The cost of living in Boston is high, and new arrivals should prepare their budgets carefully to avoid any nasty surprises. In Mercer's Cost of Living Survey for 2023, Boston was listed as the 21st most expensive out of 227 cities.

Employment packages may include some contribution toward accommodation and health insurance. Nonetheless, new arrivals should be aware of their possible monthly expenses before negotiating their salary.


Cost of accommodation in Boston

Accommodation is likely to be the most considerable expense for those moving to Boston. There is a high demand for accommodation in Boston, so rental costs are expensive. Tenants often need to pay their first month's rent as well as a security deposit to secure their lease. This, combined with rental agency fees, means that new arrivals need to budget for hefty initial housing costs.


Cost of entertainment and eating out in Boston

There is much to see and do in Boston, but recreational pursuits aren't cheap. Since Boston is considerably smaller than many other cities in the US, there is less competition between businesses, so eating out and entertainment costs remain high. That said, newcomers on a budget who spend smartly can live comfortably while still enjoying the city.


Cost of transport in Boston

Thankfully, there isn't a need to invest in some wheels when moving to Boston, as the city boasts a comprehensive and reliable public transport network that is accessible at reasonable prices. Boston is also fairly bicycle-friendly for those wanting to commute by bike to save and improve their physical health.


Cost of education in Boston

Education in Boston is of a high calibre. The city is home to some of the country's top public schools, which are free to attend for US citizens and legal residents. On the other hand, fees for private and international schools can be steep, so newly arrived parents planning on taking this route should try to negotiate the inclusion of fees into their relocation contracts.

 


Cost of healthcare in Boston

Boston is home to some of the best hospitals and highly trained healthcare practitioners, but accessing these facilities comes at a steep cost. It's recommended that newcomers secure comprehensive health insurance to affordably access healthcare in Boston. Some new arrivals may be fortunate to have their medical insurance covered by their employers; those who do not must note that the cost of health insurance will vary depending on factors such as medical history, age and lifestyle habits. 


Cost of living in Boston chart 

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Boston in August 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 3,050

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 2,100

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 5,300

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 3,500

Shopping

Eggs (dozen)

USD 5.16

Milk (1 litre)

USD 1.16

Rice (1kg)

USD 5.76

Loaf of bread

USD 4.37

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 14.45

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

USD 13

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

USD 12

Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 2.41

Cappuccino

USD 5.12

Local beer (500ml)

USD 8

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

USD 100

Utilities

Mobile phone monthly plan with calls and data

USD 50.40

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

USD 67

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

USD 193

Transportation

Taxi rate (per kilometre)

USD 1.94

Bus/train fare in the city centre

USD 2.40

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

USD 0.97

Expat Health Insurance

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