Cost of Living Forum

AuroraResident82 @auroraresident82
Joined: 2 years ago

Cost of Living in Aurora for a Long-Time Resident

I’ve lived in Aurora for over 20 years and have seen the cost of living change quite a bit. I’m considering some lifestyle changes and would love to get input from others familiar with current expenses here. For some context, I’m a single professional in my 40s with no kids. I own my condo but am looking to potentially upgrade to a larger place. What are typical costs these days for things like housing, groceries, dining out, transportation, utilities, healthcare, and entertainment? Would also be interested to hear if others think Aurora is becoming more or less affordable over time. Let me know your thoughts and experiences!

Posts: 16

10 Replies

FrugalFoodie @frugalfoodie
Joined: 2 years ago

Hey AuroraResident82, as someone who loves good food but also tries to save money, here are my insights on grocery and dining costs in Aurora:

Groceries: Overall, I’d say groceries are relatively affordable compared to some other major cities. You can get good deals on staples like bread, eggs, rice, etc. at stores like Aldi. Produce can be pricier, maybe $4-5 for things like apples and tomatoes per kg. Meats and cheeses tend to be mid-range, $10-14 per kg for chicken or beef.

Dining out: There’s a good range of affordable to mid-range restaurants. You can probably get a decent meal at a casual place for $15-20 per person before drinks. Expect to pay $50-60 for a mid-range 3-course meal for two with a drink or two. Coffee and beers are around $5-6 each.

My advice would be to budget $400-600 per month for a single person’s groceries and affordable dining out. Of course, splurging more is always an option with all the great food in Aurora! Let me know if you need any specific restaurant recommendations.

Posts: 20
DINKLife @dinklife
Joined: 2 years ago

I’m in a similar situation as you, AuroraResident82 – double income, no kids household. My partner and I definitely feel the rising costs in many areas, especially housing. Here’s a quick rundown from our perspective:

Housing: We rent a decent 2-bed apartment outside the city center for around $1800/month, which has gone up a ton in the last 5 years. If we wanted to buy, I’d estimate $400-500k for a condo and $600k+ for a single family home, which is just crazy.

Transportation: We’re fortunate to live close to my office, so I just pay around $100/month for public transit pass. My partner drives about 10 miles each way and fills up their tank around twice a month at $50-60 per fill up.

Utilities/Internet: Our utilities (electric, gas, water, trash) for a 1000 sq ft place comes out to $150-200/month. Internet is another $50-60.

Entertainment: This varies a lot for us. Dinners out can be $60-100 with drinks. Movies are $10-15 per ticket. Gym membership is $80/month for both of us.

Overall, I’d say living comfortably (but not extravagantly) in Aurora for a DINK household runs us around $4000-5000 per month after rent/housing costs. It’s getting less and less affordable if you want to actually buy property here. Let me know if you have any other specific questions!

Posts: 16
CityMomma @citymomma
Joined: 2 years ago

As a mom of 3 kids (ages 8, 6, and 3) living in Aurora, here are some of the major costs we deal with:

Housing: We pay $2400 for a 3-bedroom apartment in a decent area near good schools. It’s a squeeze for our family size but we make it work. If we wanted to buy a 3-bed house, we’re looking at $600,000 minimum.

Childcare/Education: This is where it really adds up! Our 3-year-old is in a private preschool at $900/month. The older two are in public schools but we pay for after-school care ($300/month) and tons of activities ($200-300/month). Summer camps are also pricey.

Groceries: Our grocery bill for a family of 5 is about $1000-1200 per month if we stick to basic stores like Aldi and avoid too much dining out.

Transportation: We have two paid-off vehicles which is a must with 3 kids! Gas is around $250/month total and we pay $120 for insurance.

Entertainment: We don’t really have a entertainment budget – an occasional movie ($60 for all of us) or activity is about it. My husband and I maybe go out to dinner alone 1-2 times per year!

Healthcare: Our insurance through my husband’s employer is $5000 per year for the premium, plus co-pays and medications.

It’s not cheap raising a family in Aurora these days! The costs can be overwhelming, especially the housing, child care/education, and healthcare expenses. We make decent incomes but still feel stretched pretty thin sometimes. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Posts: 25
DowntownDenizen @downtowndenizen
Joined: 2 years ago

I’ve lived right in the heart of downtown Aurora for the past 5 years and absolutely love the urban lifestyle, despite the premium price tag. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of my main expenses:

Housing: I pay $1550 for a modern 1-bed, 1-bath apartment with great amenities in a luxury building. The going rate for similar units seems to be $1400-1800 these days.

