The average American family earns about $55,000 per year, and one website looked at popular cities in each state to figure out if that's enough to live a satisfying life.  Is it?

Census Bureau estimates show $55,000 is an average earning for a family in the US, and in some cities with skyrocketing housing costs and a high cost of living, that amount doesn't stretch very far.  The personal finance website, SmartAsset, lists two Texas cities in the top twenty-five for leading a satisfying life on a $55,000 salary.  Just two!

We've got good people, great food, and plenty to do in East Texas, from outdoor rec to live music and sporting events.  And most of it doesn't break the bank.  In theory anyway.  At least we don't have the astronomical housing costs that they do in New York and California.

SmartAsset says we expect to contribute about 20% of our income to housing costs, and that's usually around $940 each month.  Here's how it all breaks down for cities in general.

1. Fargo, North Dakota

2. Billings, Montana

3. Appleton, Wisconsin

4. Santa Fe, New Mexico

5. Lincoln, Nebraska

6. Cheektowaga, New York

7. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

8. (tie) Little Rock, Arkansas

8. (tie) Boise, Idaho

10. Omaha, Nebraska

SmartAsset said Amarillo is the highest ranking Texas city at #16.  And New Braunfels is the next Texas city to make the list at #24.

And so, the obvious question:  Is $55,000 enough to live a comfortable life in Lufkin?  Maybe "it depends," is a good answer.

I can hear you yelling right now, "I got bills!"  I know, I know.  We could probably all use some extra.  The good news is, Texas is a pretty stable place to be and we don't have to spend thousands on housing and things here that other cities are stuck with.  But it sure would be nice to have a cushion just in case.

If the boss isn't boosting your salary, maybe you can win cash right here.  Listen for those code words and plug them in here on the website, and life might get even better.

Or we could move to Fargo.  Yeah, no.  East Texas can be a pretty awesome place to be even when money is completely out of the equation.  We'll take it.

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