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The Cost of Living Diaries: Nashville, TN

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

By Lindsey Hyde on March 1, 2022

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

People from all over the world know Nashville as “Music City,” a place where musicians and creatives move to make their mark. While undeniably a great place to launch a music career, anyone can find their niche here, as this ever-growing city boasts an envious lifestyle and countless career opportunities.

To find out more about what it’s like to live and work in this region, we sat down with Sam Davidson, who grew up in the area, moved away for college, and then returned in 2004. Today, he lives south of downtown in the Green Hills neighborhood with his wife and two kids and is the CEO and co-founder of Batch, a Nashville-based company that sells packages made up of locally made, artisanal goods. 

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Sam Davidson
CEO and co-founder of Batch
City: Nashville, TN

Q: Why did you decide to move back after college?
A: Some of it was after college; it was just sort of a necessity. No other great options. It was sort of like sure, I grew up here, I know people here, my family’s still here, and so if worst came to worst, I had a little bit of a safety net. And totally thought when I moved back, “if something opens up somewhere else, I’m happy to go,” but you do that, and you turn around, and 18 years later, you’re still there. 

Q: What was it like buying a home in the area, and how much did you pay? 
A: We bought where we currently live in 2017, and we bought it back then in the $400s ($400,000s). So for the size of our house and the street we’re on and all that kind of stuff, I think back then (in 2017), it was about average (in terms of cost). 

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iStock/

Q: What do you like about residing in the Nashville area?
A: For me, I think Nashville offers a lot of big-city amenities without a big-city feel, so Nashville — I think other folks would say this — it still has some elements that make it feel like a small town, so that can be friendliness, that can be that you can get to know your barista or restaurant owners or business owners in a given area. I feel like there is a general friendliness that exists here. 

Q: What is your favorite place to eat, and how much is dinner and drinks for two?
A: My favorite spots to go — one is on the casual side, like burger, fries, beers — that kind of place — and it’s a restaurant called M.L.Rose, and there are several of those around town. Kind of you could meet anybody there for anything any time of day. It’s awesome. And then on what we consider the nicer side or sit-down meal, gourmet stuff — I would go with a place called City House. I think City House if you wanted entrees, an appetizer, a drink or two for two people, you’re going to spend $100-$150 after tip, whereas I think you could do it for probably $50 or $60 at M.L.Rose. 

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Nashville / Jeff Adkins

Q: How much do you spend on child care?
A: Our child (two-year-old son) is in daycare — he’s in full-time daycare — and there’s a variety of those we looked at. He goes to a daycare that’s hosted in the church, so he goes Monday through Friday, like 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. So I think the range — when he’s younger, it costs more, and as he gets older, it costs less, so I would say daycare ranges between $800 and $1,500 a month based on where you want to go. 

Q: Why should other people consider relocating to Nashville?
A: For me, it’s opportunity. I think if you are coming to Nashville — because it’s not the cheapest place, but I think if you get here — there are a lot of doors that can open. Let’s start with the career piece — certainly, health care and music drive a lot of that, but if you don’t want to work in those industries, you’re going to be A-OK. There are lots of other opportunities; whether it’s hospitality, whether you’re an entrepreneur, you’re in the services-based business. Nashville is really starting to be a city that can support lots of different industries. 

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