Everyone is grumbling about the cost of living these days, but residents of some cities have it a lot worse than others. So if your job is such that you can do it anywhere and you’re looking to save some money on everything from housing and utilities to eating at the local diner, here are a few American cities you’ll definitely want to bypass. With the money you save on living expenses, you can visit them instead!
- New York City, NY. The Big Apple will cost you big bucks if you plan to live there. And even though the cost of housing is more than four times the national average, residents don’t tend to earn higher wages, on the whole. This is why even people who drop a ton of dough on housing still end up in an apartment. Plus, certain desirable areas (Manhattan, for example) charge a premium on everything from utilities to foodstuffs. So even if you can scrape together the money for a walk-up, you might not be able to afford heat and water.
- Honolulu, HI. If it’s $500+ per night to rent a hotel room, you can imagine what the cost of living is like, and it’s no surprise considering how many visitors dream of calling this tropical paradise home. And keep in mind that the main thrust of their economy is tourism and they have to get just about everything shipped in from the mainland, so it’s a safe bet that associated costs of living (groceries, gas, etc.) are going to be higher than other places, as well.
- Fairbanks, AK. If you’re scratching your head over this one, think about how much you might pay in an average year to heat your house wherever you’re currently living – get the picture? Not only are utilities high in the land of the midnight sun (thanks to the fact that they are far enough out to be off both the U.S. and Canadian electrical grids), but consumer goods are also a lot more expensive due to the difficulties (and distance) associated with shipping there.
- Stamford, CT. This city may stick out like a sore thumb on this list simply because it’s not as well-known as some of the others, but anonymity hasn’t made it any cheaper. In truth, their housing costs have dropped dramatically in the last couple of years, just like everywhere else. The difference is that a house there will still cost you nearly twice the national average, which makes it sort of surprising that anyone lives there. On the other hand, you won’t have to pay as much to get a cup of coffee or a loaf of bread, or run a bath as you would in neighboring New York City (but you also won’t enjoy the bright lights, big city atmosphere).
- Los Angeles, CA. You might think that the city of sin in neighboring Nevada would make this list, but the fair coast has its fair share of cities that trump America’s adult playground. San Francisco to the north and San Diego to the south may have a higher cost of living in general, but thanks to uber-wealthy communities like Beverly Hills and Malibu, Los Angeles is the clear winner here.