What Is the Cost of Living in Austin, TX?
Planning a move to a new city involves thinking about more than just a location’s nightlife and weather. Moving involves some not so glamorous preparation too, such as considering the cost of living and budgeting. Luckily, we put together a guide of what you need to know about the cost of living in Austin, TX. Now, you’ll know exactly what to expect when you move here.
If you’re looking to call Austin home, AptAmigo can help you find the perfect apartment for your budget and needs. Let us handle the grunt work while you plan the fun parts.
Austin Cost of Living Comparison
With an influx of new companies calling Austin home, increased career opportunities, and a growing population, the cost of living has increased in recent years. Still, Austin remains less expensive than other major US cities, such as D.C. and Seattle. With a comfortable budget and a decent job, you’ll feel right at home in Austin and ready to take in all the city has to offer.
Average Rent in Austin
NerdWallet states that the median price for a 2-bedroom apartment in Austin is around $1,500/month. However, how much you spend in rent a month can vary based on which part of the city you choose to call home. You’ll spend more on a downtown apartment than a complex on the outskirts.
Luckily, Austin contains plenty of wonderful neighborhoods to choose from, including several budget friendly areas. Don’t be afraid to venture outside of the downtown area when searching. Check out some neighborhoods near the Domain or South Austin for a unique living experience with just as many perks as the city center.
Because Austin is so pet friendly, most apartments allow dogs, but keep in mind that most apartments charge a small pet fee for any non-service animal companions. Common pet rent in the area is $15/month, a small price to pay for our furry friends!
Price of Utilities in Austin
Utility costs in Austin rank below the national average, according to JBGoodwin.com. For basic utilities such as gas, electric, water, and garbage, you can expect to pay around $170/month on average. Due to Austin’s weather, these prices may increase during the summer months as the Texas heat means keeping your A/C on for longer periods of time, or at lower temps.
Many Austin apartments include a small fee for valet trash in the rent. This fee means that instead of taking your trash and recycling to a dumpster, you simply put it outside of your door at night, and a crew member comes by to pick it up. Fees for this service generally cost around $30/month and add a little extra convenience to your day-to-day life.
Austin offers plenty of internet provider options, such as AT&T, Spectrum, and Google Fiber. The amount you pay for internet service will depend on the type and speed you prefer. Internet fees commonly start around $30/month for basic services and go up from there.
Food & Dining
Here in Austin, we’re blessed when it comes to grocery and dining options. Whether you prefer to get your groceries from a more high-end store like Whole Foods or love the variety and deals of your local HEB, Austin’s got you covered. We recommend budgeting around $200 for groceries per month for one person.
The same holds true for those days when you want to dine out – the options are endless. Affordable options, like Torchy’s or Chuy’s abound, and plenty of fancier choices, like ATX Cocina or the Capital Grille, await to serve your special occasion needs. For a restaurant option in the middle, you’ll likely spend around $50/person for a meal and a drink or two.
Note that when dining out with a group, most restaurants won’t split a bill for parties of 6 or more. Don’t be alarmed if they ask you to put it on one tab and split it amongst yourselves because “that’s what Venmo is for.”
According to PayScale.com, the average salary in Austin is $72,000, with software engineers and project managers ranking among the top paying jobs. To live comfortably in the Texas state capitol, a salary of $51,000 or above is ideal. This salary would allow for extra spending money after paying the bills.
Total Average Cost of Living
To get the most out of everything Austin has to offer, you can expect to pay an average cost of $2,600 per month, according to Numbeo.com. This amount includes the amazing dining options, a great apartment, and some entertainment throughout the month.
Advice for Moving to Austin
Should you Rent or Buy?
The booming housing market in Austin right now means that competition for homes is higher than ever. Before you jump on any home that becomes available, consider renting an amazing apartment. You won’t find many houses downtown since most of them sit outside of the city center. Get the true Austin experience by renting one of the many unique apartments around downtown and the surrounding areas. Then, when you know for certain that you want to call Austin home for good, start to consider your options for buying.
No move is ever effortless, but with our tried & true tips it can feel as seamless as possible. Moving is the perfect time to do some spring cleaning. Get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last year. Also, consider Austin, TX’s warm weather as you pack. If you’re coming from a cooler climate, ditch some of those winter clothes because you won’t need them in Texas. Indulge in the joy of acquiring new décor when moving into a new place, but wait until after you arrive in Austin to make any big purchases. Don’t add the extra weight of a new bed frame to your moving trailer. Instead, wait to find the perfect one until after you touch down in the Lone Star State.
There’s a lot to think about when making a big move. Use our Ultimate Moving Checklist to make sure you’ve got everything covered.
Want to learn more about your new city? Check out our guide on how to Tour Austin Like a Local and get The Inside Scoop on Living in Austin along with all of our advice about living in Austin. Is Austin a Good Place to Live? Now you can find out for yourself!
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About the Author: Brett Hayden is a native Wisconsinite turned Texan who loves exploring Austin and beyond. She has a passion for writing and traveling, which she showcases on her blog, “by, Brett Nicole.”