U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts > Boston
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 11-15-2010, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Cullowhee
2 posts, read 3,810 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

Hi there. My room mate, my boyfriend and myself are all considering moving up to Boston. We've gotten into a debate as to how expensive it would be to live there and how difficult it would be to find and obtain a job. Currently we live in western North Carolina.

I have been saying that it will be just as difficult in Boston to find a job and pay for living expenses. I have a bachelor's degree and have six years of customer service experience, one year of office working experience, two years experience in management, two years in sales and I am certified in bar and beverage management by the american hotel and lodging educatonal institute. So I am qualified to work a variety of jobs.

I've had very terrible luck finding a decent job where I live and around where I live now. I have applied to jobs as far away as Charlotte, Hickory, Wilkes, Asheville, etc. Which range from 4 to 1 hour away from where I currently live. If I made around $13-14 an hour and got 40 hours a week I could afford to pay for everything (based on living expenses at my currently place). I have income based repayment option for my college loans and I make so little my repayment is $0.00. I owe a bunch of money in doctor bills as well. It's very important for me to earn enough money to pay my bills.

My room mate says it would be cheaper for us to live outside the city of Boston in the "burbs" but still somehow we'd be considered to live in Boston. But I've gone through the posts on this forum and everyone has said the cost of living is higher. I just don't see how it's possible to pay for everything. He also seems to think that finding a job would be much easier but I think he's being naive. So these are the questions that I've pondered about Boston...

How much does it cost to rent a three bedroom place in the burbs of Boston?
How much are utilities?
How much is a gallon of gas?
How far away do you travel to work, on average?
How much do groceries cost (gallon of milk, loaf of bread, vegetables, fruit, pasta, ramen, anything...)?
Do you have to pay to park your car?
How available are jobs?
How much competition is there for jobs openings?
How much do jobs pay?
Is there a place in Boston that is always hiring?
Is there town or local politics/drama/discrimation against outsiders or non-natives?
How difficult would it be to get a job set up before you officially move to Boston?
How do you network in a city you don't live in yet but would like to?
How difficult is it to rent a place? Do you need references?

Thank you in advance for your help.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-15-2010, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Chicago
6,007 posts, read 13,206,700 times
Reputation: 7963
Quote:
Originally Posted by zabk View Post
Hi there. My room mate, my boyfriend and myself are all considering moving up to Boston. We've gotten into a debate as to how expensive it would be to live there and how difficult it would be to find and obtain a job. Currently we live in western North Carolina.

I have been saying that it will be just as difficult in Boston to find a job and pay for living expenses. I have a bachelor's degree and have six years of customer service experience, one year of office working experience, two years experience in management, two years in sales and I am certified in bar and beverage management by the american hotel and lodging educatonal institute. So I am qualified to work a variety of jobs.

I've had very terrible luck finding a decent job where I live and around where I live now. I have applied to jobs as far away as Charlotte, Hickory, Wilkes, Asheville, etc. Which range from 4 to 1 hour away from where I currently live. If I made around $13-14 an hour and got 40 hours a week I could afford to pay for everything (based on living expenses at my currently place). I have income based repayment option for my college loans and I make so little my repayment is $0.00. I owe a bunch of money in doctor bills as well. It's very important for me to earn enough money to pay my bills.

My room mate says it would be cheaper for us to live outside the city of Boston in the "burbs" but still somehow we'd be considered to live in Boston. But I've gone through the posts on this forum and everyone has said the cost of living is higher. I just don't see how it's possible to pay for everything. He also seems to think that finding a job would be much easier but I think he's being naive. So these are the questions that I've pondered about Boston...

How much does it cost to rent a three bedroom place in the burbs of Boston?
How much are utilities?
How much is a gallon of gas?
How far away do you travel to work, on average?
How much do groceries cost (gallon of milk, loaf of bread, vegetables, fruit, pasta, ramen, anything...)?
Do you have to pay to park your car?
How available are jobs?
How much competition is there for jobs openings?
How much do jobs pay?
Is there a place in Boston that is always hiring?
Is there town or local politics/drama/discrimation against outsiders or non-natives?
How difficult would it be to get a job set up before you officially move to Boston?
How do you network in a city you don't live in yet but would like to?
How difficult is it to rent a place? Do you need references?

