Cue up the graduation songs and get ready for parties as students in Houston, Tyler, Austin, San Antonio, and Lubbock prepare to close one chapter and embark on a new journey. Excitement for high school students is mixed with trepidation, if they are looking to fly from their secure nests and become a full-fledged, bill-paying adult.

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Some of those young adults will head off to the next educational stop. Others may be finishing college or are making the decision to enter the workforce. With inflation rates in Texas and around the country still putting the squeeze on budgets, starting a brand new single life without the safety net of parental financial support can be terrifying. And for good reason.

If they are heading into college, students are having to ask themselves what majors will provide the best income opportunities so they can afford to live. Taking it a step further, how much money does a single person need to make to live comfortably in the great state of Texas?



Experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT have crafted an answer in the form of a Living Wage Calculator.

How much would an individual with no children need to make per hour to live comfortably in Texas? used the data from MIT and applied the 50/30/20 budget rule to arrive at their calculations. Following the rule means that a person spends 50% of their income on basic needs like food and housing expenses and 30% on wants, with the other 20% set aside for savings or paying off debt.

So what's the magic number for people who live in the state of Texas? You'd need to set your sights on a job that pays $41.84 per hour or $87,027 per year. If that sounds like a lot, consider that Massachusetts tops the list with the salary for a comfortable lifestyle topping $116,000.

It's worth noting that the MIT calculations put the living wage for Texans at $20.92 per hour, communicating that number is what would be necessary to get by.

If you want to see where you can live on the least amount of money annually, keep scrolling down.


On average, the following Texas professions would provide a salary that exceeds what smartassets defined as necessary to live comfortably:

  • Management -- $119,540
  • Computer & Mathmatical-- $98,210
  • Architecture & Engineering-- $93,940
  • Legal-- $123,480

A couple things to keep in mind when considering those salaries:

  1. They are average salaries.
  2. They require higher education.
  3. They aren't starting salaries.

As students prepare to spread their wings, remind them that it takes work to get where you want to be financially and having a roommate is a beautiful thing if they want to pay their bills and eat. They may also want to consider moving to a state like Louisiana, Oklahoma, or West Virginia if they want to have less of a financial burden to start out.

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