10 Least and Most Expensive Major Cities

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You don’t need a calculator to figure out that monthly expenses are going through the roof when you consider the cost of cell phone service, utilities, streaming services and more. How does what you pay in your city compare to what people elsewhere pay?

A recent report indicates that regular monthly expenses cost American households an average of $24,557 each year. But the range above and below that average may be more than you think.

Of the top 50 major cities, San Jose, California, comes in with the highest monthly tally: $3,504. That’s more than 71% higher than the national monthly average. On the other end of the spectrum, Detroit residents spend $1,571 on average for their monthly bills, which is 23% lower than the national average.

The household data come from the United States of Bill Pay: Top 50 U.S. Metros Household Spend Report 2023 from bill pay platform Doxo.

Are These Household Bills Eating Into Your Budget?

The report takes a deep dive into what it costs to live in 50 of the largest cities in America by analyzing the average spending for the following 10 household bills:

  • Mortgage
  • Rent
  • Auto Loan
  • Utilities
  • Auto Insurance
  • Cable & Internet & Phone
  • Health Insurance
  • Mobile Phone
  • Alarm & Security
  • Life Insurance

Let’s take a look at the cities where residents pay the least on their monthly bills on average. Then, we’ll consider the cities with residents that have the highest average monthly bills.

Cities With the Least Expensive Monthly Bills

Percent of
Percent +/-
10. St. Louis, MO$1,91337%-6.5%
9. Memphis, TN$1,90349%-7%
8. El Paso, TX$1,89747%-7.3%
7. Tucson, AZ$1,84639%-9.8%
6. Rochester, NY$1,84140%-10%
5. Oklahoma City, OK$1,80240%-12%
4. Albuquerque,
3. Dayton, OH$1,76437%-13.8%
2. Cleveland, OH$1,64244.0%- 19.8%
1. Detroit, MI$1,57158.0%-23.2%

Cities With the Most Expensive Monthly Bills

Percent of
Percent +/-
1. San Jose, CA$3,50435%71.2%
2. Boston, MA$3,36957%64.6%
3. New York, NY$3,24639%58.6%
4. San Francisco, CA$3,20532%56.6%
5. Washington, D.C.$3,10639%51.8%
6. San Diego, CA$2,98541%45.9%
7. Seattle, WA$2,91237%42.3%
8. Los Angeles, CA$2,85955%39.7%
9. Miami, FL$2,66753%30.3%
10. Portland, OR$2,64940%29.4%

Read the full United States of Bill Pay report from Doxo.

How To Save on Household Bills

At Clark.com, we pride ourselves on finding ways for you to save money. Take a chunk out of some of those household expenses by putting these tips to work:

Save on Subscriptions

The first place you need to start when it comes to looking for ways to save is on those TV and movie subscription services you might have signed up for. Are you still using them? If not, that’s an opportunity to save.

“A lot of us are dying in the wallet from the $10 cut,” money expert Clark Howard says. “You know what the $10 cuts are? Those are the monthly subscriptions we’re signing up for here, there and everywhere. They’re called the $10 cuts because we’re slowly bleeding our wallet dry.”

Once you do a subscription audit, you can quickly see which services you need to cancel.


Read up on how to manage your subscriptions.

Save on Utilities

When it comes to utilities, one way to lower your energy bill is to practice zoned heating. The process involves closing all of the doors and vents in rooms that aren’t occupied. This will help to reduce wasted energy.

Another way to lower your power bill is to use LED lighting, which can save you $225 annually according to the Department of Energy.

Read our guide on how to save on utilities.

Save on Cable

Team Clark is big on cutting the cord. If you’re paying $100 or more per month to watch your favorite movies and TV shows, taking a good look at the latest streaming options could save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Read our comprehensive guide on the best streaming services.

Final Thoughts

Team Clark wants you to do all you can to save on your monthly bills, but it’s going to take time and effort on your part.

If you need help getting your bills in order, it starts with budgeting. Read all about the CLARK Method to create a budget.