How to afford cost of living in Hawaii #1: Simple Lifestyles

Locals in Hawaii live very simple lives. People don’t own “toys” like recreational vehicles or ATVs. No one has a boat, unless they are a fisherman for a living. It’s things like this that Hawaii residents do to afford the high cost of living. People have very simple lifestyles with minimal disposable income and a flexible lifestyle. For example, instead of opting to purchase or rent jet skis, people will enjoy the beach with a body board or just as-is, no toys needed! People also reduce their consumption of “aesthetic” goods such as extravagant clothes, shoes and such. Locals have very simple outerwear and many local Hawaiian outfitters don’t feature flamboyant or flashy designs. Neutral colors are fashionable for ladies and aloha shirts are in style for men. Local homeowners also opt for very small properties and typically single story homes. People choose simple lifestyles here in the islands.  

Enjoy the simple things in life, like rainbows.
Waipio’o Valley by Andy Gippetti is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. Image may have been resized or cropped from original

How to afford cost of living in Hawaii #2: Minimal Travel

Traveling to and from the islands can be expensive for a small family. Hence, locals minimize their travel off the island to afford this high cost. Plane tickets for a small family of four to get to a mainland city can cost up to $6000, and that doesn’t include the trip’s expenses itself.  For example, if you want to take your family to Disneyland in southern California for a week, you’re looking at a $15000 trip after you account for food, activities, theme park tickets, airfare, etc.  This can be a hefty expense for a household who already has the burden of Hawaii’s cost of living, regardless of taking annual vacations.  It’s best to minimize your travel off the islands in order to afford the high cost of living.  You’ll find yourself doing more “staycations” on the island and enjoying what paradise has to offer instead of traveling out of state. If you’re not a fan of traveling as it is, this may be a great lifestyle for you. 

Oahu Hiking Trails

The only traveling necessary in the islands can be done in rubbah slippahs. Photo credits

How to afford cost of living in Hawaii #3: Family

Having family members and relatives here can help you afford the cost of living. For example, there are many multi-family units here on the island in which families live with in-laws or grandparents on the same property. Some even opt for accessory dwellings that are meant for their in-laws to live on property with them. These connections help small families afford the high cost of living. Relatives can also offset the cost of childcare for families raising small children. This can be helpful for spouses and their keiki because day care expenses can be costly for a family of 4. AfterSchool Care programs are always an option, but those are at the family’s expense. Family is always an option to fall back on for some in difficult or stressful times. It’s comforting to have another relative nearby. Not to mention, knowing more people on the island can help in job searches or finding work. This can be especially helpful for those on the job market.    

Our family in Hawaii by Wesley Fryer is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Image may have been resized or cropped from original