It’s hard out there

Cost to 'live comfortably' in Austin spiked more than any other U.S. city

Cost to 'live comfortably' in Austin spiked more than any other city

South Congress Avenue Soco Austin skyline
Living comfortably in Austin costs more than ever. South Congress/Facebook

The cost of living in Austin has gotten, shall we say, costlier than nearly any other major U.S. city, according to a new study from personal finance website GOBankingRates.

GOBankingRates ranks Austin second for the biggest percentage increase on the “live comfortably” index. The study finds that the cost to live “comfortably” in Austin skyrocketed 33.92 percent from 2017 to 2018.

In terms of costs, that amounts to a year-over-year increase of $18,532 in Austin, the biggest leap among the 50 cities studied.

GOBankingRates’ study examines the amount of money needed to pay for necessities such as food, rent, utilities, transportation, and healthcare, as well as the amounts that should be budgeted for savings and discretionary spending. These costs then were folded into a “live comfortably” income to determine the cities where it’s becoming more difficult to make ends meet.

Elsewhere in Texas:

  • Arlington lands at No. 5 after jumping 30.53 percent (or $14,172) from 2017 to 2018.
  • Fort Worth appears at No. 6, with a jump 29.44 percent (or $15,610) in Fort Worth
  • Houston lands at No. 20 in the study, with a 23.45 percent jump ($13,182) in the cost of living comfortably from 2017 to 2018.
  • San Antonio took the 10th spot, with a 26.76 percent leap, or $12,350, from 2017 to 2018.

In all, one-fifth of the study’s top 20 cities are in Texas. Colorado Springs, Colorado, took the No. 1 spot with a 35.61 percent increase. That amounts to an increase in cost of $17,596, which is lower than Austin.

GOBankingRates researcher Andrew DePietro says the appearance of five Texas cities in the top 20 is a reflection of the state’s economic and population growth.

“Texas has been particularly hot in terms of real estate and Americans migrating to the state,” DePietro says. “The increase in population and wealth, via more jobs, leads to a steady increase in general cost of living, but especially housing.”