With cost of living skyrocketing, it’s grown increasingly difficult to find somewhere to live on the cheap. One person asked the internet which American city offers the best value, and here’s what they had to say.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: Live Like a King
One commenter often travels for work and thinks Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, flies under the radar as a cheap city in the US. “Especially if you can make $50k+ a year. I feel like you could live like a king on six figures in that city.”
2: Pleasantly Surprised
Our frequent flyer from the previous comment says Spokane, Washington, is also a super cool little city with a lot going for it. “From my experience, it seems reasonably affordable considering the location,” they said. “The value of labor cost in these cities is also on a whole other level than that of other major American cities.”
3: Windy City
“Chicago is great in terms of not wasting your time and [a] value-to-cost ratio,” says one commenter. They say the reasonably priced grocery stores, efficient public transit, quality schools, jobs, entertainment, and more make it a safe and enjoyable place to live. The caveat? “Rent can be expensive.”
4: Start Your Engines
One commenter points to the 14th largest metro in the country: Detroit. “[It] has tons of jobs in and around the auto industry. The median household income for the best of the three counties in the area is $86,275,” They said. “Weather sucks, but there are few areas in the country where you can make as much and still get a cheap house.”
5: Meet in the Middle
“The Midwest is your friend here,” says one commenter, who lists off St. Louis, Detroit, Kansas City, Cleveland, and Indianapolis as examples of US cities with excellent value. “Don’t believe the hate. Check out those cities for yourself; great things to do in all of them.”
6: Pocketing Cash
One commenter suggests Rochester, Minnesota, as a solid value. Another Rochester area native supports it. “Grew up about 50 miles from Rochester. Moved back to the area after years away and could not believe how much it grew!”
7: Nowhere Is Safe
One lifelong Ohio resident wishes they could say Ohio cities are a good value, but the cost of living is increasing there. “Everyone is impacted,” they said. Another Ohio resident partially disagrees. “Columbus is the worst in Ohio, but Cincinnati and Cleveland aren’t so bad… yet.”
8: Brave the Cold
One commenter says Peoria or Bloomington, Illinois, are both good mid-sized cities with relatively affordable housing. “Lots of jobs in manufacturing, insurance, and healthcare. The winters suck, but that’s like half the country.”
9: Only Up From Here
“I think Greensboro, North Carolina, is still pretty underrated,” one commenter says. However, they add that they anticipate the cost of living increasing like the rest of the North Carolina hot spots in the next five years.
10: Cutting Costs
According to one commenter, childcare is free through the state of New Mexico in Albuquerque/Rio Rancho as long as you make less than 400% of the federal poverty level. “For example, for a family of 4, childcare is free if you make 120k a year or less. Have to be working, looking for work, or going to school.”
11: You’ve Got Options
Another commenter points to Kansas City as being the best-value American city. “I’m about to buy a house here, and I don’t make crazy money. Lots of opportunities.”
12: Proximity Is Everything
One single mom feels safe and secure in Buffalo, New York. “Many healthcare jobs. Decent pay versus cost of living. Good people, food & a sense of community.” They add, “It’s close to the Canadian border and next to a great lake.”
13: Sweet Home Alabama
One commenter points to Huntsville, Alabama, which consistently ranks high in value for an American city. “Because its major employers are NASA, DoD, and associated aerospace and defense industries, it’s a very educated area, unlike the rest of the state.”
14: Save Big
Head to Kentucky for the best value, according to this commenter. “Either Louisville or Lexington. Very low cost of living. Both are pretty liberal with decent social safety nets.” Plus, free schooling is on the way. “Louisville is about to start free preschool through the Bezos grants.”
15: Beach on a Budget
Look to New England cities like Manchester, Nashua, and Concord, New Hampshire, for high-paying jobs and a relatively cheap cost of living, one commenter says. Plus, if you dream about living in a beach town, they gave Wilmington, North Carolina, a shoutout for low rent and lots of jobs.
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