Cost of Living Forum

ArlingtonResident92 @arlingtonresident92
Joined: 2 years ago

Typical Living Costs in Arlington – Insights Needed from Longtime Residents

Hello fellow forum members! I’ve been living in Arlington for over 20 years now, and I’ve seen the cost of living change quite a bit during that time. I’m curious to hear from some of you long-timers – what are your thoughts on the current living expenses in our city? Whether you’re a young professional, a family, or a retiree, I’d love to get a sense of how much you’re spending on major categories like housing, groceries, transportation, healthcare, utilities, and entertainment.

For some context, my situation is that I’m a married homeowner with two kids in high school. We live in a 3-bedroom house just outside the city center and have a couple of cars. My spouse and I both work full-time, but our kids’ activities and medical expenses can really add up. I’m just trying to get a sense of whether our costs are in line with what others are experiencing.

So please share your thoughts and experiences! I’m especially interested in hearing both the positive and negative aspects of the cost of living in Arlington. Let’s have an open and honest discussion.

Posts: 20

10 Replies

FrugalFoodie @frugalfoodie
Joined: 2 months ago

As a single person living in a one-bedroom apartment near the city center, I’ve found that Arlington can be quite expensive for certain things, but relatively affordable for others. Housing is definitely one of the bigger costs – my rent is around $2,500 per month, which is steep but not too crazy for this area. Groceries are hit or miss – produce can be pricey, but I’ve found some good deals on staples like rice, eggs, and chicken if I shop around.

Transportation is manageable since I don’t own a car and mainly use public transit or walk. The monthly transit pass is $57.50, which isn’t too bad. Utilities for my small apartment average around $120 per month for electricity, internet, etc. Entertainment-wise, I try to keep it relatively cheap with things like $15 movie tickets, grabbing casual meals out ($20 for an inexpensive restaurant), and going to free community events.

Overall, I’d say the cost of living in Arlington is definitely higher than some other parts of the country, but it’s very doable if you’re mindful about your spending. The biggest challenge for me is finding an affordable apartment renewal when my lease is up!

Posts: 9
FamilyBudgetMaster @familybudgetmaster
Joined: 4 months ago

Living in Arlington with a family of four (two school-age kids) can get quite expensive, but we’ve managed to find some decent deals over the years. We rent a 3-bedroom apartment just outside the city center for around $3,500 per month, which is definitely on the higher side but allows the kids to have their own rooms.

Groceries are a major expense for us, probably averaging $800-$1,000 per month to feed everyone. We do our best to buy in bulk and cook at home frequently. Utilities for our apartment (electric, gas, water, internet) come out to around $300 per month.

The biggest costs for us are undoubtedly housing, childcare/education, and healthcare. With two kids in elementary school, we’re paying around $4,000 per year for their private school tuition. Medical expenses with insurance copays and prescriptions can easily run us $400+ per month, depending on if anyone gets sick.

We only have one car to reduce costs, but gasoline, insurance, and maintenance still add up. Entertainment-wise, we try to find free/cheap activities like parks, libraries, and community events when possible. Overall, I’d say the cost of living in Arlington is quite high for families, but the quality of life and amenities make it worthwhile for us.

Posts: 4
RetiredInArlington @retiredinarlington
Joined: 9 months ago

As a retired couple living in Arlington, we’ve found the cost of living to be manageable on our fixed income, although housing is definitely our biggest expense. We own our 2-bedroom condo outright (bought it years ago), but the monthly HOA fees, property taxes, and utilities still come out to around $1,200 per month.

Groceries for the two of us run $400-$500 per month if we shop strategically at budget stores and stock up on sales. Medical costs can be a challenge with Medicare/supplemental insurance copays and prescription drugs, probably averaging $300 per month.

We don’t have any car expenses since we primarily walk or use public transportation. Entertainment is relatively affordable – $15 movie tickets, $10 transportation day passes, reasonable prices for casual restaurants and community theater/events.

Overall, I’d say Arlington has a moderately high cost of living that can be manageable for retirees if you budget carefully and keep housing costs down. The main advantages are access to great healthcare facilities and plenty of senior-friendly amenities. But it’s definitely getting more expensive each year.

