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Personal Expenses

To help you budget for additional out-of-pocket expenses in Chicago, see an estimate of what ACM students have spent in the past. 

Sample Budget

Quarter/trimester Semester


$750 $1,000

Travel to/from Chicago

Varies Varies

Materials and supplies²

$50 $50

Cultural events/entertainment

$150 $200
Miscellaneous³ $175 $300

¹ Depending on how often you cook in your apartment or purchase meals out.

² Additional reading materials and supplies for projects.

³ Includes personal travel and entertainment. See the cost of living in Chicago for examples of common personal expenses.

Cost of Living in Chicago

The following chart includes cost estimates for common personal purchases in Chicago.

Chicago sales tax 10.25%
Newspaper $2
Bus ticket or El ticket $2.25
Taxi per mile $1.80
Movie ticket $14
Museum admission $15
Pint of beer $5
Cover charge at a bar $10
Gallon of milk $3.50
Load of laundry $4
Lunch takeout near Chicago Program office $8
Cup of coffee $2.50
Box of cereal $4.50
Gallon of gas $3.50
Pizza delivery $20
Bagel $1.50
Bottle of Coca-Cola $1.40
Deoderant $3.50
Average cost of weekly groceries $75

This page was updated on January 25, 2017.