What is the average daily cost of living?
How does your daily cost of living look? Why does it matter anyway?
The main reason to know what the daily cost of living is to beat it or hack it. Cost of living is a reference point for establishing a standard of living. The standard of living is a reference point for our quality of life. Let’s take a look.
First we need a frame of reference.
For our reference, we will use the good ole USA first let’s establish that this is a median cost of living for 2015. Source is The Economic Policy Institute Burea of Labor Statistics, American Community Survey and United States Department of Labor. To further break this down let’s profile three households. Single,couple and family of four.
The average monthly cost of living in the United States for a single adult with no children is $2,371. This adds up to an average annual cost of living of $28,458. That breaks down to $79.96 per day.
The average monthly cost of living in the United States for a married couple with no children is $3,304. This adds up to an average annual cost of living of $39,649.That breaks down to $108.62 per day and $54.31 per person per day.
The average monthly cost of living in the United States for a married couple with two children is $5,466. This adds up to an average annual cost of living of $65,597.This is $179.71 per day or $44.92 per person.
So what are the median cost?
Let’s break it down a little farther. Here are the categories. Child care, food, healthcare, housing, other necessities, taxes and transportation. So what are the median monthly costs in these categories for each household?
Single person: Childcare $0 Food $271 healthcare $273 housing $560 other necessities $401 taxes $372 and transportation $493.
Couple: Childcare $0 food $496 healthcare $546 housing $643 other necessities $550 taxes $434 and transportation $633.
Family of four: Childcare $1025 food $781 healthcare $832 housing $817 other necessities $772 taxes $600 and transportation $638.
How does the median wage fit into the overall income scale?
Upper Middle Class
Approximately 25.2% of the United States’ population lives in a upper middle class household or a household with an annual income between $75,000 and $150,000.
Right here median is 17.8% of Americans living in a household earning between $50,000 and $74.999
Lower Middle Class
The second most common household income level is lower middle class with approximately 23.7% of Americans living in a household earning an annual income between $25,000 and $50,000.
Whew! Ok still with me?
This is where it gets really interesting. How we all perceive this information. First off Median is the middle. That means about half of people are above this index and half are below it. Here is where perception comes in. We have cost of living and standard of living. But what about Quality of life?
Quality of life (QOL) is the general well-being of individuals and societies outlining negative and positive features of life. It observes life satisfaction including everything from physical health, family, education, employment, wealth, religious beliefs, free time, finance and the environment. QOL has a wide range of contexts including the fields of international development, healthcare, politics and employment. It is important not to mix up the concept of QOL with a more recent growing area of health-related QOL (HRQOL). An assessment of HRQOL is effectively an evaluation of QOL and its relationship with health.
Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of living, which is based primarily on income.
So here is where the hack comes in.
If you want to beat the average cost of living the way to do it is to find the crossover point between cost of living and quality of living. Find where your lowest cost of living is in relation to your quality of life. Generally speaking we can look at it as daily cost of living. We can compare finances to a point but only you can determine if you are happy with your life and what it costs to maintain it.
To determine your Cost Of Quality Of Life or (coqol) examine each of the levels of satisfaction in these categories physical health, family, education, employment, wealth, religious beliefs, free time, finance and the environment you live in. You can lower your cost in each area until you are at the crossover point where spending more will not increase the quality of your experience.
Remember this is very individual. This process is a journey. Enjoy it.
To be continued…