Cost of living is a major consideration if you are planning a move, and even more so if you want to live in an urban environment. There are still US cities that can be a bargain to live in, but you will need to consider your own potential income, lifestyle and more. If you are less concerned with big city life and just looking for a state with low cost of living in United States, learning more about how cost of living is calculated and where you might find an affordable home and lifestyle is helpful.
How is cost of living calculated? Most of the time, a cost of living index is used. The average composite score is 100, and cost of living figures are tallied based on that average. Some people may find it easier to think of these scores in dollar amounts. If you define your base as $100,000, then it would, for instance, take $217,000 to maintain the same lifestyle in New York City.
You may be surprised to learn that four out of five of the least expensive US cities are in Texas. McAllen, Texas is the lowest cost of living metropolitan area in the country. It is followed by Seguin, Texas and Laredo, Texas. Jonesboro, Arkansas is next in the list of low cost of living areas, followed by number five, Lubbock, Texas. On the whole, some states have a higher overall cost of living, including California, New Mexico, North and South Carolina, Massachusetts, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware and Washington D.C. On the whole, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Georgia and Tennessee offer a low cost of living. Incomes in these areas can, however, be lower. http://ded.mo.gov/researchandplanning/indicators/cost_of_living/index.stm provides you with a clear breakdown of cost of living in each state, allowing you to make informed choices with regard to a state with low cost of living in United States.
mostleastexpensive.asp?poe=homestore can offer you more information on both high and low cost of living areas. While it may be easy to find a low cost of living area if you are interested in living in the south or Midwest, it can be more difficult if you are looking for low cost of living on coast. If you are looking for a low cost of living on the coast, going either north or south may be helpful. Washington and Oregon both offer a lower cost of living than California, while Texas, Louisiana and Florida are all fairly affordable. That does, of course, depend upon what you want in a coastal area. If it is simple proximity to water, you will be able to find a low cost of living on coast. If you are looking for the glamour of California or the proximity to New York City of the Jersey shore, you will be out of luck in terms of a low cost of living on coast.
Another consideration when looking for a state with a low cost of living is to consider finding an area with a low cost of living with high paying jobs. Your job field can impact this, and you may be able to afford living well in some areas if that region supports a good salary in your field. If you are committed to coastal life, and would like to consider living in California, the central valley area remains the most affordable. Finding a low cost of living with high paying jobs can be difficult, as many areas with a low cost of living also come with much lower salaries. http://www.city-data.com/top5.html offers a comparison of cities median housing costs in relation to income. This may be helpful if you are looking for a low cost of living with high paying jobs.
Finding a state with low cost of living in the United States is not hard, but you may need to consider your own wants and needs. Many areas that offer the most in the way of cultural activities or even a high salary range can have a very high cost of living. While that is especially true of California, if you are looking for life near the ocean, you can still find a low cost of living on coast elsewhere. Take advantage of low cost of living resources online to help you pick a place to live where you can get the most for your money. Southern and Midwestern states remain among the best in terms of cost of living; however, you will pay more for things in major cities even in those states. If you are comfortable living in a small town in a state with low cost of living, you may be able to find an area in close proximity of a larger city to allow for additional cultural opportunities. Commuting may be necessary if you want a low cost of living on coast and wish to live in a higher cost state. Whether you live in one of the 5 least expensive cities in the US or somewhere pricier, taking cost of living into consideration can help you afford a comfortable lifestyle on your income.