Cost of Living Forum

BarnegaterSince95 @barnegatersince95
Joined: 2 years ago

What are the typical living costs in Barnegat?

I’ve been living in Barnegat for over 25 years now, but I’m curious to hear from others about their experiences with the cost of living here. As a long-time resident, I have a decent sense of expenses, but I’d love to get a more well-rounded perspective.

I’m a single guy in my early 40s, working a decent office job. I own my modest 2-bedroom condo on the outskirts of town, so my housing costs are relatively affordable now that my mortgage is mostly paid off. However, I know housing prices have gone up a lot in recent years for new buyers and renters.

I tend to cook most of my meals at home, which helps keep my food costs down, but I do enjoy dining out every once in a while too. Transportation is a major expense since I have to commute about 30 miles each way for work. And don’t get me started on utility bills – my winter heating costs are killer!

So what has your experience been with the typical living costs here in Barnegat? I’m curious to hear a range of perspectives – whether you’re a renter or homeowner, single or have a family, living frugally or with a bit more luxury. Let’s discuss the major expense categories like housing, food, utilities, transportation, healthcare, and entertainment. What are the pain points, and what are the areas where Barnegat is relatively affordable compared to other areas? I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Posts: 21

10 Replies

FamilyGuyBarnegat @familyguybarnegat
Joined: 2 years ago

As someone raising a family of four here in Barnegat, I’d say the cost of living is relatively high overall, but there are some areas where it’s more reasonable than others. Housing is definitely one of the biggest expenses – we just bought a decent 3-bedroom house a couple of years ago in a family-friendly neighborhood, and even though it was a bit further from the town center, we’re paying around $2,200 per month for our mortgage. Renting would probably be $1,800-2,000 for something similar.

Grocery costs for a family of four aren’t too crazy if you stick to basics and shop smart – probably $800-1000 per month to feed everyone. Eating out is where it really adds up quickly with kids, so we try to limit that. Utility costs like electricity can also take a big bite, maybe $250+ per month.

On the plus side, Barnegat has some affordable options for family entertainment if you stick to things like parks, libraries, and community events. Private schools/daycare are very expensive though – we’re paying $1,200 per month for daycare for our youngest.

My advice would be to budget carefully for the big costs like housing and factor in those kid-related expenses if you’re planning to have a family here. But there are still some areas where Barnegat isn’t too unreasonable compared to other NJ towns.

Posts: 20
YuppieYenta @yuppieyenta
Joined: 2 months ago

As a young professional, I actually find the costs in Barnegat to be pretty decent relative to my income. I rent a nice 1-bedroom apartment right in the downtown area for about $1,400 per month, which is manageable on my salary. Groceries and meal costs are pretty typical for the area – I probably spend $400-500 per month on food, cooking at home but also enjoying restaurants somewhat regularly.

Where I do feel the costs are is with some of the exterior amenities and leisure spending. A gym membership at the nicer clubs is like $80-100 per month. Going out drinking, concerts, etc. can also add up quickly if you have an active social life. Utilities in my building seem a bit high at $150-200 per month for electric/gas/internet.

But overall, as a single person, I’m able to max out my 401k, take 1-2 nice vacations per year, and still have plenty of disposable income leftover. Sure, big-ticket costs like purchasing property would be very expensive. But for renting and living a comfortable DINK lifestyle, Barnegat hasn’t been terribly unaffordable for me so far.

Posts: 5
BrokeStudentBarnegat @brokestudentbarnegat
Joined: 2 months ago

Being a student here in Barnegat is definitely a struggle from a costs perspective! Housing is crazy expensive, whether you’re renting an apartment or living in student housing. Even with 3 roommates, our rent is still over $600 each for a pretty basic 2-bedroom.

Food is also a major factor – groceries seem really pricey, especially for anything remotely healthy. And going out to eat is just not in the budget for me at all. Utilities and other monthly bills also really add up quickly.

The one upside is that Barnegat does have a decent public transit system, so I’m able to get around without owning a car and paying for gas, insurance, etc. But between housing, food, books, and everything else, I’m pretty much broke all the time despite working part-time. It’s hard to imagine being able to afford living here long-term after graduation without a really well-paying job lined up!

