Cost of Living Forum

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LongTimeAbi @longtimeabi
Joined: 2 years ago

Cost of Living in Abilene – Looking for Insights from Locals


I’ve been living in Abilene for over 15 years now, but I’m always curious to hear different perspectives on the cost of living here. As someone with a family of four (two kids in elementary school), a moderate income, and a pretty average lifestyle, I’d estimate our monthly expenses break down something like this:

Housing: $1200 for a 3-bedroom apartment just outside the city center
Utilities: $250 for electricity, water, gas, etc.
Groceries: $600-700 for food, household supplies, etc.
Transportation: $300 for car payment, gas, insurance
Healthcare: $400 for health insurance premiums, co-pays, etc.
Entertainment: $200 for dining out, movies, activities

But I know costs can vary a lot depending on your situation. What has your experience been with the major expenses in Abilene – housing, food, utilities, transportation, healthcare, child costs, etc.? I’m interested to hear from people in different life stages and income brackets. Let me know if you think Abilene is affordable overall or if certain costs are out of line compared to other places you’ve lived.

Posts: 14

10 Replies


NewinTown92 @newintown92
Joined: 2 years ago

As someone who just moved to Abilene a few months ago, I’ve been pretty impressed with the affordability compared to my previous city. Housing seems quite reasonable – I’m paying $800 for a decent 1-bedroom apartment near downtown. Utilities have been lower than expected too, maybe $150/month for a 1-bed place. Groceries do seem a bit pricey though, I probably spend $400-500 per month for just me. I eat out or get takeout a few times a week which adds maybe $200 to the food budget. Transportation is affordable with lower gas prices. No major complaints so far as a single person!
Posts: 19
TexasMom3kids @texasmom3kids
Joined: 9 months ago

I agree that Abilene is relatively affordable, but costs can really add up for a bigger family like mine (husband, 3 kids). We’re paying $1400 for a 3-bed rental house in a decent neighborhood. Utilities around $300/month. Groceries are our biggest expense – I spend at least $1000-1200 per month to feed everyone! Having 3 kids also means high costs for childcare, activities, clothing/shoes, etc. Healthcare is another major one with family premiums. Transportation is okay since we have a paid off car, but a newer car payment would be rough. Overall I’d say Abilene is affordable for basics, but be prepared for higher costs with a larger family.
Posts: 1
CodeCrusher @codecrusher
Joined: 12 months ago

As a single tech worker, I find Abilene quite affordable. My company offers good health benefits, so that’s covered. And my $65k salary goes pretty far here. I live in a nice 1-bed apartment downtown for $1100/month including parking. Utilities around $100-150. Groceries maybe $300. Big entertainment budget though – I probably spend $500+ per month on dining out, social activities, gym, etc. Abilene has a decent amenities for a smaller city. Very low transportation costs since I don’t have a car – just take Uber or public transit occasionally. All in all, quite affordable especially compared to my previous job in Austin!
Posts: 15
AbiRetiree @abiretiree
Joined: 9 months ago

My husband and I are on a fixed retirement income, so we really watch our expenses closely in Abilene these days. The biggest one is probably healthcare – our Medicare plus supplemental insurance runs about $600 per month. Thankfully our mortgage is paid off on our 3-bed house. We keep utilities around $225. Groceries a little under $500 per month for two people. Transportation just gas and insurance, maybe $200. We don’t have too many other major costs – we budget $150 for misc like dining out, entertainment, etc. Overall Abilene is pretty affordable for retirees as long as you have your housing situation squared away.
Posts: 3
BigD_Ballin @bigd_ballin
Joined: 2 years ago

I make good money working in oil/gas, so cost of living in Abilene isn’t really an issue for me. Pay $1800 for a nice 3-bed rental house. Maybe $400 on utilities. Don’t even look at grocery prices, easily $1000+ per month. Car payment around $600, plus insurance. Definitely spend a lot on entertainment though – probably $1000 per month going out to bars/restaurants, leisure activities, etc. Abilene has a pretty good nightlife scene for the size. Healthcare is like $500 per month for family insurance. It definitely helps to have a solid income, because costs can really add up if you want a comfortable family lifestyle here.
Posts: 24
GreenThumbAbi @greenthumbabi
Joined: 2 years ago

