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I'll graduate very soon with a computer engineering degree. I'm lucky enough to be in a field where there's a lot of openings in the city I live in right now (population: 100 000) but it requires a car to get by. I have the option of working for my friend with virtually equal pay (we're talking a few ten dollar bills in difference) in a much larger city (about a million people in the metropolitan area).

I only really have that friend in the bigger city, and I really only have my college friends here but my wife has a few ones here, so when it comes to friends and family, it's a toss up between the two. This is really just a dollar question.

It is much more expensive to live in the larger city, but I would not need a car (there's trams, trains and other stuff there, I was raised there and know I would make it without a car) and the possibility to get higher pay is of course greater.

What other factors are relevant in this decision beyond transportation, wages and home prices? In other words, what more should I look into to really find the place where I keep the most of my pay check post bills?

  • I have the option of working for my friend Have you thought about this in it's entirety. How about cost of living ? Eating out ? Entertainment ? Travel if required to places, other than work ? – DumbCoder Jun 1 '15 at 14:44
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    How does the choice of city impact your wife's ability to find a job, and her transportation requirements? – mhoran_psprep Jun 1 '15 at 14:49
  • The only things I've been thinking about is housing prices (renting and buying), commuting costs (with car payments included) and speculations about higher incomes. Eating out and entertainment would be much more expensive in the larger city, but it's far more centrally located in my small country so travelling to other places and has good train and plane coverage. – pimmen Jun 1 '15 at 14:49
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    @mhoran_psprep She's a teacher and there's a shortage all over the country, but their pay sucks everywhere. Even as a principal, we assume I will earn more. She is ok with walking too and is pretty comfident she'll find a job over there too. – pimmen Jun 1 '15 at 14:51
  • In the US, "cost of living index" tables are available which compare many cities. You might want to check whether your government publishes something similar. – keshlam Jun 1 '15 at 16:14
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There is a website called www.numbeo.com , which allows you to compare costs between 2 cities. I have used it before and it is quite accurate. It breaks down your expenses from groceries, to restaurants to transporation,to utilities, owning a home and many other things. If you do not find that useful, you can draw out a list of the things that they mention and use your own estimates.

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