Cost of Living Forum

LongtimeResident @longtimeresident
Joined: 2 years ago

Cost of Living in Ashland – Seeking Insights from Locals

I’ve been living in Ashland for over 15 years, but my circumstances have changed recently, and I’m curious to hear from others about the current cost of living situation. As an active retiree on a fixed income, I’m especially interested in housing, utilities, healthcare, and entertainment expenses.

What has your experience been with the major costs in Ashland? I’d love to get a sense of realistic monthly or yearly budgets for things like rent/mortgage, groceries, transportation, and discretionary spending. Any tips or insights you can share would be greatly appreciated!

Posts: 2

10 Replies

FamilyBudgeter @familybudgeter
Joined: 3 months ago

As a family of four with two school-aged kids, our biggest expense is definitely housing. We rent a 3-bedroom apartment outside of the city center, and it runs us around $2,000 per month. Utilities like electricity, water, and internet add another $300 or so. Groceries for our family easily top $800 per month if we’re being careful.

That said, Ashland does have some affordable entertainment options. We regularly take the kids to the local parks, which are free, and catching a movie only sets us back around $50 with snacks. Overall, I’d say a family our size needs a comfortable $6,000 per month to live comfortably without too many luxuries.

Posts: 20
SingleGuy22 @singleguy22
Joined: 2 years ago

As a single guy in my 20s, I’ve found Ashland to be relatively affordable, at least for now. I live in a 1-bedroom apartment close to downtown, paying around $1,400 per month in rent. Utilities are pretty reasonable at maybe $150 per month for everything.

My biggest costs are probably going out and entertainment. Drinks and meals at bars or restaurants can really add up quickly. I try to keep my total monthly expenses under $3,000 by cooking at home often and finding free or cheap activities outdoors. Overall, Ashland isn’t cheap, but it’s manageable on an average salary if you’re smart about your spending.

Posts: 8
FrugalGranny @frugalgranny
Joined: 4 months ago

Living on a fixed retirement income, I’ve had to be extremely careful with my budget in Ashland. I own my small 2-bedroom condo outright, thankfully, but property taxes, HOA fees, and utilities still run me around $500 per month. Groceries and healthcare are my biggest expenses these days.

I do most of my shopping at discount grocery stores and take advantage of senior discounts whenever possible. Even so, I budget at least $400 per month just for food. Medicare helps with medical costs, but copays, prescriptions, and supplemental insurance set me back another $400 or so each month. Entertainment is limited to streaming services and the occasional meal out, which I budget $100 for. In total, a frugal retired person like myself can probably get by on $2,000 per month in Ashland, but it’s a tight budget.

Posts: 12
WFHProfessional @wfhprofessional
Joined: 2 years ago

As someone who works remotely, I’ve found Ashland to be a relatively affordable place to live compared to some major cities. My spouse and I share a modest 2-bedroom apartment downtown, paying around $1,800 per month in rent, with maybe $250 more for utilities.

We don’t have car payments, but we do budget $300 per month for gas, insurance, and parking. Groceries tend to run us $600-700 per month for two people cooking most meals at home. We also budget $200 per month for dining out, $150 for entertainment like movies and concerts, and $100 for miscellaneous expenses.

Our combined take-home pay is around $8,000 per month after taxes and retirement contributions. While not cheap, Ashland allows us to live comfortably while still saving a decent amount each month. The outdoorsy lifestyle and amenities make it worth the cost for us.

Posts: 25
StartupHustle @startuphustle
Joined: 3 months ago

Running a small business in Ashland has been both a blessing and a curse in terms of costs. On one hand, commercial rents downtown are pretty reasonable compared to bigger cities at around $3,000 per month for my retail space. Employee salaries are also lower than they’d be elsewhere.

However, the high housing costs for my team have made it challenging to attract and retain talent. Most of my full-time staff have to live further out from the city center to find anything affordable. We also get hit hard with commercial utility bills that can reach $1,000 or more per month.

Overall, I’d advise any entrepreneurs considering Ashland to carefully project all your costs. The costs of living for employees, rent, utilities, and other operations can really add up quickly. But if your business model works, Ashland can still be a great place to work and live.

Posts: 16
OutdoorEnthusiast @outdoorenthusiast
Joined: 5 months ago

One of the biggest appeals of Ashland for me is how many low-cost outdoor activities there are nearby. My spouse and I are avid hikers, bikers, and campers, which has helped offset some of the higher housing costs. We rent a affordable 2-bedroom house for $1,600 per month by living a bit outside the city center.

Our main expenses are our $500 per month mortgage payment, $400 for utilities and internet, and around $700 for groceries shopping mostly at budget stores. We try to limit restaurant meals to $200 per month as a treat. Entertainment is very cheap for us – mostly just gas money and modest parking fees to get to all the great trails and parks in the region.