Transportation: I rarely use my car, which saves a ton. I just take public transit ($100 monthly pass) or walk/bike everywhere. An occasional Uber is maybe $10-15 per trip.

Dining/Entertainment: This is where I probably spend more than I should! There are so many amazing restaurants, bars, and things to do downtown. I easily drop $400-600 per month on dining out, drinks, movies, concerts, etc. The perk of living downtown!

Utilities/Internet: Pretty standard – about $120 all in for electricity, gas, water, WiFi, etc.

Gym: I have a membership at a nice athletic club downtown that runs me $79/month.

Overall, my downtown Aurora lifestyle with a mid-range income probably costs me around $3500-4000 per month after rent. It’s not cheap, but to me it’s worth it to have all the amenities and conveniences of living in the heart of such a vibrant city! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Posts: 21
RetiredInROC @retiredinroc
Joined: 2 years ago

As a retired senior living in Aurora, I’ve definitely noticed costs increasing over the years, especially for things like healthcare, utilities, and groceries. Here’s a quick overview from my perspective:

Housing: My wife and I own our condo which we bought back in the 90s. Similar 2-bed units seem to be going for $250-300k now from what I’ve seen. Much harder to afford on a fixed income today!

Healthcare: This is probably our biggest expense at around $8000 per year after premiums, co-pays, medications, etc. Costs just keep rising.

Utilities: We pay around $180 per month for electric, gas, water/sewer, internet, cable tv.

Groceries: I’d budget $500-600 per month for two people doing basic grocery shopping, especially if you look for deals and don’t eat out much.

Transportation: We have a paid off car, so just gas ($120/month) and insurance ($80/month). Public transit with a senior discount is quite cheap.

Entertainment: We keep it pretty low-key – movies, an occasional dinner out, etc. Maybe $150/month.

Overall, living in Aurora as a retiree on a fixed income of around $3500/month from pension/social security isn’t easy, but it can be done with some budgeting and sacrifices. Healthcare is definitely the biggest strain on our finances though. Let me know if any other insight would be helpful!

Posts: 13
SoloStruggler @solostruggler
Joined: 11 months ago

As someone working a minimum wage job and living alone in Aurora, I’ll be honest – it’s really tough to make ends meet here with the rising costs of, well, pretty much everything. Here’s a look at my typical monthly expenses:

Housing: I pay $875 for a very basic studio apartment. It’s not great, but the cheapest I could find.

Utilities: Another $100-120 for electricity, heat, water, internet.

Groceries: I try to keep this around $200-250 per month by sticking to cheap basics.

Transportation: I take the bus which is $100 per month for a transit pass.

Healthcare: I’m on Medicaid, so my costs are low – just some small co-pays here and there.

That leaves me with maybe $200-300 per month for other expenses and any entertainment, and I still often end up going into credit card debt. I rarely dine out ($10 meal if I splurge), don’t have a car, no gym membership, etc.

It’s frankly really difficult to survive in Aurora on a single minimum wage income of around $1500/month after taxes. The costs of housing, food, and transportation alone make up pretty much all of my monthly pay. I’m constantly stressed about money and live pretty frugally. I’m looking into getting a second job or moving somewhere cheaper. This city is getting way too expensive for the working poor.

Posts: 9
FamilyOn325k @familyon325k
Joined: 4 months ago

As a family of 4 (two kids under 10) living a relatively comfortable middle-class lifestyle in Aurora, here’s a quick breakdown of our typical monthly expenses on a household income of around $325k:

Housing: We own a nice 4-bed, 3-bath home in the suburbs that we paid $580k for a few years ago. Current mortgage (including taxes/insurance) is around $3200.

Transportation: We have two paid off vehicles – bigger SUV for family use and a sedan for commuting. Total costs including gas, insurance, maintenance is probably $600-700 per month.

Utilities: For our larger home – electricity, gas, water, internet probably runs us $400 on average.

Groceries: We do a mix of basic grocery shopping and high-end stores/ingredients. Food for our family of 4 is usually $1200-1400.

Dining Out: We probably go out to restaurants 2-3 times per month and get take-out 1-2 times per week. Maybe $500-600 total.

Kids Activities/Summer Camps: A big one for us – probably $500 per month on average.

Entertainment: $250 for things like movies, concerts, etc.

Healthcare: Around $800-900 per month for a great family insurance plan through my employer.

Overall, we’re able to live quite comfortably in Aurora while still saving a decent chunk each month. But it definitely doesn’t come cheap – likely $8000+ in total housing and living expenses each month. Let me know if you need any other details!

