Key Benefits of Cost of Living Calculator During A Move

If you are getting ready for a move to another town or city, you may be confused as to what income you need to earn to keep your standard of living in the new place. Are the cities you are considering more or less expensive than your current home? That is where cost of living calculator can be helpful.
 Key Benefits of Cost of Living Calculator During A Move

If you are getting ready for a move to another town or city, you may be confused as to what income you need to earn to keep your standard of living in the new place. Are the cities you are considering more or less expensive than your current home? That is where the cost of living calculator can be helpful.


The biggest expenses that all of us face can be different from one location to another. Therefore, it is highly important to make planning in advance of your move.


If not, you might get overwhelmed by the expensive costs of your new home. Perform a comparison of the cost of living of each city using a calculator to figure out how high or low the income you will need to keep your current standard of living in your new home.


It is important to know what goes into the calculation of the cost of living, how to make a comparison of several ones, and what the index indicates so that you can decide on how far your income can go. We are with you to guide you. 


Using a Cost of Living Calculator


To begin with, from the cost of the living calculator, choose your current city and the city you are planning to move to. Then, enter your yearly salary. The calculator will update with the exact information you enter. A summary screen will appear, showing the difference in the living cost between two different cities and how they compare to the country’s average. To see the comparison of home prices and rental costs in the two cities, just click on the housing tab.


The third tab (others) gives detailed info on the entire different expenses you need to consider before you move. In some situations, you may discover that even though housing prices are fair, the other costs are on the higher side than you expected. Taking an accurate view of a possible destination is important to make a perfect decision.


Expenses Consider in a Cost of Living Calculator


  • 1. Living expenses:

  • Let’s discuss the factors that are added to your cost of living. People differ on what they are willing to spend on additional stuff like gifts and entertainment but we are all paying for the necessities. That means housing, whether as a renter or buyer. Then there is childcare (if you have kids), food, transportation, and medical costs.


There has been a steady increase in the costs of these necessities across the nation. While there are lots of budgeting ideas and tricks that can help you reduce additional expenses, it is difficult to modify the costs of the basics.

  • 2. Housing:

  • Housing is the first. Your budget will be able to cover you if you can manage to spend below 30 percent of your income on housing. If you spend beyond that, you are tagged ‘burdened’ by the cost of your housing. Based on where you reside and the amount you make, paying below 30% of your income on housing may or may not be a possibility. So, moving to a location with reduced housing costs can make a huge difference to your total cost of living.
  • 3. Food:

  • One other huge expense is food. While you can adjust your lifestyle to reduce the cost of food, adjustments like reducing waste and eating less meat, the cost of food in your area will still affect you. That is why local food prices are considered by the most cost of living calculators. Even necessities like a pound of pasta or a loaf of bread vary in cost from one location to another. Many cities don’t include grocery items in sales taxes but a few don’t. That is a type of thing that can cause variation to your overall. If you don’t cook, a change in the prices of food after your move will not affect you so much. But if you are low on budget then you are likely cooking in your house most or all of the time. That implies that you want to monitor grocery costs.
  • 4. Taxes:
  • As regards taxes, state and local taxes can form allies with your federal income taxes to cut a huge share out of your income. When you find out that some cities don’t charge sales tax while others charge as much as 9% sales tax, you can easily see why you need to include taxes when making the cost of living comparison. While each state has property taxes, these vary largely from location to location. There is an even wider difference in income taxes. Some state doesn’t charge any state income tax. Others (such as California comes to mind) have higher income taxes.


Read Guide To Find the US States With The Lowest Taxes

  • 5. Education and childcare:

  • Based on your situation, many other huge expenses affect the cost of living. The cost of education is one, and whether you will need to apply for student loans to fund a college education. There is also childcare cost if applicable to you. This could include the cost of a caregiver who services your home, after-school daycare, or pre-kindergarten. If you or your significant other is a stay-at-home parent or if you could get help from a relative, then you won’t need to spend on these expenses. Anyone else will plan out the budget as demanded.
  • 6. Transportation:

  • These costs are the main expense for lots of Americans. Just around 1 in 20 American workers travel by public transit. The rest commute by car. That implies paying for gas, repairs, and maybe tolls and parking permits. Carpooling can be of help here in reducing these costs when you share them with others. Yes, most commuters of America ride alone. Transportation is a huge factor in the cost of living since it is so close to employment security. Job loss can occur due to unreliable transportation.
  • 7. Healthcare:

  • The next is healthcare. It's a premium that rises from the cheap to the expensive. Then, you have to deal with the cost of the actual care. Similar medical procedures can be many times costlier in some places than in others. If you have healthcare that is sponsored by your employer, you might not pay a dime for medical insurance. But if you are paying for your health plan in the health insurance industry, you could be arriving at a monthly cost of $400 based on your location. Even with the reduction in the amount of uninsured Americans, medical costs still take a huge part in the bankruptcies in the United States. That is why you need to fund affordable insurance and have an emergency fund to pay for unexpected expenses.
  • 8. The extras:

  • A lot of Americans don’t have anything left in their budget immediately they pay for the necessities discussed above. But many other basics are not captured by housing, healthcare, transportation, childcare, taxes, and food. You could live without many of them for a little while, but they are still basics. Items in this category include toothpaste, the sponge and dish soap for cleaning your dishes, and the clothes you wear to work. Luckily for you, these necessities have gotten cheaper even as the costs of main necessities like housing, healthcare, and childcare have increased. Items like cell phones, clothing, and computers have turned more affordable. That may not save you a huge amount of money, but it is so helpful.


