Five Cost of Living Calculators Worth Using

Cost of living calculators making moving easier

Cost of living calculators are used all the time, and they’ve become a very valuable internet resource. There are those of us that use them for fun – what would happen if I moved from here to there and changed my entire life in an instant – and those of us that use them to make actual real-life decisions. For example, a couple looking to start a family might choose to find out whether or not staying where they are right now is the most cost-effective way to raise a child or if they should move somewhere a bit more baby-friendly and financially-friendly. A woman who has been offered a job in another city might want to be sure she’s making the right decision based on what she’s making now and the lifestyle she is accustomed to in comparison with her new salary in her new city.

There is a lot of consideration that goes into moving, and that is why so many men and women rely upon cost of living calculators to help them make the decisions that they have to make. Finances are the number one concern of so many people, and we get that these are people who would much rather know what to expect than find out when it’s too late that a move was not a good one.

With that said, we’ve taken a look at the five best-ranked cost of living calculators on the internet, and what they have to offer. Are they truly the best? Which one has the best features? Which one is easiest to use? Which ones have more good features than bad? We want to know the answer to this so that we know which resource to trust when our finances are on the line. With that said, we’ve compiled a list of the best cost of living calculators on the market, and we have listed them here for you.

CNN Money Cost of Living Calculator

What’s Good – It’s simple and easy to use

What’s Bad – Nothing

CNN Money has the most popular cost of living calculator on the internet, and for good reason. What you get here is a simple and very easy-to-use financial tool that helps you take into consideration the cost of living where you are and where you might eventually want to be. The way that it works is quite simple. All you’ll do is enter the city and state in which you currently reside, followed by the city and state in which you want to reside. Finish up by entering your current salary.

Once that information is input, CNN Money’s cost of living calculator will show you what the comparable salary is in the city you want to be, where expenses are less and where they are more. For example, if you live in Gainesville, Florida earning $100,000 per year and want to move to Charleston, South Carolina, the comparable salary would be $103,392 with transportation being the only category less expensive. Categories included in this cost of living calculator include:

  1. Groceries
  2. Housing
  3. Utilities
  4. Transportation
  5. Health care

Bankrate Cost of Living Calculator

What’s Good – Careful detail and ample information are available

What’s Bad – Nothing

Bankrate has always been a widely used financial resource, and it’s a reputable one. It’s not surprise that this site makes it onto the list of the top five cost of living calculators on the internet today. When you use this cost of living calculator, you get a little bit more of an in-depth look at what to expect. You’ll enter the city you’re moving from, the city you’re moving to and what you currently earn.

The results you get from using this cost of living calculator include a side by side comparison of what the average cost of everything you might need is in each city; from home prices to rent to energy to the cost of visiting a local dentist. It’s all broken down for you in a very comprehensive list that shows off exactly what it is you will pay where you are and where you are going. This cost of living calculator offered by Bankrate also shows you what the equivalent income in the new city you’ve entered would be, and what type of pay increase or decrease you would need to continue living your current lifestyle.

Payscale Cost of Living Calculator

What’s Good – Easy to use cost of living calculator and information

What’s Bad – Chart is not as reader-friendly as lists on other cost of living calculator results

Payscale is a website that is typically used around the world to determine what a profession might earn in a specific location. What works about this site is that the cost of living calculator you will find here is going to prove valuable to many, including those who want to move or those who have a choice to make about where they want to be in life. All that is required to find the information you require about cost of living in any particular area is your current location, your desired location, your job title and your current annual salary.

Using a chart, Payscale shows you what you can expect in terms of cost of living in a new city. You will see if it’s more expensive, equivalent, or less expensive, and where the difference is found in the following categories:

  1. Overall cost of living
  2. Groceries
  3. Housing
  4. Utilities
  5. Transportation
  6. Heath care

Nerdwallet Cost of Living Calculator

What’s Good – Very detailed results and breakdown of prices for most common household expenses

What’s Bad – Nothing

What we like about Nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator is that it’s so much more than just a calculator. The site is a great resource for anyone who is looking for financial information that’s been researched tested and used by the people writing about it, and it’s a great resource for living a financially free life. When using the cost of living calculator on the Nerdwallet website, you’ll find that it’s simple and easy-to-use, and that there are no frills – we like that it’s no-frills.

By entering the name of the city and state in which you currently reside, the city and state in which you are curious to learn more about and the income that you make right now followed by a short description of the type of household you are (student, family with kids, senior), you will receive a very easy to follow list of results. The results use what you make now to tell you what you need to make to maintain your current quality of life in the desired destination. It then provides you with a list of different things and how much more those things cost, followed by a very detailed breakdown of each category and how much more or less it is in the new city. For example, when I said I live in Tampa and want to move to Manhattan, the Nerdwallet cost of living calculator told me it would cost me 506% more for housing in Manhattan, that it would cost me 48% more to grocery shop in Manhattan and that it would cost me 52% more to entertain myself in Manhattan.

Bestplaces Cost of Living Calculator

What’s Good – Easy to use cost of living calculator

What’s Bad – The results are not as detailed or comprehensive as other cost of living calculators

Bestplaces uses a cost of living calculator that will help you find out what you can expect from one place to the next in terms of what your life will cost you there. Once you have entered the name of the city in which you live now, the name of the city in which you’d like to compare it to and the amount of money you make each year, the site will compare the cost of living with its calculator.

What you will find when the results are in is a list of numbers that may or may not please you. You will find out what percentage difference there is between your two chosen cities, why the new city is either more or less expensive than the one in which you live now and what the biggest factor is. The results aren’t quite as comprehensive as they are on other cost of living calculators, however.

Photo by Getty Images


Leave a Reply