A view with bridges in Denver Colorado overlay

Denver Cost of Living – How Expensive Is It to Live in Denver

Posted in City Guides on June 13, 2022

Is relocating to Colorado’s vivid and historic capital worth it, and how reasonable is Denver cost of living? Moving there is excellent for those looking for an outdoorsy, artistic, and high-quality lifestyle. However, the cost of living in Denver, Colorado, may be the biggest adventure for some, so we’ll look into it today.

If you’ve done a where should I move quiz and got Denver, congratulations. This is Colorado’s most vibrant place and capital. If you want the ultimate relocation guide to this beautiful area, this article will help you learn the cost of living index in Denver and if relocating is worth the trouble.

What Is the Denver Cost of Living Compared to the US Average?

The cost of living Denver, Colorado, might surprise you. You should definitely get a job before moving here and call long-distance movers to help you with that process. Because relocating here might be a bit more complex, you should create a relocation binder to include all the elements necessary for relocation.

This municipality has a population of around 700,000 residents, and its nickname is Mile High City because it’s almost exactly one mile above sea level. People who suffer from the seasonal affective disorder (SAD) will love this place because it has as many as 300 sunny days in a year.

You may also be intrigued by the green initiatives, outdoor activities, and cultural experiences Colorado’s capital offers. It’s the best place to go if you wish to live eco-friendly, eat farm-to-table food, and enroll your kids into top-notch schools.

However, the life expenses in Colorado’s capital, compared to the US national average, are 14% higher and, on a state level, 8% higher.

In terms of actual numbers, an average Denverite would need around $3,000 per month without rent, while a family of four would require around $5,400 to lead a casual and carefree lifestyle.

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The Denver Cost of Living Is Slightly Above the United States Average

Looking for long-distance moving tips when relocating to a place you didn’t expect was more expensive than usual, relocation might feel unnecessary. However, considering the current global state of affairs and the fluctuation in housing, gas, and food prices, it’s expected that some things will be pricier.

State capitals in the US belong in that group, often for a reason. Below is a chart overview of the Denver, Colorado, cost of living compared to the state and national median costs in the housing, groceries, healthcare, transportation, and miscellaneous categories.

Category/Compared to Colorado USA
Housing 20% higher 40% higher
Food 6% lower 5% lower
Transportation 5% higher 12% higher
Health 3% higher 2% higher
Utilities 8% lower 20% lower
Goods and Services 9% higher 13% higher
Overall 8% higher 14% higher

Is Living in Denver Expensive When It Comes to Food Costs? You’ll Be Happy to Hear It’s Below the National Average

When you start gathering your relocation essentials, you may not have to pack non-perishable groceries and foods to sustain you for the first few weeks in Colorado. The grocery price in Mile High City is 2% to 5% lower than the national median, which is one of the best benefits of relocating here.

According to sources, the average American spends around $7,000 per year on groceries and eating out, or $600 per month. A Denverite spends much less, so you can rejoice in grocery shopping in Colorado’s capital.

As Everywhere, You’ll Save More Money by Cooking Than Eating in Restaurants

Of course, wherever you go, it’d be best to eat at home if you want to save money. For anyone relocating with pets, that’s an additional expense to maintain in your new place. If saving up is your priority, cooking in the comfort of your home is the best way to do it.

You can move into a smaller place and look up small condo ideas that could make you live comfortably and at a reasonable price. If you want to treat yourself to a restaurant at some point, you’ll need to pay around $18 for a meal. And indeed, going out with friends and making new memories is a must in Denver, but you’ll have to take out around $6 for a pint of domestic beer.

Your Average Cost of Living in Denver Will Lower if You Use Public Transportation

When moving cross-country to Denver, one of the most challenging aspects is getting a car shipping service. Maybe driving seems like the better choice because you don’t know any reliable car shipping options, but you don’t have to do that – the gas expenses will cause damage like a boss in a video game.

Some packing tips we could spare for relocating to Colorado’s capital is to get packing services and fully prepare for your move with a long-distance relocation company. Many offer the complete package with moving, packing, car shipping, and storage services.

Tips for moving around Mile High City are to try local transportation by getting a monthly pass or investing in a bicycle. If you’re moving from LA, cycling will seem like a mysterious way of going around, but it’ll be safer and cheaper here.

The municipality has 267 miles of paved biking paths, and the monthly transportation ticket comes at around $100.

Gasoline Prices Are Significantly Higher in Mile High City

Relocating without a job to Mile High City will be nearly impossible. Whether you go for an office move or personal reasons, calling cross-country moving services to help you with car shipping would be best. This is because gas prices in Colorado and its capital are 6% higher than the national level; you can get a gallon for $4,19.

A full tank (if the standard tank is 12 gallons) will be around $50, which, compared to the monthly transport ticket of $100, is much higher and less convenient. It all depends on where you find a place and learn to save when you live on your own.

The couple in the video below lives in Colorado’s capital, and they introduce ways of commuting around it without a car.

Forget Food and Transport – What About the Cost of Housing in Denver, Colorado?

Something you may be the most interested in are the house prices in Denver, Colorado. Food and transportation are two relatively manageable factors when relocating, but what house hunting tips would be useful when relocating across the country?

Considering the median house prices in Mile High City, that number comes up to around $500,000. That’s a whopping 40% higher than the national medium and 20% higher than the state level. We recommend you prepare your home for sale and save the money to get another one in Colorado’s capital.

You should also create a household inventory list that will help you pack all your belongings and potentially get an empty home that you can equip more to your liking over time. Turnkey options are always more expensive everywhere, so ensure that you can combine your packing list with the equipment in your new home.

Count also, that utilities are more affordable in Mile High City and by an astounding 20% less than the national median rate. Sources say utilities in the area are between $100 and $150, depending on the size of your place and your needs.

Denver Housing Prices – One-Bedroom vs Three-Bedroom Apartments

The average rent in Denver, Colorado, varies for apartment structures. Of course, one-bedroom apartments will be generally more affordable than two or three-bedroom places, but that heavily depends on the location.

If you’re relocating for love and your partner’s a local, ask them to recommend a suitable area for your monthly budget and create a new apartment checklist. You’ll have an advantage with someone who knows the area well enough to make a sensible decision.

What do you need to rent an apartment in Mile High City? Here’s a short overview of how much rent is for various apartment types and locations, according to data from Numbeo:

  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the central area: $1,600 – $2,200
  • One-bedroom apt outside of the central area: $1,200 – $1,850
  • Rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the central area: $2,500 – $4,000
  • Three-bedroom apt outside of the central area: $2,000 – $3,000

Denver’s Hospitals Have Ranked Among the Top 100 in the US and Provide Good Healthcare

You can have a stress-free move once you hear that you’ll be in good hands when you require any of Denver’s many hospitals. The high quality of Colorado’s healthcare is one of the more joyous reasons to move to this state’s capital.

According to research done by Healthgrades and data presented by Denver Business Journal a couple of years ago, Denver’s Saint Joseph Hospital and Rose Medical Center were in the top 100 best hospitals in the US, which is the top 2% on a national level.

To have not just one but two local health centers in the area reach the top 2% in the country is an amazing statistic. To see a specialized family doctor, a Denverite will pay around $115, and a visit to the dentist costs approximately $100. Common OTC medications such as ibuprofen come at $9.

Move With Cross-Country Movers and Learn About Denver’s Charms

You can significantly spare your relocation budget to Mile High City by contacting a long-distance mover. As mentioned before, it’s not just an excellent way to save a bit of time and money, but you’ll have the opportunity to pack your entire house and perhaps save for the long term, too.

How much do movers cost? This doesn’t have to worry you too much because you can customize the services based on your household inventory list and get a free quote before considering a specific company. Unfortunately, Denver is one of the most expensive cities in the country, so being efficient and savvy with relocating to such a pricey place will be crucial.

You can trust a relocation company to stay reliable no matter what, but it’s also important to be sure Denver’s neighborhoods are calling your name and begging you to settle there. You can think about it and relocate when you’re sure. A moving company will be there in any case.

Two cross-country movers packing their client's belongings
Call professional movers to help you move to Colorado's capital quickly and efficiently

Is Denver an Expensive Place to Live? It Might Be, but You’ll Decide if You’re Ready for This Challenge

It’s really important to emphasize Denver’s median yearly income per household. The data on the average yearly salary there says it’s around $72,000, which is higher than the national level of $67,000. Per month, Denverites can earn up to $6,000, so if all costs are considered, the area isn’t too expensive to keep you hungry for weeks.

You can now decide if moving across the country and relocating to another state alone are worth it when it comes to Colorado’s vibrant capital. It’s logical to look for more affordable and suitable options, but compared to big cities like LA, San Francisco, and NY, this place will be comfortable and easy to get used to. It’s about picking your battles wisely and staying realistic about costs and your lifestyle.

Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

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