Cost of Living Forum

BayouBudget @bayoubudget
Joined: 2 years ago

Cost of Living in Baton Rouge – Insights from Long-Time Residents

Hi all, I’m a life-long resident of Baton Rouge and have seen the city change a lot over the years. My spouse and I are considering relocating within the city, so I wanted to get some updated insights on the current cost of living. Our household income is around $80k per year with two school-age kids.

Can some of my fellow Baton Rougeans share their experiences with major expenses like housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, healthcare, and entertainment? What are typical costs for things like a decent 3-bedroom rental or mortgage payment, grocery bills for a family of 4, car expenses, insurance premiums, going out to eat or movies, etc.? I’m trying to get a realistic picture of monthly costs to see if we can maintain our current lifestyle or need to adjust our budget. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated! Let me know what you pay and if you think the costs are reasonable for the area.

Posts: 17

10 Replies

CajunSaver @cajunsaver
Joined: 12 months ago
Housing is probably going to be your biggest expense in Baton Rouge, especially if you want to live in one of the nicer areas. For a decent 3-bedroom rental, you’re looking at around $1,800-$2,200 per month from what I’ve seen. Mortgages on a similar sized home can range from $1,400-$1,800 depending on the neighborhood. Groceries for a family of 4 easily run $600-$800 per month if you buy decent quality food and avoid eating out too much. Utilities like electricity tend to be high during summer months with AC costs, probably $200-$300. Overall, I’d say you’re looking at $3,500-$4,500 per month in major expenses for your family situation, so your $80k household income should allow for a comfortable but not extravagant lifestyle.
Posts: 17
BREats @breats
Joined: 2 years ago
As a single person, my experience is that Baton Rouge has a relatively low cost of living compared to bigger cities, at least for food and entertainment. You can get a great meal at local restaurants for $12-$18 per person. My typical grocery bill for one is around $250 per month buying a mix of store brands and name brands. Electric averages $100-$150 for my 1-bed apartment. I also only spend around $100 per month on gas since everything is relatively close. Healthcare costs can be high though – my insurance premium is $350 per month with a $3k deductible. I feel like BR is an affordable place for a foodie on a modest income as long as housing costs don’t take up too much of your budget.
Posts: 18
BRLuxuryLiving @brluxuryliving
Joined: 11 months ago
If you want to live in the nicer parts of town and maintain an upper middle class lifestyle, be prepared to spend a good amount each month. For our family of 4, we pay $2,800 for our 4-bed rental home in one of the best school districts. Groceries easily run $1,000+ per month buying organic produce, grass-fed meats, etc. from places like Whole Foods and Fresh Market. Add another $500+ for dining out a few times per week and entertainment like movies, bowling, etc. Car payments, gas and insurance for 2 newer SUVs is around $1,200. Healthcare premiums are also very high for us at around $1,000 per month for a family plan with decent coverage. All in all we probably spend close to $6,500-$7,000 per month to maintain our desired standard of living in Baton Rouge. It’s do-able on dual 6-figure incomes but the costs can really add up quickly.
Posts: 20
BudgetBayouMama @budgetbayoumama
Joined: 2 years ago
As a single mom making around $40k per year, making ends meet in Baton Rouge requires being very careful with money. I pay $900 for a decent 2-bed apartment in a safe but not fancy area. Groceries for me and my son run $400-$500 per month shopping deals at Walmart, Aldi, etc. Utilities around $200. Used car payment $250. Healthcare is a killer at $400 per month for a high-deductible plan. Entertainment is basically cooking at home and going to parks/library since can’t really afford much else. All said, I probably spend at least $2,500+ per month on essentials, which doesn’t leave a whole lot of breathing room in the budget. Cost of living is manageable in BR for low incomes but there’s zero room for extras or saving much.
Posts: 20
GeauxTigersGal @geauxtigersgal
Joined: 10 months ago
As a recent LSU grad, I think Baton Rouge is a relatively affordable place for young professionals just starting out, at least compared to bigger cities. I landed a decent job making $52k per year and I’m able to live comfortably while still paying off some student loans. My rent for a decent 1-bed apartment is $900 including basic utilities. Groceries around $300 per month buying a mix of ingredients to cook at home and some prepared foods. Car payment $250, insurance $125, gas maybe $100. Dining out/entertainment budget of $300 covers going out a couple times per week. I can manage all that plus put a little into savings each month on my income without too much struggle.
Posts: 4
SemiRetiredInBR @semiretiredinbr
Joined: 2 years ago
My wife and I are semi-retired in our 60s living in Baton Rouge on combined Social Security income of around $3,000 per month. Property taxes on our paid-off 3-bed home are around $300 per month which is very reasonable. Biggest expenses are healthcare at $600 per month for supplemental Medicare, plus $500 for prescriptions. Utilities like electricity tend to be $200-300. We keep grocery costs around $400 by shopping sales and cutting coupons. Entertainment is mostly going to parks, the mall for walking, and eating out a couple times per month using senior discounts. We can manage OK on our fixed income without too many extras thanks to low housing costs, just have to watch our spending closely. Wouldn’t call BR a cheap place exactly, but it’s relatively affordable for retirees.
Posts: 12
BRFoodie @brfoodie
Joined: 12 months ago
