Canada's Most Affordable Cities For Real Estate

Cheapest Places To Live In America

Indeed, in some cases you might find that $40,000 in a small town can go further than $60,000 in a major city. Before you hire some movers and haul yourself across the country, you might want to weigh all of the factors.

If you are hoping to improve your financial situation, you might be able to make serious headway by moving to a less expensive location. There are numerous factors that go into determining what makes a “cheap” place to live. As you consider your options, here are some things to keep in mind:

Minimum Wage

Cheapest Places To Live In America - Minimum WagesFirst of all, it can help to live in a state with a higher minimum wage. The Federal minimum wage in the U.S., as of this writing, is $7.25 an hour. However, there are states that have higher minimum wages. According to 24/7 Wall St., here are the states with the highest hourly minimum wage:

  1. Washington: $8.67
  2. Oregon: $8.50
  3. Nevada: $8.25
  4. Illinois: $8.25
  5. Connecticut: $8.25
  6. Vermont: $8.15
  7. California: $8.00
  8. Massachusetts: $8.00

However, even though the minimum wage is high, you are likely to find the cost of living in many of these states can also be quite high. For instance, even with the high minimum wage in Massachusetts, you might still be hard-pressed to make ends meet, since the state has a high cost of living. Illinois, however, has the 17th lowest cost of living, so your dollars might go further.


One of the biggest costs you are likely to encounter is housing. Buying a home can get pricey in some markets. Trulia offers an interactive map that shows which states have the highest home prices, looking at average listing price. The map can be a little misleading, though, since it just offers listed home prices, and doesn’t provide information on what houses ultimately sell for, and in some states (like Idaho) are skewed higher because of a some of the high-end properties that might be listed; most homes in small-town Idaho aren’t going from the average $318K to $362K range listed on the map.

However, the map still gives a pretty good idea of where the most expensive places to buy a home are likely to be. No surprise that California, New York and Connecticut are quite expensive. Cheaper states to live in include Ohio, Kansas, Louisiana and a number of other Midwestern and Southern states.

If you want more specific housing markets, CNN Money (via Yahoo!) offers a list of the five cheapest major housing markets, according to median price:

  1. Youngstown, Ohio: $55,400
  2. Lansing, Michigan: $64,400
  3. Toledo, Ohio: $64,900
  4. South Bend, Indiana: $68,700
  5. Akron, Ohio: $74,900

Cheapest Places To Live In America - House PricesThat’s pretty inexpensive. In fact, in 72% of the largest U.S. cities, it’s actually cheaper to buy than to rent. But if you are looking to rent – not quite ready to buy – there are some cheap rental markets. Among the top 200 U.S. cities, here are some of the cheapest average monthly prices for two-bedroom rentals:

  1. Fargo, North Dakota: $620
  2. Duluth, Minnesota: $621
  3. Flint, Michigan: $628
  4. Topeka, Kansas: $630
  5. Scranton, Pennsylvania: $635
  6. Charleston, West Virginia: $636
  7. Canton, Ohio: $636
  8. Springfield, Ohio: $639
  9. Spartanburg, South Carolina: $642
  10. Davenport, Iowa: $642

What you pay in housing matters. The rule of thumb is to try to keep your housing costs limited to 1/3 of your income. In some places, though, housing is so expensive that you could easily spend half of your income on housing. Other markets, though, have much lower housing costs, and are more affordable – even if the wages are lower.


Another major cost that can affect how “cheap” a place is to live is the cost of food. Daily Finance offers a look at food prices around the U.S. – and the world. As you consider where to move next, think about what you might pay for food. Here are some of the average 2011 prices for different food items for specific American cities:

1 Lb. Ground Beef

  1. Portland, Oregon: $2.79
  2. Little Rock, Arkansas: $3.10
  3. Los Angeles, California: $5.29

½ Gallon Whole Milk

  1. Portland: $1.99
  2. Little Rock: $2.33
  3. Los Angeles: $2.49

1 Lb. Coffee Beans

  1. Portland: $8.99
  2. Little Rock: $5.99
  3. L.A.: $11.19

Loaf of White Bread

  1. Portland: $1.79
  2. Little Rock: $1.97
  3. L.A.: $2.29

Don’t forget your brew! If you are looking for inexpensive places to enjoy a drink, you can check out According to the site, the average price of a pint of lager in the U.S. is right around $3. Here are some of the cheapest places to get a pint of beer:

  1. Odessa, Texas: $1.00
  2. Kent Island, Maryland: $1.15
  3. Sharpsville, Pennsylvania: $1.25
  4. Memphis, Tennessee: $1.49
  5. Carbondale, Illinois: $1.85
  6. Central Point, Oregon: $2.00
  7. Minersville, Pennsylvania: $2.00

Before you move somewhere, it can be useful to get the lay of the land, and figure out how much you will spend on food, since you will need to make sure you can afford the staples.

Gas Prices

If you will need to get work, it helps to consider gas prices. The cost of filling up can prohibitive in some areas – especially if there isn’t good public transportation to help you defray the costs. U.S. News & Word Report recently published a chart that includes the cheapest gas prices in America, near the beginning of 2011, according to AAA and GasBuddy:

City	Price (AAA)	Price ( Aurora, Colorado	3.262	Not Available Tuscan, Arizona	3.264	3.276 Tulson, Oklahoma	3.277	3.277 Denver	3.281	3.267 Colorado Springs, Colorado	3.294	3.303 Wichita, Kansas	3.306	3.315 St Louis, Missouri	3.333	3.313 Kansas City, Missouri	3.34	3.348 Boise, Idaho	3.346	3.346 Spokane, Washington	3.359	3.352

Combining Different Factors

There are a number of other factors you can consider as well. Consider Alaska, which has the lowest tax burden (which includes no  income tax) of any state. The only state taxes paid in that state are property taxes – no inheritance, sales, or income taxes are levied. Other states with low tax burdens, according to the Tax Foundation, are Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.

But, cost of living is a combination of a number of factors; focusing on just one won’t give you the total picture. Kiplinger offers a handy list of the 10 cities with the lowest cost of living, looking at factors that include taxes, transportation, food, and housing costs:

  1. Fort Smith, Arkansas
  2. Pueblo, Colorado
  3. Harlingen, Texas
  4. McAllen, Texas
  5. Johnson City, Tennessee
  6. Conway, Arkansas
  7. Springfield, Illinois
  8. Covington, Kentucky
  9. Louisville, Kentucky
  10. Omaha, Nebraska

Another way to figure out whether you would fare better somewhere else is to use a cost of living calculator. You can enter your annual salary, and your current city, and then enter another city. A cost of living calculator will let you know how much you would need to make to maintain your current lifestyle. It can also tell you how different costs compare, to help you get a better idea of what will cost more, and what will cost less. This gives you another idea of where in America it might be cheaper to live.

Bottom Line

It’s not always easy to figure out where the cheapest place to live is. There are a number of factors that go into the decision. One town might have higher gas prices, but lower food prices. Another town might have low rent costs, but have high taxes, or high prices on utilities. Before you make your decision, do your best to compare your options, and look at prices. You will be more likely to find a hometown that will meet your requirements for frugality.

Thanks for reading. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, ask a question or give any thoughts or input. Also if you like this post please share using the social buttons below.

336 thoughts on “Cheapest Places To Live In America”

  1. Nice article, but I must say that Dayton is the worst place on the planet. That could account for it’s frugality. I pity anyone having to live in that awful place.

      1. im from dayton ohio and i first off like to share with you why this town sucks, nothing to do, places close early, jobs left, so the marketing sucks, mainly it is borning, cost of living is okay, job wage okay as well too, mainly folks here are bored and do complain about the routine,but if you have dreams and goals, best chance is to run while you can.

  2. Hey Essence,

    Thanks for letting us know :)

    I definitely have not had a chance to go to all of these places.

    I do know that I have gotten some of the cheapest beer ever in vermont! Sadly it was bad beer!

  3. “…but if you are able to relocate in your current job (blogger like me :) )…”

    Yeah… rub it in. The smilie was a nice touch, douchebag.

  4. Hey Molasses Brain…… never meant to sound pompass! Was just trying to keep a good humored run to the post….. guess it never worked with you!!

    As a blogger I don’t make a lot of money (hence the frugal blog) so moving to a cheap state would not be a bad idea for me!!

    @Bryan, Yeah I noticed….. I am suprised at home much traffic I am getting but still nothing from Google!

    1. frugal is my middle name broski.. just got out the army and now poor as fuck trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life??? so whats this whole deal about making money blogging?? you could hook it up with some explanation as to how to go about doing that?? thanks man.

      1. Hey Lost In Confusion

        I hear ya… I’m not a rich guy myself these days but am getting by now.

        Making money online is really like any other business but with the added benefit of very little risk to try it out…. If you think you could be a real world entrepeneaur then chances are you could make a little cash online with a business of some sort.

        Email me if you want a little more info.

    1. No way man, Alabama sucks!!! I have live here for about six yrs and getting ready to move to Tenn!! EVERYTHING HERE IS TAXED, omg i had to pay over 4,000 this past yr for state tax, it also cost me over 400.00 to register my car here when i bought it. The sales tax is high so i shop in FL. Anyway, do yourself a favor, DONT MOVE TO AL!!!!

    2. Yes, the taxes will kill you. Housing might be cheap in Alabama, but so are wages, and if the taxes are high, then you are in for a doom.

  5. Hey Mr Pubes,

    Thanks for the diplomatic criticism :), but seriously I am glad that people speak up when they don’t like something and I will put it on my to do list to research a more figure based conclusion.

    Thanks for visiting….. as you are very honest and this is a new site, anything else that grinds against your grain?

  6. Hey Annie,

    Greta to have you swing by. I have never been to Denver either. The states is just too darn big to visit everywhere!!

    Do you have any idea where you may move to?

  7. If you are looking for a home to buy or rent Arizona is the place to go! There have been so many forclosures that all of those empty houses (A LOT) are selling for next to nothing now. I recently found a home that was over 2000 sq ft selling for $70,000.00, Towns like Florence, Queen Creek, Pinal County, Coolidge, Maricopa, etc., I have found to have the best bang for your buck in the housing market.

    1. Lived in Arizona and love that state, but you need to do some research on the locations. Some areas are very bad and the weather is another factor. I’m ready to move back to Arizona. I hate the cold and snow.

      1. Hey Sandyloam, I guess it’s just a fact that every area has ups and downs! I have heard good things about Arizona though.

        1. I live in Phoenix. As for Florence, Queen Creek, Pinal County, Coolidge, Maricopa, well Florence is a prison town, Queen Creek is out someplace in no man’s land, and the sheriff for Pinal County, well lets just say he’s in the news a lot. You couldn’t pay me to live in any of those ciites.

    2. I I ave lived in Sierra Vista, AZ and Surprise AZ for almost 10 years. It is hot as hell for half the year in the Phoenix area. And mild in the Winter. Summer is expensive in utilities. You live for your AC! You are locked up inside somewhere for approx 6 or more months per year. it’s not all a dry heat either. In the monsoon season there is humidity! With 113 degree heat and the slighest amount of humidity, dying is a nice option! Monsoon season doesn’t always rain. But, it does mean humidity! We turn into walking, stinking, sweatbags.Don’t leave anything outside for more than a week or the sun will fry it! Trampolienes only last one summer here. The towns that are least expensive to buy in are way far from civilization! They are newer homes in areas that are not mature. No large trees, no real services, cookie cutter homes that are made out of cardboard. Everything is so spread out . Cars are important here. The heat is killer to an autos paint, engine, tires, etc. I learned that you can live in a cookie cutter house in a nice neighborhood and a few blocks away( possibly a few houses away) you have ghetto scum, drugs,immigrant houses, and murder. It’s hard to tell. The schools here are some of the worst I have seen. I have chosen to home school my kids after attendng these lousy Charter and public schools. The teachers are overworked and underpaid. And it shows. You could live in inner Phoenix and find a nice neighborhood! Never move into an HOA subdivision. They rape you for everything they can. I have not noticed much of a community feeling out here. People come and people go. Hello, goodbye. My neighborhood has turned to trash because most of the houses went into forecloseure and the investers bought up the houses to rent them out! Renters suck! The only culture out here is Mexican.
      Downtown phoenix doesn’t have much to offer . No night life. Not many activities. The Sheriff has gone crazy in this county, he makes up laws as he goes along. Read about the Governer, budget cuts everywhere! I can’t appreciate the mild winters any more because the summers are so harsh. The houses are somewhat cheap right now, but buyer beware. Crime, guns, Mexicans, drugs, heat, poorley built homes, ugly buildings and homes, death is all around,people are jerks, snowbirds, poor drivers, tons of Hindu doctors that I don’t understand, poor medical care, one big melting pot of trash! Literally!
      Beware of Arizona. The desart and palm trees might be pretty to look at, but if you don’t make a ton of money to pay for a ritzy area with an expensive pool,nice schools, trustworthy cars, alarm systems, watering your plants, expensive utilities, car insurance, and isolaton from the crap that goes on here, good luck.
      Did I mention that the tap water around here tasts like crap and is warm all summer long! Yeah, you have to use a lot of ice or keep it cold somewhere. No cool showers in the summer!

