It’s a tale as old as time: A kid who dreams big spends his entire childhood in a cookie-cutter suburb, waiting for his 18th birthday to arrive. Then, with a truckload of boxes and years’ worth of sheltered innocence, he makes his way to the Big City™ to take on new challenges, explore the world, and make all his sitcom-inspired fantasies come true.
Fast forward a few years, however, sharing a cramped flat with 3 other roommates, their ever-changing cast of paramours, and one tiny bathroom no longer sounds glamorous. That’s especially true when the stock market is taking a nosedive and inflation pushes the costs of everything up to the high heaven.
During times like this, a smaller and mightier city like Cheyenne comes into play. It appeals to all those ambitious youngsters who long for a more laid-back ambiance, cheaper rents, and purer air without giving up the urban amenities.
That’s right: For the last few years, Cheyenne has ditched its nickname of “the next retiree town.” Instead, the Magic City of the Plains is now a smart move for millennials and gen Z looking to save money and enjoy the outdoors. In case you still need some convincing, Enjoyfuntrip’s guide on Cheyenne WY cost of living will make you want to put down roots here!
How Much Is Cheyenne WY Cost Of Living Exactly?
You might have heard of Cheyenne many times before, especially if you are a wanderlust. With a population of 65,501, Wyoming’s capital might be smaller than you think, but it’s brimming with surprises: From historic buildings and fascinating museums to the splendid natural beauty, this is an ideal destination to explore the state’s history and its “cowboy town” atmosphere.
But how about living here? After doing a quick research, I found an interesting fact: Among all the capitals of the U.S. states, Cheyenne is ranked #1 in affordability. Payscale’s index has confirmed this: As of 2022, Cheyenne WY cost of living is $1582 a month, a lot lower than capital cities like Montgomery, Juneau, or Nampa.
The table below will give you a more in-depth look:
|Cheyenne WY cost of living per month||One person||Family of 4|
|Total with rent||$1582||$3645|
|Rent & utilities||$996||$1985|
|Food & groceries||$400||$1061|
As you can see, rent & utilities in Cheyenne 24% lower than the nation’s average. While transportation and healthcare are also cheaper, the costs for food & groceries are higher by 2% (which is likely due to a short growing period). With an average median after-tax salary of $3912, though, this is not a big problem for Cheyenne’s folks.
How Is The Job Market?
That leads to another question: Is it easy to get a job at Cheyenne? As mentioned, moving to this charming town has recently been a rising trend among young adults. If you fall in love with Cheyenne and would like to start your career here, the next thing you’d like to know is the job market.
Cheyenne might be a small town, but fortunately, it’s one of the few Wyoming cities to see consistent economic growth. As of 2021, the unemployment rate is lower than the national average, and the number of opening positions keeps rising steadily. According to the locals, getting a job offer is not hard as long as you have a bachelor’s degree.
However, some degrees have a better chance of securing you a job in Cheyenne. Since Wyoming is greatly driven by tourism and mineral extraction industries, you will be ahead of the game if you work in these fields. State or federal government-based positions, including the University of Wyoming and F.E. Warren Air Force Base, are also in high demand.
Other Reasons You Should Live In Cheyenne
So, in case job offers and monthly expenses are the first things you consider before moving to a new city, they are Cheyenne’s greatest features. But the cost of living is not the only reason more young people choose this quaint town as their home.
Being the heart and soul of Wyoming, the Magic City of the Plains embodies the wild Old West’s spirits. By living here, you are not only soaking up an eclectic mix of Western culture but also exposed to a variety of adventures, both indoor and outdoor. Contrary to popular belief that Cheyenne is not the most happening town in the world, I’d tell you, there won’t be a moment of boredom!
The Vibrant Cultural Scene
Some Redditors have nicknamed Cheyenne the “city of wild spirits”, and I completely agree. The town goes above and beyond to bring its cultural heritage to life. From gunslingers to horseback riding and rodeos, this is the place to have some authentic Western experiences and get a glimpse of the real cowboy lifestyle.
