Cost of living in Hawaii

Cost of living in Hawaii

Are you considering a move to the tropical paradise of Hawaii? If yes, this article is just perfect for you!.

Hawaii is an archipelago of islands in the western United States situated along the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The state has a tropical climate with scenic natural beauty and a scintillating nightlife. It is known as a tropical paradise with an abundance of beaches, striking scenery, warm weather, and delectable food. The cost of living in Hawaii is very high compared to other cities in the US.

Cost of living in Hawaii

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Hawaii?

To live life comfortably in Hawaii and meet the high costs of living, a whopping salary of over $122,000. The amount also depends on the comfort preferences of individuals. To sustain in Hawaii, one needs to earn $16.59 per hour for a living wage. When with a family of 2 children, the wage increases to $17.70 per hour. Oahu is the best Hawaii island for kids, with prime facilities and amenities.

Can you live cheaply in Hawaii?

Yes, one can live frugally in Hawaii at less than $50,000 per year. The cost of living in Hawaii is high due to the transportation of goods via flights and ships. Storage also increases the lifestyle costs due to increased rent and services to run the warehouse.

One can live cheaply in Hawaii by downsizing housing, living with less stuff, spending money frugally, and moving to an affordable city or region.

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Cost of Living in Hawaii

The cost of living in Hawaii is very expensive due to additional transportation and storage charges. Numerous factors determine living costs in Hawaii, and the most crucial ones are listed below in the article. Read on to learn more about them.

1. Groceries Prices in Hawaii

Groceries are very expensive in Hawaii as it is surrounded by water and the transit of essential items or goods takes place from the mainland port that is 2800 miles away. 


Costco, Target, and Walmart are popular shopping joints in Hawaii. Foodland, Times, Safeway, and Don Quijote are other supermarkets in Hawaii. Don Quijote is the cheapest of all.

Costco is the most preferred store to shop for groceries in Hawaii due to its prices being in sync with the mainland costs. Hawaii has an average index of 196.3 for groceries compared to the national average of 100. How much does it cost to live in Hawaii is a commonly asked question, and the high lifestyle costs provide an ideal answer to this question.

Refrigeration costs are high in Hawaii, and these supermarkets are located 15 mins off from every international airport in Hawaii.

How much are groceries in Hawaii?

A gallon of milk costs $7.00, a set of 12 eggs costs $2.36, and vegetables like carrots or broccoli cost about $2.30, respectively. The groceries are available in Hawaii at skyrocketing prices.

How much should I budget for groceries in Hawaii?

An ideal budget is around $800 to $1000 per month, and it can vary based on location, island, and size of the family. 

Are groceries expensive in Hawaii?

Groceries are very expensive in Hawaii as it is surrounded by water and the nearest transit of essential items or goods takes place from the mainland port that is 2800 miles away. The groceries cost more due to refrigeration and warehouse handling charges.

2. Price of Utilities

Utility bills and their prices are high due to the warm climate.


The average energy bill in Hawaii is $168.13 per month, which is more expensive than the national average of $117.65 by $50.48. The state has high energy bills due to the high costs of imported fuel. The cost of electricity is $300 per month, and internet connection rates are priced at $90 per month. An average Hawaiian household consumes about 18.5kWh daily.

How expensive is it to live in Hawaii? The answer is simple, it is costly. 

Solar energy in Hawaii is an alternative to traditional fuels, as the skies are sunny most of the time.

Isolation of Hawaii due to its geographical location is another driving factor for the increase in the price of utilities.

How expensive are utilities in Hawaii?

The average bill for natural gas is $230, and electricity is about $220. Natural gas and electricity costs in Hawaii are the most expensive compared to other cities in the US.

How much is the electric bill in Hawaii?

The electricity bill comes to about $220 per month in Hawaii, and residents have to pay an average of 37 cents for a kilowatt-hour of electricity.

How much is water and sewer a month in Hawaii?

The average sewer charges are $60 per month, and water charges are $70.

3. Cost for Healthcare in Hawaii

Hawaii is the healthiest nation in the US due to Hawaii Health Prepaid Act. The mandate covers the health of all the nation’s workers with health insurance at a hefty premium. The mandate covers about 97 percent of the population of Hawaii.

Health Care

Obamacare is spread across Hawaii and supports the healthcare system. 58 percent of Hawaiian residents get insurance from their employers. The average annual premium after employee contribution is about $703 in Hawaii.

Make sure to research the healthcare costs and facilities before moving to Hawaii.

Is Hawaii healthcare more expensive?

Hawaii residents pay less for healthcare due to sponsored health coverage plans by employers. Thus, healthcare costs in Hawaii are reasonable.

Is healthcare free in Hawaii?

Hawaii has some free and affordable clinics operated by subsidies, federal grants, and insurance.

How much does Obamacare in Hawaii?

Obamacare offers various health categories of bronze, silver, platinum, and gold coverages at 60%, 70%, 90%, and 80%, respectively, of the total costs. So one only needs to pay the remaining amount in terms of percentage later.

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4. Hawaii Home Prices

Hawaii has very high property prices, and the median cost of a house here is about $863,600. The average price per square foot is $599. Regions of Oahu, Kauai, and Maui have seen strong appreciation growth of housing properties.

Home Price

The property prices are high in Hawaii because it is the most desirable place to live in the US, with warm temperatures and easy access to islands or beaches.

What is the average cost of a house in Hawaii?

