Report: It costs $60,000 to live comfortably in Portland

Median household income only $53,000

Looking east from Southwest Portland, May 11, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Looking east from Southwest Portland, May 11, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A new report says you need to make about $60,000 per year to live comfortably in Portland, according to numbers from GoBankingRates.com.

Those numbers are about $7,000 higher than the median Portland household yearly income of approximately $53,000.

“We have rents going up 14 percent a year, housing going up six to eight percent, so it takes more to live here comfortably,” said Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman.

That’s true, but we dug deeper into the numbers and found that while the cost of living has definitely gone up, $60,000 is probably a bit inflated.

GoBankingRate made their calculations using a 50-30-20 budget: 50 percent of your earnings on necessary expenses (rent, utilities, transportation, healthcare), 30 percent on discretionary expenses, and 20 percent on savings. In this case, their requirement to live comfortably in Portland factors in a yearly savings of $12,000.

Using their math, a household making the median yearly income could still live comfortably, provided they only planned on saving $5,000 per year.

Even if you’re not saving that much, though, the cost of calling Portland home can still be frightening.

“With all the student loans, even knowing that I’m going to have a degree, it’s overwhelming,” said Portland resident Lexi Goransan.

According to the report, you need about $30,000 per year just to cover necessary expenses like rent and food. Right now, if you’re making minimum wage, you’ll be $900 short every month.

We do know that over the next six years the minimum wage inside Portland’s urban growth boundary will be climbing to $14.75. We crunched those new numbers and found that even if all your necessary expenses stayed the same cost as they are now, a minimum wage worker would only be left with about $1.60 in spending money per day.

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