Posts: 1
DualIncomeDINKs @dualincomedinks
Joined: 11 months ago

My partner and I are both professionals in our early 30s with no kids (dink = dual income, no kids), and we definitely take advantage of our higher combined income to enjoy living in Arlington. We rent a modern 1-bedroom apartment right in the city center for around $2,600 per month.

Groceries and dining out can be pricey, but it’s worth it to us. We probably spend $600+ per month on groceries from places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, plus another $400 going out to restaurants/bars multiple times per week. Entertainment is a decent chunk of our budget too – $60/month gym memberships, frequent $15 movies, concerts/shows, etc.

We have one car that we split costs on (payment, insurance, gas), and the monthly transportation expenses come out to $400-500. Utilities in our apartment run $150 or so per month.

Healthcare is relatively affordable for us – we’re both healthy, and our insurance through work covers most major costs aside from copays. We travel internationally a few times per year as well.

So in summary, our disposable income in Arlington goes toward housing, dining, entertainment, and travel. We could definitely downgrade our lifestyle to save more, but we’re taking advantage of being dinks in an urban setting for now!

Posts: 6
StartupStruggler @startupstruggler
Joined: 2 months ago

As someone running a bootstrapped tech startup out of Arlington, the cost of living here can be pretty brutal when you’re on a tight budget and variable income. I rent a small studio apartment downtown for about $2,100 per month, which already eats up a huge chunk of my cash flow.

Food costs are also really high if you’re mostly eating out or getting takeout/delivery – I probably spend $500+ per month just on casual meals, coffee shops, etc. Utilities like electricity and internet run me around $150.

I don’t have a car, so I rely on public transit ($57.50 monthly pass), rideshares, and walking as much as possible. Healthcare is a major concern – since I don’t have employer insurance yet, I pay around $400 per month for a high-deductible individual plan.

Entertainment is one area where I really have to cut back – I avoid things like $15 movie tickets, $60 gym memberships, and frequent restaurant outings. Overall, the cost of living in Arlington is extremely challenging when you’re in startup mode and operating lean. The local community and resources are great, but the expenses are high.

Posts: 19
GenXRenter @genxrenter
Joined: 2 years ago

I’ve been renting in Arlington for over 15 years (part of Gen X), and the cost of living just keeps going up, especially for housing. Back in the early 2000s, I was paying under $1,000 for a decent 1-bedroom apartment. Now, comparable units are $2,000+ per month!

My current situation is a 2-bedroom apartment a few miles outside the city center, costing me $2,300 per month in rent. Utilities like electric, gas, and internet run another $200 or so.

Groceries have also crept up over the years – I probably spend $400+ per month now for just myself. I don’t have a car (use public transit at $57.50/month), which helps cut costs. Healthcare is thankfully covered through my employer’s insurance.

Entertainment-wise, I enjoy going out occasionally but it really adds up quickly. A casual dinner and drinks can easily be $40-50, and a movie is $15. Gym membership is $60/month.

Overall, I love living in Arlington but it keeps getting more expensive, especially for housing and dining/entertainment. At this point, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to afford living here once I retire. The quality of life is great, but it comes at a premium.

Posts: 3
FirstTimeHomebuyer @firsttimehomebuyer
Joined: 2 years ago

My husband and I recently purchased our first home in Arlington – a modest 2-bedroom townhome just outside the city center. We were absolutely shocked at how expensive the housing market is here! We ended up paying over $600,000, which is pretty crazy for a starter home.

Now we’re dealing with a hefty $3,200 monthly mortgage payment, plusHomeOwners Association fees, property taxes, utilities, etc. Those extra housing costs have definitely put a strain on our budget as new homeowners.

Groceries for the two of us run $500-600 per month if we try to buy organic/higher quality items. We each have a car, so we’re spending $500+ per month on auto payments, insurance, gas, maintenance. Healthcare is relatively affordable through my employer insurance.

Entertainment is an area we’ve had to cut back on – we used to go out to dinner multiple times per week, but now we’re cooking at home more and finding free/cheap activities. It’s been an adjustment getting used to the high cost of living in Arlington as homeowners, but we’re hoping it pays off as an investment long-term.

Posts: 4
StudentStruggles @studentstruggles
Joined: 6 months ago

As a grad student in Arlington, the cost of living can be really tough on a limited budget! I currently live in a small studio apartment near campus, paying around $1,800 per month in rent. That’s pretty much my entire monthly stipend from my research assistantship.

