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Old 05-14-2010, 06:52 AM
 
Location: NC USA
3,384 posts, read 3,980,837 times
Reputation: 1792

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We are all talking about COL here but I have found that regardless of where you are, it is all relative. Real Estate and taxes may be cheaper in areas such as North Carolina but my salary (and benefits) were literally 10-15% higher in CT (I am in IT). Most times gas is cheaper in NC but I find that I have to spend a lot more time in the car. Food and amenities are just as expensive and probably more so in NC. It seems to all be a wash in the end. Too many people I know want to move to other states to reach the Promised Land and it just isn't the case.

Bottom line is that it equates to quality of life. Find the place that means the most to you, family, sporting events, education, culture, weather, whatever balances it out most for you. QOL beats out COL any day.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Fairfield
588 posts, read 1,626,794 times
Reputation: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigHouse9 View Post
We are all talking about COL here but I have found that regardless of where you are, it is all relative. Real Estate and taxes may be cheaper in areas such as North Carolina but my salary (and benefits) were literally 10-15% higher in CT (I am in IT). Most times gas is cheaper in NC but I find that I have to spend a lot more time in the car. Food and amenities are just as expensive and probably more so in NC. It seems to all be a wash in the end. Too many people I know want to move to other states to reach the Promised Land and it just isn't the case.

Bottom line is that it equates to quality of life. Find the place that means the most to you, family, sporting events, education, culture, weather, whatever balances it out most for you. QOL beats out COL any day.
For many people living in CT, sacrificing 10-15% of their salary while saving 50% in housing costs might be a worthy trade-off. Comparable houses can easily be half, while taxes can be half to 2/3 lower. Even if all other costs, including food, were the same or even slightly higher in a place like Charlotte, financially you end up far ahead down there vs. in CT. For many people, having financial stability can easily lead to a much higher QOL. I'm not saying you have to be rich to be happy, but not living paycheck to paycheck can take a huge burden off and give you the opportunity to live life, not live to work.

On a side note, if you don't mind my asking, how is the job market in IT down there? I've been keeping an eye out for new roles in the Charlotte area, and there just don't seem to be many postings in my area of IT on job boards or company websites.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:20 AM
 
112 posts, read 207,264 times
Reputation: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by toddb View Post
For many people living in CT, sacrificing 10-15% of their salary while saving 50% in housing costs might be a worthy trade-off. Comparable houses can easily be half, while taxes can be half to 2/3 lower. Even if all other costs, including food, were the same or even slightly higher in a place like Charlotte, financially you end up far ahead down there vs. in CT. For many people, having financial stability can easily lead to a much higher QOL. I'm not saying you have to be rich to be happy, but not living paycheck to paycheck can take a huge burden off and give you the opportunity to live life, not live to work.
Exactly my point, thank you!!!
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:57 AM
 
Location: NC USA
3,384 posts, read 3,980,837 times
Reputation: 1792
The thing is I don't see a 50% savings in housing costs down here. My house is cheaper but at the same time it is also cheaper quality. Churn em and burn em so I end up doing more in repairs. A house that may be listed at 2600 sf down here too would only be 2100 in the Northeast as they count every last little bit of space when listing here. And finding a nice large lot in the Raleigh is not that easy. Again, it is all about trade-offs. Add in HOA fees, monthly water bills too, food etc and those little things begin to add up. I found it to be a wash basically. What I think the major drawback would be to get into a house initially up North versus down here. Lower down payment and all.

Both places have their pluses which is why I said go for the Quality of Life. Too many people that I know get hung up on the cost of real estate down here and dream that these new cities are the do-all end-all when they are not.

Honestly, with my lower salary down here, I find it harder to make ends meet.
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:59 AM
 
Location: New England
8,155 posts, read 18,197,614 times
Reputation: 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingtomakeitinCT View Post
In ten years I have seen my electric bill triple along with my cable bill, telephone bill, taxes and the cost of groceries. I have also seen rents nearly triple as well as housing prices.
Look, you've obviously already made your mind up...whatever. But what you wrote above is simply not true. The cost of living has not gone up 150% in ten years. Do you think the people on this board are too stupid to remember what they were paying for X in 2000?

My rent for a decent 2 bed in Meriden was $875.00 Today? Mmm, $950-1100 depending on the apartment.

Electric was about $120.00. Now we are spending about $145.00.

Cox in both locations has gone up about $60.00 but I also add two HD service and DVR's.

Groceries are actually cheap here than other parts of the country. Believe it.

You think getting married is the solution? LOL Financially speaking I WISH I was single again...OMG! You don't want to see my household budget. There's about a $6500.00 nut to crack every month. Whatever, we get it done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingtomakeitinCT View Post
Look online at rents, housing prices, etc and tell me how many people making $40k could afford it here. And I am serious about your offer...if I end up having to move somewhere with a lower COL and I'm miserable you will make your money back twofold.
The problem is, you have all these preconditions on everything. "Oh, I know I could afford a condo and live there for 5 years and build equity...but I dont' want too".

Lets look at 40K and what it gets you. (Funny, my wife was doing it on 35K with a brand new car before we married. )

That's $3076.00 gross per month, not including the 4 extra weeks that show up on odd months.

After taxes about $2614.00. Pull out $1000.00 for rent. That's $1614.00 left.

Utilities: (Cable, lights phone.) about $350.00 and that's being generous for one person. There is $1264.00 left. Say $300.00 for food - again being generous for one person. $964.00 left. So after rent utilities and food is paid for you have about $1000.00 per month. You can't afford to live on that? If you pair down the utilities and shop smart on the food you can probably kick another $150.00 back into the pool.