By being smart with our $5,000 combined monthly income and taking advantage of Ashland’s outdoor amenities, we’re able to save over $1,000 most months while still living an active lifestyle we love. The cost of living here is very reasonable compared to bigger cities if you follow your passions.

Posts: 3
FoodTruckLife @foodtrucklife
Joined: 2 years ago

Running a food truck business in Ashland has been an interesting experience from a cost perspective. On one hand, not having a brick-and-mortar location saves me a ton in rent and utilities. My main costs are paying my small staff, gas for the truck, groceries, and permit/licensing fees.

However, the high costs of housing make it tough to find reliable employees able to afford living in or near Ashland itself. Most of my team has grueling commutes from cheaper areas. Food costs have also been rising steadily, with grocery bills for good ingredients often topping $2,000 per month.

At the end of the day, an established food truck can still earn a decent living in Ashland if you work hard and keep costs lean where possible. But the housing situation in particular is a real challenge. I can’t imagine being able to afford living downtown on a food truck’s income alone.

Posts: 25
ArtistInResidence @artistinresidence
Joined: 2 years ago

As a self-employed artist, Ashland has been an affordable – if still tight – place for me to live and work so far. I rent a studio apartment downtown for $1,100 per month, which is manageable on my variable income. Utilities are around $120 per month.

My biggest costs are art supplies and materials, which can easily top $500 per month depending on what I’m working on. I also budget $400 for groceries, $100 for car expenses, $75 for petty entertainment like movies or music, and $200 for miscellaneous costs.

Overall, if I can net around $2,500 per month from my art sales, teaching gigs, and odd jobs, I can make ends meet in Ashland while still having enough disposable income to occasionally splurge on nice art supplies or nights out. It’s not a luxurious life by any means, but it’s a decent tradeoff to be able to live in such an inspiring, creative community.

Posts: 24
HealthNutFam @healthnutfam
Joined: 2 years ago

For my family of three, the biggest cost factor in Ashland has definitely been our commitment to a very healthy, organic lifestyle. We pay a premium for housing close to the co-op and farmer’s markets, around $2,200 per month for a 2-bedroom apartment.

Groceries from the natural food stores easily run us $1,200 per month. We also pay top dollar for organic produce delivery services, premium cuts of meat, supplements, and the like. Eating out is rarely an option unless it’s at one of the pricier farm-to-table places.

However, we try to offset some of those food costs by embracing an active, outdoor-centric lifestyle that doesn’t require much paid entertainment. We hike, bike, do yoga, and take advantage of Ashland’s parks and rec facilities. All in all, our particular lifestyle means budgeting around $5,000 per month to live well in Ashland while staying true to our health-focused values. It’s an investment, but one we’re willing to make.

Posts: 24
DualIncomeNoDogs @dualincomenodogs
Joined: 8 months ago

My spouse and I are both professionals in our 30s without kids, and we’ve found Ashland to be a relatively affordable place for our dual-income lifestyle so long as we’re smart with our spending. We rent a nice 2-bedroom apartment downtown for $2,100 per month, and utilities average another $300 per month or so.

One of our biggest expenses is commuting – my spouse drives about 30 minutes to their office, and we budget $500 per month for gas, insurance, and basic car maintenance. Groceries are around $600 per month if we meal prep and limit dining out.

Entertainment is probably our biggest indulgence. We take advantage of Ashland’s vibrant arts and culture scene, so $300 per month for concerts, theater, movies, etc. isn’t uncommon. We also work out regularly at a local gym for $120 per month combined.

With our combined take-home income of around $9,500 per month, we manage to sock away $3,000 – $4,000 for savings and still live quite comfortably in Ashland overall. The work-life balance and amenities make it worthwhile for our life stage.

Posts: 11

Detailed Price Insights of Abilene, TX

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 20.00 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 72.50 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 11.90 $
  • 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) – 2.64 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 1.97 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 1.07 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 4.80 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 5.30 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 5.12 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 15.30 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 12.29 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 14.89 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 4.76 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 1.39 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 5.19 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 4.68 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 3.06 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 3.88 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 3.62 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 1.91 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 10.75 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 1.99 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.81 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 14.00 $
  • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) – 5.00 $
  • Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) – 1.39 $
  • Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) – 27.50 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 0.97 $
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) – 30,000.00 $
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) – 27,642.24 $
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 183.68 $
  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data – 48.47 $
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) – 55.00 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat – 15.00 $
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child – 1,400.00 $
  • International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child – 28,000.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 44.67 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 46.37 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 87.25 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 109.00 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 1,650.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre – 2,600.00 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.48
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