Is It Affordable to Live in Texas? A Cost of Living Guide

Rhythm on Thursday, June 6, 2024
Is It Affordable to Live in Texas? A Cost of Living Guide

Cost of Living in Texas (Compared to Other States)

Thinking about moving to the greatest state in the nation? We can understand why! With one of the strongest job markets in the country, ample opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy nature, great city living, and the best barbecue and Tex-Mex food you’ve ever tasted, there are plenty of reasons to make the Lone Star State your home. But how does the average cost of living compare to other places in the country? Read on to find out.

Average Cost of Living in Texas

When it comes to overall cost of living, Texans benefit from the 15th lowest cost of living in the United States. The overall cost of living comparison ranks states against a national average of 100; for example, if you live in New York City the cost of living is 187.2, which means that on average you will spend 87.2% more than the average cost nationwide. The overall cost of living in Texas falls at 93.9. So if you move to Texas from New York State or California, you will save between 26.6 and 56% on your overall expenses.

In other words, if for every $100 you spend in Texas, you would have to spend $126.60 in New York or $156 in California.

Cost of living in Texas

Housing Cost of Living in Texas

In our state, there are more than 11 million housing units according to U.S. census data, meaning that you have plenty of options. But how much will a home or apartment cost you? In 2023, the cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment here slowed after years of growth, to level out at 10.5% cheaper than the national average, around $1,280 per month.

A typical home in Texas is 12% less expensive than the national average, coming in at just over $297,000. Of course, this cost depends on which city you choose to make your new home – the prices in Austin are highest ($481,739), with Dallas ($361,199) and Houston ($296,083) coming in the middle, and places like El Paso ($194,688) and Beaumont ($156,639) at the lower end of the spectrum.

Utilities Cost of Living in Texas

According to One Main Financial, the cost of utilities in Texas is lower than the national average. While Americans overall spend an average of $429, in Texas those same services cost $423.90. Here’s how average utility costs are broken out:

  • Energy $142.40

  • Natural Gas $61

  • Water $37

  • Internet $30

  • Phone $114

  • Streaming $49.50

Healthcare and insurance costs

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, an official arm of the U.S. Government, estimates that Texans spend about $6,593 each year on health care. Of course, your family’s specific needs and coverage will affect how many you spend on health care.

Cost of Groceries in Texas

The cost of groceries depends on many factors, one of them being what state you choose as home. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average Texan spends around $289 per month on non-restaurant food costs, placing it lower than the national average.

Cost of Transportation in Texas

According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Living Wage Calculator, the average annual transportation cost for a one-adult household with no children is around $10,216; for a family of two working adults with three children that number is $17,116.

Getting Out and Having Fun: Price Comparison

With so many wonderful experiences on offer in our great state, you might be wondering how much a meal or day out will set you back. Overall, prices are comparable – an annual family pass to the Dallas Zoo is $149, and includes discounted tickets to more than 150 zoos and aquariums worldwide. And the price you’ll pay for a great pulled pork plate from the famous Franklin Barbecue in Austin is $28.

Uber Average Costs

Even in the least expensive cities, Uber fares now top $2 per mile, according to the Daily Dot. But prices in Texas are typically cheaper than those in northern cities. In 2023, in El Paso trips averaged $2.10 per mile, while in San Francisco they were $3.25 per mile and in New York City $4.32 per mile.

Average Costs of Attending a NFL Game

Thinking about attending a Dallas Cowboys or Houston Texans game? A 2022 report by Bookies.com calculated the total cost of a family of four attending games for each NFL team, including the price of tickets, parking, two beers, two soft drinks, and four hot dogs. Our Houston team, all in, rounded out around $550, while Cowboys games cost around $600. Compare this to other cities – the San Francisco 49ers came in as the most expensive, with the total costs including the cheapest tickets costing around $890.

Average Cost of a Case of Beer Compared

AmericanCraftBeer.com put together a helpful comparison of the cost of beer in each state, collecting prices for a 24-pack of Bud Light and Miller Light from national and regional retailers. According to the site, the state with the least expensive total was Illinois ($16.43 a case) while Alaska was most expensive ($33.62). Texas came in the lower part of the middle, around $21.72 per case.

