A Comprehensive Guide to Austin, TX Cost of Living

, Feb 9, 2024

What does it cost to live in Austin, TX? If you’re asking this question, you’re likely planning a move or considering Austin as your new home. The Austin, TX, cost of living is a critical factor, impacting everything from your housing to your daily coffee. This no-nonsense guide provides you with the figures and facts you need to budget effectively, without getting bogged down in unnecessary detail.

Key Takeaways

  • Austin’s cost of living index stands at 129.1, making it more affordable than some major US cities, but higher than the national average, with estimated monthly and annual incomes required to live comfortably set at $2,600 and $58,800 for singles, and $110,520 for families.
  • Significant factors affecting the cost of living in Austin include housing prices with a median property price at $577,400, transportation costs with average annual car insurance at $1,159 for full coverage, utility expenses averaging $170 per month, and the cost of internet ranging per provider.
  • Austin offers a competitive job market with an average salary of $72,000 and diverse neighborhoods catering to the lifestyle, safety concerns, and affordability requirements of families, young professionals, and individuals.

Understanding the Austin, TX Cost of Living

Austin city skyline at sunset with a focus on urban living

It is important to be aware of the cost of living in Austin, which is renowned for its vibrant lifestyle. With a living index score that surpasses the US average at 129.1 and an estimated expense amounting to $2,600 per month on average, one could say that it is slightly higher than other major American cities such as Seattle and Washington, D.C. To lead a comfortable life here would necessitate incomes of around $58,800 yearly for individuals, while families should aim to make approximately $110,520 every year based on elements like housing costs, transportation expenses, food prices, and entertainment costs. Looking into those components in more detail can give insight into how they ultimately influence Austin’s general cost of living along with median household income.

Housing Market Dynamics

Median rent prices in Austin TX compared to national average

When it comes to the cost of living in Austin, housing is a major factor. To be aware and plan accordingly here are some relevant figures: On average, rent for a 2-bedroom apartment runs around $1,500/month, with an expenditure rate of approximately $1720. The average residential property price per square foot stands at roughly $577,400. These statistics provide insight into how much you might pay for housing when making your decision about relocating or staying in the area.

To fully understand what kind of costs one can expect, one must take various elements into account, such as home prices, monthly rents, maintenance fees, etc., while also considering that there’s potential competition involved with house hunting, which means starting early. All this data put together creates something akin to a living calculator, giving people perspective on whether Auburn is a financially feasible place for them to live or not.

Transportation Expenses in the Lone Star State

Public transportation in Austin TX with emphasis on cost-effective travel options

The cost of living in Austin involves more than just housing costs. Transportation expenses are also a contributing factor. This includes public transit passes, gas prices (which average at $2.15 per gallon), tolls, parking fees, and vehicle maintenance services such as insurance, which usually averages around $979 a year for basic coverage or about $1,159 a year if you opt for full protection policies. These kinds of expenditures in the city are slightly lower compared to other cities nationally by almost 9%, making it relatively cheaper when considering relocating here. Even when factoring housing costs and transportation expenses into one’s budgeting priorities, Austin still provides an affordable option compared to many areas throughout America.

Food for Thought: Grocery Prices & Dining Out

Variety of grocery options in Austin TX with focus on cost-effective dining

The cost of living in Austin is lower than average due to its below-average grocery prices. It’s suggested that an individual should put aside $200 every month for groceries. Despite being well known for numerous restaurant choices, dining out frequently can be quite expensive, so there are other options, such as making more meals at home, which can help save on food costs and expenses.

Navigating Utility Costs in Austin

Seasonal variations in utility costs in Austin TX

Life in Austin requires budgeting for the cost of utilities such as gas, electricity, water, and garbage services. On average, monthly expenses come to around $170, with much of it spent on items like valet trash service and water bills. Prices tend to rise during the summer months due to the increased use of air conditioning. They may also be affected by weather patterns, natural gas costs, or state regulations impacting utility companies. In order to make living here manageable, long-term residents must factor all these variables into their budgets when planning life in Texas’ capital city.

Internet Service Essentials

For those who reside in the Austin area, there are several internet providers to choose from. Spectrum has gained recognition as the top choice among users when it comes to a reliable connection for their devices. Prices can vary across different plans and services, though some may suit your budget better than others. Astound Broadband’s 300Mbps plan is offered at $25 per month, whereas AT&T’s Internet 300 costs about double that amount each month. Consequently, make sure you compare before deciding on an option best suited to your needs!

The Price of Leisure and Entertainment

Living in Austin is expensive, especially when it comes to leisure activities. For instance, movie ticket prices range from a matinée showing of $9.75 for 2D films up to $15.75 per 3D film at nighttime showings. Music fans can pay around 50 dollars or more, depending on the event, for lawn seating and over 100 bucks if they want seated tickets as well. Some could even reach triple digits! Museum admissions are also quite costly, with fees ranging between 8 and 15 dollars while zoo entry charges go from 13 dollars (children) up to 16 dollars (adults). Despite these costs being an integral part of living in this city—enriching its cultural scene and making it lively and enjoyable—make sure you budget wisely before deciding what entertainment options best suit your lifestyle here in Austin!