I try to keep all other costs as low as possible. Groceries run me $200 or less per month buying very basic items. I don’t have a car, so I get around via public transit ($57.50 monthly pass), biking, and walking everywhere. Entertainment is extremely minimal – mostly just studying, going to school events/facilities, etc.

Healthcare is a huge burden – my student insurance plan still has high deductibles and copays that can really add up if I need to go to the doctor or get any procedures done. I pay around $2,500 per year just for the premium.

Utilities in my studio are at least affordable at $100 or less per month. But overall, living in Arlington requires pretty much spending my entire stipend just on rent and leaving very little leftover, even with an extremely frugal lifestyle. It will be a relief to (hopefully) get a full-time job after graduating!

Posts: 1
ChronicIllnessWarrior @chronicillnesswarrior
Joined: 2 years ago

Unfortunately, dealing with chronic health issues makes the cost of living in Arlington particularly challenging for me. My biggest expenses by far are related to my medical needs – I easily spend $800-1,000 per month out-of-pocket on specialist visits, treatments, therapies, prescriptions, etc. even with decent insurance coverage.

Housing is my next biggest cost at $2,800 per month for a 2-bedroom apartment near the hospitals/clinics I frequent. Utilities run another $250 or so. Groceries delivering healthy food is around $500 monthly.

I don’t have a car, so I use rideshares/medical transport fairly often in addition to public transit ($57.50 pass). That probably runs me $200+ per month.

Entertainment/social activities are pretty minimal for me due to my health constraints and limited income. I do spend money on streaming services, audiobooks, etc. to keep myself occupied at home.

Overall, my monthly expenses in Arlington easily exceed $4,500 with my significant healthcare costs. I’ve considered relocating somewhere with a lower cost of living, but I need to stay near my medical team for now. It’s a constant struggle, but Arlington has excellent healthcare resources at least.

Posts: 24
TechBroLiving @techbroliving
Joined: 2 years ago

As a single tech bro in my late 20s, I definitely take advantage of my solid income to live it up in Arlington. I rent a luxury 1-bedroom apartment right in the heart of the city for $3,200 per month. Sure, it’s pricey, but the amenities and location are worth it to me.

Aside from housing, my biggest expenditures are dining out, entertainment, and travel. I probably drop $1,000 per month going out to bars, restaurants, concerts, etc. with friends. I have a pricey $80/month gym membership and $15 movie tickets multiple times per week.

Groceries/meal prep isn’t really my thing, so I get by spending $400-500 per month on breakfast/lunch at work and easy microwave meals. I have a car that I use to get around locally ($300 payment, plus gas/insurance).

Healthcare is pretty affordable thanks to great insurance through my employer. Utilities for the apartment are $150 or so.

Overall, the cost of living in Arlington can be super high if you live that luxury downtown lifestyle. But I make enough to afford it while still saving a decent amount each month. I know this lifestyle won’t last forever, but I’m living it up for now as a young tech professional in the city!

Posts: 6

Detailed Price Insights of Abilene, TX

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 20.00 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 82.50 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 10.25 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 8.00 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 9.00 $
  • Cappuccino (regular) – 5.41 $
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.47 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.22 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 1.21 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 3.97 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 5.54 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 3.79 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 17.28 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 13.46 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 19.05 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 5.37 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 1.89 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 5.18 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 5.80 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 3.32 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 3.22 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 2.67 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 2.57 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 15.99 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 1.73 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 3.74 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 12.11 $
  • One-way Ticket (Local Transport) – 2.12 $
  • Monthly Pass (Regular Price) – 57.50 $
  • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) – 2.70 $
  • Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) – 1.55 $
  • Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) – 22.00 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 0.97 $
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) – 35,463.99 $
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) – 26,275.78 $
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 201.84 $
  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data – 52.00 $
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) – 63.18 $
  • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult – 60.00 $
  • Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) – 30.00 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat – 15.00 $
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child – 1,950.00 $
  • International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child – 43,200.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 56.33 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 39.50 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 94.23 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 120.56 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 2,566.67 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre – 2,100.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre – 4,400.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre – 3,500.00 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre – 3,337.00 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre – 3,337.00 $
  • Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) – 5,917.42 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.55
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