How Much is a Livable Wage?

How much money do you need to earn for a livable wage? The short answer- it depends on the area of the country that you live in. If you live in San Francisco, you’d need $46.74 per hour or $97,219 annually for a single parent with two children.* In Portland, $35.53 an hour or $73,902 annually for a single parent raising two children.* How many people do we know that are earning this living wage?

We all know that the minimum wage of $12.00 an hour is not enough to live on, it is a minimum wage, and people live minimally at this wage, it is simply not enough. (Currently, the Portland metro are minimum wage is $13.25, still not enough). As you can see, the minimum wage is a third of the living wage.

Another misleading indicator is the inflation rate, the cost of goods and services in any given time is only as reliable as the products and services you’re using. For instance, health care rose nearly 4% between 2019 and 2020, more than double the inflation rate for that time period for all other items. Food items increased nearly 5%, and lastly the most expensive item, housing, where in Portland the maximum annual increase is at 10%.

How can we get ahead when housing, health care and food continue to increase at a much faster rate than our pay increases?

Here are several suggestions that may help you:

Changing your habits is not easy, but proper financial literacy habits can lead substantial change. Reach out if you would like to connect to a financial coach to assist with ideas and accountability.

The Save First Blog

This is a financial blog designed to help you meet your financial goals. Our team of financial educators, counselors, and coaches discuss relevant topics for everyday financial matters.