Measuring the Cost of Living

Budgeting
Measuring the Cost of Living

Cost of living refers to the costs of meeting basic expenses in one location, or city, and determines how far your money will go. Some cities throughout the country and globe have higher costs of living than others, so understanding the cost of living in a specific area can help you to determine the amount of money you’ll need to cover living expenses or to maintain a specific lifestyle.

Factors that affect the total cost of living in an area include things like:

  • Housing
  • Healthcare
  • Clothing
  • Recreation
  • Education
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Childcare
  • Fuel
  • Transportation (car storage, parking, public transportation)
  • Unexpected expenses
  • Federal income and state taxes

One way to understand your cost of living is to use an online cost-of-living calculator. Some popular ones are available on websites like salary.com and CNN Money. These can help you determine how much you need to earn in your current, or your desired location, to maintain your current standard of living.

In addition to using a cost-of-living calculator, and as costs rise nationwide, it’s important to know how your current income supports your expenses and to create a budget and financial plan. To help you stay on track, Ameris Bank’s website provides a free budgeting calculator, as well as an expense calculator and a monthly cash flow summarycash flow summary on our website. Crunching numbers isn’t always fun, but it’s a great way to boost your financial peace of mind!

HOW AMERIS CAN HELP

At Ameris, we’re with you when it comes to understanding how cost of living in your city factors into your budget and financial plan. We are also here to offer suggestions such for ways you can stay on track should you need a line of credit and personal loan.

We’re here to help! Visit your nearest branch or check out financial planning advice from anywhere (even your couch!) by visiting our website.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Cost of living varies based on city.
  • Using a cost-of-living calculator can help you see how much income you need to live in a certain city.
  • It is always helpful to create and stick to a budget, and there are online tools to help with this, too.
  • Make sure you have a financial partner that can offer guidance and solutions to meet your financial needs.

Revised November 2022

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