One of the biggest factors in a person’s ability to save money is geographical location. It’s a fact that’s easily forgotten because many people would never think of leaving a location that they’ve grown up in, lived in for years or that is home to all of their family and friends. However, the cost of living in different parts of the country is drastically different, even in big cities. Don’t believe me? Below is a comparison of different costs for residents of Chicago vs. New York. See how they add up!
Housing – In NYC, studios in buildings without elevators rented at an average of $1,955 in the first quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, the median rent for a studio in Chicago’s River North neighborhood is $1400 but in less trendy areas such as Lincoln Square, can go as low as $700!
State Income Tax – Illinois recently raised its state income tax to 5 percent but that still beats New York State’s starting income tax rate of 6.45 percent. That means for every $10,000 they earn, Chicago residents get to keep $145 more in their pockets than residents of NYC.
Public Transportation – Want to ride the subway in New York City all month to get to and from work? It’ll cost you $104 for a 30-day MetroCard whereas Chicago charges just $86. That’s an annual difference of $216.
If you add all of these differences up, you’ll see that someone living in New York on a salary of $50,000 will, on average, spend at least $7,600 more than someone earning that same salary in Chicago. If you’re wondering how two cities stack up, be sure to check out this cost of living calculator.