How Much Does It Cost? A Quick Guide To The Cost Of Living In Chicago

Living in Chicago can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but like any major city, it comes with its own unique set of challenges.



Living in Chicago can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but like any major city, it comes with its own unique set of challenges. One of the biggest concerns that people considering a move to Chicago often have is the cost of living. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the factors that contribute to the overall cost of living in Chicago, as well as some tips on how to manage those costs.


One of the biggest expenses for anyone living in Chicago is housing. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city is around $1,500 per month, and prices can go up from there for larger units or more desirable neighborhoods. If you’re considering buying a home in Chicago, the median home price in the city is around $270,000, although prices can vary widely depending on the location.


Chicago has a robust public transportation system that includes buses, subway and elevated trains, and commuter rail lines. The cost of a monthly pass for unlimited rides on the city’s trains and buses is around $105. 

If you prefer to drive, be prepared for the high cost of parking; the average cost of monthly parking in downtown Chicago is around $300. Vehicle owners in Chicago are also required to purchase a city sticker that can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 annually, depending on your vehicle type.

Food and Entertainment

Chicago is known for its food scene, and residents can take advantage of a wide variety of dining options at all price points. A meal at a mid-range restaurant will typically cost around $20-30 per person, while a fancy night out can run upwards of $100 per person.

Entertainment options in Chicago are also plentiful, from world-class museums to live music venues and comedy clubs. Be prepared to spend anywhere from $10-50 for admission to most attractions, with some higher-end events costing even more.


The cost of utilities in Chicago can add up quickly, especially during the winter months when heating bills can skyrocket. Expect to pay around $100 per month for electricity and gas, and another $50-75 for water/sewage. For renters, the cost of water is hidden in the rent cost since property owners are solely responsible for the water and sewer bills.

Other Expenses

There are plenty of other expenses to consider when living in Chicago, including internet/cable service, insurance, and healthcare. Be sure to factor these costs into your budget when planning your move.

Overall, the cost of living in Chicago can be high, but it’s important to remember that there are many ways to minimize those costs. Compared to other major cities, especially those on the coasts, Chicago is relatively affordable, but by no means is it cheap. By doing your research, shopping around, and being mindful of your spending, you can enjoy everything this great city has to offer without breaking the bank.