A Breakdown of the True Cost of Living in Denver, Colorado
Would you like to know a bit more about the cost of living in Denver before you relocate there? Being familiar with the expenses of everyday life is crucial when it comes to planning your move and your budget in the best way. Even though some items might seem expensive at first glance, that doesn’t mean that you can’t live comfortably in this capital. You just need to be familiar with the average costs to know what salary is enough to afford you the life you want to live.
Calculate your budget before relocating to Denver
When you decide to relocate across the country and move to another state alone, the cost of living in a particular place is a significant reason to move and a factor in choosing your future home. So, you begin wondering, What is the cheapest state to live in? While the answer to this question is Mississippi, there are so many reasons why you might want to go to Colorado instead. Naturally, you’ll then start thinking, Is it expensive to live in Colorado? And for those of you who want to enjoy the amenities of its capital will wonder What salary do you need to live comfortably in Denver?
The questions arise one after another. The answers to them are among the essential things to know before moving to Denver. That’s why we’re here – it’s time to address your concerns and help you get the idea of how much money you need to afford a decent life in Colorado’s capital.
Home prices have recently skyrocketed, so it might be best to save up some money for your future home. Naturally, everything is pricier in the downtown area. Thus, moving to the suburbs or moving to a smaller home is always an excellent idea for those looking for a more affordable option, so make sure to check out some moving day tips on how to reduce costs when moving. When you pick the part of the city depending on your preferences, one question still lingers: is it better to rent or to buy? Let’s take a look at some numbers to help you decide.
Is It Better to Rent or Buy?
No matter if you are moving during the holiday season or in summer one of the most important questions to answer when looking for a home is whether you should buy or rent. Either way, you should be prepared for somewhat high housing costs. If you’re moving with kids and you’d instead buy a house for your family to live comfortably, brace yourself. According to Zillow, the median home value is close to $455,000.
Buying an apartment is not that affordable, either. According to data provided by Numbeo, the price per square meter for an apartment in the center is over $4,500. If, however, you’re planning to move to the outskirts, these figures drop significantly – to $3,000 per square meter. As for renting, the rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the downtown area is over $1,600. The rent for a three-bedroom flat is close to $3,000 in the center and above $2,200 outside the center.
And when it comes to utilities, expect to set aside around $140 every month for electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage. Internet connection will cost you an additional $60 a month.
The figures go high, and there’s no denying that, but the good news is that, according to the Denver Post, the rise of home prices is expected to slow down in 2020.
Before you can get started with the relocation, think about housing, and make sure you find a place that fits your wishes and budget.
Be Prepared for Somewhat High Food Prices
In addition to housing, another crucial thing on your list of monthly expenses is, of course, food. Groceries, too, can be somewhat pricey in the Mile-High City. The data collected by Numbeo suggest that one person needs a minimum of $330 for food per month. As for the distribution of expenses, you should allocate a major part of the money for meat, cheese, and some fruit, such as oranges and apples. As for some specific items, here are some numbers to get the idea: potato (2 lbs) costs $2, onion (2 lbs) is more than $2, while 2 lbs of local cheese are about $12.
Apart from grocery shopping, we assume that you are also interested in learning more about prices in restaurants. Sooner or later, you will want to take a break from cooking and eat out, right? So, let’s see how much you should plan to bring for lunch or dinner out.
How Expensive Is It to Eat Out?
You are moving to a big city, and there are many fantastic restaurants that you should check out after you settle in. If you and your partner are moving in together you won’t have a problem finding a dinner to celebrate this milestone, because whether you’re walking around downtown or your suburb, you’ll have plenty of choices. But then we come to the question of how much a meal in a restaurant might be. According to data gathered by Numbeo, a bill for a meal in an inexpensive restaurant will probably be about $15. If there’s two of you and you go to a mid-range restaurant, you should expect to pay about $70 for a three-course meal.
When it comes to drinks, cappuccino is around $4.50, while domestic beer (0.13 draught) and imported beer (0.13 bottle) will cost you the same – $6.
All in all, these prices are a bit higher than the national average, so you should plan your budget carefully. Just like you’re planning your moving budget and finding the cheapest way to move out of state, you should have a plan for your monthly budget when you relocate, forgetting it is one of the common moving mistakes. When making this plan, be sure to put special emphasis on groceries and restaurants.
Learning more about food prices and how much you need to go to a restaurant in the Mile-High City is necessary to plan your monthly expenses.
Remember to Include Transportation
For starters, we’re sure you’ll be happy to hear that you can get from the airport to the center in just about 25 minutes. Whether you go for an airport shuttle or a cab, you can reach downtown in less than half an hour, and then continue to enjoy your ride from there.
With so much to do and see around the city, you’ll want to start exploring it right away. Have you already decided how you’re going to get around? Many people prefer to go around town on foot. You might want to join them, or you’d rather hop on your bike. Walking and biking are the cheaper options, great for your health and the environment.
Nonetheless, sooner or later, you’ll need a faster option, too. That’s when you might want to decide whether you’re going to use the public transportation system or drive yourself. Both of these options have certain advantages and disadvantages, so let’s see which one might be more convenient for you.
How to Reduce Transportation Costs – Use Public Transport or Drive Yourself?
The public transportation system is reliable and well-organized and usually considered inexpensive. You can buy a monthly pass for $114, while a one-way ticket is $3.
So, what salary should you pursue to be sure you can lead a comfortable life here? According to Numbeo, a single person needs about $1,000 per month, without rent, while these figures climb to over $3,500 for a four-person family (again, without rent). All in all, a household income of about $92,500 per year is desirable for a four-person family. This means that each parent should have a salary of about $7,700.
How Will Paying for School and Healthcare Affect Your Budget?
Those of you relocating with children are probably wondering about the price of education. Naturally, the fees will depend on the type of school you pick for your kid, but either way, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue to pay for it. Private college costs, on the other hand, have gone up recently, so know that higher education is quite expensive.
When it comes to healthcare, we should warn you that healthcare is about 13% more expensive than the US median value.
Calculate how much money you’ll need to cover all your expenses in this somewhat pricey city so that you have enough for a comfortable life.
Cost of Living Index in Other Major Cities in the US
If you’re still having second thoughts about choosing this particular place, you might want to know more about the cost of living index of other popular destinations. The most popular cities, such as New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles all have the cost of living index higher than the national average. Some more affordable options include Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX, Houston, TX, and Phoenix, AZ.
How Does the Cost of Living in Denver, Colorado Compare to Other Cities?
In case some of the costs in the Mile-High City seem too high, you should stop for a second and compare your prospective destination with some other popular places in the country. Even more so, you can compare the figures to those in other cities around the world.
When compared to a majority of US cities, Denver belongs to a group of inexpensive ones. If, however, we were to compare your chosen destination to some places around the world, we would get different results. For instance, prices in Buenos Aires or Madrid are rather lower than in Denver. Then again, Denver is significantly cheaper than London, for example. And so on. The point is – it all depends on how high a standard you’re looking for and what you’re ready to pay for it. It all comes down to your priorities and preferences.
Before you make the final decision, compare the cost of living index in other cities to be completely sure that you’ve made the right choice.