If you are anything like me, you grew up longing to live in a big city like Los Angeles, Chicago, or New York, but what I didn't realize before making my dreams a reality were all of the costs involved. Here are some expenses I wish I had known about before making the big leap.
Cell phone taxes
Sure, all cell phones come with taxes, but where you live does make a difference. Month after month I began realizing city life effects everything. I found this out the hard way on my cell phone bill. Every city has different taxes and rates, so when I went from small town Nebraska to Chicago, I nearly collapsed when I learned how much I would be spending in taxes a month. On my cell phone bill, I currently pay an Illinois state sales tax, Cook County sales tax, Chicago 911 tax, Chicago City and state excise tax, Chicago city sales tax, and a Chicago city utility tax. These taxes tack on between $10 and $20 each month.
Before my big move, the only things on my welcome to-do list were my license and tag. Turns out there are city stickers that every resident car must have on their vehicle if they want to avoid a $200 ticket. In addition, most residential streets have permit parking only. There are different types of permits, and if your neighborhood street has a permit sign, you must go buy one, or expect a $75 ticket.
Depending on what large city you move to, taxes could be on the docket for increases quite often because of city debt. To relieve the cities burden, they often raise property taxes, state taxes, and ward taxes. Although the increase may seem slight, they add up over time. I especially realize the burden every time I go grocery shopping.
Just when I thought my car insurance couldn't get any higher, I moved to Chicago. This of course, increased my risk for accidents, theft, and the list goes on. That also meant an increase in insurance by hundreds yearly. The only way to lower this amount was to drop nearly all coverage, which I did. Months later my vehicle was broken into by shattering a window. This wasn't covered since I dropped full coverage, which made me realize it is important to have as much insurance as possible in a big city. On top of that, there is renters insurance that is required by many landlords and worth getting.
These are just a few of the price increases you can expect in a big city. And this is in addition to high home prices, and staggering rent. Looking back on all these expenses, living in the city was not worth it!
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
- Investing Education