The biggest event of the year for Cheyenne folks is, of course, “Cheyenne Frontier Days”. It has gained the reputation of being the “Daddy of ‘Em All”, drawing the most prominent names in rodeo for an opportunity to win more than one million dollars in cash and prizes. As soon as July rolls around, millions of tourists from all over America flock to the town for the world’s largest outdoor rodeo. Don’t worry – as a resident, you won’t have to fight for your spot!
Cheyenne Frontier Days
What if you are a historophile? At the small but intriguing museums in Cheyenne, explore the Union Pacific Railroad’s chronicle, which was established in 1867 and brought mechanized travel to the West. It will take months for you to learn about this crucial piece of American history.
Endless Recreation Opportunities & Outdoor Activities
The big allure for millennials and gen Z is the outdoor activities that Cheyenne and the surrounding area offer. In this town, the opportunities for some epic outdoor adventures are truly endless.
It’s home to millions of acres of public lands, thousands of lakes, miles of biking, hiking, and even snowmobiling trails. You can go rock climbing if you are feeling adventurous or wind down at one of the natural hot springs. Additionally, the wildlife watching and star-filled sky here are unparalleled. So, are you going to start your journey on the water, land, or ice and snow?
The Night Time Is The Right Time
Whether it is a retired banking executive, a college student, or a worker who has just finished a long day on the oil rigs, everyone is the same when they belly up to the bar and order a bottle of beer. Perhaps this is something only the locals know, but Cheyenne offers one of the most vibrant nightlife in the Western U.S.
Swanky new bars, as a rule, will always turn heads. Head to downtown Cayenne for an exciting Saturday night and you will find The Paramount Ballroom. It’s a bright, airy space where folks linger over local brews, cocktails, and live music. If you prefer some excellent coffee drinks, get them at the sister venue, “Paramount Cafe”, next door.
The Paramount Ballroom, Cheyenne, WY
For those who just moved in and want to get the city’s pulse, there’s no better way than chatting with the locals at one of the old-school watering holes. Dillinger’s features live music and open-mic night every weekend, and although none of the participants seem to have serious training, it’s a true country music experience.
Some Caveats From The Locals
So, yes, Cheyenne is a great place to live. The town ranks well in a combination of factors and diversity, making it one of the best places to stay in Wyoming.
However, just like every other place, Cheyenne does have its flaws. Before moving here, it’s important to go through them and see if it would be suitable for you or not.
Wintertime Can Be Extreme
If you come from California or Hawaii, where it’s summer all year round, the winter in Cheyenne might be extreme. To the residents, it’s the howling winds that make them shake in their boots. The winds can be brutal in late December and early January.
Summer and autumn are pleasant, but winter is harsher than necessary. Hence, if you don’t want to wear 20+ layers just to walk to the mailbox, think again before moving to Wyoming’s capital.
It Has A Small-Town Ambiance
Despite being a major city in Wyoming, Cheyenne only has roughly 65,000 residents. Well, it does mean more wide open spaces and better air quality. Still, this may not be the right place for you if you are not comfortable with close neighbors or the touchy-feely side of living in a rural area.
People Enjoy Having Their Guns
It’s not unusual to see someone carrying a gun while in shopping centers, church, or literally everywhere. Just like Texans, Wyomingites like to carry around their guns. Cheyenne’s residents are no exception.
Almost everyone has access to firearms, which is the leading cause of injuries and fatalities here. The accident rate doesn’t look so great, so if you want to make Cheyenne your home, it’s crucial to educate yourself about the power of weapons. They will be a part of your daily life, so arm yourself with knowledge instead of being fearful.
It’s Time To Cowboy Up!
More than just stunning views, Cheyenne WY cost of living, job opportunities, rich cultural scene, and numerous ways to enjoy life make the town a great place to live.
Moving to a new city can be a big decision. Hopefully, this article can help you in your career change, relocation, or just a change of pace. Make Cheyenne your home if you are ready to live the wild cowboy lifestyle!