Austin Cost of Living – Living Comfortably in the Texas Capital
If you’re planning to relocate to the capital of Texas, known as one of the sunniest cities in America with a fantastic culture and friendly locals, you should get familiar with the Austin cost of living and see how much does it cost to live a decent life there.
What You Should Know About Austin Before Moving There
If you are worried about adjusting to a new location and getting relocation depression, know that the capital of the Lone Star State has a little bit of everything for everyone – rich history, delicious Tex-Mex cuisine, excellent museums, famous clubs with live music, and beautiful parks. This is the place where one can always find something that appeals to his or her taste. But, to live comfortably in it, you should know that ATX is the least affordable place in TX, according to some nationwide analyses.
The good news, if you are planning on changing the address know that ATX’s area still ranks among the cheaper large metropolitan cities to live, work, and have fun in.
As the Nation’s Fastest Growing City, Austin, TX, Is Considered a Hot City to Settle Down
When you decided where to move, you picked the right place, this state capital is packed with friendly people, arts, activities, and it also features a booming economy. If you’re planning to join the 150 people who move to this place every single day, you should know why ATX is such a desirable destination to put down roots:
There are so many fun things to do (best nightlife scenes, many festivals, food truck heaven, etc.)
Take Into Consideration the Cost of Living Index
Globally, ATX is a moderately expensive place but has comparably high salaries to offset the overall expenses. According to a recent study, it is the 12th most expensive US place to relocate to, with the cost of living (COL) index of 68.03.
And you might be wondering, what is the COL index? This index allows you to directly compare the expenses of living and working in two or more different places or to see how future destination compares with the national average. You can use either this helpful figure or a calculator – each can lead to a more informed decision regarding the location of your new home.
Compared to other bigger cities, for example, NYC, which has a COL index of 100, Los Angeles with 76.88, or Boston with 84.26 COL index, ATX belongs to the group of places with a middle-ranged COL index.
ATX Is one of the most expensive places in Texas, but it's far more affordable than other prominent US cities
Accommodation Prices Are a Major Contributor to the Austin Cost of Living
Although ATX is a reasonably expensive place to live in when it comes to housing options, the median home value of about $350,000 is significantly higher than in TX and the entire US. In contrast, the median rent is relatively more affordable – $1,107, according to the data provided by Payscale.com.
Compare Median Home Cost With Other Cities and the US as a Whole
First of all, it’s important to know that the median home costs are somewhat balanced by high salaries – the median house value is about 4.8 times the median household salary of $71,100. Let’s take a closer look at how the expected monthly accommodation expenses in the capital of the Lone Star State compare to the national figure and other places throughout the country.
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Groceries and Utility Expenses
No matter if you are moving during the holidays or in summer there will be some expenses you can’t avoid. Before relocating to ATX, you should get familiar with the basic everyday expenses, including utilities and groceries, so that you can work out a sound and realistic budget. So, let’s see what Numbeo.com statistics data says when it comes to these items:
Milk, 1 qt: $0.85
A loaf of fresh white bread: $2.59
Rice, 2lb: $3.13
Eggs, 12: $2.47
Local cheese, 2lb: $10.03
Chicken fillets, 2lb: $7.33
Beef round, 2lb: $12.01
Apples, 2lb: $4.38
Banana, 2lb: $1.15
Tomato, 2lb: $4.26
Potato. 2lb: $2,70
Water, 1.5l: $1,60
Bottle of wine, mid-range: $12.00
Domestic beer, 0.5l: $2.38
Imported beer, 0.33l: $3.10
Cigarettes 20 pack, Marlboro: $7.00
On the other hand, your monthly expenses for utilities, which include electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage, and the Internet, will be in the region of $200.
Figuring out how much money you need for groceries will make budgeting easier.
Transportation Is Less Expensive Here Than in Other Texas Cities
Since the capital is a somewhat stretched out area, the vast majority of residents use cars to commute. Thus, you should consider transporting your car across the country, get to know how car shipping works, and hire auto transport services. If your job requires driving or carpooling, you should know that the average gasoline price index is lower than its US counterpart, and is still lower than the average price level in the Lone Star State. Based on Payscale.com, it will take you $2.49 for a gallon of gas.
Central Austin’s Interstate 35 is regarded as one of the most congested roadways in TX, second to Houston’s West Loop. Morning and evening peaks are the worst, with commutes taking more than 50 percent longer than in free-flow traffic. However, compared to some other places in the US, including Houston, transportation prices are significantly lower in ATX. For example, a one-way ticket is $1.25, while a monthly pass is $41.25, based on Numbeo.com data.
Gas and transportation prices are reasonable in Texas capital
How Much Does Public Schooling Costs in TX?
This is one of the best cities in Texas to raise a family when it comes to education. If you are moving with children, you can opt for public or private schools. While public schooling is generally free, some fees include uniforms, books, and equipment purchasing. All in all, if you and your partner are moving together and planing kids in the near future, you choose an excellent spot to settle down in.
The University of Phoenix in ATX – tuition fee is $12,700 a year
National American University – tuition fee is from $5,000 to $20,000 a year
The University of Texas at ATX – tuition fee is from $5,600 to $41,400 a year
Huston-Tillotson University – tuition fee is from $10,000 to $22,000 a year
The Concordia University of TX – tuition fee is from $14,000 to $32,000 a year
Public schooling is generally free, while private has considerable tuition fees
What About Entertainment and Leisure Time?
You can just imagine what an extraordinary dining scene a vibrant city like ATX might have. One thing is for sure – you shouldn’t miss trying its best smoked brisket tacos or chicken fried beef ribs in some of the best restaurants in ATX, it’s an universal cure for moving stress. Therefore, it’s not a bad idea to take a glimpse into the restaurant prices:
A meal in an inexpensive restaurant: $15
A meal for two people, mid-range restaurant: $50
McMeal at McDonald’s: $7.67
Domestic Beer, 0.5l draught: $5
Imported Beer, 0.33l: $6
Coke/Pepsi, 0.33l: $2.08
Water, 0.33l: $1.48
After tasty bites, some physical activity is always welcome. So, if you can’t imagine your daily routine without a workout, your monthly gym membership will be about $40, while tennis fans will pay approximately $15 for a one-hour session during weekends. If you are a film buff, a cinema ticket is about $12.00, while two tickets to the theater (best available seats), cost about $280, according to Expatistan.com. The advantages of moving alone are numerous and chances are high that you’ll never have a dull moment in ATX.
What Is Considered a Good Median Income When Living in Austin, TX?
Austinites say that if you’re not earning six figures, you should think twice about moving to the Texas capital, especially to some of the best neighborhoods in Austin. In any case, here’s how much you’ll have to earn to live comfortably in Silicon Hills, according to GoBankingRates website data: