Higher pay rates in a tight labor market. Along with more people working and part time workers getting more hours all contributed to an increase in the median household income in the Quad Cities last year. This according to an article in the Quad City Times.

So what does that mean? In 2017 the median household income was $54,173. Up $1,583 from 2016's median household income of $52,590. Modest, but still a little bit of growth. Poverty, at least according to the government's definition, decreased as well. 43,000 people in the Quad Cities lived below the poverty line in 2017. That's 11,000 less than than in 2016.

People making more money and less people living below the poverty line is a good thing. However, we're talking median income here.

That's the middle mark. Just as many households in the Quad Cities made less than $54,173, than households that took home more than $54,173. In other words, if you weren't making enough money in 2016 to pay the bills, there's a good chance it wasn't much better in 2017. In addition, federal poverty guidelines don't accurately reflect what you need to make to meet basic needs.

If your family was financially better off in 2017 than 2016 that's awesome. Hopefully 2018 has brought you more of the same. That said, living is expensive. Grocery store trips and filling up the gas tank cost more. Significantly more than 18 years ago when I was a newlywed. I remember my wife and I could stock up at the grocery store for around $100 dollars. Now it's double that. Thankfully we can afford it. Let's not forget those who can't.