Memphis is the second largest city in Tennessee and the second largest metropolitan area in the state, right after Nashville.
The city’s claims to fame include Graceland, the mansion Elvis Presley lived in during his later years, and maybe even more importantly, it is considered to be the home of blues music.
On top of all of this, the cost of living is low compared to other similarly-sized cities.
There’s a good campus life around the university, and lots of cool spots downtown and the Midtown area.
Memphis is beautiful city and except for summer, the seasons are mild.
A great number of new businesses are popping up across town, many focused on foods, beverages, and entertainment. There’s a significant number of good chef owned restaurants. Like all cities, you’ll find restaurants that are more upscale and areas that are more low income. You can expect to eat in an inexpensive restaurant for no less than 14$.
When it comes to groceries, you should definitely try cooking sometimes – preparing your meals by yourself will cost you much less than eating out. Memphis has all the regular stores and supermarkets most major cities have and the prices are pretty reasonable and affordable.
Travel by car is the only way to get around Memphis, unless you want to roam around downtown all the live long day. If you don’t have one, bus service provided by the Memphis Area Transit Authority is available across the city. Some routes, however, don’t even have buses operating in the evenings. Most of the garages in downtown are under 5$ most nights, and only about $10 during bigger events.
As for the rest of utilities, they are actually pretty low, though not the lowest in the state. For example, for an apartment of 85m2, all basic utilities – including electricity, along with heating and cooling, water, gas and garbage services – will cost you only around 140$.
SPORTS & LEISURE
If you’re into staying fit by practicing fitness or going to the gym, Memphis has you covered! Namely, becoming a member of a gym or a fitness club will cost you less than 35$ a month, which is reasonable. Cinema, in turn, is on par with other Tennessee cities, but still somewhat expensive – 11$ per seat.
CLOTHING & SHOES
You can always go shopping in Beale Street if you’re looking for anything, really: there’s a dry goods store whose motto is “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” But if you’re looking for malls, Memphis has them and they’re reasonably priced. Here you can buy a pair of quality jeans like Levi’s for a bit more than 40$, and pair of sneakers like Nike for around 80$.
RENT PER MONTH
There are also some reasonably priced apartments in the old town area, but generally it depends on where you’re located. Don’t expect to find a cute apartment anywhere near the center for less than 900$ – 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 1300$.
Cost of Living Averages Table for Memphis, TN
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$14.50|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$4.00|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$1.30||Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$0.87|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$2.28|
|Eggs (12)||$2.85||Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$1.75|
|Gasoline||$0.62||Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$138.31|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$0.10|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$58.06||Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$32.36|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$50.00|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$11.00||Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$41.65|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$27.50|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$78.87||Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$901.82|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$809.00|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$1308.71|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Memphis, TN?
Food is the biggest expense of anyone living in Memphis, along with rent which is definitely one of the most expensive aspects of living in this city, if not the most expensive one.
Apart from food and rent, people spend a lot of money on transportation (and this includes gasoline expenses, taxi rides as well as car rental expenses) and restaurants – since there are many people who are used to eating all three of their meals in restaurants.
Utilities are also a big expense for an average person living in Memphis – as this is also a necessary expense, something that just has to be paid, like it or not.
Memphis, TN: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
If you have a decent job, expenses are affordable in Memphis.
Economy wise, the city is still growing and has a pretty good foundation.
Employment in tourism is easy to find, (because – well, Graceland!) but the pay compared to the working hours is not the best.
You can be paid well depending on what your skills are, same as anywhere.
Minimum wage in Memphis is around 2700$ – 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 Tennessee.
Cost of Living by City in United States
*Click the name of the city for more information.