Did you know that there are as many as 19 places in the US called Atlanta? But today, we will be analyzing the cost of living in Atlanta, the capital and the most prominent city in Georgia. And by the way, Georgia as the state in the southeastern US, not the European nation in the Caucasus. But you probably already know that, so let’s break down the numbers you’re going to need if you’re planning on moving to Atlanta, also known as the City in a Forest.
Wondering What Is the Average Cost of Living in Atlanta, Georgia? Here’s a Preview
Located in the southeast part of the country, Georgia is the 8th most populous state, and it has actually changed its capital city five times so far. Before Atlanta became the capital in 1868, there were Savannah, Augusta, Louisville, and Milledgeville. If we compare the national cost of living index with Georgia’s index of 93.4, it’s evident that the prices in the so-called Peach State are actually below the national average. So, if you are moving out for the first time or you’re on a budget, know that this place is not going to leave you broke.
Is Atlanta a Good Place to Live Judging by Its Cost of Living
As the state capital and a major US metropolis, you can’t expect it to be super affordable. Still, compared to other cities of similar size (the metro area has almost 6 million residents), we can safely say that the costs here are somewhat reasonable. According to Numbeo, one person needs around $950 for a month without rent. As per the housing prices, they go down the farther you move from the center, so a one-bedroom apartment can be found for approximately $1,000 a month, which is a pretty good price. Down below, we will explore the various categories of costs in more detail.
1. Rent Prices Compared to Other Cities
When you start searching through Atlanta neighborhoods looking for the right one, you will quickly notice how rents can differ depending on the neighborhood. More distant areas are, of course, cheaper, so as we mentioned, a one-bedroom apartment can be found for $1,000, and the median price for a three-bedroom apartment is $2,000. Rents in the downtown area are more expensive, so it all depends on how much the location means to you.
Scouting for Apartments or Houses?
Both options are good, but the prices depend more on the location than on the type of housing. Besides, ask yourself if you want to be close to your job and avoid long commutes, or stay in a quiet neighborhood and save a few bucks every month? If you are moving for a job, there are so many relocation questions to ask your employer, and one of them has to be the housing, and what you need to rent a house here. A lot of companies offer help and assistance during the relocation process, so make sure to check if yours is one of them. In the chart below, we briefly summarized a few examples of monthly rent amounts, just to get a bigger picture of how the housing market looks at the moment.
|Atlanta, GA||Nashville, TN||Montgomery, AL||Tallahassee, FL|
|1 bedroom apt, central location||$1,600||$1,650||$1,050||$950|
|1 bedroom apt, outside of the center||$1,050||$1,150||$830||$820|
|3 bedroom apt, central location||$2,800||$2,800||$1,300||$1,700|
|3 bedroom apt, outside of the center||$1,800||$1,700||$1,200||$1,300|
2. Cost of Utilities and the Tax System
Utilities are must-have basics, and you can’t really avoid paying them. If, for example, you are in a 915-square-foot apartment, you will be spending around $150 per month for electricity, heat, gas, and garbage. The internet is an additional cost, and the fees vary, but the majority of people pay between $50 and $80 per month. If you are living with a roommate or a partner, these costs will be much more bearable and more comfortable to handle.
According to data, A-town has an 8.90% sales tax rate, of which 7% is collected by Fulton and DeKalb counties, while 1.90% is an additional city tax. The state of Georgia actually has state tax holidays, which take place two times per year. One occurs around the end of July when parents go shopping for school supplies, and the second one happens at a different time every year.
3. Public Transport Is Operated by MARTA
For getting around and exploring, it is always good to have a car, so if you can afford auto transport services, it is better to have your vehicle around, because the MARTA system is not quite keeping up with the city’s rapid expansion. MARTA (short for Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) operates rails and buses that go around the center and into the suburbs.
The center is also well-connected to the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, the busiest airport in the world for some 20 years. For a $2.5 ticket, you can catch a Red or Gold train from Hartsfield-Jackson and reach downtown in no time. The latest addition to the system are streetcars. Streetcars are used to transport locals, but they work only around the main attractions in downtown and Eastside.
