How well could you live on $40,000 in Charleston, or Charlotte?

How well could you live on $40,000 in Charleston, or Charlotte?

This is a discussion on How well could you live on $40,000 in Charleston, or Charlotte? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Our youngest son is looking at Fire fighter positions and both cities are recruiting. Both start at about $40,000 annually. That's about what he is ...

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Thread: How well could you live on $40,000 in Charleston, or Charlotte?

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    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    How well could you live on $40,000 in Charleston, or Charlotte?

    Our youngest son is looking at Fire fighter positions and both cities are recruiting. Both start at about $40,000 annually. That's about what he is making here, but it costs so much more to live here.
    So for those that live in those areas, Can you buy a house on that salary? Buy a new truck every 10 years or so? That is just starting pay but it gives us an idea of the possibilities. Thanks DR

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    Last edited by G26Raven; February 10th, 2020 at 07:05 AM.
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    Being from Charlotte, I can tell you that NC and Mecklenburg county will nickel and dime you to death with fees, taxes, etc., which one of the reason I will never return permanently to NC. They want to squeeze every drop of taxpayer dollar they can. I do know Charlotte housing has jumped a bunch in recent years.

    SC is a better choice dollar wise, but I cannot speak for the Charleston area itself.
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    Member Array rotorhead1026's Avatar
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    They’re much cheaper than any “major” metro area in California. State income taxes are surprisingly high, though.
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    Charleston area is high. We vacation there frequently and have good friends in the area. It's like any other touristy place, the closer you are to the attractions, beaches, downtown, historical places etc. The more expensive it is
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    Here are a few cost-of-living calculators. The more research your son does, the be

    https://www.payscale.com/cost-of-living-calculator

    https://www.bankrate.com/calculators...alculator.aspx

    https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/

    We checked as many calculators as we could find each time we moved, and they were all just guesses.
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    VIP Member Array MMinSC's Avatar
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    State income tax in SC is 7%, but hardly anyone will pay the top rate.

    Charleston is a little expensive now. A younger guy would probably want to buy a home in a "cool" neighborhood like Park Circle or Avondale, both of those probably run $250K for the least expensive smaller houses. Neither of those locations are in the historic district or the beaches, which would be considerably more, but they are fun spots with a lot of younger people. Properties farther out can be had for less. It is tough here right now due to the rapid growth. New Volvo factory=3,000 jobs, new Mercedes factory=3,000 jobs, etc. Something like 150 people move to the Charleston area daily.

    $40k living alone might be tight. Hard for me to say how well one could live as it has been years since I was younger and prices have changed. It is a great place to live.
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    The average national income is somewhere between $47,000 and $52,000 depending on which semi official web page you read. In any case:

    It has to be less costly to live in Charleston or Charlotte than in California. However, the lifestyle will have to be below "the national average."

    Still: A person who manages his or her money very carefully and makes a strict budget and follows it absolutely can live on that amount of income, and can even save some toward that new (read: used in good condition!) truck. The same goes for buying a house: Start small and modest, manage your money very carefully, cut out all unnecessary things (like out to dinner or movies or even buying a cup of coffee on the way to wherever), and over time you will build up savings that will enable to you upgrade your standard of living.

    I do not write the above lightly. It is the way I have lived most of my life.

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    VIP Member Array bigmacque's Avatar
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    If he's moving from CA to SC/NC that's a pretty big move. Unless there is some compelling reason to go to those areas, I'd suggest the screen shot below.
    Tennessee has no state income tax, and the cost of living in Franklin is exceptionally reasonable. Plus it's just a really pretty area to live.

    Attachment 313522
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    Member Array Any Day Now's Avatar
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    40K will go a lot further here than in commiefornia - no doubt about it.

    40K isn't bad - but obviously you're not "rolling in bucks" anywhere in the USA on that salary...

    Car loan = no problem...he would probably want to rent a while so he can decide where he really wants to live before buying anyway. It would give him time to save up for a down payment too.

    I know a few firefighters here and they work 24 on / 48 off. Most of the ones I know also have a part time job of one kind or another to supplement their income since they have so much time off.

    Hopefully he's good lookin...a handsome firefighter bachelor never has trouble getting dates haha...meet a pretty nurse or school teacher / put their salaries together and they will just fine

    Good luck!

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    Member Array Dial1911's Avatar
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    Are there any opportunities for him in Tennessee? No state income tax here.


    Example:
    https://money.cnn.com/magazines/mone...PL4715160.html
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    Distinguished Member Array DownInTheDark's Avatar
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    Last I checked the Williston, ND Fire Department was hiring. I think they start pretty close to 60k a year.

    Government jobs are easy to get in the oilfield towns. Most able body people in their 20s and 30s are looking for the quick cash over a pension.
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    VIP Member Array Havok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerranger View Post
    Our youngest son is looking at Fire fighter positions and both cities are recruiting. Both start at about $40,000 annually. That's about what he is making here, but it costs so much more to live here.
    So for those that live in those areas, Can you buy a house on that salary? Buy a new truck every 10 years or so? That is just starting pay but it gives us an idea of the possibilities. Thanks DR
    I dont know anything about that area, but here is one thing to consider. What shift schedule do they work? Depending on the schedule, it is very easy to manage living further away from work which might open up more options to make things more affordable than in the city. I work with quite a few people who live 1.5-2 hours from work, and a few who are even further than that.
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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    I know a friend went to Charleston PD & doing all right at 40 k to start. Got to manage you duckies a little, No problems ; )
    H/D
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    Take a look at Ft Mill, SC or Rock Hill, SC. They have almost become suburbs of Charlotte. Way more laid back with all the conveniences and an easy drive into Charlotte.
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