Cost of Living in Austin, TX – Complete Guide


Austin, the capital of the Lone Star State, has become a magnetic hub for people seeking a mix of urban dynamism and southern charm. The cost of living in Austin, TX, is a frequently debated topic among those who find themselves captivated by its energetic rhythm and are considering calling it home. As a major tech hub, a haven for foodies, and a hotspot for live music enthusiasts, it’s no surprise that Austin continues to rank high on lists of best places to live in the US.

Yet, with such admiration comes a corresponding increase in demand for homes and services, directly impacting the cost of living in Austin, TX. The city’s evolving skyline, burgeoning restaurant scene, and extensive green spaces paint a picture of growth and opportunity, but they also hint at the rising expenses one might encounter. As more people share their delightful Austin experiences, a domino effect has ensued. 

A growing number of individuals and families find themselves enchanted by the allure of the Texan capital and subsequently decide to relocate. Many of these newcomers rely on expert movers in Austin to ensure a seamless transition to their new lives in this vibrant city. The question remains, however: With so much to offer, how does the cost of living in Austin, TX truly measure up to expectations and salaries?

What Makes Austin Unique?

The Texan capital isn’t your average city. It effortlessly blends urban sophistication with a bohemian spirit. This rare fusion draws a diverse crowd, ensuring the city’s culture remains eclectic and vibrant. “Keep Austin Weird” isn’t just a slogan; it’s an ethos residents live by, celebrating individuality and creativity. The cost of living in Austin, TX, often reflects its unique offerings.

The Lure of the TexaS Capital

Austin’s magic lies in its seamless blend of urban and natural environments. Imagine having a serene lake, Lady Bird Lake, right in the city center. How much does it cost to live in Austin, Texas, per month? While costs vary, the lifestyle rewards you reap in this lively capital are immeasurable.

Housing Costs

Renting vs. Buying in Austin

Housing arguably takes up the largest chunk of monthly expenses for most Austinites. The renting route is often favored by newcomers, with a central one-bedroom apartment ranging between $1,500 to $2,500 monthly. 

On the other hand, the city’s real estate surge sees median home prices at about $400,000. The cost of living in Austin, TX, especially housing, has seen a noticeable increase in the past few years, prompting many to question, “What salary do you need to live in Austin?”

Popular Neighborhoods and Their Average Costs

Austin’s neighborhoods, like its residents, are diverse. South Congress and East Austin are urbanites’ favorites but come with a hefty price tag. On the contrary, areas like North Loop or Brentwood provide affordability without compromising on Austin’s quintessential vibe. Deciding where to live is crucial in determining how much it costs to live in Austin, Texas, per month.

Transportation Expenses

Public Transportation

CapMetro, Austin’s public transport system, provides efficiency at an affordable rate. A monthly pass is roughly $41.50. It’s a feasible option for those who prefer not to own vehicles, making it easier to manage the cost of living in Austin, TX.

Owning a Car in Austin

Texas is expansive, and while Austin’s public transport is commendable, many prefer the convenience of a personal vehicle. Annually, expect an average cost of around $8,000, considering insurance, fuel, and maintenance. When contemplating the cost of living in Austin, TX, transportation is a pivotal factor.

Food and Dining

Grocery Bills and Tips to Save

On average, Austinites spend about $800 a month on groceries for a family of four. To save, many locals turn to farmers’ markets, like Barton Creek, which offer fresh options at competitive prices. Finding ways to minimize grocery bills can greatly influence what salary you need to live in Austin.

Dining Out: From Food Trucks to Upscale Restaurants

Austin is a gastronomic paradise. A typical restaurant meal might cost about $15, but there’s a wealth of food trucks dishing out scrumptious bites below $10. Dining preferences will influence the cost of living in Austin, TX.

Utilities and Internet

The monthly utilities bill, covering electricity, heating, cooling, and water, averages between $150-$200. And for those digital natives? The Internet is approximately $60 monthly for commendable speed. This can vary, of course, but these are essential considerations when evaluating the cost of living in Austin, TX.

Healthcare Costs

Healthcare in Austin, like much of the U.S., isn’t cheap. Expect an average of $200 per doctor’s visit if you’re uninsured. Fortunately, many employers in the area offer health insurance benefits. Yet, healthcare remains a significant factor when assessing the cost of living in Austin, TX.

Recreation and Entertainment

Nightlife in Austin

Austin isn’t dubbed the “Live Music Capital of the World” for no reason. A night on Sixth Street or at the Red River music venues might cost you $50-$100, based on your tastes. However, it’s these experiences that contribute to Austin’s unparalleled charm.

Outdoor Activities and Their Costs

Nature lovers, rejoice! Kayak on Lady Bird Lake for $20 an hour or hike Mount Bonnell for free. Austin’s blend of recreational activities caters to all budgets, making it easier to manage the cost of living in Austin, TX, while still having fun.

Education Costs

Public vs. Private Schools

Austin’s public schools stand above average. For those considering private education, yearly tuition can stretch from $5,000 to $25,000. These figures are vital for families evaluating what is a comfortable living salary in Austin, Texas.

Higher Education Institutions

Proudly hosting the University of Texas, Austin remains an educational hub. Annual tuition for in-state students averages around $10,000, but this varies based on courses and additional costs.


The cost of living in Austin, TX, with its unparalleled cultural offerings and thriving economy, can be higher than other Texan cities. Yet, for many, the experiences and opportunities make every penny worthwhile. The allure of Austin, for both its vibrant lifestyle and the economic opportunities it presents, remains undeniable.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.