Cost of Living Forum

TonyG99 @tonyg99
Joined: 2 years ago

Cost of Living in Augusta – Seeking Insights from Locals

Hi everyone, I’m considering a job opportunity in Augusta and wanted to get a better sense of the cost of living there from current residents. My wife and I are in our early 30s with one young child, and we’re looking to potentially buy a modest 3-bedroom house in a family-friendly area.

Can those of you living in Augusta share your experiences and estimates for major expenses like housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, childcare, and entertainment? What’s considered a decent salary range for a family of 3 to live comfortably? Any insights on the overall affordability and quality of life would be much appreciated as we weigh this potential move. Thanks in advance!

Posts: 14

10 Replies

AugustaLocal82 @augustalocal82
Joined: 4 months ago

As a long-time Augusta resident, I can give you a pretty good overview of the costs here. Housing is generally quite affordable compared to many other cities. You can find a decent 3-bedroom house in a nice suburban area for around $1,400-$1,600 per month in rent or $250k-$300k to buy. Utilities like electricity, water, internet, etc. will likely run you $300-$400 per month for a family.

Groceries are reasonable – you can do well on a budget of $500-$600 per month for a family of 3 if you shop at places like Aldi, Kroger, etc. Eating out is also quite affordable, with plenty of good casual and mid-range restaurant options.

The biggest expenses for a family will likely be childcare and healthcare. Full-time daycare can easily run $800-$1,000 per month for one child. As for healthcare, the costs really depend on your insurance situation through an employer.

Overall, I’d say a household income of $70k-$90k would allow a family of 3 to live quite comfortably in Augusta without too many financial strains. The city has a relatively low cost of living while still offering good amenities and quality of life. Let me know if you need any other details!

Posts: 13
BudgetBetty @budgetbetty
Joined: 2 years ago

I agree with AugustaLocal82 that housing and groceries are quite affordable in Augusta for the most part, but I’d caution that the costs can really add up for a family depending on your lifestyle and priorities.

For example, if you want to live in a newer 3-bedroom home in one of the more desirable suburbs like Evans or Martinez, you’re likely looking at $300k+ to buy or $1,800-$2,000+ in rent. And while grocery costs are reasonable overall, eating out frequently or opting for higher-end organic/specialty items can make food spending skyrocket.

Childcare is also crazy expensive, as mentioned. My husband and I paid over $1,200 per month for a good daycare/preschool program when our son was younger. Healthcare costs through an employer plan were also quite high for our family coverage.

I’d recommend budgeting very generously for those big-ticket items like housing, childcare, and healthcare when considering the move. Looking at your total compensation package and negotiating aggressively is key. We got by okay on a household income around $80k when our son was little, but it was a stretch at times with the high childcare costs. Just my two cents as someone who’s been there!

Posts: 17
SarahR @sarahr
Joined: 11 months ago

As a single mom, I’ve found Augusta to be a relatively affordable place, though costs can definitely add up quickly. I pay $900 for a decent 2-bedroom apartment in a safe area, and my utilities (electric, water, internet) come out to around $250 per month. Groceries for my daughter and I run $300-$400 typically shopping at places like Walmart and Aldi.

The biggest struggle for me is childcare, which is quite pricey here even at in-home daycares. I pay close to $600 per month for a home daycare, which is considered a good deal locally. My employer’s health insurance plan is also quite expensive as the employee portion for child coverage is over $300 per month.

That said, there are lots of free/cheap entertainment options for kids and families in Augusta – parks, museums, community events, etc. And the lack of a state income tax in Georgia helps offset some costs. For my situation, I feel I can live a decent quality of life here on a gross income of around $55k as a single mom by budgeting carefully. But I agree that a dual-income household making $70k+ would be much more comfortable, especially with higher housing, childcare, and healthcare expenses.

Posts: 13
GolfGuy72 @golfguy72
Joined: 9 months ago

I’m going to offer a somewhat different perspective as an older empty nester living in Augusta. My wife and I bought our 3-bedroom ranch home in a nice neighborhood back in the late 90s for around $150k, and our mortgage payment is just over $800 now in our retirement years. Utilities like gas, electric, internet, etc. tend to total $250 or so per month for us.

Groceries are quite affordable if you shop strategically – I’d estimate we spend $400 per month on average by hitting Aldi, Publix sales, and taking advantage of senior discounts. Eating out is also very reasonable here, with plenty of tasty local joints and chain restaurants where you can get a nice meal for $10-$15 per person.

