This is an exercise by the Tax Foundation, taking the state-by-state variations in the cost of living and expressing them as variations in how much spending power that century note gives you. It's all based on the national average to be called $100.
Hawaii has the lowest purchasing power of any state, turning $100 into a little less than $86. We're a few pennies worse than New York and New Jersey, but wages are much higher there. It's worth $113 to $114 in Mississippi, Arkansas and South Dakota.
Your own costs depend on certain key things. Costs are lower if you're off the grid, and if you don't drive a gas guzzler. Most Hawaii residents save on clothing. But the overwhelming top issue is housing. If you own your own home you're sitting pretty. If not, you're not.
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