What couples without children need to live comfortably in each state across the U.S.

Working couples without children need to earn at least $62,766 annually to meet essential living costs across the United States, according to a recent analysis by SmartAsset. This figure excludes discretionary spending like investments and entertainment but covers necessities such as housing, transportation, healthcare, and taxes based on data from the MIT Living Wage calculator.

In comparison, couples with one child require a median income of $86,459 due largely to the additional expense of childcare, averaging around $11,500 annually per child in the U.S. DINKs (Dual Income, No Kids) typically benefit from lower costs in categories like food, housing, and transportation, saving approximately 20% in each area because they have no dependent children.

This financial advantage allows DINKs more flexibility to save for retirement or indulge in activities such as travel. However, the financial decision to have children is about more than just economics, and the income required to cover essential expenses varies significantly from state to state.

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