Cost of Living in Boston : A Guide on Expected Expenses

6 minute read

Boston is the capital and most populous city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States. It is a city blending history and intellect with its cobblestone streets and renowned universities like Harvard and MIT. Thousands of students flock here every year considering the progressive subjects, sports, and job & entrepreneurial opportunities. However, beneath this academic excellence lies the real catch – the cost of living in Boston. In this blog, we’ll peel back the layers and navigate the realities of making it in this lively city. So let’s dive in!


Cost of Living in Boston

The cost of Living in Boston is all about determining everything you need to spend money on daily basis here. It includes housing rent, food costs, grocery costs, transportation costs, healthcare costs, the cost of fun activities and many more. Boston is generally considered to be expensive. Below is a approx estimation of cost of living in Boston. 

CategoryApprox Costs
A single person’s cost of living, including rentUSD 4506.21
Price of one-way ticket in a local transportUSD 2.40
Price of a meal at a modest restaurantUSD 25.00
Cost of basic utilities (including water, electricity, garbage, etc.)USD 205.66
Monthly rent for one bedroom apartment inside the city centreUSD 3,065.00

Also Read: Cost of Living in Madagascar: A Comprehensive Guide

Tips to save money in Boston

Cost of Transportation in Boston

Transportation in Boston includes local buses, trains, and taxis, which are usually cheaper than owning a car or bike. The average monthly cost of a transportation pass might affect the cost of living in Boston, but it is essential to consider. The table below shows the costs of transportation in Boston. 

Types of TransportationApprox Cost
One-way ticket in a local transport USD 2.40
The regular price of a monthly passUSD 90.00
Normal taxi per kmUSD 1.74
Gasoline (1 liter)USD 0.96

Cost of Meals & Groceries in Boston

Understanding the cost of meals and groceries in Boston is essential for estimating the overall cost of living in Boston. Groceries include crucial food items like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, water, milk, bread, and other consumables.

At the same time, dining out at nearby restaurants can be more expensive than cooking at home, you can prepare food on your own by buying these groceries. Meals and groceries cost the following in Boston.

ItemsApprox Cost
Meals at an in-expensive restaurantUSD 25.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)USD 12.00
Water (0.33 liter bottle)USD 2.46
1-liter milkUSD 1.26
Loaf of bread (500 gms)USD 4.46
1 kg riceUSD 6.19
Eggs (12)USD 4.94
Chicken fillets (1kg)USD 14.29
Fruits (1kg)USD 6.25

Accommodation Costs in Boston

The cost of housing rent in Boston depends on where you live and the type of apartment you prefer there. For instance, renting an apartment in a city area of Boston could cost much more than renting an apartment outside the city here. Accommodation costs constitute the major chunk of Cost of living in Boston. Let’s look at the approx costs below.

Types apartment and locationApprox Cost
1 bedroom apartment in City CentreUSD 3,065.00
1 bedroom apartment outside of CentreUSD 2,210.42
3 bedrooms apartment in the City CentreUSD 5,183.91
3 bedrooms apartment outside the CentreUSD 3,561.36

Cost of a Utility in Boston 

 In the cost of living budget in Boston, it is also important to consider the cost of utilities there. The basic utility costs in Boston is around USD 127 include things like electricity, water, gas, heating, and others. Understanding these utility costs and bills in Boston will help you manage your over all expenses. Please note that you can save money if you utilise the utility properly without wasting it. 

Average Tuition Fees in Boston

Understanding the average tuition fees at the universities of Boston is essential to planning a budget for the cost of education there. Moreover, it will help you decide where and which university you have to pursue your higher education. Moreover, it can impact yours’ access to education and financial well-being.

The annual tuition fees in the universities of Boston can vary depending on the degree, program or course you prefer. However, the average tuition fee in Boston is shown in the table below.

Type of CourseApprox Tuition Fee
UG tuition feesUSD 29,000 – USD 54,000
PG tuition feesUSD 45,000 – USD 56,000

Also Read: Cost of Living in Connecticut: Expected Expenses Guide

Why Choose Boston to Study Abroad?

Boston is an ideal place for pursuing higher education because it is home to 35 universities, most of which are renowned globally. It offers an exceptional range of advanced educational programmes and variety of courses along with the affordable cost of living in Boston. However, that’s not all. There are multiple other reasons why you should add Boston to your list of study-abroad countries.

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Boston is a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, with multiple thriving startups and numerous venture capital firms. The city is also home to many incubators such as MassChallenge and Techstars, providing support and resources to entrepreneurs. Further, in 2021, Boston ranked 4th in the Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report.

Extracurricular Activities

Boston has 20% population of college-goers. Therefore, there’s a lot in terms of extracurricular activities that the city offers. So whether you’re a sports enthusiast or an art lover, you can find something for yourself here.

Strong Transportation System

From beaches to mountains, subways can take you everywhere in this city. It is one of the very few places in the US where you do not need your own vehicle which is an excellent deal for students studying here.

Things to Know Before Moving to Boston

Moving to a new country like Boston is an exciting adventure but comes with challenges. It is crucial to consider some key factors, along with the average cost of living in Boston, to plan better and prepare for the transition. Now that you know the cost you’ll have to bear while living in Boston, let’s look at some of the other important things that you should know before you move to this city.

Weather Variation in Boston

Be prepared for diverse weather when moving to Boston. Summers are hot while winters in Boston are extremely cold and snowy. So don’t forget to pack clothes for layering and also throw in some warm winter coats!

Transportation Options in Boston

Familiarize yourself with Boston’s public transportation system, including buses and the “T”, which is the subway system in the city. Consider getting a CharlieCard for convenient and cost-effective travel.

Historical Significance

Explore Boston’s rich cultural landmarks such as the Freedom Trail. Understanding the background that the city has will surely add to your overall experience.

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Cost of Living in Brussels: A Guide on Expected ExpensesCost of Living in Hamburg: A Comprehensive Guide

FAQs on Cost of Living in Boston

Q 1. What is the Cost of Living in Boston?

Ans: A single person’s cost of living in Boston, including rent, is around USD 4506. and the cost of living for a family of four members is around USD 10,000. However, it may vary according to the living preferences of an individual.

Q 2. How expensive is living in Boston?

Ans: In comparison to the other cities, Boston is affordable. For a single person, the average cost of living in Boston is around USD 4506, which makes it possible to live life lightly without any tension.

Q3. Which historical sites should I explore in Boston?

Ans. Start with the Freedom Trail, visiting landmarks like the Boston Common, Paul Revere’s House, and the USS Constitution Museum.

Q4. Are there reputable universities in Boston?

Ans. Boston has some of the most prestigious universities like Harvard University, MIT, Boston University, and more offering diverse programs.

Q5. What is Boston “T”?

Ans. The Boston “T” is the subway system in the city. You can use it to travel around the city.

So, this was all about the cost of living in Boston. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad.  

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