Although the United States has many affordable, economically vibrant areas that offer great job prospects, low living costs, and several lifestyle options for all kinds of people, there is a certain appeal to living in a large city. Living in a major metropolitan area has an abundance of benefits. Such cities are cultural hubs that offer diverse and high-quality options for anything and everyone. This ranges from food, health care, and education to music and arts and much more. Big cities are also are hubs of employment, multiculturalism, and shopping.

Despite all these advantages, major American cities are often the most expensive places to live in the country. In certain cities, elements such as taxes, rent, transportation, utilities, and food are more pricey than others. Here we’ve provided some resources that will break down the real cost of living in a few major U.S. cities.

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The Real Cost of Living in NYC

a row of brown and white apartment buildings in New York City

It’s no secret that the real cost of living in NYC is expensive. This city has some of the highest income taxes in the country and prospective residents face some of the least affordable housing. This is especially true for residents who desire to be in the heart of it all and live in Manhattan. Nevertheless, living in the Big Apple is not impossible if you master the art of saving.


The Real Cost of Living in L.A.

Panoramic view of Hollywood Hill with the hollywood sign and the antenna behind it overlooking smaller hills with lots of large houses and trees

From the mansions of Bel Air to the iconic Hollywood sign, Los Angeles has a way of charming people to live among its palm tree-lined streets. Before you make this big leap, you’ll want to get a handle on the true cost of living. Be aware that things are definitely pricey in this capital city. Even though the L.A. lifestyle doesn’t come cheap, the beautiful beaches, the dynamic lifestyle, the sunshine, and of course the avocados can make up for a lot.


The Real Cost of Living in San Franciscosunrise over the skyline of San Francisco with the rays of sun coming through the tall buildings. There is faint image of the golden gate bridge in the background on the left side

San Francisco is notorious for its jaw-dropping real estate prices. But it isn’t only the housing expenses that will eat away at your paycheck. Miscellaneous expenses like grocery shopping and healthcare are also very high. It’s best to familiarize yourself with the real cost of living in the City by the Bay so that you can financially prepare yourself and hopefully have some extra change to spare.


The Real Cost of Living in Boston

statue in park in Boston of a man sitting on horse with city scape in the background and trees all around

A stroll through the perfectly preserved historical landmarks and buildings of Boston is a stroll through American history. If you are considering moving to Boston, it’s worth knowing the real cost of living in Beantown to help you make an informed decision. Boston living can show you that that city life is possible and enjoyable on a budget.


The Real Cost of Living in D.C.

A woman with brown hair wearing a brown and white shirt is standing in front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

If you’re thinking about moving to the nation’s capital, you should find out what the real cost of living is before you decide whether you can afford to settle in the city or not. Even though D.C. prices are high and continuously rising, the capital provides you with plenty of free entertainment, including museums and monuments, to keep you occupied.


The Real Cost of Living in Chicago

birds eye view of the city of Chicago with the water in the background and lots of tall buildings in the foreground

If you’re looking to live in a metropolitan city with a decent cost of living, then Chicago is the place for you. You will get to admire its famous architecture and devour its deep-dish pizza, all while sparing some money. The diversity within its many distinctive neighborhoods allows the city to offer something for everyone.


States With the Lowest Cost of Living

guy sitting on red couch with phone in hand

Despite the places listed above, not all American cities are known for their sky-high rent and pricey meals. The U.S. also happens to be home to plenty of states with a low cost of living. In such places, housing, goods, and services are all affordable relative to those in larger cities. Even though you’re getting a good deal in these locations, you will surely be sacrificing the excitement of living in a major hub.

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