How to Do a Cost of Living Comparison. You are interested in moving and want to know how costs in your new area compare to your current location. Do a cost of living comparison to find out. Cost of living is the cost of continuing the same standard of living over time. A comparison is useful when considering a move for a job or retirement. You will also be better prepared to evaluate your job offers.
Go to an online cost of living calculator. Choose the state and city to which you will be moving. Then select the job or put in a salary. Print out the results.
Rank the most important factors to you. Categories include overall, housing, utilities, transportation, food or groceries, health care and miscellaneous expenses.
Research your potential locations further. Get specific information on the neighborhood, schools, quality of life and the job that you will have.
Write down your findings and compare the results.
Indexes measure the rate of change of the cost of living. The U.S. Consumer Price Index measures relative cost of living as a value of 100 in a given year. Indexes compare cost of living across locations, usually metropolitan areas. The cost of living index is a basis to determine a COLA, cost-of-living-adjustment that adjusts salaries. A cost-of-living adjustment provides employees extra income when they relocate. US military personnel often receive COLAs when stationed overseas.