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How to find out the increase or decrease of the cost of living for a family of 4 each
Old 01-24-2014, 06:55 AM   #1
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How to find out the increase or decrease of the cost of living for a family of 4 each

How to find out the cost of living each year going forward for a family of 4.
Thanks.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:15 AM   #2
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Because they are averaged across the county, the official cost of living numbers are often unrelated to the actual cost of living for any given family. If you keep track of your spending via Mint, or Quicken, you can compare your actual spending from one year to another. This is the only valid way to understand your particular cost situation.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:36 AM   #3
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There is a lot of data available on the web from various sources. To be most valuable to you, any estimates (guesses) of future cost of living (COL) changes must be based on your specifics. These specifics are location, what you currently spend money on, health status of the family members, and the best guess at future cost changes in these specific items.

I personally have broken down my costs into a couple of dozen categories and assigned a best guess future inflation rate to each. I did this in a spreadsheet to allow projections and to perform what-if scenarios. Of course expenses come and go and change with time and I factor those in as best I can.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveL View Post
Because they are averaged across the county, the official cost of living numbers are often unrelated to the actual cost of living for any given family. If you keep track of your spending via Mint, or Quicken, you can compare your actual spending from one year to another. This is the only valid way to understand your particular cost situation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics actually computes a (basket-of-goods) consumer price index by state and by regions within a state.

You can loo up your numbers here:

Consumer Price Index News Releases Issued by BLS Regional Information Offices
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:23 AM   #5
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I use 4% and over 12 years, it has been pretty close. Snowbirding in Mexico revised the costs downward in 2008 but the upward pressure continues. Renting out our northern place this year has also helped. Basically with those two changes, we can live forever!
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