As someone living a pretty simple, eco-conscious life in Abilene, I find it very affordable. My housing costs are low since I own my modest 2-bed house outright (though property taxes are $200/month). Utilities around $150 since I’m mindful of consumption. Groceries maybe $300 since I buy lots of produce, grow some food too. No car, so no major transportation costs. Healthcare is pricey though at $450/month for an individual plan. I don’t spend much on entertainment besides some hobbies/garden supplies. Overall I’m able to live comfortably on my $50k salary. Abilene is great if you can keep your housing cheap and live simply.
Posts: 21
AbiStudent20 @abistudent20
Joined: 10 months ago

As a college student here in Abilene, affordability is really important. Housing is my biggest cost – pay $600 for a 1-bed apartment, plus $100 or so in utilities. Try to keep groceries/food pretty low, maybe $250 per month making my own meals. Don’t have a car, so no major transportation costs besides occasional Uber/bus fare. Healthcare is covered through the university for now. Entertainment/social budget is probably $150-200 per month going to movies, out with friends, etc. It’s definitely possible to get by frugally as a student, but housing takes a huge chunk out of a limited budget. Overall Abilene isn’t too expensive though.
Posts: 14
JABrewer @jabrewer
Joined: 2 years ago

My husband and I are really feeling the costs associated with raising two young kids in Abilene. We pay $1350 for a 3-bedroom rental house in a family-friendly area. Add around $300 for utilities. Groceries are insane with how much kids can eat – $800 to $1000 per month easily. Childcare costs are also killer – we pay $1200 per month for full-time daycare for our 2 kids. Also have to factor in costs for after-school activities, birthday parties, etc. Healthcare is around $600 per month for family insurance. We’re fortunate my husband has a good job, otherwise all these child-related costs would be quite difficult in Abilene. Doesn’t leave a whole lot leftover for entertainment or extras.
Posts: 21
FitFoodJunkie @fitfoodjunkie
Joined: 2 months ago

I spend a decent chunk of my income on health/fitness and healthy food in Abilene. Groceries are around $500-600 per month buying lots of fresh produce, lean proteins, etc. I also pay $75 per month for a nice gym membership. And probably $200 per month going to fitness classes, yoga, etc. Housing is relatively affordable though – I pay $850 for a decent 1-bed apartment. Add $150 utilities. $200 for health insurance. $100 or so for transportation costs with a used car. I’ll admittedly splurge $300+ per month on eating out too since I enjoy exploring Abilene’s healthy/trendy restaurant scene. Overall, not terrible especially compared to bigger cities, but Abilene isn’t necessarily cheap if you prioritize an active, health-conscious lifestyle.
Posts: 10
TexasCowboy1992 @texascowboy1992
Joined: 9 months ago

Living in Abilene on more of a rural/agricultural income, costs can be pretty tight. We live in a modest 3-bed manufactured home outside town that we own, so just $200 per month for utilities and lot rent. Groceries for a family of 4 run $600-700 per month shopping frugally. About $400 for gas, car insurance, maintenance with driving for work regularly. Healthcare is rough at $700 per month for a family plan. Don’t have too many other major costs besides kids’ activities. We survive okay on my $45k ranch hand income, but there’s not a whole lot of breathing room after basic costs living in Abilene. Has its affordability pros and cons for rural lifestyles.
Posts: 19

Detailed Price Insights of Abilene, TX

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 13.50 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 55.00 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 9.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 4.00 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 8.50 $
  • Cappuccino (regular) – 4.42 $
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) – 1.84 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 1.70 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 0.88 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 3.20 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 4.95 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 11.57 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 10.10 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 13.53 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 5.27 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 1.40 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 4.41 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 3.45 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 2.94 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 2.98 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 1.76 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 3.19 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 12.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 1.73 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.88 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 8.50 $
  • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) – 3.00 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 0.75 $
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) – 23,000.00 $
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) – 20,000.00 $
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 212.50 $
  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data – 43.00 $
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) – 65.00 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat – 12.00 $
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child – 1,050.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 44.00 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 20.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 75.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 100.00 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 1,000.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre – 1,200.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre – 1,200.00 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre – 1,722.00 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre – 1,722.00 $
  • Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) – 3,821.71 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.57
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