Health Care and Child Care Costs

When considering life in Austin, health care and child care are essential parts of the budget. On average, insurance plans for this city typically cost 3% more than nationally. Ranging from $478 to $584 per month, depending on age, income level, or location. Without medical coverage, expenses can be substantial, with regular check-ups costing between $150 and $300 and emergency room visits costing up to an incredible sum of 2200 dollars. When making such decisions, it is important to take into account that childcare costs could also add pressure to one’s wallet, so factoring in these prices before relocating is crucial.

Making Ends Meet: Salary and Employment in Austin

When relocating to a new city, understanding the area’s job market and salary expectations is essential. In Austin, the average wage stands at $72k per year with an unemployment rate of 3.6%, suggesting there are ample job opportunities available in this flourishing metropolitan hub. Professionals such as hospitalists, physicians, or medical directors receive some of the highest salaries here, while earning over $51k a year may be enough for someone who wants to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in Austin according to their family size and financial needs. To make sure you have control over your finances, it’s wise to create realistic budgets regularly so that managing what comes out will remain feasible depending on one’s priorities and spending habits.

Renting vs. Homeownership

When you’re relocating to Austin, one of the most important decisions you have to make is whether renting or buying a house is right for your situation. The average cost of rental properties in this city ranges from $1,753 per month for an apartment up to around $2,930 per month if it’s a single-family home. As far as purchasing goes, usually prices go between 550k and 575k dollars, depending on the type of property.

There are advantages and disadvantages associated with both options: homeownership offers security plus potential investments but also comes with extra costs such as taxes and repairs. Whereas leasing can provide greater flexibility at a lower initial expense, yet still no equity acquisition like when owning something outright. To determine which path would work best, take into account all these points carefully before making any final decision!

Budgeting for Life in Austin, TX

For those looking to live comfortably in Austin, cost-reduction and budgeting strategies are essential. To reduce expenses on groceries, try meal planning techniques like tracking sales and buying in bulk when possible. Also, opt for generic brands rather than higher-priced items. It’s also important to keep an eye out for the best deals during cooler months with regard to renting as well as energy-efficient practices related to utilities so you can lower your costs even more.

It’s wise not to overlook local taxes such as Austin’s combined 8.25% rate which may add up significantly over time if ignored – this should be taken into account while creating a solid financial plan that works for you individually or consider attending one of the city’s free budgeting workshops designed to assist people develop effective methods of saving money long term.

TX Planning: Saving on Services

When it comes to services in Austin, budgeting is not the only strategy for saving. For utilities, there are several ways to lower costs: opting for affordable electricity providers such as Frontier Utilities, 4Change Energy, or Gexa Energy. Utilizing energy-saving tactics and renewable Texas wind energy resources.

To get more reasonable prices on basic amenities like internet service, you could check out Astound Broadband’s plan with a 300Mbps connection at $25 per month or use the Affordable Connectivity Program, which may provide a discount of up to 30 dollars every month for eligible people. Lastly, the US. Mobile offers competitive rates for both mobile phone plans and landline connections too along with Community Phone, an excellent low-cost option when speaking about these two services within the Texas area overall.

Moving to Austin: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Making your move to Austin means preparing for the climate and lifestyle that come with it. With long, hot summers but mild winters, light clothing is recommended along with measures of protection from the sun when needed. It’s also important to stay hydrated during this period. The city boasts an incredibly friendly atmosphere and a culture that places emphasis on health and fitness, plus plenty of great local eateries for food lovers! A relaxed Texas ambiance rounds off what makes life in Austin so special. No matter if you’re into the arts or prefer exploring outdoors, there’s something about living here that’s sure to please everyone!

Settling In: Finding the Right Neighborhood

When moving to a new city, it is essential for people to identify an appropriate neighborhood. Austin has several options that are suitable for families, such as Allandale, Cherrywood, Hyde Park, or Old West Austin while young professionals can look into areas like Downtown Austin and Zilker. For those looking at cost-effectiveness when relocating to the city of Austin, great alternatives would be neighborhoods such as Garrison Park or Thorndale, whereas safety-conscious residents might consider Avery Ranch or Brushy Creek, among many others.


The cost of living in Austin, Texas is higher than the national average but still more affordable when compared to other major cities. Essential costs such as housing, transportation, and food, along with utilities are all taken into account for the overall cost of living here. Planning and budgeting carefully can make a difference in taking advantage of what this vibrant city has to offer, from its diverse cultural scene right down to leisure activities like entertainment or healthcare requirements, including childcare expenses if needed. Despite paying slightly above-average prices on these essential life factors, it remains worth your while due to their quality standard that makes residing in Austin desirable at any rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Austin TX expensive to live in?

Living in Austin is more expensive than the national average due to higher housing costs and somewhat elevated expenses. Utilities are usually cheaper compared to other areas. Despite its relatively expensive cost of living, people still find it worth investing as this city offers an array of amenities within a thriving economy.

What salary do you need to live in Austin?

In order to live comfortably in Austin, a family of four would need an annual salary of $87,105 or monthly earnings totaling approximately $7,259. On the other hand, for single individuals living there, it requires about $42,755 per year, which comes out to around $3,563 each month. These sums cover all basic living expenses and household costs associated with life here.

