Cost Of Living in Austin Texas

Austin, Texas, is known for having a lively music scene and a rich cowboy and artistic culture. It is a creative hub for artists and musicians. But, how much can you expect to pay to enjoy the wonders that Austin offers?

What is the actual cost of living in Austin TX? And how does that compare to hubs like New York and Washington? All things considered Austin, Texas is one of the best places to live in the United States.

In this ultimate guide to Austin TX cost of living, we’ve covered everything from housing to healthcare with the aim of helping you on your big move!

The Cost Of Living Austin TX

Austin, Texas, is a beautiful city known for producing huge stars like Willie Nelson and Roky Erickson. It comes as no surprise that the city has become a magnet for creatives, musicians, and artists. 

In addition to the prominent music scene, Austin has also become home to a ton of tech companies and a major software industry. 

It comes as no surprise then that Austin has a score of 119.3 on the cost of living index. This means that the cost of living in Austin is 19.3% higher than the national average. 

However, this is mostly due to the cost of housing since most other expenses are equal to or cheaper than the national average. So, if you’re living in a fairly inexpensive town like Cleveland, you should have nothing to worry about once you sort out your housing situation. 

In addition, Austin does typically offer higher salaries to help people manage the slightly higher cost of living better. 


Housing is one of those pricey, unavoidable expenses that we all have to deal with at one time or another. In Austin, the cost of housing has increased exponentially due to the increasing population. 

It’s the simple law of supply and demand. With more and more people moving to Austin, the demand for housing has increased and so has the cost. 

In fact, the last decade has seen Austin’s population balloon by 30% in 2019. Due to the population boom, there aren’t really enough homes to go around. 

So, if you’re planning on moving to Austin, you can expect to pay more in housing expenses. 

Buying a Property

Buying a home in Austin might be the best option if you’re planning on making the move to Austin permanent. The exact cost of purchasing a home will depend on the suburb and size of the home you’ve chosen. 

That being said, you can expect to pay an average of around $450,000 for a home, which is around twice the national average of $270,000. While this is very expensive, it is a fraction of what you’d pay in cities like New York and San Francisco.

In addition to having to pay for expensive housing, Texas also has one of the highest property tax rates in the country at 2.06%. 

Renting a Property

Renting a property might sound like a cheaper alternative to buying property but it might not be the saving grace you’d think. In the last few years, renters rates have risen along with the increase in population. 

As of 2021, the average monthly rent is around $1,431. This is very close to the national average of $1,463. 

While this isn’t too bad, the city-wide average can be misleading because of the huge disparity between rent costs in Austin’s center and the Downtown neighborhoods. 

For example, an apartment in a luxury high-rise building in Downtown Austin can cost you upwards of $2,500 whereas those on the city outskirts can be as cheap as $1,000. 


Austin is known for its hot, humid summers which practically demand that you splurge for a great air-conditioner. This alone can really drive up the cost of utilities significantly. 

While most living expenses in Austin are above the national average, the cost of utilities is an exception at 15% below the national average. 

On average, you can expect to pay roughly $146 per month on electricity, garbage disposal, and water. 

A high-speed internet connection of 60Mbps can cost you around $62 which is in line with the national average. 

Should you decide to go with a phone plan, your costs will depend heavily on your service provider but you can expect to pay an average of $156 per month on your phone bill. 

Overall, the average costs of utilities in Austin are pretty standard and shouldn’t break your bank account. 

Food and Groceries

Food and groceries are another one of those unavoidable expenses. In addition to being a music hub, Austin is also known for its bustling foodie culture and cuisine. Luckily, the average cost of groceries in Austin is around 11% cheaper than the national average. 

You can expect to pay around $2,92 for a loaf of bread, around $1,70 for a gallon of milk, and around $1,59 for a carton of eggs. 

If you love eating out, a meal for one at an inexpensive restaurant can cost you around $15 while a meal for two at a mid-range restaurant can cost you around $60. 

These costs are similar to the costs of restaurants in San Francisco and Washington, DC. 

That being said, Austin sports plenty of less expensive but delicious food options such as food trucks, and pop-up eateries. This is great news if you’re a foodie who loves trying new foods and testing out new places. 

In general, the average cost of a monthly grocery trip can end up costing you around $300. 


One of the great things about living in Austin is that you don’t necessarily need a car to get around. While it isn’t really a city you can go around on by walking, you can easily get around by taking a bike or taxi. 

The city itself is sprawling and it can take upwards of 10 minutes to get from suburb to suburb by car. While owning your own car comes with a ton of benefits, there are a few downsides.

