How Much Does It Cost to Live in Columbia, South Carolina?

Columbia is a small city located in South Carolina with a metropolitan area population of 131,686. A couple could live a moderate lifestyle in Columbia on a budget of $2,886 per month, or $34,637 per year.

Cost of Living in Columbia, South Carolina

As noted above, the cost of living in Columbia, South Carolina is $2,886 per month for a couple living a moderate lifestyle. This budget consists of $1,669 for housing related costs, $572 for food, and $646 for other costs, all of which will be broken down below.


  • A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Columbia is estimated to cost $1,349
  • Basic utilities including electricity, water, and gas will run about $239
  • High-speed internet averages $81


  • Typical grocery costs of $364 per month include things like bread, eggs, milk, cheese, rice, chicken breast, bottled water, fruits, and vegetables
  • Alcohol including beer and wine for moderate home consumption costs about $93
  • Frequent coffees in a neighborhood café are estimated to be about $115


  • Meals out are estimated to be $400 per month, including 4 meals in mid-range restaurants and 8 in inexpensive restaurants
  • Transportation costs of $125 for public transport passes and occasional taxis
  • Fitness center memberships of $61
  • Cinema tickets of $60 include several outings for international releases

Note that Columbia, South Carolina is a very walkable city with a Walk Score of 77/100, which means you won’t need a car if you are living in the city center and you may even save some money by not using public transportation and taxis very often.


Amount of Money Needed to Retire in Columbia, South Carolina

Many people searching the internet for the cost of living in Columbia, South Carolina are doing so to see if and when they can quit their jobs and retire. A popular and easy way to calculate your retirement number is using the 4% Rule.

The 4% Rule estimates that a person(s) could withdraw 4% of their retirement nest egg and never run out of money. Using this calculation, a couple would need an investment portfolio of $865,926 to live a moderate lifestyle in Columbia, South Carolina.

Annual expenses of $34,637 ÷ 4% = $865,926 portfolio needed.

Of course, everyone’s financial situation is different, and the above calculation could change based on any other sources of passive income and social security income.


Overall, the cost of living in Columbia, South Carolina is affordable coming in at $2,886 for a couple living a moderate lifestyle. Those seeking to retire could do so comfortably with a retirement portfolio of $865,926.