Are you considering a move to southwest South Carolina? Understanding the cost of living of an area is not strictly related to how your salary and benefit package will match up but also how a whole host of other factors from housing to healthcare costs will influence your lifestyle. Before you hire the moving van, be sure to explore as much public financial data as possible to avoid any unwanted surprises. In this article we break down key metrics that impact the cost of living in South Carolina cities near Aiken to make your relocation decision easier.
Housing and Income
Homeowners in the Aiken area earn a median income just above $70,000 per year with renters earning right at $32,000 per year. The median home price in Aiken, SC is $271,000 with and average priced home coming in at $166,000. The median rent per month is $849. Both owning and renting are very affordable. Overall, the cost of living in Aiken and surrounding communities is 8-12% lower than the national average with a much higher cost savings when moving from larger urban metropolitan cities like Chicago or Seattle.
The cost of living in South Carolina cities near Aiken should take into account water, gas, and electric bills which together average about $250/month. A cell phone bill with data plan runs users about $150/month. All told, household utilities in the Aiken, SC area are 16% lower than the national average.
Food, Groceries, & Miscellaneous Expenses
Whether you are cooking at home, quickly picking up lunch at a drive-thru, or taking the entire family out for dinner on a Friday night, food and grocery prices can take their toll on your budget. The Aiken area’s grocery prices are 2% higher than the national average but almost 4% lower than other parts of South Carolina. While always changing, some common purchases are as follows:
- Loaf of Bread: $3.40
- Milk: $1.98/gal
- Eggs: $1.85/doz
- Ground Beef: $4.33/lb
Another key aspect of cost of living is common services. After your family dines out on a Friday night it might want to take in a movie. That movie will cost, on average, $13 per person which is about $3 higher than the national average. A haircut is $2 lower than the rest of the US but a round at the bowling alley is about the same. Service choices vary from household to household but such miscellaneous expenses are 4% lower in South Carolina, on average as a whole.
It is important to take into account car insurance, vehicle maintenance expenses, and fuel costs when relocating. Aiken, SC and surrounding cities boasts transportation costs 4% less than other areas of South Carolina and 21% less than the national average. The area has some of the lowest gas taxes in the United States making it very attractive to commuters.
Healthcare expenses can take a large bite out of a household’s budget. Out-of-pocket healthcare expenses in Aiken are 6% lower than the national average. That being said, South Carolina ranks 41st out of 50 states with regard to healthcare access. South Carolina residents may experience difficulties obtaining health insurance coverage, receiving care, and lack access to healthcare professionals but there are several excellent health facilities located in nearby Augusta, Georgia.
Beyond getting used to the new financial realities of Aiken, SC and its surrounding cities, you will also discover a new state filled with wonderful people, cultural attractions, and fun activities.