      1. Hi Bunker, thanks for your insights, appreciated. However I don’t agree with statements pertaining to race and religion (Hindu and Mexican) these assumptions are circumstantial based, not because someone is something!

      2. wow! I sincerely feel bad for bunker. I live in AZ. for 24 yrs. now, I never encounter what he has been through.I love it here, sheriff is great ! True, there are places that are not pleasant to live in but most places are safe, unless you have an attitude problem. people can sense this things. So the are not going to be friendly with you!! Bunker hang in there and maybe you should make the first move and say HI! to your neighbors or anybody on the street, you’d be surprise how friendly AZ. people are!!

        1. Thanks Sosharee, it’s amazing how getting involved in the local communuty can change perception of a place.

      3. Hey Bunker: you really need to cover up because your ignorance is showing..people like you that make such remarks makes my life hard to live as I cant be American enough due to the color of my brown skin and I cant be Mexican enough for my family in Mexico as I am considered to be too much of an American.. Try learning of our culture and believes before you make any untrue statements. You should learn of what frightens you..many people who are afraid of other issues attack them without having any knowledge of them..I recently made a trip to Las Vegas and spent a couple of nights in AZ. and I did find many friendly people so maybe its your ugly out look that makes things appear so bad..but then again you cannot give what is not in your sorry for you..

        1. Well said Sirina, people rarely look at themselves and blame all the ills of the world on others that they don’t understand.

        2. Forgoty to mention, Im in Casa Grande, which is about the halfway point between phoenix and tuscon. I also lived briefly In Coolidge and Seirra Vista and its all about the same!!

      4. I agree with every bit of what you said! I was born in Phoenix and raised in the midwest, moved here for family and personal reasons. Now we are doing everything in our power to get the hell out of here!! It sucks and the people here arer so rude in general!! I cant stand it and cant wait to just go home!!

    3. Hey, I know a girl from high school who moved to Queen Creek. What is that area like? I don’t know if I could handle all the baking heat though. The few degrees cooler that Tucson is might make all the difference for me. Also, what is the area like around Prescott and Flagstaff? I know that some areas like Sedona are ungodly expensive.

      1. Queen Creek is not that great. There are so many new homes though that they sell for fairly cheap, but they are not made well since they are made so quickly, many of the other town with the same housing has already started to fall apart. It is connected to the outskirts of Phoenix, so you get all the smog, but not as much of the city life. If you do not like heat or don’t think you can handle being inside for most of the summer (April-late October) then you should steer clear of Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma (and most surrounding areas of them). Prescott and Flagtaff are nice, they do not get as hot, sometimes even 20 degrees cooler, and they actually get rain and snow. I have lived in west Phoenix ( and the guy earlier, Bunker, is fairly right, beside the stupid cultural remark, about how Phoenix is, but if you go to any other town they are not as high in crime) all over East valley (South scottsdale, tempe, mesa, and chandle) as well as Mammoth which is a small town outside of Tucson. I love Arizona, but have been here my entire life and am looking for a change, somewhere that rains a lot but doesn’t get too cold.

    4. Stumbled upon this page and also lived in Coolidge, AZ for 5 years, Casa Grande for one. I’ve lived all over the states..grew up in Buffalo, NY..I’m 53. Unless you are clean and sober and can resist temptations to party, stay away from Buffalo. The people are extremely friendly there, it’s fairly cheap for rent and food, but the city itself has gone to the dogs. The outskirts are nice though, but then you have the property taxes that eat you alive! My sister in law just sold her home there for $79,000, but the taxes are $4,000 a year, and that’s a small, 1,000 sq. ft. home. There, the heating bills are unreal and because the homes are so old, you really do pay over $300 a month to heat your place. So off to AZ! He’s right about the communities can be in a brand new subdivision and have the ghetto literally a few streets away. Crime is rampant and the older towns are very clicky. He’s also right that you don’t and can’t go outside for literally 8 months out of the year. You can burn your hands on a surface of just about anything if you’re not careful! Fry an egg on the sidewalk? No problem..! And yes, snowbirds are what they call transplants that come down from other states in the winter months to live and then they leave to go home again in the summers. I found AZ to be VERY transient. And with that, comes the problem of not getting to know anyone in addition to the fact that you rarely even SEE anyone outdoors for all those months it’s really hard, at least it was for me, to meet new people if you relocate. I just have to say it again. It is BLAZING hot there. Seriously. You better love, love, love the heat…or never mind the Phoenix area!!

  8. Minot could GIVE AWAY a house and I still would not live there. :-) Once the kids are done with school, I will be looking for a cheaper place to live. I’ve been in Denver for 20+ years, but I know I could seriously reduce my cost of living somewhere else.

    Annie Binnss last blog post..From Tragedy to Triumph – A Review

    1. Minot is not giving any houses away nowadays with the oil boom. Demand is strong, and prices have skyrocketed. One of the few places in the nation that can say that.

      But yes I see what you’re saying (I think)…it is around 20 below with windchill right now, pretty much anywhere in ND.

      1. Hey Harold, nice to see somewhere doing well. This article is a little old now and things do change quickly. I’ll try and get it updated sometime soon but it lives on well with help from people like you here in the comments.

    2. Hey Annie, I like the Denver and Colorado Springs areas. Do you know what areas are the best areas to move to in relation to cost of housing, pay, taxes, etc. I am thinking of that area to buy when the housing market stabilizes.

  9. Alaska doesn’t have state sales tax, but many cities and boroughs have their own sales taxes. The lack of state income tax certainly doesn’t make Alaska cheap. Where I’m currently located a 1-bedroom apartment rents from 700-1200 dollars a month. Also we have the highest gas prices in the nation at the moment and while many Alaskans have short commutes that does raise food prices quite a bit. It’s not unusual to buy a $4 loaf of bread or $4.50 gallon of milk. In some isolated parts of the state those prices are doubled. There’s no way that Alaska would be considered a cheap place to live.

    I think cost of living calculators that combine many factors are the way to go. The additional info may help, but I think most of the time a lower wage in a cheaper area goes further than a higher wage in an expensive area.

    1. Hey Coral, where are you in Alaska? I am in Anchorage, and have been for a bit over 8 years now. You are right that it isn’t cheap, but thank God in Anchorage we don’t have sales or income tax thus far, and that PFD sure does help. Also, even though we complain about our property taxes, we could be like some other areas of the country where you pay more.

  10. A Coral, It’s strange that when I was doing my research I kept coming across little bits of info saying how cheap Alaska was but I have always heard quite the opposite. I did not know that individual areas could have sales tax but I guess even if they didn’t, rising oil prices will mean that goods are going to go up and up.

    I have always wanted to visit Alaska… I am very interested in sating in one of the towns that get almost 24 hour darkness…. just to see how I fare for a few days!!!

    1. I have lived in Fairbanks, AK for a total of 6 years. The food is very expensive and so is heating fuel. The brutal, dark winters are depressing. Alaska is beautiful to visit but even with the yearly dividend and no state income tax we still didnt save any money. We have a house there which we have rented out. Dont plan to return. We live in new Orleans now and am considering retiring to one of the gulf coast towns in AL, MS or northwestern FL.Any suggestions about where our pension would go the furthest and we could still be within 10 of the beach?

      1. If you are planning on going South maybe stepping out of USA into somewhere like Belize could be a good idea! I know some people that love Alaska and some people that hate it!

  11. While articles like this can be fun to read and consider, many of us have other considerations to be thought of when comtemplating a move. Many of these places may be cheap to live but if culturally they are void would I want to committ suicide after 1 month? Would I be safe? Would I want to stay long term? Would any of my friends want to come visit me? I got sick of the price of living in the Bay Area in CA and we tried Philadelphia, but hated it. Many people love it but we hated it. It taught us that there is always a way to make it in the bigger cities so trying for the ones less traveled is not usually worth it for us. To each their own though.

    francetales.coms last blog post..Montcuq, France

    1. You are right about the Bay Area in CA. It might not be cheaper than Philadelphia, but OMG. Seems East Bay isn’t too bad for prices, but not cheap. Do you have any insight to the decent, safe, and more affordable areas around the Bay Area?

  12. Hey FranceTales, thanks for stopping by.

    I totally agree you always have to try and make sure that you get to know an area a little before moving. I grew up in an area of London, England and hated it. So when I was old enough to move away I moved away from that area.

    Then I decided it was time to buy. My old area was one of the only affordable (barely) places for me so I purchased a flat there believing it may have changed…… well, I still hated it and eventually managed to sell up and get out again!

    1. Hmmm, what area of London? I was stationed at Upper Heyford back in the day. I know London almost as well as the back of my hands, LOL. I even know a guy who went to school with me in Illinois that is an expatriate living in London. BTW, my wife is a German expatriate living in Alaska with me.

  13. Please oh please tell me where in Wichita I can find a 600-square foot one-bedroom with a huge kitchen and full-size washer and dryer for only $470. Because I have to move there and it is looking pretty dismal!

  14. Hey TJP, I have never actually been Wichita but was looking around for rentals and found this site: and the prices look pretty decent to me.

    But I am from originally from England so almost any price looks amazing to me :)

  15. Got any ideas where a 50 year old can live on her ss disabiliy check at approx $840.00 per month? I live in Florida and I don’t care anymore where the H**L I end up. I have to find a place to live by the end of Aug. I own my car, a bunch of personal stuff, but no real furniture. However, I do have an air mattress and furniture isn’t all that important right away. The boutique GW (Goodwill) and I are great friends. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I do have a cat and in Florida apparently that’s worse than not being a Republican.I have no dependents, husbands etc. Just me and the cat. I really liked your info; at least it felt like somebody out there actually (dare I say it?) is nice . Anyway, I’m not as depressed as I was after all the other sites I’ve looked at. I realize that I am basically screwed. But hey, I figure you can’t say anything that could make me feel any worse. Thanks

    1. Hi Lori – Its a challenge to live alone. A kitty is a nice cuddle-buddy. Im a SWM, 50, Glasses, Blue-eyes.No dependents who LEFT the Expense of North Lake County ,IL 7 years ago and moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin. What a difference from $750 a month + $300 in Gas, Water,Elec, Internet, Car Insurance to turning RENT Down to 300-400 a month still mowing and snowblowing, But SAVING$$$$,too.
      Burning a $1000 a month for years and never getting anywhere with it. IM still a 2nd Shifter building DROIDS for Motorola and have basically relied upon contract work to survive. I discharge over $40,000 in Credit Card Debt August of 2005 and Im starting over again. There are a striking number of people who receive Disability SSDI, Food Stamps , etc. in the City of Kenosha becuz I guess they just gave up. But, I’d be happy to show you $2.63/gallon Gas prices, The Goodwill of Kenosha(Booming) The Salvation Army and the Lake Front. If you can put up with the Change of Season’s may be moving to Kenosha, just over the Illinois border, will help you get away from Exotic plush equatorial lifestyle out-of-reach for most of us and find a friend in Kenosha to live with. Can you STAY alone the rest of your life? Are you loooking for a roommate? The RENT.COM website provides the criteria you need to select what’s affordable before dedicating to a relocation. What do you care? Your income is fixed anyway, right? Are you hard to live with? Do yourun your own day or need help? Are you a mope? TTD or PPD? I’d like to offer some help with these critical decisions you need to think about. If Kenosha can pull it all together for ‘ya then maybe all of this blog(whatever) was worth it.
      E-mail nights after work and maybe we’ll chat sum. John G.

      1. Hey John, thanks for the first hand info…. I have never heard of Kenosha but it sounds affordable. I guess if so many people have given up people who don’t depend on income to survive or can get a basic job have a good chance of flourishing.


      2. John, where in North Lake County? Antioch, Fox Lake, Grayslake? I grew up in Northeast Central IL and my best friend lives in Chicago. You moved just over the border into Kenosha and save almost 50% in rent, that is amazing. What are the taxes like in Wisconsin compared to IL though. I heard that the taxes in Madison will kill you.

    2. hi,i’m new. i live in middletown,ohio.i would like to say that i do believe you could live here on $870.per month.i have two storie home ,it has 3 br’s i bath and ful basement,and about 1/4 ac. of land food is fairly cheap,gas is as of 11-22-11 at 2.96 a gallon. my gas and elect. was 105.00last month. and i live alone,no pets,but i live on $670. a month,i pay 425.00 for rent and they pay the water and trash,but you can find cheaper homes.and if you perfer a apartment they can be from 300. to 400. to 600. for pretty nice self i would like to move out west,if i can find a place to that i can live on 674.00 a month total.

    3. I can’t tell when your post was sent; however, I would like to know more …. because my boat is much like yours … I’m a bit older … but not so much … My lease ends May 31…. and I gotta be somewhere … I’ll probably store my items… I do have furniture + a bit more …
      It’s just me and the dog ….

    4. Hi. I. live in New Orleans and am familiar with an inexpensive living situation. The St. Vincents Guest house on Magazine st. is advertising for a housekeeper in exchange for a free room. I have a relative who did this for a while. She said the work wasnt very strenuous and it was part time. The building is historic. Its an old brick Catholic orphanage. Despite the spooky appearance it is economical and they will allow a cat.

  16. Hey Lori,

    Thanks so much for your comment.

    I spent a lot of time looking into this post and although I could have researched more I did not want to overload with info.

    Obviously my info was pooled from the web, so I can’t verify that it is all as true as I would like but it should be a rough guide.

    I actually live in Montreal with my partner on about $800 a month for myself. I do however live in a hared house (shared bathroom and kitchen) and walk everywhere, I don’t have a car. Gas is sooo expensive right now.

    I have it on my list of things to do this week to look into a specific cheap place in the states and write a post about it.

    Although I would never be able to completely verify my info without actually living in a place I will try and see if I can work out a place that is livable for about $840 a month.

    Should be a good case study for my website.

    I really really hope you find somewhere. I don’t think you are screwed. If I can do it in expensive Montreal then there has to be somewhere in the states, as in my experience it’s cheaper than Canada (Quebec anyway) in many respects.

    Please please do let me know how you get along and what you find out. I will try and do my research and post on Thursday or Friday.

    …… From what I have heard ANYWHERE will be cheaper than Florida.

    As for the kittie, I think it’s worth looking for as many coupons as possible and finding free samples too. May only save you a couple of dollars here ad there but it all adds up!

  17. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. If it’s ok by you, I think I’ll keep you in my pocket (metephorically speaking that is) as if you were by my side giving me courage and strength. I will let you know what happens.


  18. Pingback: Cheapest places to live in America - Topeka, KS for under $840 a month
  19. Hi Lori…. just letting you know I published a new article that may interest you….

    I’d love to have your input. Thanks.

    1. Lori, I would choose Topeka over Wichita any day, not that Kansas is on the top of my places to relocate. Kansas City, MO is a nice city near Topeka, but I heard from a guy who I met up here a couple years ago, that Kansas City’s crime is getting crazy.

  20. I couldn’t understand some parts of this article, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  21. I believe you have incorrect information on Tennessee.
    Tennessee does NOT have personal income tax. You might want to check you resources.

    1. hi,this is daniel perry. i lived in a little town called white pine,tn.the guy is right you don’t pay personal tax’es,they do not tax food as well.i bought a 2 bed room 1bath moblie home for $1,500.00,and lote rent was just $125.00 a month.i was on a fixed income of $674.00 a month.after paying all my bills i still had about$300.00 left,but in some counties they have a thing they call wheel tax which me ans that if you live in such a county you will pay more for auto son talked me into moveing back here.and on $674.00 a month i really don’t have hardly any money left,but like i said earlier that the lady who has $870.00 a month could live here pretty well.i lived in tenessee for 7 years.white pine is about 35miles from gatlinburg,tn.the malls are only about 2 miles away.gas and food was fairly cheap.i’m 58 yrs.old and want to find a cheap place out west to live while i’m still i really like like this site i find it very helpful, thank you.

  22. Hi Judy,

    Thanks for the info… My sources are listed I believe and they came from around the web so I am sure some of the info cannot be taken 100% but the article was just trying to help give a general idea of where could be cheapest for people to live.

    1. Technically both New Hampshire and Tennessee have personal income taxes. But what most people are talking about when they say “income tax” is a personal wage and salary tax, which neither New Hampshire or Tennessee have. New Hampshire’s former governor implemented a voluntary tax for those who felt that they were under taxed.

      What’s the difference? Wages are a straight trade for time, thus there is no real gain or income. Salaries are based on wages and experience, so they are technically the same. Interest and dividends are considered income or gain and are taxable in New Hampshire and Tennessee.

  23. Hey, me and my wife lost our job were living day to day with a family of seven total. Where is the cheapest place to live in america.

    1. Derrick, sorry to hear that. My bet is you live in the Midwest, but who knows, the economy stinks just about everywhere now.

  24. Hey Derrick,

    I’m really sorry to hear this :(

    I think it’s hard to say what place is exactly the cheapest.. I have been there with the day to day thing and I know how hard it is (plus I don’t have kids) but people stick through things. I personally would just stick close to friends and family.

    Statistically somewhere in the midwest would be cheapest: I wrote this article about Topeka

  25. I agree with the first comment, Dayton, Ohio kinda sucks. Might it be a cheap place to live? Yes. But recently the unemployment rate has skyrocketed because of the large companies shutting down and it will be difficult getting a job if you choose to relocate. My husband and I are personally waiting for a way outta here. Rent and housing is reasonable but it’s cold here and there isn’t much to do unless you like to go to bars and clubs. There are parks and lakes to visit but of course, only during warm months which is half the year. One good thing about Ohio is that you get to experience the extremes of all seasons which can be a nice change when the time comes.

  26. Hey Lauren, thanks for your comment.

    The great thing about the comments on this post is getting a real set of opinions…. I wish I could have visited all these places myself before posting :)

    1. yes Tucumcari New mexico will get u into section 8 within 3 months and public housing within one month or less. But beware of one thing; SPIDERS. my kids were bitten every time u turn around by spiders. some of the bites were pretty severe (blistering up like burns). clovis, new too is pretty good at helping people with housing but again BEWARE OF SPIDERS!!!

  27. i am kind of romantically thinking of moving to england – great old houses, green areas, all that luvly talk, etc. but realistically i know its out of the question. in your opinion is there an area, or town, in the usa that puts you in mind of england? i prob am talking about the lancaster area…thanks, ginny

    1. Oh that’s a tough one…. I am from London, England and in some ways that paralleled with Boston, which is in no means a cheap place to live…. The small country feel is unique to England I think!!!

    2. Hi Ginny,

      I am English too. I live in Lockport, Illinois. In many ways it reminds me of a West Yorkshire town. There is an old canal running through the town and many of the old houses, (yes there are a lot), are built from from dolomite or yellow limestone. I like it here but after 28 years I sometimes think about returning to England. I probably never shall but the thought has crossed my mind. I have spoken to a few people back home and they all advise me to stay here so perhaps they know something I don’t?

      1. Hey Chris,

        I lived in Montreal and there was the odd bar that reminded me of UK but as a whole the city was very different….. Cairo….. not much here reminds me of England at all!!

        Some parts of Vermont reminded me of East England / Wales.

      2. The taxes in England are MUCH higher than anyplace in the US. That’s why most in the entertainment and professional sports world with truly obscene incomes decide to live abroad (not in the UK).

        1. As a small business owner I actually find UK taxes reasonable but i agree as a high earning celeb it would be extremely high compared to many other countries.

          Thanks for stopping bye.

      3. Chris, where are you from in England? I lived in Upper Heyford for 3 years, and I grew up just southeast of Dwight, IL, which is down the road a bit from Lockport.

    3. I was just in Norris, TN in April 2010, and I would have to say for some reason that it reminded me of a quaint English town. It is just north of Knoxville a bit, but seems a world away from a bigger city.

  28. This really answered alot of my questions. I was thinking of relocating and you summed up every aspect. Thanks again so much. Thumbs up!!!

  29. I went back to read some of the other posts, and cam across Lori. I was actually headed to Florida it appears cheaper than New Jersey (where I live now). Is this a good move or not? I have 1 child, and I can take my job with me, so to speak.

    1. I actually don’t know the answer to this…. I hope some of the other commenters with actual living experience can chime in?

    2. FL has some nice beaches and the weather is nice when it is raining, but you know when the highest place in that state is just a bit over 800 feet that it makes my home state of Illinois seem hilly, LOL.

  30. Washington State is not the Cheapest state to live in anymore these states are AK, Tn, AL, SD, ID, KY, so if you want to move out of Washington State Try these states. You will have better luck!!

    1. Alaska isn’t cheap, but the economy is generally better. I would advice you that if you want to check out moving up here though, that you have a job before you move. Rent is around 800-1100 for a 1-2 bedroom, and housing starts around $250-300,000 for a 3 bedroom/2 bath here in Anchorage, but unless you work in fast food and some retail outlets, you will be making at least $10 an hour, and we don’t have any sales or income tax in Anchorage.

  31. The best place to live in is New York, In New York they have to best education school system along with universities and colleges, They do pay good and the people are nice and friendly. I am going to New York this july and live in there

    1. I was born in FL. raised in NY and presently live in Harlem to be exact. Although NY. has a reputation of being a great place to live, I feel that is only true if you are single. I have a family and and at times find it overwhelming raising children here. I have lived in IL. and moved back here in 2004 and am ready to leave again. Don’t be fooled by the lights NY. can be a very cold place to live and I’m not only talking about the weather. On the upside there are plenty of places to have fun and lots of cultural areas as well as plenty of schools. I guess it all depends on what you value most in life an Image or good wholesome living. I should also mention that you can find good and bad wherever you go, it all depends on what you are looking for. I have found many good things here as well as good people. Choose wisely.

  32. I’m in the same boat as Lori (and the same age), but live in Maryland. So far I’ve been able to keep my house, but it looks like my run is coming to an end. I have a dog and since it’s just me and the pooch, I’m not willing to give him up. Our pets are needed by the disabled as we are often stuck at home. They provide good company and actually help with some health issues.

    My question – is there any kind of network that you are aware of that connects people on a disability income? Forums or messaage boards maybe? We could provide moral support for each other, and there could be a service for matching up those looking for roommates either because they are sick of living alone (no pun intended) or want to cut costs while riding out the economy.

    It seems that there should be something like this out there, but I haven’t been able to find it.


    1. I’m very sorry I don’t know of a place like that…. However it is an awesome idea and you could possibly look to start one yourself if you have the time.

  33. I found Texas to be very reasonable I had a PULTE priemere home built for 188000
    The taxes were 4400 every thing else was inexpensive beer in a resturant was between 2.50 and 3.00 mexican food was good and cheap. people were friendly and didnt beep the horn if you didnt jump at a light. there is no state tax but off the book jobs dont exist. Car insurance was half the price of ny and electric was less than NY. The schools were lousy They are backwards on most things and cant measure up to ny in any way shape or form The cops are stupiod and liars I watched them arrest a kid for not drinking and them saying he was drunk I know I saw the kid get out of my car after him well any way Im going off they raise the revenue by arresting innocent people and bogus traffic tickets like speeding when you arent. How ever if you can put up with that stuff its not a bad place

    1. Ive never been to Texas and the things you witnessed with the cops sucks…. However not all officers of the law are bad and I am sure it’s the same anywhere you go.

      1. Texas is a fantastic country, yes a country – not a state. you should visit :) most everyone is friendly & accepting. i know, or have met several people who are from England who absolutely love it. True, there are some backwards police – but isn’t that the case everywhere? Some of the school systems are not that great, but there are plenty of private schools and most districts allow transfers to other public schools, if you’d like. I really enjoy traveling, but Texas keeps my heart. There is no place like it.

        1. Sorry Czech n Irish, Alaska will claim the title of country over Texas. I think I figured it out once that you take the size of Texas twice, Illinois 11 times, DC 67 times, and still have almost enough room for a Delaware.

        2. i am in the panhandle of texas i have been here about 3 mounths i find it to be dirty air and the people are nice but slow and hard to under stand they dont think quicky the land is ugly to me i am from oregon and the culture shock is unbeliveable the price of gas is around 315 witch is nice but the price of food is higher than oregon i miss trees i under stand that farther east in texas there are trees but not ware i am at i want to find a place that has water and trees and dont snow 5 mounths out the year

          1. Hi Frank, it’s interesting how culture shocked you can be in your own country but the USA is really a vast place. Some people love the slower pace of life and the dryness, some hate it!!! Did you ever find a greener place to go?

    2. Ouch, you pay $4400 in taxes on your $188,000 house in Texas? I pay less than that on my house assessed at $317,000 here in Anchorage, AK. Can I ask where in TX you live? I hope it is a city for those taxes. I know all about corruption, I am from IL originally where the politicians are corrupt, and you live in TX where the criminal justice system is corrupt. We in Alaska have to claim Ms. Palin, not that she is corrupt, but you know…..

  34. Of course, the rent is cheapest in those states and towns, they’re in the area of TORNADO ALLEY!!!

    1. Cameron, well if you don’t have tornadoes, then you have earthquakes, floods, blizzards, or some other thing you will have to put up with on occasion wherever you live.

  35. I would not go to Knoxville Tennessee to live EVER.

    March of 2006 was the last time I saw my son Edwin Joe Todd, Jr. alive. I came to Knoxville Tennessee that month from Richton Park , Illinois to visit him. The next month, April 17, was his birthday. He turned 23. I was so proud because in my mind was I have a 23 year old, a 21 year old, a 14 ½ year old and a 10 year old. I felt no one was more blessed and proud than I. 3 boys and 1 girl. Then it happened…

    About 3:45 AM the morning of April 27, 2006, 10 days after his birthday, my phone rang. The caller on the other end identified himself as Dr. ???? (can’t remember his name) at a hospital in Knoxville Tennessee asking for the mother of Shaq. We, (the family) called him J.R., because he was a Junior and his friends called him Shaq because he loved basketball. When I identified myself as her, the doctor said, I have bad news for you, Shaq has just been KILLED.

    According to Investigator Ron Flores of the Knoxville police department, JR was at a college party at the Old Laguana in Knoxville when an altercation broke out between a friend of his and some other guys. Investigator Flores said my son JR, took the bullet for his friend JT. I don’t know JT.

    April 27, 2006 has been 3 years since this happened. Now, this is considered a COLD CASE. I was told by someone that the person that pulled the trigger was a black male with dread locks. That person and his brother has since left Knoxville, cut his hair and moved to the Atlanta Georgia area.


    1. I am very sorry to hear such a sad story.

      Sadly every city has it’s bad apples and it’s something that we have to be constantly aware of in our daily lives… again I am very sorry for your loss.

    2. Regina, Forest is right. Unfortunately there is crime just about anywhere you go. My wife is from Germany and even the crime rate there seems to be getting worse. If not by gun, then by knife, fists, or whatever.

  36. TO THE PUBLISHER:i appreciate your advice and comments…however they are just not exact! perhaps you didnt get all of the footwork done
    and just had to write something, i dont know.i on the other hand have
    traveled all over the states and have better info than you.the cheapest
    and best places to live are:OKLAHOMA…ARKANSA…LOUISIANA…ALABAMA….just to name a
    few. you can still buy a 2story home with over 2000sq ft…pool…barns
    pond…acreage…out buildings…some have 2 homes on them or have
    rental units on for way under $150,000.we are talking about nice places
    all remodeled..not trashy arkansa…you are going to end up
    not paying any property taxes if you are a senior…you are always going to get some type of tax credit. in oklahoma…i have seen places
    where the propery tax was as low as $70.year.this is where the people
    should look!

    1. Hey Freedom Fox,

      This post was just a general guide using info I gathered from the net. The thing I love about blogs is the comments you receive on a post and I am very grateful for your added knowlede.

    2. Freedom Fox, you will not pay any property taxes as a senior citizen in Arkansas? I find that hard to believe because here in Anchorage, Alaska even seniors who get the senior and homestead exemptions still have to pay taxes. I also would like to know where in OK you would only pay $70 a year for taxes? I bet it is out in the sticks, what we call the Bush up here in Alaska. Some of our areas don’t have any taxes, but you also don’t have any utilities nearby.

  37. As far as housing goes, because of the huge numbers of foreclosures in the area, Queen Creek, & Florence Arizona has extremely cheap housing. I have seen very nice newer homes that are over 2000sqft on the market for less than $70,000.
    Plus you are fairly close to the bigger cities, such as Mesa, Tempe, and Gilbert.

  38. This post is for Lori Kite Smith and Forest. Hi Lori, I just want you to know I am in your same exact boat. I am currently living in St. Louis (don’t go here) I had to come back here, but everyone said that St. Louis would be a much lower cost of living that where I was which was Des Moines/Kent Washington. NOT TRUE. First off, the rents are the same unless you live right downtown where the crime is worst than Washington D.C. There is virtually no industry here left and largest employer in the state of misery is a hospital (bjc). This is not an accident. The area is a health hazard with high humidity and poor air quality. The taxes are through the roof with personal and state and three tiers for sales (food, alcohol and everything else) Seattle was cheaper. I could also get jobs easier, the air quality was great and the beaches made it easier to get out to excersize. I hope to go back. A lot of seniors living on fixed are staying month to month in motels there where everything is included. But watch out for the meth makers. Wish you could email me (I have a cat too) and we could get together.

    1. Seattle was cheaper!! Wow, that is the first time I have heard that. That is why it’s so important to get real world comments from people after a researched article.

      It’s hard to judge how nice a place actually is to live without knowing people there.

      1. I wouldn’t care if Seattle was more, I would never live in STL. I personally used to live in Kent, WA myself, and it is head over heels better than STL. Like she said, the crime rate is, dare I say, probably one of the worst in the a civilized society. I am not sure if STL or East STL are vying for the honor of which has the worst crime rate.

  39. For tax purposes, Is it better for me to have an address in USA when I live in the Caribbean ? Should I file as an expatriate? If you don’t know the answer, please advise where to get it. Tnx.

  40. I bought a cute little 4-1/2 bed, 2 bath turn-of-the-century cottage here (in Omaha) for less than $80K 4 years ago, but I can’t find a job.

    Thankfully, I paid cold cash for it –so there’s no mortgage– but I’m wondering how long I can hold out w/o needing major maintenance with no job to pay for it.
    Also, the property taxes are OUTRAAAAAAAGEOUS!!!

    Racism rages here, too, which complicates finding meaningful work and decent pay. For this reason, I’d never urge anyone of color to come here. I guess there are more factors than affordability to be considered when you decide to up and move your entire life to a new place.

    The social/cultural scene leaves a lot to be desired too. I mean, not that I’m a social butterfly by any stretch, but I like dressing up and attending the symphony occasionally. And, I’m so tired of seeing everyone in jeans everyday, everywhere I go I may barf blue indigo any day now. Don’t get me wrong, Omaha is my hometown, but I’m beginning to miss Washington, DC– where I lived for 30 years before returning here– more and more everyday.

    I think I finally understand the meaning of “you can’t go home again.”

    1. Pamela, has the Big O gotten that bad since I last lived there in 1993? I visited in 2000 and it didn’t seem that bad either.

      Oh, and don’t remind me of how people dress, you should see how they dress up here in Alaska. The school district up here will even let kids go to school in pajamas. Don’t get me wrong, wearing Carhartts for hunting and fishing isn’t bad, but when you use it to go out around town in, that is a bit much.

  41. This subject is getting some awesome comments and I can’t thank everyone enough for contributing…… So in the next week or so I will be opening up a forum on this blog and making this a subject. I hope you all go over and continue this discussion.

    Thanks so much.


  42. Hey Everyone… This conversation is getting busy so I have opened up a thread in our brand new forums… Please do come and contribute.

  43. I live in Texas and was born and raised here. Very conservative, bible thumping state. As hot as hades!!! Yes I believe real estate here is better than most states, but I’m sick and tired of the heat. I have to run my errands before noon or else the steering wheel to my car almost burns my hands when I get in it. I’m ready for cooler climate and thank you for the information. It gave me some insight as to where I could go to escape the heat. (Yes, most of the cops are corrupt here). I would love to live somewhere in NY (not the city…too expensive) or CA as I am too liberal for my native state.

  44. I am in the process of looking for a new place to live. We are currently in TX and not liking it. The property taxes are high, the yards are so small. And if you are not a Christian, life is not fun here. There are many things to do, places to go, but I am liberal leaning and non-Christian, which makes it almost impossible to make friends out here.

    I have been looking into Reno and Las Vegas, but would love feedback/more information about those places. I am a single mom with three children, the oldest being 11. I am not into gambling and I homeschool. Does anyone have info on those areas or another area that is affordable and family friendly?


  45. Hi Good Americans

    I live in Singapore where Real Estate is becoming more like a burden than a roof over the head.

    We are reaching a stage where an ordinary condominium unit of 1100 sq.ft. is becoming a luxurious home for the millionaire, condo routinely cost about USD600,000 (suburb) each unit going up to more than USD1,600,000 (if it is located in Orchard Road, tourist belt).
    Even modest and mandane Public Housing (government subsidized) build by our Housing and Development Board (HDB) of about 900 sq.ft. can easily cost more than USD120,000.

    To know how important Real Estate business is just flip throught The Straits Times the locally printed newspaper almost every page carries large advertisements of Condo developments for Sale. Mind you our Straits Times has about 60+ pages. My reason writing this note is to tell you guys consider yourself lucky that housing is still so affordable in US.

  46. I live in Niagara Falls, NY and housing is very cheap as is rent. The job market is so-so, a lot of medical jobs and hotel jobs. I think you could find a job here. This is a tourist area so some jobs can be seasonal. I think it is very hard to live on any type of set income and some times you have to have a room mate or two. This is a great site for anyone who needs help with housing or money issues.

  47. Hey Everyone, Just before I answer the last few questions again, I’ll remind you of the forum post to discuss this….

    @Nora, I am actually moving to Cairo for two years from tomorrow… Sounds a lot like Texas!! I hear there are some great reasonably priced places around the New York area and you can even go upper state too.

    @Pam… I don’t know much but maybe go open a thead on our forum and some people may answer…. I understand the liberal POV… as I am very liberal myself. Much of my time has been spent in Vermont which is nice but def not the cheapest.

    @Tim, oh deal!!! That is outrageous prices for Singapore.

    @Marcia, I have heard Niagra is a pretty good place to live…. Better on the US side too… Although I am partial for Canada having spent two years there myself :)

  48. hi everybody , i am libyan and i am going to study english langauge in usa in next months .thank you very much for this article i have been looking alot about the cheapest cities in USA ,i am thinling of philadilphia and wichita and i have amonth allowance $1700 for rent and all living expenses so i need your opinion as american living there,, is 1700 for couple with no children sufficent rate and what is the average of american people income monthly? h hope you answer me.

    1. Sherry, you can find plenty of places to live in America for $1700 a month for 2. You can even find a 1 bedroom apartment up here in Anchorage, Alaska for well under that amount, perhaps $900 or so a month.

  49. I am a non-driver/single parent and on disability looking to relocate somewhere more affordable but due need to find a job. I have Degenerative Bone Disease with Arthritis and is had become difficult mobily. I have no supports in our current location (in the Plains) and people are not open to new persons, even though we been here 4 years. We want to move before the weather here hits and need a locale to go. I heard good things about NY State but need reliable transit and heard it was expensive. Prefer to be somewhere with not alot of precipitation but checked out some possibles and the services are not there. Any ideas as to what to do and where to go would be appreciated.
    I think it is a good idea for persons in the same boat to give each other support.


  50. i am looking to relocate my family and I to the mountains. Any from the negative influx of the nearby cities. I thought of going from PA to perhaps Washington state or Oregan. I would love to live in a town much like the town depicted in the move “Dante’s Peak”. Something to that aspect. My wife is a US Postal Employee so she would just have to transfer. If anyone has any suggestions I would gladdly take them. Please email me and let me know. However, give a clear “Subject” to the email or I will think its spam. I have had too problems with spam.

  51. Hi Sherry,

    I never earned in USA but I would say 1700 for me a month is enough, or it would be for me but I live very frugally. I am not sure how easy it would be as a couple. Sorry I could not help more, maybe some other commenter’s here can?

    Hi Deb,

    I spent most of my time in USA in Vermont, next to NY State and it was quite expensive on transport…. The problem with trying to work out the best place is that there are so many different factors.

    Personally I would contact the city council and see if they have anyone who could answer your Q’s? Hope that helps.

  52. Hi, I am interested in spending 3 months in Israel. I would like to know if anyone knows how I might could find a flat for this (without getting ripped off) as I would like to go over there knowing I have a place.

    1. You could work on a kibbuttz for room and board temporarily. Each kibbutz is different in terms of workload and free time. Check it out.

    2. Anita, Raq is right, you can stay on a kibbitz. They are like a community farm where you work for your room and board. My best friend is Jewish, and I have always wanted to go there to visit. Let me know what it was like when you get back.

  53. Hey Anita,

    I have recently moved to Cairo, Egypt and had great help from an email list called Cairo Scholars for students and expats. So maybe you could find a forum or mailing list like that for Isreal?

    I wish you the best of luck.

  54. hi, i am going to move on to Sacramento, california ,so is there any one could tell me about living cost there and the rent rates?

  55. I lived in WA state for 20 years and OR for 5. WA has no income tax, but you really pay thru the nose in property and sales taxes. OR has no sales tax but a very high income tax and property taxes as bad as WA. A no win situation. Anybody have real experience with NM? I hear Santa Fe is too trendy to be affordable. Albequerque, maybe? Other more reasonable cities/towns in NM?

    1. I have never been to Albuquerque or Santa Fe, but I was recently told by someone who lives in NM that if he had to choose between ABQ and Santa Fe, that he would live in Santa Fe. I have heard the same about Santa Fe being too trendy to be affordable, but I am sure there are areas where you can find something decently priced. The population is only about 75,000 in Santa Fe.

  56. @Rob, Thanks very much for the comment. I guess tax has a way of making itself up to be about the same wherever you go.

    I would be interested to hear what people say about NM too… Anybody?

    1. I am an ex-navy brat so I have lived in Memphis, Ca, Tx, and NM. I call Austin, Tx is the live music capital city of the world. I moved to Roswell, NM for a job transfer and I absolutely hate this place. It is run down, gangs, drugs, and crime ridden. The town is overwhelmed and the small police force can not catch up. The younger crowd calls this town I have only been here for a year and we are preparing to move back to Austin Very soon. I will never live in New Mexico ever again…I don’t care how cheap the cost of living is. Austin, I’m coming back home:)

      1. Hey Faith, oh man that sucks…. I won’t put Roswell on my visit list! I keep hearing more and more good things about Austin and it is affordable too! Good luck getting back home.

      2. Faith, not sure I wouldn’t live in NM, but from what I know about Roswell, I wouldn’t live there either. You are right, Austin is a neat city.

  57. Missouri might be cheap, but in many areas, especially during the winter, jobs are non-existent. Many of the sawmills, which are the only source of employment, close due to low demand. We just moved here, loved it last summer, found a little house, with a couple acres (our dream spot) and now can’t find work. We don’t know how long we can hold out. We have a three year old and can only exist on minimal money for so long, does anyone have any advice? I’m a student, my husband’s disabled, and we have a young child, so we have only so many options, but we’ll do what we have to do. We are just tired of living day to day, we want better for our son, for our family. Where is that ideal place, the happy place?

  58. @Sherlock, really really sorry to hear about your situation…. With the bad economy right now it’s very hard.

    I work online and earn a reasonable wage….. It’s not easy but if you or your husband have any time and are ok at writing you may be able to make a little cash from some niche websites.

  59. My parents just bought a house in Martinsville, VA for $45,000. Some might think, “cheap price cheap house.” But it’s a four bedroom, two bath, with a 25’x25′ livingroom, a dinning room and a den, with a full basement (though not finished). The only downsides are that it has a small, but doable, kitchen and no attic. It also has an area off of the kitchen where we have a second fridge, freezer, and small pantry. Because we live in the city, most houses are right next to each other, but this house has an acre of land in the front and sides and a little more in the back, though that is a wooded area. The minimum wage is $7.25 and the unemployment rate is 21%, but there are plenty of cheap foreclosures in this area. I’m sure there are cheaper places than this, but Henry County and Martinsville, VA are cheap if you are retired or don’t need a job. Other wise the only setback is the unemployment rate.

  60. @Juan, Thanks very much for the info….. If you can get by without having a job or you already have a job set up there it sounds like an excellent area to look to moving to.

    Thank you for the info, always best to get it from people who know.

  61. I know this is an old blog, but I’ve been reading through some of the comments, and felt compelled to comment. I currently live in Texas, born and raised, and the housing is extremely cheap here. I work in the culinary industry, and have been recently looking for a place up north to broaden my experience. From what I’ve seen, the cost of living is just ridiculous. I guess it’s just because I’m used to everything being so cheap down here, but I’m seriously starting to reconsider, because I wont have much cash left over at the end of the month for anything other than eating, and gas money. Some of the other comments kind of put Texas in a bad light though. I have done a lot of traveling, and I’ve found that generally speaking the people here are very nice. It’s a family friendly atmosphere, and it’s very community based. I also am an Atheist, and even though most people here are Christian I have never in anyway felt pressured to adopt Christianity. Of course you might find someone every now and then that wants to strike up an argument, but I’ve found that if you just say you would rather not talk about it because it only causes stress, they will generally agree and you can go back to having a good time. Also, with the “corrupt” police issue, I can say from experience that police here are not corrupt. They are however very strict, and can at times be overly intimidating. If you don’t break the law, you wont have anything to worry about. One of my best friends that lived down here for most of his life recently moved up to Maine, and he said that the police up there were much worse. Overall it’s a very friendly place to live, and I plan on staying.

    P.S. I almost forgot about the heat issue. Yes it does get hot…it’s Texas. There are only a few days a year that it can really get to you though, and there is no shortage of swimming pools with plenty of people willing to share them. Personally I would rather deal with a few hot days at the pool, and a nice tan, than an entire winter of painful cold, and messy snow.

  62. @Jason, Thanks so much for your awesome comment… I will be publishing a new article very soon with the great details you provided me about Texas..

    As for the heat, I currently live in Cairo, Egypt so I know all about that :)

  63. I have been a vagrant around the us for the last few years. I am origionally from sandiego California I moved to Kansas which was nice in ft worth? But all they had really was a walmart. I moved to Missouri in Columbia and all I can say about there is it was a very bad place all full of gangs and that sort even scared just walking down the street to get a pop. I then moved to massachusettes and it was nice but hellaciously cold and rather expensive. I then moved back to Oceanside California for a while to catch up with friends before trying out orange California. Orange is nice really no crime and peaceful but I am now involved with girl who has a child and we cannot afford it so we are looking into finding a place very cheap and atleast a 2 bedroom to atleast settle while we start things up. I am looking to start up a clothing company so I’m hoping the cash supply would be mostly online.

    1. Hey Timmel,

      That’s really cool that you lived all over…. I have spent some time in New England and can agree about the prices and cold!!!

      It’s a tough world right now but I work online and get by…. If it’s a 2nd job then it can be a real helper and as long as the company takes off and doesn’t have many debts you can do well…. Good luck.

  64. Thanks for the information. Another question, what about the safest place to stay. No earthquakes, well, it inevitable but still … i lived here in riverside county, CA..and when we had that after shock earthquake from Mexicali and I was at work while it happened and my kids were at me that was a wake up call. so if you have any infor about that kindly send me. Thanks for your time and effort. Van

    1. Hey Van, I don’t know exactly but the north end of the USA towards Canada gets very few quakes in my experience. However the snow can be pretty intense and cold.

  65. Noted you did not include New Hampshire with the list of states that don’t collect income tax. You did mention New Hampshire does not collect Sales Tax. That being said the 8% ranking you gave New Hampshire just may be more economical then you posted.

    1. Hey Jim, sorry for the inaccuracy there….. NH has no income or sales tax but I hear property tax is through the roof…. Could be the perfect state to rent in… Also NH is a pretty cool State (if you can deal with the Winter).

      Thanks for your comment, i’ll update the post to be correct very soon.

      1. Nope… you can get a one bedroom in the middle of nowhere in a town of 1000 people for about $1000 a month. Not exactly cheap. The sky-high property taxes are, of course, passed on to renters.

        1. Ouch, I think I will stay up here in Anchorage, AK if you are paying $1000 a month for a 1 bedroom. I paid just over that until I bought a house 2 years ago, and I was in a 2 bedroom apartment with 1034 sq. ft. with heating and electricity included. I do like New England, but I guess the tax up there will kill you.

  66. I live in queen creek,az and it’s very cheAp to live here, I rent a 4 bedroom and 3 bath house for only $900 and it’s a 2 story with a loft, walk in closet and the houses are new like 2 years, all in all really nice houses for cheap it probably won’t stay like that for long because so many people are moving in to the area but so far so good :)

    1. Hey Bunmi,

      That’s really good info for me to know :). I plan on doing posts on each state as time goes on and would it be ok to email you for some more info on Arizona?

      Thanks a million.

  67. Yeah sure that would be fine I’ve only been living here for about 2 1/2 years or so I also lived
    in Boston for about 10 years

    1. Thanks, I love Boston but it’s really expensive… Shaws Supermarket charged me $4 for a red pepper!

  68. Hi,I live in New York City (Bronx) which is very expensive and I’m extremely frustrated because I kinda feel like I’m being ripped off and I’ve also been living here for years.I have a 17-year old daughter and I want to live in an inexpensive state in the US.Any help/ideas/advice would be appreciated dearly.Thank you.

    1. Hey Elle, I hear the bronx is outrageously priced these days….. Texas is supposed to be very affordable but really hot hot summers. Any of the mid states are cheaper in general but you may also find staying in NY state and just moving out of the big city may help a little.

      1. Elle, Forest is right, just move a little bit out of the city perhaps up toward Bear Mountain. It is only about 30 miles but a world away from NYC.

  69. Hahahaha!! Shaws market, fortunatly I’m only 20 so when I was living in boston I was young and didn’t have to pay for anything but I did know the prices and when I moved here and became an official adult who had things to worry about I’m like wow if we had 1200 every month to pay like we had to do for a mediocore apartment, we would be living in more than a 3,000 sq feet house with 5 bedrooms, it’s rediculus how expensive it is.

  70. @Elle
    move to Arizona, queen creek exactly, especialy if it’s just you and your daughter even the whole family! My parents moved here when I was 17 too, just get ready to drive ALOT!! That’s the only downside to it oh and it’s really hot but anyone can handle it if they wanted to they have central ac’s in probably all of the houses don’t know about the apartments but why would you wanna live in an apartment when u can live in a beautiful house that costs almost the same price . But it’s getting bigger now and they are builing more thing s, there’s shopping and all but when you get a job you will most likely drive 45 minutes just to get there, and average speending limit is 45-65 the roads are good, lots of traffic in the morning though, if you wanna know more let me know, but I think you should think about it

  71. What in the world does the minimum wage of anywhere have to do with the cost of living.That would be a completely different subject.

    1. Hi bent Wanderer…. Cheapness of something is always related to how much money you make. In Egypt (where I currently am) the cost of living seems very low earning a USA wage but earning local wage it’s high.

      So basing cost of living in relation of a states minimum wage helps establish how well the poorest of an area (with jobs) can live, thus giving an idea of how cheap it is to live in relation to how much things cost.

      That’s my take on it anyway…..

      1. Forest, well that and living in a right to work state matters also. If you live in a right to work state you are more likely going to make much closer to the minimum wage, versus living in a state where there are unions.

  72. Hi, I appreciate the blog. Only factual error I noticed is that there are sales taxes in Alaska. The state of Alaska does not have a sales tax but local cities, villages and boroughs can impose them. One place that has a city tax is the city of North Pole, Alaska. It is about 17 miles south east of Fairbanks. If I remember correctly, several other cities and boroughs do have a sales tax.

    1. Hey C N Holmes, thanks for that….. Something I didn’t come across in my research. I need to overhaul this article or write an update as I have learned a lot since writing it.

      1. I live in Anchorage, AK and I think the only cities that don’t have a sales tax are Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks. There are other localities that don’t have taxes, but they are in the Bush.

  73. Pingback: Cheapest Places Retire USA
  74. i just happen to open your blog or site”.the cheapest place to live in usa.”i’m about 51/2 years more to retirement,currently working very hard in ny city but lived upstate ny.everything is very expensive specially realstate tax roughtly 10,000 a year and increasing every year.although i invested enough for my retirement,pension and SSS(?) i still want to move to a place cheap but lively and not too hot.always i wanted a big house and a big yard because gardening is one of my passion,cooking and ballroom dancing to be exact.any idea?thanks.LEL.

    1. Hi Leliosa, I bet it’s tough in NY :(….. Even upstate is expensive and not even that nice compared to neighbouring Vermont (also darn expensive though!!!).

      I would consider somewhere in the mid west but not sure about the job situation there at the moment and moving away from diverse NY CIty to more small town rural surroundings could be a shock!!!!

      1. Many of us in the same boat. I am a single parent with a teen and I do not drive. Living day by day and need to move out of where we are now, no job and cuts.
        My biggest challenge is finding a suitable place with some sort of transit. I live in South Dakota and get around reasonably well for 5 years. So not looking for a NYC or DC., just bus transit to get around to shopping, doctors and schools.
        \Any suggestions on where to go that preferably has decent public schools, safe or not Gary Indiana crime, bus transit options and affordable for someone on a fixed income?

        Also, a place that is welcoming to persons not from there. This has been the biggest challenge in our current locale. Everyone has enough friends and doesn’t need anyone else in their circle of friends. So very isolating for us.

        Any suggestions would be greatly appreciate.

        Good luck to all and hope everyone finds what they need. : )

        1. Hey Joann, any medium sized city should have decent transit… As for social circles, that is so hard to judge and I wish I knew where to start here :(. I know it’s obvious but often it’s good to start looking at going to events that interest you or volunteering to meet people. We are strange creatures and often keep too closed in on our own little groups :(.

      2. Really enjoyed reading your blog…it helped me to think about where I want to move. I live in a small town in Wa andwe live as simply as possible. My question is, how did you end up in Cairo??? Have you done any exploring??? :)

        1. Thank you Jayne. Simple living is best as far as I am concerned. I live very simply myself.

          My partner is studying for her masters here so I came along. I have been around Egypt a bit and seen some amazing sites including temples, pyramids and some awesome muslim and christian sites too…. Egypt is a wondrous place!

  75. Hello Everyone, I have been reading all of the posts and found them really interesting as I am thinking of moving to America (probably would only live there for a couple of years through a work visa). I live in Manchester, England (have done all of my life) I would really like to move to Texas and wanted to thank Jason for a positive view on Texas (although I appreciate all of the other views also) and thank you Forest. I like the idea of Texas being into Christianity as I am a Christian myself but here in England I think it is awful that in some places you can’t even wear a cross on a necklace for fear of offending someone and they have even banned the wearing of cross’s in some workplaces which I think is really awful. I really do think whichever religion you are you should be able to wear whatever you like with pride. Thank you Ps (that is not the only reason I would like to move to Texas there are other reasons but Texan’s being into Christianity is a big plus)

    1. Hey Jackie, I am English too, from London.

      I have lived in Canada and spent a fair amount of time in USA but not Texas itself yet.

      Religion should be free to express and from my experience in USA as a Christian you will find many to share your faith with…. Sadly though some other religions do have a hard time there.

  76. I have been considering moving to West Virginia, I currently live in Massachusetts about an hour away from Boston.

    I looked at Elkins and read something about Wheeling, does anyone have any info on these two places?

    I don’t have a lot of money or a car and I would have to rent. Any help you could give me would be appreciated.


    1. Hey Diane, I don’t personally have any knowledge of these places but my general experience of Mass is that it’s not the cheapest part of USA but some of the smaller towns are more affordable. Boston itself I found very expensive!

      I would search for real estate prices and rental to get an idea of the area’s prices and also try and find some local chat forums to ask questions on, maybe there are some local groups that could help you through email.

  77. So, San Fran isn’t a state it’s a city in California, and secondly Oregon shouldn’t be discounted….. it’s min wage is $8.40 and there is no sales tax in oregon and there’s a sales tax in california and washington! I’ve leaved in all three and find oregon to be quite cheap!!!

  78. Nice post! Right now, almost every city seems expensive. And the job market is tough nearly everywhere. There are pockets in most states that are better than others but they’re hard to find and jobs are still slim. A good place to start looking for work is with city governments. Most cities have regular job postings and the pay isn’t bad but the benefits are usually quite good. Many cities also have pension plans that probably won’t evaporate like with big corporations.

    1. Hey Jeff, The States and Europe are expensive places right now but hopefully something will fix it a bit soon :(…. But we have to make do and get by where we can.

      Great idea about working for government, it also can help you to move around to other gov positions once you have some experience.

  79. Retirement only – I found Meridan, MIssippii to be the most
    frugal (tax wise). However, if your into entertainment then I would go to Washington DC. Threre are more interesting events to get into in DC than any other place in the USA.

    1. Hey Donald, thanks for the info. What is the job market like there? DC is great for entertainment but it’s a horrible feeling to be in the poorer part of town knowing that all that money is right next door!!! They really should find a way to distribute the wealth a little better there!

      1. DC area here. Very expensive. As for jobs, if you have Masters degree or above, you’ll not have a problem. If not, it’s entry level and not enough without getting roommates and/or working two jobs. Rents for 2 bedroom apartments are around $1400 – $1600 to live anywhere safe. Which is why, since I was laid off, I may have to leave. I’ve lived in DC or the MD suburbs all my life. I’ll miss it if I have to move. While not as expensive as NY city or San Francisco, I think we’d be next on the list of high cost of living. I see ads for condos starting at $300,000 as being ‘great deals’ all the time. Nope – we are not cheap here.

        Read the Metro and Arts & Living sections of the Washington Post online for a while and you’ll get a feel for the area.

        1. Wow that is pretty pricey for a small 2 bed…… I guess it’s relative if you have the job to pay for it.

          I hope things work out for you soon, it’s always hard to move.

          Thanks for your comment and taking the time to let us know some inside info.

  80. There is NO PLACE cheap to live in this country. Big Brother will find you take his big bite out of you. So tell me, why save and invest? My advice, Stay single, spend all your money on yourself, pray your health stays good. Then when you go, they (Big Brother ) can’t get nothing out of you, not if you had nothing to leave behind.

    1. Hey Warren, if that’s a choice you want to make then that is cool. If you really feel like that then I would advise moving to a country with social medicine at least…. Just in case you do get sick!

  81. I live in cali., and I am tired of being boke, never having enough after all my bills are paid. I work to pay bills. I’m ready to move. where can i move where i can pay all my bills, and still have fun living life.

    1. Hey Brandi, I have never been there but I hear a lot of good things about Austin in Texas. Apparently it’s affordable, there are reasonable job opportunities and it has a great music scene and night life.

  82. Very good topic; as a visual person I wish this information could be cross referenced in a database of sorts. Something to consider is boarding states and their respective tax burdens. For example, WA doesn’t have income tax and OR does but WA has 9% sales tax ($9 cigarettes) where as oregon does not and has $5 smokes. So for me, living in Vancouver, WA. Just outside of Portland, OR. would free me from income tax and allow me to spend my hard earned cash in Oregon. Other than that, alaska seemed to be the best place to live tax wise; no sales or income tax. That’s if you like 23 hrs of night 3 months out of the year.

    1. Cayotic, the further north you go in Alaska the less light you have, but here in Anchorage, 21 December has about 4:30 from sunrise to sunset with a little more of what we call functional daylight. What most people don’t understand is that after that the daylight continues at about 5 minutes per day, so that by 21 January, you have about another 2 hours, 20 minutes of daylight. After 21 June, the same thing happens in reverse, but on that day, we have about 19 hours of daylight, so it takes some time to get down to that 4:30 on 21 December.

  83. I have lived in Iowa,Texas,and Colorado. Iowa seemed super cheap when I lived there I was paying 350.00 a month for rent on 2 bed one bath house with big yard + shop and garage. I am now living in Colorado and I am paying 550.00 a month rent on 3 bedroom two bath house with huge fenced in yard,laundry room, huge shop, 3 sheds, and a huge mud room. But didn’t get these cheap places right when I moved, I had to watch the news paper and look online until I found what I was lookin for.

    1. Hey Jason, I guess with all deals it takes patience. I have heard some great things about Colorado. I think all of the mid/south of USA can be done well on a limited budget. The north can too but it gets harder in some places.

  84. Did you get any of your information from this site:

    It is very interesting and helpful.

    If one can afford to travel a little, it is a good idea to visit and spend a little time in various promising-looking locations.

    To adopt a simple lifestyle involving a few basic possessions and furnishings, which makes it easy to move if necessary, is one of the most frugal things a person can do. We are more burdened with possessions than we would like to be. We will be retiring in a few years and we have started shedding the excess items a little at a time so that when it is time to relocate, we will be able to do a self-move with only a little assistance.

    I agree that the cost of real estate is not the best gauge of whether or not a place would be pleasant or inexpensive. For example, I might be able to purchase a house for only a few dollars in Detroit, Michigan, but it is not a place I would want to live.

    Good luck, everybody.

    1. Hey Citizn Kate, that is a great site for info.

      I agree, you should see an area before going there. Possessions are not needed but society puts way too much weight on owning stuff…. We don’t need stuff.

  85. Hey Forest

    Glad to find this interesting and alot of contributing comments and you guys are all very helpful to me. I’m a Canadian looking for a nice warmer place for me to escape from the not too cold buy forever raining winter here in Vancouver.

    Can you suggest me a place where I can just live and relax for maybe about 6 month on a $1,000 per month budget, which is roughly how much i earn with my websites and a few blogs combined.


  86. my husband and i are looking to move to warmer climates as of right now we live in iowa and i can’t handle the wnters anymore. the town that we live in a relatively small town and very safe. where would be a good place to move to that is cheap warm and relatively small. we live on a fixed income and have a 14 year old son so we need to be close to schools. any advice would be greatly appreciated thank you in advance.

    1. Hey Stacey,

      Winters can be tough! I don’t know if the summer would be too hot but maybe some small towns near Austin, TX could be worth looking at.

  87. Interesting post. I agree that the sheer number of factors involved make it difficult to make a list of cheapest places. In most circumstances, the cost of living matches the salaries. So New York is really expensive, but people make a bit more and vice versa for a place like Topeka, Kansas which has a low cost of housing relative to the rest of the country.
    Gennaro recently posted..A Scenic View of New York CityMy Profile

  88. Is it possible, and I mean really possible to retire in the US on $1300 per month, rent a 1 bedroom apartment, ride a bicycle, single no pets

    1. Obviously it depends where but I think it could well be possible. Maybe some parts of the Mid and South. Maybe even in a city like Austin, Texas.

  89. Just read your site, pretty good. As to Stacey try looking at Lehigh Acres, Fl. It is in lee county not far from the coast (Gulf) Brand new houses 1,500 SF. selling for around $60,000 Take a look at e-bay. Nice job Forest!

  90. I’m from NM, but have lived in CA for 20 years. I give NM high marks for, well, everything – you can be close to trendy and still live cheaply if you don’t mind small towns or Albuquerque sprawl. You have to be okay with the windy days of the high desert and plains – Roswell (my home town), can seem like nothing but a bunch of alien-head lampposts targeted by flying tumbleweeds at first glance, but it is surrounded by small towns and acreage that can be gotten very affordably. A three bedroom house these days – big yard – in Roswell can cost well less than $800/month. You can rent rooms with roommates for $400 up in the big City of Albuquerque. It’s a great state for movie stars, shooting stars, and the rest of us. But, “great” as evidenced by all prior comments, is in the eye of the beholder.

    1. Maria, tell me all the scoop you know about the area from ABQ to Santa Fe including all the smaller towns in between that you are familiar with.

  91. all the places listed and kentucky is the cheapest on them all, u can get a 1000 suare foot home for rent for 400.00 a month all utilities included, our taxes are 6% u can get a beer for $1.00 and so on, i live in louisville, ky and its cheap and nice. just cuz its kentucky doesnt mean were red neck. i had that stereo type.

    1. Hey Moragn, that is a pretty nice price for a 1000 sq ft. Of course dollar beer is always appreciated :). Thanks for the stats.

    2. Yes, and Anchorage, KY houses are all on at least an acre of land. Too bad they didn’t have that regulation up here in Anchorage, AK when the founded this city in 1915. Moragn, what area of Louisville do you live in?

    3. Moragan, I’ve been to Louisville. I’m looking for the cheapest possible furnished room. I don’t care about safety, I just need a place to live other than my jeep. Does such a thing exist?

  92. 3 bedroom 2 bath with two hug out buildings on 2/12 acres in South Dakota…$8500 cash! Job? Whats that? 91 people in the town!
    Cheap is relative if yo u know where the states are with the highest couch potato benefits! Why not let the “huddled masses” in on THAT bit of news?

    1. Hey Laser Guy, wow that is cheap! If you can work online and deal with small town living I don’t think it would be that hard to get by! Thanks.

  93. I know those places, ND is small state and cold plus alot of Gay Canadians immagrate their.
    Topeka Kansas I lived by and it’s nice (I’m from Kansas City, Missouri.)
    Texas and Arizona, with drug lords invading and lacking border protection from faggots like Obama, don’t be suprised if you see Militias shooting at Mexicans (Which I enjoy. Since I still serve in the military, glad to see someone else fight except soldiers.)

    Very good though, I want to move to Alaska but gas is $8.00 a gallon and a gallon of milk is $10.00.

    But anyways, once I move I want a state that has slacked gun laws so I can protect myself from the KKK and some gangster trying to shoot me.

    1. Hey Brandon, very mixed post from you here.

      First off I have no problems with Gays Canadian or not moving to ND, the cold could be an issue though.

      Calling Obama a faggot is derogatory to gay people again, so not a nice thing to say but if you don’t agree with his politics then that is fine. People shooting Mexican’s is just bloody sad though. There are good and bad off every person and no nation deserves to be shot at and pleasure should never be derived from it. I hope you was joking.

    2. Brandon, don’t you think it is a bit rash calling your Commander-in-Chief a faggot? You might not like his policies, but show some respect. BTW, I live in the land of Sarah Palin, and even tough I don’t care for her politics, I wouldn’t call her out on a public forum. A gallon of gas here in Anchorage is about $3.45 a gallon, and milk runs about $3.00 a gallon. Give me a shout sometime. Not sure if you can or want to PCS up here sometime, but I can give you a bit of information on Alaska since I have lived up here for a bit over 8 years.

  94. Hi, I stumbled across this blog when I Googled “cheapest places to live in the us”. We are in the same type of predicament as most of the people who have commented. My husband and I have 3 kids, 1 is a special needs child. We had to move out of New Jersey, because we could not afford to live there anymore, and that was when we only had one child. We moved to maryland, and now it looks like we will have to move again because it has become too expensive to live here. My husband is trying to stay with the company he works for now, but that means we only have Delaware, Virginia, NC, SC, Georgia, Tennessee, or Texas to move to. Many thanks to Forest for this blog, it has a lot of good information and points to ponder.

  95. No one should move to Long Island. Where I live in Nassau County is Super Expensive. I can’t wait to move out State or Country. As for Arizona I have two sister who live there and they both hate it. They both complain about the heat. America has gone to the dogs. Our Leaders have ruined it for all of us. I should not be reading disabled people having all these problems. The American dream is attained for the select few now. For all the cheapest areas you could live, most are of them are Boredom City. What can you do there. You pay to be bored and locked in your home. Every time I look to see where I can move to nothing stand out. Two places keep coming up Costa Rica and Panama. My own Country is going to force me out. I have a cousin who moved to North Carolina because he job relocated there. Two years after the relocation he along with half the staff that moved with him got fired. He has been with out a job for a few years now and is stuck. When a place looks to good to be true it usually is. Where ever somebody moves to there always going to be Pros and Cons. Good Luck to all of you. I hope you at least improve your quality of life, Forest Thank You for this Website. Some people might find hope reading these blogs. P.S. Get out of Cairo, Egypt and go to Cairo, New York. They got great Pizza up there.

  96. I am living in San Diego,need to move just had both of my shoulders rotator cups gone and both biceps muscles anchored to the bones in my arms.I’m 60 yrs old going to retire in a few yrs,need to fine a place where real estate is cheap ,but nice,and able to live on social security,reasonably.Taxes low,or none.Hopefully find somewhere with no snow,or very little,and not hot. Need help,any recommendations.

    1. Hi Destell, sorry to hear about your shoulders and arms, I can’t imagine what that is like.

      San Diego is expensive I hear but maybe down to certain parts of Texas would be good?

  97. Im in my early 20’s, and came from a welfare food stamp housing project childhood/background. Needless to say I’m not picky about having nice things. And compared to other youths from that background, I don’t obsess about having the biggest mansion the most ex girlfriends or the most ridiculous jewelry or car mods. Rather, all I want out of life are the things that money can’t buy. Genuine love and admiration. America is famous for its divorce rate, everybody seems to have no trouble marrying and reproducing, but secretly are miserable and jealous and fight over money, and I think damn if only they didnt have cable tv and drove compacts instead of suvs their friggen family wouldnt be in turmoil. For those miss-the-kids-recital type workaholic dads, who wish they could work more hours get a better car and hair plugs and pick up younger chicks I think, hell, I’ll screw your wife and play catch with your kids and live in your measly little three bedroom house and drive your “obsolete” BMW! Give me your life! So the two things I look for as far as how to succeed in life, picking a place to live to get my life on track, 1) would be the ease of day to day survival, and 2) would be the culture of the area. To survive (as I am living out of my car for the moment) a warm climate, cheaper gas, not isolated, a place with a lot of free recreation/parks beaches. The usual things most seek. But to strive, to truly LIVE, higher rents, sales taxes, friggen beer and smoke costs, are all worth paying to live somewhere with a positive, friendly, educated culture. This is why New Enland is relevant no matter what you pay out yer arse for a loaf of bread, education education education, turn around and theres a quality college behind you in NE. You may struggle early in life at your McJob but when you have a 30-50k$ year career youll be glad you didnt move to the middle of nowhere just because the walmarts there give you 7.75/hour instead of 7.25 And except for Boston and bigger cities like it, youre not going to be robbed or shot in friggen Vermont, you know? And you can still be openly religious without being facist. And with enough wealth in the region it wont be as untrendy and isolated from pop culture as the places people described here as towns with nothin but a kmart. And Boston/NYC would be close enough to take a daytripper style mini vaction to whenever lifes gotten boring. If it werent for the winters id be there now. Once i get back on track im sure i will. And same goes for San Fran/Seattle, science/tech careers are where its at in America, all laborous jobs are going to Mexico China India, you may survive day to day better in the south or midwest but any chance at ADVANCEMENT is fastly evaporating. Ultimately I want to live somewhere where you can find still find a bright, unselfish, worldly, heartful caring, empowered woman and raise a family in a place where kids have more OPTIONS than just “hanging out.”

    1. Hey York, thanks a millon for the comment. I agree with you, real value is not based off of money but rather people around you.

  98. Well in Chariton, IA you can get fixer upper homes for $10-20,000, and some not as bad as others. Not much for jobs. But cheap housing.

  99. Try Oklahoma for cheap living if you don’t mind tornados. Property is very reasonable and people away from your job are very friendly. They have a great weather system for tornado warnings and you usually have a good warning. Storm radios are also very cheap, around 20.00. Only thing is the humidity, it’s awful. Its also cold in the winter, sometimes they have bad ice storms. I can’t wait to see the dust in my rear view but that’s cause I need to go someplace better for my health. I would appreciate anyone living in a house in AZ, TX, NM, or the Las Vegas area posting what they usually pay during the summer for utilities. Actually anyone living in a year long warm area would be nice to hear from. My highest utility bill has been one month in the summer, about 225.00 which is excellent compared to what I paid per month in CA. My highest winter bill has been approx. 125.00 due to an unusually cold spell. You can see why I would like to move to an area that’s reasonable. BTW, forgot to mention that I am on fixed income and living in my own 3 br. two full bath 1800 sq. ft. home. Looking forward to hearing from everyone and thanks!

    1. I live in AZ – central. I don’t think I can afford to live anywhere in US anymore. The property I rent looks nice but it is a leaky sieve and the landlord won’t fix. His good old boy AC buddy is willing to state in court that nothing is wrong. Anybody will tell you that the landlord tenant act is merely ink on paper – nothing will be done unless we have the money to enforce justice. We do not. Hot season electric averages $700 per month for a family of 3 and the AC doesn’t even go in the bedrooms which is just fan f***’n tastic for diabetic heart patients with high BP. Consumer protections vary from state to state and in AZ all your supposed consumer protections and politicians are in the pocket of big business. So the electric company went around and insisted on $700 “deposits” from all of us old long time customers on low-income living on the only thing that hasn’t been stolen from us yet – our $1,000 per month Social Security check. That killed Christmas for the one child we still have at home. Our local city is broke and routinely turns off the water so they can get the turn-on fees. at least once per quarter. After borrowing half the bill to pay them, you think you made a deal with them to pay the remainder in 3 days when your check comes in but they say they never made that deal and they can get away with it because they will not give you a proof of your arrangement and because everybody knows that poor people are all liars and have poor character. The bankster games are out of this world and require weekly trips to the bank to fight to get your own damn money back – all $1000 per month of it. The phone company just charged us $900 for services we never used. When you are living on $1000 per month you are not stupid enough to ring up $900 worth of phone calls. But here in AZ there is no negotiating, no contesting their bogus bill – nope just pay up. We don’t have a phone anymore. Since it is winter my husband did try to pay off that bogus bill in $200 installments but that was not good enough for the phone company. They refused to apply our payments to the bill because they wanted it all at once. So we are in constant stress just trying to have the basics of life anymore. My conclusion is that being low-income is now illegal in the US cuz you know damn well if we pile our whole family into a studio apartment, which is all we can afford anymore – well that is illegal and they won’t let us do that either. Doctors here will triple bill you and if you are out of it enough to triple pay you will never get your money back. The state levies property taxes on everybody they can for the same property and gets vicious about it too – but I think this is everywhere in the USA now. The criminality of corporations and government is out in the open and there is not a damn thing we can do about it. So there is much more research to do about cost of living than anything I have seen on any site so far. If our political sockpuppets were worth anything they would make affordable housing a priority item but my life experience these last few years have taught me that there are 3 inescapable facts of life for a USA citizen and that is not just death and taxes but the fact that absolutely NOTHING happens in the life of a US citizen that does not profit a huge corporation. The rest of us – they just want us to die. Proof of their intent? Well if you can’t afford your Rx the pharmaceutical companies will help you IF . . . . IF . . . . . IF . . . . you are still in your productive years. But if you are a social security recipient and not likely to produce profit for them (the slave owners) they do not help social security recipients to afford their Rx. Nope, it is your time to die and the sooner the better. The facts are that every politician sockpuppet that pays lipservice to “freedom” is only talking about the corporation’s freedoms to rob rape and pillage the population – that is whose freedom they are protecting. I need affordable place to live out my days in peace but I do not think it is possible in the USA and probably not anywhere else either since our politicians and corporations have done such a good job of ruining lives about the planet. The sentiment against USAmericans – they blame us for our rogue government and corporations inflicting pain suffering and death. So how do we get affordable place to live?

      1. I’m sorry about that situation Sarum :(. Sadly the court systems are terrible in the USA in the way that they favor the ones with the most cash. I really wish it was fairer.

  100. I live in San Diego,been here 37 yrs ,don’t want to move but it’s getting real expensive here,almost $5 for gas!! I was thinking of moving to Indianapolis, I have been looking there and I can get a house or condo for around $30,000 up in really nice shape or close to it,maybe some paint,or a stove and refrigerator,they are around 1,300 sq ft up .garage etc.I have a house there in Indiana that my Mother and Sister live in and I paid $91 this yr for taxes on it ,the whole year. There is no taxes on SSI also the cost of living seems low.What’s your opinion,please.

    1. Hey Ez, sorry to hear that, I wish we could all choose to easily live anywhere we felt! I have never been to Indianapolis but I am sure it’s got some good places to live.

  101. I have found a Real Estate Lady there that is sending me info on mostly the east side of Indy.That’s where i said the decent deals were,but there are some on the North,and South side also.It’s only 1 hr and 1/2 from my mother.Like I said before you don’t pay taxes on Social Security,there.They have low property taxes if your over 65,and the Homestead Act,down next to nothing.Only thing it’s not real hot there but it does get a little humid, and bugs and mosquito’s!!!!! I live in San Diego with hardly any bugs and NO MOSQUITO’S!!!! I do have some allergies that get me in SD so I would probably have some there also.So I would like input from everyone ,please .Have I done my research ,or can I do a little better.? I know Texas and Tennessee.Texas is out cause of ALL MY EX’s live there.Nashville or Knoxville might work ,Florida HURRICANES!!! I know Indy has tornado’s,but not as bad as the water.PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Hey EZ, thanks for the additional info. Apart from the bugs it sounds like it may suit you. Will you be able to find adequate work there?

  102. I think so I am in sales,excuse the expression I know no-one likes my kind of sales people ………car sales for 30 + yrs,but i am one of the nice gentle ones.But does it seem that I have done enough research,or is there more to look into?I need more feed back,please!

  103. Another factor to keep in mind for working class people is tax structure. You’d be better off avoiding states with regressive tax systems where most of the financial burden of running the government is laid on the shoulders of the poorest citizens.

    “Ten states — Washington, Florida, Tennessee, South Dakota, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Alabama — are identified in the study as particularly regressive. These “Terrible Ten” states ask poor families — those in the bottom 20 percent of the income scale — to pay almost six times as much of their earnings in taxes as do the wealthy. Middle-income families in these states pay up to three-and-a-half times as high a share of their income as the wealthiest families.”
    ( )

  104. I got lucky, a friend (I only have 2 left alive, not counting family) sold me an old trailor house in oklahoma. Depending what part of the state you are in it is a Great place to live. With all the bad the people (police,school,residents,town council members,school board members,christians, and non christians)have done to offend my family and myself, the only thing i can say is I forgive them and still plug away at life. We are a family of 7 Unemployed and looking for work. My wife will be proud if she seen this normally i am negative, but with her love and understanding my ways are changing

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your situation G Michael but glad to know you are fighting through it. You should be proud.

  105. I guess i should not have posted such a negative comment about Oklahoma. Maybe i should have said the area I live in there seems to be a lack of morals and respect for others as well as ones self. Mid-eastern Okla. But my buddies would say im surrounding myself with wrong crowd.

    Overall I think it is a great place to live, it seems that closer to the Tulsa area people seem to be more content as well as happier to be alive.

    As i said before my friend sold me a trailor house but from what i see on rent about low end $300.00 a month

    my highest electric bill in summer approx. $220.00
    my highest gas bill in winter approx. $190.00
    my highest water bill approx. $120.00

    1. Hey GMichael, it seems affordable for sure and anywhere you can find good people. Sometimes takes some work but they are there.

  106. I would have to disagree with your list of cheapest place to live. Rogersville, Alabama is one of the cheapest places to live. Costs of living are way lower than any city on your list.

  107. Just stay away from Las Vegas! Especially if your african american. Littlle known fact no offence but its the little mississippi of the west. No jobs and no love from the police if you’re black out here,oh I was born and raised here. Gas is cheap but not housing food is reasonable but the cost of living is very high especially the utilities. If you don’t mind your 6 year old knowing what a French BJ is come on down. its filthy and yes very sinful. So sinful I know several Pastors who have been arrested for pimping and dealing drugs and that was not North Las Vegas, which most people don’t know is the sister city to Las Vegas and extremley corrupt! The schools out here if thats what you want to call them are glorified day care centers and the teachers often call you to tutor them. Most of all a little known fact they lie about the weather to keep the tourist coming it can get as hot as 136 degrees out here and they will say its 110 LOL! And it is the murder capital of the US, and for unsolved murders as well. My daughter and her play mates walk to school around the corner and found a man shot to death in his car oh I live in Seven Hills the best place to live in Vegas I guess and the killing didnt even make the news all 30 that day! I keep 2 pistals on me and when I jog at night I’m more out fitted than the crooked cops I went to school with who buy hookers dope and get paid to mess peoples lives up; yes if you’re friends with a cop out here you can have it all down to your enemy. They are the little president’s of the city, I would even say worst than Mexican police! LoL Stay to play and run like the HELL it is behind you! As a matter of fact don’t even gamble if you win too much you will convieniantly get robbed if you stay in town to long. Its better to stay a couple of nights in a hotel and hop, because if you long term stay and you win YOU WILL GET ROBBED trust me I have 6 relatives this has happened too!I’m moving to Oklahoma city! God bless you all…

    1. Yikes Bridge, I have never been that keen on Vegas anyway. I’m sorry you have had such bad experience.

  108. Thanks to You all. Especially Forest. This is a great blog i must confess. It has helped me decide on the Areas I can live in when I come to the states.I’m presently in West Africa and Good structured houses like d US standard are cut-off neck prices.It’ll be nice to have a beautiful place at a “convinient” rent. I like the idea of Texas, Oregon, Missouri, Az (Tnx bunmi for ur help). I’m a student and I need a place that is affordable and Job opportunity is assuring. Thank U all. I’m so relieved…
    I have stayed in NYC, no doubt cost of living there is really high. Although AZ is Hot (From my previous experience too) but I like the beautiful and friendly environment. Thou I might have to get a car bcuz cabs and buses aren’t eaily spotted..

    1. Thanks Wikifred, just do your own research before you go and talk to any people in the same situation. I hope you settle somewhere you love.

  109. Just want to jump in with my 2 cents. My husband and I have been doing research on housing cost and the cost of living in other places. We are planning on relocating in 2 or so yrs. Whatever you guys do DO NOT move to New Jersey, the txes and the cost of living is unbearable. So far I have found that Wisconsin, AZ, and Maine maybe one of our choices. # one reason HOUSING and taxes. Anyway there is a site you can check out all the info you need to learn about such things. The site, just in case you want to know

    1. Been reading that Maine is only for the rich anymore and that neither housing OR taxes are cheap – and of course filling up the oil tank every winter for heating will send you begging to Hugo.

  110. Our Jobs transferred us to Kansas City, Mo. Probably the single worst place I’ve ever lived. I lived in Oklahoma City for a few yrs. Loved it. Homes and apts were very inexpensive. Especially compared to other cities lived (Chicago,Il. Minneapolis, Mn Madison& Beaver Dam, Wi, Overland Park, Ks.) Wasn’t thrilled with Oklahoma sales tax around 8%. We have another yr here in Misery oops I mean Missouri :) before retiring and moving on. Any suggestions? Looking for the middle of the country.

  111. Wow Forest, You sound like a nice guy. I can’t put up with rude idi**s like that. Anyway, Alaska is great for living, No tax on things except in Wasilla. Inexpensive housing, booming I believe for jobs especially construction and a beautiful place to live. It feels cold at first but for the most part it is dry cold so it isn’t so bad. You also get dividends for each member of your family ranging from 830$ to who knows, it depends on gas prices and population.

    1. Wow thanks Its My Opinion!

      Sounds really interesting up there in Alaska, I would love to visit some day but as I am British I don’t think I could easily get a visa to live up there.

  112. I just thought I would let everyone know that this post has been updated (11th November 2011) so please let me know what you think of the updates, Thanks a million :).

  113. I used to wonder why some places on the map had no roads. Turns out that nobody lives there, and the usual reason is lack of employment. Where there is a chance to make a wage, no matter how dismal the environment, people will flock in.

  114. You have it backwards, writer. The places with the highest minimum wage are the most expensive states to live in. You want to go to the states with the most free enterprise and lowest cost government, like Indiana or Texas.

    1. Hey, I am sure for some the free enterprise states would work better but personally I could bet the poor are doing much worse off in those states. I would rather live somewhere where I can find middle ground. Vermont for example has an excellent track record for small business doing well yet it puts a lot of support into it’s citizens.

  115. Houston is horrific too. Better to live in Washington or Oregon and eat beans and rice than ever live in Houston, TX.

    SF Bay area OK but pockets of neglect there. Houston is worse than worse neighborhoods in SF Bay Area expanded into a city with bad driving added.

    Lived in the Netherlands and friend thought I’d find the standard of living sub par…nope. They put their money into community and have less crime, homelessness, pollution, mansions, unemployed, billionaires.

    1. Hey Noyb, I know some people who love Houston so I guess it depends on person to person. I love beans and rice ;). I must admit I would likely choose Austin if I had to live down there.

  116. I am on disability, and have a daughterthat lives with me. We are going to kiryat yam isreal, so that she and her fiance can get married. He may have to serve 6 months in the mi,litary, later. He wants to move here to the USA. He was born in Russia, but is part Isrealian. I have lived in Ok, Tn, and nc. It will hard for the 3 of us to survive, until they can get jobs. They only have HS Diplomas. I hope they can both, go to College, here. Any factual ideas on which has the best econlomy, lowest rent, and has a population with other Russian and Jewish immarants there ? We are part Native American but we want to live were we can all be happy, together!

    1. Hi Lissa, the kind of mix up of cultures you are looking for is easiest to find in the big cities, New York especially but sadly it isn’t the cheapest place to live! I would read through the comments and maybe just try and make it where you are for now. It really is tough but with 3 of you I hope you can all find jobs and live frugally to get through the hard time. In general the mid-west is the cheapest but jobs are not always the easiest to come by. At least in the larger cities a job is a little easier to get!

  117. I work for home and can definitely appreciate this article and those like it. I am currently looking for a 2 bedroom house in a decent area for under 50k and even in this buyers market am not lucky at all :(

  118. hey I’m new here not sure if I’m in the correct year or month, But I live in Detroit ,Mi a VERY crappy place (genocide) and the suburban areas subdue to police harassment…I just got my license as a c.n.a and was wondering is that enough to survive on in California …I want to move to San Diego…it’s just me and my 6yer old daughter so at the moment a 1 bedroom home or apartment would suit me well…i just feel anywhere is better than Michigan..TRUST ME!!!!! government/city officials will rape you 10 time over..and eat their own offspring’s..

    1. That sounds awful Serena. I would call some Cali recruitment agencies and see what they say. A move could be tough so try hard to research specifically where you are thinking of going. Do you have family out of State that could put you up somewhere for you to try and get on your feet somewhere else?

  119. since retiring to Western N C (asheville-Hendersonville area)from God forsaken Florida…. we were pleasantlly surprised at the actual living expenses….even factoring in the 8% state income tax.. the cost is actually about 75% of what it was in Florida… this is due largely to the decrease in insurance costs and property taxes.
    Being in the mountains, our utility costs are much lower….we only used the house A/C for about 6 weeks as opposed to 10 months in Florida…. our annual snowfall here is less than 6 inches and average winter temps are actually not so bad that we never paid more than $120 bucks a month to heat our home…between food transportation and utilities and taxes ….. ( no rent or mortgage or car payments to worry about) our living costs are less than $1,500 a month…..

    1. J P, thanks for that info. Living rurally really can be a lot cheaper if you go as sustainable as you can. You have to plan better though for those trips into civilisation.

  120. The cheapest place to retire in America more then likely
    is Hot Springs Arkansas in the gated community called
    Hot Springs village 71909.
    You can buy town homes in the mid 40s up
    Arkansas is in such financial trials at this time foreclosures
    are all over the place.
    The cost of living could be considered average to low.
    Arkansas is a well kept secret for retirement.
    You visit you stay it’s that simple.

  121. Thank you so much for all the hard work and research that went into this. You have made it so easy for so many. I am especially interested in Minneapolis, MN area. I am looking forward to checking out Duluth.


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