How Much do you Need to Make to Live in Prescott AZ? – The Cost of Living in Prescott

Welcome to an in-depth exploration of what it takes to live in the beautiful city of Prescott, Arizona. If you’re asking, “How much do you need to make to live in Prescott, AZ?” you’re in the right place. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the cost of living in this increasingly popular locale.

Prescott, known as “Everybody’s Hometown,” is a charming city in central Arizona, renowned for its mild climate, historic downtown, and community that warmly welcomes newcomers. With a population of just over 40,000, Prescott manages to maintain a small-town vibe while offering amenities often found in larger cities.

Before moving to a new city, understanding the cost of living is crucial. It not only helps you prepare financially but also gives you insight into the lifestyle you can afford. The cost of living includes various factors, all of which contribute to your financial needs in your prospective city.

Understanding the Cost of Living

Simply put, the cost of living refers to the amount of money an individual or family needs to maintain a standard of living in a particular location. This encompasses expenses like housing, food, taxes, healthcare, education, and more source.

In Prescott, AZ, as in any other city, several factors contribute to the overall cost of living:

  • Housing: This is typically the largest expense for most individuals and families. It includes costs related to renting or owning a home.
  • Utilities: This includes costs related to electricity, water, gas, internet, and other related services.
  • Food: Both grocery shopping and dining out expenses come under this category.
  • Transportation: Whether you own a vehicle or use public transport, these costs add up.
  • Healthcare: This comprises health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses.
  • Education: If you have children, the costs of their education can significantly impact your budget.
  • Miscellaneous: This includes various other expenses like personal care, clothing, entertainment, and more.

Remember, the cost of living varies from one person to another and largely depends on lifestyle and personal preferences. Understanding the breakdown of these costs will help you answer the question, “How much do I need to make to live in Prescott, AZ?” We’ll delve into each of these factors in more detail in the following sections.

In this piece, we will delve deep into each of these factors, helping you gauge the financial implications of making Prescott your home.

As we walk through the costs associated with living in this charming city, remember that your lifestyle choices and personal circumstances can significantly influence these averages. So, let’s get started with the most significant chunk of most people’s budgets – housing costs.

The Housing Market in Prescott, AZ

When asking “How much do you need to make to live in Prescott, AZ?” housing costs are often the first consideration.

Current State of the Housing Market

The housing market in Prescott has seen substantial growth in recent years. According to Zillow, as of 2023, the median home value is around $410,000. While this is higher than the national average, it is fairly common for tourist-destination cities like Prescott.

Renting can be an affordable alternative for many, especially if you’re new to the city and unsure about purchasing a property. As per data from RentCafe, the average rent for an apartment in Prescott is approximately $1,200 per month, although prices vary depending on the location and size of the property.


For those considering buying a home, the current median home price stands at around $410,000 as mentioned earlier. Remember, your mortgage payments will depend on the price of the home, your down payment, your interest rate, and the term of your loan. Online tools like Bankrate’s Mortgage Calculator can give you an estimate of potential monthly costs.

Utility Costs in Prescott, AZ

Utilities are another essential component when calculating the cost of living in Prescott.

Average Monthly Utility Costs

In Prescott, the average monthly utility bill for a 915 sq. ft. apartment is approximately $150 to $200, which includes electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage source. This figure can vary, depending on usage and the size of your home.

Seasonal Variations in Utility Costs

Prescott experiences a fairly mild climate throughout the year. However, utility costs can fluctuate with the seasons. Summers may see increased electricity costs due to air conditioning, while winters may increase heating costs.

It’s a good idea to budget for these fluctuations. In the next section, we’ll explore transportation costs in Prescott, helping you to further understand how much you might need to make to live comfortably in this city.

Remember, when you’re calculating the cost of living, every little bit adds up. It’s not just about the big ticket items like housing and utilities, but also everyday costs such as food, transportation, and healthcare. So let’s continue with our comprehensive overview of living costs in Prescott, AZ.

Transportation Costs in Prescott, AZ

A critical aspect of budget planning in a new city involves understanding transportation costs. For those without personal vehicles, the Prescott Area Transit (PAT) offers public bus transportation. An adult one-way fare is $2, while monthly passes are available for $60 source.


If you prefer to drive, remember to factor in not only the cost of the vehicle but also insurance, maintenance, and fuel. According to AAA, the average annual cost of car ownership nationwide is around $9,282 or about $773.50 per month.

In Prescott, the average gas price as of 2023 is approximately $3.50 per gallon source. Remember to consider maintenance costs such as regular oil changes, tire rotations, and other upkeep.

Food and Grocery Expenses in Prescott, AZ

A significant part of anyone’s budget, food expenses can vary based on dietary preferences, the number of family members, and eating habits.

According to Numbeo, as of 2023, a person can expect to spend around $300-$350 per month on groceries in Prescott, depending on their dietary habits. This cost can increase with additional family members.