Healthcare is definitely one of our bigger recurring costs despite being on Medicare. We budget around $600 per month for supplemental insurance, prescriptions, and medical expenses. Entertainment is relatively cheap, though – movies are $6 for matinees, golf green fees range from $25-$45 to play 18 holes, etc.

All in all, I’d say a retirement income of $50k per year could provide a very comfortable lifestyle for a couple in Augusta without kids at home. The low housing costs and lack of state income tax help a lot. It’s an affordable place for retirees as long as you have a decent nest egg and healthcare costs under control.

Posts: 3
FitFoodieGal @fitfoodiegal
Joined: 2 years ago

As someone prioritizing an active, healthy lifestyle in Augusta, I’ve found the cost of living here to be quite reasonable overall if you’re strategic. I stick to mostly cooking at home and shop primarily at places like Trader Joe’s, Aldi, Costco, and the local farmer’s markets to keep my grocery budget around $400 per month for one person. The affordable produce is great for eating lots of fruits and veggies!

In terms of fitness, there are good options across different price points. I pay $60 per month for a nice gym with all the amenities (pools, classes, etc.) But you can also get by with the basic $10/month Planet Fitness if you just want access to weights/cardio. There are also free ways to stay active like running on the canal trails or joining reasonably priced sports leagues.

My bigger expenses are housing (I pay $1,100 for a trendy 1-bedroom apartment downtown) and my healthcare costs, which are quite high even on my employer’s plan due to some medical conditions I have to manage. I also enjoy dining out 1-2 times per week for social outings, which adds $200-$300 to my monthly spending.

Overall, I feel I can maintain a comfortable yet healthy lifestyle here on a salary in the $55k range by balancing my spending priorities and taking advantage of lower costs for things like housing, groceries, fitness options, etc. It’s definitely an affordable area for an active single person!

Posts: 13
WorkFromHomeDad @workfromhomedad
Joined: 28 days ago

As a remote worker and stay-at-home dad for our two kids, I can share some insights into the costs and lifestyle in Augusta from that perspective.

Housing is definitely one of the biggest advantages of living here. We own a nice 4-bedroom home in a great family neighborhood, and our monthly mortgage payment is only around $1,400 including taxes and insurance. Hard to beat that in many other cities these days! Utilities like electricity, internet, etc. run us about $300 per month.

Groceries are quite affordable if you make a effort and shop the deals. We spend $500-$600 per month to feed our family of 4 by hitting places like Costco, Aldi, Publix/Kroger sales, and local ethnic markets. The affordable housing also allows my wife to be a stay-at-home mom while I earn the sole income working remotely.

The biggest expenses for us are childcare/summer camps (around $400 per month when not in school) and healthcare through a private plan since I don’t have employer-based coverage. We pay close to $1,000 per month for health insurance premiums and relatively high deductibles.

Entertainment is relatively cheap with so many parks, libraries, museums, and community events in Augusta. We probably spend under $200 per month for family activities, dining out occasionally, etc. Overall, I’d estimate a remote worker could maintain a decent middle-class lifestyle for a family of 4 in Augusta on a $75k-$85k income. The low housing costs are huge!

Posts: 16
AugustaBorn85 @augustaborn85
Joined: 8 months ago

As someone born and raised in Augusta, I can confirm it’s a very affordable place for young professionals and families as long as you don’t go overboard with housing or consumer spending.

If you’re strategic, you can find a nice 2-bedroom apartment in the suburbs for $900-$1,100 per month or buy a starter home around $200k. Utilities like power, water, internet, etc. tend to total around $250 for an apartment or $300-$400 for a house.

Groceries are inexpensive if you take advantage of the deals at stores like Food Lion, Bi-Lo, and Walmart. I’d budget $300 for singles or $500 for couples/small families if not eating out too frequently. Most casual restaurants have solid options in the $10-$15 per person range. Nightlife, golf/sports, movies, etc. are all very reasonably priced for entertainment.

The biggest costs for younger adults will likely be car expenses (payments, gas, insurance) if not walking/biking/taking buses, plus healthcare if not on an employer’s plan. I’d estimate living comfortably as a young professional requires at least $40k annual income for singles or $65k for couples without kids.

Overall, I think Augusta offers a great quality of life for the cost compared to most mid-sized cities. As long as you avoid overspending on housing or luxuries, it’s a very affordable place to build your career and nest egg in the earlier stages of life!

Posts: 23
MillennialMover @millennialmover
Joined: 10 months ago

As a recent transplant to Augusta from a much higher cost-of-living city, I’ve been really impressed with how affordable it is here – especially for housing! My partner and I were able to buy a charming renovated 3-bedroom bungalow in a trendy urban neighborhood for only $285k. Our mortgage, taxes, and insurance come out to around $1,800 per month, which is a steal compared to what we were paying in rent previously.

