Definition of "Cost of living"

Dave Jackley . . . exactly!   real estate agent
Dave Jackley . . . exactly! , Real Estate Agent Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty

The definition of cost of living is the amount of money you need to have in order to sustain a certain lifestyle. The cost of living refers to the amount of money you spend on housing, food, gas, and other items. It is an easy way to measure a person's standard of living and cost of living estimates allow for comparison between locations.

Cost of living and lifestyle

The cost of living is an index. A numerical value that shows you if your expenses are high or low. This makes it possible to compare the cost of living between cities, states or countries. The cost of living is highly determined by the area you live in, it’s economy, the job market, and others.

If a city has a high cost of living we consider it an expensive city. On the other end, a city with a low cost of living is a more affordable city. This classification is possible at a larger scale, therefore, counties, states, and nations have a cost of living associated with them.

The standard of living is also impacted by a person’s income. A high income in a city with a low cost of living offers that person a comfortable lifestyle. On the other hand, expensive cities with a high cost of living, means those common items, as well as payments, are going to be higher. That would require a higher salary if you want to sustain the standard of living in an expensive city.

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