Cost of Living in Hawaii | | I Love Moving

What Are the Things You Should Know About the Cost of Living in Hawaii

Posted Country Guides / December 28, 2020
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Moving internationally to one of the most isolated population centers in the world and the only US state in the tropics can be an adventure of a lifetime. However, before putting on your flip-flops and sunglasses, go over the cost of living in Hawaii and see just how much money you’ll need to stay there.

Relocating to Aloha State will put you in a place with diverse natural scenery, tropical climate, and oceanic surroundings but also in a location with high day-to-day costs. That’s why before hiring an international moving company to help you move, go over our guide and learn is it expensive to live in Hawaii, What is the cheapest place to live in Hawaii, and How much money do you need to live comfortably in Hawaii.

Guaranteed prices for International Moving. No hidden fees or surprises! GET A QUOTE

What Are the Things You Should Know Before Moving Internationally to HI

No matter if you are moving overseas or just across the border, you’re still settling in an unfamiliar location. Therefore, learning a bit about it can only speed up the whole adjusting to a new country process. Figuring out how to live abroad means understanding the culture, tradition, and the way locals spend time. That’s why there are things you should learn before becoming a Hawaiian:

  • Hawaii (HI) is the only island state of the US, and it consists of 137 islands,
  • Breaking the language barrier is something to think about. Even though immigrants speak German, French, and Italian, English is still the official language,
  • When moving across the world, you are bound to change time zones, and HI has its own, known as Hawaiian Standard Time,
  • HI is split into four counties.

Does Housing Play a Major Role in Overall High Expenses?

One of the first things on the moving checklist, besides gathering the necessary documents to travel abroad and figuring out how to acquire a work visa or a permit, should be finding the right accommodation. When you are moving abroad, there will be many unknowns, that’s why you should go over the average costs of housing in HI before house-hunting.

No matter where you are coming from, you’ll probably know that housing plays a major role in HI’s overall expenses. Data from the Neighborhood scout website shows that the median home value here is $672,430. Prices will, however, vary depending on the city you choose to settle in. If you don’t want to become a homeowner, renting is always an option, and it will knock, on average, $2,400 out of your pocket every month.

Honolulu vs Kahului vs Kailua-Kona – Which City Would Be the Best for You and Your Family

Are you relocating for love? Or maybe you are moving alone because you need a change of scenery? Perhaps you are looking for the best places to live abroad with the family. Whatever the reason, if you want to save up, you’ll have to find the answer to the question What is the cheapest place to live in Hawaii. HI can offer you a variety of different places you can call home. However, most expats flock to these locations:

  • Honolulu is the largest city in HI and its capital. It is also one of the best places to live abroad if you are pursuing knowledge because it is home to Honolulu Community College, Chaminade University, and many others. Honolulu is not only a tourist but also a large business and trading hub. If you want to settle here, know that the prices of rent are around $1,580 for a one-bedroom apartment. Furthermore, if you want to buy property, prices per square foot are around $510.
  • Kahului is for those that don’t want to stay in a tourist destination such as Honolulu. With around 26,300 residents, it has more than a few malls and beaches that keep locals entertained. If you are relocating to Hawaii with pets, Kahului might be the spot for you because there are plenty of friendly venues and open spaces you can take them to. According to data from the website Numbeo, the rent for a one-bedroom apartment here is $1,230, and if you are considering buying a place, you’ll need $770 per square foot.
  • Kailua-Kona is a tourist hub of the Big Island, and because of that, there are plenty of annual festivals. From the Coffee Festival to the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, there is something for everyone. If you are considering relocating to Kona, you’ll need $1,450 to rent a one-bedroom apartment per month.

When relocating internationally, there are many things to think about, from hiring an international moving company, shipping overseas to getting all of your affairs in order. Avoid making one of the most common relocation mistakes – rushing things, especially when it comes to finding a new home. To help you make an educated decision, we made a table comparing housing costs in these three cities so that you can figure out which one is the right one for you.

Location Renting Apartment (1 bedroom) Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment
Honolulu $1,580 $530
Kahului $1,290 $770
Kailua-Kona $1,600 $520

Is the Average Cost of Living in Hawaii Affected by Utilities and Groceries?

