Despite Boston’s reputation as a city of many things, affordable living is not one of them. Boston’s cost of living is quite a bit higher than the national average, as is the case in many major cities in the northeast. In Beantown, you’ll pay a premium for everything from entertainment to housing.
If you want to move to Boston, make sure you can afford the living expenses before booking a moving company. Talk to local Realtors; they can give you some insider information about less expensive neighborhoods. This guide will learn about the cost of living in Boston and other factors.
Living In Boston
Living in Boston is an experience like no other. The city is rich in history, as it played a significant role in the American Revolution and is home to landmarks such as the Freedom Trail and the USS Constitution Museum. The streets are lined with historic brownstones, and the famous baked beans can be found at nearly every restaurant.
But Boston is more than just its history; it’s a thriving metropolis with world-renowned universities, top-notch medical institutions, and a thriving tech and startup scene. The city is also known for its love of sports, with passionate fans for the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Patriots. Boston truly offers something for everyone with its rich cultural heritage, academic and medical prowess, and love for sports.
Cost of Living in Boston
Boston’s average monthly cost of living for one person is $2,899 per month. The city is ranked in the top 1% of the most expensive cities globally! It is also the 26th most expensive city in the U.S. (out of 2,202 cities) and the 31st most expensive city globally (out of 9,294).
According to reports, Boston’s cost of living typically falls somewhere between 48% and 62% above the national average. No matter how you look at it, Boston is a costly city regardless of the exact number.
The quality of life in Boston
Boston’s high prices may be worth it if you like the quality of life. It currently ranks #121 on the list of the best places to live globally, which places it in the top 2% of cities worldwide. Aside from that, it’s the 39th best city in the country to live in, ahead of famous cities such as Los Angeles, New Orleans, Virginia Beach, and even Honolulu.
Another thing to consider is that salaries in Boston tend to be higher than average. According to the city’s website, 22% of its residents have advanced degrees. There is also a high demand for jobs in this market, especially in traditionally high-paying fields such as finance, technology, and medicine. As a result, an average Boston salary is 77,000 dollars per year. This is even higher than New York City (which has a higher cost of living) and second only to San Francisco domestically.
Take into consideration as well that colleges surround Boston. More than 35 colleges are located in the city, including MIT and Harvard. As a result, you will find many free or affordable concerts, workshops, sporting events, etc. This will lessen the high cost of living in Boston.
Boston’s Housing and Living Costs.
Unlike the national average, the housing market in Boston is roughly 300% higher than that of the country. There are 717,943 homes for sale on the Boston market. It doesn’t get much better for renters, as the median monthly rent is just $2,249 per month. Comparing this to the average monthly salary of $5,045 (post taxes), you can see that a large chunk of your payment goes towards living expenses alone.
You won’t be able to afford Boston’s living costs any better inside your home. On average, Boston’s utility bills are 17% higher than the national average. In part, this is because Boston has frigid winters and scorching summers, both of which significantly impact your energy bills.
Transportation and Boston’s Cost of Living.
Getting around Boston is another significant expense, with transportation prices 31.8% higher than the national average. This example includes gas, car insurance and maintenance, and mass transit fares.
Boston is home to many neighborhoods where parking fees are charged monthly or annually. Depending on the level of service, it can range anywhere from $135 per month up to $530 per month.
There may be differences in these costs depending on the method of transportation you choose. It is possible to eliminate the need to own a car and save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars every year if you use public transportation instead. The monthly LinkPass is only $90, and you can ride the subway, buses, commuter rails, and ferries unlimited times per month.
Software engineers earn very high salaries in Boston. Boston has the ninth-highest salary among 265 cities for this particular job category. By registering, you can use our wage comparison tool. Utilize our free salary wizard to compare salaries town by city and translate your pay into a local Boston salary.
The Cost of Living in Boston and the Cost of Food.
The cost of food in Boston will be around the same as everything else: much higher than national averages. It costs $349 per month on average for one person to eat out, about 24% more than the national average. Fortunately, groceries are not subject to any state or city taxes.
Here are some average food prices:
- A gallon of milk costs $3.51.
- A loaf of bread costs $2.82.
- A dozen eggs cost $2.52.
- A pound of bananas costs $0.80.
- A pound of chicken costs $5.24.
- A 1.5-liter water bottle costs $2.50.
If you decide to go out to eat instead, the cost of your meal will be highly influenced by your choice of restaurant. You can expect to pay anywhere between $15 and $40 for one meal. Nevertheless, as you would expect in a city of Boston’s size, there are many high-end restaurants, so you might even spend more than that. If you go to a restaurant near the colleges and universities that caters to student budgets, you may be able to stay at the lower end of the price range. It is important to remember that Boston restaurants charge a sales tax. Taxes on restaurant meals will increase to 6.25% in March 2021.