There’s a reason Florida is called the Sunshine State. Along with really fresh orange juice, Florida residents enjoy an average of 237 sunny days every year, compared with the U.S. average of 205.
You also don’t have to worry about any snowy days, because Florida averages zero inches of snow per year, whereas the nationwide average is 28 inches.
All of those beach days are appealing, but how much does it cost to live in the boating and fishing capital of the world? Let’s take a closer look at the numbers to see what the cost of living in Florida is so you can decide if living in Florida makes sense for your wallet.
What’s the Average Cost of Living in Florida?
Average Cost of Living in Florida: $50,689 per year
If you dream of days spent on sandy Florida beaches, your wallet is in luck. Florida residents enjoy the 32nd-lowest cost of living in the United States, per MERIC data gathered in 2022. While 32nd place may not seem like much to brag about, when you compare what it would cost you to enjoy California’s beaches as a resident, your monthly budget is getting a break. California has the fourth-highest cost of living in the country.
Rankings give a look at the bigger picture, but what is the cost of living in Florida? Using 2021 data, the Bureau of Economic Analysis found that the average total personal consumption cost in Florida is $50,689 per year. Here’s how that breaks down.
Average Annual Per-Capita Cost in Florida
Housing and Utilities
Food and Beverages (non-restaurant)
Gas and Energy Goods
All Other Personal Expenditures
That translates to about $4,224 per person, per month.
Housing Costs in Florida
Average Housing Costs in Florida: $1,137 to $1,981 per month
No matter where you live, one of your largest ongoing expenses will be paying for housing. Florida has nearly 10 million housing units, according to the 2021 census, so there’s an array of housing options throughout the state. How much do those housing options cost? Zillow listed the typical value of Florida homes at about $377,816 in February 2023, compared with a U.S. median existing-home sale price of $359,000 the previous month.
Here’s what monthly housing prices can look like in Florida, according to the latest census data from 2021:
• Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,618
• Median studio rent: $1,137
• Median one-bedroom rent: $1,142
• Median two-bedroom rent: $1,352
• Median three-bedroom rent: $1,542
• Median four-bedroom rent: $1,828
• Median five-bedroom (or more) rent: $1,981
• Median gross rent: $1,348
Housing prices vary throughout the state, so let’s examine the typical home values for 20 major Florida cities, per Zillow, in January 2023.
Typical Home Price
Port St. Lucie
Utility Costs in Florida
Average Utility Costs in Florida: $411 per month
Utility costs can vary a lot, depending on your state, whether you rely on natural gas, the size and age of your home, and age of appliances. Here’s what you can expect to spend in Florida.
Average Florida Bill
Cable & Internet
Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Sales, Revenue, and Average Price, 2021; Inspirecleanenergy.com; DoxoInsights, U.S. Cable & Internet Market Size and Household Spending Report 2022; and Rentcafe.com, What Is the Average Water Bill?
Groceries & Food
Average Grocery & Food Costs in Florida: $323.83 per person, per month
The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that the average Floridian’s annual non-restaurant food cost is $3,886, so that’s about $324 per month. A family of four can expect to spend $1,296 per month on groceries, more or less.
Average Health Care Costs in Florida: $7,676 per person, per year
The average annual per-capita cost of health care in Florida is $7,676, the 2021 Bureau of Economic Analysis Personal Consumption Expenditures by State report found.
It’s worth noting that how much you spend on health care will depend on your unique medical needs and health insurance coverage.
Average Child Care Costs in Florida: $702 to $1,364 or more per child, per month
Many parents know the struggle of budgeting for child care. Where you live and the type of care you choose can have an effect on how much you spend.
In Florida if you need care for an infant, you’ll find that home-based family child care is much less expensive than an infant classroom. But once your child gets a little bit older, you’ll save by choosing the toddler classroom route. Let’s take a look at average child care costs in Florida, per 2021 data from costofchildcare.org .
If you like the idea of getting away from state income taxes, then you’ll appreciate that the following states also don’t charge state income tax: Alaska, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.
Now that you have a general idea of what the essentials will cost you, let’s chat about some of the non-essentials that make life fun.
If personal expenditures average $28,562 per person, per year in Florida, this is where Floridians may be spending some of that money (costs are accurate as of March 2023):
• Walt Disney World annual passes start at $399 per year, per person and go as high as $1,399.
• A day at the Miami Zoo is a much more affordable way to enjoy some family time: Free to $22.95, depending on age.
• To get up close and personal with the alligators Florida is famous for, Gatorland tickets start at $22.99. A day spent on one of Florida’s beaches won’t set you back anything, aside from parking and snacks.
How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Florida?
While your definition of what it means to live comfortably will be unique to you and your needs, we all have a basic standard of living we hope to meet without having to feel excess financial pressure. If you have your heart set on moving to Florida, you may or may not find it hard to live comfortably.
These two Florida cities have low cost of living, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index for the second quarter of 2022.
You don’t need to give up big-city life for an affordable lifestyle in Florida. Jacksonville, with almost 1 million residents, as of the 2021 census, is the city with the second-lowest cost of living in the Sunshine State, with a cost-of-living index of 94.2.
Daytona Beach is another affordable city in Florida, with a cost-of-living index of 97.1. That’s a pretty sweet deal when you consider the fact that Daytona Beach really is a beach town. Affordable ocean views? Yes, please. This city also hosts tons of fun events year-round and is home to lots of great restaurants.
SoFi Home Loans
If the not-super-high Florida cost of living and salt life speak to you, you may find yourself drawn to the Sunshine State. If you’re ready to buy a primary or second home in Florida, it may be time to start shopping for a mortgage.
Although there are many home loans on the market to choose from, SoFi offers a range of mortgage loans at competitive interest rates and with as little as 5% down.
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