Miami is famous for its sunny weather, cultural diversity, gorgeous sandy beaches, and a wide range of entertainment experiences. The winters in Miami are not that cold either, making it an ideal place to live. However, the cost of living in Miami exceeds the national average by a whopping 16%. Before you decide to pack your bags and move to Miami, you need to ensure that your budget can support your life in Miami. This guide will expound more on this. It will help you understand the cost of living in Miami and hopefully help you make an informed choice.
The cost of transportation in Miami will make your expenses skyrocket. If you are not careful, you might end up spending so much on transport that you are left unable to afford your rent. If you do not have a car, you have the option of taking the Metrorail, the Metromover, or the Metrobus. The Metrorail runs through Downtown Miami to the northern and southern suburbs of the city and only costs $2.25 one way.
The Metrobus, otherwise known as the Miami bus system, will set you back $2.25 one way. The Metromover extends the Metrorail that transports people throughout Downtown Miami and is free. If you prefer riding on your own and purchasing a car, keep in mind there will be monthly fees to cater for, such as insurance, car payment, fuel, parking fees, and license and registration fees. Gas In Miami goes for $3.11 per gallon, which is higher than the national average of $2.76.
It is no doubt that rent will be your most significant monthly expense. Before you relocate to this sunny city, you must understand that the average rent in Miami is 41.7% higher than the national average. The rental fees have also increased by 11.7% in the last year. Housing costs will set you back on average $3,368 per month. These housing costs can go as high as $5,254 in the financial district and as low as $1,533 in the downtown areas.
If you are not sure you want to live in Downtown Miami, you can check out locations like Hollywood, Doral, or Stuart, which have monthly rental fees lower than $3000. A better alternative to renting would be to buy a home because the housing market in Miami is currently in favor of buyers. If you pay a 20% down payment, you can set aside $1371 per month towards your mortgage and save on rental fees.
Cost of Food
Your food budget will largely depend on how many people you need to feed and the types of food you plan to purchase. Organic meats and name-brand foods will be more expensive than fast foods. If you are providing for a family of five, you will definitely incur more food costs than someone buying food for themselves.
In Miami, the average cost of food is 16.6% higher than the national average, meaning that food is not cheap. Simple home-cooked dinners like baked potatoes, steak, and a side of peas and corn will set you back almost $40. On the other hand, if you decide to eat out in Miami, expect to pay about $13 per head for a budget meal and $30 per person in fine dining establishments.
Healthcare in Miami
It is a challenge to find the average cost of healthcare as everyone is unique. However, research has revealed that healthcare is 6.3% more expensive in Miami than the national average. Would you please do your research on the best healthcare insurance costs, co-payments, and how much you will need to pay out-of-pocket if you do not have the necessary insurance?
Remember that prescription medications in Miami are 0.47% more expensive, while over-the-counter medication will set you back 15.87% more than the national average. A simple visit to the doctor can cost you on average $120; optometrists in Miami will charge an average of $115, while a trip to the dentist will set you back $110. If you have higher healthcare needs, living in Miami might not be ideal for you.
Miami might be an expensive place to live, but the good news is that utility bills are one area where you stand a chance to make substantial savings. If you decide to relocate to Miami, you will pay 0.3% less in utility costs than the national average. The winter weather is not too cold, meaning you will most likely need to consume more power during the hot summer months.
On average, expect to pay $168 per month for energy, not inclusive of other utility costs such as internet, cell service, water, and cable. Internet providers can set you back between $35 and $60 per month, while cell phone coverage will cost you anywhere between $14 and $80 depending on the number of lines you own and the plan you choose. You should be prepared to part with between $25 and $60 per month on cable costs and reach out to the county government for an estimate of your water and sewer charges.
Taxes in Miami
Last but not least, let’s not forget about the taxes, which can significantly raise your cost of living in Miami. The property tax in Miami is about 0.97%, and it will apply to you if you decide to purchase a home in this sunny city. For instance, if you buy a home worth $418,000, you will be expected to pay $4,055 in residential property taxes per year. Other taxes that you should be aware of are sales and use taxes. The sales tax in Miami is now 6%, and you will have to pay an additional 1% for a discretionary county tax, making the total 7% in sales tax. For example, if you purchase something worth $1000 in Miami, you will pay an extra $70 in taxes.
Frankly, living in Miami can be a bit expensive, especially if you are jobless. The $275 Florida unemployment benefit per week will barely be enough to cover some basic expenses. However, if your paycheck can allow you to afford life in Miami comfortably, don’t forget to make smart financial choices. Well, there are many ways you can cut costs while living in Miami, such as cooking home meals, walking when necessary, or taking a bike ride, and more!
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