Cost of Living in Austin vs. Pleasanton

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We all know California is an expensive place to live. Let’s face it, the cost of living is one of the main reasons people choose to leave California for more affordable cities. For some time now and Austin Texas has been a popular new home for many Californians relocating. Austin is even thought of as the Silicon Valley of Texas with many tech companies having offices in Austin. 


So, just how much can you save by living in Austin Texas? In this video I’m going to compare the costs of housing, groceries, property taxes, income tax, insurance, gas, and more between Pleasanton California and Austin Texas….. so let’s get into it. 


1. Groceries


If you’re a California family spending $800/mo on groceries, that’s about $9,600/year.


You can expect to your grocery bill to go down …living in Austin and you could see a savings of $2160 a year.


Winner: Austin


2. Home Purchase


4/2 2000 sq ft | 8000 sqft lot


Pleasanton Home: $1,300,000

Austin Home: $659K


Winner: clearly Texas with a home price $641K less.


3. Property Taxes


Pleasanton .71% = $9230/yr. For this house

Austin $14,344 for the $659K house


So property taxes are something that will cost you more in Texas. What you saved on groceries you will pay for in property taxes a few times over.


Winner: Bay Area saving $5114/year over Austin


4. Home Insurance


Home insurance quote for the Pleasanton home = $98/mo

Home insurance quote for the Austin home = $180/mo.


Homeowners insurance will also cost you more in Texas. Almost twice as much as in California in fact.


Winner: California $982/year


5. State Income Tax


Texas has no state income tax so based on $125K a year income living in Texas you’d  have a take home pay of $101,814. According to smartasset.com income tax calculator.

Compared to a take home pay in California of $96,842.


Winner: Texas A difference of $4972


6. Medical Insurance


California: top premium plans $1366 Kaiser / $2491 for Anthem blue cross

Austin: Most popular plan $885/mo


Winner: Austin: a savings of $481/mo


7. Gas Prices


California: $4.39/gal

Ausin: $2.45/gal


Calculate how much that would be on average in a year

15,000/year and you get 16 mpg

California gas will cost you: $4115.62

Austin gas will cost you: $2,296.87


Gas in california does fluctuate and as of this recording it’s at a high point 

But with these current costs.. This is a difference of $1818/year


Winner: Austin by $1818/year!


8. Car Registration


It was harder to compare the costs of car registrations. I know from personal experience registration for my 2021 vehicle was about $600-700 and from what I could find online it seems it would cost me under $100 to register and title my vehicle in Austin. 


Winner: Austin with a savings of at least $500/year


9. Sales Tax


How does sales tax compare between Pleasanton California and Austin Texas?


I don’t think it will surprise anyone that The Bay Area has higher sales tax. However, I was surprised to learn there wasn’t as large of a difference between them as I expected.


Sales tax in Pleasanton is currently 9.25% while Austin is not far behind at 8.25%


Winner: Austin


10. Average cost to rent a home


So how much does the cost of housing compare if you’re a renter? The average rent in Pleasanton for an average size apartment just over 900sqft is $2,617/mo. Compared to the average rent of a similar sized apartment in Austin at just $1,619/mo. 


So if you’re renting you living in Austin will save you about $12,000 a year.


Winner: Austin


Financial Comparison


So let’s recap:


Bay area


2160/year groceries [$180]
[payment $4917/mo] $641K on the house  [payment $2421/mo] save $2496/o save]
$5114/year property taxes $426/mo MORE
982/year home insurance $984/mo MORE
$4972/year income tax [$414/mo save]
$481/mo medical insurance [$481]
$1818/year gas [$151.50]
$500/year car registration [$42/mo]
Total cost savings of living in austin vs. Bay area: $2279/mo SAVED living in Texas


So it seems great to save over $2200/mo living in Texas… BUT in this review income was assumed to be equal. It may be equal in both places for some people, but not everyone will be that lucky. So let’s take a median income into consideration and re-evaluate…


According to the United States Census Bureau the Median household income in 2019 for Pleasanton, CA was $156,400 vs. just $71,576 for Austin Texas.


A whooping $84,824 difference! 


If you are a median income wage earner does it make sense to save $27,348 a year living in Austin Texas if you’re earning $84,824 a year less?