Comparing and calculating costs of living
Salaries are important, but they don't give the whole picture. In an expensive city, your salary won't go as far. It's therefore important to know the cost of living in the city where you'll work. Say you earn a salary of $30,000. This $30,000 will go farther in some cities than in others. This is because basic living expenses are higher in some cities than in others.
You can compare how far your salary will go by using a
cost of living calculator
. Cost of living calculators compare how far your salary will go in different cities. Plug in your salary and the names of the cities. The calculator will tell you which city is most expensive!
Say you've received two job offers. Both pay a starting salary of $30,000. One is in Boise, Idaho. The other is in Washington, DC. Which salary is worth more?
A salary of $30,000 would buy you more in Boise, Idaho, than it would in Washington, D.C. Housing, food, and transportation all cost more in Washington, D.C. So, your salary would be worth more in Boise than it would in Washington, D.C. If you lived in Boise, your living costs would be about two-thirds of what they would be in Washington, D.C.
Here's a list of average monthly expenses during the spring of 2007 in Boise vs. Washington, D.C. Note the difference in housing costs!
|Food & Groceries
Source: Relocation Essentials