Posts: 1
BargainBetty72 @bargainbetty72
Joined: 7 months ago

From my experience as a retired senior living in Barnegat, the costs can be pretty manageable if you’re smart about it and take advantage of discounts where possible. My Social Security goes a lot further here than it would in some nearby towns.

I was able to buy my cozy 2-bedroom condo outright years ago for around $180k, so no mortgage costs. Property taxes are pretty reasonable at $4,500 per year. Heating/electric runs $100-150 per month.

Groceries can be very affordable if you shop sales, go for store brands, and take advantage of senior discounts on certain days. I probably spend $250 or less per month on food. Medical costs are another story with all my prescriptions and appointments, but Medicare helps a lot.

My biggest tips would be to look for an affordable place you can stay long-term, take advantage of senior discounts and programs, skip going out and cook at home, and be diligent about keeping utilities low. All about living simply and frugally in retirement! Barnegat has worked out well for my limited budget.

Posts: 17
LuxuryLeon @luxuryleon
Joined: 2 months ago

I’ll be honest, the cost of living in Barnegat at a luxury level is quite high compared to other areas I’ve lived. But for my wife and I, it’s been worth it to be in this great town with all its amenities and quality of life.

We purchased a beautiful 4-bedroom home a few years back in one of the nicest neighborhoods, and it set us back about $850k. On top of a $4,000 monthly mortgage, property taxes, utilities for a larger home, lawn care, etc. really add up.

Food-wise, we probably spend around $1,200 per month by shopping at places like Whole Foods and frequently enjoying restaurants in the $50-100 per person range. Gas, insurance, and maintenance for our luxury vehicles is also very pricey.

Then you have the extras we splurge on – $300 per month for fancy gym memberships, frequent leisure travel, tickets for concerts/sports, nice clothing, you name it. It’s an expensive lifestyle for sure.

But we’re at a point in our careers where we can afford it, and Barnegat gives us a great place to enjoy our money with low crime, good schools, lots of recreation, easy access to NYC, etc. You definitely pay a premium to live here, but it’s been worth it for our family so far.

Posts: 9
BarnegatBaroness @barnegatbaroness
Joined: 2 years ago

As a long-time resident of one of Barnegat’s more affluent neighborhoods, I’ll echo what others have said – this town can be quite pricey, especially if you want to live in certain areas and maintain a particular lifestyle. But in my view, you absolutely get what you pay for in terms of quality of life, amenities, and community.

My husband and I bought our 5-bedroom colonial home about 15 years ago, and it was around $750k even back then. Taxes are quite high at over $18k per year now. We also splurge on landscaping, housekeeping, and various home services and maintenance that add up quickly.

Grocery costs are likely $1,000+ per month for how we like to eat and entertain. We belong to the nicest country club which has astronomical fees. Personal services like salons, trainers, etc. are also very expensive but important for our lifestyle.

All that said, the quality of Barnegat’s public and private schools, parks, shopping areas, restaurants, and overall vibe make it worthwhile for our family. The walkable downtown, community events, and safe/friendly atmosphere are huge pluses. It’s an expensive place to live, but it matches our values and how we want to raise our kids. For that peace of mind, it’s worth it to us.

Posts: 3
NewToThisNewJersey @newtothisnewjersey
Joined: 7 months ago

My wife and I just relocated to Barnegat from the Midwest about 6 months ago, so we’re still getting a feel for the costs here compared to our previous city. But I’ll share some initial impressions!

First off, the housing market is just bonkers. We ended up renting a decent 2-bedroom apartment for $2,100 per month since buying wasn’t feasible yet. That’s a massive increase from our $950 mortgage back in Ohio!

Groceries also feel quite a bit more expensive, probably $600-700 per month now for just the two of us compared to $400 or so before. Dining out is where the costs really add up – a casual meal seems to be $50-60 for two here.

On the plus side, we no longer need intense summer AC costs like we did in the muggy Midwest summers. And my wife’s line of work bumped her salary by almost 25% to account for the higher NJ cost of living.

