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Online Cost-of-Living Calculators

Written by Nickel - 5 Comments

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Are you thinking about relocating? If so, then you’re probably interested in knowing how the cost-of-living compares between your current location and your destination. Below I’ve listed a collection of online cost-of-living calculators for making just this sort of comparison between various U.S. locales.

Just hop on over to one of these sites, enter your income, and select your current location/destination. Within seconds you’ll have an estimate of the amount of money that you’d need to make in the new location to maintain your current standard of living.

Homefair.com – The Salary Calculator
CNN/Money – Cost of Living Calculator
Bankrate.com – Cost of Living Comparison Calculator
Salary.com – Cost of Living Wizard

The first three of these sites even break the results down into categories (e.g., groceries, housing, utilities, and more). Bankrate seems to give the most detailed breakdown, whereas Homefair appears to have the best coverage in terms of cities per state. Based on my brief perusal, there’s a bit of site-to-site variation in the calculations, so it’s probably a good idea to use more than one calculator to get a sense of the true difference in cost-of-living.

Published on September 28th, 2005 - 5 Comments
Filed under: Online

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Man, there’s so much information available for free on the Internet. How did we get anything done twenty or even ten years ago?

    Your point about checking other sites is a good one — not all Internet sites are created equal.

    Comment by Anonymous — Sep 28th 2005 @ 12:32 pm
  2. I think we probably used to get even more done because we didn’t waste our time with things like online cost-of-living calculators…

    Comment by Nickel — Sep 28th 2005 @ 1:04 pm
  3. Nice Article

    Comment by Anonymous — Sep 30th 2005 @ 4:01 am
  4. Living in New York City, I have to disagree with those cost of living calculators. They assume that you live the exact same way in one city vs. another. According to those calculators, I should be barely getting by on a salary that allows me to save a lot!

    Yeah, I pay a little more in rent than I might if I was living in a city with a lower ‘cost of living’- But how much money do I save not needing to own a car? Car payment (though not if you pay with cash), insurance, repairs, gas- especially lately!

    I admit that NYC can get expensive if you have a family, and that 2- and 3- bedrooms that are affordable are hard to find. But for a single person? My monthly expenses are probably less than most.

    Comment by Anonymous — Sep 30th 2005 @ 6:22 am
  5. >They assume that you live the exact same way in one city vs. another.

    That’s the entire point, genius.

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 4th 2009 @ 2:27 pm

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