What Is the Cost of Living in Miami?

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Apr 13, 2023

The idea of moving to a new place sends mixed reactions to people. Moving to a new place means meeting new people, learning new cultures, and acquiring new experiences. But before you get so excited, you also need to think about the cost of living in the area, the climate, neighborhood, among other things.

Relocating to Miami, Florida means you’ll be moving to the warmest winter places. It also means moving to a magical city with lots of opportunities and experiences to explore. But what’s the cost of living in Miami?

You need to ensure that you can afford the life in Miami, FL before you decide to pack up and move. The budget you have should meet your need for housing, transportation, entertainment, and utility bills. Read this article to understand whether living in Miami will be suitable for your lifestyle or not.

Is Miami a Good Place to Live?

Whether Miami is a good place to live depends on the person you’re talking to. Do you want a great climate, security, affordable housing, or entertainment activities? This will also depend on your status in life. Are you a student looking for a job, a professional, or a business person?

Moving to Miami can change your life for the better. Here are some of the things you need to understand when you plan to move to Miami.

Miami’s Population

About 430,000 people call Miami home. Almost 2.8 million people live in Miami-Dade County, the largest geographical area with several independent municipalities. 60% of the population of Miami, Florida, has international blood, with most of the people being of Hispanic origin. Miami is the second most populous city in Florida, making many people prefer living there.

Living in Miami as a Professional

If you’re a professional living in Miami, you probably want a place of your own. Well, you must know that the cost of housing is generally high here. Renting a one-bedroom apartment will cost you $2,000 monthly. You also have to pay the utility bills, which will cost you an average of $150 monthly. Luckily, there are several programs for first-time homebuyers that you can access.

You’ll spend $400 on food every month with a few meals out. If you don’t have your car to drive to work, you should consider taking a bus, which is more affordable. If you own a car, you’ll also need to part with $150 for car insurance and pay $100 for gas.

For you to live comfortably in Miami, your salary should be something close to $3,500. With this, you’ll also cover extra costs like insurance payments, toiletries, auto repairs, and more. You’ll need to earn about $42,000 monthly to live in a one-bedroom rental house.

Students Living in Miami

Are you planning to join a college or studies at renowned Florida International University or the private University of Florida? You also need to know how you can live comfortably in this city as a student. Several apartments surround the learning institutions in Miami. You can choose a two-bedroom unit that doesn’t go beyond $2,000 monthly.

If you can’t afford that, you can also share a room. Four people can comfortably share a two-bedroom house which will equate to $500 per head. This also means you’ll share other bills like utility which can be about $40 per person. Eat cheaply and get an apartment near the institution to save on transport money.

Unemployed in Florida

What is it like living in Miami without a job? Miami is not the right place to live if you don’t have a job unless you plan to endure the hardship. You’ll receive Florida’s unemployment benefits of $275 every week. While this money can help you somewhere, it’s not enough to sustain the cost of living in Miami.

Even if you’re not contributing fully to your expenses, you’ll still struggle when you get a job. The corporate base of Miami is mainly found in the sprawling metro area, therefore you’ll have to deal with substantial transportation costs. You’ll also have a hard time commuting on time when you live in Coral Gables, Broward County, and Aventura.

Is Living in Miami Expensive?

Miami is considered one of the cities in Florida with the highest cost of living. The housing costs are very high, which makes everything generally expensive. But the people in Miami benefit from low taxes, which somehow help in balancing the difference.  Here is a breakdown of what you’ll pay for different things such as housing, utility, and transportation in Miami.

Housing Cost

The average amount you’ll pay to rent a house in Miami is about $1,700 per month. This cost is higher than the average cost of rent in the United States, which is $1,442 per month.

New residents have a lot on offer when it comes to the real estate market. You can either choose single homes to modern condos depending on your specific circumstances. You can buy a property in the center at around $400 per square foot, but the price can drop up to $240 in other areas. You also have to factor in the closing costs of buying a home in Florida.

Utility Bills

Unlike rent, utility bills in Miami are surprisingly lower than the national average. If you live in a 915 square foot apartment, you’ll part with $115 for utility bills every month. The utility bills will include water, electricity, heating, and garbage.

Transportation Costs

It’s cheaper to take public transit in Miami. You pay about $2.25 on bus or MetroRail for a one-way fare.  You can also go within the metropolis free of charge using a trolley. The only disadvantage is that public transit is limited in other places, and you need a car for convenience. That means you should include car insurance, fuel costs, and auto repair in your monthly transportation budget.

Entertainment Costs

Entertainment is another crucial thing in human life. Even if you’re dead broke, you still need to enjoy the things life has to offer. You can walk across the shows of Miami Beach free of charge. You can also grab a bite at your favorite restaurant at an affordable cost. The cheapest restaurants in Miami will cost you about $15 per plate. For pub people, there are cocktails downtown going for $15 with a beer going at $7.


The best way to save on food is by preparing your meals at home. Even so, food costs in Miami are still higher than the national average. You’ll get a gallon of milk at $2, a loaf at $3, and $2 for a carton of eggs. If you prefer eating at home, you’ll spend $100 per week on a healthy diet.

Bottom Line

While the cost of living in Miami, Florida, is generally considered a wonderful place to live in. Don’t let the money stop you from living a good life in the city of your dream. You can cut the cost of so many things such as using public transport, eating homemade meals, or walking to nearby places instead of getting a bus ticket.

If you have a good job that enables you to live a more comfortable life, don’t forget to save up. Have fun and enjoy your money in this Magic City but don’t forget to be responsible with your Finances.

Consider buying your own home as soon as possible to save on rent and live comfortably in Miami.


Evaluating the Miami cost of living requires careful consideration of various financial factors. Median household income plays a significant role in determining the feasibility of residing in this vibrant city. With the average monthly rent hovering above the national average, the robust real estate market reflects the desirability of the city. Locations ranging from the bustling hub around Miami International Airport to the serene neighborhoods of North Miami all have distinct factors that influence their cost of living.

Whether considering housing costs or transportation expenses such as public transportation or commute to Miami Beach, every aspect contributes to the monthly costs in Miami. Furthermore, utility prices and food costs, notably higher than the national average, are important to factor into the equation. Thankfully, the absence of a state income tax eases some financial pressure for residents, providing a counterbalance to the higher cost of living.

South Florida, with its unique blend of culture, entertainment, and scenic beauty, continues to draw newcomers despite these costs. High average rent reflects the competitive housing market while sources like the Miami Herald provide in-depth information to help navigate living expenses. Whether it’s a trip to Zoo Miami or a beach day, the lifestyle offers undeniable appeal. Ultimately, a thorough understanding of Miami’s median income, the state income tax situation, and the costs from housing to food is crucial to fully appreciate what it truly costs to live in the heart of South Florida.

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