I am looking for an entry level Electrical Engineering Job and have 3 current offers. Assuming benefit packages are close to the same, which one is better when taking into account the cost of living and how do I calculate it?

  • $65,000 in Cleveland, OH or
  • $74,000 in Boston, MA
  • or $84,000 in Seattle, WA

Ideally the answer will walk me through how to calculate the answer so I can do this with any more offers I receive.

  • 1
    Did you do any research on your own ? Asking somebody to do your work is being lazy.
    – DumbCoder
    Jul 17, 2017 at 11:45
  • 1
    @DumbCoder I have researched it, there is no magic calculation and I am curious for different perspectives.
    – Joe S
    Jul 17, 2017 at 12:03

2 Answers 2


This site gives a cost-of-living index for major cities around the world. Cleveland scores 149, Boston scores 211 and Seattle scores 198. So dividing the salary on offer by the index, you'd be getting an adjusted $43,600 in Cleveland, $42,400 in Seattle or $35,100 in Boston. Boston is out, but there's not much to choose between Cleveland and Seattle, and you might want to consider which city you'd prefer to live in based on other factors. Of course, you might disagree with their methodology.

  • 1
    If you are outdoors kind of person, Seattle wins. Its tough to get over the constant rain, but if you are snow sking, hiking, and going to the other side of the mountains it can be a lot of fun. Great answer Mike.
    – Pete B.
    Jul 17, 2017 at 11:48

According to the NerdWallet, an income of $65,000 a year in Cleveland equates to about $97,000 in Boston and $94,000 in Seattle. Housing will be your biggest cost - take a look at some rental sites to determine if what is there meets your expectations.

You could definitely use the calculator to help you decide. If it were me, I would ask friends or family who live in those areas what cost of living is like. However, everyone has different financial priorities and living styles. Someone could live (and do live in Seattle) for $50,000 and live comfortably, while another could live in Cleveland for $100,000 and be in loads of debt.

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