Prescott boasts a range of dining options, from budget eateries to high-end restaurants. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant is around $15, while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant averages at about $70 source.

Healthcare Costs in Prescott, AZ

Healthcare is another crucial aspect of your budget planning when moving to a new city. In Arizona, the average monthly health insurance cost in 2023 is approximately $500 per person source. Keep in mind, actual costs can vary widely depending on your age, health conditions, and the specifics of your insurance plan.

Medical care costs can also vary. For instance, a routine doctor’s visit can cost around $110. Remember, these costs can increase significantly for specialist consultations or emergency services.

Education Expenses in Prescott, AZ

Education costs can play a significant role in your budget, especially if you have children. While public education is largely funded by taxes, there can be extra costs, such as school supplies, field trips, and extracurricular activities. If you’re considering private education, tuition in Prescott can range anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 per year source.

Prescott is home to institutions like Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Prescott College. Tuition can vary depending on the institution and program, with costs ranging from $25,000 to $35,000 per year source.

Recreation and Entertainment Costs in Prescott, AZ

When planning your budget, don’t forget to include a section for fun! Prescott offers various outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking and biking. The cost of these activities can vary. For instance, the entry fee to local natural attractions like the Granite Dells is around $3 source.

For indoor entertainment, movie ticket prices range around $12, and local theatre performances may range from $20 to $50 source.

Miscellaneous Living Expenses in Prescott, AZ

There are other costs that can add up over time, so it’s important not to overlook them. The costs of clothing and personal care products can vary widely based on personal preferences and habits. On average, Americans spend around $1,833 per year on apparel source.


It’s also a good idea to budget for unexpected costs, such as car repairs, home maintenance, or medical emergencies. A good rule of thumb is to save about 20% of your income for such expenses.

Comparing Prescott’s Cost of Living to the National Average

Knowing how a city compares to the national average can provide context to its cost of living. Prescott’s median home price of $410,000 is significantly higher than the national average, which is around $284,600 source.

While housing costs may be higher, other expenses like utilities and transportation are relatively similar to the national average source.

Calculating Your Required Income to Live in Prescott, AZ

After breaking down the various costs, we can now estimate a rough figure for your required income. We’ve looked at a range of costs, from housing to food, healthcare, and education. Remember to consider your lifestyle and the number of dependents when calculating your necessary income.

While individual circumstances can greatly affect this calculation, one could argue that an income of around $60,000 to $70,000 could suffice for a comfortable life in Prescott for an individual. A family may require a higher income source.

Strategies to Manage Costs in Prescott, AZ

Living on a budget doesn’t mean missing out. With some planning, you can enjoy life in Prescott without breaking the bank. Consider options like shared housing or living slightly outside the city center to save on housing costs. Using public transportation, carpooling, or biking can help reduce transportation expenses.

Cooking at home, packing lunches, and dining out less can help save on food costs.

As we conclude, it’s evident that a wide range of factors come into play when considering the financial aspects of life in Prescott. With this detailed guide, we hope you feel more prepared to make informed decisions about your move. Up next, we’ve gathered some frequently asked questions that might further aid your understanding.

Frequently Asked Questions:

In this section, we will be delving into some of the most common inquiries and curiosities that surround our topic.

What is the median home price in Prescott, AZ?

As of 2023, the median home price in Prescott, AZ, is around $410,000 source.

What is the cost of utilities in Prescott, AZ?

The average utility bill for a 915 sq. ft. apartment in Prescott is approximately $150-$200 per month source.

What is the average cost of car ownership in Prescott, AZ?

The average annual cost of car ownership, including insurance, maintenance, and fuel, is around $9,282, or about $773.50 per month.

What is the cost of healthcare in Prescott, AZ?

The average monthly health insurance cost is approximately $500 per person. A routine doctor’s visit can cost around $110.

What are some strategies for managing costs in Prescott, AZ?

Strategies include considering shared housing or living slightly outside the city center, using public transportation, carpooling, cooking at home, and dining out less.

Remember, all figures are averages and can vary based on individual lifestyle choices and circumstances. However, we hope that this guide has provided a valuable starting point for understanding the cost of living in Prescott, AZ, and planning your budget accordingly.

The Bottom Line: How Much do you Need to Make to Live in Prescott AZ?

Our deep-dive into the cost of living in Prescott, AZ, has covered a comprehensive range of expenses, from housing and utilities to food, transportation, healthcare, and education, as well as additional expenses like recreation, clothing, and unexpected costs.

We’ve also compared these costs to national averages, provided an estimate of the income required to live comfortably in Prescott, and shared some strategies for managing costs effectively.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Teri Franks, the voice behind Prescott Voice. I've spent years immersing myself in all that Prescott has to offer, and I love sharing the unique stories and experiences I've discovered. When I'm not writing, you'll find me exploring Prescott's trails or tasting our local cuisine. I believe that the vibrant lifestyle here in Prescott inspires us to live a healthier, happier life. Come join me on this exciting journey as we explore Prescott together.

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