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Atlanta’s Cost of Living

Atlanta is one of the major cities in the US, and if you are planning to move to this city there are lots of things to consider before moving to Atlanta. Relocating to another state or city is a major life decision and you must carefully consider the cost of living in that state or city before moving.

Atlanta is an affordable city unlike, New York City, San Francisco, Boston, etc which are considered the most expensive cities in the country. Atlanta is a mid sized city with lots of job opportunities, amazing nightlife, mild winter, etc. In searching for a city to live, there are some important factors to look out for such as the amount people living in that city spend on a monthly basis and the quality of life there.

Atlanta is one of the most desirable destination in the country, and it’s considered to be one of the best cities for business and careers according to Forbes. It is an ethically diverse culture city with lots of entertainment and activities all year round.

Cost of Living in Atlanta

The average monthly cost of living in Atlanta for a single person is estimated to be $1,600 aside rent, for a family of four, it is about $3,200 per month. Although, cost of living is based on various conditions and lifestyles but in average the figures should not be so different from this.

Where you choose to live in Atlanta has a huge role on the cost of living because the monthly rent vary depending on the neighborhood you live. Also, if you live very far from your work place that means you’d spend more money on transportation or gas than someone who lives closer to the office. Same thing applies to someone who loves entertainment and constantly eating at fancy restaurants, you will spend more than those that prepare their own meal and seldomly go out.

Atlanta Housing Cost

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Atlanta is about $1,600, for a four-bedroom it is about $4,200 for a month. Although, where you live in Atlanta will impact how much you’d spend on rent, some of the best Atlanta neighborhoods like Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, Midtown, Buckhead, etc are much more expensive, this also varies depending on some other factors.

  • Average monthly rent – $1,600
  • Average home price – $351,000

The major cost of living in any city is mostly based on the amount you spend on housing. Housing prices in Atlanta are increasing like in other cities in the country, for Atlanta, this has gone up to over 10%.

As far as rent or buying a home is concerned, your preference has a huge impact on the cost of living, if you want to live in the middle of the city, and enjoy the art scene and easy access to the best eateries in Atlanta, then you should be ready to spend extra money at the end of the month. If you can afford it then why not. Driving in Atlanta can be challenging because of traffic, so you need to be ready, you can still make use of the public transit in Atlanta to commute easily and explore the city.

Atlanta Utilities Cost

Monthly utility cost is also one of the major cost of living and you have to be mindful of it. In Atlanta, the median temperature during the summer can be as high as 82 fahrenheit so you would need your air conditioner to be on. In general, you should expect to pay $155 per month for utilities with an extra $78 on the internet making up to $233 per month. This total include, gas bill, water bill, electricity bill, and fuel bill

However, utility expenses vary but it’s important you calculate it so you do not end up spending beyond your budget.

Atlanta Food Cost

Food is a basic necessity and it’s one of the most important things to consider when calculating the cost of living in a city. The cost of grocery in Atlanta is slightly lower than the national average. There are several places to eat in Atlanta and it’s important you make a budget so you know how much it would cost when you choose to visit any of the restaurant in the city.

In Downtown Atlanta, a meal per person is about $15, for two persons it will cost an average of $55. If you eat just two times at a restaurant every week, then you should be ready to pay over $200 per month but if you prepare your own food, you should expect slightly lower grocery prices. Here are grocery prices below;

  • Bread – $4.05
  • 1 gallon of milk – $1.79
  • A dozen of egg – $1.21
  • Cheese – $4.25
  • Ground beef – $4.50
  • Steak – $13.83
  • Potatoes – $3.71
  • Bananas – $0.55
  • Lettuce – $1.61
  • Orange juice – $3.89
  • Frozen meal – $2.50
  • Soft drink – $2.06
  • Coffee – $4.96

Atlanta Transportation Cost

Atlanta is a very lively city, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, MARTA, operates the city’s network of bus routes and rail system. If you do not have a car, transportation in the city can be a little challenging. Prices for a day ride is about $9 but to cut cost you would need a MARTA monthly pass which is about $95, if you intend to use the bus or rail system regularly.
You can also make use of the Atlanta Streetcar, for just $1, this can help you connects Downtown and Sweet Auburn.

In a city like Atlanta, you need a car because the bus and rail lines are not well connected but the issue with driving in this city is traffic. The MARTA train transit in Atlanta doesn’t service everywhere like you have in NYC and public transit rates in Atlanta is dropping. In some neighborhood, having a car is a necessity or you can use ride-hailing services because it’s cumbersome using the MARTA transit system. If you have a car, expect to pay about $4.40 for a gallon of gas. The gas prices in Atlanta is below national average. If you plan well, you can reduce the cost of transportation in Atlanta especially if you have a car and supplement with Uber or Lyft.

Entertainment and Fitness Costs

Atlanta is a place of entertainment and fun, there are several outdoor spaces designed for fun activities. You can not be looking for what to do in Atlanta because they are all around. There are public parks, old railway corridor converted to a multi-use trail, etc. There are no shortage of fitness and entertainment option. In Atlanta, a ticket to the latest blockbuster cost about $15.

You can go rollerblading, jogging, walking around green spaces like Brookhaven Park, Piedmont Park without paying a dime but a monthly membership at a fitness club will cost you about $38.76. To cut down cost, you can install a home gym in your home, it might seem expensive at first but at the long run, it’s cheaper.

Atlanta Healthcare Cost

Another major cost consideration when moving to Atlanta is Healthcare. the city has an amazing healthcare system. Some of their local hospitals like Northside Hospital Atlanta and Emory University Hospital has received national rankings. There are no shortage of specialists for complex medical attention. Due to the excellent healthcare system in Atlanta, you will pay about 6% more than the national average for your treatment.

For a doctor’s appointment, you should expect to pay about $125, for a dentist visit, expect to pay about $106. And the average vet’s visit cost about $60.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a fully emplyed adult in Atlanta spends about $2,700 per year on Healthcare and medical. A family of 2 full-time working parents might spend up to $8,000 per year on Healthcare.

Taxes in Atlanta

Taxes can also affect cost of living which is why it’s something to look at critically. Georgia’s progressive income tax is on the average for the country, the sales tax in Atlanta is 8.9%. If you are planning to buy a house in Atlanta, the median property tax rate is below the median for the country. The median amount a resident in Atlanta pay yearly is 0.91% which is about $1,440 and it’s approximately $650 less than the country’s average.

Georgia does not tax social security retirement benefits, they offer a deduction of about $65,000 per resident on any form of retirement income so long the individual is at least 65 years of age Also, there are no inheritance or estate tax in the state.

Atlanta Average Salary

To live a comfortably in Atlanta, you need to earn a certain amount of money on a monthly basis. With the average rent of about $1,600 and the rule generally is to earn thrice that amount on a monthly basis, your income per month should be about $4,800 before taxes. The median monthly salary in Atlanta is $4,500 after taxes

How Much You Need To Live in Atlanta

In general, Atlanta is slightly more expensive than the national average but the average salary also higher. The job pool in Atlanta is growing and getting bigger by the day with media giant, many tech startups and major corporations headquartered in the city.

  • Average Monthly rent – $1,600
  • Average monthly Utilities – $235
  • Average monthly groceries – $98.8
  • Average monthly salary – $4,500

It’s important to ask the right questions when relocating because it can help you perfectly plan your move. If you are renting, know where to live and also where you can find good deal, because it can affect your living expenses and this will save you thousands of dollars yearly.