One of the major downsides of owning a car is the traffic. In 2019, it was estimated that the average commuter spent 28 minutes getting to work. Since most of Austin’s population (around 72%) drives their own vehicles, traffic is a nightmare. 

If you do choose to drive yourself, you can expect to pay around $1,45 per gallon for gas. This is roughly 40 cents cheaper than the current national average. 

Public Transport

If you aren’t keen on sitting in traffic or driving yourself to work, Austin does offer some great public transport options. 

The city offers everything from computer trains, busses, and taxis so you can take your pick.

You can expect to pay around $1,50 for a single bus trip or spend $2,50 for a day pass. 

Taxi rides are a bit more expensive and could cost around $29,50 per hour or around $2,50 per mile. 

If you plan on commuting to work by public transport, we suggest you invest in a monthly bus pass of $45. Not only will this save you money but, you’ll also have less of a hassle with traffic. 


Surprisingly enough, the general cost of entertainment is pretty standard in Austin. It’s certainly much lower when compared to major cities like New York and Washington. For example, grabbing a beer at a bar in Austin will cost you around $4,35 while a beer in New York can cost you upwards of $7,75. 

Austin is home to a wide variety of bars so you’re sure to find one that you like. In addition to the lively nightlife scene, Austin also sports gorgeous hiking trails and parks, and kayaking. 

A favorite of ours is the McKinney Falls State Park. This is a perfect spot for walking, biking, or enjoying a picnic with family. 

There is also the Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures water park, which offers an amazing way to cool down from the Austin heat. Tickets are quite pricey though at about $59. 

Speaking of physical activity, if you love working out, a standard gym membership can cost you around $44 per month, and enjoying a game of tennis on the weekends could cost you $8,11 per hour. 

For all you movie lovers out there, a trip to the cinema can cost around $12 per ticket for an internationally released movie. You might be able to catch some local and indie movies at a cheaper price. 

Austin is also home to a plethora of museums and historical locations that are both educational and fun. Walking through the streets of Austin will really give you a feel for its history. 

Overall, the city offers a wide variety of activities that would suit almost everyone. There are also plenty of family-friendly activities to take part in. 


A major expense that is often overlooked when considering the cost of living in Austin TX is healthcare. Given that you’d be living in a city that you’re probably unfamiliar with, knowing just how much healthcare in that city costs is important. 

After all, you’ll need to know that you can afford the proper care if you fall ill. 

The overall cost of healthcare in Austin is 1% lower than the national average. This means that you should be able to afford decent healthcare without worrying about breaking the bank. 

You can expect to pay around $110,05 for a visit to the doctor and a trip to the dentist could cost you around $94,54. 

If you’re a regular spectacle user, you can expect to pay around $103,12 for a visit to the optometrist. 

Now, something you should keep in mind is that these costs are dependent on the kind of healthcare insurance you decide to get and the benefits that come with it. 

You might also enjoy some fringe benefits that come along with your job, which can take a lot of the pressure off your shoulders when it comes to health insurance. 

How Much Should You Be Earning to Live Comfortably in Austin, TX?

So, now that you’re familiar with the basic expenses that’ll make up your cost of living in Austin TX, it’s time to answer the big question!

How much should you be earning to live comfortably in Austin, TX?

As of 2019, the average hourly wage in Austin was around $26,53 which was just slightly above the national average of $25,72. If you’re doing the math, that adds up to about $55,182 annually. 

The minimum wage in Austin is in line with the federal minimum wage of $7,25 per hour. How much you actually end up earning will depend on your job. Positions in tech careers such as software engineers tend to earn much more than the city average. 

Overall, you should ensure that your current earnings are in line with, or at least close to, the average annual earnings of $55,182 if you want to live comfortably. Ideally, you’d want your annual earnings to range between $30 to $50k a year. 

If you’re working in Austin, this is much more doable when compared to more expensive cities like New York or San Francisco. 

In Summary

Moving to a different city, county, or state is one of the most exciting yet stressful parts of life. It requires tons of time, effort, and money to pull off. With the busy lives we lead, not everyone has the energy to deal with all the little details that go into moving to a new city. 
Let us at ATX Firefighter Moving lift the burden by providing you with all the information you’ll need to prepare. Let our team of professional movers in Austin take all of the weight off of your shoulders. One of the major concerns when moving is the cost of living. In light of this, we hope our comprehensive guide has given you a better understanding of what you can expect to pay for everyday things when you move there.