6 Reasons Not to Move to Hawaii From a Local’s Point of View

I don’t mean to talk bad things about Hawaii. I love living here. It’s my home. But as a local here, there are several reasons not to move to Hawaii.

When you think of Hawaii, you think of long stretches of sand, shady palm trees, and sparkling blue beaches. Add in pretty tropical sunsets and sipping on a Mai Tai while lounging on a beach chair. Living on an island surrounded by ocean all of my life just breathes island vibes.

Hawaii is known for a lot of things, and being that I was born and raised here, there are several reasons why I suggest moving here may not be so great. I’m asking you to be open minded since I am sharing this from my perspective.

reasons not to move to Hawaii

6 Reasons Not to Move to Hawaii

1. Cost of living

It is ridiculously expensive living here in Hawaii. The cost of purchasing a home to gas prices and even purchasing a gallon of milk is expensive. 

If you go to GasBuddy.com, you’ll see a map of how expensive gas prices are currently in Hawaii and the rest of the United States. The price per gallon is above $3, if you want gas for below that price, then your best best is filling up at Costco’s gas station.

2. $1 Million to purchase a modest house

The price of a house is over half a million and more depending on the property, location and island in Hawaii. 

Take a look at the image below and you’ll see the sad comparison. Luckily our home doesn’t look like that but we do pay for it by price, our mortgage loan ended up being over $550,000 and regular sized homes can reach up to $800,000 and more. I feel like we’ll be in debt forever.


3. Traffic is a Monster

We live on the West side of the island while our jobs are on East side. We get stuck in Traffic early in the morning, then get stuck in traffic again going home. It’s about 3 hours of my day wasted from Monday to Friday. What’s worse is that when there’s an accident heading towards the West side or even a bit of rain, traffic is even worse.

See the image below? The lanes on the left is going West bound. That’s my view everyday going home.

4. Beautiful Hawaii has a homeless problem

It’s such a huge problem here that wherever you go, you see encampments. I’ve seen encampments along the hills next to freeways, under the roads of freeways, in Waikiki and other areas where tourists and business folks frequent regularly. It’s so bad that I’m not sure if the State will ever be able to fix the problem.

See this article from HawaiiNewsNow.com. It’s really sad.

5. Island living means a slower pace

Not sure how to describe this one. If you’re used to the hustle and bustle of living in a busy city, then living in Hawaii may not be for you. Because of the island vibes of living on a rock, we are limited to the experience of what a bigger city can provide you. Everything is at a slower pace.

Let’s take Scott Caan for example. An actor from the mainland who starred in Hawaii Five-O. Living in Hawaii may not be for everyone. You can watch the video below by visiting the link:

Hawaii Five 0 Star Bashes Islands on Late Night Talk Show

6. Not too many opportunities

Similar to what I’ve mentioned in #5, living on a rock comes with limited experience of the big city. Living on the mainland where there’s more people, more cities to explore, and more things to do, Hawaii doesn’t have all that which limits the opportunities here.

Why I mentioned bad things about Hawaii but won’t move

After you read my list above, I’m pretty sure you were wondering, “why not just move to the mainland?”

It’s easy to say, but hard to do.

I was born and raised here.

My friends and family are here, including our first home.

We may complain and say we hate it here, but it’s hard to leave family behind, especially when you have a 3 year old son. He gets to spend time with both sides of our families and even making friends with their kids. If we leave now, we’ll have to start all over and we don’t want our son forgetting anyone.

I’m going to miss the food. I love sushi, Hawaiian lunch plates and spam musubi. I can never imagine what it would be like without.

Hawaii has great weather and I get to go to the beach all year round.

Enjoying my Monday off before going back to work tomorrow 🌴 #luckywelivehawaii #alamoanabeach #fishing

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Hawaii is just an expensive state to live in and it’s all about surviving. Now that we have a mortgage, surviving is even harder. 

3 Ways I Try to Survive in Hawaii


This is where my website comes in. Everyone needs a side hustle where you have another stream of income. If you can survive on your paychecks, that’s great! But some people like me need other streams instead of just relying on one stream.

Continue Reading...  Start Blogging: How to Set Up Your WordPress Blog


I became such an addict when I first started out with couponing. It was so fun but exhausting at the same time. I have slowed down since then and I now only buy what I need. Being a hoarder is not on my list.


If you’re the saver then your other half is most likely the spender. I budget each paycheck every month after I realized that trying to save money is hard. It helps my stay on track with spending and I’m able to save a bit each month.

Whatever reasons not to move to Hawaii, it’s always your choice, just remember that being a tourist in Hawaii is totally different from moving to Hawaii. Just know what you’ll be getting into.

The reason why I wrote this post is because I have a lot of coworkers that move to Hawaii without ever visiting Hawaii and it always makes me wonder if they really know what it’s like living here. These are just my thoughts and opinions.

What do you think?

Have you visited Hawaii before? If so, what would be your own list of reasons not to move to Hawaii?

Resources to check out:


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Hi! Welcome to Mommy Finance. I'm a full-time working mom of one. Finance can drive anyone crazy and I try to keep it together. Join me as I write about budgeting, money and family.
Join Me On

Hi! Welcome to Mommy Finance. I'm a full-time working mom of one. Finance can drive anyone crazy and I try to keep it together. Join me as I write about budgeting, money and family.

Comments (4)

    1. Lol! Yes, McDonald’s is expensive here which is ridiculous but I think majority of those costs are due to shipping charges. Also, the problems I listed are the major problems that’s currently happening. Its pretty crazy but it’s super hard to leave family behind. Thanks for commenting Lily!

  1. If I were born in Hawaii I would not move out. At least not permanently. I spend 7 years in Virgin Islands and after two years I started loving it. If not some family problems I would never leave the place. Maybe I will go back there one day 🙂

    1. The Virgin Islands looks like a great place to visit! I have it on my list of places to travel 🙂 Yes, it would be hard to leave family so I can’t imagine moving away even if it were for a few years. I’d be crazy homesick. Thanks for sharing Kinga!

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