Is $100,000 a Good Salary in America — State By State Compare

By in Career

Who doesn’t like earning six figures? Most people work hard all their lives trying to reach the $100k salary milestone. But is it what you call a good salary?

A $100k salary is a key to solving all your financial issues and is a very good annual salary. However, a salary as big as $100,000 can seem a bit small if you do not get your spending habits in check.

A financially stable person is not just earning millions but has a strict spending plan which helps him save up and enjoy a financially independent life.

Plus, financial stability does not only include a $100,000 cheque but also includes where you live and how much money your living expenses require. 

In this guide, you will find the most affordable states of America you can live in with a $100k salary and which states you should avoid if you do not want to live to wait all month for your paycheck. 

Is $100k a Good Salary?

Earning $100k annually is a good salary. One can earn as little as $40k, but how they spend or utilize that money counts. Plus, $100k is enough to live in the USA, depending on your state or city.

Someone who earns $100k in Texas thrives, while the same person may have difficulty making ends meet in New York or California with this figure. 

People with a family or people who live alone can both live pretty comfortably with a salary of $100k annually. 

What Lifestyle Can You Afford With a $100,000 Salary?

Earning $100k annually can certainly make one’s life comfortable and decrease financial stress. One might think they have reached their end goals after acquiring a yearly income of 100k.

However, in today’s changing world, if one does not spend their money smartly, even an income of as much as $100,000 can seem low.

Spending smartly means choosing where to live, where you can get the most out of your income yearly, to put it in your savings.

This includes the state you choose to live in, the taxes of the state, and your cost of living.


In the 50 states of America, each state has a different scenario for people who earn $100k income yearly. If you want to live in New York or California, your six-figure salary might seem pretty low considering the cost of living in both these states.

States like Texas, Tennessee, Michigan, and Ohio are some of the most affordable states for someone who earns $100k annually.

These states have a low rate of tax and their rent is pretty low in comparison to California and New York. 

Let’s compare the 5 most affordable states and the 5 most expensive states to live in with a $100k salary.

Here is the list of the 5 most affordable states to live in if you earn a $100k salary yearly. 

StateNet Pay After TaxesAnnual RentAnnual GroceriesAnnual UtilitiesAnnual Driving CostsAnnual HealthcareIncome Leftover

Following is the list of 5 of the most expensive states to live in with a $100k salary.

StateNet Pay After TaxesAnnual RentAnnual GroceriesAnnual UtilitiesAnnual Driving CostsAnnual HealthcareIncome Leftover
New York$71,876$28,764$5,699$1,785.72$4,881$7,953$22,793.28


While federal tax remains the same in all states of America, state income tax and social disability tax may not exist in some states. This gives a huge advantage to people who do not earn much.

For your better understanding, let’s compare the two states of California vs. Texas and Tennessee vs. New York.

A comparison of the states of California and Texas.

Annual Salary$100,000$100,000
Federal Income Tax$14,768$14,768
State Income Tax$6,441
Social Security$6,200$6,200
SDI (State Disability Insurance)$1,100
Total tax$29,959$22,418
Income After Tax$70,041$77,582

If you live in Texas with $100,000 as your annual salary, you will have $77,582 in hand after paying all your taxes. However, if it is California, you will be left with only $70,014 after paying all the tax payments.

This huge difference is due to the lack of state income tax or state disability insurance in Texas, which makes all the cities of Texas state pretty affordable and comfortable to live in.

» I have covered more on this subject in this blog post: $40,000 A Good Salary? A Budget Breakdown by State

A comparison of the states of Tennessee and New York.

StatesNew YorkTennessee
Annual Salary$100,000$100,000
Federal Income Tax$14,768$14,768
State Income Tax$5,251
Social Security$6,200$6,200
SDI (State Disability Insurance)$31.20
FLI (Family Leave Insurance)$424
Total Tax$28,124$22,418
Income After Tax$71,876$77,582

Residents of Tennessee are saving as much as $5706 as compared to residents of New York.

Now, these are just taxes; if we also calculate the cost of living for these four states, the better choice for a person who earns $100k annually would be the states of Texas or Tennessee. 


Cost of Living

If we compare the cost of living in the four states, California, New York, Tennessee, and Texas

The median home value for Texas and Tennessee is $$167,200 and $172,500, respectively. While the median home value in California and New York is $505,000 and $313,700, respectively.

Therefore, a person who earns $100k would be smart enough to know what states they can thrive in and what states will have them live from paycheck to paycheck with little to no savings. My advice would be to avoid these states until you get a salary raise.

Debt-Free Life

A person earning $100,000 annually can surely save up just enough to pay back their dues and debts. The key to becoming truly financially independent is to be debt-free as soon as you get the chance.

This will allow one to live freely with no financial stress.

» I have also written this post, about: How Much Is a 7 & 8 Figure Salary (Examples & Explanations)

Is 100k a Good Salary For a Family In the United States?

For a family of 3 or 4, a $100k salary per year is good in the US. This majorly depends on which city you are living in. Expensive cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco are a big no, while Austin, Houston, or Nashville can be a great choice.

According to SpendMeNot, In the five years to 2022, American households earning over $100,000 a year increased by 4.1%.

The most important factor while earning $100k a year with a family dependent on you is having a reasonable spending plan. Spending money wisely and monitoring most of your cash flow will help you cut down the things which are just wasting money away.