Figuring out how to live in another country means also calculating how much money you need to cover all of the expenses. Finding the answer to the question like what’s the cost of living in Hawaii wouldn’t be possible without going over the utility expense. Once you put everything down on paper, you will see that utilities in HI are higher than the national average. Additionally, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration, Hawaiians pay the highest energy bills in the US. Here you will need $168 for electricity, around $70 for natural gas, $70 for water, and $15 for trash and recycling. If you are wondering how to keep in touch with friends, the internet is the answer, and it will knock an additional $60 from your pocket every month.

Even with an abundant offer of tropical fruits, vegetables, and locally grown coffee, groceries in HI are not cheap. However, the amount of money you’ll need on a monthly basis will depend on your lifestyle and eating habits. If you prefer home-cooked meals, you might wonder how much is a gallon of milk in Hawaii or how much money you’ll need for broccoli, carrots, and other groceries. Data provided by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center shows that milk is around $7, while a pound of broccoli is 3.80, and a pound of carrots can be found for 1.60.

Dining out can also have a significant impact on your finances. Grabbing a breakfast will set you back for $7, while lunch can come up to $10. If you are up for dining out as well, be prepared to pay roughly $30 for a meal.

What Are Other Living Expenses in Hawaii You Should Consider

There is more than housing and utilities to think about when you are going over a budget. Your overall expenses in HI will depend on many factors. They can be higher or lower depending on things like the city you choose to stay in, lifestyle, and day-to-day habits.

Even before you settle down, you should figure out How much would it cost to move to Hawaii. To find out this, you need to call your chosen overseas shipping company and ask for a free relocation quote. The price of the move will depend not only on your location but also on the amount of stuff you are bringing.

Also, if you are considering shipping a car overseas, know that each island has its own network of highways and roads, and according to GasBuddy, the price of a gallon of gas is $3.60. If you want to use public transportation, there are limited bus options available. Buses cover more populated urban areas, and if you want to get a monthly pass, you’ll need around $70, while there is an option for an annual pass, and it is approximately $770.

What Are the Entertainment Expenses in HI

The Aloha State offers its residents plenty of free entertainment options, from breathtaking beaches to water sports, outdoor enthusiasts thrive here. However, when you want to have an indoor type of fun, consider catching a movie, stopping by the local bar, or hitting the gym. Here moviegoers will have to pay around $30 for two tickets, while gym rats will be set back for $70 every month.

How Do Taxes Affect the Cost of Living in Hawaii

As Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” With this in mind, don’t forget to write down tax expenses when creating a budget. Luckily, becoming a Hawaiian means you’ll be settling in a place that has some of the lowest property tax rates in the US. Here the average effective property tax rates are only 0.27%. Also, the Aloha State ranks among moderately friendly places to retire because it exempts public pension income from state taxes. However, it taxes incomes from private pension funds.

What Is the Average Income in HI

The US is among the best countries to live in, and that is mostly because it offers almost infinite employment opportunities, and HI is not an exception. Data from the website BestPlaces shows that the unemployment rate is 2.5% and that the recent job growth is positive. Between tourism as the largest industry that contributes around 24% of the gross state products and food-exporting, there are more than enough jobs.

However, when you start applying for work, you might wonder how much money do you need to live comfortably in Hawaii and what is the average salary. According to the website Payscale, the average income in HI is $65,000 a year. This amount will vary based on the industry, work experience, and entry-level. For example, project managers earn around $85,000 a year, while accountants have yearly incomes of roughly $51,000.

Is Becoming a Local Worth the Trouble of International Relocation

HI might seem like an expensive place to settle in, but in the end, it will be worth all the trouble. Not only will you most likely stay near the beach, but you will get to enjoy plenty of sunny days, fresh air, and vast open spaces.

However, tackling overseas relocation can be a tiresome task, but you don’t have to do it alone. Hire Hawaii international movers that offer packing services, as well as auto shipping ones. And while professionals are providing you with international moving services, you’ll have enough time to calculate your budget, find a new home and a job. When you are done with crunching numbers, you’ll know exactly how much should you make to live in Hawaii, and it will be easy to avoid dipping into your savings. Don’t hesitate to pack up your bags and relocate to HI, as soon as you unpack and start basking in the sun, it will all be worth the trouble.

Free Moving Estimate



        Get a Free Estimate Call: 855-879-6683