Does Cost of Living Affect Where you Live?

Posted by Mrs Money on May 9th, 2008

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sb10067465e-001.jpgA few years ago, after Mr. Money graduated from college we were faced with a tough decision: do we stay here in the Midwest and settle down, or do we move back home out West? We chose to stay here in the Midwest, but that was only after giving it much thought. It got me thinking, though: does cost of living have an effect on which city you live in?

There were many factors that went into our decision: family, friends, careers, hobbies, children, and cost of living. The cost of living for the city we currently live in is pretty reasonable. Using the cost of living calculator and comparing the two cities, we figured that we would be spending at least 7% more if we moved back out West. I know that there’s no way that we could have gotten the same house we bought here in the Midwest in Denver, Colorado for anywhere near what we paid for our house. We looked the other day, and a comparable price would get us a 700 square foot condo in a suburb of Denver.

Not only do houses cost more, but you have to travel further distances when living in Colorado. We would have wanted to live in a woodsy, mountainous area, and of course with that comes the sacrifice of convenience. We’d have to drive further to get groceries, gas, clothing, food, and work. We’d end up spending more in gas, and gas is generally more expensive out there anyway. I guess it’s the price you pay for paradise.

Even though we would have spent more money up front and throughout the years, part of me regrets not moving back. While I love our house and we are comfortable living where we do, there’s always that twinge of homesickness that I just can’t seem to shake. Would we have been happier living out there? Maybe. That’s just a question I can’t answer. Do I regret buying our house and settling down here? Sometimes. Should we have worried about the cost of living and just went wherever we would be happy? I don’t know. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

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