Cost of Living in Boston



Cost of living can be a subjective issue depending on one’s lifestyle, but Boston can be compared to New York, Los Angeles and other cosmopolitan cities in the US and yet still be rather affordable.

On the other hand, those who are used to a simple country lifestyle will probably view Boston as a notch higher on the financial scale. At any rate, the city will simply be full of reasons for expats to believe there is more to it than meets the eye.   


Houses and apartments for rent in Boston are usually located in the heart of the city where residents can have easy access to shopping centers, restaurants, and other attractions. Many prefer to rent fully-furnished houses costing about $4,500 up to $9,500 a month in Back Bay. In South End, one can find cheaper alternatives including a three-bedroom houses costing from $3,800 up to $8,700 monthly. In Cambridge, two-bedroom apartments could cost about $3,155 up to $7,790 a month.    

Buying a Property  

There is not enough space to build new houses in Boston. Hence, most expats buy old ones with a vast range of housing styles and sizes as alternatives, from grand multi-storey brownstones in Back Bay to Victorian-inspired homes in Jamaica Plain. Of course, suburban properties cost less than those in the big city. In general, prices range from $85,000 to $235,900.  


House utility costs including gas, water, telephone, electricity, cable TV and Internet usually amount to about $395 every month. Average mobile phones will cost about $39 each. On home phones, a three-minute call could cost about $3 and about $4.47 on a mobile phone.   


The average meal cost can cost $27.50, but should be cheaper when food is cooked at home. A cup of coffee in an average bar or cafe costs about $3.25 while beer in a bar is around $3 per bottle. Mineral water is priced at $1.30 per liter while sparkling mineral water is at $1.90 per liter. Top sellers in grocery stores are white bread at $1.28, eggs at $2.18/dozen, and apples at $1.16 per pound.  


Subways, buses, taxis and boats are very popular modes of transportation in the city. Public rides are paid tickets and cars bought at T-Pass sales offices, in-stations vending machines and even purchasing from online. The subway fare ranges from $1.70-$2.00, bus fare from $1.25-$5.00, rail fare from $1.70-7.75 and boat rides cost anywhere from $1.75-$12.00.  

Boston is also referred as "the walking city" and residents, expatriates and tourists are living up to the title. Although the streets teem with cars and public vehicles, it is considered very safe to walk and linger around the city due to its marking crosswalks, regularly maintained traffic signals, pedestrian pushbuttons, and innovative pedestrian safety signs at crowded and busy locations.  

Boston is no cheap place to live in, but neither are its thrills and attractions. Expatriates will always find a reason to love this city even if they have to work a little more to survive. Whether one is single or married with kids, there is always a joy to be found in Massachusetts' bustling capital


Expat Services in Boston