The cost of living: why opinions can differ even within the same city

This may come as no surprise to many of you, but it’s still an interesting discussion for me to write about.

I think the general consensus is that minimum wage average household income is around $30,000 a year in North America (higher, lower, it’s around that range). That also includes two income earners with 2 kids.

Update: Sorry, I didn’t mean minimum wage, I meant “average household income”

For some reason when I wrote the post I was thinking of something else at the time. You know, as I am scheduling posts up to 2012? Yeah.

I make mistakes you know.

However, when you take into account cost of living in each city such as New York City, NY versus Detroit, Michigan, $30,000 doesn’t work the same way; food is a lot more expensive, and so is living in general.

Aside from all that, I still think that within the same city, we could all have different opinions about how much it costs to live in that city.

I daresay I could live in the same city as someone and have different opinions about how much it costs to live there, just from the different levels of quality in things we purchase and our activities.

I buy groceries, cook at home, drive a fully-paid, old minivan and I don’t tend to go out on the weekends to bars, restaurants or any kind of high-octane activities unless it’s with friends.

Someone else like my brother, would think that he needs to own a $350,000 home, buy a brand new SUV to drive in, because he has had awful luck with used cars, eat take-out during the whole week and go to a restaurant every other night.

Our lifestyles differ, and that also changes our perspective of on how much it costs to live in the same city.

It’s the reason why the advice is always the same: spend less than you earn, save what you don’t spend & watch your expenses.

What do you think?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.