How to Use a Cost of Living Calculator

How to Use a Cost of Living Calculator. When you are moving, using a cost of living calculator can help you figure out how far your dollar will stretch in a new city to compared to where you currently live. Without this information, it'd be virtually impossible to make a smart decision on whether to move, because prices for everyday necessities can be drastically different throughout the United States.

Figure out your annual salary. If you get paid weekly, multiply your weekly check by 52. If you get paid every other week, multiply your weekly check by 26. If you get paid monthly, multiply your check by 12. You'll need to know your annual salary to utilize most cost of living calculators.

Find a cost of living calculator on the Internet. There are hundreds of different cost of living calculators, and most of them require the same information and will output similar results.

Enter your annual salary. Use the number you calculated in the Step 1.

Enter your current city. If you cannot find the city in which you live, use the closest available city.

Choose your destination city (the city to which you are planning to move). If that city isn't listed, enter the closest city.

Analyze the results. The cost of living calculator will tell you whether you will be moving to a city where everyday necessities such as housing, utilities and food will cost more or less than where you currently live.


  • Try multiple cost of living calculators to double check the results.

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