What Can You Buy for $100?

What Can You Buy for $100?
Anne Johnson

Your Starbucks coffee may be more expensive than you’re used to when you travel. Going to different regions in the United States or even a state can be a real eye-opener when it comes to pricing.

Just like each state is distinct, the value of $100 is also unique. Knowing what it takes to live in an area can help when relocating or taking a new job. How much can you buy for $100 in various states and cities?

A $100 Value Impacts Finances

The money an individual needs to maintain their standard of living is the cost of living. In other words, what is your $100 bill worth in a specific area, and can it give you the financial life you want?

For example, you might live comfortably in Alabama, but need help making ends meet with the same salary in California.

There will be a difference between states like Hawaii and West Virginia. At Hawaii, $100 will buy you $86.80 worth of goods. West Virginia comes in at $109.20 worth of goods.

But what about all the states in between? How much of a disparity is there?

The top five states where your $100 is worth less are:
  • Hawaii—$86.80
  • California—$88.20
  • New York—$90.50
  • New Jersey—$90.90
  • Washington—$91.10
  • Massachusetts—$93.40
  • Maryland—$93.80
  • Alaska—$95.60
  • Colorado—$97.00 (tie)
  • Oregon—$97.00 (tie)
This information is vital to know. It can impact the quality of your life. This is especially true for remote workers who can live anywhere. Your salary follows you, but your $100 worth does not.
There are states where there’s more bang for the buck. A $100 goes further in these states:
  • Mississippi—$113.40
  • Alabama—$111.90
  • Kentucky—$110.90
  • Arkansas—$110.60
  • Iowa—$110.40
  • New Mexico—$110.10
  • South Dakota—109.90
  • Oklahoma—$109.70
  • West Virginia—109.20
  • Tennessee—$109.10
Utah is in the middle of the pack (25th) with a real value for $100 at $105.40. This is still a better value than the top states where $100 is less.

What Can You Buy for $100 in Metropolitan Areas

Some metro areas in the United States weigh in worse than their state for real $100 value. For example, although California’s $100 is valued at $88.20, San Francisco’s real value comes in at $83.45. That’s the worst metro area in the nation. San Diego comes in the second worst at $86.84.
One of the best metro areas is Springfield, Missouri, at $112.23 for $100. Other metro areas with more value for $100 include Columbus, Ohio, at $105.24, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at $105.09. Atlanta, Georgia, with $100.89 holds, is about even.

What Can You Buy for $100 in Rural Areas

There’s an old saying that “eggs are cheaper in the country.” And it’s well known that the $100 bill goes a lot further in the rural areas than in the metro. But how much more can you buy for $100 if you live outside the city?
In rural Texas, the value of $ 100 is $110.57. Georgia’s country living is $114.12, and Kansas comes in at $110.38. The rest of the country’s rural areas follow suit.

Housing Contributes to Dollar’s Value

Housing costs significantly indicate how far your $100 will go. For example, Hawaii, with the lowest value of $100, has the highest home costs. The typical home in Hawaii will run you $966,545.
Second-place California’s average home value is $747,628. Utah, at number 25 and has a $100 value of $105.40, rings in at an average of $523,236 for a house. Finally, Mississippi, which has a real $100 value of $113.40, has its homes on average at $164,965.

Discretionary Spending and Happiness

Some spending is for essential needs. These include housing, food, utilities, etc. But “fun” money isn’t readily available if you’re paying more in California for a dozen eggs than someone in Georgia.

Your $100 can only buy so much recreation, entertainment, or other purchases that lead to quality of life.

Some will argue that San Francisco, a bigger metro area, has more to offer than Springfield. If your $100 doesn’t go as far in San Franciso as in Springfield, how do you take advantage of San Francisco’s extras?

Know What $100 Is Worth

If you’re living in Ohio, making the state’s average $61,938, you need to negotiate quite a bit more to make a move to California. If you’re barely making ends meet with $100 worth $107.50 in Ohio, you will have trouble surviving in California; your paycheck won’t give you the same value. To determine what you'll need to live in a state or metro area, this cost of living calculator might help.

Businesses considering relocating to a state also need to know the value of $100 for their future state. The salaries you pay may need to be based on this. It can blow an operations budget fast once you start staffing or transferring employees.

The Epoch Times copyright © 2024. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors. They are meant for general informational purposes only and should not be construed or interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide investment, tax, legal, financial planning, estate planning, or any other personal finance advice. The Epoch Times holds no liability for the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.
Anne Johnson was a commercial property & casualty insurance agent for nine years. She was also licensed in health and life insurance. Anne went on to own an advertising agency where she worked with businesses. She has been writing about personal finance for ten years.
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