A $100,000 salary seems like a dream to this North Carolina worker. But with the cost of living rising every day that amount of money isn’t quite worth what it once was. Or what it is everywhere. I honestly couldn’t envy you more if you don’t have to stress about money, salary, and inflation. Not a day goes by that these things don’t cross my mind, and how the possibility of making six figures seems like it would solve all my problems. Or at least a good portion of them.

While that seems like a fever dream, it gets worse. That $100,000 salary isn’t really worth six figures in most cities. Once you factor in taxes, housing, food, and other costs va $100,000 income can look very different depending on what city you’re located in. This is why our friends at SmartAsset adjusted an income of $100,000 for federal, state, and local taxes, and the local cost of living premiums. All of this to demonstrate the purchasing power of a $100,000 salary in 72 of the largest U.S. cities including four in North Carolina.

Top 10 Cities Where $100,000 Goes Furthest

El Paso, TX: $88,840
Oklahoma City, OK: $87,585
Memphis, TN: $86,960
Corpus Christi, TX: $86,383
San Antonio, TX: $85,625
Lubbock, TX: $85,065
Tulsa, OK: $84,507
Jacksonville, FL: $83,878
Houston, TX: $82,986
St. Louis, MO: $82,614

On the contrary, in Manhattan, it equates to around $31,000. Ouch. I knew I could never afford to live in the only parts of NYC I wanted to live in, but seeing it in writing hits different. But what about North Carolina? It’s not good but not all terrible either. Four North Carolina cities were analyzed as part of Smart Asset’s study. These were Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, and Winston-Salem. Keep reading to see the adjusted values of a $100,000 salary in each of these four North Carolina cities. Read the full study here.

  • Winston Salem

    Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA Downtown Skyline.


    Winston Salem gets you the most out of your $100,000 salary. The purchasing power is just under $80,000 which makes it the best in the state. Plus living in Winston has you 1-2 hours from both Charlotte and Raleigh.

  • Charlotte

    Charlotte, North Carolina, USA uptown skyline at twilight.


    Does Charlotte being second best shock you? It sure does me. That $100,000 salary will end up being about $76,750 in the Queen City. But even that doesn’t sound half bad.

  • Raleigh

    A colorful daytime cityscape of downtown Raleigh North Carolina


    So wow, neither Charlotte or Raleigh are impacted to most when it comes to the adjusted value of $100,000. Raleigh lags just behind Charlotte, which I would have not predicted. I’ll give this victory to the City of Oaks.

  • Durham

    Durham, North Carolina, USA downtown skyline.


    And the North Carolina city where $100,000 is the least amount of money? Durham. Go figure.

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