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Cost of Living in Houston: A Comprehensive Guide 2023

8 mins
Uploaded on
Mar 8, 2023
Last updated on
Jan 18, 2024
Uploaded on
Mar 8, 2023
Last updated on
Jan 18, 2024
Cost of living in Houston
Live well without breaking the bank

Hey there! Have you ever wondered what money can't buy that brings true happiness? Well, it's not the most important thing in the world, as some might say. Yes, you guessed it right, we're talking about money. Of course, it's essential to make life comfortable and easy, but it's not everything. Especially when it comes to the cost of living in Houston, it can be a significant factor. As a student, it's essential to consider various factors to find an affordable place to live comfortably. Don't worry. We've got you covered! We have broken down the cost of living in Houston tx to give you an idea of what to expect from the city, and we're here to make it easier for you. 

About Houston

Houston is a vibrant and bustling city in Texas, and it can be an exciting place for students. There are several prestigious universities and colleges in Houston, including the University of Houston, Rice University, and Houston Baptist University, among others. These universities offer a range of academic programs, from business and engineering to arts and sciences, providing students with a variety of options to choose from. Houston is a relatively affordable city, with a lower cost of living compared to other major cities in the United States. However, the cost of living can vary depending on the neighbourhood and lifestyle. As a student, it's essential to consider the cost of housing, transportation, and other expenses when planning your budget. In addition to academics, Houston is known for its thriving arts scene, with world-class museums, galleries, and performance venues. Overall, Houston is an exciting and dynamic city for students, offering a range of academic, cultural, and social opportunities.

What is the average cost of living in Houston?

Being one of the major cities in Texas, the Houston living cost is surely higher than in other cities but is not as high compared to Austin and Dallas. When calculating the average cost of living in Houston, you have to take various factors and variables into consideration, like rent, utility bills, grocery prices, transportation rates, and many other things. From your daily expenses to monthly bills, everything affects your living expenses in Houston. You can consider the average Houston living cost as a student to be approximately $1500 monthly without accommodation rent included.

Common expenses and how to save on them

Now let's get down to the proper breakdown of the cost of living in Houston tx for students. We are going to list down the common expenses that you will have every month while living in this amazing city and give you a proper price range that you can expect to spend depending on your needs and even provide you with some tips on how to save some money on them!

1. Food and groceries

When discussing the cost of living in Houston, it's crucial to take into account the expenses related to food and groceries. Predicting these costs can be difficult, as they tend to vary depending on a person's individual circumstances. However, as a general rule, students can expect to spend an average of $17-75 per month on meals.

How can you save on your food expenses?

Reducing your food expenses can be a tricky task. While the most affordable option would be to stop eating altogether, that is neither practical nor advisable. Instead, one way to cut costs is by preparing healthy, quick meals at home. Dining out can quickly eat into your budget, so cooking at home can be a cost-effective alternative. Though incorporating cooking into your daily routine may seem challenging at first, with practice, it can become more manageable and even enjoyable. If you're in need of some inspiration, our blog offers easy recipes for college students to try out.

2. Student Travel in Houston 

For students living near Houston, travel is one of their primary day-to-day activities, whether it's commuting from their student accommodation or exploring places around the universities. Luckily, Houston has an excellent public transportation system, with the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) being the primary transportation agency. Other options include I-610, State Highway 288, and the METROBus system.

1. The METRORail: It is a smooth and accessible transportation option within the heart of Houston. One-day pass costs around $3. The METROBus system offers local and park-and-ride services. The fare ranges from $2 to $4.50 depending on travel distance.

2. B-Cycle: It is a low-cost bike program which allows users to check out a bike. For 30 minutes, it costs around $3, whereas monthly subscriptions cost $13. Biking is a sustainable option that reduces traffic and air congestion. Maps of stations and other details are available on their website.

How can you save on travel costs?

If you're looking to save money on travel, there are several strategies you can use to cut costs. One of the most effective ways is to plan ahead. By booking your travel in advance, you can often find lower prices for transportation, such as flights, buses, or trains. Additionally, you can compare prices and find the best deals. Public transportation is usually more affordable than driving, taking taxis, or using ride-sharing services. Consider using buses, trains, or subways to get around. Many cities have public transportation systems that offer discounted passes or tickets, so be sure to check for these options.

3. Student accommodation costs‍

Houston is a vibrant city with several colleges and universities, which means that there are plenty of options for student accommodations in Houston. Renting student accommodation in Houston can be a daunting experience but don’t worry. We will make the process easier. When comparing student accommodations, it's important to consider factors like availability, cost, and location. In general, Houston has a good range of options for student accommodations, including on-campus dorms, off-campus apartments, homestays, and shared houses. Students usually prefer Houston apartments, though. Compared to London, where student accommodation is notoriously expensive, student accommodation in Houston offers more affordable options for students. The rent will decrease significantly as you move away from the campus. By taking advantage of the complimentary on-site facilities provided by amber, such as PBSA, such as internet, meals, laundry, fitness centre, and cleaning services, you can save a substantial amount of money.

