Boston is an amazing city that has something for everyone. If you love anything historical, then Boston is definitely the place to be. If sports is your thing, this city will definitely make you happy. If you’re a foodie, the Boston culinary scene will have you drooling.
However, before you decide to move, you need to do some prep work to make sure that this relocation is really your best option.
While Boston may offer a gazillion advantages, it also has some drawbacks. The main one is that it’s expensive. It might not be on par with a place like New York or San Francisco, but it is still among the top 10 most expensive cities in the U.S.
For this reason, it’s essential that you do your research, including learning what the average salary in Boston is, along with figuring out the cost of living. After all, the average salary might seem pretty high, until you take a look at how much it will actually cost you to live in Boston and you realize that the offer on the table isn’t that great.
According to PayScale, the average salary in Boston is $71,290, which represents the average of all paychecks, regardless of industry, qualifications, and position. So, this figure includes everything from teens flipping burgers to CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies. Compared to other cities, such as New York or San Francisco, the average salary in Boston is quite a bit lower. However, the cost of living in Boston is 48% higher than the national average, compared to San Francisco, where it’s 69% higher. Clearly, the average salary in San Francisco is higher than the one in Boston for good reason.
Now that you know the average salary in Boston, you might think that you’ve done your job and you don’t need to know anything else. After all, a little over $71,000 a year is not a bad paycheck and surely you can live comfortably on that much money. Right?
Well, if you stop there, you could end up underpaid or with a paycheck that will barely cover your basic living expenses.
First, you have to dig a little deeper and figure out how much you are worth to make sure that you aren’t going to be underpaid. This means that you need to do your research to find out how much someone in your position can expect to be paid.
For example, an executive assistant in Boston can expect to make around $64,000 per year, but a personal assistant shouldn’t expect much more than $35,700.
So, if you have applied for either of these positions and have been offered far less, you can go back and try to negotiate a better offer. After all, if you’re armed with objective data, it will be far easier to make a compelling argument and one that doesn’t rely just on the idea that you want more money. Instead, you can show that you’ve done your due diligence and that you have proof you are worth more than they are offering.
If they’re still unwilling to provide you with a better offer, then your best option is to look elsewhere. On the other hand, if the offer is on par with the average salary in Boston for your position, or even higher, then you can definitely accept, safe in the knowledge that you’re paid what you’re worth.
Now, though, the question arises of whether you can live comfortably on the average salary in Boston for your position.
According to GoBankingRates, the answer to this question is no. GoBankingRates conducts a study every year that determines how much money you need to earn to live comfortably in the 50 biggest cities in the United States. The study assumes that the 50 – 30 – 20 budgeting system is necessary for a comfortable life, which means that 50% of your earnings go to living expenses, 30% represents disposable income, and 20% represents savings. The question then becomes: what is a good salary in Boston?
Based on this principle, the study states that you need $88,967 per year to live comfortably in Boston. Considering that the average salary in Boston is a little over $71,000, the discrepancy is clear.
If you don’t save any money at all, then you could achieve a relatively comfortable lifestyle, seeing as necessities and disposable income work out to slightly over $71,000. However, if we look at the executive assistant position or the personal assistant position, then things become a little more dire, especially for the latter.
Approximately $64,000 isn’t quite as far from $71,000, meaning that you’ll probably have to be a little more judicious when it comes to splurging but can still live pretty well. However, as a personal assistant with the salary of a little under $36,000 a year, you’re definitely going to have issues seeing as you need around $44,500 for necessities.
This is a particularly major problem because the average rent in Boston is $2,100, which means you’ll be spending $25,200 on rent alone every year, meaning that you’re left with around $10,800 to live on for the rest of the year. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to find an apartment. Boston’s rental market is highly competitive, which can make it difficult to find a place to live.
If you’re having problems finding an apartment, a great option is to go with a reputable and well-known rental company like Blueground. They offer stunning apartments that are furnished, fully equipped and serviced. Plus, you can rent the apartment via their website, which will make your relocation far easier, especially since you can sort everything out before you even get to Boston.
So, what can you do if the salary you’re offered won’t even cover the amount you need for necessities?
Well, you only really have three options. The first is to try finding a different job. You’ll need one that either pays better or has a better potential for future promotions, which would mean you would eventually be earning a higher salary.
The second is to do some freelance work on the side to supplement your income. This might seem like a drawback at first because you’ll have to work more, but you might eventually find that it’s an advantage because you might choose to go freelance full-time.
And the last option is to reconsider moving to Boston. If the average salary in Boston for your position is far beneath how much you need to earn to live comfortably and you aren’t prepared to take on the added responsibilities of freelancing, then maybe Boston isn’t the right city for you.