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Cost of Living

You've thought about how much money you want. But do you know how much money you NEED?

"Cost of living" is what you pay for necessities, such as food, housing, transportation, health care, child care, taxes, and other necessities.

Your cost of living most likely will change within the next five or 10 years. You might move from an apartment to a house. Or you might have to start — or stop — paying child support. All of these things affect how much money you need on a monthly or yearly basis.

The table below shows the basic-needs cost of living in Minnesota for different family sizes. This cost includes basic child care, food, health care, housing, transportation, and income taxes. The cost of living does vary depending upon where in the state you live. Living in the Twin Cities Metro area is more expensive than other areas in Minnesota.

Family Size Combined Hours of Work Yearly Cost of Living Hourly Wage Needed
One adult (age 19 - 50) 40 $30,900 $14.86
One adult and one child 40 $54,108 $26.01
One adult and two children 40 $79,560 $38.25
Two adults and one child 60 $55,548 $17.80
Two adults and two children 80 $86,124 $20.70

When you choose a career, compare the salary with your cost of living. This will help you choose jobs that meet your family's needs.

Lifestyle Choices

Think about how much money you want to spend in categories such as housing, clothing, and entertainment. For example, do you plan to have a small budget for food and groceries, and eat at home most of the time? Or do you plan to eat out a lot, which is more expensive? How you choose to spend your money affects how much you need to make.

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Other Resources 

Source: Cost of Living 2019, Department of Employment and Economic Development