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What Salary Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Chattanooga?


Living comfortably is a goal that many of us strive for, and finding the right place to settle down is an important part of achieving that. Chattanooga, Tennessee is a city that has been attracting more and more people due to its low Chattanooga cost of living, beautiful scenery, and the booming job market. But what salary do you need to live comfortably in Chattanooga? In this blog post, we’ll dive into the key factors you need to consider and provide a comprehensive answer to this frequently asked question.

Cost of Living in Chattanooga

To understand the salary you need to live comfortably in Chattanooga, it’s important to first examine the Chattanooga cost of living. The cost of living is a measure of how expensive it is to live in a particular area, taking into account factors such as housing, transportation, groceries, and healthcare. Chattanooga boasts a cost of living that is lower than the national average, making it an attractive option for many people. For more detailed data on employment, wages, and consumer prices in Chattanooga, you can visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Housing Costs

Housing is often the largest expense for most people. In Chattanooga, the median home price is around $200,000, while the national median is closer to $300,000. Renters can also find affordable options, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center hovering around $1,000 per month.

Transportation Costs

Chattanooga’s transportation costs are also lower than the national average. Public transportation options are available, such as the city’s bus system, Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA), which offers a monthly pass for $50. For those who prefer to drive, gas prices tend to be slightly below the national average as well.

Grocery and Dining Costs

The Chattanooga cost of living also impacts grocery and dining expenses. The cost of groceries in Chattanooga is slightly lower than the national average, which means you can expect to save on your food budget. Dining out is also more affordable in the city, with a wide range of options to suit any budget.

Healthcare Costs

Healthcare costs in Chattanooga are on par with the national average. Keep in mind that healthcare expenses can vary greatly depending on your individual needs and insurance coverage. The Chattanooga cost of living plays a role in determining healthcare expenses as well.

Defining a Comfortable Lifestyle

Before we can determine the salary needed to live comfortably in Chattanooga, it’s essential to define what “comfortable” means to you. A comfortable lifestyle might include:

Owning a home or renting a nice apartment
Having a reliable car or using public transportation
Eating out occasionally and enjoying leisure activities
Saving for emergencies and retirement
Traveling on vacations

Calculating the Salary Needed to Live Comfortably in Chattanooga

Based on the cost of living and the components of a comfortable lifestyle, a general rule of thumb is to aim for a salary that is at least three times your annual housing costs. Using this guideline, if you plan to buy a home with the median price of $200,000, you would need an annual salary of around $60,000. If you plan to rent, and the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,000 per month, you would need a yearly salary of approximately $36,000.

However, these numbers are just a starting point. Your specific needs, lifestyle, and financial goals will ultimately determine the salary you need to live comfortably in Chattanooga.


Chattanooga offers a low cost of living and a high quality of life, making it an attractive option for those looking to live comfortably. The salary you need to achieve this will depend on your individual circumstances and priorities. By considering the costs of housing, transportation, groceries, healthcare, and your desired lifestyle, you can determine the salary that will allow you to live comfortably in this vibrant city.

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