Soldier to Soldier Hawaii

“Living in Paradise: How Far Does $100,000 Go in Hawaii


“Living in Paradise: How Far Does $100,000 Go in Hawaii After Basic Expenses?”

Hawaii, known worldwide as a tropical paradise, is also notorious for its high cost of living. The appeal of year-round warm weather, picturesque beaches, and a unique blend of cultures comes at a price. This article examines how far a $100,000 income can stretch in Hawaii after basic expenses.

  1. Housing: Housing is often the most significant expense in Hawaii, which consistently ranks among the most expensive states for home prices and rentals in the U.S. As of 2021, the median home price on Oahu was over $800,000, and a two-bedroom rental in Honolulu could easily cost $2,000 per month or more. Given these costs, housing is likely to consume a significant portion of your $100,000 income, especially if you live alone and do not have the benefit of sharing expenses.
  2. Food: Groceries in Hawaii are considerably more expensive than in most mainland states due to the cost of importing many items. Residents can expect to pay up to double the national average for basic food items. A monthly grocery bill for a single person could average around $500 to $600, assuming economical shopping habits.
  3. Utilities: The cost of utilities, including electricity, water, and internet, is also high in Hawaii. As an island state that generates most of its power from imported petroleum, Hawaii’s electricity costs are the highest in the U.S. On average, residents might spend between $200 and $300 per month on utilities.
  4. Transportation: Hawaii’s gas prices are typically among the highest in the nation, and as of 2021, they averaged around $3.50 per gallon. For a person commuting a reasonable distance daily, they might spend about $150 to $200 a month on gas alone. Plus, if you make monthly payments on a car, include auto insurance, and account for maintenance costs, transportation can quickly become another major expense.
  5. Healthcare: The cost of healthcare in Hawaii is often less than the national average, thanks to the state’s Prepaid Health Care Act. Still, it’s an expense worth considering. It is reported that in 2021, per capita health care spending in Hawaii was around $7,800.

So, where does this leave us with our $100,000? After tax (an effective rate of about 20% for this income level), you would be left with around $80,000. Accounting for high rent ($24,000 annually), food ($7,200), utilities ($3,600), transportation ($6,000), and healthcare ($7,800), we’ve already spent $48,600. This leaves around $31,400 for discretionary spending and savings.

Living in Hawaii on $100,000 a year can be challenging, especially if you don’t have supplemental income sources. After accounting for basic expenses, there is not much left for saving, emergency funds, or discretionary spending. Despite its natural beauty and unique lifestyle, it’s important to understand the economic realities of life in Hawaii before making a commitment to live there.

This article provides estimates based on averages; individual experiences may vary greatly depending on factors like lifestyle, location within Hawaii, household size, and personal consumption habits. Always remember to do a comprehensive budget plan and possibly consult a financial advisor when planning to relocate.

Celester Thomas

Company Blog – Soldier to Soldier Hawaii Realty

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