Cost of Living Forum

SoCalTrojan89 @socaltrojan89
Joined: 9 months ago

Cost of Living in Banning – Help from Long-Time Residents?

Hey everyone, I’m considering relocating to Banning and wanted to get a realistic sense of living costs from those who actually live there. I’m a single guy in my early 30s working a decent office job, no kids. What can I expect to pay for a decent 1-bedroom apartment, utilities, groceries, going out occasionally, etc.? Is it possible to live comfortably on around $4k per month after taxes? Any insider tips on getting the best deals or places to avoid would be appreciated. I’ve looked at some data online but would love to hear first-hand accounts from the community. Thanks in advance!

Posts: 1

10 Replies

DesertDweller92 @desertdweller92
Joined: 3 months ago

The cost of living in Banning is relatively affordable compared to many other parts of SoCal. For a single guy, you can definitely live comfortably on $4k per month. A decent 1-bedroom apartment downtown will likely run you $1600-2000 per month. Utilities like electricity, water, internet maybe $200-300 combined. Groceries are reasonably priced – you can get by on $400-500 per month if you cook at home and don’t go too crazy.

Going out isn’t too pricey either – a meal for one at a casual restaurant is around $15-20. Beers are $5-7. Entertainment like movies is $10 per ticket. The biggest expenses will be housing and transportation if you need a car and insurance. On your budget, you can afford a decent lifestyle without too much penny pinching. Just avoid the pricier apartments downtown if you want to save some cash.

Posts: 2
BanningNative @banningnative
Joined: 2 years ago

I’ve lived in Banning my whole life, so let me give you the true local’s perspective. $4k per month is definitely enough to live well here, especially for just one person. Housing will be your biggest monthly expense – you’re looking at $1600-1800 for a nice 1-bed apartment outside of downtown. Utilities run $150-250 per month.

Groceries are quite affordable if you shop at Stater Bros or Cardenas instead of higher-end places. $300 per month is reasonable for food. As for going out, there aren’t a ton of high-end dining options, but you can get filling meals for $12-18. Drinks are $4-6 generally. The movie theater downtown is cheap at $8 per ticket.

One tip – avoid renting directly downtown unless you don’t mind a bit more noise and bustle. You can find quieter places in neighborhoods just outside the center for a few hundred less per month. Overall, Banning has a pretty low cost of living compared to nearby areas, so your money will go far here as a single guy.

Posts: 23
HighDesertHiker @highdeserthiker
Joined: 2 years ago

I moved to Banning a few years ago from San Diego and the difference in cost of living is night and day! On a $4k monthly budget post-tax, you’ll be able to live very comfortably here.

For a nice modern 1-bed apartment, I’d budget around $1800-2200 in the core areas or $1500-1800 in the surrounding residential neighborhoods. Factoring in utilities, connectivity, etc. you’re probably looking at $2200-2500 for housing/utilities.

Groceries are super affordable – you can get by on $300-400 per month if you cook at home regularly. Eating out is also reasonable – $15-25 for a casual meal, $40-60 for dinner and drinks at a mid-range spot.

The only area where costs can add up is transportation if you need to commute to jobs or entertainment outside of Banning. But overall, your $4k budget will go a very long way here compared to most other SoCal cities. The housing prices alone are such a relief coming from SD! Banning has a pretty low cost of living for the area.

Posts: 15
SoCalFoodie @socalfoodie
Joined: 2 years ago

As a serious foodie, my perspective on Banning’s cost of living will focus mainly on the dining scene! While it’s not a huge restaurant town, there are some solid options and the prices are very reasonable.

For casual eats, you can get filling meals like burgers, sandwiches, burritos for $10-15. Solid hole-in-the-wall Mexican spots where you can eat for under $12. Some good brewpubs where you can get a beer and apps for $20 or so.

If you want to do a nice sit-down dinner, you’re looking at $45-65 for two people with an app, entrees and a drink or two at the mid-range places. Higher-end spots will run $80+ for two with wine.

Groceries are very affordable, especially for fresh produce. You can cook incredible meals at home on a budget. I’d say a single foodie could easily keep their monthly food spend under $600 while eating quite well.

The lack of truly high-end dining is about the only downside cost-wise for big foodies. But you’re just a short drive from Palm Springs if you get the itch. Overall, the low costs make Banning a great foodie-friendly town on a budget!

Posts: 9
FIREbeginner @firebeginner
Joined: 6 months ago

Banning is a really good option if you’re looking for an affordable SoCal city to live in, especially as a single person pursuing FI/RE. On a $4k monthly budget you can absolutely live comfortably.

I’d recommend looking for a 1-bedroom apartment just outside the downtown core, where you can likely find something decent for $1500-1800 per month. Utilities and other housing costs will probably run another $300-400 on top of rent.

Groceries and eating out are very affordable. You could easily keep your total food/entertainment spending under $800 per month while still eating Well and going out occasionally. No need to be overly frugal.

The biggest lifestyle costs will be transportation if you need a car for commuting or just getting around. But even with those expenses factored in, your $4k budget should provide a solid quality of living as a single person in Banning.

It’s a great option to live comfortably while banking a good amount for FI/RE. The low housing costs especially free up a lot of cash flow. I’d seriously consider Banning if I was starting my FI/RE journey today.

Posts: 6
BanningFamilyDad @banningfamilydad
Joined: 2 years ago

As a father of three kids under 10, I can give you the family perspective on costs in Banning. It’s definitely an affordable area for families, though your single $4k budget would be pretty tight for a whole household.

The biggest expenses for us are housing and childcare/education. We pay $3500 for a decent 3-bed apartment a few miles from downtown. Could find cheaper further out. Utilities, internet, etc. add another $400 probably.

