If you’re planning to move to another city for employment opportunities, quality education, or permanent residency, California and Virginia are two great options. However, it would be best to consider the cost of living before making any decision. So what’s the cost of living in California and Virginia?
The average cost of living for an individual in California and Virginia is $46,636 and $42,757, respectively. While the former is considered the third-most expensive state in the US, the latter is neither expensive nor cheap. The popular choice between the two is down to preference and income.
If you want to know the breakdown of these costs, this post is for you. Here, we’ll evaluate the necessary expenses of day-to-day living in California and Virginia.
Cost of Living in California and Virginia
According to MERIC, California (139.7) and Virginia (102.7) are two of the states with a cost of living index that’s higher than the national average (100). This means both states are expensive to live in, but one is more affordable than the other. This high cost is seen in how much people pay for housing, feeding, healthcare, utility, transport, taxes, and other day-to-day living expenses.
For you to choose a place to relocate to between California and Virginia, you’ll have to know how these living expenses differ in both states. This allows you to choose a place with expenses within your monthly and annual budget. Below is a comparative highlight of the cost of living in California and Virginia.
Housing Cost in California Vs. Virginia
The cost of housing is one of the most fundamental things to determine before moving to a location. It’s the biggest expense because it takes a chunk of people’s budgets compared to other expenses. While this price varies from one location to another, noting the average cost of housing and rent gives you an idea of what to expect.
The median housing price in California is $600,000, while it’s $373 341 in Virginia. If you’re interested in renting an apartment, the average monthly housing cost is $1,248 – $2,357 in California, while it’s $1,172 – $1,799 in Virginia. A closer look at these costs shows that the cost in Virginia is almost on par with the national average, while the cost in California is way above the national average.
Feeding Cost in California Vs. Virginia
Whether you’re going to California or Virginia, you have to eat. As such, you must figure out the cost of feeding in both states. While this cost mainly depends on how much you eat, your age, and the price of food where you are, it’s not impossible to determine how much feeding costs.
According to the provisions of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average cost an individual spends on feeding per month in California is $302.50, which is higher than $295 in Virginia. Furthermore, according to the latest cost of living index by states in the US, the index for feeding in California is 113.7, which is higher than in Virginia, which is 95.2.
Healthcare Cost in California Vs. Virginia
Apart from those with underlying health conditions, the probability that you could go a long time without being ill is as high as falling ill within a short period. Hence, it would help if you had healthcare insurance which comes at a cost. The coverage you opt for and your healthcare needs in a particular state determine how much expenses you’ll incur on healthcare.
In California, the average cost of healthcare for a person per annum is $7,638, while it’s $6,361 for a person in Virginia. Unfortunately, as you’re probably aware, this cost isn’t fixed, so you’ll need further research to discover how much fits your care needs.
Cost of Utilities in California Vs. Virginia
Utility cost cuts across expenses on electricity, gas, water, cable, and internet, among others. Unfortunately, it also takes a big part of the budget, irrespective of the location you’re moving to. As much as there are ways to cut down this cost, there’s an average amount to look forward to paying.
In California, the average cost of utility per month is $375, a breakdown of which is electricity ($117), gas ($63), cable/internet ($118), and water ($77). On the other hand, the average utility cost in Virginia per month is $392, which is slightly higher than in California. The estimated breakdown is electricity ($132), cable/internet ($119), gas ($105), water ($36).
Cost of Transportation in California Vs. Virginia
As functional as public transportation is in the US, many people prefer commuting in their vehicles. While there’s no harm in also doing that, you must consider the cost implications. The average transportation cost per year in Virginia is between $5,113 – $13,896, while it’s between $4,900 – $13,317 in California.
Taxes in California vs. Virginia
Like every other US state, California and Virginia residents pay taxes. And according to a report by Tax Foundation, the highest tax rate in California is 13.3%, while it’s 5.75% in Virginia.
Miscellaneous Expenses in California vs. Virginia
As you’re aware that expenses go beyond essential needs, there are other things we spend on. These fall under the miscellaneous category, and according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the miscellaneous cost in California per individual amounts to $25,138 yearly. In contrast, it amounts to $23,537 yearly for an individual in Virginia.
California vs. Virginia Cost of Living
From the brief highlights of living expenses in California and Virginia, it’s obvious that the cost of living in California is 8.5% higher than that in Virginia. In other words, you’ll need more money to live comfortably in California than in Virginia. So whatever you do, you must consider the cost for both states before relocating.
While the abovementioned factors are typical expenses that affect living costs in California and Virginia, other things influence people’s decisions. You can do research that aligns with what you want in a state to make the best choice between the two. Good luck.