March 3, 2011

Want to Live In Hawaii?

If you want to live in Hawaii, you need to plan ahead to survive living in one of the most expensive states in the U.S. Hawaii's cost of living is much higher than on the U.S. mainland.

Two of your biggest concerns would be the cost of housing and food and finding a job that makes enough money to pay your bills. Hawaii rents vary by city or town, but expect to pay from $600 to $1,000 for a studio and about $1,500 to $2,000 for a 2-bedroom apartment per month.

About 90% of all groceries and other supplies in Hawaii are imported, which drives the prices up. Dining out can also be costly, depending where you eat. Breakfast averages at $5 to $8, lunch is around $12, while dinner can go up from $12 to $30.

What makes living in Hawaii seem more impossible is the fact that the islands lack high-paying jobs. Engineering jobs, for instance, are harder to find than waitressing jobs.

But don't get discouraged by these facts. With the right knowledge about where to live and dine inexpensively and where to get your groceries at a good price, you'd be able to live comfortably in the islands even on an average budget. Here are some tips on how get around and enjoy living in Hawaii.

* Acquaint yourself with Hawaii. Check out online travel websites, magazines and books for information about the islands, from its beaches down to its restaurants. Get a detailed map of the islands to give yourself a sense of direction even before you arrive.

* Understand Hawaii's statistics, such as median real estate tax and population density of its towns and cities. This can help you choose the right Hawaii island to move to. For instance, Oahu is more populated than the other Hawaiian islands. If you want to be surrounded by fewer people and prefer a more a laid-back atmosphere, then you should choose other islands like Kauai and Molokai. However, Oahu has the best job opportunities. Unemployment on the other islands is higher than on Oahu.

* Look for cheap apartments by reading local newspapers. You can check out affordable apartments at online websites of local newspapers, such as The Honolulu Advertiser and the The Star Bulletin (honoluuluadvertiser.com and starbulletin.com). Hawaii Craigslist is also a good website to check for local apartment listings. You can also find roommates on this website to share a place with. Compare rental amounts, contact the advertisers for terms of lease and ask for photos. To save on rent consider a sharing a place.

* To be able to handle the cost of living in Hawaii, of course, you'd need a job. Craigslist is a good website to start your search. Also check the local newspapers. Other sources you can look into are local employment agencies such as Altres.

* Look for and use weekly specials to find out the best bargains of the week or month.

* Get your groceries and other such needs at affordable chain stores like Costco, Sam's Club and Wal-Mart. You will also save a lot if you buy in bulk.

35 comments:

  1. If I lived in Hawaii, I'd just rent a apartment near the beach, get a job and enjoy life there.

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  2. Great article. I've always wanted to move to Hawaii, but it's just too expensive and I don't have a degree. Maybe one day I'll hit up a pacific island.

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  3. I've been to Maui 10+ times, and we live pretty cheaply when we go there. Our secret is to rent a condo where we can cook for ourselves and then go to Costco when we first arrive.

    Also, our dollar is so strong that even the high prices on dining out are comparatively cheap. Also, liquor is about 1/3 the cost of what we pay in Canada.

    Tl;dr life is freaking good in Hawaii.

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  4. I don't see myself leaving the country anytime soon due to money, but if I ever go to Hawaii I'll remember this haha.

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  5. Hawaii I'd love to visit but not live. I come from an island so its not a big deal to me :P

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  6. i'm ready to move here...love it

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  7. Damn. Hawaii sounds awesome but rent way too much.

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  8. Dang, surprisingly enough, Hawaii sounds like it costs about as much as it costs to live in the northern Virginia suburbs of DC. But probably without as many annoying bureaucrats.

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  9. Is it true that Hawaiians have really good health care?

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  10. Nice post, I would love to live in Hawaii.

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  11. i would love to live in hawaii
    but i need a greencard first ;)

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  12. I would never move to a different country if I had the choice...

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  13. Oh, didn't know that Hawaii is so expensive.

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  14. While these all apply especially to hawaii, I think these can be applied to living anywhere. haha.

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  15. I hear you on this one, Hawaii is exorbitantly expensive. Luckily for me I was there in the military, and pretty much had a job. But it's best to know that you will have one when you get there then try to search whilst there. You bring up a good point with that!

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  16. cool! My gf visited hawaii once. I dont know if i'd want to live there, i love Cali too much, but i sure would love to visit hawaii :)

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  17. Roommates would be good to help defray rent...

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  18. Idk about living there. but vacation sounds nice!

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  19. Hawaii sounds like more of a place to holiday in rather than live.

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  20. Living in Hawaii... So great. I envy you ;)

    How do people there handle an idea that a non-American might want to come there for 3 months and take residence in an appartment rather the in a hotel?

    English isn't a problem ;)

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  21. Yeah I heard it's pretty expensive to live there. It's a tourist economy too for the most part so it's seasonal work..if any.

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  22. Wow, as a foreigner i had no idea Hawaii was so expensive to live in. I'd always heard about how expensive New York was but not Hawaii, that rents crazy!

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  23. omg, i didnt know living there could be so pricey!

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  24. good tips!
    the costs of living are similar to melbourne ;)

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  25. Thanks for the insight, I don't know where to live after college.

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  26. I was thinking of planning a trip there one of these days, ot really moving there, but thanks for the tips.

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  27. hows the situation with weed?

    is it readily available?
    does the general public tolerate it?
    what the price?
    is it good?

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  28. I wouldn't live there, but visit it for sure

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  29. This is about the same as living in LA. Not too bad.

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  30. I've always wanted to live their.

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