Cities Where It Costs the Most to Run a Household

Getty ImagesMultigenerational family standing on porch of home after dinner in Austin, Texas.
In many ways, the concept of "the American Dream" is fairly simple: people who work hard, study in school, save their money, and delay their gratification will be blessed with economic security and the ability to retire in comfort. And, for decades, that was certainly the case. However, as 2013's Credit Suisse Global Wealth Data Report suggests, this version of the American Dream is slipping away in America, even as it becomes more accessible in other countries.

Earlier this week, released an infographic that lays out some of the places where the American Dream is getting stretched the thinnest -- as well as some of the expenses that are increasingly crowding out our wallets. Some of their findings will surprise you: for example, when it comes to total household expenditures, the most expensive city isn't New York or San Francisco. It's Austin, Texas. And when it comes to the personal expenses that have gone up over the past three years, the biggest isn't housing or tuition: it's children's activities.

To see more about where household expenditures are highest, check out the infographic:

Bruce Watson is DailyFinance's Savings editor. You can reach him by e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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Paul B. Kravitz

It all derpends on where you live in "the city". S. Florida can be cheap and VERY expensive. Try living in or near South Beach as apposed to Lake Worth. Don't believe evefrything you read... in fact, I've ;learned to believe nothing I read.. and especially nothing I hear especially from Obama!

December 26 2013 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All cities around the world ARE expensive,and could be as expensive as your wallet could afford..........the real big difference is living in poor cities and communities.. that do not have enough money to provide first class public services....and the money comes from the pockets of TAX PAYERS

July 01 2013 at 6:00 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

translation of michael vivi 1st post....
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June 30 2013 at 11:51 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I live in MiamiDade County - no way - no how is it amongst the less expensive cities. My insurance and taxes on the house is $1200 a month (middle priced house) and my car insurance is out of control. Only advantage financially is that we don't have a state tax but the wind insurance on houses along with the property taxes more than make up for the lack of a state income tax.

June 30 2013 at 10:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to RabbiEdFarber's comment


June 30 2013 at 8:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't Get Married (It will only end in Divorce) Don't have kids They'll only insure you'll be broke for eternity(Our overbearing Government will start some sensless war to get em killed) & don't Grovel to the bank for a Mortgage (If you didn't get married & have Kids YOU woulden't need a Mortgage in the 1st place! unless YOU love being a Drone to the corporate slave masters that run YOUR pathetic boring life ! Remember "Woodstock' for ever

June 30 2013 at 3:52 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to ironmikemiata's comment

It has to be Washington, DC because the salaries are over inflated. which is just wrong. why should the bosses (us) earn less than the workers (politicians and staff)?

June 30 2013 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How did they define NYC, San Francisco, L.A. Boston and D.C.? Drivel. Pure drivel.

June 30 2013 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The article needs to address cost of living anywhere. Not just cities.

June 30 2013 at 1:47 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I do not blame the writer of this article. I blame the editor who approved the article. That is the person who should be fired. The article berefit of facts to support itself.

June 30 2013 at 1:30 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply