Move.org has published a new survey on the average cost of living in the 75 largest metros in the country. San Francisco is the most expensive city, costing over $4200 a month on average. The cheapest: El Paso at $1100 month – 1/4 the cost! Honolulu: $2600. Of the 75 metros surveyed, more than half require less than $2k a month to live comfortably. See list. Clark names each affordable metro because so many live in high cost cities where home ownership out of reach. If you’re at an inflection point, be aware of affordable alternatives. Your future, your wallet – You’re NOT stuck wherever you are.
More products and services have become available for purchase on a per use basis. Transportation via ride sharing or Zip car, renting vs. buying a home, music and video subscription services. Renting or paying via micro loans for various things is trending. But clothing? The WSJ reports many retailers are offering this option for inexpensive clothing items. You can finance a $30 pair of pants over 3 to 6 months, usually with interest. If there’s a piece of fashion clothing you want and you can’t afford to pay for it, you should wait until you can. If it’s gone it’s gone. Borrowing for lifestyle harms your financial future. When you RENT something like clothing, or pay with a microloan from the register – these are not good choices. Just as with a car, you don’t lease because you can’t afford to buy. Make good long term choices for your wallet, not just what feels good at the moment.
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