Popular Means of Transportation
Although this is not one of the cities with the best public transportation to relocate to, it is still pretty well-connected. The MARTA train has four lines, Red, Gold, Green, and Blue. All four of them intersect at the Five Points station. Trains are usually useful for those who are traveling south-north, or east-west. Seniors can ride for free, and there are special discounts for children. Fees for adults are:
- One way ticket is $2.5
- A day pass is $9
- A two-day pass is $14
- A weekly pass is $23.7
- A monthly pass is $128
More than 100 bus lines go through the downtown and the suburbs, and MARTA buses are the easiest way to get to some of the neighborhoods that are not on the train routes. The ticket fees are the same as for the train.
The streetcar has only 12 stops, and it goes in a loop around downtown and Eastside sightseeing spots. Some of the attractions that can be seen on this route are the College Football Hall of Fame, Centennial Olympic Park, and Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site. Tickets for streetcar differ from the ones for buses and trains. So for a one-way ticket, you’ll have to pay $1, the daily ticket is $3, five and seven-day passes are $10 or $11. All tickets can be purchased through the app or at the vending machine on every streetcar stop.
4. Are Food and Groceries Affordable?
In terms of bars and restaurants, there is something for everyone’s pocket. You don’t have to go to the Sun Dial restaurant every day to experience the ultimate dining experience, because there’s plenty of great places around the city. Generally speaking, food prices here correspond to the national average; an average meal is around $15, and the prices go up if you are looking for a fine dining experience. If you cook, you can save a lot of money on a monthly level, so here are the prices of some basic groceries.
|Milk, 1 gal.||A bread loaf||12 Eggs||Apples 1lb||Potato||Rice||Tomato|
5. Miscellaneous Costs and Fun Activities
Don’t worry. You are not going to get bored in A-Town because there are plenty of things to do and visit. For example, the largest aquarium in the country is located here. With 10 million gallons of water and more sea life than in any other aquarium in North America, this one will blow your mind. The prices are not the same for the morning, mid-day, and afternoon hours, but in general, they go from $25 to $35.
Once you finish unpacking after moving, treat yourself to a nice dinner in one of the most extravagant restaurants here. The Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar, and View is located on the 73rd floor of Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel. It is more than your average restaurant; this complex stretches over three levels and features an upscale revolving restaurant, cocktail lounge, and an observatory with 360 degrees view over the entire A-Town. A glass elevator will take you up to enjoy the magnificent views over the skyline, listen to live jazz music and enjoy excellent food. Reservations are not required but recommended. There’s a fee for going to the observation level, $8 for adults, $4 for children.
If you are a fan of Coca Cola, here you can visit the World of Coca Cola, a museum-like place that welcomes adults and children. Standard tickets are $17 for adults, $13 for children.
Tips for Moving to Atlanta, GA
Does the sheer idea of a cross-country relocation instill an instant fear of moving and trigger anxiety about moving to another state? You’re not alone. No matter how often we move, there is always that fear of the unknown and fear of leaving all of our belongings to someone else to transport them. So if you want to live in a different place, here are some helpful tips for you.
Moving Made Easy
When you think about all the stuff you need to do, from house-hunting, starting a new job, organizing a garage sale, dealing with all the paperwork, and hammering out a realistic budget, it is much easier to leave all the hard work to professional Atlanta movers. Investing in moving services that will provide insurance for your belongings, and even free storage for the first 30 days, is something that will make your life so much more comfortable during the relocation.
Tips for Moving on a Budget
We all know that relocations are not inexpensive, and there are always going to be some unplanned costs that can jeopardize your plans. So here, we selected a few tips that will help you stay within your budget and avoid any unpleasant surprises:
- Get several quotes. Why get several moving quotes when you only need one? Because that way you can compare offers to pick the best deal.
- Packing supplies. Cheap moving supplies aren’t so easy to find, but if you put in a bit of effort, you can find boxes and packing supplies at your local store. All you have to do is ask.
- Ask for help. Your friends and new neighbors can help you handle all packing and unpacking and save you some money on that.
Atlanta: People Seem to Like It Here
A-Town or the Big Peach, as people tend to call it, has had its own share of slogans and nicknames, but we find this one pretty convenient. When you take a look at all the costs and things that this place has to offer, it is no wonder why people love it so much, and we are sure you will too.