Welcome to Nashville, Tennessee—famous for its Southern climate, beautiful scenery, fun things to do, and earned title of “Music City.” If you’re moving here from an expensive part of the country, you’ll be glad to know we also have a lower cost of living than many other metropolitan areas: 57% lower than New York, 32% lower than Los Angeles, and 13% lower than Denver.
Depending on where you’re moving from, your budget may change in any number of ways once you’re living as a true Nashville local. Here are some Nashville-specific expenses to plan for.
Nashville Cost of Living Basics: Utilities
If you’re coming from up north, you can say goodbye to long winters of expensive heating bills, and hello to a warmer climate. The average low temperature in January is barely below freezing (30.6 degrees Fahrenheit); average annual snowfall, less than three inches over a total of 14 days. (No more fuel or repair expenses for snow blowers.)
The not-so-good news for those coming from cold or dry regions: your air conditioning bills may skyrocket! Average humidity levels are 72–78%; average summer-afternoon temperatures, in the high eighties Fahrenheit. To reduce cooling bills, choose a home that’s well ventilated and well insulated. (You’ll also appreciate having insulation on the occasional frigid winter day.)
Average annual utility expenses in Nashville: 90% of total U. S. average
If public transportation is important to you, Nashville has an excellent system. However, if you’re coming from Manhattan Island or somewhere else with a highly compact layout, don’t expect to find everything quite as accessible: you’ll probably be driving your own car more regularly, so allow extra expenses for fuel and maintenance. Be sure to factor these into your calculated cost of living in Nashville. (Note for anyone buying a car for the first time: slightly used vehicles a year or two old, purchased outright rather than leased, offer the most value for your investment.)
Plan on saving some of your weekends (and gas budget) for cruising the famous Natchez Trace Parkway and other scenic routes, especially when fall colors are at their peak.
Average annual transportation expenses in Nashville: 100% of total U. S. average
Thanks to a mild climate and abundant parkland, Nashville abounds in options for outdoor (read: low-cost) recreation. But plan on saving a fair share of your time and budget for our many excellent restaurants and, of course, famous music venues. Check the city website for specifics—including up-to-date information on COVID-19 precautions.
Average annual total cost of living in Nashville: 97% of total U. S. average
Quick Budget Tips for the Cost of Living in Nashville
In Nashville or anywhere else, tossing money about on impulse is the definition of foolishness: even “little” expenses add up quickly when they become daily expenses. If you’ve never kept an organized budget before, moving season (the time of fresh starts) is the perfect time to begin.
Basic hints for mastering your spending before it masters you:
- Pay your full credit card balance every month; with any other approach, interest charges will eat your budget alive. If your balance is already beyond the possibility of quick in-full payment, cut your expenses in other areas and budget a large monthly payment to clear that balance as soon as possible.
- Consider using credit-company-backed bank-account cards instead of “credit” cards: bank cards generate less temptation to spend money you don’t yet have.
- Put 10% of your income into “in case of emergency” savings. And remember that “this week only” sales are not emergencies.
- Don’t hesitate to comparison-shop or choose “cheap” options. You can get a delicious cup of coffee at McDonald’s for less than half the Starbucks price.
- Save gas and time by scheduling all your errands on the same day.
- Consider having your groceries delivered: besides saving driving expenses and time, it could reduce your food bill by reducing impulse purchases.
- Remember that it’s not expensive labels or “what everyone else has” that makes things worth the money: be certain you’re investing in things that suit your taste and interests.
Professional Movers Are Worth the Money
Especially if you’re going any distance, professional moving services shouldn’t be an optional budget item. Doing it yourself can cost you extra in multiple areas:
- Packing supplies
- Dollies and other specialized equipment
- Extra time spent planning, organizing, and hauling
- Injuries from lifting heavy furniture
- Renting an extra vehicle—or driving a dangerously overloaded one, or needing extra gas to make multiple trips
- Full responsibility for preventing breakage, loss, or theft, plus dealing with insurance and replacement if anything goes wrong
If Nashville is your destination, Fox Moving & Storage is your professional moving service. We have over 13 years’ experience helping individuals and businesses relocate, and we pride ourselves on giving back to our community. For a free quote, contact us at 615-965-5640 or online.