What is Cost of Living?
Cost of living is the amount of money one needs to be able to maintain a particular standard of living in given location, such as your current city, state, or country of residence or that which you are interested in relocating to. It is a useful form of measurement, especially for those who are planning to move to a new location, as it provides a credible basis for estimating how your change of residence would affect your budget.
To calculate the cost of living in a particular location, agencies look at the prices of a representative sample of goods and services then assess how each of these would affect a person’s annual budget. The price of each item is weighted according to its importance to a typical family’s budget. For example, although the price of milk is lower than that of a pair of jeans, the cumulative price of all the bottles of milk bought within a span of one year would be higher than money spent on all the pairs of jeans that you would have bought simply because people, in general, consume this grocery item on a regular basis and would buy more of it than any piece of clothing.
The cost of living index shows the percentage difference in the cost of living of the primary location and of the other location/s that are being compared to it. The values of the primary location are fixed at 100, while the values for the other location/s being compared to it would be higher or lower than 100, depending on whether the prices of the expenses there are more expensive or cheaper than those in the primary location.
2019 Cost of Living Index in Charlottesville, VA
Planning to move to the city of Charlottesville, VA? If so, then it would be best for you to learn about the cost of living in this area and see if you can afford to live here. The table below, showing the most recent cost of living indexes for Charlottesville, the state of Virginia, and the United States, will help you assess how this imminent relocation will affect your finances. In this table, the primary location is the United States, so all of the values under this are constant at 100, while the values under Charlottesville and Virginia would be higher, lower, or equal to 100, based on the actual values of the basic expenses in these locations.
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From this table, you can see that the overall cost of living index in Charlottesville, Virginia is 118.9 –5.1 points higher than the state’s index at 113.8 and 18.9 points higher than that of the country. What this means is, on average, Charlottesville residents are paying 5.1% more on basic expenses relative to the rest of the state and almost 19% more compared to the rest of the United States. This table also allows you to quickly determine which expense is the most expensive in Charlottesville–housing at 155.5–and which ones are cheaper–transportation at 81.3 and groceries at 93.4.
Cost of Goods and Services in Charlottesville, VA
You’ll be happy to know that most services in Charlottesville, VA cost lower compared to the national averages. A standard haircut for men in the expat area of the city costs around $17, $3 lower than the national average which is $20. A couple of movie tickets would cost $24, slightly lower than the average cost of $25 on the national level. The average monthly gym membership fee here, though is $81, significantly higher than the national average of $51. The average prices for basic toiletries, such as shampoos, toilet paper, and toothpaste are just about the same as the average costs on the national level, at $5.41, $2.79, and $2.14, respectively.
Charlottesville, VA Housing Costs
Rent in Charlottesville costs less compared to the national average, which ranges from $1,099 to $2,049. The monthly rent for a furnished 45-square-meter studio apartment ranges from $791 to $1,111; while the monthly rent for a furnished 85-square-meter apartment would cost about $1,209 to $1,531. Buying a house, however, is more expensive in this city. While the median home cost in the country is at $216,200, homebuyers in Charlottesville would have to save a bit more as the median price here is $290,800.
Utility Costs in Charlottesville, VA
Average cost of basic utilities for an 85-square-meter apartment, including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage, is $136.12. Internet fees average $68.09.
Cost of Food and Groceries in Charlottesville, VA
If you are fond of preparing your meals at home, good news – grocery items in Charlottesville cost less than the US average. You can buy a kilo of white rice at $3.40 (national average is $3.88), a dozen eggs at $2.25 (national average is $2.27), and a kilo of beef round at $11.23 (national average is $11.40). A liter of regular milk costs $0.80 (national average is $0.82) and a kilo of apples, $3.31 (national average is $4.35).
Dining out in this city is generally more expensive. The average bill for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant is $15 (national average is $14) and a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant would cost around $60 (national average is $50). The price of a combo meal at a fast food place, though, is the same as the national average, at $7.
Transportation Costs in Charlottesville, VA
The cost of a liter (1/4 gallon) of gas in Charlottesville is $0.59. For commuters, the monthly rate for a public transport ticket is $23, and an 8-kilometer taxi ride during a business day would cost roughly $19.
Taxes in Virginia
Tax rates in the state of Virginia range from 2% to 5.75%. State sales and use tax rate is 4.3% and there is an additional 1% local tax, for a total of a 5.3% cumulative sales tax on most purchases. No state property tax is imposed in this state; this is set and collected at the local government level.
Moving to Charlottesville, VA
If you are contemplating on moving to Charlottesville, it is in your best interest to compare the cost of living in your current city with that of Charlottesville, so you can see how the move to this city would affect your budget. And, if you are considering buying a home in the Charlottesville area, there are some wonderful options we can assist you with. Please feel free to give me a call at (434) 960-0161 or email me at Pam@PamDent.com.