Whatever, all i know is if you want something to change, make it happen. Crying about it won't change a thing. I'm in CT for a long time now, and I'm making the changes needed to make it work. You might want to try the same. Do something besides complaining about it looking for a magic wand. Buy a multi-family house and rent out the other apartments. You'll pay the same as rent and be building equity into your house. That's just one simple idea.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:25 AM
 
56 posts, read 118,733 times
Reputation: 67
WOW I'm very surprised that my thread is still going! It's nice to read everyone's posts
Mrs. Carly: I'm very sorry for what happened to you and I would be frustrated too.

Madleb: I would advise you to visit CT before you decide to move up here. If you are a nature lover, all about peace an quiet,do not care about indoors/social activities much , I think you'll be ok here.

I've decided to go back to FL.I'm going to convince my husband to do so. The job market here is TERRIBLE. Getting paid minimum wage has definetly taken a toll on me and lowered my sef esteem..I feel worthless in a way. Did I also mention that I'm working mostly nights and week ends? which are the times I should be spending with my husband.My manager told me that I'm one of the few " that can handle it when it gets very busy" WTH! .I've been to so many interviews with no luck ! not only to mention all the resumes, cover letters I've sent and the follow up calls I've made. I know the economy is down everywhere but I think it's easier for a college student to find a decent paying job in FL.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:34 AM
 
Location: New England
8,155 posts, read 18,197,614 times
Reputation: 3278
Quote:
Originally Posted by caraibenah View Post
The job market here is TERRIBLE.
Unemployment Rates for States

CT 26
FL 47

Good luck.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:41 AM
 
56 posts, read 118,733 times
Reputation: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by JViello View Post
Unemployment Rates for States

CT 26
FL 47

Good luck.

Maybe I should be more specific and say South Florida.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,570 posts, read 40,130,038 times
Reputation: 6942
Quote:
Originally Posted by JViello View Post
My rent for a decent 2 bed in Meriden was $875.00 Today? Mmm, $950-1100 depending on the apartment.
Actually for $1,100 you will get a pretty nice apartment and it won't even be in Meriden. 2 bedroom, 2 bath in a luxury complex would be around this price. And I am talking a place that offers a pool, tennis and a clubhouse. Jay
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:21 PM
 
112 posts, read 207,264 times
Reputation: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by JViello View Post
Look, you've obviously already made your mind up...whatever. But what you wrote above is simply not true. The cost of living has not gone up 150% in ten years. Do you think the people on this board are too stupid to remember what they were paying for X in 2000?

My rent for a decent 2 bed in Meriden was $875.00 Today? Mmm, $950-1100 depending on the apartment.

Electric was about $120.00. Now we are spending about $145.00.

Cox in both locations has gone up about $60.00 but I also add two HD service and DVR's.

Groceries are actually cheap here than other parts of the country. Believe it.

You think getting married is the solution? LOL Financially speaking I WISH I was single again...OMG! You don't want to see my household budget. There's about a $6500.00 nut to crack every month. Whatever, we get it done.



The problem is, you have all these preconditions on everything. "Oh, I know I could afford a condo and live there for 5 years and build equity...but I dont' want too".

Lets look at 40K and what it gets you. (Funny, my wife was doing it on 35K with a brand new car before we married. )

That's $3076.00 gross per month, not including the 4 extra weeks that show up on odd months.

After taxes about $2614.00. Pull out $1000.00 for rent. That's $1614.00 left.

Utilities: (Cable, lights phone.) about $350.00 and that's being generous for one person. There is $1264.00 left. Say $300.00 for food - again being generous for one person. $964.00 left. So after rent utilities and food is paid for you have about $1000.00 per month. You can't afford to live on that? If you pair down the utilities and shop smart on the food you can probably kick another $150.00 back into the pool.

Whatever, all i know is if you want something to change, make it happen. Crying about it won't change a thing. I'm in CT for a long time now, and I'm making the changes needed to make it work. You might want to try the same. Do something besides complaining about it looking for a magic wand. Buy a multi-family house and rent out the other apartments. You'll pay the same as rent and be building equity into your house. That's just one simple idea.

My issues is not to whine and complain about my own situation. It is to point out how expensive things are in CT. As for triple..okay, well you got me there. My electric bill has tripled in 10yrs (from around $25.00 to over $65.00 and that is not including the summer months and use of A/C). However housing prices and cable prices have doubled so I take back my earlier statement. You also state CT has a low cost for groceries?? This is what I found:
"USDA data shows that as of June 2008, the average food package cost in Connecticut was the highest in the nation at $53.35 per participant"

As for electric rates, CT is 2nd on the list of most expensive:
Electric Power Monthly - Average Retail Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector, by State

The cost of rentals has gone from having to earn $14.74/hour for a two bedroom in 1998 to having to earn $21.60/hour in 2009. While not exacly double...it is close. Also, rents are among the highest in the nation in CT:
http://www.nlihc.org/oor/oor2009/housingwagemap.pdf (broken link)

The fact is, CT is EXPENSIVE! Your wife could do it...but how long ago was that? $35k got you a LOT more 10yrs ago than it does now. Also, not everyone's situation is the same. Take that $1,000/month that is left...take out student loan repayments and credit card payments (as MOST Americans have at least $10k in debt) and really, where does that leave you? And that's not even factoring in the price of gas for someone who has an average commute.

Maybe your wife's college was paid for, maybe she didn't have to take out loans or use credit cards to survive while working full time and going to school full time (with no family monetary support). Everyone's situation is different.
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