Boston is a charming city with something for everyone, whether you’re a history buff or are firmly grounded in the modern world. If you’ve decided to make the move to this awesome city, though, you need to move past the romanticism of it all and take a more practical approach. After all, preparation is the key to a hassle-free move, and one vital step is learning what the cost of living in Boston is. Match this with info on average salaries in Boston with your budget to be sure you have enough pocket cash to enjoy all that this New England city has to offer.


Rent and housing prices

Finding a place to live should be at the top of your priority list. The question is just should you buy or rent? Well, buying a property in Boston isn’t cheap, but it does vary based on where you decide to settle down. The closer you get to the suburbs, the less expensive the property will be.

According to, the median sales price for a home in Boston is $615,000, with an average price of $642 per square foot. By comparison, the median sales price for a property in New York City is $1,300,000 with an average price per square foot of $1,442, whereas Chicago’s median sales price is around $242,750 at an average of $204 per square foot. Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities. Clearly, Boston is nowhere near as expensive as New York, but it does beat Chicago quite handily, which is something to consider in terms of the cost of living. 

Renting a place in Boston isn’t very cheap either. According to the Annual Rent Report for 2018, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $2,353 in Boston, compared to Los Angeles, where it was $2,369, and San Francisco, where it was $3,535. The only place that was slightly cheaper was in Washington, D.C. where the average was $2,348.  

Although the cost of living in Boston is still high, when it comes to renting, it is one of the more reasonable capital cities in the United States.

If you really want to make a move with absolutely no hassle or aggravation, then the best solution is to work with a company like Blueground. They provide impeccably designed apartments all over the city for a minimum of one month.

A dark blue accent wall in a furnished Boston apartment designed and managed by Blueground. There is a brown leather couch with multicolored throw pillows in front of a white coffee table which sits on a gray carpet. There is a small dining table in the background of the photo in the dining and kitchen area.

Best of all, every property is fully-furnished, equipped and move-in ready from day one. Also, the flexible lease terms mean that you’re never tied down. Blueground tenants have the opportunity to change apartments and neighborhoods throughout their stay until deciding what feels right.


Utility expenses

Utilities are definitely an essential part of determining your cost of living in Boston. According to, for an apartment of 915 square feet, you can expect to pay $150.54 for garbage, electricity, cooling, heating, and water.

A woman with brown hair wearing a light blue sweater is holding a utility bill while adjusting the heating in her home.

In this sense, Boston is a bit more expensive than other places, as the same utilities in New York will cost you $143.70 and $108.71 in San Francisco. This carries over to Internet as well, with Boston topping the charts. A connection will cost you $64.66 in Boston, compared to $61.79 in New York and $64.25 in San Francisco.


The cost of food

In terms of food, Boston has lots to offer. You can find pretty much everything you want, whether you’re craving yummy Italian pastries, or you’re more of a clam-chowder fan. According to, you can get away with spending as little as $365 per month on food (that is, if you avoid eating out and stick to simple groceries). For example, a gallon of milk will set you back $3.24 while 12 eggs will cost you $2.83, and a pound of chicken breasts will set you back $5.36.

If you do prefer eating out, you can expect to pay around $15 for a meal at a cheaper restaurant, while a meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant that includes three courses will set you back about $70.

A woman and a man are sitting at a table in a restaurant eating and laughing. They both have brown hair and are wearing light colored shirts. They also both have silverware in their hands and drinks on the table in front of them.

Although eating out in Boston isn’t exactly cheap, it’s still a better deal than say, New York City, where the same three-course meal would set you back $82. Or San Francisco, where you’d pay around $80. It’s pretty close to Chicago, though, where you’d pay $65, and it’s actually right on par with Los Angeles at $70. 



Like in any other major city, you can either get around by car or rely on the public transport system. Owning a car in Boston is an interesting exercise in patience. First of all, because parking is extremely difficult to find and secondly because drivers in this city are known to be quite aggressive.

In terms of cost, though, owning a car is definitely not as expensive as other places. A gallon of gas is $2.24, which is 2% cheaper than the national average, whereas parking will set you back about $1.25 per hour in metered parking areas. On Sundays, parking is free. So, if you’re willing to brave the aggressive traffic and put up with the seemingly never-ending search for a parking space, then owning a car in Boston, might work for you. 

a red and white T train in Boston rides past some buildings and trees under a bright blue sky with wispy white clouds

Alternatively, you can rely on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s system, which will cost you $75 per month for a pass, giving you unlimited access to the subway and local buses. It’s 25% cheaper than Los Angeles, and 36% cheaper than New York.

In other words, using public transportation will slightly lower your cost of living in Boston, especially when compared to cities like New York and San Francisco.



There are plenty of options in Boston for entertainment, including the art and culture at Boston Museum of Fine Arts, attending a professional baseball game, or even walking the Freedom Trail.

The museum will set you back around $25 on average, which is about the same as what you’d pay at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

A look at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team which is tucked in the center of the city surrounded by buildings

In terms of baseball, though, you’re going to be paying through the nose for Boston Red Sox tickets. They are sold for an average of $52.34, making them the most expensive in the entire league. Fortunately, taking in some history doesn’t have to cost a thing. Walking the Freedom Trail is completely free, so there’s that at least.

The good news is that even though Boston is by no means cheap, it’s still a little more reasonable in comparison with other cosmopolitan capitals. In addition, there are so many fun and free things to do if you’re looking to save some money here and there. 

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