In Wyoming, You’d Need to Earn: $70,336
- Average college tuition and fees: $5,060
- Annual necessities: $32,638
- Annual splurges: $19,583
- Annual savings: $13,055
At $5,060, Wyoming has the lowest average in-state tuition and fees of any state. However, it doesn’t rank at the very bottom of states for the income needed to pay for college and live comfortably. And, Wyoming’s median household income of $60,925 isn’t enough to cover living costs and in-state tuition.
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Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed monthly living expenses in all 50 states. The cost-of-living comparison included the following factors: (1) median mortgage costs using Zillow’s mortgage calculation and median list price for each state, which was sourced from March 2017 data; (2) annual groceries costs, using the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center’s cost of l living index; (3) annual electricity bill, sourced from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2015 average monthly bill data for every state; (4) annual vehicle ownership and usage costs, sourced from GOBankingRates’ Most and Least Expensive States to Own a Car study; and (5) annual healthcare costs, sourced from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2015 data on the average family premium per enrolled employee for employer-based health insurance. Median income amounts are according to the Census Bureau’s “Median Household Income by State: 1984-2015.”
Monthly costs were totaled and multiplied by 12 to get the annual dollar cost of necessities in each state. This dollar amount for necessities was then doubled to find the actual annual income needed to live comfortably in the city, assuming a person is following the 50-30-20 budgeting guideline, which requires an income double the cost of necessities. The amount of money specified for savings is equal to 20 percent of the total income needed, and the amount specified for discretionary spending is equal to 30 percent of the total income needed.
College tuition and fee costs at in-state public four-year institutions for 2016-2017 are sourced from the College Board.