Typically this term refers to how much it costs to live measured by metrics such as the Consumer Price Index which reflects the costs of daily living based on the current price of everything from groceries to gas to interest rates.
Perhaps there is another way of looking at the “cost of living”? How about the “cost to living”. This is based on the basic fundamental obligation to others of paying back your debts. If you borrowed money from a bank or a friend or a family member your responsibility is to pay it back.
If you don’t live up to your obligation the cost is much greater than the actual debt. There is a lingering and growing feeling of betrayal. The damage to your personal accounts of trust is something that you can’t afford because now it’s not about the money it’s about the diminished value of the relationship. Not to mention the damage to your reputation.
I wonder, who can afford to live like that? Sounds pretty expensive to me.