How Much Does It Cost to Live in Boulder, Colorado?

Boulder is a small city located in Colorado with a metropolitan area population of 101,808. A couple could live a moderate lifestyle in Boulder on a budget of $4,341 per month, or $52,091 per year.

Cost of Living in Boulder, Colorado

As noted above, the cost of living in Boulder, Colorado is $4,341 per month for a couple living a moderate lifestyle. This budget consists of $2,338 for housing related costs, $818 for food, and $1,185 for other costs, all of which will be broken down below.


  • A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Boulder is estimated to cost $2,113
  • Basic utilities including electricity, water, and gas will run about $155
  • High-speed internet averages $70


  • Typical grocery costs of $616 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 $92
  • Frequent coffees in a neighborhood café are estimated to be about $110


  • Meals out are estimated to be $543 per month, including 4 meals in mid-range restaurants and 8 in inexpensive restaurants
  • Transportation costs of $285 for public transport passes and occasional taxis
  • Fitness center memberships of $283
  • Cinema tickets of $75 include several outings for international releases

Note that Boulder, Colorado is a very walkable city with a Walk Score of 87/100, 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 Boulder, Colorado

Many people searching the internet for the cost of living in Boulder, Colorado 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 $1,302,279 to live a moderate lifestyle in Boulder, Colorado.

Annual expenses of $52,091 ÷ 4% = $1,302,279 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 Boulder, Colorado is affordable coming in at $4,341 for a couple living a moderate lifestyle. Those seeking to retire could do so comfortably with a retirement portfolio of $1,302,279.