Cost of living in Hawaii

Cost of living in Hawaii

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    Are you considering moving to Hawaii from Mainland, or any other US states? If yes, this article is just perfect for you!

    As you know, Hawaii is the costliest state in the US in 2023. This means that the cost of living in Hawaii will ultimately remain higher than in other US states.  

    However, moving to Hawaii can be a cunning move if you have a high-paying job, can accommodate higher living costs, and quickly habituate to Hawaii’s culture and island customs. 

    Now the question arises how much do you need to make to live in Hawaii? This is where we have got your back.

    This guide will help you to know everything it takes to comfortably live and afford life in Hawaii.

    We’ll provide a glimpse of the average expenses of essential indices, that will help you build a budget for everything before habituating to Hawaiian life. 

    So, keep reading!

    How much money do you need to live comfortably in Hawaii in 2023?

    To live a comfortable life in Hawaii and meet the high costs of living, a whopping salary of $70,000 to $110,000 for a single individual and $120,000 to $200,000 for a family of four is recommended.

    The amount also depends on the comfort preferences of individuals. 

    What is a livable wage in Hawaii in 2023?

    The liveable wage in Hawaii for a single individual is $22.76 and that for a family of four is about $30.32 per hour.

    Can you live cheaply in Hawaii?

    Yes, one can live cheaply in Hawaii at less than $60,000 per year. 

    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

    According to 2023, Hawaii has an average index of 150.7 for groceries compared to the national average of 100.


    This means grocery prices are 53% higher than the national average. You might spend $560.76 per month on groceries which is $205 more than the national average of $355.50.

    Similarly, the average cost of food in Hawaii per day per person is $61 which is $50 more than the national average of $11.04. 

    How much are groceries in Hawaii?

    A gallon of milk in Hawaii 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 for food or groceries in Hawaii is around $500 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, probably 53% higher than the national average.  This is because the state is surrounded by water and the transit of essential items or goods takes place from the mainland port that is 2800 miles away. 

    2. Price of Utilities

    Utility bills and consumption are high in Hawaii for several reasons, including the warm climate, the high cost of imported fuels, independent energy systems for each island, and the isolation of the state.


    As per the reports from Payless Power, the average energy bill in Hawaii is $402.30 per month, which is more expensive than the national average of $117.65.

    The cost of internet connection rates is priced at $90 per month. An average Hawaiian household consumes about 18.5kWh daily.

    But on the contrary, the state receives 8% more sunlight than other US states, which creates an opportunity to generate solar energy.

    Between 30% and 50% of Hawaiian homes are equipped with rooftop solar, which generates 60% of renewable energy and is expected to expand to 100% by 2045.

    Utility listAverage cost per month
    Water bill$110-$150
    Sewer bill$40
    Natural gas$150


    How expensive are utilities in Hawaii?

    The average bill for natural gas is 150, and electricity is about $402.30. 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 $402.30 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 $40 per month, and water charges are $120.

    3. Cost of Healthcare in Hawaii

    Hawaii is the healthiest nation in the US due to Hawaii Health Prepaid Act, the best hospitals, and healthcare.

    Health Care

    Some of the best places to live in Hawaii have the top hospitals ranking among the top on the list of 50 US states with the best healthcare.

    The mandate covers 97% of the population of Hawaii with the health of all the nation’s workers with health insurance at a hefty premium. 

    Obamacare is spread across Hawaii and supports the healthcare system. 58% of Hawaiian residents get insurance from their employers.

    The average annual premium after employee contribution is about $471 per month in Hawaii and ranges from $177 to $561 per month per person. 

    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 is health insurance 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.

    4. Hawaii Home Prices

    Hawaii has very high property prices, and the average home price in Hawaii is about $1,000,000.

    The average price per square foot is $250 and might vary from $160 to $900, depending on the area & time of purchase. 

    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.

    Similarly, renting a house in Hawaii is also more expensive because of its region, size, and quality.

    According to HiCentral MLS, the average rent in Hawaii of an apartment is $2233 per month and might vary from $1500-$4000 per month.

    What is the average cost of a house in Hawaii?

    The average cost of a house in Hawaii is $1,000,000 with more than 80 per cent of homes priced above $500,000.

    Which Hawaiian island is the cheapest to buy a house?

