Is an offer for $50,000 in New York City better than a $30,000 offer in Des Moines? While there are a variety of cost-of-living comparisons available, one of the best is provided on the Web at CollegeGrad.com:
This cost-of-living calculator will allow you to compare the actual cost of living in hundreds of cities throughout the United States, giving you a better understanding of the true value of your offer. You simply enter a salary, select the base city,then a target city. The salary calculator will respond in seconds with the comparable salary in the target city. You will find yourself playing out several "what ifs" throughout the country. You can also review salaries for over one thousand different occupations at CollegeGrad.com.
And in answer to the original question, $30,000 is worth more in Des Moines than $50,000 in New York. But New York is a lot more fun than Des Moines. But Des Moines has way more cows than New York. So it all evens out in the end.