Charlotte is a rapidly growing city in the southern part of central North Carolina – it is, in fact, the largest city in the state as well as the center of finance, industry, technology, and entertainment for the region.
The city has a couple of sports franchises, has become a giant banking center, offers a number of good restaurants, and you can still buy a house for less money than in other places in the country.
It definitely has its shortcomings, with worsening traffic and escalating property costs but most people living here are very happy with the standard of living.
Eating out will, for sure, cost you more than cooking by yourself. Since North Carolina has normal prices for the US standards, you can expect to eat in an inexpensive restaurant for no less than 15$. A meal for two at a mid-range restaurant will cost you around 60$, while a pint of domestic beer will cost you around 5$.
Cooking by yourself, in turn, will cost you much less than eating out. The dominant local grocery chains are Harris Teeter, Publix, Food Lion, and Aldi. Publix and Harris Teeter are more expensive but the products it offers are considered upscale. Food Lion is a middle-class favorite among the citizens, and usually has an extensive ethnic section.
Uptown of Charlotte is very dense, and almost all parts of town are easily reached by walking. The prices of taxis in Charlotte are regulated by the city, and are consistent for all companies. The pickup rate is 2.50$. Bus fare is 2.20$ which is not that much cheaper than the taxi. Most people use primarily taxi services in Charlotte.
Utilities are not too expensive in Charlotte, by US standards, if you look at the price of all included utilities for an apartment of a larger structure (85m2): for such an apartment, all basic utilities – including electricity, along with heating and cooling, water, gas and garbage services – cost around 170$. Internet is pretty pricey though, amounting up to 60$.
SPORTS & LEISURE
If you like golf, or outdoor activities like white water rafting, you’ll have plenty to do here. But if you’re more into staying fit by practicing fitness or going to the gym, becoming a member of a gym or a fitness club will cost you around 40$ a month. Going to the cinema costs nearly the same as it does in most popular European destinations – around 12$ per ticket.
CLOTHING & SHOES
One of Charlotte’s biggest weaknesses is the lack of retail shopping in the city center. This is expected to change in the near future, but for now, you still have to venture into the suburbs to do your shopping. As with most American cities, most retail is in malls and shopping centers. A pair of quality jeans like Levi’s costs more than 40$, a pair of quality running sneakers like Nike are around 80$.
RENT PER MONTH
Charlotte has many charms and one of them is affordable housing and living – for the US standards. From a general point of view, taking into consideration the rest of the world – rent prices here are through the roof. Don’t expect to find a cute apartment anywhere near the center of any of the major cities for less than 1400$ – and that goes for one-bedroom apartments! If you want to move in with your family in a larger apartment, then prepare to cash out at least 2200$.
Cost of Living Averages Table for Charlotte, NC
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$ 15.00|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$ 5.00|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$ 1.36||Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$ 0.71|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$ 2.24|
|Eggs (12)||$ 2.41||Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$ 2.20|
|Monthly Pass||$ 88.00|
|Gasoline||$ 0.67||Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$ 170.51|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$ 0.10|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$ 57.80||Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$ 38.35|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$ 20.83|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$ 12.00||Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$ 43.55|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$ 37.62|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$ 79.15||Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$ 1417.95|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$ 994.78|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$ 2222.14|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Charlotte, NC?
Rent is the biggest expense of anyone living in Charlotte, along with food which is definitely one of the most expensive aspects of living in this city, if not the most expensive one.
Apart from food and rent, people spend a lot of money on transportation (and this includes gasoline expenses, taxi rides as well as car rental expenses) and restaurants – since there are many people who are used to eating all three of their meals in restaurants.
Utilities are also a big expense for an average person living in Charlotte – as this is also a necessary expense, something that just has to be paid, like it or not.
Charlotte, NC: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
Salaries in Charlotte are definitely high and make living here a very pleasant and comfortable experience, since they enable the citizens of this city to pay for everything they need and have enough even for the things that aren’t necessities.
Minimum wage in Charlotte is around 1160$ – and though the prices are higher in this city too, this is still a reasonable amount of money that just goes in line with the high standard of living in North Carolina.
This city is definitely not the most expensive place to be and most people get by without any problems, but many say that it could be better, too.
Cost of Living by City in United States
*Click the name of the city for more information.