Cost of Living in Vermont, 2021
Vermont has been given the Green Mountain State nickname for its majestic green mountains and natural forested beauty. With scenic hiking trails in the warmer months, the lush mountains are home to destination-worthy ski trails come winter.
Known for a wide range of goods, including maple syrup and cheddar cheese, Vermont is also the home of the famous Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that U.S. News ranks Vermont #11 in Overall Rankings as the best states to live in.
However, before you pack up your things and head east to Vermont, check out this apartment guide for some quick pointers. Next, you’ll want to do your homework to get a better idea of Vermont’s cost of living. At Apartment List, we’ve made it easy for you. Here you can take a closer look at the cost of living in Vermont to understand better what type of budget you’ll be needing.
Vermont Housing Costs
One of the first things you’ll need to do before you move is to build a budget. Since housing costs tend to be the most significant chunk of living expenses, this is an excellent place to start. Regardless if you plan on paying rent or mortgage payments each month, you can safely assume that housing costs will be the most significant portion of your monthly expenses.
Despite its beauty, the Vermont rental market tends to range on the cheaper side of the national average. Here is a list of average rent prices in five of the most popular Vermont cities, including Burlington, South Burlington, Rutland, Essex Junction, and Bennington.
|City||Average 1-Bedroom Rent||Average 2-Bedroom Rent|
|South Burlington, VT||$1,300||$1,850|
|Essex Junction, VT||$1,200||$1,600|
Year over year, the rental prices in Vermont have not significantly changed. In Burlington, the most popular city, one-bedroom apartments have only slightly increased by $100, while two-bedroom apartments have stayed flat. Even though Burlington is considered relatively inexpensive, there are even cheaper areas of the state, such as South Burlington or Rutland, you could also check out.
You might want to consider renting with a roommate if you are concerned about housing costs. For example, if you rent in Burlington and split the costs of renting a two-bedroom apartment, you can save $806 per month compared to renting a one-bedroom apartment on your own.
Vermont’s public transportation governing agency is the Vermont Public Transportation Association (VPTA). You can calculate your savings by utilizing public transportation and inputting your information into the VPTA’s Gas Savings Calculator. In addition to the interstate bus system, Vermont also has a once-a-day Vermonter rail offered by Amtrak.
Although there is decent public transportation available, we still recommend having your vehicle. According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, average annual transportation costs come out to about $4,332 for a single individual. Larger families, such as a family of four with two working parents and two children, can anticipate paying around $11,773 in annual transportation costs.
Since you will likely have to rely on a vehicle of your own, knowing that gas prices in Vermont are on the lower end compared to the rest of the country is hugely beneficial. As of today, gas prices range from approximately $2.51 to $2.65 a gallon, depending on the city.
Vermont Food Costs
The average single Vermont resident spends around $3,690 on food or roughly $307.50 per month. For a four-person family with two working adults and two children, these costs nearly triple to $10,806 annually or approximately $900.50 per month. While these figures are relatively low, don’t forget that they are associated with food that has been purchased at the local Shaw’s, Walmart, or Price Chopper and prepared in the home.
If you aren’t much of a cook or plan to enjoy the occasional meal out, you’ll want to consider additional expenses when it comes to food costs and your budget.
With the plethora of farms across the state, it’s no wonder that Vermont is the leader in the farm-to-table concept. When living in Vermont, you can look forward to enjoying some of the freshest dairy, fruits, and other farm offerings. After all, Vermont is home to over 150 different apple varieties.
Vermont Healthcare Costs
Another cost that you do not want to overlook comes with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Having proper healthcare ensures you get the appropriate treatment should unexpected emergencies arise. A single adult without children can anticipate paying around $7,032 for medical care in a single year. A family of four with two working adults and two children can expect to pay $6,859.
The federal healthcare marketplace can help give you a better idea of what coverage options will be available to you in Vermont. When moving out of state, you might experience some complications in your insurance coverage, so don’t forget to report your move to see if you qualify for out-of-state coverage.
You might be able to maintain coverage through your parents’ providers if you are under the age of 26. It’s worth looking into this by contacting your parent’s provider to see if your new Vermont hometown has doctors that fall within their network.
