Monroe, New Jersey, is a gorgeous little town with suburbs located in the New York Metropolitan area. It is the ideal place to live for a budding family. But just how much will a move to Monroe cost you? And can you afford to live there?
In this Monroe NJ Cost of Living guide, we’ll cover everything you could possibly want to know about how much it will cost you to live in Monroe, New Jersey. We’ve created this guide with the aim of offering a snapshot of possible expenses such as housing, utilities, and transportation.
The Cost of Living in Monroe, New Jersey
Monroe Township is located in New Jersey. As of 2019, it has an estimated population of about 36,865. The town is widely considered one of the best places to live in New Jersey. It offers its residents all the comfort and security of a suburb along with the closeness of a bustling city.
If you’d like to enjoy all that Monroe has to offer, you’ll have to be open to spending a bit more than you’re used to. According to BestPlaces, the suburb of Monroe has a cost of living score of 126.7.
What this means is that the cost of living in Monroe is 26.7% more expensive than the national average. So, if you’re currently living in a more affordable city, like Cleveland for example, you’ll need to prepare for spending a bit more every month.
The average cost of living in Monroe is around $1,800 for one person.
So, before making the move, we suggest you check out this extensive guide to make sure you can afford all the daily living expenses.
Housing is one of those unavoidable expenses that can easily cost you an arm and a leg if you’re not careful – even more so in the pretty town of Monroe, New Jersey.
In fact, one of the major contributors to the high cost of living in Monroe Township is the cost of housing. If you’re looking to purchase a home, you can expect to pay between $354,900 and $375,900.
This is much higher than the national rate of $217,500.
Now, these prices are heavily dependent on the size of the home and any additional perks such as a pool or a fancy security system.
However, these figures paint a pretty clear picture of how expensive this town is.
Renting a Property
If you’re looking to rent instead of buying a property, it can still be pretty pricey. Depending on the size and location of the apartment you plan to rent, you can expect to pay an average of between $1,100 and $2,520.
Studio apartments and one-bedroom apartments can go for around $1,100 to $1,320 while two-bedroom apartments start from $1,690.
Larger three-bedroom and four-bedroom apartments and rentals range upwards of $2,140.
These rates are much higher than the national median rate of $1,062 per month.
An upside to these exorbitant prices is that New Jersey offers a wide variety of mixed rental options. The trick to finding an affordable rental is by looking at less expensive areas. If you’re lucky, you could nab a one-bedroom apartment for only $988 per month.
However, if you’re moving with your partner and children, you might have to look at bigger places with more expensive rates.
Aside from the general rent and mortgage costs, you’ll also have to consider the cost of utilities. These include things like internet access, electricity, running water, wastewater, and garbage disposal – all of which are essential to the running of your everyday life.
On average, you can expect to pay around $105 for a utility bill if you’re living on your own. The average price jumps up to $160 per month for a family of four.
Depending on how much electricity you use, your energy bill could be as high as $100 per month. Water bills can also average out at around $50 and wastewater bills can come up to $60. This would leave families with a combined water bill of $110 per household.
How much you’ll actually end up paying for utilities will depend on how expensive your rental or home is, the area you’ve chosen to live in, and the additional amenities that came with your property.
For example, if your house has a pool, it is far more likely that you’ll have an expensive water bill than if your house didn’t have a pool.
The cost of uncapped internet is slightly higher in Monroe as well. Depending on your service provider, a cell phone plan with unlimited data and calls can cost you around $65.
An uncapped 60Mbps internet line could cost you between $70 to $90 per month, assuming your home or apartment is ready for connection.
Food and Groceries
When looking at what factors into Monroe NJ cost of living, food and groceries are another essential expense. Now, how much you actually end up spending will depend on where you choose to shop and the brands you choose to buy.
That being said, on average, the grocery costs in Monroe, New Jersey, are about 5.8% more expensive than the national average.
This means that you could end up spending a bit more on groceries and food than you’re used to.
On average, you can expect to pay around $8 for a pound of lamb chops and around $2,30 for a pound of boneless chicken breasts. A loaf of bread could cost you around $2,60 and a two-pound bag of rice could cost close to $4.
However, there are plenty of farmer’s markets around Monroe where you can find some delicious, locally-made food items to stock up on.
If you and your family enjoy eating out and visiting restaurants, you can expect to pay around $10 for a fast-food meal for one and around $22 per person for a meal at a mid-range restaurant.
These days we’re all dependent on some kind of transportation, whether that be driving a car, taking a bus, or calling an Uber. And like most things in the world, transportation doesn’t come cheap.
