Tiago Splitter wrote:Cost of living calculators really aren't that practical. It would cost twice as much to live in NYC if you tried to buy a 2500 square foot house with a pool like everyone has here in PHX, but no one lives like that in NYC.
You also will have your loans paid off pretty quickly if you are paying 3K per month on them. So after five years your standard of living should skyrocket if you stay in Biglaw, or alternatively you can switch into a lesser paying job (but still something that lets you live much better than you do now.)
Having said all that, I might be facing the same decision and have thought long and hard about these questions. It's not easy to stomach the thought of all that debt.
They're very practical. For example $2500 a month for an apartment in Atlanta would get you a huge one bedroom apartment with private garage, walk in closets, his and hers sinks, elevator, a living room and a balcony. $2500 for a manhattan or Brooklyn one bedroom near Manhattan might get you a good studio. The cost of living calculator will show you this by telling you that you would need a 350K salary in NYC to live like you would in Atlanta on 160K. Exactly what is the calculator missing?