Cost of Living in Boston | City Guides | Long Distance USA Movers

A Guide to the True Cost of Living in Boston, Massachusetts

With its rich history, diversity, beautiful art, and top-notch education, the capital of Massachusetts is undoubtedly a great place to call home. But then comes the question of the cost of living in Boston and how much money you need to live there comfortably. We would like to tell you a bit more about that so that you can plan your budget and check whether you can afford to live there, to start with.

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Before you take any further relocation steps, you should find a place to move to, decide on the most convenient mode of getting around, and just rough out a plan for your monthly expenses. Only after this can you really tell that you’ve picked the right place to call home. So, if you’re considering moving to Boston any time soon, do think about the expenses first.

This metropolis might seem quite pricey at first glance, but don’t forget that there are various opportunities for well-paid jobs, and it has a lot to offer to ensure a good quality of life, too. Thus, it’s worth every penny you spend there. Let’s see how much you need for some basic expenses to start anew in the Cradle of Liberty in 2020.

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Plan How Much You’re Going to Spend on Housing Per Month

Before you start packing your bags, or you hire some of the best professional Boston movers to provide you with packing services, you need to make sure you know where you’re relocating. Step number one is to find your future home. When you start looking through the many options the best neighborhoods in Boston have to offer, naturally, the prices will be one of the criteria to help you make a choice.

Housing can be rather expensive, especially when compared to other East Coast cities. To be more precise, it is one of the places with the highest median home prices in that area. Recent data suggest that the median home price there goes over $600,000, so you should expect at least the same figures in 2020, if not higher. Therefore, before you decide to buy a house, take out your calculator and check whether you’re fine with the expenses.

In case you’re not up for buying and you’d rather pay monthly rent instead, that’s a good option, too. Let’s see how much money you’re going to need in that case.

Is It More Affordable to Buy or Rent a Place in Boston?

Before you start saving up to buy a house, you should consider renting as an option. If you’re moving alone, it might be best to look for an apartment. There are plenty of options; you just need to figure out what you need to rent an apartment in the first place.

When it comes to prices, know that these can be somewhat high, too. Of course, the exact price will depend on the size of the place, as well as the area it is located in. For instance, the median rent for a studio apartment per month is around $1,500. If you’re looking for a one-bedroom apartment in the central area, the data shows that the rent per month will go up to $2,500, while that number drops to $1,900 for the apartment of the same size outside of the center. Keep in mind, though, that these figures might change as time goes by. They probably won’t be the same in 2020 and a couple of years later, if you’re still not ready for the relocation.

As for those who’re thinking about buying an apartment, you should know that the price per square meter for a flat in the center goes up to nearly $9,900, while these figures are significantly lower in the areas outside of the central area – about $4,500.

Don’t Forget to Include Utility Costs

Whether you decide to rent or buy a place, don’t forget to include utilities in your expenses. An average amount for utilities in an apartment for two is about $152. These utilities include electricity, gas, heating, and water. But nowadays, you can’t do without the Internet, right? So, plan to set aside the additional $70 for the Internet every month. Another thing you can’t do without is the telephone. The average price for telephone service usually ranges from $40 to $70. Now, let’s see the figures when it comes to food.

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Be sure you explore the housing market carefully and take out your budget calculator before you make your final choice

Keep in Mind That Food Prices Are Rather High

Grocery prices are about 6% higher than the national average. On average, you should plan to allocate at least $14 per day for food, or about $450 per month, compared to the US average of about $325.

When it comes to some particular items, here are some rough numbers to help you get the idea of how much money you’ll need for everyday shopping: one liter of milk is up to $1, a loaf of bread is about $2, while a pack of 12 eggs is $3. Naturally, you’ll want to eat out once in a while, too, so let’s see how much you should plan to spend in a restaurant when you get tired of cooking.

How Expensive Is It to Eat out?

If you decide to go around some of the best restaurants in Boston, you should expect to pay a bit more, as with any fancy restaurant in any other city. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant will probably be about $15, while in a mid-range restaurant, a meal for two people will amount to somewhere around $70.

After cross country moving to Boston, Massachusetts, you can enjoy the city's cuisine overlay
One of the most important items to consider when it comes to the cost of living in Boston is food

How Much Should You Set Aside for Transportation?

