2017 was an expensive year for cost of living, and 2018 was predicted to be even more expensive. In December of 2017, GOBanking released its list of 20 cities whose cost of living increased most dramatically year over year. Although this trend could be seen nationwide, there were a handful of cities that stood out including Eugene, Oregon; St. Paul, Minnesota and Nashville, Tennessee.
As for why cost of living is increasing at such a rate, the answer is likely due to rising housing costs. In an article written by James Dennin of Mic.com, it is suggested that housing takes up anywhere from 16% to 37% of take-home pay. Where housing costs are high, cost of living is bound to be high too.
So here we are, halfway through 2018, and experts are watching these predictions closely. At Forbes, a study was devised to measure the most significant increases in cost of living from 2017 to 2018. Here’s how it worked: First, it was necessary to analyze annual costs for basic needs—i.e. one-bedroom apartment rent, groceries, utilities, health and transportation. Next, apply the 50/30/20 budgeting rule. The what?? The 50/30/20 budgeting rule. This allocates 50% of your income to necessities, 30% to luxuries and 20% to savings. Through this method, Forbes was able to create an updated list of cities where cost of living is rising the fastest.
The results showed the cost of living increase was most significant in Colorado Springs, followed by Austin and Columbus. Here’s the top ten:
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Austin, TX
- Columbus, OH
- Fresno, CA
- Arlington, TX
- Fort Worth, TX
- Virginia Beach, VA
- Sacramento, CA
- Wichita, KS
- San Antonio, TX
Check out the full list in the article below.
Impact and Implications When cost of living rises quickly, its ripple effects can be felt through many different parts of society and the economy. Expensive living costs discourage new lower-income families from moving in, which can undermine burgeoning industries by eliminating their potential pool of labor. If the rapid rise in cost of living isn't eventually checked, wealth inequality will only continue to get worse, not to mention gentrification. In a subtle yet important way, increasing cost of living reduces people’s ability to put more money towards opportunities. Rising costs of living affect both the lower class and middle class. But it’s the middle class that plays the key role traditionally of funding the sort of small-to-midsize investments that, when taken together, lead to long-term prosperity and sustainability.