So in a previous post, I mentioned this concept of a sliding scale for home purchases. Today, I’m going to bring you the root of that concept, at least for me, the calculators that tickle my fancy.
This is Potatoes and it’s the Wednesday series on The Black Urbanist. It’s when I take Tuesday’s current event and add a stat or a deeper commentary through images. It’s also the holiday season and I’m sure you are either hosting all your family or you are getting ready to be one of those poor souls invading the airports and train stations and roads that the news always talks about on holidays. Take some stress out of your trip by using Expedia to book a good deal on your flight, rental car, hotel or all three. Click here for more information and know that your purchase will support The Black Urbanist and help me keep writing these posts!
I think we should get things started with a couple of basic cost of living calculators. I like these because they give me a realistic picture of what different salaries mean in different places. I however, believe it’s not the end all be all. Depending on who you know and how you are able to arrange your housing, eating habits and transportation habits, some of these changes aren’t so drastic.
The CNN Money Cost of Living Calculator keeps it simple. Put your current salary and city in (Winston-Salem’s close enough) and put your desired city in. As you all know DC tickles my fancy a lot and is a city I can easily drive to, that has the most drastic change in income (Atlanta is the same distance, and the housing only a smidgen more expensive than here).
I will admit that these percentages are a bit simplistic. How about we find a calculator with a little more meat. The Calculator.net Take Home Pay Calculator gives you a better idea, based on federal tax allowances, your state and city tax rates (if applicable) and a handful of other factors, what you will actually see each month. I like this one even better, because I can see how I need to budget on a month to month basis and how much I personally feel comfortable with paying with a certain salary rate. (The site defaults to $50,000 a year, I could also be happy with that with the right budget and habits).
The above assumes that I’m making this salary in North Carolina and that this is a salary and not self-employment income. However, I can play with any state scenario, frequency of payout and a few other areas.
Finally, the calculator that prompted my sliding-scale housing post, the New York Times Buy or Rent Calculator. This calculator takes something that’s normally presented as one of the calculators above and takes it to a different level. In fact, this calculator is so huge and so awesome, you’ll have to click on this
(I tried to make the link huge and awesome too).
So there you go, my favorite calculators when it comes to determining cost of living, budgets and of course, the rent/buy question. What are some other calendars that a placemaker could geek out over? I’m sure there’s some good transportation ones that I didn’t think of. Let me know in the comments or on social media.
This post is part of my participation in #NaBloPoMo, the time of the year when bloggers come together to pump out daily content and connect. Find out more about that project and how I’m participating, here and here.