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 favourable than the US national average, as well as the Arizona state average. On the whole, the affordable cost of living, combined with an improved quality of life, is a major drawcard for newcomers planning a move 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 they 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

Prospective residents of Phoenix will be pleased to know that the cost of housing in the city is 4 percent lower than the national average in the US. Considering the fact that accommodation costs are usually the largest portion of a person’s monthly budget, this is excellent news and a major pull factor for Phoenix.

It’s not just a case of rental rates being lower; Phoenix residents also get good value for money in terms of the size and quality of properties. Property investors have also 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 rate. 

Cost of entertainment and eating out

New arrivals in Phoenix will discover that the city caters for a range of tastes in terms of 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 or 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 door 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 a stronger gastronomic tradition 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 exorbitant especially when one factors in all the added extras such as uniforms, textbooks, extra-curriculars 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 will have access to excellent healthcare resources, it's important to note that it won’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. Regardless of the option one opts for, it must be understood this is ultimately a necessity for anyone living in the USA and an expense that can’t be avoided. 

Those moving to Phoenix for a lucrative job offer should negotiate a medical insurance contribution into the employment contract, as this will represent a significant saving in their monthly expenses. 

Cost of transportation in Phoenix

While there are plans in the pipeline to extend the public transport offerings in Phoenix, at present it remains overwhelmingly ineffective in serving the city’s residents in a practical. Although public transport fares are much more reasonable than those in other US cities that have more sophisticated transport infrastructure, the networks really only cover the downtown area sufficiently and are therefore 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 when one considers 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, as well as petrol expenses, can mount up. 

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 2021.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 1,280

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 990

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 2,100

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,600


Eggs (dozen)

USD 2.20

Milk (1 litre)

USD 0.75

Rice (1kg)

USD 3.90

Loaf of bread

USD 2.35

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 7.80

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)


Eating out

Big Mac Meal


Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 1.90



Bottle of local beer

USD 4.15

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

USD 60


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

USD 0.15

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

USD 78

Basic utilities (per month for a small apartment)

USD 170


Taxi rate (per kilometre)

USD 1.40

Bus/train fare in the city centre


Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

USD 0.70