Groceries for a family of 5 run us $800-1000 per month, cooking at home regularly. Eating out for 5 people is easily $60-80 for a casual meal.

School costs are significant too – around $1200 per month for our 2 kids in preschool/kindergarten. Once they hit public elementary it will be more manageable.

Entertainment, sports, etc. for the kids also adds up quickly each month. I’d say you’d need a household income of at least $7k monthly to live really comfortably in Banning as a family.

But for a single person, your $4k budget should be just fine to rent a 1-bed, own a car, go out regularly, etc. Just be prepared for costs to escalate rapidly if/when you start a family down the road.

Posts: 15
AZRetiree @azretiree
Joined: 2 years ago

My wife and I retired to Banning a few years ago from Arizona to be closer to family. Coming from a super low cost-of-living state, I was pleasantly surprised by how affordable everything is here compared to expectations.

Our main expenses are housing and healthcare/medical. We bought a nice 2-bed condo just outside downtown for about $265k a few years ago. Similar rentals seem to go for $1800-2200 per month.

Utilities, HOA fees, etc. run us about $400 per month all-in. Groceries for two people cooking at home are $400-500 usually. We go out to restaurants maybe twice per month which adds $80-100.

The biggest costs are healthcare premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses. Being on Medicare doesn’t make it cheap sadly. We probably spend $800+ per month on insurance and remaining healthcare costs.

Overall though, a $4k monthly retirement income provides a very comfortable lifestyle for the two of us in Banning, even with the medical bills. It’s a super affordable area, especially if you can minimize housing costs by downsizing or renting long-term. The low living costs make it an ideal retirement spot for those on a budget.

Posts: 22
BanningBarista @banningbarista
Joined: 2 years ago

Working as a barista in Banning, I can definitely say the cost of living here is quite manageable on a service industry income like mine. Rent is the biggest factor that enables an affordable lifestyle.

For a cheap but decent 1-bedroom apartment, you’re looking at $1200-1500 per month in the residential areas outside downtown.Add maybe $250 for utilities/internet/etc.

My biggest monthly costs beyond rent/utilities are:
– Car payment/insurance: $350
– Groceries: $250 (but I get food discounts)
– Student Loans: $200
– Gym: $30
– Entertainment: $100-200

And of course iced coffees and pastries… probably $60-80 per month on that bad habit!

In total my necessary monthly expenses are around $2200. Leaving me over $1000 for savings or splurges from my $3400 after-tax income.

While I’m not balling out, I’m able to live independently, meet my financial obligations, treat myself here and there, and still save a decent chunk each month. The affordable rent especially makes Banning very livable for those like me in more modest professions and life stages.

Posts: 4
BanningBaller @banningballer
Joined: 2 years ago

Banning definitely has a low cost of living compared to most of SoCal, but coming from LA, it hasn’t felt like too much of a downgrade for me financially. If you’re smart, you can live a very comfortable life here on a good income.

My wife and I bring in over $200k household, so our $4k budget isn’t an issue at all. We live in a luxury 2-bed apartment downtown for $2800 per month. The building has great amenities and we also pay $500 per month for top-tier cable/internet/streaming packages.

Groceries for two professionals who like organic/high-end stuff is around $800 per month on average. And we go out to nicer dinners probably 2-3 times per week, so add $300+ for that.

Other bigger costs are our German cars – around $1200 per month for payments, insurance, gas. Cleaners, housekeeping etc. is $250. Gym memberships, hair/nails, etc. probably $400.

We also take 2-3 decent vacations per year, so factor that into our overall expenses too. But even living a bougie lifestyle, our costs are very manageable on our incomes here compared to LA.

Posts: 21
BrokeStudent92 @brokestudent92
Joined: 12 months ago

As a college student living in Banning, the low cost of living here is crucial since I’m constantly pinching pennies. It’s very affordable for people in my situation.

I have a crappy studio apartment near Mt. San Jacinto College that costs $850 per month in rent plus maybe $100 in utilities. Not fancy but it works for me.

The big expenses for me are:
– Tuition/Books: $5k per semester
– Groceries: $250 per month
– Gas/Car Insurance: $200
– Phone/Internet: $90
– Credit Card Payments: $150

Going out is pretty much off limits unless I can find drink specials and cheap eats under $10. I probably spend $50-80 per month on little indulgences like that.

The key is having a super cheap rental situation and learning to really budget for groceries and other basics. As long as I can cover tuition and rent, I can get by on about $1200 per month in total living costs here.

Granted, I have almost no disposable income, but the low living costs at least let me survive while going through school without going too far into debt. For a broke student, Banning is affordable enough to make it work!

Posts: 2

Detailed Price Insights of Abilene, TX

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 17.50 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 45.00 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 15.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 7.00 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 8.00 $
  • Cappuccino (regular) – 5.52 $
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.25 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 1.50 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 1.09 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 3.16 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 4.67 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 3.41 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 6.70 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 17.19 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 16.03 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 5.04 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 2.00 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 4.41 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 4.41 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 2.90 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 3.31 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 1.95 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 1.75 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 15.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 1.73 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 4.00 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 9.25 $
  • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) – 6.62 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 1.25 $
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) – 25,499.50 $
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) – 27,965.59 $
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 142.11 $
  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data – 50.00 $
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) – 65.00 $
  • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult – 20.00 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat – 10.50 $
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child – 1,200.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 47.50 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 48.75 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 84.83 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 117.25 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 2,000.00 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre – 1,600.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre – 4,000.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre – 3,500.00 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.65
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