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2023 Report: Boston’s Household Bills

How does living in Boston affect your wallet? doxo breaks down key insights about the state’s household expenses, with a close eye to how bills differ in towns and cities. On average, Boston’s household expenses, doxo’s data reveals, are $3,962 per month.

doxo’s data also has infographics for 154 cities and towns across Massachusetts, breaking down localized bill pay data figures as well. The state-wide rankings for most and least expensive cities provides insight into cost of living in Massachusetts and how it changes according to location.

The data sheds light on Boston’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.

Boston residents pay $3,962 in household bills a month

The average Boston household pays $3,962 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.

Boston ranks 1st out of 154 cities and towns across Massachusetts in terms of average monthly spending. Slightly less expensive than Boston is Needham, where residents pay $3,699 a month on average; followed by Sudbury, where residents pay $3,698.

For comparison, the most affordable city in the state of Massachusetts for household bills is North Adams, where residents pay $1,545 per month.

Boston’s household expenses, on average, are 93.6% higher than the national average of $2,046.

Absolute dollar amounts don’t tell the full story, however. The “percentage of household income” metric provides a more proportional look at bill spending in a particular location. Boston households spend 57% of their income on household expenses, whereas Needham residents spend only 24%, Sudbury 23%, and North Adams 35%.

Annually, Boston residents pay $3 billion in household bills. See more data about bill pay in Boston by clicking on the infographic link below.

Data: doxo INSIGHTS’ bill pay infographic about Boston


  • Average Bill Cost per HH: $3,962 per month
  • City Bill Pay Market Size: $3 billion
  • doxoINSIGHTS City Rank: 1 out of 154
  • Percent of HHI Used for Bills: 57%
  • Difference from the National Average: 93.6% higher


Housing costs drive Boston’s high expenses

The average Boston household pays $3,962 in the 10 most common household bills per month. The much higher-than-average rent and mortgage prices drive the expenses as high as they are, with both being significantly more than the national average. The average mortgage payment in Boston is $3,326, and average rent is $2,089, compared to the national average mortgage bill of $1,321 and rent bill of $1,191. This makes Boston’s mortgage costs 152% higher than the national average, and rent costs 75% higher than the national average.

Alarm and security is an area in which Boston residents spend less than the national average. The average household in Boston pays $66 a month for alarm and security, compared to the national average of $84.

Life insurance, however, is more expensive in Boston than it is in the country overall. While US residents on average spend $89 per month on life insurance, in Boston they spend $95.

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 Boston Household Bill Spending

Bill Category Average Boston Monthly Bill National Average Monthly Bill Boston Percent +/- National Average ($2,046)
Mortgage $3,326 $1,321 152% higher
Rent $2,089 $1,191 75% higher
Auto Loan $1,237 $467 165% higher
Utilities $354 $351 1% higher
Auto Insurance $345 $207 67% higher
Cable & Internet $119 $118 1% higher
Health Insurance $100 $120 17% lower
Mobile Phone $211 $119 77% higher
Alarm & Security $66 $84 21% lower
Life Insurance $95 $89 7% higher
Total $3,962 $2,046 93.6% higher


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 Boston’s household expenses against average bills in different cities in Massachusetts. They can also use doxoINSIGHTS’ regional bill comparison database to compare average costs for over 4000 towns and cities across the country.