Don’t move away from New Jersey: Life’s not cheaper down South
Heads up, New Jersey!
It may not be THAT beneficial for your bank account to move out of state and I have proof!
My friend Dave came to visit over this past weekend. He was born and raised in Toms River but now lives in South Carolina.
Guess what: It is not that much cheaper to live down South.
Before we get into the specifics, know that things were much cheaper in South Carolina when he first moved down there back in 2019.
However, prices never bounced back once prices started to increase during COVID-19.
To start, it is more expensive to own a car — here's why.
In South Carolina, you have to pay property tax for your vehicle. (Um, what?)
It depends on your car's mileage, year and make but it could be an additional $500 per year. If you don't pay it, you don't get the stickers needed for your license plate.
When Dave first moved down there, it also cost about one month's rent to register and switch his license plates thanks to the out-of-state fees, retitling fees and the other fees because they wanted to fees.
Dave says he pays about $1550 for a small three-bedroom, two-bathroom, cottage which isn't too different to what he would look for in the Garden State.
"I've lived in New Jersey long enough to know that I could get something of the same caliber in the same price range."
As far as food, the insane prices seem to be about the same for both states.
"I was walking through Lavallette's ACME and I couldn't tell the difference in overall cost between here and down South. Everyone is hurting everywhere."
There are two areas where Dave knows for a fact he could be saving money.
One is gas. As of now, it is about 50 cents cheaper per gallon.
However, Dave doesn't get to cash in on savings for one that you would think is a given: property taxes.
"My aunt pays less than half in property taxes in South Carolina than she did in New Jersey, but that is not a surprise."
But guess what? Dave doesn't own property like a lot of us other millennials.
Awesome, so there is no solution to not having money -- even down South.
"Nicole, if you moved out of Jersey to South Carolina to rent an apartment, you wouldn't see that big of a difference in cost of living. It'd be for nothing."
Things have always been tough but when the cost of living for New Jersey and South Carolina are pennies apart, it is clear we have a bigger problem on our hands.
How does one fix being broke? Asking for a friend....
If you are HURTING, it is not just you. Here's how much prices spiked in the last year: