Welcome to one of America’s music hubs! Memphis scores well on the cost of living scale, weighing in at 14.3% below the national average. You can find a house for less than $100,000 or rent a two-bedroom apartment for under $750 a month—the best deals on our list. You won’t be without entertainment in this city either; enjoy a delicious plate of BBQ and visit the Memphis in May music festival. Tennessee also has a low median property tax at 0.68%.
9. West Virginia
If you love the outdoors (and love affordable homes even more), look into West Virginia. The cost of living is 13.9% lower than the national average, and the median home value is about $97,000. At $46,799, the average income is less than stellar, but a dollar can stretch fairly well in this state.
Arkansas may not boast metropolis-sized cities, but this state offers cheaper housing, cheap utilities, and southern hospitality. On average, an apartment in America costs $1,110 a month to rent; in Arkansas, you’ll pay about $755 per month for rent and $140 for utilities. Fayetteville, Conway, and Jonesboro are sizable, youthful cities; all have been recognized for having costs of living more than 10% below the national average. Between hot springs, mountains, and campsites galore, Arkansas is known as “The Natural State” for a reason.
(photo via Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism)
Louisville and Lexington are Kentucky’s two largest cities, both of which have been recognized for their costs of living (8.6% and 10.3% below the national average respectively). Looking for a job? Lexington hosts Fortune 500 companies Humana and Yum Brands, the parent company of a certain fried chicken giant; Lexington is home to the University of Kentucky, one of the city’s largest employers. On average, groceries are cheaper in Kentucky, and at about $120,000, the price of a home isn’t bad either.
(photo via Kentucky Department of Travel)
No matter where life takes you, as long as you’re in Oklahoma, your dollar will go far. The median home value sits at $121,900, and while the adjusted income is lower than the other states on our list, unemployment rates are under the national average. City folks can find themselves at home in Oklahoma City, the state capital. The remarkable unemployment rate of 4.7% reflects the variety of job opportunities; popular employers include Oklahoma City University, Chesapeake Energy, and both the local and federal government. Nearby Norman hosts the University of Oklahoma, which is home to a great football team and an impressive art museum.
(photo via Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department)
Mississippi may have one of the higher unemployment rates (7.2%) among the listed states, but the Magnolia state’s cost of living is fairly comfortable. The property tax is a mere 0.52%, and if you’re renting your home, the monthly rent should cost you about $900 a month. When it comes to miscellaneous items, prices are generally lower than other states as well. Jackson, the state capitol, is not only a delta blues landmark, but also home to the USA International Ballet Competition. You’ll find a lot of culture in the friendly, southern city!
Fans of racing may not need convincing to move to Indiana. For those who aren’t as interested, the cost of living may convince you to head over the Hoosier state. An Indianapolis Dinner for two will cost you about $30.00 and utilities hover around $160. Buying a loaf of bread, milk, and eggs will only set you back five dollars. With a Cost of Living rating of 90.7, Indiana boasts affordable houses—at a $123,000 median price, they’re among the cheapest in the country. Considering the state has a higher-than-average adjusted income of $56,249, you’ll have some change to spare after your mortgage payment.
Cajun cooking aficionados will find the price of food in Louisiana to be pretty darn cheap, just like other living expenses in the home of The Big Easy. You’ll pay about $150 for your utility bill, spend less than three bucks on a gallon of milk, and have plenty left over to spend on Bourbon Street. The unemployment rate is on the drop as well, from 8.4% to 7.1% as of December 2014.
Nebraska has an astoundingly low unemployment rate (2.9%) and one of the higher average incomes in the country at $51,381. Buying a home in the Cornhusker state won’t break the bank, but at a median value of $149,500, we’ve seen better prices on our list. Odds and ends don’t cost very much, and entertainment in Nebraska is much cheaper in comparison to most of the country. Moving to Omaha? Rent will run around $740 a month, so you’ll have extra to spend at pubs and city festivals.
The Lone Star State is home to several cities that sit below the national average cost of living. The adjusted income sits at $57,292 a year, there’s no income tax, and the value of a home runs at about $128,000—which is $60,000 lower than the national average of $188,000. If you’re looking for big city fun at an affordable price, consider moving to San Antonio. Cheaper than both Dallas and Austin, San Antonio’s cost of living sits at 11.3% below America’s average. Catch a Spurs basketball game and remember to visit the Alamo. Admission is free, after all!