As Consumers Grapple with Inflation, Report Reveals Most and Least Expensive Largest U.S. Cities for Household Bills, up 6% Overall From the Prior Year

While the Average American Now Spends More Than $2,000 per Month on Household Bills, San Jose, CA is the Most Expensive city at $3,248 per month, While Detroit, MI is the Most Affordable at $1,634 per month

SEATTLE, October 3, 2022doxo, the innovative web and mobile bill pay service, today released a new report that compares household bill pay behavior across the 50 largest cities in the nation (based on number of households). The 50 Largest U.S. Cities Household Spend Report 2022, which reflects actual bill payment activity across more than 97% U.S. zip codes, reveals the most and least expensive big cities for Americans to live based on average spend per month on actual household bill payments. While the average U.S. household spends $24,032 annually on bills, 36% of the U.S. household median income ($67,521) and roughly $2,003 per month (up 6% year over year, in line with the increase in total consumer spending as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis for the same period), plenty of cities rank well above or below this figure. San Jose, New York, San Francisco, Boston and San Diego top the list as the most expensive, while Memphis, Albuquerque, El Paso, Cleveland, and Detroit are the most affordable.

Given recent strains on household budgets due to nationwide inflation, this insight into how much of a household income is required to cover bills in each city helps arm consumers with the knowledge they need to budget accordingly With a 6% year over year increase in the amount paid on household bills, a recent doxoINSIGHTS study found that 9 out of 10 Americans (89%) have seen a jump in their household bills over the past 12 months with utilities rising the most. The study also found that 87% of Americans worry about their ability to pay their bills if inflation rates continue to rise. 

“Consumers are indeed feeling the strain as they deal with the consequence of months of inflation impacting nearly every category of household spending,” said Jim Kreyenhagen, VP of Marketing and Consumer Services at doxo. “Through doxoINSIGHTS, we are able to provide consumers, businesses, and financial institutions with access to the broadest and most transparent data available on actual household spending for the most common bills. Uncovering household bill spend on a metro-specific level in addition to doxo’s bill pay application provides consumers with the information and tools they need to improve their financial health. Additionally, this data allows the service providers and financial institutions that serve them to better align with their needs, which is more crucial now than ever.”


The findings outlined in the 50 Largest U.S. Cities Household Spend Report 2022 include the total monthly spend for bills each month, as well as a breakout of each of the ten most common household bills, including: Mortgage; Rent; Auto Loan; Utilities (electric, gas, water & sewer, and waste & recycling); Auto Insurance; Cable, Internet & Phone; Health Insurance (consumer paid portion); Mobile Phone; Alarm & Security; and Life Insurance. The 10 most expensive and least expensive cities among the top 50 biggest U.S. cities are outlined below.

10 Most Expensive Largest U.S. Cities for Household Bills:


City Monthly Bill Expense Per Household* Percent of Metro Household Income Percent +/- National Average 
San Jose $3,248 36.0% +62.2%
New York $3,059 39.0% +52.7%
Boston $2,963 46.0% +47.9%
San Francisco $2,946 33.0% +47.1%
San Diego $2,689 40.0% +34.3%
Washington, DC $2,686 36.0% +34.1%
Los Angeles $2,672 57.0% +33.4%
Seattle $2,572 37.0% +28.4%
Miami $2,482 54.0% +23.9%
Austin $2,447 38.0% +22.2%

10 Least Expensive Largest U.S. Cities for Household Bills:

City Monthly Bill Expense Per Household* Percent of Metro Household Income Percent +/- National Average 
Cincinnati $1,786 37.0% -10.8%
Oklahoma City $1,779 41.0% -11.1%
Rochester $1,772 42.0% -11.5%
Kansas City, MO $1,754 37.0% -12.4%
Dayton $1,700 38.0% -15.1%
Memphis $1,689 47.0% -15.7%
Albuquerque $1,687 38.0% -15.7%
El Paso $1,675 44.0% -16.3%
Cleveland $1,655 48.0% -17.4%
Detroit $1,634 66.0% -18.4%


*Household Bill Pay Expense averages shown above reflect the ten most common bills paid, including housing (rent/mortgage). See report for details.

From this list of the 50 largest cities in the U.S., doxo’s report reveals the most and least expensive places for Americans to live based on average spend per month on actual household bill payments. Residents of San Jose pay the highest monthly bills out of these 50 cities, at an average of $3,248 in monthly expenses, or 62.2% higher than the national average of $2,003. California is well represented among the most expensive metro areas ranked, with San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles also on the list. New York, Boston, Washington DC, Seattle, Miami, and Austin also made the list of the top ten most expensive cities.

Findings also show that cities in the Midwest are some of the least expensive in doxo’s Top 50 rankings. Detroit residents pay the least in average monthly expenses, at $1,634, which is 18.4% lower than the national average. Other Midwest-based cities make up the majority of the least expensive cities with Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City (MO), and Dayton all making the list.

To view more from doxoINSIGHTS and its 50 Largest U.S. Cities Household Spend Report 2022, including a full breakdown of the amount paid in household bills across all of the 50 states, as well as previous doxo reports, visit the doxoINSIGHTS website

Bill Payment Data for 4000+ Cities:

doxoINSIGHTS data covers more than the 50 largest cities in the United States. Browse infographics for more than 4000 cities and towns across the country. The infographics compare average bill expenses in the 10 major household bill categories. Look up your city’s infographic on doxoINSIGHTS’ Regional Bill Comparison database

About doxoINSIGHTS

doxoINSIGHTS provides direct insight into household financial health and spending activity by leveraging consumer surveys and doxo’s unique aggregate bill pay data set, comprising actual bill payment activity to confirmed household service providers across the country. doxo data brings together the broadest available data set for analyzing actual household bill payment activity, pulling from over seven million paying consumers across over 97% of U.S. zip codes. doxo’s payment network covers over 120,000 billers in 45 different service categories and enables payments using bank accounts, credit cards or debit cards. This uniquely broad statistical foundation powers doxoINSIGHTS reports – uncovering key trends for household financial health and bill payment behavior.

About doxo

doxo provides simple, secure all-in-one bill payment to any biller, with any payment method, on any device. A doxoPLUS subscription adds free bank payments and five essential financial protections that boost household financial health. Through these services, doxo currently serves over seven million users who can make payments to over 120,000 local and national businesses, making doxo the largest bill pay directory in the nation. Billers on the network get paid directly, fast and free – and consumers have complete bill pay independence over when and how they pay their bills. doxo investors include Jackson Square Ventures, MDV, Sigma Partners, and Bezos Expeditions. doxo is based in Seattle, WA. For more information visit