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Did you know that US housing rents recently hit a record high of $1,405 per month?
That’s enough to make anyone want to move to the cheapest area possible, right?
Luckily, being frugal doesn’t have to mean living in the middle of nowhere. There are plenty of wonderful US cities which are surprisingly affordable, meaning a move to one of them could drastically increase your quality of life.
Keep reading to get the details on seven of the cheapest cities to live in.
1. Buffalo, New York
There’s a good reason Buffalo has been described as “America’s most affordable city.” Once a great industrial center, it’s now an excellent, often overlooked area for anyone looking to live a frugal life.
The economy is still developing in Buffalo — but it’s home to a decent number of healthcare organizations and universities, which is helping provide jobs and drive growth. You shouldn’t struggle to find good employment here.
The area has a nice community feel and traffic is much less of an issue than it would be in cities like New York. You’re only 20 miles from Niagara Falls, and there’s also skiing nearby.
Buffalo is a good shout if you enjoy outdoor activities and don’t mind a slightly industrial vibe.
2. Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is one of the lowest-taxed states in the country which makes it a great option if you’re keen to save your hard-earned cash. Housing is affordable, whether you’re a singleton or looking for a family home.
On top of the financial benefits, there’s plenty to do in Memphis. You won’t struggle for ways to spend the money you’ve managed to save.
It’s a no-brainer that the city is a great destination for anybody who loves music and culture. It’s also known for amazing food and a great community spirit, with regular events held throughout the year.
Memphis is a top destination for millennials looking to live it up without breaking the bank, so it’s an excellent choice if you’re young and want to meet like-minded people.
3. Omaha, Nebraska
Home to Warren Buffet, Omaha has a great economy that hasn’t been hit too hard by the recession and recovery. Unemployment is low, so it’s a great choice if you’re looking for work.
It’s an affordable place to rent or purchase a home, and a nice city to settle down in long-term. You’ll find everything from trendy loft conversions on the waterfront to cozy ranch homes, so there’s something for every stage of life.
Omaha has a great reputation for food, culture, and entertainment and it’s not hard to see why it attracts so many young, hip, white-collar workers.
If you want great job opportunities and excellent housing options, Omaha ticks the boxes.
4. Birmingham, Alabama
Traditionally known for the thriving steel industry, Birmingham now offers excellent job opportunities for all kinds of workers.
It’s a regional business center with plenty of good white-collar opportunities, and the low cost of living means you don’t need a crazy high salary to live a luxurious life here.
Homes on the Red Mountain, south of downtown, can get pricey, but properties in the valley are extremely affordable. Check sites like Payless apartments to get an idea of prices.
Birmingham has lots to do, beautiful views, and no shortage of delicious food. Get a job with a decent salary and you’ll be set to enjoy everything the city has to offer.
5. San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is a city with a rich history and plenty of affordable housing.
The bustling downtown area is full of bars, restaurants, attractions, and shops, so it’s a great place to live if you enjoy the busy city life. Being a popular tourist area, there’s never a shortage of things to do or see.
Regular events like the Ford Holiday River Parade and the Texas Folklife Festival make it great for families who want to get involved in the local community.
The city offers jobs in everything from leisure and hospitality to manufacturing and bioscience, so it’s a good place to look for a career. Unemployment levels are lower than the national average.
6. Las Vegas, Nevada
Suprised to see Las Vegas on the list?
Despite its reputation as a lavish tourist destination, Las Vegas is a pretty affordable city for families and young people.
The Vegas economy isn’t all about gambling and you’ll find job opportunities in everything from technology to finance – although there’s no denying that there are lots of hospitality jobs on offer.
The climate in Las Vegas isn’t for everyone. The 24-hour vibe of the city will either be your dream or your worst nightmare.
7. Salt Lake City, Utah
Want to live somewhere with a thriving tech industry, beautiful scenery, and affordable living costs?
Salt Lake City ticks all the boxes.
You’ll be surrounded by beautiful mountains, which means outdoor recreation opportunities are almost unlimited. In the city, there’s a great range of stores, restaurants, and attractions.
Wages are high, especially if you’re in tech, and the public transport infrastructure is strong. It’s a popular location for young people, so could be a great choice if you’ve recently graduated or just entered the job market.
The weather is relatively mild throughout the year, although you might see some impressive snow in winter.
If you want to work in tech during the week and enjoy the great outdoors at the weekend, Salt Lake City is ideal.
Why Look at the Cheapest Cities to Live In?
There’s just no point in moving to a city if you can’t afford to have a good quality of life there. All the cities above have good job opportunities, reasonably-priced housing, and plenty to do.
Looking at the cheapest cities to live in doesn’t mean you’re resigning yourself to a life of poverty – it means you’re choosing to live somewhere where your budget can go further.
Want to read more about the best places to live? Check out the travel section of our blog for inspiration.