How can you save on student accommodation costs?

To reduce your cost of living in Houston, choose affordable student accommodations, use public transportation, cook your meals, take advantage of free events and activities, and look for student discounts. These strategies require some planning and effort but can help you live comfortably in the city on a budget.

4. Utilities

When considering the cost of living in Houston tx, it's important to factor in the expenses for basic utilities, which are essential for maintaining a comfortable home. Depending on your location and usage, these utilities, including hot water, electricity, heating, and cooling, can range from approximately $165 per month. Additionally, if you require WiFi services, you may expect to pay around $72 per month, depending on the package you select.

How can you save on utilities?

Embracing minimalism can help you save a significant amount of money. By adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you can reduce your expenses while still prioritising your essential needs. Additionally, sharing a flat with friends can also be a cost-effective solution to reduce expenses such as utilities, which are typically charged per household rather than per individual. This way, you can split the cost and save money on these essential expenses.

5. Miscellaneous expenses

As a student, your miscellaneous expenses can have a substantial impact on your overall cost of living in Houston. These expenses may include things like a gym membership, shopping, sightseeing, attending museums, and going to athletic events. The actual amount you spend on these expenses may vary based on your individual choices and preferences. However, setting aside a rough estimate of around $50-$150 per month should be sufficient to cover these miscellaneous expenses.

How can you cut down on these expenses?‍

As a student living in Houston, you can save money on housing by choosing accommodation further from campus or by sharing a flat with roommates. You can also save on transportation costs by using public transportation like METRO or biking with the B-Cycle program. To save on food expenses, you can cook meals at home instead of eating out, buy groceries in bulk, and take advantage of student discounts. Additionally, adopting a minimalist lifestyle can significantly reduce your overall expenses. To save on utilities, try to use energy-efficient appliances and limit your consumption of water, electricity, heating, and cooling.

6. Tuition Fees

To begin with, the most significant expense you'll likely have is your tuition fees, which can vary based on the college and the program you've enrolled in.

University of Houston 

The University of Houston (UH) is a public research university located in Houston, Texas, USA. Founded in 1927, it is the third-largest university in Texas with over 47,000 students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The university offers over 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of fields, including business, engineering, education, nursing, social sciences, natural sciences, and the arts.

Rice University

Rice University is a private research university located in Houston, Texas, USA. It was founded in 1912 and is consistently ranked among the top 20 universities in the United States. Rice is known for its strong undergraduate programs in the sciences, engineering, humanities, and social sciences, as well as its graduate programs in business, architecture, and music. The campus is home to a number of notable research centres, including the Baker Institute for Public Policy and the BioScience Research Collaborative.

How can you save on tuition fees?

Tuition costs at schools are predetermined, but there are ways to reduce the overall cost if you choose to enrol in one. Applying for scholarships is an effective method to achieve this goal. To see if your university offers any scholarship opportunities, you can inquire with the institution. Additionally, you may also apply for government-sponsored scholarships. Houston offers some of the top scholarships. 

Types Of Scholarships In Houston

Some of the top scholarships in Houston are: 

  1. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to high school seniors in the Houston area who have demonstrated academic achievement, leadership, and community involvement. The scholarship is worth up to $20,000 and is renewable for up to four years. 
  2. Texas Grant: The Texas Grant is a need-based scholarship awarded by the state of Texas to eligible undergraduate students who are Texas residents. The scholarship provides up to $5,000 per year to cover tuition and fees at public colleges and universities in Texas.
  3. Houston Community College Foundation Scholarships: The Houston Community College Foundation offers a variety of scholarships to students enrolled at Houston Community College. The scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, financial need, and other factors.
  4. Rice Investment: Rice University's new financial aid initiative, which provides full-tuition scholarships to students from families with incomes up to $130,000 and partial-tuition scholarships to families with incomes up to $200,000.
  5. University of Houston Tier One Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to high-achieving students who have been admitted to the University of Houston. The scholarship provides up to $20,000 per year and is renewable for up to four years.

In conclusion, managing your expenses as a student in Houston is crucial to living a comfortable and stress-free life. Don't be afraid to be creative and try new things to save money, whether it's cooking at home, carpooling with friends, or taking advantage of student discounts. With a little bit of effort and planning, you can enjoy all that Houston has to offer without breaking the bank. Good luck and happy budgeting! 

Frequently Asked Questions

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Cost of Living in Houston: A Comprehensive Guide 2023
8 mins
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