Cost of Living in Chicago

Summary about cost of living in Chicago:

Restaurants [ Edit ] Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 13.50 $ 10.00-17.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 60.00 $ 45.00-80.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 7.00 $ 6.00-8.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 5.00 $ 4.00-6.00
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) 7.00 $ 5.00-8.00
Cappuccino (regular) 4.03 $ 3.00-5.00
Coke/Pepsi (11.2 oz small bottle) 1.94 $ 1.50-2.50
Water (11.2 oz small bottle) 1.76 $ 1.00-2.50
Markets [ Edit ]
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 3.09 $ 2.00-4.00
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 2.19 $ 1.00-3.11
Rice (white), (1 lb) 1.96 $ 1.00-3.00
Eggs (regular) (12) 2.05 $ 1.00-3.00
Local Cheese (1 lb) 6.32 $ 3.00-12.00
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) 4.77 $ 2.00-6.00
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 5.36 $ 3.00-8.99
Apples (1 lb) 2.02 $ 1.00-3.00
Banana (1 lb) 0.83 $ 0.50-1.19
Oranges (1 lb) 1.79 $ 0.99-3.70
Tomato (1 lb) 1.53 $ 0.99-2.72
Potato (1 lb) 0.94 $ 0.50-1.75
Onion (1 lb) 0.99 $ 0.69-1.50
Lettuce (1 head) 1.59 $ 0.99-2.50
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 2.01 $ 1.00-3.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 15.00 $ 11.00-15.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 1.82 $ 1.20-2.99
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) 2.07 $ 1.29-3.00
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 12.00 $ 10.00-13.51
Transportation [ Edit ]
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 2.25 $ 2.25-2.75
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 100.00 $ 100.00-105.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.25 $ 3.00-3.95
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 2.35 $ 1.80-3.50
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 24.50 $ 19.80-50.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 2.84 $ 2.50-3.50
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 22,000.00 $ 19,000.00-25,000.00
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 20,482.07 $ 17,000.00-24,000.00
Utilities (Monthly) [ Edit ]
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 126.15 $ 63.75-200.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.15 $ 0.10-0.25
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 61.39 $ 40.00-90.00
Sports And Leisure [ Edit ]
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 46.75 $ 20.00-75.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 27.71 $ 0.00-45.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 12.50 $ 10.00-15.00
Childcare [ Edit ]
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Private, Monthly for 1 Child 970.00 $ 500.00-1,600.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 15,666.67 $ 10,000.00-20,000.00
Clothing And Shoes [ Edit ]
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 48.56 $ 35.00-62.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 37.52 $ 29.95-60.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 77.54 $ 60.00-100.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 101.53 $ 65.00-150.00
Rent Per Month [ Edit ]
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,801.39 $ 1,200.00-2,110.67
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 1,111.62 $ 800.00-1,400.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 3,152.11 $ 2,400.00-4,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,948.55 $ 1,400.00-2,700.00
Buy Apartment Price [ Edit ]
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 294.64 $ 200.00-360.00
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 164.52 $ 117.28-255.00
Salaries And Financing [ Edit ]
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 3,643.91 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 3.94 3.25-4.50

Prices in Chicago, Illinois

These data are based on 2583 entries in the past 18 months from 384 different contributors.
Last update: February 2018
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22 Comments so far

#Henry Dalby on Nov 15, 2016 :
i was enquiring about how much it is to live in Chicago if i was coming from England for a year to work, if i was on a average salary lets say $20,000 a year, how much a month would it be for rent and bills included? on my own or with sharing an apartment?
#theviking on Jul 23, 2016 :
I find that the NET income after tax is a bit high. I live outside the city but work with lots of people from the city, not many make that kind of money there. DOWNTOWN Chicago yes, but when you get out into the outskirts of the city... I bet its more in the mid 2k range. South side will more than likely be under 2k dollars. I use this site for lots of cost of living comparisons, and having traveled the world I find this site somewhat helpful if you take the info with a grain of salt. Might be a great city to visit, but statistically we have the highest numbers in the nation for people leaving the state.
#colleen on Mar 09, 2016 :
what or why is go on in world ? why all are so high ? people have dreams so do I don't all of you want hurt your dreams ?

