Cost of Living in Jacksonville

Before taking the leap and making the commitment to move to a new place, it's important for prospective residents to consider the cost of living and compare this to their earning potential and the lifestyle benefits that their new home offers. Those with Jacksonville in their sights will be pleased to learn that the River City's cost of living is one of the lowest in Florida. It also consistently falls below the national average for the USA as a whole. Naturally, an individual’s personal living expenses come into play where budgeting is concerned which makes things a little more complicated.

Those weighing up a move to Jax should bear in mind a number of different factors when drawing up a budget. These include the cost of accommodation, transport options, healthcare expenses, lifestyle choices and if they have children, the price of schooling. This should all be compared alongside one's earning potential as well as the expenses of physically relocating, which in itself can be costly exercise. 

Below is a broad breakdown of the expenses new arrivals should expect to incur when living in Jacksonville.


Cost of accommodation in Jacksonville

Most people relocating to Jacksonville will start by renting property till they find their feet and decide whether they want to settle down in the Sunshine State. The fact that the rental market in Jax is so robust also increases investment potential when it comes to buying a place. In general, housing prices are just slightly lower in Jacksonville than both the American national and Florida state averages. Across the board, the standard of accommodation in Jax is high so new arrivals are bound to get good value for money. 

Naturally, prices vary according to where a person lives. Modern apartments close to downtown Jax, Riverside condos or anything with an ocean view is likely to cost top dollar. Of course, exploring options further afield in suburbs like Orange Park, Westside or Springfield will allow new residents to more spacious and affordable housing. Master-planned communities, like Nocatee, Tamaya or Sawgrass that are still in development may also offer new arrivals a few budget-friendly options. 


Cost of education in Jacksonville

The cost of education in Jax varies considerably depending on an individual child's schooling path. Jacksonville is home to many public and private schools, so parents will have much to ponder.

The cost of attending a public school is next to nothing whereas private schools set their own fees, which are generally high and only increase as the child progresses through the grades. Parents who opt to sent their child to a private school should also budget for additional expenses such as uniforms, textbooks, extra-curricular activities and field trips. There are some private schools which even expect students to have their own laptop. 

Parents of students that require additional support from a private tutor, to either bring them up to speed on difficult subjects or to give them an added edge when it comes to university admission tests, will need to consider the cost of this. Most tutoring companies offer a various options including one-to-one sessions, group classes and online tutorials. So there should be something to suit every budget. 


Cost of healthcare in Jacksonville

Jacksonville is home to a number of excellent hospitals and healthcare facilities. While the cost of healthcare in the River City is slightly lower than the national average, it is still expensive – this will be especially noticeable to those relocating from countries with free or heavily subsidised public healthcare systems. 

Foreigners and newcomers relocating from elsewhere in the USA should invest time researching health insurance schemes. There are plenty of competitive packages available but it’ll be up to the individual to find a policy that not only meets their own health needs and those of their family members, but also realistically fits into their monthly budget. 

Anyone moving to Jacksonville for a job should try to negotiate a health insurance contribution into their employment contract as this will allow for significant saving on these expenses.


Cost of transportation in Jacksonville

As the largest city in the continental USA, Jacksonville is huge. Public transport in Jacksonville is cheap, especially if commuters opt to purchase a weekly or monthly STAR Card. That said, Jax’s public transport network doesn’t sufficiently cover areas beyond the city centre.  For this reason, the vast majority of long-term Jax residents will opt to drive. 

As is the case throughout Florida, cars are reasonably priced. In fact, used vehicles in the Sunshine State cost around 10 percent less than the national average. This is partly due to the fact that Florida has an ageing population, many of whom are giving up their cars, along with large numbers of wealthy people who upgrade their vehicles on a regular basis. These factors make for an ideal buyers market. 

On the flipside, maintaining a car won’t come cheap in Jax. Petrol (gas) prices are some of the highest in the USA. When one considers the long distances Jacksonvillians drive daily, it makes sense that these expenses can add up. Similarly, car insurance premiums  in Jacksonville are also above average. 


Cost of entertainment and eating out in Jacksonville

Lifestyle expenses really do depend on an individual's taste, preferences and priorities. Jacksonville residents canspend as much or as little as they like when it comes to keeping themselves entertained. On one hand, Jax has its fair share of fine dining restaurants, fancy wine bars and exclusive cocktail lounges for those who are looking to splash some cash and have a good time. On the other hand, there is plenty see and do in Jax without breaking the bank.

The first low-budget activity that comes to mind is spending a day with family and friends on one of Jacksonville’s many famous beaches. After all, holidaymakers travel from all over to get a bit of the Florida sun, while Jax residents have it on their doorstep. The year-round good weather presents opportunities to get outdoors by hiking and biking along various trails or exploring one of the River City’s many parks and gardens. While entrance to most of Jax’s museums and galleries is reasonable, come November each year children access the majority of attractions for free, making this the best time to explore the city as a family. 


Cost of living in Jacksonville chart

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Jacksonville in May 2020.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 1,100

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 950

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 1,700

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,300

Shopping

Eggs (dozen)

USD 3

Milk (1 litre)

USD 0.90

Rice (1kg)

USD 3.79

Loaf of bread

USD 3

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 9

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

USD 7

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

USD 7.50

Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 1.60

Cappuccino

USD 4

Bottle of local beer

USD 4

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

USD 55

Utilities

Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

USD 0.10

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

USD 70

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

USD 150

Transportation

Taxi rate (per kilometre)

USD 2.50

Bus/train fare in the city centre

USD 1.50

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

USD 0.70

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