I don't know the official stats so I'm just going to make a somewhat educated guess that about 75 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. If that stat is true, that's pretty sad. That doesn't live up to the phrase of "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" that is prominent in our Declaration of Independence. Is it greed? Is it corporations that value investors over employees? Is it an inept government? Whatever the reason, a majority of Americans struggle financially. Even in Texas, it can be expensive to live including in three East Texas cities.

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Cost of Living is High

Everything costs so much more nowadays. A small trip to the grocery store is a hundred bucks. It's $60 to fill up the gas tank every couple of weeks depending on your commute. Rent isn't below $1,000 a month now. Your job wants to pay you $12 an hour and think that's enough to live comfortably. Our government creates a tax for anything we do. At some point, we have to be given a break but it doesn't look like one will be coming anytime soon.

The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile. - Council for Community and Economic Research

Cost of Living Index

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) recently released their quarterly Cost of Living Index for Texas (businessinsider.com). In their index, they found that Plano and Dallas ranked above the national average in cost of living with Austin ranking just below the national average. What came as a surprise in this index is that three East Texas cities showed up in the top 20 for highest cost of living in the state.

  • 18 - Nacogdoches - Average Home Price $385,511 - Average Apartment Rent $864 - Average Energy Cost $227.18 - Average Doctor Visit Cost $121.50 - Average Beauty Salon Visit $31
  • 6 - Longview - Average Home Price $420,613 - Average Apartment Rent $1,227 - Average Energy Cost $230.22 - Average Doctor Visit Cost $88.20 - Average Beauty Salon Visit $45.40
  • 4 - Tyler - Average Home Price $422,565 - Average Apartment Rent $1,540 - Average Energy Cost $211.66 - Average Doctor Visit Cost $112.40 - Average Beauty Salon Visit $53.33

Sad to See

It's sad to see these numbers as it just reaffirms how hard it is to get by these days. I guess we all just need to hope for that elusive lottery jackpot win so we don't have to worry about any of that anymore. But then, that comes with it's own headache as well. We'll just keep plugging away in hopes that our money slowly builds to truly relax at some point.

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