(The Center Square) – We all require a certain amount of money each month to pay for normal living expenses, and in recent months, that amount has gotten much higher. Whether at the pump or the grocery store, Americans are being hit with a severe case of sticker shock.
The consumer price index rose an annual 8.5% in March, the highest increase since December 1981. Gas prices accounted for more than half of the rise in costs, but the cost of groceries skyrocketed 10% from the previous year, too.
According to the Family Budget Calculator published by the nonprofit think tank Economic Policy, an average family of four can expect its living expenditures in 2022 to total $86,718. This model assumes a family of two adults and two children – aged four and eight – and a modest yet adequate standard of living. Cost estimates include expenses related to housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities.
In Rhode Island, the estimated cost of living for a family of four stands at $84,019 for 2022, lower than the national average and the 21st highest among states. Of all living expense categories, child care has the highest annual cost in Rhode Island, averaging $18,589 per year for a family of four – or 22.1% of the family’s estimated annual expenses.
The average cost of living for a family of four in the state highlights the financial hardship many Rhode Island families face. According to the five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, there are about 257,800 families living in the state, and an estimated 19.4% of them earn less than $40,000 per year.
|Rank||State||Avg. living expenses for family of 4 in 2022 ($)||Most expensive cost of living category||Est. cost of most expensive category, 2022 ($)||Families earning less than $40,000 annually (%)|
|1||New York||112,751||Child Care||31,874||21.8|
|5||New Jersey||97,717||Child Care||20,144||16.6|
|18||West Virginia||85,913||Health Care||24,483||30.6|
|21||Rhode Island||84,019||Child Care||18,589||19.4|
|22||New Hampshire||83,859||Child Care||15,612||13.8|
|29||North Dakota||80,475||Child Care||20,541||17.5|
|34||South Dakota||78,824||Health Care||19,489||20.5|
|35||North Carolina||78,686||Health Care||15,361||25.8|
|47||New Mexico||72,948||Child Care||14,800||31.2|
|48||South Carolina||72,542||Health Care||14,677||26.7|