Of major cities in Upstate New York, Buffalo ranks the lowest in cost of living, according to research from the Economic Policy Institute in Washington D.C.
A family of four, with two adults and two children, could maintain a "modest yet adequate" standard of living in Buffalo for $7,339 per month or $88,071 per year. For comparison, the closest city to those numbers upstate is Rochester where the same standard of living could be maintained for $7,775 per month or $93,296 per year.
EPI's research looks at each geographic area and compares costs of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, taxes and other necessities.
You can access the institute's family budget calculator here, which will show you what it estimates different sized families need to make in order to have a modest standard of living in locations across the country.
Here's how expensive the yearly cost of living is for a family of four in different metropolitan areas across the state:
- Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls: $88,071
- Rochester: $93,296
- Binghamton: $94,082
- Syracuse: $96,173
- Albany-Schenectady-Troy: $101,855
- New York: $124,129
EPI estimates child care costs families in Buffalo the most, at about $1,946 per month. Other necessities come in as the lowest of the listed expenses for families at $626 per month. Those expenses "include apparel, personal care, household supplies (which include items ranging from furnishings to cleaning supplies to phone service), reading materials, and school supplies".
Pat and Billy Sandora-Nastyn moved to Buffalo from New York City four years ago, so they know something about the cost of living in different parts of the state.
"Our money definitely goes a lot farther here in Buffalo," Pat explained. "We bought a home a few years ago and our mortgage is about half the cost our rent was for a little apartment in Manhattan so that's definitely a plus."
"We realized maybe we could stay in New York and we looked at the other end of the state," Billy said. "We looked at Western New York and Buffalo was a great option."
Pat and Billy let people follow along on their journey to Buffalo on their YouTube channel. They share stories about their life together and also create many videos highlighting the different things they enjoy doing in WNY.
"And now we have a big focus on promoting Buffalo and all the cool, fun, exciting things there are to do here," Pat said.