Tacoma in Washington, is the state’s third largest city, yet it doesn’t have the ‘big city’ feel of Seattle.
Some people refer to Tacoma as “Seattle’s little sister”: it’s smaller, the cost of living is less than that of Seattle, but the city is only 45 minutes to the north.
Tacoma has a thriving restaurant and culture scene.
There are many, many small businesses in the city and so there’s always something amazing to find.
Just like every city, there are ups and downs, and depending on your personal interests, Tacoma could be your best or worst experience.
There are tons of restaurants in Tacoma. On every corner, you’ll find Mexican food, Italian food, Indian food, Chinese food, Japanese food, Korean food, all different kinds of fast food, all on 6th avenue. You can just drive up the 6th avenue and you’ll find something you like. Eating out is more expensive than what’s considered the norm in America, though. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant is 18$.
There are grocery stores all over the place, not to mention fast food joints and 7–11’s. Tacoma also has and hosts numerous street fairs, night markets, and farmer’s markets, where you can mostly find fresh produce, like fish, fresh fruits and vegetables and all other kinds of exquisite groceries.
There’s a well-organized system of buses operated by Pierce Transit in Tacoma, within the city limits and around them. You can hail any taxi you see in the street with the green light on. Many people living here don’t even use public transport and their transport costs are down to zero – they use bikes or go on foot.
Tacoma Public Utilities are in charge of your bills. The good thing about them is that your bill will cover power, water, sewer, garbage, and storm drain, and only comes once every two months. For an apartment of about 85m2, your bills would amount up to 170$. Internet is expensive as well, amounting up to around 70$ a month.
SPORTS & LEISURE
You can find many types of outdoor activity in Tacoma, and that can save you a lot of money you would otherwise spend on a gym. However, if you prefer indoor spaces, a gym membership will probably cost you around 30$ a month which is very reasonable relative to US standards.
CLOTHING & SHOES
The Tacoma Mall offers enough stores (and eateries) to keep even the most picky shopper happy. There’s also the Proctor District in the North End and it also offers a quaint shopping experience. The prices are relatively low – quality jeans cost around 40$, while summer dresses and shirts are around 35$. Quality sneakers are more expensive, standing at around 75$.
RENT PER MONTH
Rent and real estate is a little cheaper in Tacoma than Seattle. The rents are generally reasonable for a big city, but they’re high, just like anywhere. As everywhere else, the better suburbs around the city come with higher price tags then you might see in other suburbs. The city center is the most expensive, with apartments there costing around 1200$.
Cost of Living Averages Table for Tacoma, WA
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$18.00|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$3.75|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$1.13||Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$0.76|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$3.16|
|Eggs (12)||$2.56||Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$2.00|
|Gasoline||$0.83||Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$173.67|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$0.10|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$67.88||Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$28.33|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$20.00|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$12.00||Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$40.69|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$35.00|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$74.00||Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$1210.27|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$1004.80|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$2154.71|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Tacoma, WA?
What’s interesting here is that there are two aspects of life in Tacoma that take up equally as much money from one’s income.
These aspects are food and rent.
Of course, rent is 0.3% in front of food, but the percentages are almost the same.
As already mentioned, with more than 32% of one’s income being spent on rent, it can easily be said that it is skyrocketing beyond what most working people can afford.
The next biggest expense for the people of Tacoma are food and groceries, while restaurant expenses are right behind.
Tacoma, WA: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
There haven’t been a lot of large businesses in Tacoma, but that is changing.
Nowadays, it’s not particularly hard to find a job here, but of course, it all depends on your field.
With an average wage going beyond 3000$, citizens of Tacoma have enough money to cover all their expenses, afford most of the things they want and need, and still live comfortably.
The minimum wage doesn’t fall far behind the average monthly salary, so citizens of Tacoma shouldn’t have problems making ends meet.
Cost of Living by City in United States
*Click the name of the city for more information.