    Oahu Island is the cheapest island to buy a house at a rate of $500,000. It is also the most affordable and best Hawaii island for kids and families to live in because of its weather, best education, beach fun, and modern amenities.

    Will Hawaii home prices drop?

    With the return of the vacation market and the choice of living in Honolulu as an alternative to big cities like Washington or San Francisco, Hawaiian home prices will never drop. It also has the world’s rare and attractive housing markets.

    5. Education in Hawaii

    Hawaii is home to some top-rated schools and provides quality education from kindergarten to doctorate level.


    The state spends an average of $17,000 per pupil more than any other west coast state and has a graduation rate of 87% in the year 2022-2023.

    Oahu has one centralized board that controls the jurisdiction of education all over Hawaii.

    Hawaii has many traditional public schools that offer free education to all Hawaiian kids. These are governed by school districts and funded by the local government.

    The state also has 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?

    Education is free for public school students in Hawaii. Whereas, the Private schools in Hawaii offer quality education and amenities and are quite 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 labour cost. The high prices of education are due to skyrocketing estate prices in Hawaii.

    6. Hawaii Tax Rates

    Hawaii taxes offer debits and credits to lower tax liabilities, which includes reductions for medical, and mortgage interest expenses and credits for retirees and child care expenses.

    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%.

    Hawaii’s income tax rate ranges from 1.4 per cent to 11 per cent, depending on income, occupation, and other factors. It has the lowest property tax rates in the US at a rate of 0.27%.

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

    Taxes imposed in HawaiiRate of tax
    Income tax1.4%-11%
    Sales tax4%
    Property tax0.35%
    Marginal tax8.25%


    Is tax cheaper in Hawaii?

    Taxes in Hawaii are 2nd lowest as compared to other cities 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. Transportation in Hawaii

    Transportation is only via bus, and there are no trains or subways in Hawaii. The bus networks are the popular means of transportation.

    Public Transportation

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

    Oahu’s bus system is the best network of public transportation in Hawaii. The best time to visit Hawaii is summer.

    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.

    How much does transportation cost in Hawaii?

    Transportation via private vehicles is expensive in Hawaii due to gas and parking charges. So, the bus is the cheapest mode of transportation.

    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.

    8. Energy and Fuel Costs in Hawaii

    The average energy cost in Hawaii is around 44 cents per kWh for electricity which is the highest in the US.

    Energy and Fuels

    This is because it has been tied up with fuel costs. Hawaii is only producing 38% of solar energy which is quite less to reach the locals.

    The average price of fuel in Hawaii ranges from $4 to $6 and currently, it is $5.03 per gallon.

    Now, prices are increasing statewide because its overall supply is provided by Russia which is now affected by the war. 

    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 costs in Hawaii

    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.

    • Meal in a restaurant (single individual): $10 – $60
    • Imported beer: $9
    • Cappuccino: $4
    • Milk (1 litre): $1.93
    • Bread (1 loaf): $5.98
    • Rice (1 lb): $3.40
    • Chicken (1 lb): $7.66
    • Local Cheese (1 lb): $1.77
    • Fruits: $1.00 – $2.00
    • Vegetables: $0.50-$1.00
    • Gym monthly fees: $59
    • Movie ticket: $31
    • Doctor’s visit: $150
    • Haircut: $35
    • Slow sports club, 1-year membership: $305
    • Clothes: $47
    • Shoes: $100

    10. The overall cost of living in Hawaii

    Amenities like groceries, electricity, transportation, taxes, and utilities are included in the necessity list for every individual.

    The average cost of living in Hawaii is about 165.7 out of the US average of 100. If the number is less than 100, Hawaii is cheaper than the average price in the US and vice versa. 

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    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.


    Now that you have learned the factors affecting the Hawaii cost of living, what are your views on shifting to a tropical paradise? The living costs are high due to transportation, food, utilities, and handling charges.

    Real estate and rental prices are surging in the city, adding to the lifestyle costs and sustenance.

    So, considering the cheapest place to live in Hawaii, saving on utilities, gas, and fuel costs, opting for solar energy, and EVs, growing your herbs, veggies & fruits, and shopping at high-discount places are some tips that will help you save money in Hawaii.

    Are you ready for your move to Hawaii and wondering how much it cost to move to Hawaii? Check out our articles.