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Old 05-18-2010, 12:40 AM
 
689 posts, read 1,087,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awolcfh5150 View Post
Being from the middle TN area (and mother-in-law that lives in Chattanooga) let me kind of lay it out for you. Seattle is very expensive compared to Chattanooga, but definitely do-able. First, for a studio apt within the city limits count on paying around $800 - $1000 a month. Gas is over $3 a gallon for the cheap stuff. Smokes, average about $9 a pack. If you're a beer drinker (I am!) then a 6'er of Coors Light is going to be around $7 instead of $5 (there's so much great beer here!). Make sure you have enough funds to get you through a couple of months and until you get a job. Minimum wage is much higher, but so is the cost of everything else. After a few months things start to even out and you get used to paying $6 for a pint at the bar.

One thing I always use to explain the cost of living difference to friends & family back in TN is this, to have your oil changed in that area of TN you are currently in, probably runs no more than $50 on the really high end. Here it's about $75 for the average to get Jiffy Lube to change your oil. It's a good example of how pricey it is to live here. On the upside you can live a comfortable existence in Seattle and when you go back to TN you can live high on the hog because of how cheap everything is!
Thanks for the information! (I like beer too )

Anyways, so having my rent and tuition paid for, as well as $200-300 left over after that to pay bills; I can get by going to school just over half-time and then working a part-time job; and that's realistic??? If I can make it work, I really want to. I just don't want to get myself in too deep without realizing what I've done until I'm up the creek without a paddle.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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Any chance you can get rid of the car and use public transportation? That would save you a lot of money.
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mea-oh View Post
Any chance you can get rid of the car and use public transportation? That would save you a lot of money.
It would save me a lot of money... My truck is relatively new to me. I'd HATE to part ways with it. I really hate the idea of not having a vehicle as well...
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Seattle
14 posts, read 17,877 times
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Beat02, if you're a beer lover then Seattle & Portland are definitely the beer mecca of the U.S. (well and Colorado ) Get ready for lots of hoppy brews. It wasn't my thing at first, but I've seen the light, LOL.

Try the cost of living calculator - Cost of Living Wizard | Salary.com It will give you a basic idea of what you will need to make in order to maintain your current living standards.

I wouldn't worry about replacing your vehicle with public transportation, just make sure wherever you live, has a place to park. Most places that you rent will charge you to park, so take that into account when calculating monthly rent/expenses, but you can also save some $ by taking the bus or walking whenever it's convenient and you won't have to worry about filling your tank too often.

The phone bill should not be a concern unless you're looking to just lower the bill. I had an iPhone (Android is so much cooler) when I moved and the bill didn't change other than a couple of bucks because of state laws requiring different levels of taxes. You won't see a huge jump.

The other positive about Washington is that like TN it has no state income tax (yet), so sales tax is running around the same as TN. As long as you're committed to working out the bugs and kinks the first few months and know that things will even out (they will, just hang in there) then come live in the PacNW! The people in Seattle are friendly, the scenery is breathtaking, the beer choices are unlimited, and there are so many things to do it will make your head spin (MLB, NFL, tons of great music).

To those that commented on the oil change, $75 is steep but seems to be the going rate now. I even had it done in Tacoma one time because I was in the area and needed to get it taken care of. It was a tad cheaper but not by much. The Lake City Jiffy Lube is where I had been taking my car, so if there's a cheaper place I'm open to suggestions. I'm on Captiol Hill now, so I'm sure it won't be any cheaper.
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:47 PM
 
689 posts, read 1,087,917 times
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Thanks, wolf.

I've been on salary in the military the past four years... I'll be moving from making roughly 25k a year to looking for a part time job in Seattle, and trying to juggle school with that. Upside is that I don't have to pay for rent and tuition of school, downside is that my part-time job will have to cover all my other expenses. I don't even know if that's plausible. That's my concern.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Seattle
14 posts, read 17,877 times
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That's a very legit concern, especially with your current salary. What I would suggest is checking out job boards and finding out the pay for part time positions. The current minimum wage in Washington is $8.55 an hour ( U.S. Department of Labor - Wage and Hour Division (WHD) - Minimum Wage Laws in the States (http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm#Washington - broken link) ). That's still not a lot of pay for the cost of living, but it will definitely give you an idea of what you would need to do for your expenses.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:42 PM
 
689 posts, read 1,087,917 times
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Right on. Thank you.

I just realized, that I'll be getting $1,560/mo for my housing allowance on the GI Bill. If I get an apartment for let's say $800, that gives me a decent chunk of change left over. I was thinking I'd only have $200-$300 left over. This is awesome news and I think will make the living doable.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Seattle
14 posts, read 17,877 times
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Seattle Apartments at Seattle Rentals .com - condos, houses and apartment listings and online rental classifieds

If you have any questions about neighborhoods fill free to ask.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:42 PM
 
689 posts, read 1,087,917 times
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Well, I'll be going to school at Seattle Central. I know that's located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood... Do you recommend there as far as living? I've heard that's kind of a noisy place to live. I was hoping to be a little more "out of the way" when it comes to my living/relaxation if possible.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Seattle
14 posts, read 17,877 times
Reputation: 20
Capitol Hill is a cool neighborhood. Eclectic, definitely can be noisy, and a huge gay community (I only mention this because it matters to some). Honestly everything in this area is noisy. It's a large city so getting used to a noisier environment is a must. You can't live "out of the way" here unless you plan on spending a ridiculous amount of time in traffic. Water is on both sides of the city so you only have I-5 running north & south. There are no loops. I used to live in the Lake City neighborhood which is about 8 miles from downtown where I work. Bus or my own car, at 5:30 during rush hour it has taken me as long as 2 1/2 hours to get home. On average it took about 45 minutes. Again, 8 miles! I actually moved to Capitol Hill to be closer, LOL.

Queen Anne is a cool neighborhood, and First Hill has some nice places. Belltown is ok, but has a lot of bars and can be very shady late at night. Stay away Pioneer Square at all costs. Lake City isn't bad, but they have quite a bit of government housing that's been built or in the planning stages. It's nothing like you currently think of when you hear section 8, but just a heads up as it could be a deterant for some (just like the Capitol Hill thing). Oh, and being as your in TN, I'm guessing you've been to Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, or at least some of the cities in the south. In the city limits of Seattle there are no ghettos. The cost of living is too high, so you will never see "the projects".
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