OFB 50 States Project: Massachusetts

The 50 States Project: Massachusetts

In The OFB 50 States Project, you the readers spill the beans about your state: the good, the bad, and the delicious. And thus provide “forever place” seekers (like yours truly) a useful resource in their search. We’d love to hear about your state! To be a part of this project, click here to fill out the form!

The Facts

Low State Taxes Ranking:  43

Low Cost of Living Ranking:  41

State Economy Ranking:  21

Average Temperatures (Boston):

  • Winter:  36°
  • Spring:  56°
  • Summer:  81°
  • Fall:  61°

The Nickname 

Massachusetts: The Bay State 

The Short of It

The state of Massachusetts is brought to you by the following awesome OFB readers:
1) Anna M.   //   2) rlk   //   3) D5   //   4) Rachael S.

What food best represents Massachusetts?

  • Every ethnic food imaginable! 1
  • Clam chowder 2
  • Linguica (Portuguese sausage) 3
  • Seafood 4

What song best represents Massachusetts?

How does MA refer to a carbonated beverage drink?

  • Soda 1, 2, 3
  • Tonic 4

If you could take a friend to one place in MA, where would it be?

  • Downtown Boston historical tour 1
  • Cape Cod 2
  • West Island Beach in Fairhaven 3
  • Boston, Symphony Hall (musician’s wife here ;)) 4

Boston street Cobblestone road in Beacon Hill/Boston

The Long of It

Biggest misconception about MA?

  • I suppose one misconception is that people up here are a bunch of liberal hippies. Of course, you will find more of that type of person up here than, say, South Carolina, but not as many people are “shoving their philosophy down your throat” as people in the South might have you believe.  1
  • That we’re all either elitist pricks or drunken morons who can’t pronounce the letter ‘R’. Look, we have a lot of college and universities in our state. After all, we were one of the original 13 colonies, so we’ve been around for a while. And yes, Southie gets a lot of coverage as far as hooliganism is concerned. But there are plenty of polite, educated people here who are proud of our history but also proud of Texas, Wisconsin, or California. 3
  • That it is too expensive to live here and that everyone is rude. (You just came from here, not true is it?!) OFB Note: Affirmative. Not true. 4

Best aspect about living in MA?

  • Tons of state parks, amazing US historical sites (e.g., Walden Pond, site of the Boston Tea Party, Salem,etc.), a more liberal outlook on a lot of issues… Boston strong! 1
  • Cape Cod and New England charm. 2
  • The seasons. We may complain when we get snowstorms in April, but you can’t beat how much one location can change in just a few passing weeks. 3
  • The abundance of cultural opportunities and the open minded people. It is a diverse state, and there is always something to do. The education is among the best in the world, in addition to healthcare. You get everything you need for big city living from Boston, and the small town feel from the surrounding neighborhoods. You are surrounded by gorgeous New England scenery, and other awesome states are just a short drive away. 4

Worst aspect about living in MA?

  • The winter! The cold lasts from October through April — and that is just a long time to be cold. 1
  • Winter/cold. 2
  • Trying to drive in Boston. Don’t do it. Seriously, just don’t. The city was designed when horses were only for rich folk and everybody else walked everywhere. Take the T or give yourself some extra time and just walk, the city isn’t that big after all and a little exercise never hurt anyone. 3
  • OK, I admit, it is a bit expensive. But I consider myself a very frugal person and I find the benefits far outweighs the costs. And it is not overly expensive because salaries compensate. 4

Summarize your feelings about Massachusetts in five words.

  • Both city and country. Diverse. 1
  • Boston, you’re my home. 2
  • I wouldn’t live anywhere else. 3
  • Community, opportunity, beauty, I love. 4

Our Freaking Take

We were fortunate to have recently called Massachusetts home. And while our time there was short lived (about a year), we can understand the draw that attracts and keeps people in the Bay State. Since we were carless, we really weren’t able to explore much outside of Boston (save a single trip to Walden Pond with some friends), so we hope to be able to explore the rest of what the state has to offer on our next New England road trip. As mentioned above, the winter was a little (a lot) longer than we like, but Boston in the summer is hard to beat. We miss our nightly walks around the harbor and North End. We miss Fenway Park. We miss the pizza and cash-only burger joint down our street that was definitely run by the mafia. We don’t know if MA is in our forever place cards, but we definitely won’t rule it out.

How did these answers line up with your perception of Massachusetts? Have your thoughts on the state changed after reading this? Could you see it fitting your forever-place bill? 

