Texas State Capitol in Austin overlay

Breakdown of Cost of Living in Austin, TX for 2022

Posted in City Guides on August 12, 2022

About 33,700 people move to the capital of Texas each year. If you are one of them, go over the cost of living in Austin, TX, before packing up the bags. Having a detailed budget will make the whole process of becoming an Austinite easier and less stressful. To help you, we wrote down all the essential expenses every newcomer faces. So, let’s check out is it expensive to live in Austin, Texas.

Why Is It Important to Know Cost of Living in Austin, TX Before Moving Cross Country

Creating a relocation budget is essential to every moving to another state checklist as it should be. Relocating to a new state without knowing how much money you need is a recipe for disaster. That’s why you should get familiar with Austin’s cost of living long before hiring cross-country movers to help you relocate there.

Avoid one of the common relocation mistakes – going in blind and spending way too much money during the move. When you know the housing prices, utilities, and other day-to-day expenses, it will be easier to crunch numbers and find a way to save up.

How Does the Cost of Living in Austin, Texas, Compare to Other Cities in the State

ATX is only the fourth most populous city in the state of Texas, and it has so much to offer to newcomers. However, if you are on the fence about relocating here and no amount of “where should I move” quizzes helped you feel confident in the decision, comparing ATX with other Texas cities might.

That’s why, to make the moving across the country process easier, we took the data from the website Numbeo and compared housing and salaries in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and ATX.

City Rent Per Month (1br apartment) Buy Apartment Price (per SF) Average Monthly Net Salary
Austin $1,430 $280 $6,180
Houston $1,160 $155 $5,655
San Antonio $1,065 $135 $4,650
Dallas $1,335 $166 $6,235

Housing Prices Are on the Rise but Are Still Affordable

The ATX real estate market is still extraordinarily hot. According to the KVUE report, in-migration and a swiftly rebuilding economy are two of the many factors for high home demand. The Board of Realtors’ most recent report shows that median sales prices have increased by 29% year over year, and average days on the market have decreased by 13 days.

Even with the rise in prices, the median home value of $337,400 makes the ATX real estate market still affordable, especially for those relocating from the West Coast. So, if you are still considering becoming homeowners in ATX, know that it will be a worthy investment. After all, home value has increased by almost 40% in the last year.

infographic Austin housing
Data from Board of Realtors' most recent report

Settling in an Affordable Neighborhood Positively Affects Austin, Texas, Cost of Living

There are over a hundred different neighborhoods in ATX. Each with its unique vibe and character. But if your main goal when house hunting is to save up, check out some of the most affordable ATX locations you can settle in:

  • North Lamar is a small location characterized by peaceful streets lined with single-family homes. Its vicinity to Interstate 35 gives North Lamar easy access to the entire city, making it a great spot for people that are commuting to work. This is especially important for tech commuters working in the “Silicon Hills.” With a median rent of $1,198 and home prices of $183,835, it is one of the most affordable ATX locations today.
  • East Riverside is ideal for renters, which is why almost 91% of all residents are renting their homes. A median rent of $1,260 might inspire you to quickly figure out what you need to rent an apartment here. On top of affordable rent, the area is filled with restaurants, local bars, and music venues, making it ideal for younger crowds. Furthermore, if you are more set on becoming a homeowner, know that median buying prices are $256,600.
  • Brentwood is an ideal combination of urban appeal and small-town charm. If you relocate here, you’ll experience many benefits of shipping a car. The area is in proximity to the Mopac Expressway and the Interregional Expressway, so commuting will be easy. Brentwood’s median rent is $1,410, while residence prices are $240,000.
  • Hyde Park is a peaceful, close-knit community, ideal for people relocating with kids. Furthermore, the peaceful streets lined with single-family residences are ideal for walking dogs and pushing strollers. Here median rent is $1,385, while home prices are $281,000.
  • North University is located above the University of Texas campus, making it a popular student and faculty community. However, you don’t have to be a scholar to appreciate its livability. The area is well-served by public transportation and it’s densely packed with restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, and bookstores. It is quite affordable, with a median rent of $1,280 and a home price of $290,000.

Since there are plenty of different places you can settle in, house hunting won’t be that tedious. Just do your research, and it will be easy to figure out what neighborhood is the right one for you. You can start by checking out the video below, which will tell you more about Hyde Park and North University.

Food and Utilities Will Play a Significant Role in Your Monthly Budget

Austinites love their food, which can be seen in the number of restaurants all over the metropolitan area (almost 6,000). Add to that number 1,000 food trucks, and you’ll see that relocating to ATX will put you in a foodie paradise.

That being said, if you don’t want to pack up your kitchen items and you actually enjoy dining out, there will be plenty of options all around the city. Here it is all about BBQ and Tex-Mex, but there are also other food joints that can satisfy all of your cravings. Just be prepared to pay $16 for a dish in an inexpensive dinner and $35 for a three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant.

On the other hand, if you have packed up all your dishes and are ready to channel your inner Gordon Ramsay, you’ll need to buy some fruits and vegetables. And you’ll need around $300 a month for groceries, which is around 12% less than the national average.

After putting food on the table, it is time to consider utility bills. The costs of basic utility bills are $150, and they include cooling, garbage, heating, water, and electricity. Plus, if you want unlimited internet, you should set aside another $70.

fruits and vegetables
ATX has 23 urban farms that are providing local restaurants with produce

Various Transportation Options Make Saving Up Easier

There are many different transportation options in ATX. You can choose to drive your car or use one of the many public transportation options. Those who want to save up a bit of money can opt for public transport.

