household income: $51,307

  • Biweekly paycheck: $1,973

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,071

  • Amount of paycheck left: $902

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A view of downtown St.
A view of downtown St.  

37. St. Paul, Minnesota

  • Median annual household income: $55,085

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,119

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,205

  • Amount of paycheck left: $914

Aurora-Colorado
Aurora-Colorado  

36. Aurora, Colorado

  • Median annual household income: $62,541

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,405

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,476

  • Amount of paycheck left: $929

Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio  

35. Columbus, Ohio

  • Median annual household income: $51,612

  • Biweekly paycheck: $1,985

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,053

  • Amount of paycheck left: $932

Durham North Carolina skyline at dusk
Durham North Carolina skyline at dusk  

34. Durham, North Carolina

  • Median annual household income: $55,851

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,148

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,200

  • Amount of paycheck left: $948

WICHITA, KANSAS - AUGUS 30, 2018: The confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas River at the Keeper of the Plains near downtown Wichita.
WICHITA, KANSAS - AUGUS 30, 2018: The confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas River at the Keeper of the Plains near downtown Wichita.  

33. Wichita, Kansas

  • Median annual household income: $50,867

  • Biweekly paycheck: $1,956

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,003

  • Amount of paycheck left: $953

Minneapolis and Stone Arch Bridge at Sunrise.
Minneapolis and Stone Arch Bridge at Sunrise.  

32. Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Median annual household income: $58,993

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,269

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,312

  • Amount of paycheck left: $957

tropical plant by KCMO skyline.
tropical plant by KCMO skyline.  

31. Kansas City, Missouri

  • Median annual household income: $52,405

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,016

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,042

  • Amount of paycheck left: $974

Nebraska-Lincoln
Nebraska-Lincoln  

30. Lincoln, Nebraska

  • Median annual household income: $55,224

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,124

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,129

  • Amount of paycheck left: $995

Chula Vista is the second largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area, the seventh largest city in Southern California, the fourteenth largest city in the state of California.
Chula Vista is the second largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area, the seventh largest city in Southern California, the fourteenth largest city in the state of California.  

29. Chula Vista, California

  • Median annual household income: $76,354

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,937

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,933

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,004

Lexington Kentucky
Lexington Kentucky  

28. Lexington, Kentucky

  • Median annual household income: $54,918

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,112

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,094

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,018

GLOBE LIFE PARK, ARLINGTON TEXAS USA, 5-1-2020: A 270-acre mixed-use complex that includes Texas Live!
GLOBE LIFE PARK, ARLINGTON TEXAS USA, 5-1-2020: A 270-acre mixed-use complex that includes Texas Live!  

27. Arlington, Texas

  • Median annual household income: $58,502

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,250

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,227

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,023

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA downtown skyline at twilight.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA downtown skyline at twilight.  

26. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • Median annual household income: $54,034

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,078

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,055

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,023

Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA downtown city skyline at dusk.
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA downtown city skyline at dusk.  

25. Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Median annual household income: $61,324

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,359

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,331

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,028

Downtown Omaha skyline with the Heartland of America Park (with a lake and fall colored trees) in the foreground.
Downtown Omaha skyline with the Heartland of America Park (with a lake and fall colored trees) in the foreground.  

24. Omaha, Nebraska

  • Median annual household income: $56,780

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,184

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,151

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,033

downtown Seattle, Pier 66.
downtown Seattle, Pier 66.  

23. Seattle, Washington

  • Median annual household income: $85,562

  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,291

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $2,256

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,035

Garland Texas
Garland Texas  

22. Garland, Texas

  • Median annual household income: $58,999

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,269

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,210

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,059

An aerial and panoramic view of the historic Plaza de Cesar Chavez in San Jose, CA.
An aerial and panoramic view of the historic Plaza de Cesar Chavez in San Jose, CA.  

21. San Jose, California

  • Median annual household income: $104,234

  • Biweekly paycheck: $4,009

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $2,949

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,060

Austin, United States - May 3, 2014: People having fun on rowboats and boards in Lady Bird Lake on a nice day with the Austin skyline in the background.
Austin, United States - May 3, 2014: People having fun on rowboats and boards in Lady Bird Lake on a nice day with the Austin skyline in the background.  

20. Austin, Texas

  • Median annual household income: $67,462

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,595

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,534

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,061

Fort Worth, Tx
Fort Worth, Tx  

19. Fort Worth, Texas

  • Median annual household income: $59,255

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,279

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,212

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,067

Drone Aerial of Downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, NC, USA Skyline.
Drone Aerial of Downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, NC, USA Skyline.  

18. Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Median annual household income: $60,886

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,342

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,238

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,104

Corpus Christi Municipal Marina in Texas
Corpus Christi Municipal Marina in Texas  

17. Corpus Christi, Texas

  • Median annual household income: $55,709

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,143

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,025

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,118

Bakersfield, California, USA - April 17, 2019: Daytime view of theNile Theater and Padre Hotel in the heart of the downtown district.
Bakersfield, California, USA - April 17, 2019: Daytime view of theNile Theater and Padre Hotel in the heart of the downtown district.  

16. Bakersfield, California

  • Median annual household income: $62,340

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,398

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,278

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,120

skyline of Irving Texas
skyline of Irving Texas  

15. Irving, Texas

  • Median annual household income: $61,937

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,382

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,236

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,146

Raleigh, North Carolina downtown city skyline at dusk
Raleigh, North Carolina downtown city skyline at dusk  

14. Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Median annual household income: $63,891

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,457

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,300

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,157

Madison Wisconsin
Madison Wisconsin  

13. Madison, Wisconsin

  • Median annual household income: $62,906

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,419

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,256

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,163

United States Capitol building
United States Capitol building  

12. Washington, D.C.

  • Median annual household income: $82,604

  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,177

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $2,001

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,176

Henderson Nevada best weather
Henderson Nevada best weather  

11. Henderson, Nevada

  • Median annual household income: $69,940

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,690

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,488

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,202

Irvine California business district
Irvine California business district  

10. Irvine, California

  • Median annual household income: $100,969

  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,883

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $2,560

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,323

The skyline of Scottsdale, Arizona, in evening light.
The skyline of Scottsdale, Arizona, in evening light.  

9. Scottsdale, Arizona

  • Median annual household income: $84,601

  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,254

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,749

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,505

Virginia Beach ocean
Virginia Beach ocean  

8. Virginia Beach, Virginia

  • Median annual household income: $74,186

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,853

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,337

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,516

Boats exiting the Great Bridge Locks.
Boats exiting the Great Bridge Locks.  

7. Chesapeake, Virginia

  • Median annual household income: $75,790

  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,915

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,347

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,568

Anchorage Alaska
Anchorage Alaska  

6. Anchorage, Alaska

  • Median annual household income: $83,280

  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,203

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,555

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,648

Chandler is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, and a prominent suburb of the Phoenix, Arizona, Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Chandler is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, and a prominent suburb of the Phoenix, Arizona, Metropolitan Statistical Area.  

5. Chandler, Arizona

  • Median annual household income: $80,716

  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,104

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,441

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,663

view of the bay area from Mission Peak, Fremont
view of the bay area from Mission Peak, Fremont  

4. Fremont, California

  • Median annual household income: $127,374

  • Biweekly paycheck: $4,899

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $3,144

  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,755

Gilbert is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, located southeast of Phoenix, within the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Gilbert is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, located southeast of Phoenix, within the Phoenix metropolitan area.  

3. Gilbert, Arizona

  • Median annual household income: $92,350

  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,552

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,480

  • Amount of paycheck left: $2,072

Plano Texas.
Plano Texas.  

2. Plano, Texas

  • Median annual household income: $92,121

  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,543

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,427

  • Amount of paycheck left: $2,116

10978, Cities, Horizontal, States, United States, Virginia, america
10978, Cities, Horizontal, States, United States, Virginia, america  

1. Arlington, Virginia

  • Median annual household income: $117,374

  • Biweekly paycheck: $4,514

  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $2,238

  • Amount of paycheck left: $2,276

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Methodology: To find the 40 cities where paychecks go the furthest, GOBankingRates looked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2019 Consumer Expenditure Survey data to find how much the typical American consumer unit spends annually and biweekly on necessities (including groceries, health, housing, transportation, utilities and miscellaneous expenses). GOBankingRates then looked at the 100 largest cities in the U.S. by population, according to the Census Bureau's 2018 American Community Survey, and found Sperling's Best Places' cost of living index for each necessity category in every city. By multiplying each city's index scores by the national biweekly spending estimates in every category, GOBankingRates was able to calculate how much consumers in each city can expect to spend on necessities per pay period. Then, GOBankingRates found the median annual household income in each city from the 2018 ACS and created a biweekly paycheck estimate for workers in each location. Finally, GOBankingRates subtracted the total biweekly cost of necessities in each city from its median biweekly paycheck to find out where workers can expect to have the most money left over after bills are paid every pay period. All data were collected on and up to date as of Oct. 19, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 40 Top Cities Where Your Paycheck Goes the Furthest

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