The Cost of Living Diaries: Lincoln, NE
How much does it cost to live in Lincoln, NE? We asked a local to give us ALL the details.
How long have you lived in Lincoln?
Nine years, but I’ve lived within an hour of Lincoln since birth.
What’s your rent/mortgage in Lincoln?
Our mortgage is $1,100 a month for a three-bedroom, two-bath house in a nice neighborhood.
Who are the main employers in Lincoln? Are jobs relatively easy to find?
There are many prominent employers in Lincoln. Some of the bigger entities are the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Nelnet, the State of Nebraska (as we are the capital city) and several call centers.
Jobs are readily available; you can find opportunities and work for most skillsets.
How’s the access to grocery stores and food in Lincoln? Are you going to be able to find things like quinoa and gluten-free pizzas at your local grocery store?
Absolutely. There are three main chains that carry most foods – including exotic and dietary-restriction friendly options. There are also a variety of specialty stores, Asian and Middle Eastern markets, health food stores, and plenty of Walmarts and Targets.
What’s childcare like in Lincoln?
It’s plentiful; there are lots of home-based and center-based options. When we were looking into childcare, we weren’t immediately able to secure a spot for our coming bundle of joy, but we did get put on a waitlist and were offered a “sister” location that was slightly farther away until a spot was open. We absolutely could have found care elsewhere, though.
What’s it like to be a child-free adult in Lincoln?
I’ve never been child-free in Lincoln, but many of my friends were. There are concerts, college sports, escape rooms and theater.
As a college town, there is no shortage of new and fun things going on. We have live jazz, art walks once a month and brewery tours. There’s the Lincoln Zoo, a beautiful sunken garden, farmers’ markets and street parties.
How walkable is Lincoln? Is there a good public transit system?
Lincoln is safe to walk, with sidewalks in good repair. The bus system is extensive and timely, and there are bike paths all across town. You can absolutely find a way to get where you are going without a vehicle.
To give us an idea of the overall cost of living — how much does a nice fancy cup of coffee cost? A nice cocktail?
About $6 after tax for a medium coffee at Starbucks. A nice bloody Mary (my drink of choice) is usually between $6 - $10.
What are your absolute favorite things about Lincoln?
“Nebraska Nice” is a real thing; the people here are friendly. We hold doors for each other and let people merge in front of us during heavy traffic.
In my neighborhood — and many throughout town — you can leave your door unlocked and not panic. If I want to go for a night walk (as a woman), most parts of town are safe to do so. It’s safe; it’s small town living with city amenities.