I’ve already covered the Cost of Living in Maui versus Texas and Costa Rica, but I think it’s important to revisit this subject as it changes, especially because finances are the main concern when moving anywhere, let alone the most expensive state in the country. Plus, now that we are slightly more established (aka signed a lease) after almost a year of living here, this is a much more ideal version of what you can expect to spend and earn once you’ve decided to stay in Maui longer than a couple months.


Maui Financial Breakdown: Expenses

Rent in South Kihei = $1,275/Month (or $637.50/Month Per Person)

This includes the following amenities:

  • 2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom Apartment
  • Water Included, Unfurnished
  • Window A/C Unit in Living Room
  • Full Kitchen
  • Lanai with Ocean View
  • In-Unit Washer & Dryer
  • Complex Pool & Hot Tub
  • 1 Assigned Parking Stall
  • Complex Barbecue Grills & Picnic Tables
  • 6 Minute Walk to Kamaole III Beach

Utility Bills = $190/Month (or $95/Month Per Person)

  • Turbo High Speed Internet from Oceanic – $60
  • Maui Electric Company – $130/Month (Only running A/C unit sporadically for a couple hours at night)

Miscellaneous Expenses = $765/Month

  • Gas – $200 (Daily commute from South Kihei to Paia at $4.50/gallon)
  • Groceries – $250 (Get a Safeway and Costco card!)
  • Restaurants & Entertainment – $150 (Eating out a couple times/week, going to see movies, etc.)
  • Student Loan Bills – $150
  • Basic Health Insurance – $115

TOTAL = $2,230+/Month

maui financial breakdown


Maui Financial Breakdown: Income

Social Media Management & Copywriting = $2,100/Month

  • Approximately 35 Hours/Week
  • $17/Hour (minus those lame Hawaii State Taxes that we did not have in Texas)

Bartending = $350/Month

  • Maui Arts & Cultural Center – $12 – $15/Hour per Event (concerts, special events, etc.) + Tips
  • Garnish Cocktail Catering – $20 – $35/Hour per Event (wedding receptions, special events, etc.)

Miscellaneous Income = $100 – $500/Month

  • Website Design
  • Copywriting
  • Branding Work
  • Social Media Management

Tour Guiding = $1,300 – $2,000/Month

  • Kayak Tours & Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Tours – $55 – $65/Tour + Tips

Photography Print Sales = $150+/Month

TOTAL = $4,000+/Month

maui cost of living

There were recently a few articles published about how much money you could earn before, statistically, you would not be any happier earning more. Residents in Hawaii were (not shockingly) the highest on the list at $122,175 per year. As you can see, however, we are making a small fraction of that and doing just fine. We still have money to go out to eat, buy items we want and take off of work to treat ourselves to staycation activities when friends and family come to visit.

Would it be nice if we could have our own house and garden and boat and personal chef? Yes, but who cares. We’re still in Maui, and it’s still awesome without any of those things. My bills automatically take away half of my paycheck or more each month, way more than the recommended 30% of your income, but living on Maui with little more than that is doable, I promise. I’ve even saved up around $4,000 since moving here from Costa Rica about a year ago. I’ve also recently started doing barter work for personal training sessions in exchange for website design and social media work, simply because it’s something I would never personally spend money on but still want to try out. Rad!

I should also mention that I find it frustrating to read most popular articles about what it takes to move to Hawaii, such as one recently published by Huffington Post that said the writer “only came here with 15 checked bags” and “saved an extra four months beyond what we thought we would need.” While I realize that is probably good planning, I also think it’s an unreasonable goal for most people. 15 checked bags? That alone probably cost half of a typical one-month apartment security deposit. My advice is to make a plan, prepare as best you can and figure out the rest later. Money isn’t everything, y’all. Dream big.

cost of living maui hawaii