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The Most Affordable Cities To Live in the US

Moving to a city with a lower cost of living will help your nest egg last longer. Or perhaps you're young and just starting your career path. You anticipate living on an entry-level salary and don't want to scrimp too much. You can also raise a family without breaking the bank if you move to a part of the country where you're not living beyond your means. Whatever the reason, it's time to check out the most affordable cities for relocating where your dollars can stretch further.


01 Buffalo, New York

The winters in Buffalo can get cold and snowy, but don't let that deter you from moving to this city in upstate New York. The median price for a home in Buffalo starts at just $80,000. Living here will also mean spending about 35% less on some of life's essentials, like medical care and transportation costs.

Buffalo boasts nine schools of higher education, one of which is the University at Buffalo, a top research university. There is no need to miss out on cultural amenities here, either. Buffalo is home to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House Complex. Drive a short way to nearby Niagara Falls, take in a Buffalo Bills football game, or hop on over to the Buffalo Zoo when guests come to visit.


02 Memphis, Tennessee

Panoramic view of downtown Memphis (TE, USA) reflected in a fountain. MoreISO / Getty Images

Memphis, Tennessee, is one of the cheapest US cities to live in, coming in at 14.3 % lower than the national average. With a rich musical history and plenty to offer residents in the way of entertainment, there are countless reasons to consider moving here. The average cost of a home in Memphis is roughly $180,000, well below the prices in other cities in Tennessee, such as Nashville.


03 Roanoke, Virginia

With views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a temperate climate that lets you enjoy all four seasons, Roanoke is a beautiful place to live. Even better is the fact that this city is also very affordable. The median home price is a little over $135,000. Get your exercise outdoors on one of the many walking trails, including the well-known Appalachian Trail. Take advantage of the museums and live music venues available in Roanoke. Healthcare, transportation, and food prices are less expensive here, too.


04 Amarillo, Texas

Texas Sunset

Amarillo is an up-and-coming affordable city for Americans to live in. A small town with a huge amount of charm, Amarillo will win you over in no time. The average cost of a home in Texas is $195 000, but in Amarillo, the median home price is just $136 000. With affordable housing and below-average transit costs, this town in the Texas panhandle will help you stick to your budget.


05 Lansing, Michigan

In Michigan's capital city, you'll spend 40% less on living essentials, like housing, for one. The average cost for a rental in Lansing is just $734 per month. You can also purchase a home for less than $90,000. The unemployment rate in this city is lower than the national average.

Colleges and universities in Lansing attract a younger group of residents, while the golf courses, cycling trails, and multiple cultural attractions bring people of all ages to Lansing.


06 Morgantown, West Virginia

Median home values sit well beneath the national average at $171,723 in Morgantown. If you decide to rent, you're in luck. An apartment rental's median cost is a mere $700 a month. While this is not the cheapest city of all for housing prices, it's still comparatively inexpensive. You'll end up spending a lot less in general living here because medical care, transportation, and entertainment costs are some of the lowest anywhere.

Morgantown residents are proud of residing in the same city as West Virginia University, which houses an art museum and two galleries.


07 Omaha, Nebraska

Downtown Omaha at sunset f1monaco31 / Getty Images

Ranked the 7th best city in the United States to raise a family by Forbes in 2018, Omaha has a considerable appeal. Not only is it a family-friendly town, but it's budget-friendly as well. The cost of living in Omaha is 8% below the national average, so you enjoy the perks of a big city without the sky-high prices.


08 La Crosse, Wisconsin

Imagine living adjacent to the Mississippi River, close to major medical facilities and three schools of higher education. Now consider being able to purchase a home that costs $70,000 less than the national average for home values. This is why La Crosse is one of the cheapest cities to live in the US. It also helps that you'll spend 30% less on entertainment with the city's many outdoor events, golf courses, hiking trails, and ski trails.


09 Savannah, Georgia

Yes, there are some pricey old mansions in Savannah, but those are not the norm for real estate buyers. On average, you'll lay out $50,000 less for a home in Savannah than you would in most other US cities. It's also a great place to live.

You'll love the city's National Historic District, the largest of its type in the country. Savannah exudes Southern charm with its cobblestone streets and the lovely Forsyth Park. The moderate winter temperatures let you enjoy outdoor activities throughout the year.


10 Ellensburg, Washington

Renters spend less than $800 a month in this city that sits in the middle of Washington State. They also spend 35% less than the national average on things like entertainment, gas, and medical care. Many residents move to Ellensburg but commute via I-90 to their jobs in the nearby Puget Sound region.

Ellensburg gets a lot less rain than the rest of the state and boasts 204 sunny days per year on average. There's also a lot of history here. The many festivals, art walks, and parades keep residents entertained.


