Pay off high-rate debt with a personal loan and save thousands. Learn more.

What Is a Good Salary to Live On in Florida for 2024?

By Kim Franke-Folstad · February 10, 2023 · 9 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

What Is a Good Salary to Live On in Florida for 2024?

A good salary — one that allows for necessities, fun, and savings — might start at $60,000 for a single, childless renter in Florida and $75,000 for a similar homeowner.

Why those figures? Using the 50/30/20 budget method, start with what MIT calls a living wage in Florida, which covers basic needs (50% of a salary). Add entertainment, vacations, restaurant meals, more shoes for the collection, and other “wants” (30%). Factor in 20% to be saved.

Even adding one child to a household greatly increases expenses (as if any parent needs to be reminded). A looser definition of a good salary for a working adult with a working partner and a child, based on the MIT Living Wage Calculator, could be $66,500 plus money for discretionary spending.

Of course, your actual cost of living will depend on the city, size of your household, and your spending needs and habits. Read on for a breakdown of what it may take to say you earn a good annual salary in Florida.

Recommended: Should I Sell My House Now or Wait?

Check your score with SoFi

Track your credit score for free. Sign up and get $10.*


Recommended: Free Credit Score Monitoring

Is It Expensive to Live in Florida?

Florida was the fastest-growing state in the U.S. in 2022, the Census Bureau says, and it’s easy to see the draw.

It’s a state with no income tax, moderate property taxes, lots of sunshine, and plenty to do and explore. Corporate and sales taxes are lower than those of most other states.

Despite those perks, it isn’t the cheapest state to live in. Florida had the 32nd lowest cost of living in the U.S. in 2022, according to data gathered by the Missouri Economic Research Information Center (MERIC). That means 31 states had a lower cost of living, with Mississippi the cheapest place to live.

Some cities are as sizzling as the summers. If you’re Miami-bound and plan to rent or buy, for example, that’s when you’ll especially need to check your finances. Realtor.com recently called Miami-Dade the country’s least affordable place in which to live.

Recommended: What is The Difference Between Transunion and Equifax?

What Is the Average Annual Salary in Florida?

Whether a salary can be considered “good” or not in Florida can depend on several factors, including where you choose to live. Proximity to a big city or beach can draw residents who are willing and able to pay more. So can living in an area known for high-end amenities (like shopping, nightlife, and cultural attractions) and luxurious homes.

The median household income in 2021 among Floridians was about $62,000, according to FLHealthCharts.gov. That means, of course, that half of the state’s households bring in more than that, and half bring in less.

That figure compares with the median household income in upscale Collier County (which includes Naples and Marco Island) of $75,543. In Monroe County (Key West), it was $73,153. In Palm Beach County (Palm Beach, Wellington, Boca Raton), it was $68,874. And in St. Johns County (St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra), it was $88,794.

On the other hand, the median household incomes in landlocked and lesser-known Glades and Hendry counties in the south, and Hamilton County on the Georgia border, were $38,088, $38,843, and $39,346, respectively.

So what is a good salary in Florida, if you’re talking about one that goes beyond basic needs and allows for “wants” and savings?

A registered nurse pulls in an average base salary of over $79,000, according to Indeed. That’s a good income for a single person with no children in most parts of Florida as viewed through the 50/30/20 budget lens.

One Floridian with no children needs to net $30,856 to cover necessities like groceries, a modest rental, health care, and transportation, the MIT Living Wage Calculator shows. Doubling that provides room for discretionary spending (30%) and savings (20%).

Recommended: What Is Competitive Pay?

What Can Affect Affordability in Florida?

As you can imagine, one of the biggest factors affecting how far your salary will go in Florida is housing. Housing costs can vary widely, depending on where you decide to settle and on whether you buy a house or condo, but home and rent prices across the entire state have risen sharply over the past couple of years.

The cost of insurance coverage — homeowners, health, and auto — also is generally higher than in many other states. Many home and condo owners also must pay for federal flood insurance, whose cost is on the rise.

Still, owners of primary homes may get a property tax break with the homestead exemption, which decreases the property’s taxable value by as much as $50,000.

That doesn’t mean that everyone who lives in the Sunshine State is living large. The state’s median household income in 2021 (the Census Bureau’s most recent number) was just shy of $62,000 — while the median U.S. household income was closer to $72,000.

And although the state’s minimum wage recently increased from $10 to $11 an hour and will rise to $12 this year, Florida is one of the states impacted most by inflation, according to the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee.

Recommended: Does Net Worth Include Home Equity?

What Are Some Average Annual Expenses in Florida?

How should you expect to divvy up your income if you live in Florida? Here are some costs you may want to plug into a money tracker app:

Housing

Whether you rent or buy a home, a major portion of your paycheck will likely go toward putting a roof over your head (unless as a buyer you pay cash and your home becomes part of what is the biggest percentage of free and clear residences in the country).

A couple of Florida cities appear on this price-to-rent ratio list. The ratios can be useful when considering whether to rent, buy, or invest.

