Before committing to relocate 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 considering a move to Tampa will be pleased to learn that the city's cost of living is slightly less than the Florida state average, and a fraction higher than the national 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 till 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 buying a property at some stage. In general, though, housing prices are more affordable in Tampa that than they are 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 in Tampa.


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 child. Tampa offers newcomers a broad range of public and private options when it comes to schooling, so parents have tough decisions ahead. 

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

Parents who feel their child may need support from a private tutor to help them keep up with their studies or give them the extra push needed to succeed at university entrance exams will also need to budget accordingly. 


Cost of healthcare in Tampa

There are a number of good healthcare facilities in Tampa. The cost of healthcare in the Cigar City 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 systems. 

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


Cost of transportation 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. This is partly owed 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 car buyers market. 

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 expense quickly mounts up.


Cost of entertainment and eating out in Tampa

Lifestyle expenses really do depend on an individual's taste, preferences and financial priorities. Tampa 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 living in Tampa chart

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Tampa in February 2021.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

USD 1,500

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,100

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 2,280

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,670

Shopping

Eggs (dozen)

USD 2.30

Milk (1 litre)

USD 0.90

Rice (1kg)

USD 4.80

Loaf of bread

USD 2.85

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 13.80

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

USD 6.60

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

USD 8

Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 1.90

Cappuccino

USD 3.90

Bottle of local beer

USD 5

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

USD 60

Utilities

Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

USD 0.15

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

USD 62

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

USD 160

Transportation

Taxi rate (per kilometre)

USD 1.90

Bus/train fare in the city centre

USD 2

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

USD 0.60

Expat Health Insurance

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Moving Companies

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