Over the last decade, we’ve seen cities between the coasts rise in popularity. Technology, music, film and many other industries are moving outside of New York and Los Angeles, which means people aren’t just fleeing to the coasts to be in the center of it all.
Related: 10 states with the best economies
But while alternative cities rise in popularity, so do their costs of living.
This is important as more millennials gravitate to to mid-size cities and bring with them thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Costs of living prices are important when deciding where to live, especially when one already has a massive monthly student loan payment on the table.
For those looking for the next hot spot, it’s worth knowing the price of better opportunities and more culture before taking the plunge.
Related: 10 states wtih strongest job growth
GOBankingRates completed a study which looks at the American cities with the largest increase in cost of living expenses from 2016 to 2017. The expenses included in the ranking are rent, utilities, transportation, and health care.
The study outlines the increase in how much money it takes to live comfortably in that particular city (paying all bills while also having discretionary spending and savings) as well as its increase in the cost of living index, a point scale out of 100.
Related: 10 states where $100 goes farthest
Click through to see the list of cities with the fastest growing living costs.
10. New Orleans
Live comfortably amount increase: $1,221
Cost of living index increase: 2.15 points
Want to live easy in the Big Easy? With single-family home prices going up nearly 18 percent over the last two years, it now costs over $62,000 to make a home in New Orleans. Because of this, many in the city are stuck leasing less-than-great rentals and shoveling out a big portion of their paychecks to rent and utilities.
Live comfortably amount increase: $1,111
Cost of living index increase: 2.58 points
2016 was a great year for Indianapolis’ tech industry, and the cost of living in this city reflects as much. A better economy and an increase in home prices brings up the general cost of living here, but it’s still incredibly affordable, costing about $47,000 to live comfortably.
8. Virginia Beach
Live comfortably amount increase: $1,720
Cost of living index increase: 2.65 points
The problem with the cost of living in Virginia Beach is what happens in many growing cities: Wages aren’t keeping pace with housing costs. While the median price for a home in the city has risen modestly ($279,000 to $289,000), the salaries for middle class workers doesn’t match. Lower to middle income employees like teachers and store clerks are most affected by this change.
Live comfortably amount increase: $2,590
Cost of living index increase: 2.78 points
The City of Brotherly Love is getting more friendly to those seeking employment, adding more and more jobs to the economy. This growth puts the city ahead of New York for the first time in 25 years as the city with the fastest job growth. Many of these job opportunities are in education and health care, which alone had 27,000 jobs filled last year. Because of this growth and economic prosperity, home prices in Philly increased $20,000 last year from $155,000 to $174,900.
6. Los Angeles
Live comfortably amount increase: $1,676
Cost of living index increase: 2.89 points
Ah, an oldie but a goodie. L.A. has always been an expensive place to settle, but continues to get more out of reach for many people. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), someone making $50,000 a year in L.A. is considered low income. HUD says to live comfortably here, your salary needs to be at least $70,000. Home prices are also growing rapidly, another factor in making cost of living here a challenge for many.
Live comfortably amount increase: $2,095
Cost of living index increase: 3.36 points
Home prices in Jacksonville, Florida are climbing, with the median home price jumping 16 percent over the last two years. The good news is the job market is good in Jacksonville, with a lot of opportunities in tourism, health care, and retail being added.
Live comfortably amount increase: $1,407
Cost of living index increase: 3.84 points
Austin has seen major population growth in the last few years, leading to more traffic and a higher cost of living. While it is slowly costing more to live there, someone can still live comfortably for less than $55,000 a year.
Live comfortably amount increase: $2,066
Cost of living index increase: 4.49 points
Owning a home in Louisville, Kentucky is getting more expensive, with the median home price jumping $25,000 last year, up to $149,000. While home prices are rising and the $2,000 increase to live comfortably, it is not unattainable. A person making $49,000 a year can live comfortable in Louisville, and still afford a good Bourbon during Derby.
Live comfortably amount increase: $3,190
Cost of living index increase: 7.32 points
Economic growth in Seattle has blown up in the last few years, meaning home prices and cost of living expenses followed suit. In just two years, the median home price in Seattle jumped from $475,000 to $630,000. It takes a salary of more than $75,000 to live comfortably in Seattle, which is the second highest on this list. It’s causing many young people living in Seattle to consider moving to a cheaper city to maintain their lifestyle.
Live comfortably amount increase: $9,135
Cost of living index increase: 8.61 points
Nashville is seeing massive growth and an influx of wealth, which is totally transforming the housing market there. From 2015 to 2017, the median home price jumped 30 percent, from around $260,000 to $340,000, and it takes a salary of $70,000 to live comfortably.