When I moved from Los Angles, to Kansas City, I couldn’t believe how cheap the cost of living was! Beers were $2.50, not $8, movies were less than $10 and I could home prices were two thirds lower! It’s amazing to me how cities, thousands of miles away or hundreds, can have such differences in costs. Kiplinger’s came out with this year’s list of the most affordable places to live, I had to see if Kansas City made the list. The list is based on prices for housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services, and doesn’t not include populations under 50,000
10 Cheapest US Cities to Live In
10. Augusta, Ga, Median Home Value: $102,800
9. Temple, Tx, Median Home Value: $113,200, (A typical home costs $100,000 less in Temple than in Austin!)
8. Wichita Falls, Tx, Median Home Value: $91,300
7. Jonesboro, Ark, Median Home Value: $133,500, A dental checkup in Jonesboro runs 28% less than the national average
6. Youngstown, Ohio, Median Home Value: $48,100
5. Idaho Falls, Idaho, Median Home Value: $147,800
4. Memphis, Tenn, Median Home Value: $98,300, It’s the biggest city in TN, and you can buy a home for less than $100,000!
3. Norman, Okla, Median Home Value: $149,900
2. Pueblo, Colo, Median Home Value: $116,700
1. Harlingen, Tx, Median Home Value: $77,700
Jen Y says
This list doesn’t surprise me at all. The cheapest cities are more conservative. The more expensive cities comes from more regulations on everything from the environment & education to unions & big business. California has regulated itself into poverty for so many people.
I live in northwest Arkansas, traditionally a conservative area & so far we still are for the most part. We’ve grown so much & had so many people move into the area from California & other liberal areas. They’re so excited about the cheaper cost of living yet they are voting us into the same kind of environment they left behind. They just can’t see the connection. There needs to be a balance between good community improvements & leaving people behind financially. It’s very sad.
Megan Thode says
Such an interesting correlation, @Jen! Thanks for sharing!
Patricia K says
I am sorry, but California is not more expensive because of regulations. It is because of supply and demand. There are many more people who live here and want to live here, whether it be because of climate, the vast array of recreation and other activities, or because of our good well-paying jobs. You get more demand for a place or goods, the price goes up. Regulations play a tiny part.
Jen Y says
Yes Patricia, supply & demand do play a part but I would say regulations play more than a tiny part. For example – the industries that make electricity have a very hard time meeting the demand on the west coast. They could do it for less if they were not so limited in their choices like other parts of the country – the choices are limited because of laws made there. If you compare the cost in other parts of the country where there is more freedom to choose, the cost is less.
The jobs are higher paying there because they have to be to survive there. It doesn’t mean much having higher pay if you can’t buy much with it. We earn less than $50,000 a yr(a good income for my area), live on 5 acres on a lake, our house is 1200 sq ft & we’ve been debt free since we were in our mid-30’s. We could never have done that even with the higher pay in California. Our son, at 21 has already paid for two vehicles & bought his 1st very nice house on an income much lower than ours. Most 21 yr olds would only dream of that in California.
If you look at supply & demand with fewer regulations – the free market will eventually lower the prices. With more regulations, the free market doesn’t have the freedom to meet the higher demand so prices go up. It’s very sad.
Megan Thode says
Great conversation, @Patricia and Jen. I’m wondering if there is a place that’s a good middle ground? Higher populations (supplu & demand) with lower regulations and lower cost of living? If so – tell me! I’m moving there!