Sustenance of good living standards with a given amount of income can vary differently across two or more states, a situation which is in economics known as the difference in purchasing power parity (Michael 199-226). Having lived in two different towns of different states, I was able to understand that covering expenses can be easy in one town but harder in another with the same amount of income. To be more specific, I have lived in San Diego, CA and Mobile, AL. Through clear observation and approximation of expenditures between the two towns, I was able to understand that the cost of living in San Diego is higher compared to that of Mobile. The paper below discusses the difference in Cost of Living in San Diego, CA with that of Mobile, AL using statistics and observations made after spending quite a relevant amount of time in the two metropolises.
The Variance in Cost of Living
To begin with, the significant variance in costs of living in different cities is not a misconception, it is a fact. What you earn in Mobile of Alabama can turn to be insufficient if you were to spend it in San Diego. Furthermore, the difference is created on all grounds that need expenditure including markets, food points, transportation, monthly utilities, rent per month, the cost of finance, and salaries. While living in San Diego, I had a first-hand experience of the high cost of living in this city . I did not take much time to realize that life was relevantly cheaper in Mobile than in San Diego since my purchasing power improved. Moreover, my saving rate was much more than that in San Diego Due to the lower costs of consumer goods in Mobile compared to those in San Diego, my standards of living improve. On overall, the improvement in my standards of living was the main indicator that things were changing compared to the initial life in California.
Availability of goods and services of high quality is one thing, however, having the economic power to possess or access these goods and services is another. San Diego was full of the high standard services and seemed to be a good place to lead a life as a student, especially when it is the responsibility of the family to pay for these bills. The process of acquiring the good life in San Diego was a challenge considering the price of services. Taking an example, a monthly transportation pass costs $100 on the basis of regular price. When compared to Mobile, the same service at similar standards costs $44.50 (Sperling’s Best Places). Impliedly, the cost of transportation in San Diego is two times that of Mobile, AL.
From the point above, it is important to say leading a comfortable life is dependent on the ability to have access to different goods and services that make life comfortable. In San Diego, there were a lot of services that can make life comfortable. Unfortunately, they were highly priced than those in Alabama. Higher economic power is not an indicator that an individual is rich. Simply, it indicates that the price at which the goods and services were made available is beyond the ability of a middle-class personality. Mobile is not as developed and glamorous as San Diego, however, life in it was comfortable considering the fact that the cost of living was lower. This low cost of services is reliable and gives an easy time to all the people and international student’s that need to clearly organize the budget and ensure the best is made from the little that is available. Comfortability is defined as the ability to acquire comfort using the least amount of resources available (Stephen).
Moving around in a city without a car is not an easy task in very town and Mobile in this case. In San Diego, there was zero potential to save much enough to acquire a personal car. The cause of this was the cost of living which in most cases left nothing to save after planning and implementing the budget. To be more specific, in Mobile, I was able to have the chance to save enough to buy a car. The acquisition till date is considered a dream that finally came true. The implementation was enhanced more with the low prices of petrol which was the source of energy from then new transport system. The price of gasoline was $0.57 higher in San Diego compared to mobile where a gallon of gasoline went for $2.00 only. Statistically, fueling in San Diego is 25% more compared to Mobile city (Sperling’s Best Places). To reach different places and on time in San Diego, the only reliable way out was the Uber system which catalyzed the inability to save funds for future plans and investments.
Living in an own apartment as an international student learning English is a great achievement but this achievement is not feasible especially when the price of renting a spacious apartment. A good apartment is a comfortable place to live. I had information from Sperling’s Best Places that apartments are cheap in Mobile but I did not believe this until I made the choice to move and make a progress in my English studies in Mobile. When making arrangements to move to the new town, I came to realize that apartments in San Diego are five times more expensive than those in Mobile. Better still, apartments in Mobile are more spacious and comfortable.
My experience in Mobile showed me that a person can reduce his/ her sustenance, utilities, and well-being costs by relocating to this place from San Diego. As indicated by Sperling’s Best Places, when living in San Diego, one should be prepared to spend nearly 13% more for nourishment, 11% for utilities, and 31% more for basic consumer products (Cost of Living Comparison) than when living in Mobile. I was also shocked when at the checkout in Mobile’s grocery store, I paid roughly $30 less for the customary arrangement of items than in San Diego. Better still, I discovered that now I was now required to pay less for a haircut and minor repairs for my vehicle.
The cost of living in Mobile enable me to have a chance to save some cash and purchase my own particular auto as my salary seemed more and expanded. Nevertheless, it was inconceivable for me to set aside cash in San Diego. Living in Mobile was beneficial for my undergraduate studies, especially due to the low cost of consumer goods. Consequently, I have been able to afford more luxuries such as accomplishing more excursions, visiting more intriguing spots in the city, as well as having the chance to save my excess cash.
Basing my conclusion in a statistical example, one needs at least $5,3345 in San Diego, California to live a life of great standards. A similar kind of life can be maintained with $3,700 in Mobile Alabama. From the figures, it is clear that the cost of living in San Diego is almost twice that of Mobile City. A lot can be done in terms of saving in a city where the cost of living lower. The whole discussion is clear evidence of how the cost of living varies between different cities in different states in the United States. As a consequence, an individual should always make prudent decisions on where to reside based on both the cost of living in a given location as well as the chances of finding a job that can comfortably pay for his basic costs.
Kusek, Stephen. “Low-Cost Heliostat Development Phase II Final Report.” 2013. Web.
Reich, Michael. “Living Wage Ordinances in California.” State of California Labor, vol. 2003, no. 1, 2013, pp. 199-226.
Sperling’s Best Places. Compare Cost of Living. 2016. Web.