What is the Real Cost of Living in Austin, TX?

November 12, 2021
Photo by Carlos Alfonso on Unsplash

Have you been considering relocating to Austin, TX but you’re unsure if you can afford living in this popular city?

For starters, the cost of living in Austin is not as high as many people assume. Generally speaking, this city isn’t considered to be among the most expensive in the country. Indeed, you can’t compare it to New York City and San Francisco.

Even so, if you’re considering taking the plunge, then it’s important to be in the know and have realistic expectations about what it costs to live here.

In this guide, we offer a basic overview of how much you should budget for housing, transportation, education, healthcare, food and more.

Housing Costs in Austin, TX

Housing is almost always the biggest expense when moving to a new place. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed rental prices lower in Austin, TX and other cities across the US. However, house prices in the city have generally been skyrocketing since the start of 2021. Despite this, Austin, TX, still remains among the most affordable cities to purchase a house or rent in the US.

If you want to save some money on accommodation, we recommend starting your search in the South Austin neighborhoods. For example, you can expect to spend around $1,300 for a one-bedroom apartment in places such as Riverside.

However, the cost is a little steeper in the more in-demand Downtown areas such as Rainey Street and Warehouse District. Here, you can expect to spend more than $2,300 for a one-bedroom apartment. Also, most high-end furnished apartments in Austin Texas can be found here.

As with most US cities, house prices fluctuate depending on seasons so you might want to check your timing too. Besides, you can choose to live on the city’s outskirts or get a roommate to save money.

Transportation Costs in Austin

Transportation is another vital factor to consider when calculating the cost of living anywhere. A single adult living in Austin should expect to spend around $5,000 per year on transportation. A family of two adults and two kids can expect to spend at least $13,000 on transportation per year. The average price for a gallon of gasoline stands at $2.175, which is lower than the national average of $3.00.

Meanwhile, public transport in Austin consists mainly of the Capital Metro Bus System. Other models of transportation include Lyft, Uber and rail.

On car insurance, it will cost you approximately $980 per year, which is significantly lower than the national average of $1400 per year.

Cost of Food

A single adult can expect to spend roughly $3,000 on food per year. A family of four – two adults and two kids – will pay approximately $9 000 per year for food.

A meal in one of the city’s restaurants cost roughly $30. That’s nearly 30% less than the same meal in New York City.

Groceries are exempted from sale and use tax in Texas and you will find basic needs such as bread, milk and eggs at affordable rates.

Utility Costs in Austin

Austin experiences mild winters and long, hot summers. Put otherwise, it has a humid subtropical climate. The good news is that electricity bills are considerably lower than the national average.

On average, you can expect to pay around $150 for electricity bills per month. Water, internet, and phone bills cost about $37, $50 and $157 respectively per month. You also have the option of installing solar panels for generating extra electricity.

Healthcare Costs in Austin

Austin’s healthcare costs will vary greatly depending on the number of individuals in your household and your personal health. With that in mind, healthcare can be more expensive in Texas than in other places.

The average healthcare cost for an employed adult is around $2700 per year. A married working couple with two children can expect to spend up to $8000 per month on healthcare expenses.

Average Salary in Austin

The city has one of the highest minimum wages of around $13 per hour. That’s almost double the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

An average worker can expect to make about $38,000 per year ($18 per hour). On the higher end of the salary spectrum, some jobs in the city can pay up to $29 per hour or $60,000 per year.

Ready to move to Austin?

The cost of living index in Austin, TX currently sits at around 119, thereby making it one of the affordable cities to live in the US. Taking out the housing costs, a single person can survive on approximately $900 per month. On the other hand, a family of three will spend roughly $2800 per month.

Nearly one million people call this city their home, and they can attest that living in Austin isn’t as heavy on their pocket when you consider their average income.

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