Cost of Living in Nashville, TN

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Aerial View of Nashville, TN

Is It Expensive to Live in Nashville?

Nashville’s appeal to newcomers goes way beyond country music. With Michelin-starred restaurants, craft breweries, professional sports teams, and a robust parks and recreation system, this city offers something to anyone looking to relocate. However, in recent years, Nashville has been crowned the new “It City,” making headlines for an explosion of growth and development. Is the cost of living in Nashville expensive? Read on to find out. 

Want to move to Nashville? AptAmigo can help you find an apartment that fits your budget. We connect you with a personal apartment expert who can help you find the right apartment in the best neighborhood for you—all for free! Get started here

Nashville Cost of Living

If you think of cost of living on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the average, Nashville scores 101.4, making it slightly more expensive than other places. While Nashville’s cost of living has increased, it still remains much cheaper than other major cities. For comparison, the cost of living in New York City is 84.6% higher than Nashville, and San Francisco is 165.6% higher. When you look at it through that lens, living in Nashville is a steal.

When considering Nashville’s cost of living, don’t forget to factor in the price of a car, gas, and maintenance. Nashville has a lot to offer, but doesn’t score high for walkability and public transportation. Chances are, even if you live in a walkable neighborhood like the Gulch, 5 Points, or 12 South, you’ll still need a car to get out and explore.

On the bright side, Nashville gives you tons of bang for your buck. The city boasts notable fine dining, dozens of concert venues (including a few famous ones!), three professional sports teams, and plenty of outdoor recreation. Overall, the cost of living compares favorably to other vibrant, growing cities.

Average Rent in Nashville

Average rent in Nashville for a one-bedroom apartment = $1684

Your rental cost in Nashville will depend on where you live and the amenities you choose. Increase in demand has led to several new luxury apartment buildings in high-demand Nashville neighborhoods like East Nashville, The Nations, and Downtown. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1684, but some estimates show studio apartments in the city averaging $887.

As with most bustling cities, rent costs more as you get closer to the action near downtown. Renting outside the city could save you around $400 a month. But, if you can afford it, spending more to live in your favorite Nashville neighborhood might be worth it. Nashville contains distinct neighborhoods that offer art galleries and events, live music from independent artists, walkability to local restaurants and bars, and more. But don’t feel confined to one area of town—with several major interstates running through Nashville, you can explore the city easily with a car.

Price of Utilities in Nashville

Average Utilities Costs = $230

When relocating to Nashville, you’ll want to factor in approximately $230 a month for utilities. To heat and cool a 915 square-foot apartment and cover water use, you can expect to pay around $159 a month. Nashville has relatively mild winters, but your air conditioning will get lots of use and potentially increase your electric bill during summer months. If you live within the Nashville city limits, you can count on regular trash and recycling pick up thanks to city services. The average internet bill costs about $70 a month.

Food & Dining

The average cost of groceries in Nashville sits slightly below other places. If the national average is 100, Nashville rates a 97, making groceries about 3% cheaper. In addition to shopping at major grocery store chains, many Nashvillians frequent the Nashville Farmer’s Market to support local farms and buy inexpensive, fresh produce.

Over the past decade, Nashville’s burgeoning fine dining scene put it on the map as a top city for food lovers. Luckily, the city offers incredible dining at all price points. In general, a nice meal for two will cost about $65, and you can expect to pay about $14.50 for a meal at a less expensive restaurant.

Average Salary

Average Salary in Nashville = $5,333/month or $64,000/year

If you plan to relocate to Nashville, it’s important to know how much you need to make to live comfortably. In general, experts recommend that you bring in about three times the cost of your rent. With average rent coming in around $1684, a good salary for Nashville comes in around $5,052 a month before taxes. Currently, the average salary in Nashville is about $64,000 a year, which breaks down to $5,333 a month.

An influx of new jobs in technology has bolstered the city’s economy and improved wages for many Nashvillians. Companies such as Amazon, AllianceBernstein, EY, and Oracle have announced Nashville hubs in the last few years. The city’s workers earn a higher average salary than workers in surrounding counties, and thousands of new jobs will come online in Nashville over the next decade. In short, as the Nashville cost of living increases, it looks promising that the average salary will keep pace.

Total Average Cost of Living

Total Estimated Cost = $2,188

In general, it will cost about $2,188 a month to live in Nashville—that includes rent, utilities, and about $345 for groceries. Of course, you’ll want to factor in extra budget for dining out and entertainment—in a city like Nashville there’s always something to do! 

The cost of living in Nashville might be slightly higher than average, but the average salary is higher as well. As more tech companies move their headquarters to Nashville, the job pool continues to grow with highly sought after, high-salary jobs. If you want to rent in Nashville, knowing where to look for the best apartment deals can save you thousands of dollars a year. Reach out to us or sign up for our Hot Deals email to get the running list of Nashville’s current apartment deals.

Advice for Moving to Nashville

Should you Rent or Buy?

New Nashville apartment buildings keep popping up all over the city’s most popular neighborhoods, making renting a popular decision for many Nashvillians. Plenty of new apartment buildings offer incredible amenities, including courtyards, pools, mini dog parks, and the ability to meet new people through community events. With housing stock in short supply and new apartment buildings going up every year, it’s easier to rent than buy in Nashville. The first quarter of 2021 saw a 176% increase in delivered apartments, and nearly 20,000 units are under construction.

Renting in Nashville will give you a chance to discover what different neighborhoods offer and to make a more informed decision when you’re finally ready to buy.

Moving Tips

First, find the perfect apartment in your price range in your favorite Nashville neighborhood. Then, prepare to move! Check out our Ultimate Moving Checklist to minimize your moving stress and stay organized every step of the way. Take measurements when you tour your apartment so you know where your furniture will fit and which items you can donate before you move. After you move in and get settled, it’s time for the fun part—exploring your new city!

Exploring Nashville

This diverse city will keep you busy, no matter what your interests. If you love country music, start by playing tourist and check out the Country Music Hall of Fame (hint: even the locals love it), or grab tickets to see a show at one of the city’s popular small venues, such as Basement East or the Station Inn. If you prefer outdoor activities, enjoy a long walk on one of the city’s greenway trails, which wind through natural landscapes and connect some neighborhoods. No matter which neighborhood you choose to explore, you’re guaranteed to find a local coffee shop, brewery, or bite to eat nearby.

Get Free VIP Apartment Hunting Help

If you’re ready to relocate, AptAmigo can help. We know apartment hunting is a huge struggle in today’s hot market, especially if you’re moving to an in-demand city like Nashville. We’ll pair you with a dedicated local expert who knows everything you need to know about Nashville. With their help, you can find a better apartment in half the time. Our service is completely free, and it’s available to you 24/7. When moving questions keep you up at night, we’re here to answer!

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