Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the United States.
The city boasts everything a major city must have: an eclectic museum and arts scene, vibrant shopping, and has become a go-to destination for food lovers.
Living inside the Houston city limits, however, has become very expensive over the past few decades. Living in the suburbs is much more affordable.
Houston is recognized as the most diverse city in the country, has some great restaurants, some very nice green spaces and plenty of trees, wonderful opera, symphony, theaters, museums and a number of universities.
Though it’s such a large and important city, the restaurant costs are especially low for a city of its size. There are actually top notch restaurants here, not just street Mexican food. There are many popular restaurant areas where you are sure to eat quality yet cheap food. Most corners in town hold at least one inexpensive or at least mid-range outdoor restaurant.
Prices for groceries are somewhat low. Food is inexpensive, could be cheaper but is still affordable for someone earning a lower-middle-class income. If you’re super smart about your food, shopping for food in markets is a good idea, though the budget depends on whether you’re alone or have a family, and also on the store you’re shopping in.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, better known as METRO operates local and express bus lines in Houston, as well as a very popular light rail system called METRORail. Visitors tend to get around without a car and that’s reasonable, especially if they stick close to downtown, but ample free and cheap parking make public transport an unnecessary choice for the people of Houston.
Utilities are modest (but watch your bill in the summer, when the air conditioner runs 24/7). For an apartment of about 85m2, your bills for monthly utilities, including heating, cooling, electricity and gas would amount up to 130$. Internet is expensive as well, amounting up to around 60$ a month.
SPORTS & LEISURE
In Houston, attending fitness clubs and classes is as expensive as in most other cities in Texas. If you want to go to a fitness club in the city of Houston and get in shape, the fee will be around 36$ a month. If you want to watch a movie here, however, expect it to cost over 10$. This is also a reasonable price.
CLOTHING & SHOES
Many of the shopping malls are concentrated to the west of downtown in Uptown. Another very popular place to go shopping in Houston is the Houston Galleria. The Galleria is the largest mall in Texas and the ninth largest in the United States. Usually, quality jeans here cost around 40$, quality sneakers around 70$, while lighter pieces of clothing are only 34$.
RENT PER MONTH
Renting an apartment in Houston is becoming expensive. Apartments inside Loop 610, for example, typically rent for at or nearly $1000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. If you really want to save some money, you’ll have to stroll right over to the areas a bit further from the center where you’ll find charming apartments for around 800$.
Cost of Living Averages Table for Houston, TX
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$15.00|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$5.00|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$1.45||Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$0.78|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$2.21|
|Eggs (12)||$2.16||Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$1.25|
|Gasoline||$0.66||Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$135.49|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$0.13|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$59.09||Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$36.35|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$12.50|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$10.00||Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$39.59|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$34.45|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$69.03||Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$1336.82|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$879.04|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$2538.57|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Houston, TX?
Since rent is the most expensive aspect here, much more so than in some other important cities in Texas, the biggest chunk of the paycheck of Houston citizens gets spent on rent.
The next huge expense is food, since the standard is high in Texas, even though groceries cost less than you’d expect for a city of this size and importance.
The percentage of income that gets spent on rent is almost 10% higher than the percentage that gets spend on food.
Restaurants take up the third spot on the list, as well as transportation since fancy food is a very big part of this city, and transportation is necessary.
Houston, TX: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
Jobs are plentiful here and the job market has grown by leaps and bounds in the last twenty years, with no sign of slowing.
Houston boasts a strong job market that offers stronger pay, (an average monthly salary is around 3400$), and most importantly, it is possible to save a lot of money while living here.
Houston has every industry that you can think of, and plenty of good jobs in them. The economy is thriving, while the cost of living remains reasonable.
Many companies are relocating here and even the minimum wage is high: around 1200$.
Cost of Living by City in United States
*Click the name of the city for more information.