Cost of Living Forum

BaltoBorn82 @baltoborn82
Joined: 2 years ago

Cost of Living in Baltimore?

I’ve lived in Baltimore my whole life but am considering moving out of my parents’ place soon. For those familiar with the city, what are the typical living expenses I should budget for? I’m a single guy in my early 30s looking at renting a decent 1-bedroom apartment, owning a car, going out occasionally, etc. Any insights from current or former Baltimore residents would be appreciated!

Posts: 23

10 Replies

HonHoops @honhoops
Joined: 8 months ago
Housing will likely be your biggest expense in Baltimore. A decent 1-bedroom apartment in the city center runs around $1,700-$1,800 per month from what I’ve seen. If you look in the surrounding areas it can be a bit cheaper, maybe $1,300-$1,500. The cost of utilities like electricity, water, internet is pretty average, probably $200-$300 per month for a 1-bedroom place. As for transportation, a monthly transit pass is $77 but most people drive and deal with parking costs. Owning a car brings expenses like gas ($3-$4/gallon), insurance, maintenance. Overall, I’d budget at least $2,500-$3,000 per month for housing, utilities, transportation and other basics as a single person.
Posts: 9
CharmCityFoodie @charmcityfoodie
Joined: 2 years ago
One thing that can get pricey in Baltimore is the food and entertainment if you like to go out a lot. Decent restaurants will run you $15-$25 per meal, fancier places more like $30-$50 per person. Drinks can add up quickly too – $5-$8 for a beer, $10+ for cocktails. My partner and I probably spend $400-$500 per month on dining out, bars, movies, etc. Groceries for two non-extravagant people runs us $400-$500 as well. The costs aren’t terrible compared to bigger cities, but it’s not exactly cheap either if you want to take advantage of the dining/nightlife scene.
Posts: 18
BMORavensFan @bmoravensfan
Joined: 8 months ago
I think Baltimore can be a relatively affordable city, at least compared to places like NYC, Boston, DC. My husband and I live comfortably (not lavishly) on around $80K household income. Our 3-bed apartment outside the city center is $2,200 a month. With a car payment, insurance, gas, utilities, cell phones, and cheap eats/entertainment we probably spend $3,500-$4,000 per month for two people. Could be tighter if you’re single without kids, but depends on your lifestyle. The salaries here aren’t as high as pricier cities, so that’s a trade-off.
Posts: 8
BaltoMom305 @baltomom305
Joined: 5 months ago
As a mom of 3 kids, the costs really add up with a family in Baltimore! Our biggest expenses are housing ($3,200 for a 3-bed rowhouse), groceries ($900+/month), childcare ($1,200/month for 2 kids), healthcare ($800/month family plan), and saving for their college funds. We pay about $200/week for after-school activities too. Unless you have a very high household income, raising a family in Baltimore requires budgeting very diligently. The public schools are adequate but many put their kids in private schools which is another enormous cost.
Posts: 8
BLPTVeteran @blptveteran
Joined: 2 years ago
One expense I haven’t seen mentioned yet is healthcare. Unless you get insurance through an employer, coverage can be very expensive in Baltimore/Maryland. I pay $450/month for a mid-range individual plan with a pretty high deductible. If you end up needing major medical care, the out-of-pocket costs can be crushing. Just something to keep in mind as an additional budget line item, especially for older folks like me.
Posts: 7
TrendyYuppie @trendyyuppie
Joined: 2 years ago
I think Baltimore offers a good quality of life if you are a young professional with some disposable income. Sure, the basics like rent ($1,800/month for my 1-bed) and transportation add up. But there are so many affordable ways to take advantage of all the restaurants, bars, events, culture if you budget wisely. $100-$200 per month can cover quite a few nights out when drinks are $6-10 and entrees $15-30. The key is picking your splurges – I do $200/month in nice meals/entertainment but get my morning coffee ($4.50) and some lunches from affordable spots.
Posts: 25
MDCrustyGuy @mdcrustyguy
Joined: 2 years ago
Bah, all these young folks talking about nightlife and dining out like they’re made of money! I’m on a fixed retirement income and Baltimore is still quite livable if you’re frugal. My housing costs are low since I bought years ago – $1,200/month mortgage on my 3-bed house. Groceries and utilities are manageable at $600/month or so. Healthcare is the budget buster – premiums and out-of-pocket can easily top $1,000/month for an older person. If I had to rent at today’s prices it would be real tough, but that’s true most places these days, not just Baltimore.
Posts: 9
RealEstateRachel @realestaterachel
Joined: 2 years ago
From a housing perspective, Baltimore is a mixed bag. You can find good 1-bed apartments for $1,300-$1,800 in decent areas. Want a trendier neighborhood in the city center and you’re looking at $1,800-$2,200+. On the positive side, prices to BUY are still reasonable compared to many big cities – $250,000-$400,000 to buy that same 1-bed condo downtown or $300,000s for a nice 3-bed rowhouse in the surrounding areas. So owning can make sense for long-term savings if you plan to stay a while. The taxes are just average – yearly property tax bill around 2%.
Posts: 2
BWITraveler305 @bwitraveler305
Joined: 4 months ago
I do a ton of traveling for work, and from that lens Baltimore has some cost-of-living advantages being a smaller metro area. The airport is relatively close no matter where you live, with cheap longterm parking ($8-$12 per day) or reasonable ride-shares ($25-$35 to catch a domestic flight). A nice hotel room runs $120-$180 if I need to stay overnight. There are good public transit options to avoid renting a car. And the food/entertainment is affordable enough to sample good local fare without breaking the bank. So the city has worked well for my travel-heavy lifestyle and budget.
Posts: 5
CharmCityEthics @charmcityethics
Joined: 2 years ago
Money isn’t everything when evaluating cost of living – we have to look at quality of life too. Baltimore has its issues for sure, but I find it a very livable city at a reasonable cost compared to big metros. The ethnic food scene here is incredible and inexpensive. There is great diversity, art, culture if you explore the neighborhoods. Live music, parks, museums, sports are all accessible entertainment. And it’s easy to get away with DC, beaches, mountains all within driving distance. So for $2,000-$3,000 per month, I’d say you can experience a high quality lifestyle in Baltimore if you spend selectively on what matters to you.
Posts: 11

Detailed Price Insights of Abilene, TX

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 17.00 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 77.50 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 9.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 5.00 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 8.00 $
  • Cappuccino (regular) – 4.72 $
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.47 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.12 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 0.90 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 2.71 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 3.19 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 4.56 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 9.11 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 8.59 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 13.44 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 5.11 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 1.14 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 4.06 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 4.39 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 2.71 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 2.87 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 1.80 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 2.14 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 11.87 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 1.73 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 4.21 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 12.00 $
  • One-way Ticket (Local Transport) – 2.10 $
  • Monthly Pass (Regular Price) – 77.00 $
  • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) – 1.80 $
  • Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) – 1.37 $
  • Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) – 24.00 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 0.91 $
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) – 25,300.00 $
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) – 29,083.88 $
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 153.91 $
  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data – 44.38 $
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) – 79.08 $
  • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult – 74.67 $
  • Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) – 30.00 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat – 15.00 $
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child – 1,283.33 $
  • International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child – 30,776.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 41.77 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 29.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 75.70 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 96.67 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 1,736.36 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre – 1,399.38 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre – 3,333.33 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre – 2,383.33 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre – 2,091.21 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre – 1,802.88 $
  • Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) – 4,261.39 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.59
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