Also useful if you haven’t owned a principal residence in the past three years or you’re a veteran: first-time homebuyer programs in Florida.

If you’re buying …

Though Florida’s red-hot housing market was slowing as 2022 came to a close, prices were still up 5.8% compared with December 2021.

Here’s a look at median sale prices in cities across the state for that same period, according to Redfin.

Cocoa: $325,070

Daytona Beach: $230,000

Marco Island: $1 million

Miami: $515,000

Ocala: $231,250

Orlando: $350,000

Palm Beach: $2.3 million

Stuart: $412,300

Tampa: $375,000

If you’re renting …

Rents are all over the place in Florida, as you can see from the list below. Here are some recent median monthly rents for two-bedroom properties, according to Zillow.

Cocoa: $1,350

Daytona Beach: $1,500

Marco Island: $7,000

Miami: $4,000

Ocala: $1,395

Orlando: $1,850

Palm Beach: $12,500

Stuart: $2,200

Tampa: $2,000

Groceries

The Economic Policy Institute’s 2022 Family Budget Calculator ranked Florida 12th highest for food costs in the U.S.

Here are the monthly costs for some Florida counties, based on a family of four (two adults and two children in a household where most food is purchased at a grocery store and prepared at home), according to the nonprofit think tank.

Brevard County: $847

Collier County: $919

Hamilton County: $740

Hillsborough County: $849

Miami-Dade County: $902

Monroe County: $1,119

Palm Beach County: $924

Washington County: $717

Utilities

Florida ranks 15 in the U.S. for utility costs, according to 2022 data gathered by Statista. Of course, utility costs can vary depending on whether you rely on natural gas or solar, the size and age of your home, your appliances, etc. But here’s what Statista says are the average monthly utility costs in Florida.

Electricity: $124.50

Natural Gas: $62

Water: $45

Phone: $114

Broadband Internet: $60

Gasoline

According to GasBuddy’s interactive gas price map, Florida’s gas prices are about average compared with other states. But again, the cost can vary depending on where you live.

Here are GasBuddy numbers for some Florida counties at the start of 2023.

Brevard County: $3.196 per gallon

Hillsborough County: $3.231

Miami-Dade County: $3.345

Orange County: $3.219

Palm Beach County: $3.374

Sarasota County: $3.205

St. Johns County: $3.235

Walton County: $3.104

Recommended: How to Save Money on Gas

Child Care

The cost of child care can depend on how old your kids are and if you choose an at-home or classroom setting. According to CostofChildCare.org, the average cost per month in Florida is $989 per child for home-based family care, $1,364 for an infant classroom, $790 for a toddler classroom, and $702 for a preschool classroom.

Recommended: Tips for Paying for Child Care as a Student

Which City in Florida Has the Lowest Cost of Living?

According to NewHomeSource, the Florida city with the lowest overall cost of living is Titusville, followed by Winter Haven, Lauderdale Lakes, Daytona Beach, Sanford, Largo, Lakeland, Deltona, Jacksonville, and Pinellas Park.

A few of those, as well as more affluent cities, have a sizable retiree population. Yes, Florida is a senior magnet. (See: Winter Haven.) By 2030, the number of seniors in Florida is expected to top 6 million.

Recommended: Extra Income Sources for Retirees

How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Florida?

“Comfort” is a subjective term in any context, and, of course, we all have different wants and needs when it comes to our lifestyle.

If you plan to spend more time outside doing things that are inexpensive or free, you may find it’s easier to embrace financial minimalism by living in the Sunshine State.

If, on the other hand, you long to reside in one of Florida’s bigger cities or near the beach, you may have to ask for a bigger salary than you’d need in a less expensive location. That’s especially true if you’ll be living on a single income.

Either way, it may be useful to consider your priorities and whether your income will cover those costs. Can you be happy without owning a boat or being a member of a golf club? Do you tend to live below your means or overspend? Are annual passes to Disney a must?

The Takeaway

Florida can be an expensive place, mostly because the cost of renting or owning a home has gone up so much. But with a good salary — by one definition at least $60,000 for a single, childless person — and a solid spending plan, you can enjoy the laid-back Florida lifestyle.

With SoFi’s free budget app, you can set up your budget, categorize your spending, and spot upcoming bills in one convenient place. You can also monitor your credit and investments, as well as your home value, and you’ll have access to tools that can help you make important financial decisions now and in the future.

Ready to make a big move? SoFi can help you get on track, and stay on track, no matter where life takes you.

FAQ

What is a livable salary in Florida?

MIT’s Living Wage Calculator says a livable salary for a single person in Florida with no children is about $36,000 before taxes.

What job in Florida pays the most?

Anesthesiologists, cardiologists, and radiologists are the highest earners in the state, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Can you live on $30,000 a year in Florida?

You may find it challenging, especially when it comes to finding a place to live. But if you share a home and other expenses, find affordable health care, and budget carefully, $30,000 a year could be enough to get by on in Florida.


Photo credit: iStock/Pgiam

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SORL0123008

All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store
SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender