Cost of Living Forum

AllentownLocal82 @allentownlocal82
Joined: 5 months ago

Cost of Living in Allentown – Insights from Long-Time Residents?

Hi everyone, I’ve been living in Allentown for over 15 years now, and I’ve seen the cost of living fluctuate quite a bit during that time. As someone who is fairly familiar with the city, I’m curious to hear from my fellow Allentown residents about your experiences and perspectives on the current costs associated with housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, healthcare, entertainment, and other major expenses. What has your overall experience been in terms of affordability? I have a decent income, but I know situations can vary greatly. I’d appreciate any insights you’re willing to share!

Posts: 24

10 Replies

PAProudMom @paproudmom
Joined: 2 years ago

Hi AllentownLocal82, as a parent of three kids, my perspective on Allentown’s cost of living is probably a bit different from someone single or without children. Housing is definitely one of the bigger expenses, but we’ve found a decent 3-bedroom apartment outside the city center for around $2,600 per month, which is manageable with our combined incomes. Groceries can really add up for a family, but shopping smart at places like Aldi helps. Utilities like electricity and internet run us about $225 per month. Childcare is also a significant cost – we pay $1,200 per month for our youngest at a private preschool. Entertainment-wise, we mostly stick to affordable options like parks, libraries, and the occasional movie night out ($11.50 per ticket). Overall, Allentown isn’t the cheapest, but it’s very livable if you budget wisely.
Posts: 17
CityGrind365 @citygrind365
Joined: 18 days ago

Allentown’s cost of living really depends on your lifestyle. As a single professional, I spend quite a bit to live in a nice 1-bedroom apartment downtown ($1,540/month), but the amenities and walkability are worth it to me. Groceries, dining out, and nightlife can add up quickly if you don’t watch it – a decent meal can easily run $25-30, and drinks are pricey too. My biggest costs are probably my car costs (payments, gas, insurance) and my $225/month student loan bills. Healthcare is also quite expensive without employer benefits. I get by okay on my salary, but there’s not a ton of room for extra spending or saving aggressively. The core costs of just existing in Allentown are pretty high.
Posts: 23
BudgetBakerABE @budgetbakerabe
Joined: 2 years ago

I have to disagree with some of the previous posters – my partner and I are able to live quite comfortably in Allentown without going over our budget. We rent a modest 2-bedroom apartment outside downtown for $1,300/month and do a lot of cooking at home to save on food costs. Groceries for two people run us $400-500 per month if we buy smart (Aldi, ethnic markets, etc.). Utilities like electric/cable/internet are around $180 combined. We take public transit mostly ($60/month for a bus pass) and do free/low-cost activities like hiking, museums, and parks for entertainment. Our biggest expenditures are probably healthcare premiums through my job ($300/month) and contributing to retirement accounts. With our frugal approach, Allentown is quite affordable on our $80K household income.
Posts: 7
AllentownAviator @allentownaviator
Joined: 8 months ago

Cost of living thoughts from an Allentown pilot’s perspective: Housing is definitely steep if you want to live reasonably close to the airport – likely $2,000+ for a decent 2-bedroom. But outside of that, many costs like gas, car insurance, utilities, groceries, etc. aren’t too different from other areas. I get a lot of my living expenses covered with my job’s allowances and travel benefits. Entertainment is about average – $11.50 for a movie, $25-30 for a casual meal out. Biggest unexpected costs for me were healthcare (very high deductible plan) and constant car repairs/maintenance from all the driving. My salary goes further here than in many bigger cities, but the housing costs can still strain the budget.
Posts: 25
VeggieLoverABE @veggieloverabe
Joined: 2 years ago

As someone on a tighter budget, I’ve found Allentown to be a fairly affordable place for healthy/vegetarian living. I pay $850 for a studio apartment close to downtown which keeps housing costs low. Groceries from places like Trader Joe’s and local produce markets aren’t too pricey, maybe $300/month to buy lots of fresh fruits, veggies, grains, etc. My biggest expenditures are probably utilities ($150/month for electric, internet, etc.) and the $60/month gym membership to stay fit. I take public transit and cook at home, so transportation and dining out costs are very minimal. For affordable entertainment, there are always free community events, hiking trails, parks, and libraries to check out. All in all, my frugal vegetarian lifestyle here is very manageable on just over $40K/year.
Posts: 17
RetiredABEResident @retiredaberesident
Joined: 2 years ago

