Cheapest cities in the USA

Hello everyone,

Budget is an important consideration when moving to the USA. Ideally, expats would settle down in a city in the USA where the cost of living is low but where they could also enjoy a decent quality of life. Would you be able to give a few tips to someone planning a move to the USA by answering the questions below?

What are the cheapest cities in the USA?

Why are they cheap? What singles them out as a city where the cost of living is low?

What is the average budget for one person living in these cities?

Is it easy to find a job as an expat in these cities? What is the overall quality of life like?

Are they expat friendly? Would you recommend these cities to someone looking to settle in the USA?

Please share your experience,

Bhavna

1. BUFFALO, NEW YORK

Buffalo offers low median housing costs without succumbing to some of the cultural deprivations common in “affordable” cities. Buffalo has major sports teams, a large map of museums and attractions, and a geography that means you can find a place to call home without having to compromise with a long commute: Professionals tend to drive an average of just 20 minutes to their job sites. For families with children, the Buffalo school districts have been cited as being among some of the best in the country.

2. KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

Inexpensive rental properties averaging $850 a month: check. Low-cost food and entertainment options: check. Mortgage amounts that would take up only a fraction of your monthly income: check. Despite being the hub for several federal government jobs, Kansas City has kept its cost of living at reasonable levels for decades. Gamers might also get a kick out of the city’s rise of arcade bars, which mix retro amusements with refreshments.


3. DAYTON, OHIO

Expect to pay just over $10 for a T-bone steak and roughly $70,000 for a quality home in Dayton, which frequently makes appearances in several best cost-of-living reports. Residents are always close to major highway crossings and a variety of diversions, including several fine arts programs. Small business owners can also get a boost from the city’s aggressive economic development resources. And if health care is a priority, Dayton’s hospitals tend to be on the forefront of burgeoning diagnostic and treatment advances.


4. OMAHA, NEBRASKA

Omaha has an impressive balance sheet: Residents tend to make more and pay out less than national averages. And if you’re looking to mingle with a younger crowd, the city has an attractive statistic—roughly a third of its residents are 24 years old or younger. Job prospects for white collar workers are also bright: With five of the largest corporations in the country within city limits, opportunities are always within driving distance.

5. BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

Known as the Magic City, Birmingham boasts a low cost of living and moderate temperatures; foodies are unlikely to tire of the city’s 500-plus restaurants. The area also has a wide cross-section of housing, from a burgeoning loft community to quiet, family-friendly neighborhoods. The city’s natural and architectural summits provide some of the most spectacular views you’ll find in any metropolis.

6. LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

Anyone looking to save as much as they can will appreciate Louisville’s reduced food and health care costs, which can offer double-digit decreases from the national average. The same holds true for their utilities, which is an often-overlooked (and money-eating) expense for anyone looking to spare funds. For job seekers, Louisville has been able to resist economic downturns and keep employment high.

7. MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

Great food and music makes Memphis a no-brainer in terms of quality recreation; a cost of living 14 percent lower than the national average is just icing. Residents are able to save in some unexpected ways, with Tennessee among the lowest-taxed states in the country. For first-time homebuyers, a typical mortgage payment in the city may only eat up an average of 10 percent of monthly earnings.

8. GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA

You won’t experience any wide weather or housing fluctuations in Greenville, which has some of the most consistent numbers for both. An afternoon car ride will get you to major hubs like Atlanta or Myrtle Beach, but you might be inclined to stay put: The city is famous for its food, museums, downtown district, and strong job market.

9. COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO

In addition to modest housing costs, Colorado Springs cuts health care costs by harboring some of the country’s fittest residents. Outdoor activities and pet-friendly areas keep people moving, and the city is a quick commute to ski towns that you can enjoy on weekends.

10. SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

San Antonio tends to attract devotees who wear their citizenship proudly. That’s because the city’s economic appeal is balanced by a thriving arts community and a lot of beautiful scenery. For the health-conscious, the city’s medical infrastructure is so strong that it can attract out-of-area patients. And despite being the seventh-largest city in the country, San Antonio’s housing prices are often just a tenth of the cost of other major hubs.

11. LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Providing you can tolerate both the heat and the temptation to gamble your disposable income away, Las Vegas ranks as a surprisingly affordable destination. Groceries, utilities, and transportation are well below the national averages. Plus, the state of Nevada has no sales tax. Coupled with some of the best entertainment in the country, Vegas might be the most fun and most affordable hometown on the map.
Inexpensive rental properties averaging $850 a month: check. Low-cost food and entertainment options: check. Mortgage amounts that would take up only a fraction of your monthly income: check. Despite being the hub for several federal government jobs, Kansas City has kept its cost of living at reasonable levels for decades. Gamers might also get a kick out of the city’s rise of arcade bars, which mix retro amusements with refreshments.

Read on to find out where your city — or, perhaps, the next city you'll call home — falls on the list of cheapest to most expensive rent. You might be surprised: The median rent for all 50 cities falls at $1,234.43 (though, as you'll see, costs vary greatly from city to city).

Wichita, Kansas: $470
Cleveland, Ohio: $525
Detroit, Michigan: $550
Tucson, Arizona: $559.50
El Paso, Texas: $599.50
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: $650
St. Louis, Missouri: $700
Albuquerque, New Mexico: $715
Indianapolis, Indiana: $732
Colorado Springs, Colorado: $750
Columbus, Ohio: $750
Milwaukee, Wisconsin: $750
Louisville, Kentucky: $750
Omaha, Nebraska: $759
Kansas City, Missouri: $795
San Antonio, Texas: $830
Memphis, Tennessee: $835
Newark, New Jersey: $850
Las Vegas, Nevada: $875
Jacksonville, Florida: $895.50
Phoenix, Arizona: $909
Virginia Beach, Virginia: $975
Anchorage, Alaska: $995
Sacramento, California: $995
Portland, Oregon: $1,095

Back in February we took a hard look at the value of a college education in 2018 and asked, “Is it really worth burying yourself in debt these days to obtain a college degree?”

The answer wasn’t cut and dry. For instance, attending one of these highly ranked business schools might be worth the money. However, one could definitely make a strong case that depending on what profession you’re interested in pursuing that no, it’s not necessarily worth the exorbitant amount of money it takes to earn a college degree.

So let’s assume that you decide to forego a higher education and are ready to just cannonball right into the full-time employment pool following high school. Which cities are you most likely to be successful and, rather importantly, make the most money? After all, in 2015 it was reported that the pay gap between those with a college degree compared to those without one rose to an eye-popping 56 percent.

The answers to those questions have been revealed thanks to a new study by CreditLoan.com. As a result of their research, they were able to rank the best cities for Americans who do not have a college degree and the jobs that are earning them the most money.

Here’s what they discovered…

Out of the 306 metropolitan areas they researched, they found that Odessa, Texas was the number one best area to be located when it comes to employment if you do not have a college degree. In Odessa, 54.42% of workers do not have a college degree, yet it had the highest average income for that classification out of all 306 metro areas researched.

Second through fifth on the list was Midland (TX), East Stroudsburg (PA), Rockford (IL) and Elkhart-Goshen (IN).

Here’s the rest of the top 25…

6. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina (HI)
7. Williamsport (PA)
8. Olympia-Tumwater (WA)
9. Atlantic City-Hammonton (NJ)
10. California-Lexington Park (MD)
11. Winchester (VA/WV)
12. Victoria (TX)
13. Oshkosh-Neenah (WI)
14. Panama City (FL)
15. Lancaster (PA)
16. York-Hanover (PA)
17. Napa (CA)
18. Appleton (WI)
19. Billings (MT)
20. Fort Collins (CO)
21. Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin (FL)
22. Monroe (MI)
23. Wichita Falls (TX)
24. Salisbury (MD/DE)
25. Salt Lake City (UT)

I’ll make it very short and clear.

On my opinion,based on my living in the States since 13 years, the most expensive and unbearable living expenses in this country, no matter the State you’ll pick, are the one related to the horrible cost of education and health care.

Since these two expenses are unavoidable for families and singles, the bottom line is that there’s no State in which one would be living spending considerably less.

It’s a shame for a country that considers itself a democracy, even the best democracy in the world!

Period.

Don't come to Florida, this place is SOOO expensive!!! Houses, rents, food...

google it, they have the latest data,

living in the USA is not cheap, it depends on your career type, education level, & or the type of job u have, One way or another the health care becomes an issue. unless you are covered through your employer even then the deductible /copay will bankrupt you.
if you are lucky and have no health issues, then you can count your blessing and make progress & even have savings for a rainy day.
I wish I could picture a more beautiful scenario, the reality is a lot of people in the us struggle day to day and lives from paycheck to paycheck.

I hope this helps.

I agree with you, as per my previous post in the subject, except for the fact of saving money. The Economic system the US is based upon, doesn’t allow savings. US economy is based on credits! The system itself is built on cleverly OBLIGATING people to get in debts. How? By having established what is called the CREDIT SCORE! Every single American chase to having a good credit score. What is it?  Is a way to classify people as bad and so unreliable creditors, or good and so reliable. For example, if an American wants to buy a house, a car, ask for a loan or even rent an apartment as tenant, CANNOT do it without a good credit score! How do you obtain a good credit score? By having many credits and paying them back on time! In other words you HAVE to be a creditor in order to be entitled to access goods! This is why Americans holds a loooooots of credit cards on their wallets. You can understand that, unless you have a loooooot of money, savings is something not possible in the US because... they obbligate you to spend, to over spend! And this explains why Americans buy a lots of shit.

Said this, You also forgot to mention the horrible costs of education. And, if you already possess a foreign degree, certifica, batchalor etc., you have to take into account that, since most likely aren’t accepted as they are, you will have most likely, depending on the type of degree you possess, to redo it again in the US partially or completely. This means that you have to study again and...pay for that!

Moreover, always depending on the type of possesed degree ( such as for example medical), every single State has its own state certifications. This implies, for example, that a nurse, upon having obtained her abilitation, will have to study and prepare to pass as well the State certification. If she wants to relocate in another state, she has to pass the exam for that other State and pay for that!

Crazy righ? Why is this? Because studies obtained in other countries, even in other US States, aren’t considered of quality? Of course not! So why then? Well, People  shall understand that the US economic system isn’t a mixed one as in other countries. In other countries, they have both, capitalism and socialism. This allows a ceirtain balance between the rich and the middle class garanteeing to whom isn’t reach still to survey, to have rights, to decides on their sorts. The US has only one: capitalism! As I always says, the American capitalism is the apotheosis of the capitalism! In other words, in America EVERYTHING is only and exclusively about money and, because there’s absolutely no socialism, the rich not only owns everything, but most importantly they decide everything,  of course at their own advantage only. Legislations are then toilired to meet their interests but not the interests of the middle/low class. So, EVERYTHING becomes a way of making money, actually of extorting money to the low and middle class (and middle class is on its way of extinction substituted only by poor). Education, similarly to health care, is a way of extorting money!

Thank you for your comments.
Totally agree with you statement, I just didn't have the time to write about all the ills of the American society, like education, health care and the list can go on. The american system of government corruption, lobbying/bribery.
The fact that power has been given to people who makes the rules, and will never vote on an issue that will remove them from that position, even if it benefit the people. There are lot to discus  about, but we are too busy earning a living and trying to stay out of debt.

It is the rat race, for sure.

As far as major cities go, try Atlanta.

Stay away from the places near the coast - they're incredibly expensive almost everywhere and I understand it's gotten worse.

Never trust statistics you have not forged yourself"

We lived in Birmingham, AL for almost nine years and now outside of Oklahoma City, OK. I do not see a large difference to anything but housing compared to Washington, DC. Actually food and services such as beauticians are higher.

twostep :

Never trust statistics you have not forged yourself

Is that really good advise? It seems to imply that to answer the question you'd have to live in every city to gather your own evidence until you eventually settle on the right fit. Not sure that's the best approach or mindset here. There are places you can look that have accurate information that could be helpful when looking for a city to live in.

Launchy :
twostep :

Never trust statistics you have not forged yourself

Is that really good advise? It seems to imply that to answer the question you'd have to live in every city to gather your own evidence until you eventually settle on the right fit. Not sure that's the best approach or mindset here. There are places you can look that have accurate information that could be helpful when looking for a city to live in.

Name on of those accurate places please. Thank you.


Reading some of those posts about cost of education and healthcare and the need for academic degrees - I disagree based on personal experience.
Low cost of living does generally indicate lower income and less opportunities. Small town does not necessarily mean low cost of living.

Anybody here from Expatistan?

Except the metro cities like New York, Washington D.C, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles etc, rest of the cities are not so expensive. You can move anywhere, Well i suggest you should move to California as it is one of the best and developed states of USA.

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