Graduating? Moving? Here's Decision Help

A Tale of Two Cities

It's no surprise that not all cities and their living costs are equal.  It then follows that salary offers and their buying power vary greatly by city.  

Sadly few of us moving to a new city stop and think about the wide swings in standards of living we might encounter.

New graduates contemplating two different cities in which to live don't consider this phenomenon either.  

The Critical Question?  
How much buying power does one job offer have over another?
Wouldn't it make sense to consider this very question before and during salary offers and negotiations? 

Do you want to avoid mistakes, create a leg up on negotiation tactics?  Then this article is tailor-made for you or your upcoming graduate.

Do you want to know what the cost of living is in any particular city?  Then this article is also for you.  

The cost of living varies GREATLY between cities.  
One mom of our students said:

"My child was so excited to be heading to CA.  He is working out his spending plan, just like your course teaches, and put in the $ amount it takes to get an apartment - with 4 roommates no less.  I nearly fell through the floor.  His "apartment rent" (just his 1/4 portion) is MORE than my house payment.  My house has a front and back yard, and more square feet than his apartment.  I nearly fainted.  I do not, by the way, live in a mansion."

So before salary negotiations are over, and before a particular new city is selected, it makes sense to compare costs in just living from day to day in each city.  

By the way, what did the student in the above example do?  He realized the need to snap up a roommate.  Good decisions follow good research.  

Consider this example:  
  • Your Tyler, Texas salary offer:  $50,000
How much would the offer in New York City need to be to EQUAL the Tyler TX offer?
  • Your New York City (Manhattan offer) would need to be:  $114,469

Yes, that's right.  For NYC to "match" the spending power/offer of Tyler, it has to offer you $64,469 MORE.  Someone alert the media!  That's a BIG difference.  Why such a gap?  In NYC, your groceries will cost 55% more, housing 368% more, utilities 46% more, transportation 29% more, and health care 16% more just to name a few comparisons.  Of course, these numbers held at the time I did my research.  But you get the idea.  This  difference must be considered.  

What if your graduate (or you) have 2 offers to consider?

If both positions are equally desirable, then comparing the salary offers becomes even more crucial.  

Assume there is a salary offer of $60,000 in Oklahoma City, OK, then what would the Top 10 cities for Post-Graduates (per apartment offer need to be to EQUAL OKC? (numbers will change over time, of course)

        Oklahoma City, OK offer >>> $60,000

        The "Top 10 City" offers would need to be:

                 New York City, New York:      $146,707
                 Washington, DC:                     $  93,079
                 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:  $  80,574
                 Seattle, Washington:              $  79,363
                 Minneapolis, Minnesota        $  72,158
                 San Francisco, California       $ 107,821
                 Chicago, Illinois                       $   77,365
                 Las Vegas, Nevada                  $  68,329
                 Portland, Oregon                    $  79,323
                 Denver, Colorado                   $   69,821

So, the conclusion is obvious.  The offer from Oklahoma City for $60,000 might be the best offer on the table.  If NYC offered $100,000, and OKC stuck with their offer of $60,000, then OKC STILL beats NYC in terms of money offer/buying power by almost $7,000 NYC dollars.  Explaining this to your nearly-flown child might be a challenge, but it certainly is a topic worth covering.  

So how can you do this calculation for yourself?

Simply google "cost of living calculator"  OR try using
This resource covers apartment rents and more for 2018: Guide  Hat Tip:
What an exciting time of year this is.  With 40 million moving every year, we know you will find this information timely and useful.  If you have a graduating child, congratulations go to you too even though you don't get an actual diploma.  You've loved and nurtured your child through so much and these last days with them can be so hectic.  So, we thank you for being a part of our parent-tribe and we wish you the best as you watch your child tackle new and exciting adventures.  

Have a GREAT week and 

YES, You CAN Have Success in the Middle of it ALL

Pam and Holly

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PS 2: Free Parent Guide
We've put together a free "8-Step Parent Planning Guide" that is chock-full of information you might want to teach your "nearly-flown" child.  It's a parent time-saver, and gives you concrete lessons to use at your discretion.  Developed by parents previously in your shoes, we know you will find it super helpful.  
Here's the link for it: 8-Step Parent Planning Guide
Who Is JellyGeneration?

Pam Hardison, MBA, BBA in Finance and Business Education, has created and co-owned a national mail order catalog which at one point was the 21st fastest growing customerbase in the nation.  As a mom of two college-post college daughters, considers it a privilege and to meet other students and parents along the same road.   After teaching high school and college students for years, her commitment to helping them with topics most schools can't cover is the light that drives her.  

Holly Powers, Attorney-At-Law (Jameson & Powers, P.C.) has been actively practicing law since 1985 and is a shareholder with the law firm of Jameson & Powers, P.C.  The firm specializes in transactional law, health care law, and general business law.  Holly has taught students precepts concerning the legal world for over 10 years.  With 4 children, she understands what teens need to know and has a passion to help others faced with teens and aging parents.  

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