Let’s say you’re lucky enough to be entertaining a job offer. You have a spouse with two kids, and you’re at that awkward stage of figuring out if you’re being lowballed by the offer or expecting too much.

It’s just one of many scenarios which could be helped by a clever calculator designed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It’s called their Living Wage Calculator. Based on data from numerous sources such as consumer spending studies by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, information from Housing and Urban Development, etc., it estimates how much money you’ll need to afford basic minimum needs in specific areas of the country.

Not just which state. Expenses can vary wildly within a state. Ask anyone in New Jersey looking for a home in Salem County versus Bergen County. This tool can be much more specific.

An article on APP.com breaks this down different ways for each county in the Garden State.

Before I share what income is needed for a family of four in each county, keep in mind this is not to live what one would deem comfortably. This is just to survive paycheck to paycheck without any hope for savings and without landing on public assistance. This is bare minimum.

And it’s shocking.

Income that a family of 4 needs in every NJ county

Here’s what MIT’s Living Wage Calculator says a couple with two children needs in each New Jersey county to simply squeak by.

Gallery Credit: https://livingwage.mit.edu/states/34/locations

What an eye-opener on so many levels. I instantly see I could be living in a more affordable part of New Jersey. Anyone can see that even the most affordable parts of our state are still unacceptably too expensive and change in Trenton is long overdue.

If you want to see other breakdowns for single people, a single parent raising one child or a single parent raising two kids you’ll find it here.

Most affordable places to live in New Jersey

SmartAsset released a study analyzing the most affordable places to live in New Jersey. The eighth annual study weighed several factors, including taxes, homeowners’ insurance, and home costs relative to the local median income.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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