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Thread: EPI Family Budget Calculator

  1. #1
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    EPI Family Budget Calculator

    This is interesting and pretty shocking. Useful for investigating cost of living in various states/counties.

    https://www.epi.org/resources/budget/budget-factsheets/

  2. #2
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    Very interesting. It is kind of shocking to see how much things are. I looked at about 5 different counties, and basically, if you have two kids and don't make $100k, you're not going to be able to afford a "modest but adequate" life.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    I looked at where we live now and it was somewhat off. It had people paying a lot every month in taxes and we are a very low tax state. Then I looked at where I lived in WI and KS and it had a amount that was way too high. My sons live in the same town in KS and one rents a small house for 450/month. If you are poor Wichita is a cheap place to live. WE could sell our small house here and buy a huge one there for the same $.

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    I think personal choices on life style do and can affect cost of living significantly. If you are OK with living without owning a vehicle and living in a location with good public transportation, and living a minimalist life so you can afford a smaller dwelling so to afford to live in a city that has good transportation, you can bring your cost of living down enough to make it as cheap as living way out in a "cheap" rural location where you need to own and heavily use a car. Health care cost and transportation are the two highest monthly costs everywhere in the US. If you are willing to live outside the US, you can find places with both good public transportation and health care so those two areas are decreased a whole lot. So if you pick a place where other costs are also lower than the US, you will be sitting pretty.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    I looked at where we live now and it was somewhat off. It had people paying a lot every month in taxes and we are a very low tax state. Then I looked at where I lived in WI and KS and it had a amount that was way too high. My sons live in the same town in KS and one rents a small house for 450/month. If you are poor Wichita is a cheap place to live. WE could sell our small house here and buy a huge one there for the same $.
    From what I can tell, the states with the lowest costs of living are Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas. But like I said, it is a matter of personal lifestyle. How much is it worth it to live in a particular state or county that you like because of whatever reason?

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    Trust me Kansas is very cheap. My 2 sons still live there as well as my ex and his wife. WE talk about it all the time when we get together. I flew there to get dental implants because I paid a fourth of the cost. Same thing with vet care. Housing is so cheap it is not funny. A house my ex and I built in 1994 for 86k is now only worth 138k. Car gas is much cheaper too. Unfortunately, we love our weather and the beauty here which I can't get in KS. But if it was all about $ that would be my choice. Our COL keeps going up because tech companies are moving here and CA retirees are coming in droves. Luckily we own our house because the prices are crazy. I can see the states you mentioned being cheap also.

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    Interesting about the dental implants.

  8. #8
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    One thing I know is, we all try to do better than the "average person" on expenditures on these kinds of budget charts. That is the only way to do it (including income as a component, of course), to get to FI.

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