I knew I cant afford a house how about condo high rise condos? because I think I may feel secure living in high rise so no one can broke in I mean with high system !

wonder if only rich or maybe famous only can afford are they huh sorry if I offened all of you
#Phil on Nov 05, 2015 :
Rent vs monthly take-home salary seem way off. Based on the average take-home salary of ~$3K/month how is one to afford a monthly rent of ~$3K/month?
#TheMile on Nov 04, 2015 :
I can't wait to move to Chicago! This city is sooo beautiful. Cost of living isn't too high either, so that's a HUGE plus in comparison to other cities. I'll just avoid those violent South Side neighborhoods, which aren't too many, I've heard.
#Jen on Nov 03, 2015 :
I have been living in Chicago for five years, in three different apartments in three different neighborhoods, and I can tell you that you can certainly find an apartment, in the price range, if you look hard enough. Obviously some things (parking especially) will limit your options. I give three actual specific examples of the apartments I've lived in... the neighborhood you pick determines everything! Except taxes, which are horrible everywhere.

First apartment: Junior 1 bedroom on the border Old Town/Gold Coast neighborhoods (specifically LaSalle and Division). I paid $1050 a month with ALL utilities included. Tiny kitchen. Tiny bathroom. Doorman, close to train CTA train station and 156 bus, Jewel Osco and Starbucks down the street. Awesome night life in one of the best neighborhoods in the city. Great neighborhood for a young person in their twenties. Absolutely no hope for parking (I didn't have a car at the time). There was a parking garage that rented spots for $250 a month, so there was that I guess. In building laundry ($1.75 a load). High rise, 13 stories. Amazing rooftop view of the city. Cat friendly.

Second apartment: 4 bedroom 2 bathroom on Near West Side (Taylor and Western) for $1600, I shared it with two other people. Free laundry and a free parking spot. Pay electric and gas. Decent neighborhood, but would not recommend walking south of Roosevelt or west of Western at night. Baccis pizza, bakery, and a dive bar on Taylor. Good walk to CTA stop (would not recommend walking it at night) and access to 157 and 12 bus. For a college student at UIC/Rush this would be ideal. Although, I will say the fourth bedroom was essentially a closet, hence why there was only three of us there. We kept it as an extra storage room/litter box room for my cats. Massive living room. Cat friendly. Mostly family/college student neighborhood.