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  • Reply Brian May 3, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I had a friend who went to Harvard, so I visited Boston a few times. Maybe it is because I live in an extremely affordable city, but that place seemed really pricey to me. Also I cannot STAND Boston sports fans… there I said… and I won’t take it back

    • Reply Johnny May 6, 2013 at 12:24 am

      Pricey is definitely relative. Coming from New York, Boston seemed like a better deal. But now that we’re out of city-life, it seems a little pricey. For the big cities, it’s definitely seemed like one of the more reasonably priced ones.

      I was totally indifferent about Boston sports fans moving into the city. And I came out a HUGE fan. Last year during the Stanley Cup playoffs, it was blistering hot in the city, so we had our windows open. I stumbled on the game and started watching. With every shot, save, goal, you could hear live reaction from fellow Boston fans across the city. It was so awesome to be in a city that was so invested in their sports. I grew to really appreciate that aspect, regardless of the teams they supported.

  • Reply Sabrina May 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I just want to point one thing out that these fabulous readers missed……..Western Mass. While I agree with most of what they said, they didn’t mention just how fabulous western Mass is. I admit I’m a bit partial to that side of the state. I was born there, and most of my extended family still lives there. It’s not as city-like as Boston, depending on what part you’re in, but it is gorgeous. I lived 30 miles north of Springfield at the foothills of the mountains. You are so close to Vermont and Connecticut and Boston is a 1 1/2 – 2 hours away making for a great day trip. If my husband didn’t have a hate relationship with snow, I would push him to move to Mass every day until he finally caved. Thank you for not making me wait til state #50 o brag about my home state. HAHAHA!!!

    • Reply Johnny May 6, 2013 at 12:28 am

      Thanks for chiming in and offering up a little info on western Mass. The most we saw of the area was on our way out in our moving truck :(. What we did see was beautiful. But we definitely plan on exploring that area a bit more the next time we’re up there on a road trip. I’m sorta with your husband though on the snow/cold weather thing. It’s not a total dealbreaker, but this Southern California blood of mine doesn’t fare well in months and months of cold.

      • Reply Sabrina May 6, 2013 at 8:39 am

        LOL! That’s exactly how my husband is. He was born and raised in GA and even the Marine Corp kept him in the Southeast, so for him the hotter, the better. haha! I know you can’t always pick the time of year of you explore an area, but if you can pick a season, definitely check out the fall in October. Having lived in Boston, I’m sure you already know how beautiful the fall in New England is, but it’s defintely worth a look in the mountains and if you guys ever need a few places to explore, I’d be happy to give you a few ideas! 🙂

        • Reply Johnny May 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm

          Awesome. Thanks for the tips, and we’ll definitely be in touch should we head out there this summer/fall.

  • Reply Lisa @ Elle Sees May 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    It’s true, the worst part of MA is the snow. I learned to really, really hate snow when I went to school in Boston. I’d also like to mention Sturbridge Village and Plimoth Plantation? For those of us who like historical villages, this state is pretty great.

    • Reply Johnny May 6, 2013 at 12:29 am

      Awesome suggestions! I’m a huge fan of historical sites and tours, so I’m really bummed we didn’t go to either. The other area I really wanted to explore was Salem, so we’re adding that and Plymouth to our growing list of places to check out when we return for a visit.

  • Reply Vanessa@cashcowcouple.com May 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

    I don’t think I could live there permanently, but I would definitely like to visit during an 80 degree summer day!

    • Reply Johnny May 6, 2013 at 12:31 am

      I don’t a place I’d rather be in the middle of summer than Fenway Park.

  • Reply Budget and the Beach May 4, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I think that it’s a lot in line with what I imagined it would be. I’ve never been to Mass, but I have a friend who lives there now so I plan on visiting. I’m enjoying this series because I too think about possibly living someplace different, but I’m still not sure where…or if I really want to leave. If you need someone to represent California, let me know…although you might want to break that up into N. Cali and S. Cali because as you know they are like two different states.

    • Reply Johnny May 6, 2013 at 12:36 am

      Good call on splitting up the state. Northern California is completely foreign to me, save a few random high school trips to Sacramento. And if that’s what NorCal is like, no thanks. 🙂

      We’d love any and all input on states, so feel free to fill out the form here if you’re interested: http://www.ourfreakingbudget.com/the-ofb-50-states-project/

  • Reply Becky @ RunFunDone May 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    I like hearing about the state, but I like even more reading the word, “hooliganism.” Hilarious.

    • Reply Johnny May 6, 2013 at 12:37 am

      Gotta watch out for them Southies. 🙂

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