East Coast vs. West Coast (And Everywhere In Between)

After a friendly East Coast/West Coast personal finance blogger ribbing last week among Debt Ninja from Punch Debt in the Face, Kelly from Centsible Life and yours truly from Rainy-Day Saver, I got to wondering: How different is the cost of living from one coast to another?

Naturally, living in the NYC/Northern New Jersey metro area, I think *I’m* in the most expensive area of the United States. Our housing prices are still artificially inflated, property taxes and car insurance are through the roof, and we’re just one big people-congested mess.

Little House from Little House in the Valley believes that where she lives, Los Angeles, is likely the most expensive city — particularly based on housing costs.

So I asked the same question on Twitter: Which city do you think is the most expensive place to live?

The Breakdown
NYC                                                     Los Angeles

Rainy-Day Saver                                                                   Little House                        
Carrie on the Cheap
Susan Tiner

Nowhere near a comprehensive or scientific poll, but the clear winner here is New York City. 

Measured by cost of living, Forbes has the LA area in first place back in May, followed by Chicago and Miami, with New York lagging behind in fourth place.

By October, Forbes/msnbc.com claimed NYC held the top spot, due to an average monthly rent of $4,300 for a two-bedroom luxury apartment.

If you go by median home price, BusinessWeek’s top 5 most expensive metro areas include four California areas and Honolulu, Hawaii. 

What it boils down to
The fact of the matter is this: It’s damned expensive to live in a big city (or, in our case, 10 miles outside of one). There are advantages, such as higher salaries and more cultural and entertainment opportunities, but sometimes, the unemployment rate is higher, and food, shelter and clothing are priced higher, too. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

How does your metro area rank compared to NYC and LA?

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