Overall, Barnegat just feels like an expensive place to live, even for some basic living expenses we used to take for granted. But we’re adjusting gradually and trying to be smart about reducing costs where possible. The beaches, proximity to NYC, and milder weather help make it worthwhile so far. We’ll see how it goes long-term!

Posts: 4
ScrimperSaver @scrimpersaver
Joined: 2 years ago

From my experience, Barnegat can actually be a relatively affordable place to live if you’re smart about cutting costs and willing to make some sacrifices. It does require a very frugal, no-frills lifestyle though.

I own a small 2-bedroom home that I bought ages ago for $120k. These days it would probably go for $250k+, but my mortgage is still just $500 per month. Taxes are manageable too at $3,600 per year.

Utilities like electric/gas/internet run me about $160 total per month. For a single person cooking all meals at home very basically, grocery costs are around $150-200. I don’t have a car, so I take public transit or bike everywhere to avoid those costs.

Healthcare is one expense I do splurge on since I get good insurance through my job and pay about $150 per month for good coverage. And I keep entertainment/leisure spending to an absolute minimum – maybe $30 per month or so for streaming services and the occasional Redbox rental.

It’s not a glamorous lifestyle by any means, but embracing a very frugal, minimalist way of living has allowed me to get by quite comfortably in Barnegat on just my modest $45k salary and still max out retirement contributions each year. This town can be affordable if you’re disciplined!

Posts: 19
NJParentDiaries @njparentdiaries
Joined: 2 years ago

From my experience raising two kids here in Barnegat over the past decade, I’d say the costs are quite high in several key areas that are hard to avoid with a family.

The biggest one is easily housing – We rent a decent 3-bedroom row home in a safe neighborhood near good schools, and even with that our rent is $2,400 per month. I can’t even imagine what it costs to buy a similar place these days.

Childcare was also an enormous expense when our kids were younger – paying $1,000+ per month for full-time daycare for each of them really added up quickly. Now we’re looking at summer camps, sports/activity fees, etc. that really nickle and dime you constantly.

Grocery costs for a family of 4 are no joke either – easily $800-1,000 per month even sticking to basics and packing lunches. Utilities for a multi-bedroom place also seem to run quite high at $300-400 per month.

Every little cost just feels exaggerated when you have kids – clothes, healthcare, entertainment. But I suppose those costs would be inflated in any decent suburb. Overall Barnegat has been a good place to raise our family despite the expenses.

Posts: 13
RetiredRaymondNJ @retiredraymondnj
Joined: 2 years ago

Now that I’m retired and living off just my Social Security checks, I’ve found Barnegat to be a relatively affordable place for my lifestyle – though affording it when I was younger and working would’ve been much tougher.

My mortgage is paid off on my little 2-bedroom ranch that I bought back in the 80s. Taxes are quite reasonable at just $3,000 per year. Utilities like electric, gas, internet, and cable probably run me $200 per month tops for just me.

Groceries are one area where costs have really risen – I’m spending $300-400 per month now just feeding myself with the dietary needs of a senior. Discount grocery chains and taking advantage of promotions help.

Healthcare is also a major expense category at this stage of life. I pay $150 per month for decent Medicare supplement insurance, plus copays and medications can really add up quickly. Getting around via public transit also costs me a decent chunk of money each month.

All in all though, a relatively simple retired lifestyle in Barnegat is quite manageable on my limited income now that I’m not having to account for major costs like childcare or saving for retirement anymore. It’s a comfortable town for making my fixed income stretch as best as possible.

Posts: 7

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) – 10.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 5.50 $
  • 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) – 2.58 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 1.06 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 3.30 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 7.05 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 4.56 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 15.43 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 8.59 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 13.44 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 5.11 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 2.08 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 7.56 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 4.00 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 5.00 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 3.08 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 2.27 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 2.80 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 13.50 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 1.73 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 4.33 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 12.00 $
  • 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 $
  • 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 – 34,200.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 46.67 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 29.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 83.75 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 136.67 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.59
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