While owning your own car comes with a ton of benefits and conveniences, you should also be aware of the costs involved. One of the major costs that come with owning a car is having to pay for gas.
Luckily, the average cost of gas in Monroe is equal to the national average at around $2,92 a gallon. This means you won’t have to fork out extra cash if you’re planning on traveling or commuting often.
If you’re looking to insure your car, you can expect to pay around $1,500 per year for insurance, which is a big expense. In addition to paying for gas and insurance, there are also maintenance fees to consider.
For those who would rather forgo the additional expenses of owning a car, what about the public transport in Monroe NJ?
New Jersey, and subsequently Monroe, offers excellent public transport options. The bus system offers a ton of stops in multiple business districts and suburbs. A single-trip bus ticket can cost you around $2,75.
If you’re a regular commuter, we recommend you invest in a 40-trip pass which can cost around $104. This might sound like a lot but you’ll actually be saving money since a 40-trip pass works out to around $0.15 per trip! This is especially handy if you need to travel to and from work every day.
Monroe Township also goes the extra mile by offering free public transportation for residents that are over 55 years old or disabled.
Education and Childcare
Raising a child is a huge joy but it is also a major expense, especially when it comes to the cost of education.
Monroe, New Jersey, is located in two different school districts. While it is likely that your children will be slotted into the Monroe Township School District, you can request that your children attend a different school if you want.
While public school is relatively affordable, you’ll still have to consider costs like stationery, school outings, and textbooks.
If you have a baby, you can expect to pay around $1,080 per month for a child care center. This can add up to $13,000 per year.
The cost of childcare centers for toddlers is slightly cheaper at around $900 per month or $10,800 annually. If these costs are too high, the state does offer subsidies to help you afford childcare.
Having access to good healthcare is a necessity so it is definitely not an expense you can overlook when considering the cost of living in Monroe NJ.
Currently, the national average cost for health insurance is around $500 for a single person. The average cost of healthcare insurance in Monroe, New Jersey, on a basic plan will be around $450. Insurance rates will depend on various factors such as your age.
Depending on where you work, and the fringe benefits you receive, your employer could also make a contribution to your health care insurance. This should lower the costs significantly.
A visit to a private doctor could cost you around $115 which is quite expensive. Regular dental visits and check-ups could cost you around $100 while a visit to the optometrist can cost upwards of $110.
Overall, health care in Monroe is pretty expensive and the additional costs of check-ups and doctor’s visits are something you should consider before making the move.
If you have a beloved furry friend, a trip to the vet can cost you around $60 for a basic check-up. However, you should expect to pay around $200 if your pet needs shots or additional care.
One of the best things about Monroe is its proximity to amazing places like New York and New Jersey. But, that’s not all that’s great about Monroe Township.
For around $40 per person, you can explore and enjoy the wonders of Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township just half an hour away. The park offers things like a wild animal safari, theme park entertainment, and a magnificent water park. It is the perfect place for a fun date or a family outing.
For those of you who have a sense of adventure, why not check out Veterans Park? It is a fun outdoor park that is free to visit and is perfect for families.
If you prefer going to the movies and enjoying some popcorn, a ticket can cost you upwards of $11 per person.
Monroe also offers a plethora of free activities that allow you to enjoy the great outdoors. The town has numerous local parks with playgrounds for kids and great seating for picnics.
Monroe NJ Cost of Living: How Much Should You Earn to Live Comfortably?
Given that Monroe is a somewhat expensive town to reside in, exactly how much should you be earning in order to live comfortably here?
Well, the median income for households in Monroe is around $90,000 annually. This is higher than the national median of $62,000.
This means that your earnings should fit within those annual averages if you want to live comfortably when moving to Monroe. We also recommend that you carefully research the tax laws in Monroe before making a decision.
Taxes aren’t always the first thing on our minds when we decide to move. However, given that the current income tax in Monroe is 5.5%, you should do your due diligence.
Knowing the income taxes is also a great ballpark for figuring out how much you should be earning to maintain your current lifestyle in Monroe.
The Bottom Line on Monroe NJ Cost of Living
While moving to a new place can be an exciting new venture, it can also be incredibly stressful. One of the most daunting parts of moving to a different part of the country is the costs involved.
How much are you willing to spend? What is the cost of living? And, can you afford it?
Hopefully, this guide to Monroe NJ cost of living has answered most of your burning questions and has offered you some measure of reassurance during this stressful time. Best of luck with your move!