The Windy City is a blend of classic big-city splendor and close-knit community ties within its profusion of neighborhoods. Chicago has it all, from the fascinating architecture to its rich musical traditions and hidden gems like the jibarito sandwich, making it one of the best places to live in the United States.
But before you pack your bags and move in, it’s important that you understand how much it really costs to live in Chicago.
Apartments for rent in Chicago, Illinois can cost anywhere from $600 to $2,160, depending on the neighborhood and the number of rooms. If you’re planning to buy a home, the average market price is $268,500. That also depends on the type of house you want and its neighborhood, Realty & Mortgage explains.
A basic package consisting of electricity, water, heating, and garbage can run up to $120. If you want a broadband connection – who doesn’t? – you’ll need to add an extra $40 on top of that. Keep in mind Chicago charges a 9% tax on top of streaming services like Netflix and Spotify.
It’s always cheaper to cook at home wherever you live, but food prices in Chicago are lower than the national average. Eating out naturally is more expensive. Budget restaurants typically charge $12 a meal, while fancy fine-dining places can cost an average of $65 for a three-course meal.
An all-month pass on Chicago’s public transport utilities costs $100 a month, which isn’t bad at all. Unless you can’t get around without your car, you might want to use this option. The city’s gas prices are 30% more expensive than the national average. Plus, you have to pay an annual Wheel Tax of $87 to $136 to get your vehicle on the road.
This is the basic cost of living in Chicago. Of course, you’ll also want to set aside some money for a little bit of entertainment, but the options here are endless. There are orchestras, festivals, and sports games that require you to pay for a ticket, but there are also endless options to enjoy yourself without having to spend a dime at all.