Cost of Living Forum

AshlanaResident88 @ashlanaresident88
Joined: 2 years ago

Living Costs in Ashland – Input from Long-Time Residents?

Hi everyone, I’ve lived in Ashland for over 20 years now, and I’m curious to hear from others in the community about your experience with the cost of living here. As housing prices continue to rise and inflation impacts daily expenses, I want to get a sense of how reasonable it is to maintain a decent lifestyle in Ashland on an average income.

I’m a single parent with one child, and we currently live in a modest 2-bedroom apartment. My biggest expenses are housing, transportation, childcare, and utilities. I’d love to hear your thoughts on affordable neighborhoods, tips for saving on groceries and dining out, healthcare costs, and any other insights you can share.

What has your experience been like managing living expenses in Ashland? Do you feel it’s becoming less affordable, or have you found ways to make it work comfortably on your income level? I’m looking forward to learning from all of your perspectives!

Posts: 4

10 Replies

AshlandNative @ashlandnative
Joined: 6 months ago

I’ve lived in Ashland my whole life, and I’ll be honest – it’s getting tough to make ends meet here, especially for families. Housing is the biggest issue in my opinion. Rent for a decent 2-bedroom apartment can easily run you $1,200 or more, even outside the city center. And don’t get me started on buying a house – prices have skyrocketed to the point where a modest 3-bedroom home could cost upwards of $300,000 or even $400,000.

That said, some of the daily living expenses aren’t too bad. Groceries are pretty average, and you can find good deals if you shop wisely. Utilities like electricity and water are also reasonable compared to some other cities I’ve lived in. Transportation can add up though, especially if you rely on a car and have to deal with gas prices and maintenance.

My advice would be to try to find an affordable rental situation, even if it means living a bit further out from the city center. And if you’re looking to buy, be prepared to make some compromises on size or location unless you have a really high income. It’s not easy, but Ashland is still a great community if you can make it work financially.

Posts: 20
BudgetMom @budgetmom
Joined: 2 years ago

As a fellow single parent, I hear you on the challenges of making it work in Ashland. It’s definitely not the cheapest place to live, but there are ways to make it more manageable.

Housing is a huge chunk of our budget, but we’ve found a nice 2-bedroom apartment in a quiet neighborhood for around $900 per month. It’s not fancy, but it’s clean and safe, and the landlord is great about keeping costs reasonable.

For groceries, I mostly shop at Aldi and stock up when things are on sale. The local farmer’s market is also a great option for fresh, affordable produce. Dining out is a rare treat for us, but there are some decent family-friendly options if you look for deals and kids-eat-free nights.

Healthcare has been manageable so far with a decent insurance plan through my employer. The bigger challenge for us is childcare and activity costs. I’ve had to get creative with sharing childcare duties with family and finding low-cost community programs and activities.

It’s not always easy, but I’ve made it work here for the past 5 years on a modest income by being diligent about budgeting, taking advantage of community resources, and getting a bit creative at times. The quality of life and sense of community make it worth it for us.

Posts: 24
AshlandYuppie @ashlandyuppie
Joined: 6 months ago

I have to disagree with some of the previous comments – my experience has been that Ashland is quite affordable, at least for my lifestyle. My spouse and I are both professionals with decent incomes, and we live very comfortably here.

We bought a beautiful 3-bedroom home in a great neighborhood a few years ago for around $375,000, which seemed very reasonable to us coming from a larger city. Our mortgage payment is manageable, and we don’t feel house poor at all.

Granted, we don’t have kids yet, so our expenses are lower in that regard. But we still go out to restaurants frequently, take vacations, and generally live a comfortable lifestyle without too much financial strain.

Groceries are average, utilities are reasonable, and healthcare costs haven’t been an issue for us with good employer-provided insurance. We do spend a bit more on gas since my spouse has to commute, but it’s not outrageous.

Overall, I’d say Ashland is quite affordable for middle-to-upper income earners, especially those without kids. It’s a great place to live if you can swing the housing costs.

Posts: 15
RetiredInAshland @retiredinashland
Joined: 2 years ago

As a retiree on a fixed income, I’ve found Ashland to be a mixed bag in terms of affordability. Some aspects are quite reasonable, while others can put a strain on my budget.

The biggest advantage is that I own my home outright, so I don’t have a mortgage payment. Property taxes are also relatively low compared to other areas. And basic living expenses like utilities, groceries, and healthcare (with Medicare) aren’t too bad.