Capital Metro, a regional public transportation system, operates the city’s bus and train lines, as well as several regional routes. MetroBus provides frequent-stop service on most routes around the city. Two MetroRapid routes run north-south corridors through the center and to the suburbs on both ends, providing rapid-transit buses.

Next, there are MetroExpress commuter buses that run between the city center and the suburbs. MetroRail is a commuter rail system that connects downtown with the northern suburbs. As you can tell, there are a lot of options available, and the monthly ticket for these local transportation services is around $40.

If you are relocating to a big city such as ATX from a small town, you might get overwhelmed with the public transportation options. Luckily Capital Metro developed an app that can help you navigate the city without a fuss, and to learn more about it, check out the video below.

Driving a Car Will Make Your Commute Short

On the other hand, driving your car is a valid option if you don’t like public transport. Especially considering that the commute time in ATX is 24 minutes, which is almost 2 minutes shorter than the USA average.

Furthermore, here on average, people have two cars per household, making the city very car-dependable. So, no matter where you come from, if you own a vehicle, ensure that long-distance movers use their auto shipping service to transport it to ATX with all your other items.

Just heads up for all car owners, be aware of parking rates that start at $5 and can go up to $25 per day. Also, your yearly costs for car maintenance will be anywhere between $950 and $2,520.

The Austin Capitol In the Early Morning After Rain Storm
Around 74% of Austinites use cars to commute to work

There Are Plenty of Budget-Friendly Education Options in ATX

Knowledge is power, so if your main reason to move to ATX is to pursue it, know that there are plenty of great educational opportunities in the city. For elementary and secondary education, the city is home to many highly-rated public schools, as well as a number of private schools.

Furthermore, if you have toddlers and want to enroll them in full-day preschool, you’ll need around $1,000 a month to do so. Also, there are international primary schools that cost around 16,860 a year. In addition to traditional options, there are several alternative education programs. These include Montessori schools, Waldorf schools, and charter schools.

On the other hand, if you are relocating to pursue higher education, know that there are 16 colleges in the metropolitan area. Also, higher education options include the University of Texas, one of the top public universities in the nation, as well as some smaller private colleges and universities.

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You Can Save Money by Enrolling in University With Affordable Tuition

You can save up without giving up your dream of higher education. Luckily ATX is home to some amazing and yet affordable universities. Check out the table below to see just how much money you’ll need to become a student in some of the most affordable schools in ATX.

Name of the School Tuition Fee for Out-Of-State Students Tuition Fee for International Students
University of Phoenix $12,700 a year $12,700 a year
National American University $6,500 a year $20,000 a year
Huston-Tillotson University $15,500 a year $22,000 a year
Concordia University of Texas $16,500 a year $32,000 a year
Texas Health and Science University $22,000 a year $34,600 a year

Texas Is Pretty Tax-Friendly State Which Can Be Great for Your Budget

The long-distance moving process will be a lot easier when you know that you are relocating to a state that does not have a personal income tax. Furthermore, TX doesn’t have tax estates as well.

Overall, TX is a tax-friendly state. According to the Tax Foundation, it has the 46th highest overall state and local tax burden of all states. The combined state and municipal tax burden is only 7.6 percent While, for example, in 2021, New York came in first (most steeply taxed) with a rate of 12.7 percent.

tax statement paper
You'll save up on taxes in TX

Salaries in ATX Are Higher That USA Average

ATX is one of the best cities for millennials because of the strong economy that’s creating vast employment opportunities. With this in mind, figuring out how to get a job before you move won’t be that hard, especially if you are looking for work in the tech sector. The city is home to many major tech companies, and there are plenty of job openings in the industry.

On the other hand, if you’re interested in working in a creative field, ATX is also a great place to be. The metropolis is home to many advertising, design, and media agencies, and there are plenty of job openings in these industries as well.

Even with all of these opportunities available, you should learn what salary do you need to live in Austin in 2022. Knowing the amount of money needed will make getting a job in the new city faster and more efficient.

According to the PayScale website, the salary in Austin is $74,000 a year, which is higher than the US average ($56,310). However, depending on your living situation, lifestyle, and the number of people in your household, the amount of money needed to live comfortably will vary.

LivingWage website shows that an adult without kids needs around $31,360 to live comfortably, while a family of four needs $71,880. Considering the city’s average salary, it is safe to assume that living in ATX will be a great financial decision.

Check Out if Your Job Is Among the Most Paid Ones In ATX

No matter if you are moving to a new state alone or if you are doing it for love, if you are not seeking higher education, you are most likely going to need a job to avoid dipping into savings. And since there are plenty of opportunities in ATX, job hunting won’t be hard. However, let’s see if you are the lucky one whose job is among the most paid ones:

  • Management – Annual salary $111,430,
  • Computer and Mathematical – Annual salary $96,450,
  • Architecture and Engineering – Annual salary $88,950,
  • Legal – Annual salary $86,900,
  • Business and Financial Operations – Annual salary $77,450.

Long-Distance Moving to ATX Will Open the World of Opportunities for You

A booming economy, plenty of employment, entertainment, and education opportunities are just some of the things that make TX capital attractive to newcomers. On top of all of this, the city is still fairly affordable compared to other metropolises, making it great for your budget.

So, when you decide to move, ATX would be the perfect place to make all of your dreams come true. And while you are applying for jobs or looking for the perfect neighborhood, let professionals with efficient cross-country moving services handle the grunt work of relocation.

At the end of the day, becoming Austinite could open a world of possibilities for you, so why not embrace them as soon as possible.

Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

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