Where you live matters

***As I’m away for the week, I’ve lined up some guest posts for you guys.  First up we have Katie from Slowly but Surely.  Make sure to go check out her blog!***

Hi bogofdebt readers! I’m Katie from Slowly But Surely and I’m so excited to do my first guest post! My blog talks about my progress towards accomplishing my goals and one of them is getting out of debt.

There are plenty of strategies to cut costs and save money. Some are smaller, like eating cheaper meals or using public transportation. Others are much bigger, such as moving to a cheaper home or city.




Sometimes making small adjustments is simply not enough to make financial progress. After spending the past year living in New York City, I have officially made the move to Wisconsin, where the cost of living is significantly cheaper.



The majority of my income goes to rent and food. Here’s the breakdown for each state.


In New York I paid $1,000 for my half of the rent for a two bedroom, one bathroom. That was 63% of my monthly income.


I now share a 2 beds/2 bath with my boyfriend and we pay $739 total. I can actually put the rest of the money I’m saving on rent towards debt and make some serious financial progress!



Let’s be real, this is a pretty expensive category for me since I love me a good meal!

There is no such thing as a supermarket in New York City. Grocery stores are stocked with a limited supply. Nearly everything costs more because we live on an island and storeowners pay so much more for their rent as well. We don’t buy in bulk because our kitchens are simply too small.

In Wisconsin we can buy cheaper groceries and have much more room to store bulk purchases when necessary. In New York, some weeks I would only have $20 to buy groceries for the week. That $20 could stretch much further in Wisconsin so I can afford to eat healthier too!

Going out to eat is an entirely frustrating situation in New York. Starbucks is at least $1 more per cup, a salad can typically cost you $15, and a casual meal out with friends will cost at least $30-$40 each. New York has some delicious restaurants and

of course you want to try them all but it’s simply not affordable! A round of shots at a bar cost me $65 one time (5 shots!).

I have a field day in Wisconsin when I order food because EVERYTHING is cheaper! A delicious meal with wine and appetizers included will cost $15 instead! They frequently have $1 drink nights and even Ladies Night where women drink for free! There’s plenty of savings right there!


Moving can be an extreme measure to take for more financial freedom. However, saving nearly half of my income on rent and food is absolutely worth it! I can’t wait to see my debt balances go down and my bank account go up!

What measures have you taken to cut back financially?

Editors note: I come orignally from Upstate/Central New York and have. of course, moved out to the midwest.  Even going from Upstate NY to Central NY was pretty significant but now I notice how a lot of things are so much cheaper out here.  So yeah, where you live matters!  Thank you Katie for sharing!


15 Comments on “Where you live matters”

  1. Daisy says:

    NYC and Vancouver are very comprable as far as prices go. It’s interesting to see the differences. The US is substantially cheaper than Canadian prices anyway, so I definitely agree that where you live matters. It’s kind of a catch 22 around here though – if you live in a cheaper place, it’s almost impossible to find work.

  2. Michelle says:

    I live in the Midwest and can’t imagine paying so much!

  3. I live in California so I know that pain of the high cost of living, although I do think NY is harder, especially because of the space. I always have moving in the back of my mind, but my industy is here, and so even though I’ve been looking out of state, it’s been hard to find anything. And I do love the weather. 🙂

  4. Jessica says:

    I don’t think I could ever live in such an expensive place like NYC! I’m glad where I live is very affordable.

  5. I noticed this in a big way, moving from DC to Portland. Food and housing, especially.

  6. lkrant says:

    Along with the lower cost of living are lower wages. Yes, your money does go further outside the large metropolotan areas. I would like to take what I would earn in New York City (6 figures) and live in Dallas, Texas.

  7. I totally agree with you! I made a similar move from the Washington DC area to Florida and for less than what I paid to rent my 1/3rd of a 3 br 2 bath 1100 square foot apartment I own a 2 bedroom 1 bath townhouse a few blocks from the Gulf of Mexico! It is amazing how much more things cost in the city and unless you have a significantly higher income to make up for it money can get tight fast.

  8. B. (Below Her Means) says:

    GAH, seeing this post made me remember I forgot to send you a guest post. 😦 So sorry!

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