As someone who loves to eat out and sample all the local flavor, I’ll admit that dining costs add up fast in Baton Rouge even though prices are cheap compared to bigger cities. There are just SO many amazing local restaurants to try! You can easily spend $30-50 per person with drinks if you go too crazy. My wife and I probably spend close to $800-1000 per month eating out often. But the food scene is incredible and we think it’s worth it as our biggest splurge. Rent for our 2-bed is $1400. Groceries $400. Utils $200. Car payments/insurance $500. Healthcare $600 for the two of us from my job. So we spend around $4,000 per month just for a decent middle-class standard of living here with the premium on dining out costs. Definitely manageable on our dual incomes though.
Posts: 6
LakeSpender @lakespender
Joined: 11 months ago
We live in a beautiful home right on one of the lakes outside of Baton Rouge, so our housing expenses are definitely on the higher end. Our 4-bed home with a pool and nice yard costs us $3,200 per month for the mortgage and taxes/insurance. Then utilities run $400-500, especially in summer with the pool pump. Groceries $1,200-1,500 per month shopping at high-end stores. Healthcare premiums for our family of 5 are $1,300 per month. Add in $800 for two car payments, $300 gas, $200 household help, $500 for dining/entertainment and we’re looking at $8,000-9,000 per month in total major costs. It’s spendy for sure but we wanted this lake lifestyle and large home. Definitely manageable on our $240k household income though.
Posts: 15
HealthcareWorkerBR @healthcareworkerbr
Joined: 2 years ago
For perspective from a healthcare worker’s point of view – costs can really vary a lot based on your insurance situation. I get excellent healthcare benefits through my job so my actual out-of-pocket costs for premiums and deductibles are very low, maybe $100-150 per month. My rent for a 2-bed apartment is $1,100. Groceries around $400. Utilities $200. Car payment $350. I probably spend $200-300 per month on gas driving around to different healthcare facilities for work. Going out costs $200-300 typically. So for me, living a modest but comfortable lifestyle in BR while single runs around $2,500-3,000 per month max because my healthcare costs are so low. I realize I’m very fortunate though compared to folks without good insurance.
Posts: 1
CollegeStudentBR @collegestudentbr
Joined: 2 years ago
As a poor college student, the cost of living in Baton Rouge is still pretty manageable, especially if you have some support from parents. I pay $525 for a decent rental room in a shared house near campus. Groceries around $150-200 per month making basic meals. Utilities like $50 for electric. Don’t have a car payment but insurance is $100 and gas maybe $60 per month. Textbooks are my biggest expense at $400 per semester. I work part-time making $800 per month which covers most of my expenses with some help from my parents for extras or going out. BR is a relatively cheap college town if you make smart choices and don’t live too extravagantly. Much better than bigger student debt racked up in other big cities!
Posts: 9

Detailed Price Insights of Abilene, TX

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 15.00 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 82.80 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 9.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 4.50 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 6.50 $
  • Cappuccino (regular) – 5.12 $
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) – 1.99 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 1.42 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 1.24 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 2.71 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 2.41 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 2.90 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 13.45 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 11.29 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 16.66 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 5.37 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 1.90 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 5.23 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 3.90 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 2.84 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 3.07 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 2.10 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 1.82 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 15.75 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 1.73 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.83 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 11.00 $
  • One-way Ticket (Local Transport) – 1.75 $
  • Monthly Pass (Regular Price) – 56.00 $
  • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) – 3.50 $
  • Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) – 1.24 $
  • Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) – 35.00 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 0.77 $
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) – 36,884.90 $
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) – 24,997.72 $
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 137.31 $
  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data – 45.56 $
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) – 68.24 $
  • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult – 43.67 $
  • Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) – 10.00 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat – 13.00 $
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child – 1,576.67 $
  • International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child – 10,000.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 35.99 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 32.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 74.33 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 78.33 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 1,282.50 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre – 1,200.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre – 2,112.50 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre – 1,900.00 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre – 1,722.00 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre – 1,722.00 $
  • Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) – 3,414.93 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.65
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