Groceries are also very inexpensive if you take advantage of the deals and ethnic markets. We probably spend $500 per month to feed both of us with a mix of home cooking and dining out a couple times per week. Utilities like electricity, water, internet, etc. have been about $250 per month for our older home.

The biggest shock for us has been the cost of healthcare, as the insurance plans available in Georgia seem to have much higher premiums and deductibles than what we had in our previous state. We pay close to $800 per month for a decent family plan, which is an added strain on our budget.

Entertainment is also quite affordable here between restaurants, breweries, parks, events, etc. We probably spend $300-$400 per month going out and exploring Augusta. Salaries do seem to be a bit lower compared to major cities, but the lower costs make up for it. As long as you’re making $75k+ household income, you can live quite comfortably here while still saving a good amount each month.

Posts: 22
LocalTeacherMom @localteachermom
Joined: 2 years ago

As a public school teacher and mom of two kids in Augusta, I can provide a bit of insight into the costs and considerations for families in my situation.

The good news is that the salary for teachers in the Augusta area is actually pretty decent compared to costs of living. I make around $52k per year, which allows us to get by comfortably as long as we are mindful of our spending.

Housing is definitely one of the most affordable expenses – we own a modest 3-bedroom home in a nice suburban neighborhood and our mortgage is only $1,100 per month. Utilities like power, internet, etc. total around $300 typically. We paid $220k for our home a few years back, which would be impossible in most metro areas.

Groceries add up pretty quickly for our family of 4, even shopping deals at places like Kroger, Publix, and Walmart. I’d estimate we spend $600-$700 on food per month to feed everyone, more during summer breaks. The school lunches help cut costs during the year. Childcare and summer camp costs are also quite hefty, probably around $400 per month when averaged out.

Healthcare costs through the district’s insurance plan are relatively affordable at $250 per month for family coverage. Entertainment is reasonable with affordable movie tickets, museums, parks, etc. Overall, I’d say a dual-income household making $75k-$85k can live quite comfortably in Augusta while saving and taking advantage of the lower housing costs.

Posts: 19
JAK_Bargainhunter @jak_bargainhunter
Joined: 2 years ago

As someone who is extremely cost-conscious, I’ve found Augusta to be a very affordable place if you are diligent about finding deals and not living beyond your means. Through a lot of research and strategic planning, my spouse and I are able to live a relatively comfortable lifestyle here on a combined income of around $65k.

For housing, we scored a great deal by purchasing a foreclosure home in decent shape for $125k a few years back. Our monthly mortgage payment is only $725. We did some basic upgrades and maintenance ourselves to keep costs low. Utilities (electric, water, internet) tend to total $250 or less each month.

We are super frugal when it comes to groceries and household items by hitting multiple stores each week (Aldi, Lidl, Big Lots, ethnic markets, etc.) and taking advantage of sales/discounts. I’d estimate we spend $300 per month to feed our family of 4 without going over the top. We also grow some fruits/veggies in our backyard garden.

Healthcare is one of our bigger expenses at $550 per month for a family health insurance plan. But we try to offset that by finding free/cheap entertainment as much as possible – parks, libraries, community events, bargain movie passes, etc.

While the salaries in Augusta aren’t the highest, the low housing costs and lack of state income tax make it a very affordable place overall for frugal living if you make some sacrifices with luxuries. It’s definitely doable for us on $65k by budgeting wisely each month.

Posts: 19

Detailed Price Insights of Abilene, TX

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 20.00 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 75.00 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 7.00 $
  • 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) – 2.00 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 1.80 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 1.12 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 3.52 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 1.79 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 3.75 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 18.06 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 12.13 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 18.73 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 4.33 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 1.30 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 3.12 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 6.51 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 2.18 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 3.28 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 2.75 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 1.50 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 15.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 1.90 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.00 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 9.00 $
  • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) – 2.80 $
  • Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) – 1.24 $
  • Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) – 28.00 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 0.92 $
  • 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) – 24,095.29 $
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 197.39 $
  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data – 57.11 $
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) – 69.92 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat – 11.00 $
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child – 2,416.67 $
  • International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child – 28,000.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 58.78 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 44.64 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 85.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 150.00 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 975.00 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre – 800.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre – 1,850.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre – 1,400.00 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre – 2,109.93 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre – 1,910.79 $
  • Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) – 1,972.00 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.45
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