Third apartment: 1 bedroom 1.5 bathroom in Wrigleyville/Boystown/Lakeview (Cornelia and Halsted) for $1400 (I share this apartment with my boyfriend). Pay electric and gas. Two story apartment, first floor is living room, half bathroom, and kitchen, take the spiral staircase downstairs to bedroom and full bathroom. Close to grocery store, coffee place 800 feet away, awesome neighborhood (does get quite loud at night). Close to CTA stop and 8 bus. I do have permit parking ($120 per year including city sticker) and can find street parking within at least four blocks at all times UNLESS there is a cubs game, in which it will take you a while. Good sized apartment for two people, seems like way too much for a single person (there are five closets in total). Cat and dog friendly.
#Jane on Nov 03, 2015 :
I want to move with my family if 3 to Elmhurst near Chicago. I just wanna know the living expenses and all of that. I have a child of 4 months plus my husband and I.
#ALICIA on Sep 30, 2015 :
Lol seriously guys for everyone looking to move to Chicago if you're not rich DO NOT I repeat DO NOT move here. Everything is expensive and really takes away from the greatness of the city not including the crime. And it seems to only be getting worst with all the new taxes and budget cuts. You can't even go to the beach for free :( the city has really gone to shits if you ask me.
#BK on Sep 03, 2015 :
The numbers look right with the exception of rent. Rent varies greatly depending on where you choose to live and while the city center is expensive a lot of it is due to the limited housing, up until the last 10 years very few people lived in the city center at all. Don't get freaked out about the taxes they are much lower than most major cities and lower than a lot of suburbs. In addition the high sales tax only applies to goods not services and it is lower for food. For a city with so many amenities Chicago is cheap.
#Anonymous on Apr 04, 2015 :
Hey guys,tell me plz how expensive,is life in i just wanna make move to there...
#elad on Feb 28, 2015 :
Lol. I am planning to move to Chicago because of the cost of living in Israel. The prices dont seem too high in Chicago. Houses here are two to three times more expensive, groceries are really cheap as well as gas, and income taxes are not outrageous like they are here.
#victor on Jan 22, 2015 :
Long time Chicago guy here, I found the price of goods for Chicago on this site to be very accurate. The rents shown here are not as accurate because rents vary widely with location. Rent prices jump around by neighborhood and even by block. The cost of most things in Chicago are driven by government taxes. The city government is voracious. Goods and restaurants are 10% tax. A very large part of the price of gasoline, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages are just taxes. It is the same for many other things such as phones and utilities - about 25% tax. High speed internet is not $20/month, more like $50/month for regular, not teaser, rates. The rocketing prices of rents are due to raising property taxes and other related taxes (which vary by neighborhood). Car owners are squeezed for a multitude of taxes such as high sales tax, city sticker tax, high parking rates, red light and speed cameras. Don't expect all those taxes to go towards good schools and roads. The roads are full of potholes and the public schools are third-world quality. But there are good people in Chicago (excluding the politicians). The quality the life is good even if the cost of living is high.
#Allyssa on Dec 15, 2014 :
Everyone is being over dramatic and scaring off people who are looking into moving to chicago. I've lived in chicago twice my life and looking into moving back here. and yes financial living is going to obviously have a price just like any other place you're looking at. Of course prices vary when you come from a small town and moving to a city. You really need to save your money and use common sense when you buy things like Do you need it or do you Want it?? Just be smart with your money and if living here is something you REALLY want you just need to work at it. Anyone can move here and make it. Its all about how you are with money. If someone wants to argue about what they get paid and question what I'm saying all I can tell you is Get A Better Job! Work two if you need to just to get buy, and if its worth it you wont be complaining
#Shvonne on Aug 27, 2014 :
I have lived in Chicago all my life and the prices here have increased drastically.... Downtown Chicago 1 bedroom start at 15,000.00 a month all utilities are separate meaning you will pay light, gas, garbage, parking, and sometimes water....South side is a little more reasonable however you have to worry about being robbed, or shot.....I swear to you I'm not lying, My place have been broken into twice....but they just encourage YOU to get renters insurance...another bill....South west is even worst do not go there.. Nothing is free in Chicago, city stickers are 100.00 every will be paying tickets because they ticket you for everything and they range from 100-400 dollars after 7 days they way on public transportation is 2.25 and they stopped providing passes with transfers that allowed 3 have to pay for parking at the lake or beaches... movies passes are 25.00 for 2 people...gas bill is 125.00 a month and light is 125.00 a month...Chicago just passed a law for a mandatory tax on all cell phones I think it's like 3% crazy...But I would suggest if you are almost rich to move here but if not move to the suburbs where are the fee's and stickers and emissions test are not so high or will not exist at all
#kat on Jul 31, 2014 :
Rents have more than doubled in just 4 years, they need to update these apartment averages, those are wayyyy to low. Of course, they won't have to update our salaries, we all know those haven't changed.
#chris on Jul 14, 2014 :
Chicago in city centre(downtown) the rent for one bedroom is more than $2000-$2200/month, not even close to what was written here. The prices presented are nice, but the real prices are higher.. Tolls on all the highways, pay for parking, nothing is free. And the crime(the media don`t exaggerate) Chicago has the worst murders rate from USA, more than NYC and DETROIT combined. On 4th of July 80 people were shot in 1 day. Mostly in south ghettos but it spreads sometimes to north too.
#pierre on Apr 17, 2014 :
North said foster and Lincoln is the best area
#Alexis on Apr 01, 2014 :
I'm looking into moving down to Chicago, I am gonna be a college student and moving to a new state alone I stress about money. How are the living conditions there? Is it a good place to start out?
#Betz on Mar 29, 2014 :
Looking to relocate from NYC to Chicago.. The prices seem similar what are good trendy neighborhoods hospitals to look at??
#sid on Mar 27, 2014 :
Hello every one.
I am planning to move to Chicago. got an offer from one of the US based company. my base will be at Chicago however, most of the time I will be travelling. if any one can help me on what should be the ideal package I should look for. how safe is the city, if I need to leave my wife and kids behind when I am travelling.
#Sigh on Mar 09, 2014 :
Currently living in LA. Based on what I'm seeing, I'm looking at lower rental rates and about equal utilities taxes and good costs. Transportation at least will be a reprieve. Has prices fluctuate 4-5 bucks a gal typically and public transit is not nearly as developed sadly so ends up being better for commuters to just drive. Looking forward to this move :))
#SI on Feb 25, 2014 :
I grew up in Chicago (city proper and not any of the surrounding suburbs) and I still live here. Like everyone on this forum said, taxes are outrageous. Prices with regards to food at an average grocery store is within the range reflected. Apartment rents vary a lot in which neighborhood you live in. Lincoln Park, Wicker Park and Lakeview tends to attract the younger folks and the prices are also relatively high. 1 bedroom apt in the city (not downtown) is 900-1300. Utilities = heat, cable, gas, electricity. Heat is usually covered by landlord but do check. Electricity comes out to be $60 but rises significantly to $90-100 during the winter seasons. Similarly, gas bills go up too during winter season. If you are planning on having a car, be ready to pay $100 for the city sticker (1 year fee). Street parking in commercial areas suck. Prices are outrageous. Petrol/Gas prices are high. Around $4 a gallon as of today. Public transportation is relatively cheap, run 24 hours a day. You do encounter interesting folks on the train and buses but I think of it as cultural aspect of Chicago ;)