Average Cost of a Burger in Texas

Did you know that the hamburger was invented in Texas? Texas Monthly Magazine relates the story that a man from Athens, Texas named Uncle Fletcher Davis first took his idea for the hamburger as we know it today to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. And the burger is still going strong in the Lone Star State, at a good price. Betway Insider ranks Houston and San Antonio in their top 10 list of cheapest burgers in the country. Of course, the city where you’re dining will also make a difference: in Austin, the average price for a burger is $14.56, while in Dallas it’s $13.68.

Lifestyle Cost Comparison: New Jersey

Let’s look at a side by side comparison of other expenditures with another state: New Jersey.

  • A basic meal with drink at an inexpensive restaurant: Texas $15.50, New Jersey $19.09

  • A fast food combo meal: Texas $8.51, New Jersey $9.43

  • 11 oz bottle of Coca-Cola: Texas $2.13, New Jersey $2.21

  • 11 oz bottle of water: Texas $1.65, New Jersey $1.77

Overall Cost of Living in Texas, City by City

While major cities in Texas might have a higher overall cost of living than other areas of the state, they still tend to fall below the national average, with Austin and Dallas being the exception. Here’s a comparison of how some of our cities match up:

Houston

96.5

San Antonio

89.7

Dallas

101.6

Austin

119.3

El Paso

81.4

The most affordable places to live in Texas, according to an article on propertyclub.nyc, are Breckenridge, Beaumont, Wichita Falls, and Harlingen.

Tax Benefits of Living in Texas

Texas is one of 8 states in the union that have no income tax, meaning that a greater percentage of your income stays in your pocket. If you’re moving from a state with high income taxes like California (13.3% top rate) or New Jersey (10.75% top rate), then you could save more of each paycheck.

A Strong Job Market in Texas

Earning potential in Texas is still high, and growing. In 2024, our state continues to lead the nation in job growth and economic stability, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. According to the Commission’s data, Texas’ total nonfarm employment grew by 263,900 jobs from January 2023 to January 2024, which represents a 1.9 percent annual growth rate.

While job growth might be slowing compared to recent years’ influx of tech companies to major Texas cities, it is still strong according to the Texas Tribune. Texas job growth outpaced the nation as a whole in job growth in 2023 and ranked fifth among all U.S. states in the number of jobs added. The oil and gas sector continues to add jobs, thanks to production that surpassed pre-pandemic peaks in 2023.

Is It Affordable to Live in Texas? A Cost of Living Guide

FAQs

What should I budget for moving to Texas?

The average cost of moving to Texas is $2,700, depending on whether you move yourself with a truck rental, order a moving container, or select full service. Of course, prices depend on the distance and amount of items that you are moving.

Are there any unexpected costs I should be aware of when moving to Texas?

One factor of living in Texas that is at-times unpredictable is the weather. We can experience significant swings in the temperature over the course of the year, with the biggest changes coming in the fall and winter because of the position of the polar jet stream, a river of air flowing from west to east around the world, separating cold from warm air in the upper atmosphere. This means that your energy bills can fluctuate, which is why many Texans choose to pay a fixed rate annual plan, with the utility companies projecting the amount of energy that you will use and billing you a fixed amount each month.

How much does energy cost in Texas?

Compared to many areas of the country, our energy costs are low thanks to affordable power generation from traditional and renewable sources. The average rate of electricity in Texas in February of 2024 was 14.31¢ per kilowatt hour, adding up to an average monthly bill of $128.36. In California the average was 31.23¢ ($280.13 per month). For a state by state comparison, visit paylesspower.com.

How can Rhythm Energy help me save on my energy bill in Texas?

At Rhythm Energy, we are committed to bringing 100% renewable energy to Texans at a great rate, with completely transparent pricing and top notch customer service. To find out what rates are available based on the zip code where you are thinking about moving, visit gotrhythm.com.

Categories: Energy Saving Tips
Tagged: rhythm-marketing, cost of living, cost of living texas
© 2024 Rhythm Ops, LLC, d/b/a Rhythm, 24 Greenway Plaza Suite 610, Houston, TX 77046. All Rights Reserved. PUCT #10279