However, it’s the incidental costs that can add up quickly. Home maintenance and repairs, gas for my car, entertainment and dining out – those things really have to be budgeted carefully on my limited income. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for extras or unexpected expenses.

I’ve found that taking advantage of senior discounts and community resources helps a lot. The local senior center offers low-cost activities and meals, for example. And there are various assistance programs available for things like home repairs and utility bill assistance if you qualify.

It’s definitely possible to live comfortably as a retiree in Ashland if you’re diligent about budgeting and willing to make some sacrifices. But it’s not always easy, and unexpected costs can really throw a wrench in things. Planning ahead and seeking out assistance when needed is key.

Posts: 25
AshlandStudent @ashlandstudent
Joined: 11 months ago

As a college student living in Ashland, the cost of living here has been a real challenge to manage on a tight budget. Housing is probably the biggest issue – even sharing an apartment with multiple roommates can easily run $500-600 per person per month. And that’s often for older, rundown places without great amenities.

Food costs add up quickly too, even cooking most meals at home. Groceries seem a bit pricier here than where I’m from, and the affordable dining options are limited if you want something relatively healthy.

Transportation is another major expense, whether you have a car (gas, insurance, maintenance) or rely on public transit and rideshares to get around.

That said, there are some ways to save money as a student. Taking advantage of discounts, seeking out gig work and side hustles, and getting creative with budgeting helps. But it’s still a constant juggling act to cover rent, food, books, and the occasional social activity on a student’s limited income.

My advice would be to have a solid financial plan in place before moving here as a student. It’s a great college town, but the cost of living makes it really tough without sufficient savings or family support to fall back on.

Posts: 11
FoodieInAshland @foodieinashland
Joined: 23 days ago

As someone who loves good food and dining out, I’ll admit that Ashland can get a bit pricey in that regard. There are some fantastic restaurants here, but a nice meal for two can easily run $60-80 or more if you’re not careful.

That said, there are still some solid affordable options if you know where to look. Several local spots offer great happy hour deals and specials during the week. Food trucks and casual eateries can provide tasty meals for $10-15 per person. And taking advantage of Ashland’s incredible farmer’s markets and stocking up on seasonal produce helps a lot with grocery costs.

My strategy is to balance splurging on nice date nights or special occasions with more budget-friendly homecooked meals and casual dining during the week. Meal prepping and buying in bulk also saves money.

Of course, dining isn’t the only factor – housing is probably the biggest strain on my budget as a renter here. But I’ve made it work by prioritizing what’s important to me (great food!) while being diligent in other areas.

Overall, Ashland may require some creativity when it comes to balancing your passions with your budget. But in my experience, it’s still very possible to live well here if you’re mindful of your spending.

Posts: 10
OutdoorEnthusiastAsh @outdoorenthusiastash
Joined: 12 months ago

For me, one of the biggest selling points of living in Ashland is access to incredible outdoor recreation opportunities – hiking, camping, cycling, you name it. And luckily, taking advantage of those low-cost activities helps offset some of the higher living expenses here.

Don’t get me wrong, the cost of housing is still a challenge, even renting a modest place. I currently split a 2-bedroom apartment with my partner, and it runs us about $1100 per month plus utilities. Definitely not cheap, but more manageable when sharing expenses.

Groceries seem average here, maybe a tad higher than some other areas. But between meal-prepping at home and utilizing the awesome local farmer’s markets, we’re able to keep food costs relatively reasonable.

Transportation is probably our biggest variable expense. We only have one car, so gas, insurance, and maintenance fees add up. But we try to bike or walk as much as possible, which saves money while still allowing us to take full advantage of Ashland’s incredible trail systems right in our backyard.

Entertainment-wise, we stick to low-cost options like hiking, camping trips, community events and potlucks – all of which are plentiful and affordable ways to have fun around here.

At the end of the day, Ashland may be a bit pricier for housing and some other costs of living. But for outdoor enthusiasts like us, it’s absolutely worth it to have such easy access to nature and all the free recreation it provides.

Posts: 12
StartupLife @startuplife
Joined: 3 months ago

As someone actively involved in Ashland’s startup and entrepreneurial scene, I’ve found the cost of living here to be a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s relatively affordable compared to major tech hubs, which makes it an attractive place to launch and grow a business. But it’s also getting pricier by the year, which can strain cash flows.

Office and co-working spaces are still quite reasonably priced, which is a major plus. And Ashland’s thriving community of entrepreneurs, investors, and business resources has been invaluable. But the high cost of housing is a real burden, both for myself and the employees I’ve hired locally.