Thank you in advance for your help.
short answer: yes, your BF is being naive

long answer: I won't go through your whole list (mostly b/c the cost of living in Boston has been discussed multiple times and you may be able to find the thread if you search for "coat of living" or similar terms), but the basic breakdown:

-jobs. tell your BF he is being very naive on this point. Boston is home to DOZENS of colleges. every years, thousands of new graduates are unleashed onto the Boston workforce. the competition is fierce even when you discount the heavyweights like grads from Harvard and MIT. networking will be hard if you didn't go to school here and finding a job from out of state sn't easy. having said all that, DO NOT move here w/o a job or a very, very solid game plan in place. you may have to make trips up to Boston for interviews, but that's preferable over quitting your current job(s), coming up there and not finding a job at all.

-rent. expensive. figure on paying about $600/month per BEDROOM, so about $1800 for a three bed. you can possible find cheaper in the 'burbs (though nothing crazy cheap. I highly doubt you'll find a decent 3 bedroom for under $1500), but realize that it may not be worth living way out in, say, Lowell, if it's going to cost you $200/month to buy a commuter rail pass to get into the city. frankly, there will be a limit on how far away from Boston you'll want to live before it's not worth it due to lack of amenities. if you're looking for the Boston lifestyle, it makes no point to rent in New Bedford, for example. and living in the 'burbs doesn't equal living in Boston. some adjacent suburbs and towns are considered part of the Boston metro area, but if you got a job w/ the city that required you to live in Boston, these areas wouldn't cut it.

also realize that, since Boston is much colder, you'll have heating bills to worry about. I've paid as much as $330/month for my portion alone in heating bills (that was the highest for oil heat for a 2.5 story, 4 bedroom, older house. it cost over $1300/month to heat that monster! of course, that was just for the winter, but winter isn't short in Boston)

and again, you'll be competing w/ the thousands of college students that descend upon Boston. many LLs, having been burned by college kids before, will demand either pristine credit or a co-signor. many won't even rent to undergrads. certain months are notoriously competitive (i.e., Sept. 1st or June 1st move in)

I think your other questions can be found if you google a Cost of Living calculator that will break that stuff down by city (i.e., comparing the COA in Charlotte to Boston).

honestly, once you add in rent, utilities, loan and bill payments, car payments/gas/parking, etc, you'll find $14/hour doesn't really get you that far. not to be bleak, but it's an expensive place to live. it's not impossible to pull off, but you'll need to do a ton of research before even thinking about moving and not rely on assumptions
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-15-2010, 07:59 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,745,439 times
Reputation: 20198
On the other hand - if you're moving with your boyfriend and 1 other person into a 2-bedroom apartment..you'll be looking at around $1200/month rent for a decent place in maybe Allston-Brighton or Somerville. Somerville is on the bus line and close to the Red Line, which leads into Cambridge and the Harvard Square area. Allston-Brighton is on the bus line, and on the Green line, which leads into downtown Boston via the Fenway. It's also a short drive to Harvard Square as well, and there's a few transfer stops where you can catch another bus there, if that's your destination.

At $1200, you're assuming you and your boyfriend will have the nicer of the 2 bedrooms, and therefore be paying more than your 3rd person. So figure on around $700 for you and your boyfriend, and $500 for your pal. Per month, total. If you look at it that way, it's a lot more reasonable.

If you're renting an apartment or one floor of a multi-family house, and not an entire 2.5 story 4-bedroom older house, you won't be looking at anything even -close- to $1300/month for heat in the wintertime. Assuming oil heat, you might see a $500 oil bill in February. The rest of the months are typically less, and from mid-spring to early autumn you usually don't have any oil bill at all.

Work is definitely another matter entirely. Customer service jobs are typically taken by college students. The previous poster was spot on - don't come to Boston hoping to find work, unless you have at -least- six months worth of rent and utilities and spending money saved for the adventure, PER PERSON. Each of you should have 6 months worth of expenses saved, even if only one of you doesn't have a job waiting for you when you get there.

Also, with the higher cost of living comes a higher income. Minimum wage in North Carolina is $7.25. In Massachusettes it's $8.00 EXCEPT for tipped employees (waiters, bartenders, etc). Then, it's only $2.63/hour, but it's assumed you will make up the balance in tips and there are seperate laws for the service industry to protect employees who are expecting tips to cover their wages.

So proportionately, it's more expensive to live in Boston but you'll also be paid more to work in Boston. While the average data entry clerk in Raleigh is making $10/hour, the average data entry clerk in Boston is making $12.50/hour. It's STILL more expensive to live in Boston, even with the higher income. But most younger folks are expected to have roommates and share expenses, so it's not as brutal as one might think.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts > Boston
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top