Kansas City Living

A Detailed Guide for the Exact Kansas Cost of Living [2022]

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Our Guide to Kansas Cost of Living in 2022

You may be surprised to find that Kansas is a location where many people choose to move. In fact, Zillow named Prairie Village, KS as the most popular city in 2022! U-Haul’s 2020 rankings of states by migration growth found Kansas to be ranked as the 21st most popular national destination, ranking ahead of places like New York, Illinois, and Chicago.

Photo by Briana Tozour

Living in Kansas

The most common sources of new residents for Kansas are Missouri, Texas, Colorado, and California. If you are thinking about moving to the beautiful rolling plains of Kansas or the vibrant metropolitan area of Kansas City, you are probably wondering about the cost of living. Let’s take a look at what you may spend to live in Kansas. 

Kansas Housing Costs 

The most expensive factor in cost of living is typically housing costs. Zillow calculates that a typical Kansas home has a median cost of $192,747. Thus, homes in Kansas are quite affordable when compared to the national median cost of $320,662. That’s nearly 40% cheaper! However, housing costs in Kansas are increasing, posting a year over year change of 14.8% in 2021. 

Kansas Home Prices

Since many people move to cities in Kansas, it is also important to consider the median housing costs in these areas, which vary from state medians. The median housing cost in Kansas’ three largest cities is $169,545 in Wichita, $264,395 for Kansas City, and $165,565 in Topeka. Note that these costs are for metro areas and the third and fourth most populous cities (Olathe and Overland Park) were excluded since they are also in the Kansas City metro area.  

Kansas Monthly Rent

For many people, choosing to rent can make the cost of living even more affordable. Kansas’ average fair market rent cost for a 2-bedroom is $757. However, this can have a wide range as the average fair market rent for a 2-bedroom in Wyandotte County (Kansas City, KS) is $1,021. 

Thus, using a 30-year mortgage at the current Kansas median housing cost, a monthly payment would be $951 while rent would be an average of $757. 

Kansas Cost of Utilities

The cost of utilities in Kansas is fairly moderate, with its average monthly bill of $312 ranking as 20th most expensive in the nation. 

Your largest utility expenditure is likely to be electric at an average of $115. This is closely followed by natural gas at $160. Cable is benchmarked at $45 while water averages $26 and internet $20. In fact, water is 13th cheapest in the nation and internet is tied with several other states as the cheapest. 

Obviously, utilities can range quite a bit depending on factors such as the size of your home, the efficiency of HVAC units and other appliances, and the types of services selected for cable and internet. However, this provides a guide to average costs for each. 

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Kansas Food Expenses

Food costs are notoriously difficult to predict due to a number of factors such as variation within a state and, most notably, personal eating habits. For this estimate, Move’s average cost of food article was referenced. 

Food Budget for Family

This article calculated food costs for each state based upon the average cost of purchasing groceries in the state’s largest city. In Kansas, this cost was calculated for Wichita. This only entailed calculating the cost for groceries and not things like dining at restaurants. 

Kansas’ monthly average food cost was $261.35 per person, placing it as the second least expensive amount in the United States. In fact, only New Hampshire had a lower cost. For a two person household, this amounts to approximately $522 per month. 

Kansas Healthcare Costs

When calculating the cost of living, health care is definitely something that you want to take into account as these costs have risen at historically high rates over recent decades. While many factors influence pricing, various state laws that govern healthcare services can have major implications on the price from one state to another. 

Healthcare Prices for Single Person and Family

The average monthly health care premium in Kansas is $491, an amount 8.6% higher than the national average of $452. Thus, you can anticipate paying a bit more for health insurance in Kansas. However, this amount may be lower depending on your health plan or if your employer pays a large portion of your premium. 

Please note that this estimate refers only to purchasing health insurance. Actual costs for receiving health care would vary considerably from person to person depending on what care is needed and the specifics of a health insurance plan. 

Living in Kansas – State Taxes

Income tax in Kansas is calculated on a simplified progressive system that includes three brackets ranging from 3.1% to 5.7%. The median household income in Kansas was $62,087 in 2019, the most recent year on record. For a two person household, this translates to a tax bill of $2,624, roughly $219 per month.  

Kansas Average Property Taxes

Considering state taxes also means taking a look at property tax costs for those who own a home (renters, you are safe here!). In Kansas, the average effective property tax rate is 1.37%, which is 28% higher than the national average of 1.07%. For the median home in Kansas, this translates to an annual cost of $2,641, or a monthly cost of roughly $220.

Kansas Transportation Prices

To calculate the cost of transportation, we need to figure the amounts spent on gasoline and car insurance. The U.S. Department of Transportation notes that the average American drives 1,123 miles per month. Combine this with the fact that the average fuel economy of a light duty vehicle is 25.7 miles per gallon and you get 43.7 gallons of gasoline consumed each month by a typical American. 

What to Expect in the Midwest

In early 2022, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in Kansas was $3.169, putting the state seventh nationally and 8.6% cheaper than the national average of $3.469. Over the course of 43.7 monthly gallons this yields a per vehicle cost of $138. For a two-vehicle household, the monthly expenditure is estimated at $276. 

Kansas Overall Cost of Insurance

Car insurance is much easier to calculate, but could also vary quite widely based upon the vehicles being insured and factors like a person’s driving record. However, Insurify notes that Kansas’ average monthly insurance premium is $199 per vehicle, a figure 15% cheaper than the national average premium of $234. A household with two vehicles would pay $398. 

Kansas Cost of Living – Overall Cost

When looking at the total cost of living for major cities in Kansas, the figures stack up as the following:

  • Housing prices – $951 to own and $757 to rent
  • Utilities – $312
  • Food – $522
  • Healthcare – $491
  • Kansas Taxes – $439 ($219 for renters)
  • Transportation Costs – $674

Kansas Detailed Cost

In other words, the average cost of living for Kansas in 2022 is $3,389 for homeowners or $2,975 for renters. This accounts for essential expenses with no money left over for discretionary things. Obviously, calculating needed income involves considering other factors as well. 

Kansas Living Indices

One popular method of estimating the needed salary to live somewhere is the 50-30-20 rule of savings, which states that 50% of your income should go towards essential expenses (i.e. cost of living) while 30% goes to discretionary spending an 20% savings. 

Kansas Economic Analysis

Using this rule, the minimum income for a two-person household in Kansas would be $81,336 for homeowners or $71,400 for renters. There are certainly more affordable and less affordable places within the state to reside, but this illustrates the average cost of living. 

Photo by Briana Tozour

How Does Living in Kansas Compare to Other Cities?

From metropolitan areas to rural areas, living in Kansas has a lot to offer. Whether you are a single adult or family major Kansas cities often beat the national average for the cost of living. Kansas compared to another populous city generally beats the US average. The Kansas City metro has some of the best sports in the country, amazing community, quick transportation and great healthcare options. If you decide living in Kansas is the next move for you, don’t hesitate to reach out! We would love to help you find your Kansas City home.

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