• Mai Duc Nguyen

IELTS Reading Practice - How Much Money Do You Need to Live in Miami?

How Much Money Do You Need to Live in Miami?

The amount of money you need to live in Miami depends on many factors, including what part of town you live in, whether you have dependents to support and what kind of lifestyle you wish to maintain. While average costs for rent, food, transportation and so forth can provide a broad picture of what it costs to live in Miami, additional confounding variables exist, such as whether you are a student, a working professional or an unemployed job-seeker.

No matter who you are, to support yourself with even a modest lifestyle, you must be able to afford rent, utilities, food and transportation costs. The following analysis breaks down these costs as they apply to people in various stages of life in Miami.

Miami Averages

Knowing the average cost in the city for rent, utilities, food and transportation is a good place to start. Still, it provides, at best, a very rough estimate of your monthly expenditures in Miami. This city in particular is especially hard to pinpoint because rents vary wildly from one part of town to another. On one end, there is South Beach, Brickell and Coconut Grove, all swanky, cosmopolitan areas with sky-high rents that call to mind the oppressive prices of Manhattan and West Hollywood. The city also features areas such as Overtown and Liberty City, where rents are low but crime rates are astronomical; many prospective residents rule these neighborhoods out immediately, despite the availability of cheap rentals, because of safety concerns.


As of May 2015, the average apartment in Miami rents for $2,660 per month. The average one-bedroom apartment rents for $2,025 per month. These averages may sound scary to a new resident, but remember, they include the exorbitant rents found in the city's wealthiest and most exclusive neighborhoods. An Internet search for Miami rentals under $1,000 per month yields pages of results, so options exist for renters on tight budgets.


Expect varying utility bills based on the time of year. Powering your South Florida home or apartment during the winter is relatively cheap; on many days you do not need air conditioning, and you almost never need to run the heat. July and August are a different story. Average daytime highs exceed 90 degrees. Besides the heat, extreme humidity and a high dew point make the moisture in the air palpable. This necessitates running your air conditioning nearly 24 hours per day and can easily push summer utility bills above $200 per month, particularly if your home is large. For a 1,000 square-foot apartment in Miami, expect an average utility bill of $150 per month; it is higher during the summer and lower during the winter.


Food costs in Miami are slightly higher than the national average. As of August 2015, a gallon of milk costs $3.46, a loaf of bread is $2.27, and a pound of chicken breasts costs $4.20. For residents who cook at home and avoid eating out, maintaining a healthy, fulfilling diet for $100 per week or less is realistic in Miami.


The cost of getting around Miami depends on your mode of transportation. For drivers, the biggest cost, other than the car itself, is insurance, which is well above the national average in Miami due to bad traffic, a high crime rate and extreme weather concerns. Gas prices exceed the national average, though not substantially. Taxis are also expensive. However, as of August 2015, Uber maintains a presence in Miami. A bus ticket to downtown costs $2.25, or you can purchase a monthly unlimited bus pass for $112.50.

Living in Miami for Students

Miami is home to several large universities, including the private University of Miami and the public Florida International University. A large supply of apartments exists around both campuses, including two-bedroom units for under $2,000. The cheapest way to live in Miami as a student is to have roommates, preferably several. Most apartments allow two residents per bedroom, meaning four people can share a two-bedroom apartment. That brings $2,000 in rent down to $500 per person.

A $150 utility bill would also be split four ways, making each resident's cost less than $40. Moreover, college students are famous for eating cheaply, so keeping food costs under $400 per month should be more than feasible. Transportation is largely a nonissue as long as you rent a place within walking distance to campus.

Assuming you can make a budget, stick to it and not be lured by Miami's extravagance, it is possible to live in the city as a student on a $1,500 take-home monthly income. Students derive that income from on-campus or off-campus jobs, student loans, parental assistance or a combination of these funds...

Source: Investopedia.com

Questions 1-7: Answer the following questions with no more than three words AND/OR a number for each answer.

1. What make costs of living in Miami unpredictable?


2. What can high crime rates be an example of in cities with low rental costs?


3. In general, how much should you prepare to pay as rental fee to live in Miami on a monthly basis?


4. What factor explains the differences in ulitiy costs in different areas of Miami?


5. Why is car insurance expensive in Miami?


6. For the majority of cases, up to how many people can live in an apartment with two bedrooms in Miami?


7. What problem can students in Miami solve if their accommodation is located near their campus?


Please find the keys here.

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Watch this video produced by Expedia to understand what tourists can do in Miami.

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