How much is 100k in Austin?

In terms of cost, after taking into account living expenses and taxes, a $100,000 salary in Austin equates to an average of $73,777. SmartAsset reported that this makes it the 24th highest-ranked city for income value overall.

Is it cheaper to live in Austin or New York?

Compared to the high cost of living in New York City, residing in Austin, Texas is much more affordable. In fact, it has been determined that one’s outgoings will be 24-38.4% less for those who choose to live here than they would experience if they lived elsewhere, such as NYC!

What salary do you need to live comfortably in Austin Texas?

To be able to live comfortably in Austin, Texas one would need an income of around $70,000 annually, which should cover all the essential expenses.

About the Author

Last updated: 02/09/2024

2300+ Client reviews!

My friends purchased their home with Kasey’s help and loved their experience. They couldn’t recommend her highly enough, so when I started my search I followed their advice and reached out to Kasey. She is incredibly knowledgeable about the Austin real estate market (I don’t think there is a street she can’t speak to!), diligent, responsive, and just enjoyable to work with. The stress of the closing process became particularly manageable with her organization, calmness, and connections with local experts (e.g., foundation inspectors). Furthermore, Kasey is very patient and really enables you to wait for the right home. I would be happy to be a reference for anyone thinking of working with Kasey.

It was a great pleasure working with Tara and her team. I live out of town and told Tara that I would be in Austin on a Sunday. Without hesitation, she scheduled to meet me at my convenience time. I appreciate that since Sunday is her family time, and not business time. Through out our meeting, she thoroughly walked me through with well prepared information, was patient with all my questions, suggested and advised me on what should be done and what would be best. She didn’t once try to “close” me for my listing. Like all professions out there, there would be a “newbie”, a pro, and a pro who cares. Tara is that, the pro who cares, and she demonstrated that throughout the whole listing duration. We sold our house. She thanked me for the listing, but I owed her a bigger thank you. Thank you, Tara and your team for caring

Simon Vand was so helpful in showing me (first time home buyer) exactly what I could expect during every step of the process, answering all of my questions, and finding me the perfect home very quickly. I love the neighborhood I’m in and my house is perfect for me. Definitely recommend working with Simon!

Haval is DA MAN! He has been very helpful in assisting my wife and I in selling our 2 homes. He will also help us sell our primary home later this year. We will also use his services to help us look into buying our retirement home. We would use no one else.

This is my 6th transaction with Haval. This one, in particular, carried very unique
circumstances, and Haval supported me throughout the transition. Not to mention, this
came with a difficult banking experience towards the end, and Haval was quick to step in
to find solutions/resolutions. I wouldn’t use any other agent for my real estate needs.

Haval went above and beyond. Great experience having him next to me the whole time, great
follow-up and updates. A very high asset to your team. I will make sure I spread the word out for
his continuous success.

Haval was great! Haval is like family, always there when you need him. If ever I should need
real estate help, he will be the one and only one I will go to. That includes family. Thanks, Mr.
Haval for your help.

We are so thankful to have been referred to Haval Abbas from a family friend. We relocated from
another state and from the moment we first spoke with him we knew he was the perfect person to help
us through this big life-changing decision. He is extremely knowledgeable, honest, and has an attention
to detail that is so important when making such a big purchase. This summer the market was very much
not in the favor of buyers like us, but with his calm guidance and excellent negotiation skills, we were
able to find a beautiful home in the neighborhood that we love. He really listened to us & got what was
important for our family. He goes above and beyond & even helped us secure a rental when we first
moved out here and continues to help us with finding vendors and anything else we need. He's now
become a friend and someone we would highly recommend to anyone we know.

Jean was so great to work with! She was very responsive and always went the extra mile to make sure all of our questions were answered. She made selling our home fast and easy and I can’t wait to work with her again in our future home searches!

Tammy helped my family find a great first home.. we would highly recommend letting her help you

If you’re looking for a good realtor in Austin or surroundings, call Elizabeth. Buying a house with her was easy breezy. Found a house and closed in 30 days. She’s to the point, doesn’t waste your time, and gets the job done. What more do you want? Thanks!

Danny’s communication, availability, and the ability to come up with active solutions is second to none. Danny was extremely helpful in countless situations; whether it was educating us on the buying process, the market, how contracts work, and everything in between (we were first time home buyers so we had A LOT of questions), Danny was always there to explain things to us in a way that made sense – even when we asked the same question multiple times. 🙂 He never made us feel like he was just trying to get us to buy anything and wasn’t afraid to give his opinion on homes when we asked for his advice based on what he had learned about our likes/dislikes and wants vs. needs. Oh, and let’s not forget Danny had to deal with the difficult seller after his agent refused to answer his or Danny’s calls at the end of the process. Shame on her indeed…but that didn’t phase Danny. I mean, the guy drove to the comptrollers office at 8am in the morning to update the seller’s LLC with little to no help from the other side. If that doesn’t speak to his professionalism, dedication, empathy, and loyalty I don’t know what does.

Click Here to Read All Reviews