Cost of Living in Portland, Maine

Big yikes.

Remember when Portland, Maine, was just a tiny city filled with locals who could afford to live here?

Ah, those were the days.

Blame it on whatever you want, there are many factors to this, but the cost of living in Portland, Maine, has skyrocketed at such an insane and alarming rate that it’s now barely livable for the working class who need places to live where their jobs are.

I used to be able to get through my daily life and tasks in this city and still have money left over to actually enjoy my life and now the cost of everything around us is so ridiculous that we are all in a panic mode.

The prices at our restaurants have increased substantially, basic items cost way more than they should, and rent isn’t feasible or sustainable.

Now before you start to tell me that this is the way it is around the country, I’d like to make one major point, so bear with me.

Living in Miami, Florida, Versus Portland, Maine

In a desperate effort to run away from Maine winters, and to also get my college degree, I fled Maine and made Miami my new home for a few years.

At the time, the cost of living in Portland vs. Miami was a massive jump and I obviously found myself spending a lot more on everything down there than up here.

While that was only a handful of years ago, times have changed.

My rent in Miami, while steep, covered everything I needed and even things I could have lived without. WiFi, electricity, heat, and water, were all included, while also having a private gym, outdoor pool and jacuzzi, ocean views, 24/7 front desk and security, and restaurants on-site, all in a beautiful skyrise in downtown Miami.

The rent may have been expensive for a 1-bedroom but what it came with made it all worth it.

Flash forward to me now living in Portland, Maine, and I am paying even more than I did in Miami and for a hell of a lot less.

I spent months searching for an affordable place to live alone within 30 miles of this city and the options were either places that were crumbling apart or places that I couldn’t afford.

It’s absolutely insane to me that Portland would cost more than a major metropolitan with a lot more to offer like Miami, but my main point is the worst part.

Yes, this is happening all over the country but the main issue with Maine is that we are not adjusting our income levels to match the rise in the cost of living. Yes, Miami is ridiculously expensive and so is everywhere else, but you also make a hell of a lot more money there.

If we are going to have comparable rent to major cities, then we need to have comparable incomes.

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