Vermont has brutal winters and varying summers, temperatures getting up to the 90s with high humidity levels. Therefore, you will likely be heavily dependent on both heating and cooling throughout the year. With such a wide temperature range, the average utility bills in Vermont are monthly costs that you should include in your budget.
The average cost of monthly utilities, including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage for a 915 square foot apartment, is broken down by the major cities in Vermont, at $170.41 in Burlington and $250.00 in Rutland. Additionally, the average monthly cost of internet of 60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, or cable/ADSL is $83.75 in Burlington and $94.00 in Rutland.
Not only will you have to consider these monthly utilities, but also other necessities such as your cell phone. The average monthly payment for Americans is currently $94. When you move to Vermont, you can try bundling your cell phone with your internet provider or ask about new customer discounts.
Vermont Fitness and Entertainment
With all of the beauty Vermont has to offer, it’s no surprise there are plenty of fitness and entertainment opportunities for the outdoorsy type. However, for those who prefer a gym setting, which is inevitable during the winter months, you’ll need to keep in mind these costs as well.
With its northeast location, Vermont can have some brutal winters. The majority of the state averages eight feet of snow each winter, which means that you’ll have to move indoors for a few months of the year, even for the outdoorsy folk. Thankfully, the average monthly cost of a fitness club in major cities throughout Vermont is affordable, at $59.83 in Burlington and $48.33 in Rutland.
In the warmer months, you can save some extra cash by getting outside and enjoying some of the fitness opportunities outdoors, including scenic routes, hikes, and trails for you to explore throughout the state in both national and state parks.
National and State Parks
Vermont is home to one national park, which charges a minimal entry fee of $8. You can also enjoy two different national scenic trails that run through Vermont that are free of charge:
- Appalachian National Scenic Trail
- Marsh - Billings - Rockefeller National Park
- North Country National Scenic Trail
In addition to these nationally recognized locations, Vermont also has 21 state parks. Entrance fees range from $3 to $4 per person. Some of the most popular state parks include:
- Button Bay State Park
- Camp Plymouth State Park
- Half Moon Pond State Park
- Kingsland Bay State Park
- Mt. Philo State Park
Other Expenses to Consider in Vermont
One major downside to living in Vermont is its progressive income tax rate, with the top rate hitting one of the highest in the nation. Additionally, the state charges a sales tax of 6%, allowing some cities to charge an additional 1% on top of that. For those looking to purchase, Vermont, unfortunately, has some of the highest property tax rates in the country.
Thankfully, the other costs balance out, still leaving the living in Vermont lower than the national average. Regardless, if you plan to move from out of state, you’ll have to consider additional expenses. Keep in mind the costs of movers, storage, hotels, and transportation.
Decorating your home might also be something you’ll need to budget to help make it feel more like home. Find different ways to decorate your apartment on a budget, and make sure to keep track of all of these additional expenses.
Recommended Salary in Vermont
Determining a recommended salary for living in Vermont is highly dependent on the lifestyle you plan on living. Generally speaking, the cost of living in Vermont is relatively low, making the living wage in Vermont $14.93 per hour for a single adult. This amount is the basic wage needed to pay for housing, food, and necessities.
The average salary index in Vermont is $59,000 per year, roughly $18.16 per hour.
While the average salary index can be helpful, you might want to consider the 30% rule when determining your recommended salary. According to this rule, you should not spend more than one-third of your gross income on rent.
For example, assuming you’re planning to rent in Burlington, where the median rent for a one-bedroom will cost $1,600, according to the 30% rule, your monthly wages should be at least three times this amount. Therefore, your income should equal at least $4,800 per month or $57,600 annually.
Between Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, sweet maple syrup, and some of the best cheddar cheese in the country, it’s hard to find reasons not to relocate to Vermont. Add that into the mix with some of the most scenic views the east coast has to offer, and you’ve got yourself a prime time location.
If you are looking to move somewhere, where you can fully enjoy picturesque mountainscapes, Vermont might be the place for you. Register with Apartment List today and start browsing hundreds of available apartments available for rent in Vermont!