The next among the most crucial points to consider when it comes to the cost of living is transportation. When you reach this step, the first thing to do is to consider different modes, as not all of them cost the same.

A monthly pass for the subway is $84.50, which is more affordable than New York and LA, for instance, where you’d have to pay $116 and $100, respectively. If you don’t think you’ll need the subway that often so you don’t need a monthly pass, a one-way ticket is $2.45. If you’re in a real hurry and you can’t wait for a bus or go to the subway, you can always rely on a taxi, in which case the start tariff is $3, one mile is also $3, while the one-hour waiting tariff is $28.

Is It Better to Rely on Public Transportation or Your Own Vehicle?

The Athens of America has an excellent public transport system run by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), one you can rely on no matter where you live and where you need to go.

However, if you’re not that thrilled about going by bus or subway every day, you should consider driving your own car. If you already have one, it could be convenient to hire a reliable moving company to provide you with auto transport services and deliver your vehicle anywhere you want it. It’s always good to have your four-wheeler close, so you can combine different modes of transportation depending on a particular situation.

All in all, there’s no single answer to what the better option is. It all depends on your particular needs and what you alone find more convenient. As for the expenses, there is a slight difference. For many commuters, it turns out that driving is more affordable in the long run. You don’t need your calculator to see that. A gallon of gas is about $3, while a spot on the metered parking costs $1.25 per hour.

After cross country moving to Boston, Massachusetts, you can try out the city's transportation overlay
Transportation expenses can be high, so be sure you find the most convenient mode of transport that also fits your budget

Other Things to Consider in Terms of the Cost of Living in Boston, Massachusetts

Whether you’re moving with children or all by yourself, before you make any final decisions, you should think about all the potential costs first to be completely sure that you’ve picked the right place. We’re sure you don’t want to struggle to make ends meet and turn your relocation into a stressful event. If you’re moving for a job, and a secure and well-paid one, we’re sure that won’t happen. Even though the city might seem pricey, there’s nothing to fear if you plan well. So, take the time you need to make an elaborate plan and take everything into consideration, from house prices to entertainment options.

In addition to the previously listed, you should also think about the taxes. Massachusetts as a whole is considered a state with high taxes, so your chosen city is no exception. The data shows that the median property tax payment per year is $3,336.

We’re sure you don’t want just to pay for your house, transportation, and taxes. What about your free time activities? If you want to go to a museum, the ticket for Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, for instance, costs $25. For those of you who are into sports, an average ticket price for a baseball game is about $56.

How Does the Cost of Living in Boston, Massachusetts Compare to Other Cities?

Have you already started looking through the best places to live in Boston? Or you’re still having second thoughts about moving to this particular city? Before you start thinking about how to move, you need to be sure that you’ve made the right choice. It’s always a good idea to compare several cities first.

When it comes to the cost of living, this place is among the most expensive cities in the country, but let’s not forget that it is also a major urban center in the northeastern United States, right next to New York. In fact, the data shows that it is cheaper than the Big Apple, especially when it comes to housing. And the average salary is similar in the two cities, so it’s easier to live comfortably in the capital of Massachusetts, that’s for sure.

After cross country moving to Boston, Massachusetts, you can enjoy the city's parks overlay
Even though this metropolis might seem quite pricey, don’t forget that it is also a place with a great number of various opportunities for personal and professional growth.

In a Nutshell

As you can see, your chosen city can be somewhat expensive, but when compared to other US cities, the data show that it is not that pricey after all. It has a wide range of opportunities to offer, so you won’t regret paying that money in the end. The quality of life it offers is more important than anything else. Whether you’re moving during the holidays or some other time of the year, there is a variety of things to do in Boston, so you can be sure you’ll never get bored there.

If you’re moving from a small town to a big city, getting used to this metropolis might take some time, but there’s no doubt you’ll begin to love your life there sooner than you expect it to happen. It’s easy to get used to something better, right? You’re probably wondering about how to adjust to a new town, but that shouldn’t be a problem in Boston as people there are quite open and friendly. You can start by meeting your neighbors after moving in, and you’ll see just how easy it is to make friends there.

Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

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