According to the above table, the most affordable states to raise your family with a yearly income of $100k are Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan, etc. 

The rent and utilities in these states, along with taxes, can give you up to at least 35% of your income to save and spend accordingly.

How to Create a Budget For a $100k Salary?

The most common way to budget your $100k salary is the 50/20/30 rule. 50% for utilities, 20% for savings, and 30% on whatever you want to spend. It is one of the most popular budgeting methods worldwide for people who want to budget their salaries.

It is quite simple. Utilize 50% of your monthly salary on necessary things, 20% should go untouched and should be left in your savings accounts, and the remaining 30% can be yours to spend on your wants or however you see fit.

Earning as much as $100,000 can make a person indecisive and spend endlessly or recklessly. I suggest you plan a budget for your monthly expenses to fight your impulsive spending behavior.

This way, you can save some amount while still spending on necessities.

To help you, let’s break down your monthly income of $8,333.33 by the 50/20/30 rule.

$4166 should be used to pay off your utilities or necessities such as mortgage/rent, utility bills, tax, car repayments, insurance and fuel, and food.

$1666 should be put directly into your savings accounts. 

This saved money can be used after retirement, in emergencies, investing, or to pay off your debts if there are any.

$2499 can be used on your desires or any way you want to spend that money. 

It can be touring, road trips, or a fancy treat for you and your family, etc.

What Jobs Pay 100K Salary?

Earning as much as a $100k salary a year is a goal that many aspire to reach. Here are some jobs that pay a $100,000 salary annually. 

  • Electronics Engineers
  • Financial Manager
  • Commercial Pilot
  • Lawyer
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Computer Network Architect
  • Software development manager
  • Data scientist

These are some of the professions that can earn you a 100k salary annually and bring you to the upper/elite class.

However, life is not all about climbing the money ladder. If you are stressed in the middle of the journey, you might consider lower paying job for less stress.

» Read my blog post: 20 Actual Jobs That Pay Over $200k Without A Degree

How to Use 100k Salary to the Max?

Earning $100,000 can take one a long time, but in a world full of inflation and increasing prices of living, one must know how to utilize or maximize their salary to gain the most out of it. 

#1 Save

Saving should be your priority after you have paid back all your debts and mortgage loans. Getting rid of the stress of student debts and mortgage loans will free up most of your monthly cash flow and give you more financial security.

You can now easily spend money on your needs and even save money for the future. You should consider opening an emergency fund account for unknown future circumstances such as repairing costs, medical costs, losing your job for a few months, etc.

Apart from the emergency funds, one can even open savings accounts for their future retirement plans. Many people want to work half their lives and then retire early to enjoy life without financial stress.

A savings account helps one achieve that goal and ensures that one has enough money to live comfortably after retiring.

If you’re just 21 or below, I have written a complete guide on How To Save Money Efficiently By 21? Do check it out!

#2 Invest

To achieve a comfortable, stress-free, and financially independent life, one should not rely only on their income to bear the weight of all their expenses. Many people who earn $100k and more thrive because of their smart investing decisions.

Now don’t get me wrong, saving and investing are quite different. The money that goes into your savings accounts remains untouched, while investment requires a certain risk. This is why you should have enough knowledge or contacts with a trusted broker to invest safely.  

Investing money can allow you to increase your financial status, but it requires patience. You can invest in stocks that are long-term investments. On the other hand, corporate bonds have a low risk of loss. These bonds are collected from companies which then mature through the years.

Real estate is one of the most common investments for people with plenty of savings in their accounts. One can buy a place or property and rent it out to earn passive income.

» Maybe this also could be of interest to you: Is Staking Crypto Profitable?


How Much Is a $100k Salary Per Month?

If you earn $100k per year, your monthly salary would be $8,333.33. This is before any tax deductions. 

How Much Is a $100k Salary Per Week?

Assuming you work 52 weeks a year, your weekly income would amount to $1,923.08. 

How Much Is $100k Per Hour?

Let’s assume you work 40 hours a week. If you are earning $100k per year, the hourly salary would be $48.08.

Is $100k a Good Salary for a Single Person?

A $100k salary is more than enough if you live as a single person. With that much salary, you can even live in the most expensive states of the US, depending on your expenses and lifestyle.

Final Thoughts

A $100,000 salary no doubt gives a comfortable life, but the state you choose to live in also counts if you want to live to your full potential without being stressed about the pending bills and expenses. 

Develop a reasonable spending habit, invest smartly and start saving as much as possible; your future self will thank you for it. 

If you earn a $100k salary, I hope you have a clear picture of where and how to spend your money essentially. For people who aspire to reach a six-figure paycheck, I wish you the best.

About Hi' my name is Simon. I am the owner of Top Work Life. Together with a my team, I write content about income generating ideas, entreprenurship and growth as a person Read more about Simon & TopWorklife

My YouTube Channel

Choosing careers is the hardest choice after high school, especially for those that are...
Many people see a high-paying job as a symbol of success. However, despite their numerous...
Everyone dreams of having a well-paying job that helps them sustain a desirable...
Those who decide not to pursue their degrees should not be penalized due to their...
Those who decide not to pursue their degrees should not be penalized due to their...
When women are expecting a baby or adopting one, they can generally expect a few months...