If your wanderlust goes beyond two weeks’ paid vacation, you might consider moving to a totally new location. But can you afford it? It’s one thing to imagine the fun weekend scene in a seaside town, or the mountain views you just don’t get living in a city, but day-to-day life comes with its responsibilities, too.
CNN’s cost of living calculator is an easy way to see: Can you keep the same standard of living in another city?
Leaving The Winter Behind
Let’s say you live near Detroit, like I do, and you’re sick of April snowfalls (not kidding). You’d like to toss your ice scraper, so you’re thinking that Phoenix, with its dry heat, or Charleston, by the ocean, could be top contenders for a relocation.
If you’re moving to Phoenix from Detroit, CNN says you can plan on keeping your standard of living with a nearly identical salary. Groceries and housing will cost a little more (8 percent and 4 percent, respectively), but you’ll save a bit on utilities (8 percent) and transportation costs (4 percent).
But if you’re thinking about Charleston, salaries are comparable but bills tend to be higher. Groceries cost one-fifth more in Charleston, health care is 11 percent more and utilities are 10 percent more. The one area you’ll save on is transportation (12 percent).
Escaping The City
Alternatively, if you’re sick of paying way too much for every little thing in Manhattan, there are some great options for maintaining your standard of living without needing to make more money.
Seattle may be across the country, but it’s another trendy city that would allow you to take a salary cut (comparable salaries are around 40 percent less) without cutting your lifestyle. Housing will cost you a whopping 60 percent less, and utilities 19 percent less.
Manhattanites would even save significant cash by moving to Orange County, California. Even if you don’t get cast in a reality show, your comparable salary, at a lower price, will allow you to continue living the good life. You’ll also be paying about half as much for housing, and 14 percent less at the grocery store.
Try it out. Use CNN’s cost of living calculator. Just input your current and desired cities and your present income. Not sure where you want to go? Catch up on the most and least expensive places to live in the U.S.
Or are you thinking another country is more your style? Check out the cost of living around the world in 2017.