A High Price To Pay

Can You Afford To Live On The Coast?


Bianca Morales, Writer

There’s a price to pay for everything in life—from brand labels in clothing to where one chooses to live.

In terms of the latter, one might find that he gets a bigger bang for his buck right here in the Midwest, rather than choosing to live a seemingly more adventurous life on one of the Coasts. Simply put, a dollar can go further in places where goods and services are less expensive. “While living in Los Angeles, California, for almost two years,” explains Raul Barrios, 12, “I can say it’s very much different from Elkhart—especially the cost of things like housing and better pay.” In other words, a person making the $15 minimum wage in New York or L.A. would not be able to bank as much with that $15 as a person in Elkhart or Goshen.

   So, where a dollar is worth the least, is where the most expensive states are located. To figure this out, analysts calculate the cost of living by finding prices of goods and services, then they take into account of how much of a person’s budget is. Below is a comparison of one the most and least expensive places to live with a household income of $50,000.

When deciding where to live following graduation, take these statistics into account. Remember to ask yourself this: “What’s in your wallet?”

Midwestern vs. West Coast
Weekly Expenses
Cost of Living      Elkhart, IN         Los Angeles, CA            Expense Difference
Food & Groceries    $91.8                       $104.1                                  13.4% more
Housing                    $59.3                       $298.2                                 402.9% more
Utilities                     $92.7                       $93.7                                    1.1% more

Midwestern vs. East Coast
Weekly Expenses
Cost of Living      Elkhart, IN         Boston, MA                     Expense Difference
Food & Groceries   $91.8                        $111.4                                   21.4% more
Housing                   $59.3                        $260.6                                 339.5% more
Utilities                    $92.7                        $116.8                                  26% more