Posts: 8
StartupHustle @startuphustle
Joined: 2 years ago

As someone trying to get their tech startup off the ground while based in Aurora, I can definitely attest that the cost of living here can put a strain on cash flow! Here’s a quick look at some of my major expenses:

Housing: I live in a 1-bed apartment downtown that runs me $1650 per month. Not cheap, but I like being in the center of things.

Transportation: I mostly take public transit ($100 monthly pass) or rideshare when needed ($100-200/month)

Food: I probably spend $400-500 per month on groceries, coffee, and affordable take-out while I’m working crazy hours. I rarely have time for sit-down dining.

Utilities/Internet: Around $150-200 all in for electric, WiFi, etc.

Entertainment: Other than grabbing drinks with friends every now and then ($50/month), I don’t really have an entertainment budget.

Health Insurance: This is a big one at around $400 per month for a decent individual plan.

Working from home offices, coffee shop spaces, networking events, etc can add another $100-300 monthly in costs related to my startup hustle.

My personal burn rate ends up being $3000-3500 per month while I’m in startup mode, which is pretty tight given inconsistent business income so far. The main expenses like housing, food, and health insurance definitely put a strain on bootstrapping things in an expensive city like Aurora. But I’m making it work through a frugal lifestyle for the time being!

Posts: 3
BasicBroBudget @basicbrobudget
Joined: 2 years ago

As a single dude in my late 20s, I try to keep things pretty simple and affordable when it comes to my cost of living in Aurora. Here’s a rundown of my typical monthly expenses:

Housing: I have a decent 1-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of the city that costs me $950 per month in rent.

Utilities: Internet is $50, electricity around $80 on average.

Transportation: I own an older used car outright, so justgas ($120/month) and insurance ($110/month) for transportation costs.

Groceries: Maybe $250-300 per month cooking most of my meals at home.

Dining Out: I try to limit this to $100-150 per month, so just a couple cheap meals or drinks out per week with friends.

Gym: $35 per month for a no-frills gym membership.

Entertainment: $60 or so for movies, activities, etc every month.

Phone/Streaming: $90 for my mobile plan and a couple streaming services.

No crazy expenses for me, and no kids/family to worry about yet. I’m able to max out my retirement contributions at work and still have a decent amount of disposable income left over each month living in Aurora on an $70k salary. Can’t really complain!

Posts: 18
LuxeLife4Me @luxelife4me
Joined: 2 years ago

Cost certainly isn’t an issue for my household in Aurora! We live a very luxurious lifestyle with plenty of disposable income. Here’s a quick peek into some of our major expenses:

Housing: We own a gorgeous 4,000 sq ft mansion in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods. Mortgage is around $10,000 per month.

Transportation: I have a fully loaded luxury SUV that cost over $100k. My partner drives an $80k high-end sports sedan. Low financing costs, but probably $1000 per month in gas, insurance, maintenance.

Travel: We take at least 4-5 major international vacations per year which can easily run $25-30k each trip between flights, hotels, tours, etc.

Household Staff: We employ a full-time nanny ($4000/month), personal chef ($6000/month), housekeeper ($3500/month), and gardening crew ($2500/month).

Entertainment: Truly whatever we want – $1000 dinners, courtside sports tickets, designer shopping sprees, country club memberships, you name it.

Taxes/Investments: We both have thriving businesses, so our annual tax bills get quite hefty. But we also contribute heavily to various investment accounts.

Overall, our monthly “expense” run-rate is likely in the $80-100k range. Maybe even higher some months with major trips, renovations, or purchases. Thankfully our net worth is quite high, allowing us to live this ultra-luxe Aurora lifestyle without restraint. Money is no object for our household!

Posts: 14

Detailed Price Insights of Abilene, TX

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 15.00 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 52.50 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 8.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 5.00 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 6.00 $
  • Cappuccino (regular) – 5.00 $
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.54 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.00 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 0.73 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 3.14 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 4.91 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 2.38 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 7.12 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 10.49 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 13.95 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 4.67 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 1.49 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 3.81 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 3.19 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 1.86 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 2.70 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 1.83 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 1.59 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 12.42 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 2.25 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.32 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 8.50 $
  • One-way Ticket (Local Transport) – 2.25 $
  • Monthly Pass (Regular Price) – 100.00 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 0.87 $
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) – 35,699.74 $
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) – 26,125.82 $
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 128.80 $
  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data – 43.00 $
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) – 50.00 $
  • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult – 35.00 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat – 9.00 $
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child – 660.00 $
  • International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child – 11,136.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 45.67 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 21.50 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 70.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 80.00 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 1,400.00 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre – 900.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre – 2,165.00 $
  • Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) – 4,913.67 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.45
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