ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A recent study shows the Tampa Bay area ranked No. 1 for inflation across the U.S., so if you've been feeling like everything is more expensive and it's harder to make a living these days, you're not wrong.
While inflation nationwide is going down, relief to your wallet won't be immediate.
As prices for groceries and housing continue to rise along with the cost of living, you may be wondering just how much you need to make in order to make a living here in Florida.
Thankfully, there's actually a tool you can use to calculate just that.
MIT's Living Wage Calculator provides an estimate of what people in Florida need to make in order to cover living expenses such as housing, food, insurance and other essentials. MIT says the data is updated annually during the first quarter of the new year.
In a recent release, MIT said the living wage in 2022 before taxes for a family of four (two working adults, two children) in the U.S. is $25.02 an hour, or $104,077.70 per year.
But what about Florida? Specifically, the Tampa Bay area.
The minimum wage in Florida is currently $11 an hour, or $22,880 a year before taxes. Back in 2020, voters in the Sunshine State decided to amend the state's constitution to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by Sept. 30, 2026.
According to the living wage calculator, the average single Floridian needs to make at least $17.72 an hour, or $36,848 a year before taxes in order to make a livable wage.
Floridians living in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area need to make a little more — $17.89 or $37,215 — before taxes to get by.
But these are just single individuals without kids. The livable wage only increases depending on the number of children and working adults in the household.
For example, a family of four living in the metro area with two working adults and two children needs to have $105,203 a year to "live."
It's important to note that living expenses are only averages — housing and rent prices, for example, might be more expensive where you live.
Find the full breakdown of each Tampa Bay county, including the average cost of typical expenses here: