Portland is located on a peninsula on the Southern Maine coast approximately 161 km north of Boston.
Portland is the largest city in Maine with a high concentration of shops, restaurants, museums, galleries, tours and many things to see and do.
Living here has the perks of being in a (very) small city, while also feeling like a small town.
Cost of living is decent – certainly more affordable than other places (like NYC, Boston, Boulder, CO), but it isn’t dirt cheap.
Portland is one of the most diverse areas in Maine and is worth exploring on your own.
Portland has some of the best restaurants in the country for the size of the town. There are tons of chef owned places, so the quality is awesome, but these aren’t the inexpensive places where you can eat for only 15$. And there’s always the option of getting fast food for a couple of dollars.
Food is really not expensive here compared to most urban centers. There are specialty fish and meat shops at the top of the price pyramid, a Whole Foods and Trader Joes in the middle, and a Hannaford grocery for those with a lower budget. Even Hannaford has quality organic produce and fresh seafood. Eating will be one of your favorite parts of living here.
Portland, and Maine in general, does not have an extensive public transportation system which makes it hard to move around without a car, so renting one is generally the best option. Bus line has a regular schedule, it is well-organized and provides a high level of service for a city of its size. There are some areas that you can cover on food – like The Old Port and Downtown Arts District.
Utilities are reasonable here, too. It does depend on the size of your apartment and the amount of electricity you spend, your bills could be higher or lower, but all in all – for an apartment of around 85m2, all basic utilities including electricity, gas, water, heating, cooling and garbage services, will cost you around 150$. Internet isn’t included in this and separately, it costs around 70$.
SPORTS & LEISURE
If you want to stay fit, that will be cheap too in this city. There are yoga studios, Crossfit fit gyms, Spin studios and plenty of places to kayak, hike and jog. A membership in a gym or a fitness club will cost you less than 25$. Cinema tickets are much cheaper, however, costing only about 10$ each.
CLOTHING & SHOES
The Old Port is the place to shop and is also the home to 19th century streets filled with boutiques, galleries, restaurants, bars and coffee shops. The district sells everything from one-of-a-kind jewelry and designer jeans to best-selling books and surf boards. Shopping for quality jeans like Levi’s will cost you around 40$, while a pair of quality running shoes will be around 75$.
RENT PER MONTH
Rent is through the roof in Portland. It all depends on where you want to live. If you’ve got your mind set on the city center, the average price will be around 1300$. However, there are many charming little apartments that are a bit further away from the center, and they cost considerably less – 1000$ a month.
Cost of Living Averages Table for Portland, ME
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$15.00|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$4.50|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$1.33||Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$0.88|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$3.25|
|Eggs (12)||$2.64||Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$1.50|
|Gasoline||$0.68||Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$150.84|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$0.10|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$71.62||Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$24.00|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$37.50|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$10.47||Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$42.50|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$38.33|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$75.00||Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$1345.00|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$1002.78|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$2164.00|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Portland, ME?
Of course – rent, like in most countries and cities where rent prices are skyrocketing.
The rent in Portland is high enough that you have to set aside a large portion of your salary for it.
After rent, food is the biggest expense for people living in Portland.
An average person living in Portland, and having to feed his/her family, spends a huge amount of their money in supermarkets and grocery shops.
Restaurants and transportation are also significant expenses for an average person living in Portland.
Portland, ME: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
Unfortunately, the salaries in Portland have not caught up to the surrounding areas so there are many people that end up working in Portsmouth or even Boston to be able to afford the rent or mortgage.
Still, the people of Portland can find a way to manage their expenses with the salaries they get, though it probably isn’t easy.
Minimum wage for a citizen of Portland is over 1800$ which is, without a doubt, enough to make ends meet.
Average monthly net salary is considerably higher and allows for people to pay for most of their necessities and still have enough to save up and travel.
Cost of Living by City in United States
*Click the name of the city for more information.