Photo: Bernard Spragg. NZ via Flickr
Losing your job isn’t fun.
Shocking news there. But stuff happens. Whether it be your company downsizing, a program being cut, or maybe you overslept one too many times, people lose their jobs every day.
So, in the event that you were to lose your source of income, how much should you have saved to survive in your state? We found out for you.
States with the highest 3-month cost of living
Using the MIT living wage calculator, we gathered data to see how much you should have saved to survive three months of unemployment in each state.
Summary of findings
- Hawaii is the most expensive state to survive in – it’s paradise, you get what you pay for
- Maryland and Alaska are a couple of surprising entries in the top five most expensive states
- The least expensive group of states are ones you’d probably expect – Kentucky, South Dakota, and Arkansas rank as the easiest ones to survive in
- Although it isn’t a state, Washington, DC is the most expensive region to be unemployed in – you’ll need to have nearly $7,000 saved to survive in the nation’s capital for three months
How we did it
Using MIT’s living wage calculator, we did some pretty simple math to put this study together.
We divided each state’s annual average of food, housing, transportation, and other groups by 12. We then multiplied those numbers each by three to get the three-month average for each group.
We left out medical expenses because we thought, if you’re unemployed, unless you’re on the verge of death, hospital visits probably aren’t at the top of your to-do list.
Important note, all of our numbers are from the perspective of one adult living by him or herself. No spouses, no kids, just you. So this is how much you would need to have saved to live for three months in each state.