Before committing to relocate to a new place, it's important for prospective residents to consider the cost of living. Those considering a move to Tampa will be pleased to learn that the city's cost of living is slightly lower than the US national average, although it is a fraction higher than the Florida state average. Naturally, an individual’s personal living expenses come into play too, which can make budgeting a little more complicated.

Those weighing up a move to Tampa need to consider a number of 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 a costly exercise.

Here is our breakdown of the expenses new arrivals should expect to incur when residing in Tampa.

Cost of accommodation in Tampa

Newcomers to Tampa generally start by renting until they find their feet and decide whether they want to settle down long term in the Sunshine State.

Tampa’s rental market is fairly solid, so it makes sense to invest in a property at some stage. In general, though, housing prices are more affordable in Tampa than in Florida and the US as a whole. Furthermore, the standard of housing in Tampa is excellent, so new arrivals are likely to find good value for money regardless of whether they decide to rent or buy.

Cost of transport in Tampa

Newcomers to Tampa will find that public transport fares are affordable. But while public transport is a viable option for those living close to the city centre, it isn’t quite as convenient as having a car at one’s disposal. For this reason, most Tampa residents opt to invest in a vehicle of their own.

As is the case throughout Florida, cars in Tampa are reasonably priced. In fact, used vehicles in the Sunshine State cost around 10 percent less than in the rest of the US. That said, maintaining a car won’t come cheap in Tampa. Petrol (gas) prices are expensive and, with most residents driving long distances regularly, this cost quickly adds up.

Cost of groceries in Tampa

The cost of groceries in Tampa is slightly above the national average, which can impact residents' monthly budgets significantly. However, there are several strategies that locals can employ to mitigate these costs. Budgeting and planning, taking advantage of sales and bulk buying, opting for store brands, using coupons and rebates, exploiting BOGO deals, and participating in loyalty programs are all effective ways to save on groceries.

Tampa residents have the advantage of choosing from a variety of grocery delivery services, such as Daisy Bug Delivery, Boxer Mom Delivery, and Kroger Delivery, to name a few. These services offer convenience and can sometimes provide savings through exclusive deals and promotions.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Tampa

Lifestyle expenses really do depend on an individual's taste, preferences and financial priorities. Tampa's residents can choose to splurge or save, depending on where they go for fun and what they do. On one hand, it's possible to eat out at fine dining establishments or hang out at fancy cocktail bars for those looking to splash some cash. On the other hand, there are plenty of activities that cost little to nothing.

Entrance to most of Tampa’s museums and art galleries is reasonable, and there are often discounts offered to students and pensioners too.

Cost of education in Tampa

As is the case in most US cities, the cost of education in Tampa depends on the schooling path parents choose for their children. Tampa offers newcomers a broad range of public and private school options.

The cost of public schooling in Tampa is minimal, whereas private institutions set their own fees. These fees are generally high and increase as the students get older. In addition, those considering private schooling for their kids will need to budget for additional expenses such as uniforms, textbooks, field trips and extracurricular pursuits.

Cost of healthcare in Tampa

There are several excellent healthcare facilities in Tampa. The cost of healthcare here is almost on par with the state average, and accessing the best facilities won’t come cheap – this will be especially noticeable to those relocating from countries with free or heavily subsidised public healthcare.

Foreigners and newcomers relocating from elsewhere in the US should invest time researching health insurance schemes on offer in Florida. There are plenty of competitive insurance 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 Tampa for work should attempt to negotiate a health contribution into their employment contract, as this will allow for a significant monthly saving.

Cost of living in Tampa chart

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Tampa in March 2024.

Accommodation (monthly rent)
Three-bedroom apartment in the city centreUSD 3,700
Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centreUSD 2,700
One-bedroom apartment in the city centreUSD 2,030
One-bedroom apartment outside the city centreUSD 1,740
Food and drink
Dozen eggsUSD 5.92
Milk (1 litre)USD 1.10
Rice (1kg)USD 4.76
Loaf of white breadUSD 4.01
Chicken breasts (1kg)USD 6
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)USD 8
Eating out
Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurantUSD 95
Big Mac MealUSD 11
Coca-Cola (330ml)USD 2.47
CappuccinoUSD 4.93
Bottle of beer (local)USD 2.36
Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)USD 0.28
Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)USD 63
Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)USD 190
Taxi rate/kmUSD 1.49
City-centre public transport fareUSD 2.50
Gasoline (per litre)USD 0.92

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