Anyone considering a move to Phoenix will need to draw up a budget and work out their projected monthly expenses to establish whether relocation makes financial sense for them and their family.

The cost of living in Phoenix is slightly more than the US national average, as well as the Arizona state average. Despite this, Phoenix isn't necessarily regarded as an expensive city, and the quality of life is a major drawcard for newcomers moving to Phoenix.

Most people can afford to live fairly well on an average salary. That said, wage growth tends to be a little slower than one would be accustomed to if one were moving from a city with a more dynamic economy. It's therefore quite important to consider the cost of living alongside one's potential job opportunities in the city, as well as the individual's lifestyle preferences and family circumstances.


Cost of accommodation in Phoenix

The cost of housing in the city is just higher than the national average, and will usually take up the largest portion of a person's monthly budget in Phoenix. Phoenix residents tend to get good value for money in terms of the size and quality of properties, and the higher cost is therefore generally worth it for most residents.

Property investors have seen huge investment potential in Phoenix, which accounts for much of the constant development taking place throughout the city. Although the population in Phoenix is steadily increasing, this isn't at such an intense rate that it is putting pressure on the property market. This has a positive impact on renters, as it does allow them a little scope for negotiation when it comes to agreeing on a rental price.


Cost of entertainment and eating out in Phoenix

New arrivals in Phoenix will discover that the city caters for a range of tastes in terms of lifestyle, arts, culture, nightlife and eating out. The cost of a night out depends mostly on a person's preferences, but even those who are keen to stick to a tight budget will find plenty of opportunities to have a good time in Phoenix without breaking the bank.

Many of the city's attractions can be experienced at little to no cost. Phoenix's famously great weather is conducive to spending time outdoors exploring the city's various gardens, parks, reserves and hiking trails. Most of these outdoor activities cost next to nothing to enjoy.

Although Phoenix's culinary scene is beginning to flourish, it remains incredibly unpretentious. The number of fine dining restaurants is relatively small compared to cities with stronger gastronomic traditions, such as New York or Los Angeles. Phoenix residents will find that because of the movement among local chefs to promote local produce, they can eat very well for a reasonable price.


Cost of education in Phoenix

Parents moving to Phoenix will of course need to factor in the cost of their children's education. Much of these costs will depend on which schooling option families choose to pursue.

There are some good public schools in Phoenix, including several charter and magnet schools, that come at little to no cost. There are also a fair few private schools in the city which are said to offer a higher standard of teaching and greater opportunities in areas such as sports, art and drama. The costs associated with private school education can be high, especially when one factors in all the added extras such as uniforms, textbooks, extracurriculars and field trips.

The state of Arizona has well established systems to support students with special needs and disabilities at no extra financial cost to their families. But parents who choose to provide their children with additional academic support through private tuition services that exist outside the public education system will be required to foot the bill themselves.


Cost of healthcare in Phoenix

As the capital of Arizona, Phoenix has become quite the healthcare hub and has some of the foremost cancer treatment and heart health centres in the area.

While residents of Phoenix have access to excellent healthcare resources, it's important to note that it doesn't come cheap. Prospective residents should spend time investigating the different health insurance plans available before relocating. Medical insurance is a complicated area, so individuals will need to work out which package makes the most sense for themselves and their families.

Those moving to Phoenix for a lucrative job offer should negotiate a medical insurance contribution into the employment contract to save on this cost.


Cost of transport in Phoenix

While there are plans to extend the public transport offerings in Phoenix, at present they remain inadequate. Although public transport fare is much more reasonable than in other US cities that have more sophisticated transport infrastructure, the networks really only cover the downtown area sufficiently and are geared more towards visitors to Phoenix rather than commuting residents.

Taxi rates in Phoenix have become increasingly competitive since e-hailing services became better established in the city. Still, using taxis on a regular basis isn't a viable way to get around Phoenix, especially with the vast distances people are expected to cover on a daily basis.

So even though owning a car is an expense that Phoenix residents can't really avoid, new arrivals will find that purchasing a car in Phoenix is pretty affordable and petrol (gas) is also relatively cheap. That said, when one considers the amount of driving the average Phoenix resident does on a daily basis, it's easy to see how car maintenance costs and petrol expenses can quickly mount.


Cost of living in Phoenix chart

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

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 1,750

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,500

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 2,900

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 2,400

Shopping

Eggs (dozen)

USD 4.56

Milk (1 litre)

USD 0.86

Rice (1kg)

USD 4.21

Loaf of bread

USD 3.25

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 9.44

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

USD 9

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

USD 10

Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 2.46

Cappuccino

USD 5.22

Local beer (500ml)

USD 5.75

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

USD 70

Utilities

Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

USD 0.10

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

USD 84

Basic utilities (per month for a small apartment)

USD 208

Transportation

Taxi rate (per kilometre)

USD 1.46

Bus/train fare in the city centre

USD 2.33

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

USD 1.06

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