Cost of living 2018 in the USA

Hello everyone,

As per our annual tradition, we invite you to share your experiences and tell us more about the average prices of products and services in your town/city/area, so that we have updated information regarding cost of living and inflation in the USA.

Thanks to your contribution, future expats in the USA will be more informed and will be able to refine their budget and better prepare for their big move.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in the USA?

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in the USA?

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?

What is your monthly budget for groceries?

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in the USA?

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?

How much does childcare cost on average per month?

What is your child's schooling budget per month?

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?

How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?

How much do you pay for your lunch pack on weekdays?

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?

How much does a gym membership cost in the USA?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

All of this is location and need want based. Apples and oranges. You cannot use numbers for small town Idaho for NYC.

Yes, there's just too many variables across the country to outline them here.  Numbeo.com's cost of living data is better resource to use to get an idea, even then, it can be misleading.

Romaniac
Expat.com Experts Team

Just figure it will more expensive than you thought. :)

Bob K

Bob K :

Just figure it will more expensive than you thought. :)

Bob K

You have a point here. Especially for those coming from LCO countries it can be sticker shock.

This is for Jacksonville, FL

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in the USA?
The average is around $1000 in decent neighborhoods but can climb in pricier neighborhoods.

How much does it cost to buy an apartment or a house in the USA?
You can still find a 3-2 home in good neighborhoods for under $200K but location....

How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?
Jacksonville is physically huge so you need wheels. The downtown overhead train is free but doesn't go too many places, buses are $1.50 (seniors free with card), taxis expensive, Uber/Lyft readily available.

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?
Gas below the national average.

How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?
Typical is $150-200

How much do you pay for an espresso coffee?
Typical is $4-5

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?
Around $8 (more for 3D), seniors about $6. Tinseltown has $5 special every Tuesday for all shows/hours.

This is Los Angeles, CA

Prices are to the roof compared to most of the states.

Gas prices are average $3.00 per Gallon, $60 / week for me

Electricity for a one bedroom apt average $70

Cinema Ticket average $15

Hi everyone. Small contribution from my end. I have been renting in downtown Houston (2 miles from my work) which cost me $1,590/month for 2bedroom 1 bath 900sq ft which includes water and trash valet.

After 1 year I managed to buy my own house paying $2,750 for mortgage 22 miles from work. It is quite a big jump from my monthly expenses but this is my own place now and 3.5 times bigger than my apartment. So my gasoline expenses from 25.00/month to 100/month (2.10/gal). No public transport so I rely on my own car which I pay 520.00 a month. Electricity is 70/mo, gas 70/mo, water 50/mo, cable/internet 130/mo, auto ins. 116/mo. My cellphone is 43.00/mo and my son is 13.00/mo.

Health insurance which includes medical, dental and eyes $330/mo for me and my young son. Cinemark is 12.00 per HD movie. I go to movies once a year...there's alot of good movies online for a fraction of the cost. 

I seldom buy food from our cafeteria cos it's quite expensive and I dont buy from Starbucks. I cook my own food and bring it to work. I bring my own coffee with french vanilla cream to work. My monthly groceries is 400 for two people. We seldom eat out and prefer to do alot of cooking at home hence the high electric and gas bill.

I pretty much try to save coz i support my mum every month and I also have my eldest son studying in UK 🇬🇧.

I hope that gives you an idea about living the American dream😁👍

Hi everyone
I have a 4 bed pool home on a gated community in Kissimmee Florida house prices are varied on the estate between $295000 to $675000.

i pay out

$200 electric inc part pool heater in lower temps
$48    Water
$63.   Basic cable, phone, Internet,
$150 HOA. Home owners association, inc: boat dock, children's park, tennis court, trees, landscape lighting, and irrigation,
$90.  Pool cleaner
$210. Gardener and pest control
$1300 building and contents insurance full cover yearly
$4000 property tax yearly

$3.50 loaf of decent quality bread
$11.00 2 pieces rump steak
$4.99 tub of margarine average brand
$4.50 -8.00 cheddar cheese average variety, I find cheese very expensive compared to uk
$24.00 20 pk beer depending on brand

I have taken these prices off a receipt in our local supermarket 3 weeks ago,

That said I bought Some furniture, TVs, beds etc, half the price than in the uk.
And petrol/gas is much cheaper, December  2017 I paid $2.10 a gallon
To eat out is pretty reasonable depending what your comparing it with,
All in all I would find the state of Florida expensive in some things but cheap in others,
My shocker is property taxes 😳
I'm not living here full time yet so I'm not earning my money in Dollars so I can only compare to the uk
My next shocker is going to be health insurance 😩

Hope this helps anyone looking to move out here obviously this is just my home, different neighbourhoods will be slightly different

I do not want to reply on everything you asked because a lot of things are very dependent on the lifestyle of the person you ask. But I want to share some informations and insights.
What I tell you is valid for PA and partly for NJ because I live in PA and work in NJ.
House/Apartment:

To rent a apartment is in my area more or less impossible. Just not available. Everybody lives in a house. I could not find an apartment close to my job. I have seen some, and it starts, for something small, at $1000 per month. Easily up to 1500 - 2000 for a good location.
Houses are also very expensive. I pay currently $1900 for a house.

On the other side, purchasing a house is inexpensive. I bought recently a house and will move in soon which did cost only $126000. This is strange for me. Buying is cheap, renting is very costly. And it is a reasonable house. Never ever I could buy something like this in Germany or in France. A reason to stay here for retirement. In Europe I could not afford having a house for 100 000 Euro.

You should never forget the property tax. This is a cost factor which will stay forever. Before buying it should be clear what the property tax will be. Maybe a more expensive house in a different area can be less expensive than a cheaper one in the wrong spot. In New Jersey, for example, the houses are cheaper than in PA, but the property tax is very high. I would never buy a house in NJ.

Other costs:
Cell Phone, contract, unrestricted, T-Mobil $75/month
Internet, 100 MBit, $79/month
Car Insurance, $100/month
Groceries: $100 - 200/month for myself
Electricity: $50 - $150/month depending on season

As soon I have my own house I can cut my costs significantly. If I would live in Alabama, for example, I would spend even less because of the property tax. Only $50 instead of $350.

Getting a mortgage for a house when you moved to the states in the last year is an adventure. I could not make it.

Fortunately I can buy the house with cash.

I will share what I know, as far as cost of living.

I have a daughter living in California-- VERY expensive living here.  Many people are moving out of CA and moving to Utah. Have many friends who are from CA who sold there homes there and moved to Utah, where housing is much more reasonable.

Idaho is a very reasonable place to live, if you like country living.

NORTHERN UTAH

How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Utah:
3 Bedroom $1000

How much does it cost to buy  a house Utah?
3400 sq $450,000

How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?
quality bread $3.50 loaf, other $2.00 loaf

What is your monthly budget for groceries?
for 2 people (eating at home most the time) $200 month

How much does it cost to see a doctor/dentist/physician/specialist in Utah?
General physician $75, Dentist (exam, x-rays) $230, eye $75-$140

How much do you pay for health insurance per month?
we have a major medical plan for 2 people ($25,000 ded) $100

How much does childcare cost on average per month?
Excellent Preschool (2 times per week) $75 month

How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?
$3.05 gal (as of 5/24/2018)


How much do you pay for your internet and phone subscription?
$45 month for 2 people

How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?
$6.50

How much does a gym membership cost in the USA?
$10 month

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