Texas is the second largest US state in the country in terms of population and area. The Lone Star State has cool little towns and sprawling big towns, plus just about any outdoor adventure you can imagine. Plus, Texas also has an affordable cost of living. The average cost of living in Texas is about 8% higher than the national average. To determine if you can afford to live in Texas, take a closer look at expenses related to items such as food, housing, taxes, and bills in Texas.
In Texas, you can expect affordable rental prices compared to national rates. A one-bedroom apartment in Texas costs about $ 1,272 per month, while studios are closer to about $ 1,300 per month. Depending on the size of the apartment you need, you can expect to spend around $ 300 less than the national average. Of course, it all depends on which city or town in Texas you choose to live.
Average utility costs in Texas depend on the area you plan to live in, as some areas have deregulated markets. In contrast, some of the larger cities, like Austin, have monopolies on utilities. People living in deregulated markets often pay more for utilities. On average, the monthly energy bill in Texas costs about $ 128.50, or $ 1,542 per year, which is higher than the US average of $ 110.26.
The price of food in Texas varies slightly from city to city. A single adult living in Texas would need about $ 2,994 per year to cover food costs. A working family of two adults with two children should expect to spend around $ 8,822 per year on food.
The prices of individual foods also vary by city. In Dallas, for example, two pounds of apples and beef cost between $ 3.14 and $ 11.57, respectively. In Austin, those prices drop to $ 3.40 and $ 11.79. Expect lower prices in cities outside of major Texas cities, but also fewer options.
If you are planning to live in Texas, you will need a car. The Lone Star State isn’t known for its excellent public transportation, even in its larger cities. Fortunately, if you have a vehicle, gasoline prices in Texas are relatively low. The average price of gasoline per gallon in the state is around $ 2.11, which is significantly lower than the national average of $ 2.40.
You also need to have auto insurance (and a valid driver’s license, of course) to drive a vehicle in Texas. The cost of auto insurance in Texas varies based on several factors including your driving and credit history, marital status, gender, and age. On average, auto insurance in Texas costs about $ 1,810 per year, or about 27% more than the national average.
Health care costs
The average cost of healthcare in Texas is around $ 6,110 per person per 2018 digits, which is almost 4% higher than the national average. If you are considering purchasing health insurance, you should expect to pay an average of $ 509 for basic health insurance. Prices will vary, however, depending on the policy chosen, your family size, and household income.
One of the best features of the average cost of living in Texas is that there is no income tax. This tax elimination can save you a lot of money each year compared to states with high income tax rates, such as California and Hawaii.
With respect to sales tax and use tax, Texas imposes a rate of 6.25% on all retail sales, rentals and leases of many products, as well as taxable services. Don’t overlook the 20-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax. Local tax jurisdictions, such as counties, cities, transit authorities, and special purpose districts, can also impose up to 2% sales and use tax for a maximum combined rate of $ 8. 5%.
Suppose you are planning to pursue higher education in Texas. In this case, you may need to spend around $ 5,957 for in-state students and $ 16,378 for out-of-state students per year (including tuition and miscellaneous fees), which is a slightly higher than the national average of $ 6,768 for in-state students and $ 17,692 for out-of-state students.
If you’re worried about student loans, the Lone Star State has cheaper options. The following list of colleges in Texas can help you start finding the best school for your personal and educational goals, all at an affordable cost:
- Brazosport College (Lake Jackson): $ 4,290
- Midland College (Midland): $ 4,290
- South Texas College (McAllen): $ 4,440
- University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio (San Antonio): $ 5,875 (undergraduate), $ 3,114 (graduate)
- University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (Brownsville): $ 5,352
Facts about the cost of living in Texas
If you have any money left over after paying for accommodation, food, and transportation, you might want to have fun. If you like going to the movies, expect to pay around $ 10.61 per movie ticket.
There are many national and state parks that can keep you happy in Texas. Boating, camping, and hiking are all popular activities in the state. Other attractions exist, such as the rare sea turtles of Padre Island National Seashore and the ancient pictographs of the national park and the historic site of Hueco Tanks. Visiting these sites would cost you around $ 20 per day, including fees paid for entrance tickets and a day trip.
What is the cost of living in Texas? As you can see, you will find a competitive average cost to live in Texas compared to many other popular states in the United States. Hopefully this guide has given you an idea of what to expect with your cost of living if you move to the Lone Star State.
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