Allentown has been a great place for me to spend my retirement years without breaking the bank. My wife and I own our condo outright (originally $225K purchase price), so we just pay the $300/month HOA fee and minimal utility costs of around $125/month. Groceries for the two of us run about $500/month. Healthcare is probably our biggest monthly expense at $600 for supplemental insurance and medical costs. We don’t go too wild with entertainment – the occasional dinner out ($50-60 for two), movies ($22 for two tickets), or a show. Mostly we stick to free community activities. On our combined Social Security and retirement income of around $5,000/month, we’re able to live comfortably without going overboard. Allentown has been an affordable place to call home for many years.
Posts: 20
StartupStriverABE @startupstriverabe
Joined: 2 years ago

Living in Allentown while trying to get my tech startup off the ground has definitely been a balancing act when it comes to expenses. I live pretty frugally in a cheap $750/month 1-bedroom apartment to devote as much income as possible back into the business. Food costs are manageable by cooking most meals at home ($250/month or so). My biggest monthly costs are for healthcare ($450/month for a solid individual plan since I don’t have employer benefits) and the startup’s operating expenses like web services, marketing, etc. Entertainment is minimal – the occasional $11.50 movie ticket or $30 dinner out with friends. Thankfully utilities and transportation are pretty low, around $150/month combined. It’s a grind, but Allentown’s relatively low cost of living has allowed me to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams without going broke.
Posts: 14
AllentownArtist @allentownartist
Joined: 8 months ago

As a self-employed artist living in Allentown, I have a bit of an unconventional perspective on the city’s cost of living. My housing costs are very low since I rent a funky studio apartment for only $650/month. I do spend a decent amount on art supplies, studio space ($300/month), website fees, etc. for my business. Food costs are manageable by hitting up discount grocery stores and making simple meals at home. Healthcare is an issue since I don’t have employer benefits – a high-deductible individual plan sets me back $300/month. Entertainment is mostly free community events, low-cost galleries, or the $11.50 movie night out. Transportation is cheap since I bike most places. Overall, Allentown allows me to pursue my passion without going broke, though emergency expenses can really strain my modest artist’s income.
Posts: 6
SportsFanABE24 @sportsfanabe24
Joined: 2 years ago

Living in Allentown has been affordable enough to allow me to spend good money on my sports entertainment passions! I split a decent $1,800 2-bedroom apartment with my girlfriend. We probably spend $600-700 per month on groceries by shopping sales and getting delivery occasionally. $200 goes to utilities. The biggest costs for me are transportation (car payment, insurance, gas – probably $500/month) and my $400/month healthcare premium. But what I really splurge on is my sports entertainment – $200/month for streaming packages to watch all the games, $100 or more per ticket when I go to live events, plus lots of merch and fantasy subscriptions. It’s a pricy hobby, but Allentown’s overall costs are reasonable enough that I can afford to indulge my fandom on my $65K salary.
Posts: 16
HealthNutABE @healthnutabe
Joined: 12 months ago

For someone focused on a very healthy lifestyle, I’ve found Allentown to be quite affordable. My housing costs are low with a $900/month 1-bedroom apartment. Groceries are around $500/month since I buy lots of fresh organic produce, lean proteins, superfood powders, etc. I budget $300/month for my CrossFit membership, yoga studio packages, health coaching, and other wellness expenses. Healthcare is $450/month for a premium individual plan to cover all my needs. Getting around is easy with just a $60/month bus pass. My biggest indulgences are probably $100/month for healthy meal delivery services and $50 here and there for entertainment like concerts or outdoor adventures. With my $75K income, I’m able to live a very healthy lifestyle in Allentown while still saving a decent amount each month.
Posts: 16

Detailed Price Insights of Abilene, TX

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 24.00 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 87.50 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 10.50 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 5.50 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 9.00 $
  • Cappuccino (regular) – 5.67 $
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.60 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 1.83 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 1.32 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 2.13 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 2.09 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 1.75 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 11.00 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 15.02 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 19.16 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 6.84 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 1.40 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 2.84 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 6.45 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 2.62 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 3.28 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 2.39 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 2.57 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 15.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 1.73 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 1.33 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 8.82 $
  • One-way Ticket (Local Transport) – 2.50 $
  • Monthly Pass (Regular Price) – 60.00 $
  • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) – 5.00 $
  • Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) – 2.17 $
  • Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) – 34.00 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 0.97 $
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) – 31,500.00 $
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) – 26,469.03 $
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 153.00 $
  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data – 56.50 $
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) – 71.56 $
  • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult – 31.33 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat – 11.50 $
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child – 1,200.00 $
  • International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child – 12,000.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 41.00 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 48.24 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 93.33 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 75.00 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 1,540.00 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre – 1,650.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre – 2,975.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre – 2,600.00 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre – 2,024.00 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre – 2,024.00 $
  • Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) – 3,255.67 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.60
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