The battle over cost of living versus the average salary is a tale as old as time. We are all trying to strike the perfect balance of making enough money to live happily and comfortably in the place we call home.

I don't recommend doing this because it's tacky, nosy, and generally gives me the ick. However, if you polled your friends and family about how much money they make annually, I bet you'd get a wide array of answers; anywhere from $32,000 to well over $100,000. And no matter if they fall above, below, or within this spectrum, they might consider themselves to be living comfortably based on what is important to them.

But what does living comfortably mean to you? For some, it might mean having the latest iPhone and being able to afford a deep tissue massage every quarter and not feel guilty about it. Some live more simply. They just need a roof over their head, a reliable vehicle to get to and from work, and maybe enough money to splurge on guacamole on their Chipotle burrito once in a while.

For the sake of this exercise, let's define "living comfortably" as the bottom two rows of the pyramid on Maslow's hierarchy of needs: physiological needs and safety and security.

Living comfortably in this example means you are making enough money for your basic needs to be met (aka food, shelter, healthcare, etc). The amount of money it would take to achieve this is dependent on where you live. Someone who lives in San Diego, the most expensive city in the U.S, needs to make more money to live comfortably than someone who lives in Bangor, Maine.

Speaking of Maine, according to a recent article and Go Banking Rates, a single person in Maine needs to make about $60,100 in order to live comfortably. This amount would ensure they have enough money to have their basic needs met and, of course, some extra cash leftover to have some fun with. That doesn't seem too crazy to me.

I couldn't help but wonder how New Hampshire compares to this.

How Much Do You Need to Make to Live Comfortably in New Hampshire?

Getty Images
Getty Images

According to Go Banking Rates, a single person in New Hampshire needs to make about $62,935 in order to live comfortably. It is about $66,000 in Vermont, and about $88,000 in Massachusetts. YEESH! That seems steep to me. A single person living in Massachusetts (mind you, I live 10 miles from the Massachusetts border) needs to make over $25,000 more to live comfortably? That is significant.

Did any of these figures surprise you? Check out the full list of states below! And thanks to our friends at B98.5 for the idea for this post.

LOOK: Average salary needed to get by in every U.S. state

According to data from, The median salary across the U.S. a single person must make to get by collectively is $57,000. However, some states are far from that.

So how much higher or lower is your state to the national average, and which states are the top 10 most and least affordable overall? Let's find out.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

These Are the Cheapest New Hampshire Towns, Based on Per Capita Income

The below data comes from NeighborhoodScout, an online database of US neighborhood analytics.

Gallery Credit: Megan

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