|cost of living|
|1.||a. the basic cost of the food, clothing, shelter, and fuel necessary to maintain life, esp at a standard regarded as basic or minimal|
|b. (as modifier): the cost-of-living index|
|2.||the average expenditure of a person or family in a given period|
The average cost of the basic necessities of life, including food, shelter, and clothing.
Note: In the United States, the cost of living is monitored in the consumer price index (formerly called the cost-of-living index), published monthly by the federal government.