Factors in Considering Where to Live and Work

Are you a recent college graduate?  If so, you will hopefully field several different job offers, many of which are in different parts of the country.  Before you accept a job, consider carefully the cost of living in the area you are thinking of moving to and how it will impact your finances.

While a job in a large city may offer you a higher starting salary than a job in a suburban area, make sure the cost of living in a major metropolitan area won’t eat up the extra salary and then some.

One Should Consider the Following Expenses When Choosing a Place to Work/Live


Compare how much the average home in the area is selling or renting for.  In a suburban area 3 hours from our current home, 3 bedroom houses rent for $700 a month; in the outskirts of the major metropolitan area where we live, they rent for $1,400 and up.  Over the course of a year, that is an additional $8,400 in rent.


Both car and home insurance can be considerably higher in a metropolitan area.  The average cost of car insurance in the city compared to the average cost in the suburbs may be several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars more expensive per year depending on your driving record, age, and the type of car you drive.


While most people don’t consider this, the cost of groceries can be much higher in an urban area compared to a suburban area.  Even if foods only cost 10 to 20 cents more, when you are buying a cartful of groceries, the cost can add up.


In the suburbs, parking is often free and plentiful.  If you forego public transportation in the city and instead use your own car, you can expect to pay $50 to as much as $400 a month just to park your vehicle.

Deciding whether to live and work in the city or the suburbs is a personal decision.  However, if you are a new college graduate, keep in mind that the additional salary you may make by taking a job in a metropolitan area is often not enough to offset the difference in the cost of living between urban and suburban areas.  If you have student loan debts to pay off and would like to make your money stretch further, working in the suburbs may make the most financial cents, at least while you are trying to create a strong financial base for the rest of your life.

Guest Post by Melissa

7 Responses to Factors in Considering Where to Live and Work

  1. No, being a college graduate does not mean you’re fielding job offers. Many are broke, in debt, and can’t even find a job cleaning toilets.

  2. When I finished school, My first job transferred me to Los Angeles. I had some choices, but I had family and friends who lived in Los Angeles. Sometimes you have to throw financial sense to the wind and look at other things. I think that a large city offers more opportunity, so no regrets!

  3. When it comes to transportation, if you are living in a city, check the public transportation system. Chances are you won’t need a car, which saves money on gas, maintenance, insurance, parking, etc. And if you do get a car, you can lower your insurance rate by saying it isn’t your main mode of transportation.

  4. THis has been a huge consideration for me in the last year or so, but I’m just working where the work is – I’ll live hopefully relatively close to that but in an area that I like.

  5. the kind of lifestyle you would be leading also must be considered as it is highly susceptible to the area you are living in. If you are someone who likes the quiet and noise free environment, a job near to suburbs is what you should be inclined to choose.

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