shadowofjazz wrote:To compare $160K in both,
- Assuming filing single.
- Take out state and federal income taxes, and you're at $110K in NYC (itemized deductions) and $125K in Texas (standard deduction since no state tax). Only one personal exemption claimed.
- Take out SS and Medicare you're at $100K in NYC, $115K in Texas.
- Take out housing ($2,500 a month in NYC, $1000 a month in Texas), and you're at $70K in NYC, $103K in Texas.
- Take out COL (food, cable/internet, transit, etc. - $700ish a month in NYC, $350ish a month in Houston), and you're at $60K in NYC and $98K in Texas.
-Assuming full sticker debt at $225K (monthly payments would be $2,570 roughly), you're at $27K in NYC and $65K in Texas.
If you assume you save the same dollar amount in NYC and Texas, you can put WAY more toward loans or savings or whatever in Texas. An extra $20K-$30K in NYC (e.g. NY to 190) would help equalize when accounting for COL and locality and state taxes when compared to Texas and other low COL states. You would need a much lower starting salary in Texas to feel the same "crunch" someone in NYC feels (around $70K, as wiz stated above). If someone has undergrad loans, or a mortgage, (or a wedding to pay for), the disposable income discrepancy becomes larger.
Having lived in both...
$2,500 for housing in NYC? lol.
Restaurants aren't cheaper in TX by much ($7-9 meals versus 9-11 in NYC); Cable/internet is the same;
Groceries from the market are way more expensive (if not on sale) but using instacart, the cost is greatly alleviated. Barely more.
Transit is substantially more in TX (You need a car versus $112/month for the subway IF that +/- cabs are cheap too)
If you go drinking in TX, cabs will cost way more. Can't walk home either.
Assume 5k/year for car loan + 2k/year for gas + 1k/year for insurance
Sure, there are more things to do in NYC and you can waste your money faster (drinks being more expensive is huge) but, baseline, it isn't that much more and factoring in transit, very likely could be substantially cheaper.
The biggest cost difference is really just housing. If you need to spend $2,500 in NYC to find something comfortable, you will very likely save a substantial amount of money in Texas. If you can get by with roommates spending 1,000-1,500, the difference really isn't very stark (minus taxes).
(I paid 1,300 and $900 twice for housing in NYC so far - 1300 by NYU and 900 for a 20 minute subway to midtown from manhattan/25 min to downtown from BK)