The Cost of Living in Houston, Texas

Skyline view of downtown Houston at sunrise

Are you moving to Houston, Texas, sometime soon? If so, one question you might have is whether the city is affordable. To help you make an educated decision, we put together the following information. It’s everything you need to know about the cost of living in Houston, Texas! If that sounds like the financial data you seek today, read on to find out more!

There’s no denying that Houston, Texas is one of the best cities in the United States. Most of the year, the weather is beautiful and sunny. The city offers an amazing number of amenities and attractions, and many of them are free. Not to mention that several Fortune 500 companies have their HQs in Houston, so the job market is genuinely booming here. Also, the cuisine in Houston is some of the country’s best, which is great news for foodies.

Note: The cost indices we will use today are based on the U.S. national average, which is 100. So, for example, an index of 80/100 would be 20% below the national average. (That’s good!) An index of 120/100 would be 20% above the national average. (That’s not so good.)

The Overall Cost of Living in Houston, Texas

Affordable, 97/100

Although Houston won’t win any awards for being the country’s cheapest city, it’s still affordable, especially for all it offers. Overall, the cost of living in Houston, Texas, is below the national average, with a cost index of 97/100. Compared to cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, that’s fantastic. (All those cities are far above the national average.)

Housing Costs in Houston

Surprisingly Affordable, 80/100

When it comes to the cost of living, one of the biggest determining factors is the cost of housing. In Houston, the good news is that housing is surprisingly affordable. With a cost index of 80/100, we’re 20% lower than the national average. In addition, the median home cost in Houston is $220,000, one of the lowest in the state. That’s about $70,000 lower than the average median home cost nationwide. However, one thing to note is that a 2-bedroom apartment in Houston is about $1,242 a month. (That’s rather expensive.)

New build home with green lawn

Utility Costs in Houston

Slightly Less Expensive, 97/100

With long, hot summers in Houston, you’ll be using your air conditioning quite a bit. Luckily, our utility costs are slightly less than the American average at 97/100.  Your gas, electric, and water bills will all be slightly less expensive. Even better, you’ll spend a minimal amount on heating as Houston has very few cold days. (Less than two weeks a year have freezing weather in our city!)

Cost of Transportation in Houston, Texas

Expensive, 119/100

While not as torturous as some cities, Houston’s traffic can be frustratingly slow. To make matters worse, transportation costs here are on the expensive side. Our transportation cost index is 119/100, mainly due to the lack of public transit.  Surprisingly, our transportation costs are even higher than in New York City! The good news is that transportation costs are the only index higher than the national average. Still, if you commute every day, you’re going to feel the pinch in your wallet.

light rail train in Houston

Healthcare Costs Living in Houston, Texas

More Affordable, 92/100

Depending on your age and family situation, healthcare costs may play a big or small role in your budget. Whatever that role is, you’ll save about 8% compared to the national average. Our Healthcare cost index is 92/100, not fantastic, but not terrible either. While not related to costs, you’ll be glad to know that Houston is one of the best cities in America for healthcare. In fact, the world’s largest medical complex is here, Texas Medical Center! There’s also Houston Methodist Hospital, the #16 Best Hospital in America.

Cost of Groceries Living in Houston, Texas

Average, 98/100

Putting nutritious and delicious food on the table is important no matter where you live. In Houston, you’ll spend slightly less to do that as our grocery cost index is 98/100. One bit of good news is that oodles of local, fresh produce is available in Houston. Even better, Houston has ten fantastic farmer’s markets around the city!

cost of living in Houston Texas

Miscellaneous Costs Living in Houston, Texas

Perfectly Average, 100/100

Americans spend an awful lot of money on miscellaneous items, it’s true. These miscellaneous costs can (and do) add up, from apps to personal grooming, coffee, rideshares, music streaming, and more. While not fantastic news, you won’t pay more than the national average for miscellaneous items in Houston, TX. (When you consider the average American spends almost $200 a year on takeout, it could be worse.)

What Should You Earn to Live Comfortably in Houston, TX?

To live comfortably in Houston, Texas, you should earn about $80,000 a year. That figure is for folks who own their own home and live in one of Houston’s 40 neighborhoods.  If you rent, you should add about $5,000 to $10,000 to that figure. However, you can still get by on about 60k per year, depending on where you live. Typically, that would be further from the city’s center in a two bedroom, two bath ranch.

African American Woman on laptop looking at bills

Cost of Living in Houston, Texas

Brought to You by iStorage

As we’ve seen today, Houston, TX, is neither an expensive nor inexpensive city to call home. Only one cost index is above the national average, while housing is well below. 

Here at iStorage, we’re proud to offer genuinely affordable storage units in Houston, Texas. They’re also clean, safe, and secure with 24/7 video monitoring. In addition, all our self-storage locations in Houston feature an on-site manager.

If you have questions about self-storage prices in Houston, TX, you can chat with us online anytime. Even better, stop by one of our ten Houston self-storage locations and meet the manager in person. They can help you decide which size storage unit is the best for your particular needs.

We strongly recommend reserving a storage unit in Houston before you arrive. That way, it will be ready and waiting for you when your moving truck gets here. The upside is that you can start searching for your new Houston neighborhood. Speaking of which, we wish you the best in finding your forever home here in lovely Houston, Texas!