Colorado Springs has a higher cost of living, but you’ll save on food and utilities in this budding metropolis.
Colorado Springs is a charming mountain city with access to some of the most scenic hiking trails in the Front Range. Home to Garden of the Gods, the Air Force Academy and the Olympic Training Center, this growing burg is brimming with culture and amenities.
With an average of 300 sunny days per year, Colorado is an understandably desirable place to live and has seen steady growth in population for years. Despite the influx of new residents, Colorado Springs still maintains the welcoming vibe of a small town and is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the Centennial State. But does its small-town charm translate to small-town prices?
Right now, the cost of living in Colorado Springs is 3.4 percent above the national average. This number continues to grow. Compared with the nearby city of Denver, housing prices in Colorado Springs are currently 32.1 percent lower than the Mile High City.
Explore the costs of living in Colorado Springs, from housing to food and healthcare, and discover if a move to the Front Range is right for you.
Housing costs in Colorado Springs
The housing market in Colorado Springs is competitive and fast-paced, but renters are in luck.
The average price of a one-bedroom in Colorado Springs is currently $1,024 per month, a decrease of 24.6 percent from the previous year. Of course, this number is dependent mainly on the neighborhood.
Among the most expensive neighborhoods are Kissing Camels, Norwood and Wagon Trails. The average cost-per-month of a one-bedroom apartment ranges from $1,548 to $1,723.
Areas that price out closer to the city’s average are East Colorado Springs, Garden Ranch and Ivywild, with the average cost of a one-bedroom falling between $1,000 and $1,068 per month in these areas.
If you’re looking for a centrally located home close to downtown, you’ll find the most affordable apartments in Stratton Meadows, where a one-bedroom averages $887 per month, or Shooks Run at $846 per month.
Currently, the median sale price for a home in Colorado Springs is $377,643. As of May 2021, home prices are up 21.6 percent since last year, according to Redfin. The local housing market is highly competitive, meaning that most homes receive multiple offers. Homes are also selling for about 4 percent more than the list price, on average.
Food costs in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs boasts a wide array of international cuisine — from authentic Mexican and Indian to German and British fare. There’s an abundance of culinary opportunities with dining options ranging from casual family dining to luxurious special-occasion restaurants.
Outdoor dining is another popular choice here; between the city’s breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and the famously sunny weather, there’s no shortage of patio seating.
Groceries in Colorado Springs will cost you around 3.4 percent less than the national average. You can expect to pay $3.57 for a loaf of bread, $1.27 for a dozen eggs and $4.33 for ground beef.
Locals often hunt for bargains and ultra-fresh produce at one of the many farmer’s markets in the city.
Utility costs in Colorado Springs
Colorado has some of the best skiing in the world, but all that snow means your heating bill will see a jump in the winter.
Overall, the utility costs in Colorado Springs are just 0.9 percent below the national average. You can expect your total energy cost to come in around $165.12 per month.
Transportation costs in Colorado Springs
Traffic in Colorado Springs is surprisingly uncongested for a city of its size.
Commuters spend an average of four extra minutes per 30 minutes of commute-time during the morning rush hour and seven more minutes in the evening, with an average commute of around 22 minutes.
Heavy congestion on major roads is rare, and many members of the community choose to drive. You can expect to pay $2.41 for a gallon of regular unleaded at the pump.
Downtown Colorado Springs and Old Colorado City employ parking meters, with the parking charge per hour starting at $1.25 closest to the city center. Meters on the periphery of downtown will cost you $0.75 per hour. City-operated garages downtown charge a daily maximum of $9 or $70 per month. Parking outside of the city center is typically free.
Colorado Springs public transportation
Those who prefer public transit can take the Mountain Metro Transit, the city’s bus system, with a comprehensive route traversing most of the town. The basic cash fare for adults is $1.75, while youths, seniors and Medicaid or disabled folks will pay $0.85. Transfers are free and issued upon request with paid fare and are good for 2 hours or three rides on one-way trips.
Discount Metro tickets can also be purchased. Unlimited ride Day Passes coming in at $4 and unlimited 31-Day Tickets at $63. The city’s transit score is 20.
Colorado Springs has a bike score of 46 and a walk score of 37, with miles of paved bike paths inside and around the city for recreational cycling and walking. The mostly-paved Pikes Peak Greenway runs through the center of town, connecting to the Santa Fe Trail in the north and the Fountain Creek Regional Trail in the south. Other inner-city bike paths include the Cottonwood Creek Trail, Shooks Run Trail and the Midland Trail. Interactive bike maps make planning your commute or joyride a breeze.
Overall, the cost of living for transportation in the city is 9 percent above the national average.
Healthcare costs in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs has been a destination for health-seekers since its early days as a haven for tuberculosis patients. Many doctors in the 19th century believed that high altitude and sunshine were a cure for TB. Coincidentally, the influx of wealthy TB patients to the then-resort town of Colorado Springs was instrumental in putting the small city on the map.
Today, Colorado Springs is home to the award-winning UCHealth Memorial Hospital and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. Kids can receive high-quality care at the new Children’s Hospital Colorado Springs location.
Calculating average healthcare costs is difficult because these costs vary widely depending on each person’s health situation. The local healthcare costs are 4.6 percent higher than the national average.
A regular doctor’s visit might cost an average of $126.71, while a trip to the dentist will cost $105.77 on average. Prescription drugs, without insurance, cost an average of $471.44, and a bottle of ibuprofen will cost around $9.03.
Goods and services costs in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs boasts a wide selection of fitness facilities and opportunities, whether you’re a CrossFit aficionado or more of a Pilates person. Yoga enthusiasts can expect to pay a little more than $15 per class.
If you want to save a few bucks and still be healthy, check out the nearby hiking trails. Colorado Springs boasts several open spaces within the city limits, many of which contain trail systems for easy access hiking.
Garden of the Gods, located on the west side of town, is an iconic landmark and recreation hotspot for locals and tourists alike. Admission is free for this city-owned National Natural Landmark.
If you’re a pet owner, you can expect to pay an average of $56.54 per routine vet visit. Pet licensing —required for all dogs and cats over the age of 4 months — can cost anywhere from $10 to $75 depending on a variety of factors.
Overall, the cost of goods and services in Colorado Springs is about 3 percent more than the national average.
Taxes in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs resides entirely within El Paso County. The Colorado sales tax rate is currently 2.9 percent, while the El Paso County sales tax is 1.23 percent.
Colorado Springs recently reduced its sales tax to 3.07 percent. Therefore, the minimum combined sales tax for Colorado Springs is now 8.2 percent. So, when you spend $100 at the Promenade Shops at Briargate, for example, you’ll pay $8.20 in sales tax.
Colorado does not tax most groceries.
How much do you need to earn to live in Colorado Springs?
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city is $1,024.
Most financial advisors recommend spending no more than 30 percent of your annual income on rent. This means you would need to earn around $40,960 per year to comfortably afford a one-bedroom apartment in Colorado Springs.
To give these numbers some context, the median household income in Colorado Springs is about $65,000 and the per capita median income is around $34,000.
Use our rent calculator to quickly discover how much you can afford to spend on rent with your current salary.
Living in Colorado Springs
Recently ranked fourth Best Place to Live by U.S. News & World Report, Colorado Springs is a mountain oasis. Gorgeous weather and miles of surrounding natural beauty make this city a unique treasure in the heart of the American West.
With a growing economy and an increasing demand for tech-talent labor, there’s never been a better time to relocate. Find your ideal Colorado Springs apartment to rent today.
Cost of living information comes from The Council for Community and Economic Research.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments in April 2021. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.