The average cost of a house in Hawaii is $672,419, with more than 80 percent of homes priced above $350,000. The prices of properties in Oahu and Kauai are high at a median value of $850,000.

Which Hawaiian island is the cheapest to buy a house?

Oahu Island is the cheapest island to buy a house on. There are many affordable options for every category of individuals. Waimea in Kauai County is the most affordable place to live and has living costs less than other cities in the US.

Will Hawaii home prices drop?

Hawaiian home prices will only rise in the future, and there are no chances of prices dropping as it has one of the world’s rare and attractive housing markets.
With the return of the vacation market and the choice of Honolulu as an alternative to big cities like Washington or San Francisco, Hawaiian home prices will always be on the rise.

5. Education in Hawaii

Hawaii is home to some top-rated schools and provides quality education from kindergarten to doctorate level. The state spends more money on pupils than any other west coast state. 


There is one centralized board in Oahu that controls the jurisdiction of education all over Hawaii.

There are about 130 private schools in Hawaii, and they are costly but have better ratings than public schools. The University of Hawaii is a major research university and is one of the most popular universities in the US.

Is education free in Hawaii?

Private schools offering quality education in Hawaii are highly-priced and expensive.

Is college cheaper in Hawaii?

The average cost of a full-time degree course is about $27,000 and is higher than any other course in the US.

Are universities expensive in Hawaii?

Yes, universities are expensive in Hawaii due to the high population density and low labor cost. The high prices of education are due to skyrocketing estate prices in Hawaii.

6. Hawaii Tax Rates

Hawaii’s marginal tax rates are priced at 8.25%, which is higher than most other nations in the US but is less than that of California at 13.3%, Oregon at 9.9%, and Minnesota at 9.85%.

Tax Rates

Hawaii has the lowest property tax rates in the US. The tax rates in Hawaii range from 1.4 percent to 11 percent, depending on income, occupation, and other factors.

Hawaii has a higher sales tax than 86% of the cities in the US. Hawaii Use Tax is priced at 4% and is termed as sales tax.

Is tax cheaper in Hawaii?

Tax rates are dearer in Hawaii compared to other cities in the US. The tax rates are not cheaper in Hawaii and are ranked third highest in the US.

Are taxes higher in California or Hawaii?

Hawaii has marginal tax rates of 8.25%, which is lower than California’s rate of 13.3%. The taxes are higher in California compared to Hawaii.

7. Hawaii Public Transportation

Transportation is only via bus, and there are no trains or subways in Hawaii. The bus networks are the popular means of transportation. Oahu’s bus system is the best network of public transportation in Hawaii. The best time to visit Hawaii is summer.

Public Transportation

Owning private vehicles is expensive as the gas prices are quite high in Hawaii. Parking charges of $100 to $200 add to the transport cost via private vehicles.

Bus tickets are priced at $2.75 per ticket and are the cheapest commute mode.

How much does transportation cost in Hawaii?

Transportation via private vehicles is expensive in Hawaii due to gas and parking charges. There are no trains, trams, or subways in Hawaii. The bus is the cheapest mode of commute with a price of $2.75 per ticket.

How much do bus rides cost in Hawaii?

Bus tickets are priced at $2.75 per ticket for transport within and around the islands of Hawaii. The one-day pass is priced at $5.50.

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8. The Average Cost of Energy and Fuels

Hawaii is surrounded by water on all sides. For any necessity or commodity to reach Hawaii, it has to be imported or transported via the ocean. Oahu is amongst the best places in Hawaii.

Energy and Fuels

If you are looking for more such places, read out our article on the best place to live in Hawaii. 

What are the fuel prices in Hawaii?

Due to high import costs and transportation charges, fuel prices are high in Hawaii. The fuels are brought to Hawaii through ocean routes.

Why are gas prices so high in Hawaii?

Gas is brought to Hawaii via ocean routes, and the prices are high because of the transportation charges.

9. Miscellaneous Things

Entertainment and restaurant charges, mortgage prices, and clothing are included in the miscellaneous cost. These factors are not essential for sustenance but are counted as crucial parameters to leading a blissful life. The monthly costs for these miscellaneous parameters are listed below.

Real estate, keychain with house symbol. Key with finance blank.
Miscellaneous Monthly  Costs
Mortgage prices$3000
Restaurant charges$550

10. Make a comparison table for living things

Amenities like groceries, electricity, transportation, taxes and utilities are included in the necessity list for every individual. The monthly costs of these essential amenities are listed below.

AmenitiesMonthly Costs
Groceries$800 to $1000
Property taxes$200
Utilities $200

Cost of living in Hawaii FAQs

What is the average salary you need to live in Hawaii?

Hawaii has a median household income of $87,500. The average salary varies by location, occupation, and profession. Hawaii is a costly place to live in compared to other cities in the US. An average salary of $65,000 is expected for maintenance and peaceful existence. The salary in Honolulu is $66,000, and the average income of Hawaii families is high.


Now that you have learned the factors affecting the cost of living, what are your views on shifting to the tropical paradise? The living costs are high due to transportation and handling charges. The real estate prices are surging in the city, adding to the lifestyle costs and sustenance. Consider the costs of basic utilities and other facilities before moving to Hawaii.

The cost of living in Hawaii is high. The cost of groceries, energy or fuels, and basic utilities are very high in Hawaiian islands due to their isolated geographical conditions. Before moving into Hawaii, do consider these costs in advance to plan the future in a better way. 

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