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Where Iowa’s Household Expenses are the Highest in 2022

How does living in the Hawkeye State affect your wallet? doxo breaks down key insights about Iowa’s household expenses, with a close eye to how bills differ in towns and cities. On average, Iowa’s household expenses, doxo’s data reveals, are $1,784 per month.

doxo’s data also has infographics for 38 cities and towns across Iowa, breaking down localized bill pay data figures as well. The state-wide rankings for most and least expensive cities provide insight into cost of living in Iowa and how it changes according to location.

The data sheds light on Iowa’s cost of living through other metrics, too. For example, the “percent of household income” data point shows what percentage of household income local residents spend on bills. doxo’s data also indicates how much more or less expensive specific cities are than the national and state average.

Iowa residents’ household bills are 20% lower than average

The average Iowa household pays $1,784 a month for the 10 most common household bills. This figure takes into account the 10 most common household bills, which are: 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.

Iowa residents pay low household bill expenses: the state ranks 32nd out of 50 states in terms of average monthly spending. This is more than a $200 difference from the national average of $2,003: 10.9% lower than the national average.

Slightly more expensive than Iowa is North Carolina, where residents pay $1,829 a month on average; slightly more affordable is South Carolina, where residents pay $1,783.

The most expensive state for household expenses is Hawaii, where residents pay $2,911 per month. The most affordable state, meanwhile, is West Virginia, where bills average $1,452 per month.

Absolute dollar amounts don’t tell the full story, however. Iowa households spend 36% of their income on household costs, which is equivalent to the national average, and a lower share than many states where households pay more affordable bills than in Iowa. For example, Mississippi residents, though they pay much less expensive bills than Iowa residents in absolute terms ($1,559 a month on average), spend a much higher percentage of household income on them: 42%.

Annually, Iowa residents pay $26 billion in household bills. See more data about bill pay in Iowa by clicking on the infographic link below.

Data: doxoINSIGHTS’ bill pay infographic about Iowa

  • Average Bill Cost per HH: $1,784 per month
  • State Bill Pay Market Size: $26 billion
  • doxoINSIGHTS State Rank: 32 out of 50
  • Percent of HHI Used for Bills: 36%
  • Difference from the National Average: 10.9% lower

Rent in Iowa is 30% lower than the national average

The average Iowa household pays $1,784 in the 10 most common household bills per month. Housing costs deviate substantially from the national average. The average mortgage is $1,044 per month in Iowa compared to the national average of $1,368: 24% lower than the national average. Rent, at $786 in Iowa compared to $1,129 nationally, is even further removed from the US average: 30% lower.

Utilities is also a category where Iowa residents save compared to the national average. The average Iowa household spends $312 on their utility bill, compared to the national average of $328.

Health insurance, however, is an area in which Iowa residents pay substantially more than the national average. The average household in the Hawkeye state pays $176 a month for health insurance bills, compared to the national average of $123, making the costs 43% higher than the national average.

Note: Health Insurance and Life Insurance expenses do not account for payments made by employers on behalf of employees. These just include out-of-pocket expenses. Also, the state and national bill totals take into account the percentage of households that pay a bill.

Average Iowa Household Bill Spending

Bill Category Average Iowa Monthly Bill National Average Monthly Bill Iowa Percent +/- National Average ($2,003)
Mortgage $1,044 $1,368 24% lower
Rent $786 $1,129 30% lower
Auto Loan $425 $433 2% lower
Utilities $312 $328 5% lower
Auto Insurance $189 $196 4% lower
Cable & Internet $110 $114 4% lower
Health Insurance $176 $123 43% higher
Mobile Phone $115 $113 2% higher
Alarm & Security $83 $84 2% lower
Life Insurance $88 $82 7% higher
Total $1,784 $2,003 10.9% lower

Johnston is the most expensive area for Iowa household bills

Residents of Johnston pay the highest household bills in the state of Iowa, at an average of $2,315 per month. Waukee comes in second in the rankings, with residents paying an average of $2,281 on household expenses.

Residents of the top two areas, plus the third–Clive–though they pay the most expensive bills in the state, spend a low share of household income on bills compared to the state average: 28%, 29%, and 27%, compared to the state (and national) average of 36%.

Also on the list of the most expensive areas to pay household bills in Iowa are Indianola ($2,146 per month), Ames ($2,082 per month), and Iowa City ($2,070 per month).

Access detailed infographics about each city or town by clicking on the hyperlinks in the “City” column in the tables below. You can also browse doxoINSIGHTS’ regional bill comparison database to see infographics about more than 4,200 cities and towns across all 50 states in the US.

10 Most Expensive Iowa Cities for Household Bills

Rank
(1-10 out of 38)
City Monthly Bill Expenses Per Household Percent of Household Income Used for Bills
1 Johnston $2,315 28%
2 Waukee $2,281 29%
3 Clive $2,255 27%
4 Ankeny $2,242 33%
5 Coralville $2,219 41%
6 North Liberty $2,213 32%
7 Indianola $2,146 39%
8 Muscatine $2,087 45%
9 Ames $2,082 52%
10 Iowa City $2,070 49%

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

Spencer is the most affordable place in Iowa for household bills

Out of 38 cities and towns for which doxoINSIGHTS provides data, Spencer is the most affordable place in Iowa, with residents paying $1,351 on average for household bills. They spend a slightly lower share of their income on household bills than the Iowa average, at 35%, though this is nowhere near as low as residents of the most expensive areas in the state.

Ottumwa is second most affordable area on the list, with residents paying an average of $1,392 on household bills.

Also on the list of most affordable cities and towns in Iowa are Oskaloosa ($1,427 a month), Fort Madison ($1,501 a month), and Cedar Rapids ($1,578 a month).

10 Most Affordable Iowa Cities for Household Bills

Rank
(29-38 out of 38)
City Monthly Bill Expenses Per Household Percent of Household Income Used for Bills  
29 Carroll $1,581 35%  
30 Cedar Rapids $1,578 30%  
31 Burlington $1,570 39%  
32 Davenport $1,557 37%  
33 Fairfield $1,554 45%  
34 Keokuk $1,544 45%  
35 Fort Madison $1,501 40%  
36 Oskaloosa $1,427 34%  
37 Ottumwa $1,392 38%  
38 Spencer $1,351 35%  

In the wake of the rise of remote work, some individuals may be deciding whether to move from a more expensive city to a less expensive one. doxoINSIGHTS can be a valuable resource for consumers seeking to make key decisions like this, allowing them to compare Iowa’s household expenses against average bills in different cities and states across the country. They can also use doxoINSIGHTS’ regional bill comparison database to compare average costs for over 900 towns and cities across the country.

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