The Cost of Living in Salt Lake City, Utah: Are You Financially Ready?

Salt Lake City, Utah Skyline
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Most aspiring homeowners dream of moving to a city with a great atmosphere, a friendly community, and a booming economy. For many people, Salt Lake City, Utah, fits the bill.

Utah has consistently ranked among the top states for business, partly thanks to its diverse economy with thriving industries such as technology, healthcare, and outdoor recreation.

However, before making the big move, it’s essential to understand the cost of living in Salt Lake City. While it’s generally affordable compared to other states, you still need to know what to expect when it comes to housing, transportation, and other living expenses.

Learn the cost of living in Utah and other pertinent details in this infographic if you plan to move there.

Average cost of living in Salt Lake City, Utah

One of the most enticing aspects of living in Utah is its low cost of living. Here are some statistics that highlight the benefits of residing in the state.

Of the 50 U.S. states,Utah ranks 30th for the lowest living costs.

Utah boasts a relatively low cost of living compared to other states. Several factors, including a low state tax rate, energy costs, and an affordable housing market, contribute to this.

Utah’s per capita personal consumption expenditure (PCE) amounted to $47,653 in 2021.

PCE measures the amount individuals and households spend on goods and services within a specific region. Food, accommodations, healthcare, vehicles, and recreational goods constitute this list, among other things.

At $47,653 in 2021, Utah’s PCE is slightly lower than the U.S. per capita average of $47,915. Moreover, the state’s PCE increased by 16.3% from 2020 to 2021, which indicates economic growth.

The state’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 6.41% between 2022 and 2023.

The moderate increase in CPI signals a healthy economy and that inflation in the state is still under control.

Housing costs in Salt Lake City, Utah

After living costs, the next most pertinent detail about moving to a new city is how much you need to buy or rent a home. The following numbers give you insights into the city’s housing costs.

From 2017 to 2021, the median value of owner-occupied housing units was $380,200.

The median or midpoint value of the prices of all the homes that owners occupy in Utah is $380,200, significantly higher than the national average of $244,900.

The price point means you can enjoy an improved quality of life and higher property values if you want to enter the real estate market. However, this also means that the cost of entry is significantly higher than in other states.

The median gross rent in Utah is $1,141 between 2017 and 2021.

Salt Lake City, Utah, has comparatively lower rent costs than other states for several reasons. One of the main reasons is its strong economic standing. With the state boasting low unemployment rates and a growing population, these factors stabilize rent prices and prevent them from rising too fast.

In the same timeframe, Utah’s median-selected monthly owner costs with and without a mortgage were $1,739 and $522, respectively.

Median-selected monthly owner costs are the total payments associated with home ownership. On average, Utah homeowners with a mortgage pay $1,739, slightly higher than the national average of $1,697. However, those without a mortgage pay $522 on average, less than the nation’s $538.

Cost of groceries in Salt Lake City, Utah

Essentials like food and toiletries can be costly, so it’s crucial to be familiar with the average cost of groceries. Here are some essential statistics regarding grocery costs in the state.

Utah has a slightly higher grocery CPI at 100.2 than the national average.

The United States national grocery CPI average is 100, which puts Utah only 0.2% above it. To better interpret this data, compare your home state’s grocery CPI against Utah’s and see where the prices are more favorable to you.

The monthly recommend amount for food per person is $341.42.

This amount can cover 31 days of meals for one Utah resident. This is lower compared to the average national amount of $402.31.

Transportation costs in Salt Lake City, Utah

A massive chunk of a person’s life is spent traveling, making it crucial to know what you’re dealing with if you plan to move to a new place. Let’s discuss some figures associated with Utah’s transportation.

Salt Lake City‘s estimated transportation cost is $5,316 per adult.

The estimated transportation cost in Salt Lake City is as follows:

  • One adult: $5,316
  • Two adults, one child: $11,691
  • Two adults, three children: $$15,073

These costs include getting a used car, auto insurance, gas, auto maintenance, and public transportation. It’s a good thing that Salt Lake City also has a decent walkability score and is very bikeable; hence, you can complete some errands without using automobiles.

Apart from that, its robust public transportation network of roads, buses, light rail, and commuter rail ensures you have many low-cost transportation options.

Utah’s transportation CPI is higher than the national average of 100.

The state’s transportation CPI is currently at 100.8, marginally higher than the country’s average. Compare this figure against your home state’s CPI so that you can adjust your transportation budget before moving to Salt Lake City.

Utility costs in Salt Lake City, Utah

Here are some statistics concerning the average cost of utilities in Utah.

Utah’s utilities are at 92.3, slightly below the national average.

The state’s diverse mix of energy sources like hydroelectric, wind, and solar energy makes it possible to have lower utility costs than other locations in the United States.

State residents only pay $1,452 annually for electricity.