What is the Median Cost of Living in Each State?


We’ve provided the data from many sources to determine the cost of living for each. You can enter your zip code to search and compare it to other locations using the cost of living comparison tool. The states and locations with the expensive cost of living include Hawaii, New York, California, and the District of Columbia.


On the flip side, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and New Mexico have the cheapest cost of living.


We analyzed 8 different factors when calculating the cost of living. 

  • Miscellaneous goods and services
  • Housing costs
  • Auto insurance
  • Home insurance
  • Groceries
  • Transportation
  • Utilities
  • Health care


We compared them using order of importance and effect on a location’s cost of living. Goods and services as well as housing took the lead. Together, they added more than half of the overall result for a place’s cost of living.


Below is the median cost of living by state. A 100 (average cost of living) is the median cost of living for the whole country. That implies that a state like Mississippi that has an average cost of living of 84.78 is below the national average.


On the other side, Hawaii’s average is 195.8, which implies that almost twice the country’s average. The chart below, compared to the country’s average, shows the higher and lower cost of living of each state compared to the national average.



Avg CoLI

Compared to the national average







New Mexico

























Why do you need a Budget during the Time of Your Move?


A budget assists you to monitor your expenses and make sure that you are living in your means, which is why it is important to keep one all the time. A budget is so much important when you are relocating since your costs change, your spending ability will follow. Your cost of living can adjust a lot if you move to across the country. However, it can also change if you are moving to a new city within the same state.


Someone who resides in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, can prepare for an increment of cost of living by 8% if their destination is trendy Asheville and by 6% if they move to Wilmington for its coastal life.


California residents can expect a lot more changes. If you were moving to San Diego from Sacramento, your cost of living would increase by 23%. Move to Oakland and your costs increase by 26%. Having a budget enables you to track those changes in cost, so you are ready for them immediately after you arrive.


It also assists in factoring in moving-related costs, like hiring a local mover to transport your furniture or the cost of a moving vehicle if you are handling it yourself. Moving costs can greatly increase, especially if you don’t know the amount you need and how much money you have to spend. A budget can help you monitor those costs and avoid running into debt before you even get to your new location.


Read Moving Cost Calculator To Estimate Your Moving Cost


Cost of Living Frequently Asked Questions


What primary factors should I consider before moving?


The cost of living is the first factor to consider since it dictates the level of comfort you can get when you live in a particular place. You may also want to factor in the large financial goals, like saving for a house or paying down student loans. Even if you have all your daily necessities and personal expenses covered, will you have enough available for other important stuff? It is also worth it to look into whether you will want to live in this place for the next many years.


What are the amenities you find important and are they available here? How easy or hard is it to pay friends and family a visit? Cost of living and quality of life should both be primary factors in your decision.


What is the Most Affordable State to Reside In?


Mississippi is the most affordable state as regards the cost of living. Its costs are below the state average in each category except for home insurance costs. Home insurers calculate rates on risk. Claims related to weather, such as fires, hurricanes, and break-ins affect the costs


What state is the most expensive to live in?


Hawaii costs the most to live in, as regards the cost of living. It has almost average auto rates and lower-than-average home insurance costs. Aside from that, Hawaii is so much expensive than the average state, especially concerning housing.


How is each state’s cost of living index calculated?


We determined the cost of living using 8 factors. We allocated miscellaneous goods and services (30%) the highest influence, then housing (29%) follows. Other factors are groceries (13%) utilities (9%), auto insurance (2%), transportation (9%), health care (4%), and home insurance (2%). We then use those results to rank each state.


What is the cost to relocate?


Moving costs differ from where you are moving as well as the distance from your current location. If you are moving to a faraway destination, you may need to pay for plane tickets, gas, and lodging or AirBnB rentals until you arrive at your new home. You will also need to factor in groceries and food on the move, including the cost of moving companies or a moving truck to transport your items.


How much should I budget for necessities?


Your necessities budget will be based on your location since there are non-negotiable expenses and affected by your location. But you can follow the 50/30/20 rule for general guidance. Applying this method means you allocate 50 percent of your income to necessities, 30 percent to discretionary costs, and 20 percent to savings and additional debt payments (aside from your monthly lowest).



If you are looking for additional money in your budget, try one or more of these tricks to greatly cut your cost of living. While many of the effective alternatives, like moving to an affordable city or downsizing your household, need a huge amount of time and effort, they have the potential to save you a huge amount of dollars every year.