Taking a job means more than just committing to an employer. Generally, it also means committing to life in a specific city, and the type of housing offered in your budget.
If you decide to live and work in more rural communities, you’ll likely have a larger house. However, in more urban areas, you’re looking at living in studio apartments or finding a roommate to split the cost of rent.
Because rent will always be one of your biggest expenses, it’s important to consider the housing options in a city before accepting or applying to schools and jobs in that area. Your college town may be where you settle down, so it’s important to consider if you can afford to live there after graduation.
The average rent for an apartment will always vary based on size, location, and quality. But, to give you a general idea, here’s what you would need to earn in order to live comfortably in some of North America’s most popular cities and college towns.
For many young people pre or post college, New York City is definitely a fan favourite. The culture, nightlife, fashion, and overall atmosphere is a big draw, but it comes with a hefty cost of living.
New York state has over 200 colleges, making it the nation’s largest college town! Approximately 110 of these schools are in New York City. The city houses almost 600,000 college students each year.
New York University alone has 11,000 students living in 23 different residence halls. But, what happens after campus life? Is it sustainable to move out on your own in New York?
The Following represents the average, monthly cost of rent in Downtown Manhattan:
One Bedroom: $3,450
Two Bedrooms: $4,138
The Following represents the average, monthly cost of rent in Downtown Brooklyn:
One Bedroom: $3,350
Two Bedrooms: $4,368
The minimum wage in New York City is $15/hour. If you’re making minimum wage, before taxes, you’re looking at around $2,400 a month and approximmetly $28,800 a year. Making it difficult to sustain a home in the city without a second income, especially if you’re also going to school.
With its unique entertainment opportunities, year-round beaches, and overall glamorous lifestyle, LA is a dream spot for many individuals in their early 20s. But, if Selling Sunset has taught us anything, it’s that this vacation lifestyle does not come cheap.
LA’s weather and overall atmosphere attracts thousands of college students each year. The city has 63 different colleges, totaling up to about 974,013 college students in just LA! Due to the sheer price of LA life, many students opt to live with roommates to cut down on costs – both in and out of campus residence.
The Following represents the average, monthly cost of rent in Downtown LA:
One Bedroom: $2,600
Two Bedrooms: $3,565
The Following represents the average, monthly cost of rent in Sherman Oaks:
One Bedroom: $2,085
Two Bedrooms: $2,698
Like New York City, the minimum wage in LA is $15/hour. At this income, it would be challenging to live comfortably in LA, especially while balancing school and work life.
Chicago, known for its unique architecture, plethora of food options, and bustling music scene, is another popular city for college-aged individuals. Located in the heart of the midwest, Chicago has lots to offer for young people looking to make their first big move!
The state of Illinois has around 184 colleges: 60 public, 89 nonprofit private schools, and 35 for-profit private institutions. Of these, over two dozen are located in the city of Chicago–making it a popular college town, with more than 670,000 students. Many of these students are from outside the state and even the country. 21% of University of Chicago’s students are international!
The Following represents the average, monthly cost of rent in Lakeview:
One Bedroom: $1,450
Two Bedrooms: $1,950
The Following represents the average, monthly cost of rent in Logan Square:
One Bedroom: $1,685
Two Bedrooms: $1,995
In Chicago, the minimum wage is also $15/hour, but only for companies with 21 or more employees. For smaller businesses, it’s $14/hour. At this rate, one could comfortably live in many of Chicago’s popular neighbourhoods. Making it a lot easier to balance a healthy work, school, and social life.
With year-round outdoor activities, numerous professional sports teams, advances in space exploration, and growing young population, Houston is quickly becoming one of the places to be.
The city of Houston has 40 different colleges! The University of Houston has 34,354 full-time and 12,736 part-time students. Part-time studying is a popular choice for students who balance work and school to better afford the cost of living.
The Following represents the average, monthly cost of rent in Downtown Houston:
One Bedroom: $2,095
Two Bedrooms: $2,772
The Following represents the average, monthly cost of rent in Midtown:
One Bedroom: $1,690
Two Bedrooms: $2,059
The minimum wage in Texas is currently $7.25. This would mean you roughly earn $1,160/month and $13,920/year. Therefore, in order to comfortably live in Houston, you would need to earn drastically over the minimum wage, or acquire a second income.
If you’re looking to move up north, Toronto is a popular choice for many business go-getters. The city is Canada’s largest, and is known worldwide for its advances in finance and technology. Those living in Toronto are also constantly exposed to a vast variety of cultural and entertaining experiences.
Unlike major US cities, the city of Toronto doesn’t house hundreds of colleges and universities. But, they have four top choices, and these four schools attract students from all across the globe. The University of Toronto has students from 164 different countries making up 21% of the school’s overall population.
The Following represents the average, monthly cost of rent in High Park:
Studio: $1,600 CAD
One Bedroom: $1,750 CAD
Two Bedrooms: $2,650 CAD
The Following represents the average, monthly cost of rent in East Danforth:
Studio: $1,211 CAD
One Bedroom: $1,450 CAD
Two Bedrooms: $2,150 CAD
The minimum wage in Toronto is $15 CAD/ hour. With the exchange rate, this is about $12 USD. At this salary, it wouldn’t be impossible to afford rent and other expenses in Toronto, but it sure wouldn’t be easy!
Montreal’s culture, nightlife, history, and multilingualism draws millions of people to the city each year. If you’re looking for a North American city with a European vibe, look no further!
Montreal is home to six universities and twelve junior colleges. Like Toronto, Montreal attracts students from all over the world, and is one of Canada’s major college towns. The city houses more than 180,000 university students, with approximately 35,000 of them from other nations!
The Following represents the average, monthly cost of rent in the Mile End:
Studio: $1,130 CAD
One Bedroom: $1,550 CAD
Two Bedrooms: $1,900 CAD
The Following represents the average, monthly cost of rent in Verdun-Centre:
Studio: $935 CAD
One Bedroom: $1,250 CAD
Two Bedrooms: $1,495 CAD
Montreal’s minimum wage is $14.25 CAD/hour. This is approximately $11.41 USD.
Making Montreal an affordable choice for those who are studying or just beginning to settle into the workforce.