This price places Utah’s electric bill below the national average of $2,369. One of the main reasons for this low cost is having energy-efficient infrastructures and access to renewable energy that powers the city.

Healthcare costs in Salt Lake City, Utah

If you’re looking for affordable medical care, Utah is a location you should strongly consider. Here are some statistics regarding Utah’s healthcare costs.

Utah’s healthcare costs rate is at 91.9, putting it significantly below the national average.

The state is only behind Hawaii, ranking second among the country’s healthiest populations, resulting in lower healthcare costs.

The average adult Utah resident only spends $2,980 on healthcare.

On average, the cost of seeking medical care for two adults and one child is $9,646, well below the national average of $12,900. This accounts for health insurance costs, medical services, medicines, and supplies. Of course, actual expenses will depend on your needs and circumstances.

Taxes in Salt Lake City, Utah

Utah is one of the most tax-friendly states you can live in, and the following facts outline why.

Residents pay a flat income tax rate of only 4.85%

Utah has a flat income tax rate of 4.85%. This rate applies to individuals and married couples filing jointly and bases income tax on federal adjusted gross income with a few modifications. The state’s flat tax rate is relatively low compared to other states with a flat tax rate.

For entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals, there are many more intricacies regarding taxes. Consulting with a CPA and a tax strategist will be well worth it to ensure you get every last penny out of your hard-earned money.

The average per capita collection in Utah is $1,999.

Utah also has lower-than-average sales and property tax rates. As a result, the total tax revenue collected per person may be lower in Utah compared to other states. The lower per capita collection results in a much lower tax burden for residents.

How to reduce your living costs

A move to a new city can be daunting since it involves so much planning, especially financially. As such, you should look for ways to cut expenses if you plan to move to a new place like Utah. Here are some actionable tips to help you reduce living costs.

Create a budget and evaluate grocery spending

This method involves reviewing your grocery expenses and creating a budget. To save money on food, try bulk buying, meal planning, and purchasing generic brands.

Move to a neighborhood with a lower cost of living

Relocating to a less expensive town within Salt Lake City can help reduce living costs. You can cut down on housing, transportation, and other expenses such as food and entertainment.

Cancel unnecessary or unused subscriptions

With the subscription model becoming prominent nowadays, it can be easy to lose track of them and forget what you’re paying for. To avoid any surprise monthly expenses, take the time to review monthly subscriptions and cancel any services you don’t need or use, such as streaming services or gym membership.

Switch to an electric car to decrease gas usage

Gas is costly, but it’s essential in powering your vehicle. Switching to an electric car is a way to cut down or even eliminate gas usage. In Utah, the annual running cost of an electric car is $819 less than operating a gas-powered vehicle.

Buy generic medicine when possible

The price of medicines can hinge on their name’s value, making branded treatments more expensive. On the other hand, purchasing generic medicine brands is an inexpensive alternative that boasts the same effect minus the hefty price tag.

Use solar power to cut down your electricity bill

As mentioned, solar energy has become increasingly popular in Utah, and it’s a good time to invest in solar-producing technology. Installing solar panels can help reduce electricity costs as the installation produces energy by siphoning it off the sun’s radiation.

According to research, you can save as much as $20,745 on electricity over a 20-year window. Not only are you saving money, but you’re also contributing to preserving nature.

Find cheaper insurance policies

Shopping for cheaper insurance rates, bundling policies, increasing deductibles, and other strategies can help reduce insurance costs.

More affordable insurance involves reducing the risk level the insurance company takes. Insurance companies determine insurance premiums’ price based on the risk of insuring a particular individual or asset. If you or your assets are deemed high risk, the insurance premiums will be higher.

Pay off debts in full to reduce interest expenses

While you can pay the minimum amount, additional payments are better. Paying more than the recommended amount reduces overall interest charges and improves credit scores.

Consolidate your debts to get more favorable terms

Debt consolidation, such as credit card balances, into a single loan with a lower interest rate can help simplify finances and reduce overall debt payments.

A one-way ticket to Salt Lake City, Utah

Utah is a great state to move to if you’re searching for a place with a good job market, stellar economy, and virtually limitless access to nature and recreation. Aside from these perks, moving to Utah is a sound financial decision. Knowing the cost of living in the state by using this resource is a step forward to achieving your dream.

To ensure your finances are in good hands, consider working with a professional wealth coach from TenCap. At TenCap, we work with our high-net-worth customers to achieve a distinct level of clarity and understanding regarding their assets and future. Through empowered financial planning and education, we foster confident investors.

Contact us today and schedule a TenCap wealth coaching session today!

Photo of Nick Carrigan
Nick Carrigan
Wealth Advisor

Nick trains and develops families in creating, maintaining, and growing wealth. This includes educating clients on the science and academics of investing, comprehensive financial planning, and ongoing coaching to ensure discipline for a lifetime. Nick has seen this create incredible levels of freedom, fulfillment, and love for the families he works with.

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