The cost of living in Hawaii

Neighbors plants 002-A

Hawaii.  This is a yellow hibiscus bush on my street.  Lovely, isn’t it?

It’s been raining quite a bit lately.  So much so that we turned off our automatic lawn sprinklers to save money and water.  Actually, our water bill amounts to $177 per month, but very little of it is due to water usage.  Most of it is due to sewer charges.  I am grateful that Oahu, where we live, has plenty of water, unlike the Big Island where cattle ranches are suffering from a severe drought.  Hopefully, the recent deluge will alleviate the situation there.

As for our electric bill, it ranges from $250 to $490 per month, depending on how often we use the air conditioners in our house.  We were advised by a solar company that there is insufficient roof space for the number of panels needed to decrease our electric bill.  Hence, we have decided not to pursue the photovoltaic route, but simply reduce consumption.  It helps that we don’t have central air, but use a split system to cool only the rooms we are using, not the entire house.  And we do have a solar water heater.

Our food bills are moderately priced.  We buy most of our groceries from Target, which is located down the street from us.  The prices there are rather low compared to other stores, and we have another 5% taken off our bill at checkout when we use our Target card. We buy bulky items at Costco.

As for housing, it’s expensive.  Our modest 3 bedroom 2 bath house cost $380,000 in 1991, and could sell for $675,000 today.  However, our property tax is low, at less than $1,700 per year.

All in all, we find the cost of living in Hawaii manageable.

15 Responses to “The cost of living in Hawaii”

  1. Beatrice P. Boyd Says:

    Hi Gigi, I dropped in from Denise’s blog, An English Girl Rambles, as she had told me about your blog when we met last Friday. i am the Dorothy mentioned in her recent post. Beatrice is my blog alias. This post was interesting especially the housing costs. We are trying to sell our old home on the VA eastern shore to relocate. Prices here are modestly low as are taxes and utilities, except in summer when a/c usage equals higher electricity costs. Please feel free to drop in for a visit. We always enjoy meeting fellow bloggers, even if only online.

  2. Christine Says:

    You have really good control of your finances. I don’t shop at target much as it is not close by.

  3. Olga Says:

    Those expenses seem staggering to me–except for the property tax. I was planning on paying bills this afternoon, never a favorite chore, but now I will have a lighter perspective for a while.

  4. granny annie Says:

    Some things seem very high and others low. Perhaps if we balanced it all out we would find it cost about the same everywhere when added all together.

  5. R. J. Says:

    It is very interesting to read those details and compare them to my area in southeastern PA. The most notable difference is in property taxes due to school taxes which are too high. Our house is all electric but our monthly bill is lower. We have a ground water heat pump for heat and air conditioning along with a septic field–no sewer bills. I always thought living in Hawaii would be very expensive, but I see that isn’t true for all things.

  6. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    Wow. Your electric is high. Our bill runs about $200 per month!

  7. Linda Reeder Says:

    We don’t have much need for air conditioning here in Seattle, although we do have it now that we upgraded our furnace and installed a heat pump. Our all electric house bills range from $60 to about $275, quite a bit lower than with the old furnace. Our property taxes are much higher. Sewer bills are separate from water and run about $50 per month. We can have very high water bills in summer, but that is off set by much lower heating bills. House values depend largely on what neighborhood it’s located in. Here in the suburbs our 2.5 bath, three bedroom, two story house on 1/2 acre is valued at about $300,000, down from what it was before the housing bubble burst.
    I was mystified when our Target store added groceries. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would go there for groceries. I guess some people do.

  8. DJan Says:

    Living here in Bellingham, we rent. We pay almost $200/month in the winter for electricity, which includes heat. but in the summer it’s only about $40. Our rent covers everything else, but then again, we just had new windows installed and I expect that means our rent will increase, and we have no say about that. And they just demolished the three trees outside our front porch, and we didn’t get to say anything about that, either. Oh yes, we also have to pay for cable and internet, but that’s not considered “essential” costs to anybody but us! 🙂

  9. mageb Says:

    We are like you, but our taxes are around 5 grand a year. Everything is high here, but G refinanced us down to a mortgage we could afford.

  10. marmeladegypsy Says:

    Hi, Gigi! First of all, thanks for coming by The Marmelade Gypsy and leaving such lovely comments. My computer has been down (and will continue to be) but I have a loaner, so I can finally catch up, thank you for your visit and look down your blog! Despite the cost of living, I’m a little bit envious about your beautiful weather in Hawaii — here in Michigan there is way too much snow and cold. Our heating bills are really high and I don’t want to think about what I will owe the guy who snowblows my driveway by the end of the season. But I guess it comes with the territory. I also loved your post about looking at how to spend your remaining 20 years or so — I think about that a lot and I’ve decided I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can!

    Thanks again for coming by! — jeanie

  11. denise Says:

    Interesting! We were watching a show the other night about couples buying homes in Hawaii. We are off to CostCo today.

  12. Lorraine Says:

    We live in Gig Harbor and taxes are higher but utilities are lower. If you ever want to take a vacation on the lovely Puget Sound and stay with a golden retriever perhaps we could do a house swap:)

  13. LC Says:

    Our electric bill is high also, especially in summer when AC is needed around the clock.

  14. Cathy Says:

    It’s an unfortunate fact that we have to pay the going rate wherever we live!

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could research living costs and say – I’d like my electricity priced at such and such a cities rate, my gas at ……. My water price same as in……

    My bills aren’t too bad or at least I don’t think they are – and there ‘is’ one thing I’m thankful for ……and that is I don’t have to budget so much a month to pay the snow blowing man 🙂

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