I currently rent a modern 1-bedroom apartment downtown for about $1200 per month, which is do-able for now but a significant chunk of my income goes to rent. Many of my team members have had to seek out more affordable living situations further from the city center.

Daily costs like groceries, dining, utilities, etc. don’t seem too out of line here. But housing is the big wildcard that makes budgeting tough, especially in those critical early years of growing a startup.

My advice would be to thoroughly map out your finances and growth projections ahead of time. Have a plan for scaling up operations and payroll as your business expands. And be prepared to get creative with housing situations or consider eventually relocating elsewhere if Ashland’s real estate market continues to skyrocket.

Posts: 24
Fashionista432 @fashionista432
Joined: 9 months ago

I’ll be honest, as someone who loves shopping, dining, and an active social life, the cost of living in Ashland is no bargain! But it’s worth it to me to live in such a vibrant, stylish community.

Housing is probably my biggest expense – I currently rent a trendy 1-bedroom apartment downtown for around $1400 per month. Yikes, I know! But the location can’t be beaten for walking to all the best shops, restaurants, bars, and events.

Speaking of dining and entertainment, that’s another major budget line for me. I love trying all the new hot spots in town, which can really add up quickly. A fancy cocktail runs $12-15 these days, and a meal at one of the trendier places can easily cost $30+ per person before drinks.

Transportation is a hassle too – I don’t own a car, so I rely on rideshares to get around when I’m not walking. Those $5-10 fares definitely add up over time.

That said, I make it work by saving diligently, sticking to a budget, and selectively splurging on the things I care most about like great food, drinks, clothes, etc. I put more money towards rent to be in an ideal location. And I’ve had to get savvy about taking advantage of happy hours, loyalty programs, and sought-after deals and pop-ups around town.

Is it affordable? Not really, at least not for my lifestyle. But Ashland is such a vibrant, stylish place to live that I’m willing to make some sacrifices and budget tradeoffs to make it work for now. Though I may have to adjust my expectations down the road when it comes to housing costs.

Posts: 3
HealthNutAshland @healthnutashland
Joined: 5 months ago

From a health and wellness perspective, I’ve found the cost of living in Ashland to be a bit of a mixed bag. Some aspects are quite affordable, while others can get rather pricey – but it’s worth it for me to prioritize healthy living in this wonderful community.

On the plus side, Ashland has incredible access to fresh, locally-grown produce at the farmer’s markets and co-ops. It’s very affordable to stick to a whole foods, plant-based diet if you shop wisely. We also have an amazing network of hiking and biking trails that provide free access to outdoor exercise.

However, other health-related costs can add up quickly. My monthly green smoothie runs $8-10 per serving at the local juice spots. A yoga studio membership is around $100 per month. And nutritional supplements and health foods at places like Whole Foods can get quite expensive.

Housing and transportation are the biggest strains on my budget. I currently rent a modest 1-bedroom apartment about 2 miles from downtown for around $900 per month. And while I try to bike or walk as much as possible, I still rely on my car for commuting and grocery runs – so gas, insurance, maintenance can get pricey.

At the end of the day though, living in a community that supports and values an active, healthy lifestyle is worth it to me. I’m willing to be a bit financially disciplined in some areas so I can fully take advantage of Ashland’s incredible wellness benefits and amenities. It’s an investment in my health that pays off in the long run.

Posts: 2

Detailed Price Insights of Abilene, TX

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 7.50 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 80.00 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 10.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 6.00 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 6.00 $
  • Cappuccino (regular) – 3.50 $
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) – 0.89 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.17 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 0.76 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 2.22 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 2.48 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 2.73 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 10.55 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 6.04 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 12.69 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 3.17 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 1.09 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 4.78 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 5.14 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 1.52 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 2.84 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 1.70 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 1.29 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 7.99 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 2.05 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.54 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 10.00 $
  • One-way Ticket (Local Transport) – 2.75 $
  • Monthly Pass (Regular Price) – 200.00 $
  • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) – 4.00 $
  • Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) – 1.30 $
  • Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) – 18.00 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 0.89 $
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) – 26,000.00 $
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) – 23,857.76 $
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 133.72 $
  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data – 32.25 $
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) – 58.12 $
  • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult – 33.00 $
  • Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) – 0.00 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat – 9.00 $
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child – 1,466.67 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 58.75 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 26.67 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 90.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 145.50 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 573.33 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre – 1,013.33 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre – 862.50 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre – 1,261.25 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre – 1,711.60 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre – 1,898.17 $
  • Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) – 3,306.67 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.52
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