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2023 Report: Cities in North Carolina where Household Expenses are Highest and Lowest

How does living in the Old North state affect your wallet? doxo breaks down key insights about North Carolina’s household expenses, with a close eye to how bills differ in towns and cities across the state. The average household in North Carolina, doxo’s data reveals, pays $1,913 in bills per month.

doxo’s data also has infographics for 150 cities and towns across North Carolina, 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 North Carolina and how it changes according to location.

The data sheds light on North Carolina’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.

North Carolina residents pay $1,913 in household bills a month

The average North Carolina household pays $1,913 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.

North Carolina residents, overall, get a good deal on their bills: the state ranks 31st out of 50 states in terms of average monthly spending. Montana ranks 30th, with annual monthly expenses of $1,919, and Louisiana ranks 32nd, at $1,906.

North Carolina’s household expenses, on average, are 6.5% lower 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. Residents of North Carolina spend 39% of their income on household bills.

Annually, North Carolina residents pay $86 billion in household bills. See more data about bill pay in North Carolina by clicking on the infographic link below.

Data: doxoINSIGHTS’ bill pay infographic about North Carolina

  • Average Bill Cost per HH: $1,913 per month
  • State Bill Pay Market Size: $86 billion
  • doxoINSIGHTS State Rank: 31 out of 50
  • Percent of HHI Used for Bills: 39%
  • Difference from the National Average: 6.5% lower

Housing bill category drives North Carolina’s low monthly bill expenses

The average North Carolina household pays $1,913 in the 10 most common household bills per month. Rent and mortgage expenses drive savings, with both being lower than the national average. The average mortgage payment in North Carolina is $1,252, and average rent is $1,011, compared to the national average mortgage bill of $1,321 and rent bill of $1,191.

Other than housing-related expenses, auto loans are the most significant of the 10 most common bills for residents of North Carolina. Still, these expenses are lower than the national average. The average auto loan bill in North Carolina is $463 a month, compared to the national average of $467.

Compared to the national average, utilities are also a notably lower expense for residents of North Carolina. The average household in the state pays $282 a month for utilities, compared to the national average of $351.

Auto insurance, by contrast, is more affordable in North Carolina. While US residents on average spend $207 per month on car insurance, in North Carolina they spend just $188.

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 North Carolina Household Bill Spending

Bill CategoryAverage North Carolina Monthly BillNational Average Monthly BillNorth Carolina Percent +/- National Average ($2,046)
Mortgage$1,252$1,3215% lower
Rent$1,011$1,19115% lower
Auto Loan$463$4671% lower
Utilities$282$35120% lower
Auto Insurance$188$2079% lower
Cable & Internet$115$1183% lower
Health Insurance$100$12017% lower
Mobile Phone$111$1197% lower
Alarm & Security$82$842% lower
Life Insurance$80$8910% lower
Total$1,913$2,0466.5% lower

Cary tops the list of most expensive cities for North Carolina’s household bills

Residents of Cary pay the highest household bills in the state of North Carolina, at an average of $2,963 per month. Apex comes second in the rankings, with residents paying $2,713 on average per month.

In proportion to household income, however, Cary’s bills are only slightly costlier than ones in Apex. While Cary’s monthly bill basket makes up 33% of average household income there, Apex’s bill basket accounts for just 30% of average household income in that area.

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 North Carolina Cities for Household Bills

Rank
(1-10 out of 150)
CityMonthly Bill Expenses Per Household*Percent of Household Income Used for Bills 
1Cary$2,96333% 
2Apex$2,71330% 
3Wake Forest$2,68731% 
4Waxhaw$2,68425% 
5Holly Springs$2,66729% 
6Morrisville$2,57732% 
7Matthews$2,56932% 
8Chapel Hill$2,51034% 
9Mebane$2,48148% 
10Fuquay Varina$2,37936% 
*Household Bill Pay Expense averages shown above reflect the ten most common bills paid, including housing (rent/mortgage).

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

Maxton is the most affordable North Carolina city for household bills

Out of 150 cities and towns, Maxton is the most affordable place in North Carolina, with residents paying $1,143 on average for household bills. Household bills account for 40% of local income in Maxton.

Lenoir comes in at the second most affordable town or city in North Carolina, with residents paying $1,230 per month on average.

Also on the list of 10 least expensive cities in North Carolina are Supply ($1,290 per month), Taylorsville ($1,321 per month), and Granite Falls ($1,342 per month).

10 Most Affordable North Carolina Cities for Household Bills

Rank
(141-150 out of 150)
CityMonthly Bill Expenses Per HouseholdPercent of Household Income Used for Bills
141Wilkesboro$1,41236%
142Albemarle$1,40533%
143Eden$1,39739%
144Bessemer City$1,36835%
145Forest City$1,36045%
146Granite Falls$1,34230%
147Taylorsville$1,32131%
148Supply$1,29035%
149Lenoir$1,23035%
150Maxton$1,14340%

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 North Carolina’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.