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The Cost of Living Diaries: Memphis, TN

How much does it cost to live in Memphis? We asked a local to give us ALL the details.

By Lindsey Hyde on June 1, 2022

Memphis TN
Memphis / Courtesy of Ginny under a CC 2.0 license.

Welcome to The Cost of Living Diaries. How much does it cost to live in Memphis, TN? What’s an average mortgage, a cocktail, or a week’s worth of childcare? Keep reading because we asked a Memphis local to tell us all about the cost of living in this thriving city!

Memphis resident Marcus Jackson is the general manager of Craft Axe Throwing, a fun, indoor space where people can launch axes through the air toward a target. He moved to the area from Florida over 20 years ago.  

Marcus Jackson
General Manager
Craft Axe Throwing

What brought you to Memphis?
Family. I had family here, and moved and went to school, and have just been here since. I consider Memphis my home now. 

What do you love about living and working in Memphis?
It’s just the convenience of it all. So where I work now at Craft Axe, it’s in an up-and-coming neighborhood called The Edge, so it’s right outside of the Memphis Medical District, but right before you get to downtown Memphis. And it’s neighborhoods like that throughout the city that then kind of give (Memphis) the character because you can be from Memphis, but it’s different if you’re from South Memphis or if you’re from The Edge or New Chicago or Klondike. Your neighborhood kind of puts a different kind of badge on you, so that’s kind of what I enjoy. Not only do you represent the city, but you represent your neighborhood, as well. 

Memphis, TN
Memphis / Courtesy of Craig Thompson/Memphis Tourism

How would you describe the food scene in Memphis?
We have great food — soul food — great wings, and, of course, barbecue. 

What’s one of your favorite restaurants in the city, and how much would dinner cost for two?
I would say Big Bill’s Bar-Be-Que. You can get dinner for two there for about $30. It’s not too terribly expensive. 

What do you like to do for entertainment in Memphis?
I really just enjoy our music scene. We do have several places — of course, Beale Street and some other little pockets of town — where you can hear some live music just about every night of the week. And we also have a lot of studios in the city, so, surprisingly, we have a lot of recording artists in the city all the time, so (there’s) always a nice little concert to go to. We do have a lot of free concert series that are sponsored by different city entities (especially during the summer). 

Memphis, TN

What’s your favorite local coffee shop, and how much would you spend there on your favorite drink?
It’s called Muggin Coffee (House). It’s in Whitehaven, so it’s close to Graceland, Elvis’ home. It’s Black-owned. As an African American person, I try to support Black-owned, locally owned businesses, so that drew me there. But it’s great coffee. It’s a unique concept, and it’s very “Memphis” — like to the core — the ambiance, the customer service. It’s kind of like the Southern Starbucks if you will. I like the caramel frappuccino, extra whip cream, and it’s about $5. And I get a large. 

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