The Cost of Living Diaries: Chattanooga

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

Jessica Jollie, the owner and director of Yoga Landing, a boutique yoga studio on Sidney Street, grew up between Chattanooga and Knoxville. While she moved away to attend college and graduate school and to travel, she moved back to Chattanooga 18 years ago when she was 27. Today, she is married and resides in the area with her family. 

What brought you back to Chattanooga?
Truthfully, I’m a school counselor, and I went to school in North Carolina and I was considering either moving to Asheville or moving back to Chattanooga simply because I have family here. And it was family that brought me back, and I just felt like there were more job opportunities for me in Chattanooga. 

What do you like about living in Chattanooga?
We have a lot of diversity in the city, and I love that. And even though we’re a city, we feel more like a town, where it seems like the longer you’re here – you kind of know so many people. It’s not a small town where everybody knows everything and everybody, but it’s close enough that it doesn’t feel disconnected. 

The second thing…is you can hit a hike, you can camp, you can mountain bike, you can rock climb, you can kayak, you can paddleboard. It is just awesome the outdoor accessibility that we have. 

The third thing I love about the city is the cost of living, which it’s dramatically changing, though, because there are so many people moving here. 

What has the home buying process been like in Chattanooga?
When I moved back 18 years ago, I was single and I bought a house. I sold that house; I had a transition home I bought, and now, I’m in my third home that I’ve owned. I just bought my third home three years ago. As a single homeowner, I paid close to $200,000 when I first moved here, and then my current house, I paid $315,000, so it was not a big jump. They’re steals, and honestly, I found fixer-uppers that just had really good bones. 

What is your favorite restaurant in Chattanooga, and about how much would a meal for two cost? 
I would say Niedlov’s (a bakery and café) is one our favorites that’s casual as well as Mean Mug (Coffeehouse)The Meeting Place would be one of our favorites for dinner. At the Meeting Place, dinner would cost probably $150. The Mean Mug is a coffee shop, but they have great breakfast and lunch. Probably $15-$20 a person if you have coffee and a breakfast or lunch and tip. 

What do you like to do for entertainment in Chattanooga, and what are the costs? 

Sometimes, entertainment-wise, we’ll definitely go see a show at the Tivoli (Theatre). We’ll also go see shows at the Walker Theatre. It really depends on the artists, but the average cost is about $40 at Walker Theatre, probably $75 at the Tivoli. 

Find more cost of living resources, here.

Read more articles on Chattanooga’s quality of life through GCED Magazine, here.

Originally published on June 13 through Livability, here.

Other Topics

As part of our commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity within Chattanooga’s business community, the Chattanooga Chamber's Department of Diversity & Inclusive Growth proudly presents the Business Literacy Series. This comprehensive eight-month program serves as a cornerstone for empowering minority…

In 2023, The Co.Lab, our city's startup accelerator, and TennSmart, a statewide collaboration of public-private mobility industry leaders, issued a challenge to entrepreneurs near and far: help us address four of the logistics industry's most pressing issues:  Workforce optimization.   Smart…

Nominations for Protégé Chattanooga 2024-25 are officially open, announced Toya Moore, Leadership Development Director at the Chattanooga Chamber.   “Protégé Chattanooga is designed to support the development of young professionals to help them become our city’s future leaders,” Moore said.   “The…

Nominations are now open for Leadership Chattanooga’s Class of 2025.   During the program, participants will receive leadership development through immersive experiences marked by meaningful self-reflection, community service initiatives and networking opportunities, including meeting with local and state leaders.   The goal…

When Brandon Parrott texted a photo of his tomato basil soup to his mother, he had no idea it would lead to a business venture. Now, as a part of the LAUNCH Chattanooga Kitchen Incubator Startup Matrix program, his food…

All individuals deserve the opportunity to receive an education, engage in recreational activities and pursue a fulfilling career. Chattanooga is actively breaking down barriers to ensure equal opportunities for individuals of all abilities, spanning from childhood through adulthood.   Discover how…

Sign up for weekly updates.