I live in a small city (around 150-200K) on the west coast. It's a college town, which I know affects the cost of living. I work full time, and my husband is a graduate student. We live in a 1 bed/1 bath apartment (it's about 725 square feet) in a relatively large complex. We own one car (a Honda Civic), and I am usually the one to drive it. My husband frequently takes the bus when he needs to go places during weekdays.
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree, and I would guess that it cost about $80K-$100K in total for 8 semesters (including tuition, room and board, fees, and things like books). I went to a private university that used to be quite a good deal (comparatively), but now costs quite a bit more than I paid. If I had gone to my state's public university, I probably would have paid about 2/3 of what the private school cost (tuition would have been substantially less, but the cost of living would have been higher because of where it's located).
Currently, I am earning about $13/hour before taxes and other deductions. My take-home pay is more like $10/hour. Taxes include federal and state income taxes and payroll taxes. Deductions include my health insurance premium (it used to be free, now I pay about $30 per month after a subsidy my union negotiated for), my parking ($285 for the year, deducted monthly), and my union dues.
My husband is currently earning nothing, since he's run out of funding. Before that, he was getting around $10,000/year after taxes as his stipend, and did not have to pay tuition. Fortunately, we're able to get a deal on his tuition, so it's about $500/term for the bare minimum of credit hours.
Our rent is $675/month. It's absurdly cheap for this area, and is one reason why I will likely not move. If I were to rent the exact same apartment in this exact same complex as a new tenant, I think it would be more like $750-$800. A two bedroom apartment is at least $700/month, and probably more like $800 or $900 if you want one that isn't run down and/or in a sketchy neighborhood. It is not possible to rent any type of house for less than about $1,000/month.
Electricity is just about the only thing here that's cheap -- I pay around $60/month. Everything in my apartment runs on electricity, but I don't have an air conditioner. My apartment is also well-insulated, so we don't have to run the heat all that often. Water and trash pickup are included in my rent, so I don't pay those separately.
I pay about $90/month for my landline, internet, and unlimited long distance (none of my family is local and I call home a lot). I pay another $65/month for my husband's and my cell phones (we have a family plan -- this gets us 700 minutes, no texts, and no data). Other cell phone providers are probably a little cheaper, but the one we use is the only one that consistently works in less populated areas of this state.
I don't know what interest rates are like for me. I own my car outright (because my parents are awesome and bought it for me when I was in college), and since I rent, I don't pay a mortgage. I probably should pay attention to the interest rate on my credit card, but I pay it off each month so I've never owed interest on it.
My Honda Civic would have cost about $17,000 new in 2003. When my parents bought it in 2004, it was very gently used and cost about $12,000. Gas here is somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.80/gallon right now.
We spend about $400/month on groceries. No matter how good we are about not impulse buying and making lists and buying generic when we can, we haven't been able to cut it down. Food here is just expensive.
Similarly, if we want to eat in a restaurant that is not McDonald's, we can expect to pay at least $20, and $30-$40 (once you account for the tip) is more usual. And that's without sales tax, too, because my state doesn't have it.
I think a new release Blu-Ray would be around $20 at a store like Target, or maybe as much as $30. We're still living with a DVD player, and haven't even bought many DVDs lately, so I'm not sure.
Going to the movies is at least $10 per person unless you get a discount. I think it's a couple dollars less for my husband, since he's still a student.
I would expect a good pair of shoes to be around $80-$100, unless I was getting them on sale. I can find acceptable shoes at places like Target or DSW for $20 or so, but I wouldn't want to spend all day on my feet in them.
New books cost somewhere between $8-$15 for paperback, and more like $20-$30 for hardback. I prefer to buy books used, and so rarely spend more than $4 per book.