Finding the cheapest places to live has been a big topic in some past post on this blog. In the coming weeks I am going to delve into it further and look at some of the details but for now we’ll take a broad look over the situation. It’s not entirely possible to find the exact cheapest place to live as much of the info is relative and can change daily!
Cheapest Places To Live
Working out what you need for your lifestyle is the first step in determining where you can live. This includes the type of work you do and if you need a house, condo, apartment. Do you have pets? Do you need to drive and if so how far do you need to drive? Also if you job is portable (online) this really helps you find a dirt cheap place to live. I work online and have lived in Cairo, Egypt, Canada before that and have been to the UK and am now briefly in USA. Early next year I head off to New Zealand.
First let’s look at the Cheapest Places in America.
It’s generally agreed that the cheapest places in the USA to live are in the Mid West. You may get low wages compared to the rest of the country but taxes are low and housing is comparatively very affordable. Even things like beer and food can be found significantly cheaper. However you may have to take into account crime and poverty, building quality and other aspects before making your final decision.
- South Dakota
I wrote a more in-depth article on this subject and it’s also getting a lot of opinions and comments. So come learn more and join the discussion by reading the article: Cheapest places to live in America
Know looking at other countries
Canada really isn’t one of the cheapest places to live in the world but if you are wanting to be close to the USA either in retirement or for telecommuting and online jobs then it has some great options. I personally lived in Montreal and can say that things like dining out were affordable with many main meals being less than $10 USD. It’s reported that in provinces like Nova Scotia that lakeside homes can be purchased for around $10k and taxes are not too bad in my experiences. I also always found cheap places to shop for food. Many provinces tax high on booze and cigarettes so if you are hell-bent on living this kind of lifestyle it may not be a good choice!
As I mentioned, I lived in Cairo, Egypt. I am lucky as I work online so was earning in USD and that is makes living in Cairo extremely cheap. If you had to settle for local wages then it could be said that it is more expensive to live in than anywhere in USA, at least if you want to match the lifestyle.
We paid $500 USD per month for a Western style 2 bed medium-sized apartment in a well-to-do part of town. This does not include bills but the rack up to less than $70 per month and that includes doorman and internet.
Food isn’t too much either. I could fill my fridge with veggies for less than $10, eat a local falafel for $0.50 and even get a nice Italian meal for $30 with a fair helping of South African wine.
Taxes are something I am not sure of, I was there on a visa with my partner who is a student. So not paying local tax and from what I hear most of the locals don’t pay tax either!
Transport is cheap with taxes costing less than a few dollars to anywhere in the city and a metro ride is only $0.25.
Cairo is cheap if you want it to be but offers all the luxuries of USA. If you land a job for an American or European company then it’s possible to get good wages and still have the affordability the city offers making it relatively definitely one of the cheapest places to live.
Note: Right now Egypt is obviously going through a lot of strain with the peoples revolution. I was present for much of the revolution and some time after and although I don’t advise to move there right now I would say keep it on your watch list.
Many Americans flock to Thailand… Some for its beauty and some for unsavory habits but there is no questioning that life for the average American in Thailand can be a hell of a lot cheaper than back home.
If you stay out of the main cities and move to the mid-sized villages (still chock full of Western amenities for tourists) then you can often find furnished accommodation for around $100 a month. If you eat local you will hardly feel the weight of food costs and generally the locals are reported to be nice to foreigners if you make the effort back.
I have a friend who lived quite a lavish lifestyle down in Mexico and she left an awesome comment on one of my other posts “Live In Topekaa For $850 a Month” Here is what she said:
Brilliant Jeni Says:
August 21st, 2008 at 11:56 am I have a friend going to college in New Mexico- $200 month for a 1400 sq foot home; balconies, fireplaces, granite countertops and all… I was impressed.I’m American but now live in Cabo San Lucas, where I moved from Puerto Vallarta. In Cabo, we actually bought a villa and rentals are quite pricey but in Puerto Vallarta- very nice condos for $400 a month and up, just a few blocks from the beach. Food and utilities are next to nothing. $30 dollars a week will fill your fridge for 2 ppl.
Inland rentals (by inland, i mean still walking distance to the beach) start at $200 and go up. Then, as an expat there are numerous tax benefits (great for bloggers and web publishers such as myself.)
On $850 a month, you could live a near-lavish lifestyle!
So imagine if you cut down on some of the luxuries!
There are lots more cheap places to live in this world but this post just gives you a taste of what is out there. Please leave an opinion or comment of where you think the cheapest places to live are, and sign up so you can keep up with future writings on this topic. Suggestions for posts are also always welcome.