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Flush with cash? Study shows it takes an income of $145K to be 'rich' in Austin

Those who make $145k or more can be considered 'rich' in Austin, according to a Banking Rates study. (CC)

Make $145,000 or more in Austin?

Your bank statement may pale in comparison to fellow Austinites Elon Musk or billionaire Robert F. Smith, but anyone with that or more on their yearly salary checks can now classify themselves as wealthy alongside the elite, according to a recent study by finance media site Banking Rates.

The study classified those in the top 20% of income as rich across 50 cities in the U.S. Austin, which saw the highest rates of any Texas city, found that it takes at least a $145,000 yearly statement to fit into that category.

But an average person in that high brow category shoots even higher: the average income among those 20 percenters was $267,777. The study, which used data from the U.S. Census and American Community Survey, also found the average income of the top 5% to be over $485,000.

Austin's average incomes came in eighth highest on the list and higher than Texas cities including Fort Worth (22), Arlington (23), Houston (25), Dallas (28) and El Paso (45). Starting incomes in the top 20% ranged from $116,807 in Arlington to $94,422 in El Paso.

Labeled a "little California" by the aforementioned Musk and thousands of Californians moving to Austin to avoid their home state's higher cost of living, it's no surprise that Austin sat just below West Coast cities San Francisco (1), San Jose (2), Seattle (4), Oakland (5) and San Diego (7). San Francisco's top 20% starts at nearly $240,000, the highest on the list, while Washington, D.C. (3) and Boston (6) rounded out the list's top eight.

And while average income falls well below the $145,000 mark and significantly lower than West Coast hubs, Austin's median household income increased by 30% from 2014 to 2019, where it reached just over $71,500. But the high-demand local economy is starting to sag under the weight of new move-ins—including big-name tech companies and startups—and Austin's former low cost of living is predicted to be the highest in a country outside of California by the end of the year.

Despite high incomes when compared to other Texas counterparts, Austin is encountering an affordability crisis, with studies showing that the city is among the most unfriendly in the U.S. for minimum wage workers—even if the bar was raised to $15 an hour.

But the formerly flaming hot housing market is beginning to slow, and as a 2020 CNBC budgeting article shows, those making $145k aren't likely to have many budgeting issues anytime soon. And for homeowners, many former West Coasters, techies and anyone who made the "rich" list, the city is still among the best relocation markets in the world as it continues to solidify its "boomtown" status.


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway