Top 10 States with Low Cost of Living
If you are thinking about moving you might wonder what are the states with the lowest cost of living?
Building your life in an area with more affordable living costs has its benefits. If having a good job, affordable school, owning a house and contributing to savings and retirement accounts seems appealing, you might want to move somewhere with a low cost of living.
Have in mind that the most popular states and cities in the US are usually the most expensive. However, you should know that great opportunities can be found all across the USA, especially if you know where to look.
Determining the Cheapest Place to Live in America
When ranking the most affordable places to live in, the cost of living index is commonly taken as an indicator.
The index ranks a location based on factors like rent, transportation, utilities, groceries, and other everyday expenses. The index also factors in purchasing power and services that can be purchased with the average wage.
Mississippi takes the top spot as the most affordable place to live in America. Starting with food and necessities, they are the cheapest you will find in the USA.
But what made “The Magnolia State” stand out is childcare. Compared to others, it has the cheapest childcare service. So if you have kids, this is the place for you.
Also, Mississippi residents have some of the most affordable housing prices in the nation, justifying the second nickname, “The Hospitality State.”
If you plan on moving there, have in mind that BBQ with friends will be cheaper since the price of a steak is 50% less in the capital city, Jackson than it is in New York. As for the wine for your guests, its price is less than $10, compared to $14 in New Hampshire. And if you are craving for beer, have in mind that the typical price of 24-pack of beer is $18.78, compared to $31.21 in Alaska.
If you are relocating because of job opportunities, know that jobs in management and law are among the most paid in Mississippi. The most expensive area in the state is the capital, Jackson, home to some half a million people.
The prices of services and utilities in Mississippi are:
- Home price: $275,509
- Energy bill: $127.10
- Child Care: $2,869
- Doctor’s visit: $91.27
Arkansas has the honor of being the place that offers the cheapest housing. But as far as the core necessities go, they are as cheap as you can find them in America.
In the “Natural State,” you can afford to eat healthy, since a head of lettuce is about one dollar, or half the price in Stockton, California. A loaf of fresh white bread is $0.46 in Little Rock, while you can buy the same good for $0.85 in San Francisco. So, if you plan on leading a healthy lifestyle, while at the same time saving up, this is the place you should move to.
Same as in Mississippi, management jobs are among the most paid in Arkansas. The most expensive area is Little Rock, the capital and the most populous city in the state.
The average prices of services and utilities in Arkansas are:
- Home price: $339,778
- Housing: $8,584
- Energy bill: $149.97
- Child Care: $4,964
- Doctor’s visit: $114.28
Tennessee pairs up with Mississippi and Arkansas when it comes to the price of food and necessities. In Tennessee, you can get a bottle of frying oil for $3.98, while that same commodity is $7.40 in Brooklyn, New York. By comparing Nashville to New York, you can see that buying a cart of eggs in New York will cost you more than double than in Nashville.
Remember, Tennessee has one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rate. Low corporate taxes and business-friendly incentives have helped lure global companies. Jobs in computer and mathematical fields, alongside the architecture and engineering, are on the top of the most paid lists. The most expensive area is the capital and the most populous city, Nashville.
The prices of services and utilities in Tennessee are:
- Home price: $318,571
- Energy bill: $157.08
- Child Care: $5,975
- Doctor’s visit: $94.52
Indiana has a low unemployment rate of 3.4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some of the fastest-growing jobs in Indiana are occupational therapists, web developers, physical therapists, music therapists, nurses. Some of the highest-paid positions include anesthesiologists, surgeons, psychiatrists, and dentists.
Indiana’s gas prices are about 25% less than in Washington. Servicing your car is cheap as well, you will pay just $38.87 to balance four tires, compared to $52 in Iowa. Indianapolis, the state’s capital, is also its most expensive area.
The average prices of services and utilities in Indiana are:
- Home price: $250,625
- Housing: $9,641
- Energy bill: $184.40
- Child Care: $6,463
- Doctor’s visit: $93.91
Living in Alabama or Idaho
“The Heart of Dixie,” has relatively high taxes and medical care, but it makes up for it with low costs of living and a low unemployment rate. There is a good chance that you will find a job if you move there.
You can get a five-pound sack of sugar in Alabama for $2, while that price climbs to $3 in Colorado. Dentist’s visit would cost you around $66, less than half of the price in San Francisco.
Being educated is a huge advantage when it comes to looking for a job in Alabama. Recruiters are looking for candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree. Meanwhile, 14% of them are seeking candidates with master’s degrees or higher. The most expensive area is Mobile, Alabama’s only saltwater port and its third most populous city.
The average prices of services and utilities in Alabama are:
- Home price: $241,783
- Energy bill: $192.98
- Child Care: $5,163
- Doctor’s visit: $116.24
If you are in a dilemma about which of the two states, Alabama or Idaho, is better for you, have in mind that the latter is famous for cheap electricity. According to the non-profit Institute for Energy Research, Idaho has the second cheapest electricity in the nation, making it a good place to live in due to lower bills. The only one that beats its price of 6.49 cents per kilowatt-hour is Wyoming, at 6.09 cents. As for Alabama, it is ranked among the most expensive states for energy costs.
Another benefit of being an Idaho resident is affordable beer since the usual price of 24-pack is $18.77, while in Hawaii it is $22.39. The most expensive area is Rexburg, the seat and the largest city of Madison County.
The prices of services and utilities in Idaho are:
- Home price: $266,400
- Energy bill: $88
- Child Care: $7,400
Oklahoma is budget-friendly, from raising a family to retirement funds. It has affordable housing and lower prices for goods and services. Ponca City is the place of the lowest apartment rents in the country at $500 for a two-bedroom unit.
Oklahoma provides a full exemption for Social Security retirement benefits, and that makes it one of the best choices for moving if you are planning on retiring soon. Also, the usual food, housing, and medical services prices for Oklahoma residents are below the national average.
Even though the sales taxes in Oklahoma are high, property taxes are among the lowest in the country. This is a good place to settle if you are planning on starting a savings account for the future. The most expensive area is Coweta, a suburb of Tulsa.
The prices of services and utilities in Oklahoma are:
- Home price: $124,000
- Energy bill: $108
For a long period of time, jobs in Michigan have been first and foremost in the automotive industry. Despite the recent crisis in this sector, the business climate is changing, making jobs in the automotive industry once again on the rise. But when you start looking for a job, you’ll notice other lucrative sectors, including high-tech, biotech, and tourism.
Businesses are choosing Michigan due to its diverse and abundant workforce, friendly environment and low living expenses.
Just so you could get the feeling of life in Michigan, consider this – you can buy ground beef for just $3.78 per pound, which compares to $5.17 in Reno, Nevada. A six-pack of beer is about $8, compared to more than $12 in Rochester, New York. The most expensive area is East Lansing, part of the Lansing-East Lansing metropolitan area.
The average prices of services and utilities in Michigan are:
- Home price: $152,000
- Energy bill: $97.41
There is a big chance you could afford to live comfortably in Missouri. The median house price is $138,400, which is 24.6 percent below the US average.
Missouri has an unemployment rate of 4%, and its major industries are health care and social assistance, retail, advanced manufacturing, financial and professional services, and agriculture and bioscience.
Transport and grocery prices are also below the national average. Joplin is a city of the lowest real estate prices in the country. Even in more expensive parts of Missouri, prices are incredibly affordable. Proof of this is the fact that you can buy a dozen eggs for $1.32 in Joplin. You will pay nearly twice that in Miami, at $2.61. The most expensive area is the state’s largest city, Kansas City.
The average prices of services and utilities in Missouri are:
- House price: $276,197
- Energy bill: $160.33
- Doctor visit: $94.24
Two States in One – Kansas
Before moving to Kansas, you should know that it has two sides, making it seem like two different countries in one. One part, eastern, is covered in green land and miles of cornfields. The other is the western part known for its cattle and wheat production. Both regions have different appearances and culture.
Kansas is not all about farming and corn. Agriculture is well established but there are additional industries such as health care, transportation, trade, and manufacturing.
The general expenses and housing are affordable in Kansas. Do you want to rent a Manhattan apartment for $800 per month? Sure you can! But Manhattan, Kansas. You will pay a pound of ground beef nearly 45 percent less than in the more famous of the Manhattans. Going to the dentist in Manhattan, Kansas is about $88 compared to $125 in the Big Apple. Manhattan, Kansas is also the state’s most expensive area, so you can only imagine how cheap the rest of Kansas is.
The average prices of services and utilities in Kansas are:
- House price: $311,911
- Energy bill: $179.18
- Doctor’s visit: $89.50
If you are planning on moving, have in mind that the place you choose might bring you benefits when it comes to your financial, educational, and house-owning status. To make that transition smoother and stress-free, you will need a good moving company that offers a wide range of services like packing, storage services, and shipping.