What Is the Actual Cost of Living in Atlanta – the 2020 Guide
If you’re planning to relocate and start a new life in the Georgia capital, it’s only reasonable to ask yourself: what is the cost of living in Atlanta and what kind of lifestyle can you afford there with your expected income?
Before the relocation calculate your budget
If you’re wondering is Atlanta a good place to live, you can be sure that the answer is positive. And one of the reasons why you should move here and make the so-called City in the Forest your new home are somewhat lower everyday expenses. Compared to the national average, this beautiful big city is, in fact, affordable, so you don’t have to worry about making ends meet at the end of every month.
When you’ve picked this capital, a range of other questions probably started running through your head. From how much do you need to make a year to live in Atlanta? to how much money do you need to live comfortably in Atlanta?, there’s so much you’d like to know. We are here to provide you with answers to these and many other questions and help you get the idea of how much money you need for your new life in this metropolis.
Those of you planning to buy a place in Georgia’s capital should be prepared for the rising prices. It has become an issue for millennials and other first-time buyers, as it’s rather challenging to find an affordable place in the entire metro area. The situation is quite similar when it comes to renting – there has been a significant surge in rent prices, as well.
Is It Better to Look for Houses or Apartments?
Before you answer the question of how to rent your home when moving to another state, you should first determine whether you should look for a house or an apartment. Your choice will depend on a variety of factors, including your salary. According to Zillow, the median home value is close to $300,000, while the median rent is about $1,800. So, it would be best that you consider your income before you pick one or another to find whatever fits your budget.
Learn more about different housing options and at what price they come to find the most suitable option to fit your budget.
Don’t Forget to Add Utilities
When you’re planning your monthly budget, don’t forget to add utilities to get the real idea of how much money you need per month. According to data provided by Numbeo, basic utilities for an apartment of about 915 square feet will cost you over $150. These include water, electricity, heating, cooling, and garbage. As you can see, this package does not include the Internet. And we’re sure you can’t imagine a single day without it. So, get ready to pay an additional $80 for this service.
All in all, when you find a place that you like, and you think fits your budget, don’t forget to ask for the price of utilities. Those moving to another state alone might want to consider finding a roommate for the first couple of months to split the bills and avoid relocation depression.
Keep in Mind that Georgia Is Among the States With the Highest Utility Costs
Speaking of utilities, you shouldn’t be surprised even if the numbers are higher than what we’ve previously mentioned. Georgia is among the five states with the highest utility costs in the country, and a US Energy Information Administration (EIA) report from 2017 shows that residents of the Peach State receive a $14 higher monthly energy bill than the average US citizen.
Utility price can affect your budget more than you thought, so don't forget to calculate how much you're going to need to cover these expenses, too.
Food Prices Are Somewhat Lower Than the National Average
No matter if you are relocating during the holidays or in the summer, you need to eat. When it comes to food, you’ll be happy to hear that the Big Peach is among those affordable cities. A single person spends about $310 a month on food, which is less than the national average of over $320. We suppose that you’d also like to know more about some specific numbers when you go shopping for groceries. So, let’s see how much you should expect to spend on particular everyday necessities.
For instance, a loaf of bread is about $2.60, the price for a gallon of milk is just over $3, while a carton of 12 eggs is about $2.30. When it comes to the distribution of expenses, beef and chicken take up a major part, followed by some fruits, such as apples and oranges.
Now, what happens when you get tired of cooking, and you decide to eat out? Let’s see how much money you should set aside for Atlanta’s world-class restaurants.
Be Sure You Allocate Some Money for Eating out in Atlanta’s Renowned Restaurants
When it comes to eating out, you should be prepared to pay a bit more in some extravagant eateries, which are quite common here. The Big Peach has become a rather popular foodie destination due to its thriving restaurant scene. Also, if you are moving with a dog, there will be plenty of pet-friendly places where you can eat out. In more upscale restaurants, the average price for a meal per person is not less than $50. It can even go up to $200 for a foie gras or some other gastronomic delicacy. Furthermore, when moving in together with your partner, take advantage of extravagant eateries, and have some memorable date nights.
As for the more affordable options, a meal in an inexpensive restaurant is about $14, while a three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant for two people is about $50. The data provided by Numbeo also suggest that, on average, domestic draught beer is $5, while imported beer is a bit more expensive (about $6). When it comes to coffee, a regular cappuccino is $4.15.
In addition to grocery shopping, be sure you also include the costs of eating out, as there are many excellent restaurants you shouldn't miss.
How Much Do You Need for Transportation?
To start with, you’ll be happy to hear that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is located only 10 miles south of the downtown area. Whether you decide to use the airport shuttle or a bus, you’ll be in the center in less than 30 minutes.
Once you settle in, you’ll need to rely on public transportation or your own car to get around the city. While you’ll surely enjoy walking and biking, neither of these is fast enough to get you from one part of town to the other. So, it might be a good idea to buy a monthly pass for $95 and rely on public transportation.
As for those driving their own car, you should know that a gallon of gas is around $2.60, which is cheaper than the national average.
Should You Rely on Public Transportation After Moving to Atlanta?
When it comes to getting around, the first thing you should know and be prepared for is heavy traffic. The average commute time is 62 minutes, which is among the highest in the entire country. Nonetheless, according to US News, public transportation is the best way to get around the city.
Choose the most convenient and affordable mode of transport and brace yourself for Atlanta's heavy traffic.
Cost of Living in Atlanta Compared to Other Cities in Georgia and the US
When you are figuring out where to move, know that the overall cost of living in Georgia is lower than the national average, so you can be sure you’ve picked one of the more affordable destinations in the category of metropolises. Being the state capital, however, Atlanta is more expensive than smaller cities in Georgia. So, if you come to realize that you can only make ends meet in the capital, it might be a better idea to relocate to one of the smaller cities for a start. For instance, Fort Valley, Eatonton, and Sandersville are among the most affordable places in the state.
If, however, you don’t want to go anywhere else, you should have some idea about how much money you need to make. According to data provided by Numbeo, a family of four spends about $3,500 per month without rent. Thus, a family of four should earn about $80,000 per year combined to live here. For a more comfortable lifestyle, you should pursue an annual income of about $100,000.
The Cost of Living in Atlanta Is Significantly Lower Than in Many Popular US Cities
Even though it is more expensive than some smaller places in the same state, the Big Peach is still much more affordable than many popular destinations around the country. If we compare your chosen city to New York, San Francisco, and Los Angles, for instance, we can see that the numbers speak for themselves. The Big Peach is 38% cheaper than Los Angeles. The figures are even more shocking when it comes to San Francisco and NYC. The Big Apple is 74% more expensive while living in the City by the Bay is as much as 150% more expensive than in the Big A, so you might not have to try so hard to reduce costs when moving here.
Feel free to compare the costs in other cities to make sure that you've made the right decision.
In a Nutshell
How do you like these numbers? Does the Big Peach fit your planned budget? If so, there should be nothing else stopping you from relocating to this fantastic city with so much to offer no matter if you are moving for a relationship or in pursuit of your dreams. From great job opportunities and lovely weather to affordable prices, there are many reasons why so many want to call this place home.