Are you wondering whether you can afford to move to Austin, Texas?
Cost-of-living index information shows that this is one of the most affordable metropolitan areas. On the other hand, it’s still a city, and it’s fairly expensive compared to suburbs and many other parts of Texas.
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The cost of living in Austin, TX, is six percent lower than the national average.
Here are some comparative statistics: It’s 131 percent cheaper to live in Austin than in New York City. It’s 42 percent cheaper than San Francisco. Even compared to nearby cities, it’s cheaper in Austin, TX. Cost-of-living comparison data tells us that living in Austin is two percent cheaper than Dallas and four percent cheaper than Houston.
Austin’s official cost-of-living index score is 96. Because the city government has focused on making sure that energy prices remain competitive and affordable housing is available, the cost of living in Austin, TX, has stayed fairly reasonable despite the recent economic boom. There is a risk of decline, but that seems very unlikely to happen as prices continue to go up and young people continue to move in.
That being said, you still need to earn at least $10.97 per hour to make a living wage here.
The Living Wage Index indicates that if you’re living in the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos area, you need to make at least $10.97 per hour to have a living wage. That’s if you’re single and living alone; as you add dependents, there’s an increase in the Austin, Texas, cost of living. Index data shows us that one adult with two children needs to make at least $25.97 per hour, for instance.
The average rent is $1,693 per month in the metro area.
The average rent for an apartment varies depending on the neighborhood. Walkable neighborhoods like Downtown have much, much higher rent prices and a higher average cost of living. In Austin, Texas, housing costs are still 13 percent lower overall, however. Use our neighborhood guide to find which areas are the most popular and most reasonable. A rental agent may be able to find a good listing that’s lower than some of these averages.
Do you know what’s not big in Texas? The taxes.
Texas has no state income tax. Also, Austin’s sales tax has a maximum of 8.25 percent (with 6.25 percent state sales tax). Compare that to Seattle, which has a sales tax of 9.6 percent. Austin takes pains to make sure that taxes stay low, at about $3,750 per capita for all state and local taxes. They’re also lenient on corporate taxes, which is why so many businesses flock to the area.
Other expenses are fairly reasonable.
Here are some miscellaneous expenses to give you a good idea of the usual cost of living in Austin, TX.
- Living wage estimates include $251.83 per month spent on groceries. A basic lunch at a restaurant will be about $13, and a dinner out will be about $50 for two people.
- There are numerous Internet service providers in the area. The average for a monthly Internet-only service is $44.16 per month.
- Gas prices in the area hover around $2 per gallon. A commuter pass for the local public transportation system is $96.25 for 31 days.
- Utilities vary, as the summertime often brings the need to splurge on the cost of air conditioning. Usually, bills stay somewhere between $100 and $150 per month.