The song was originally called “The Application.” It tells the story of an un-employed husband and father trying to find work in a struggling economy. Dunn says the song had been “been pitched all around town” until it finally ended up in his hands a few years ago.
“There is a very unique story about ['Cost Of Living'], Dunn tells Country Music Is Love. “That song came to me in 2008. Phillip Coleman had written almost the entire song, all the verses and stuff. It didn’t have a title. It didn’t have a hook line [or] a chorus. I asked when I first heard it, if I could have a shot at it, ‘could you just give me two days. I won’t hold it up or anything.’”
Dunn says this is one of the songs on the album that he gets “most excited” about.
“This [song] is not manipulated, it wasn’t written to exploit the economy,” Dunn explains. “[Phillip] is out there working for a living, mowing yards to pay the way for his wife and daughter.”