So, You Want to Live in Paradise?
The Cost Of Living In Hawaii 2018
As a local in Hawaii, one of the most common questions we get asked all the time is “How much is a gallon of milk?” or “how much does gas cost there?” Sometimes people actually ask us if there are even cars in Hawaii, I’m being dead serious. So we did our research and wrote this article. But it’s important to note that even though these prices are very high, what people are often not told is that the salary is much lower here than on the mainland. Meaning, if you have a nice cushy job in NYC making $90k a year, don’t expect to come to Hawaii and get the same salary. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. It’s usually a BIG pay cut in salary. We don’t want to scare you with facts but I think this article is important to know what to expect if you are thinking of moving to Hawaii, you may want to first consider the cost of living in paradise.
Most people are aware that Oahu real estate prices are through the roof. According to Expatistan, the average rent for a 900 square foot apartment is $2,168! This doesn’t include utilities, which can average $250 per month for two people. If you want to own a piece of the rock, get ready for a healthy monthly payment. With the median price of a single-family home at $795k (up 35k since January 2018!), would-be buyers must have good cash reserves and income to purchase a home in Hawaii.
A recent article in Hawaii News Now describes that a family of 4 making 93K a year is now considered low income. As of January 2018, the minimum wage is now $10.10 but workers need to actually earn $36.13/hr — to afford a basic two-bedroom apartment in Honolulu. If you are someone who likes to eat, you better budget enough to cover our high cost of groceries. Bread for just 2 people for one day is $3.41. Eating out? Consider that a basic dinner for two in a casual restaurant will cost an average of $57.00. A simple night at the movies will cost $27 and that is just for two tickets. Don’t get us started on the price of popcorn! Everything in Hawaii costs more – transportation, personal care, and clothing. So, what is cheaper in paradise? Blue skies, clean air, gentle trades, and rolling surf come at no cost. Our people, our culture, and our aloha spirit are free and more than enough to offset the high cost of paradise for those who call Hawaii home. For a detailed list of the cost of living in the islands, see below…..
In our next article, we’ll describe what it was like for a young married couple to move from South Carolina in 2016 to Hawaii and their struggle to financially deal with the higher cost of living in paradise.