11 Tulsa, Oklahoma

tulsa city skyline around downtown digidreamgrafix / Getty Images

Tulsa is another fantastic city for young families who are trying to get ahead without breaking the bank. Tulsa is a big city with a strong sense of community and plenty of job opportunities. A low cost of living allows people to spend more, and this enables businesses to offer more products at lower rates in a cost-effective cycle of consumerism.


12 Knoxville, Tennessee

With the Smoky Mountains as its backdrop, Knoxville is a scenic delight, but it's also a very affordable place to live. Housing costs are lower by about $70,000 than the national median. There's also very little income tax to whittle away at your spending power. The University of Tennessee is a big draw for attracting youthful and well-educated residents to Knoxville. For the kids, there are top-notch public schools in Knoxville to help further their education.


13 Moscow, Idaho

Rents in Moscow are quite low in this small city of fewer than 25,000 residents. Yet, the job market is strong, possibly due to the presence of the University of Idaho in town. People living in Moscow have access to 17 different parks, the Latah Trail for long nature walks, an arboretum and botanical garden, plus a fun aquatic center featuring a lazy river.


14 Cincinnati, Ohio

Spend much less on rent, buying a home, and most of life's necessities if you live in Cincinnati. If you're seeking a job in a cheap place to live, Cincinnati is home to 23 major corporations and businesses, plus it has over 30 colleges and universities to choose from.

Sports fans will love cheering on football's Cincinnati Bengals and baseball's Reds teams. Cultural attractions include the Taft Museum of Art, the Cincinnati Operate Company, and great Shakespearean theatre.


15 St. Louis, Missouri

Missouri, St Louis, Gateway Arch Andrea Pistolesi / Getty Images

St. Louis has all the fixings of a much bigger city like New York or Chicago without the high cost. Average home sale prices are significantly lower than the national average, with a median cost of $168,000. For first-time home buyers, this is a fantastic place to put down roots in a city that still has plenty to offer in the way of entertainment.


16 Hickory, North Carolina: a furniture capital with affordable living

Downtown Hickory Jeff Yount / Getty Images

Nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hickory, North Carolina, offers an affordable lifestyle without compromising on quality. Known as "The Furniture Capital of the World," Hickory is a hub for retirees, families, and, increasingly, young professionals. With its proximity to other bustling cities like Charlotte and Asheville, Hickory provides a balance of small-town charm and big-city amenities. The average home value here is a comfortable $276,748, making it an attractive destination for those seeking affordability and quality of life.


17 Youngstown, Ohio: a steel capital reinventing itself

Youngstown, Ohio, USA Town Skyline Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Located halfway between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Youngstown, Ohio, is a city in transformation. Once known as a steel capital, Youngstown has been adapting since the industry's collapse in the 1970s. Today, it's a city of new businesses and affordable living. The average cost of a home in the area is a modest $119,900, while the average income is $31,020, making Youngstown a city of opportunity and affordability.


18 Huntington, West Virginia: affordable living by the Ohio River

Huntington, West Virginia DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Part of the Huntington-Ashland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio metro area, Huntington offers affordability along the scenic Ohio River. Known locally as the "Tri-State," this region spans seven counties and offers a variety of outdoor destinations. The average home value in Huntington is $115,370, making it an affordable choice for those seeking a home close to nature.


19 Huntsville, Alabama: space, science, and savings

Huntsville, Alabama toddmedia / Getty Images

Known for its space industry, Huntsville, Alabama, is a city where innovation meets affordability. With a low cost of living and a high quality of life, Huntsville is a city that's truly out of this world. The city offers a variety of amenities, from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center to the Huntsville Botanical Garden, all at a cost that's down to earth.


20 Fort Wayne, Indiana: a fort of affordability

Fort Wayne skyline Davel5957 / Getty Images

Fort Wayne, Indiana, offers a low cost of living and a strong job market, making it a fortress of affordability. With a rich history, vibrant arts scene, and numerous parks and recreational areas, Fort Wayne offers a high quality of life at a price that's hard to beat.


21 Beaumont, Texas: Southern comfort at comfortable prices

Beaumont, Texas DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Located in southeastern Texas, Beaumont offers affordable living and a rich cultural heritage. From the Fire Museum of Texas to the Beaumont Botanical Gardens, there's plenty to see and do. With a cost of living that's as warm and welcoming as its southern charm, Beaumont is a city that's easy to call home.


22 Peoria, Illinois: affordable living in the Heartland

ghornephotos / Getty Images

Known for its beautiful landscapes and outdoor activities, Peoria, Illinois, offers a low cost of living in the heart of the Midwest. With its riverfront attractions and vibrant arts scene, Peoria offers a high quality of life that's as affordable as it is enjoyable.


23 Green Bay, Wisconsin: more than just Packers

Downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin Skyline DenisTangneyJr / getty Images

Home to the famous Green Bay Packers, Green Bay, Wisconsin, offers more than just football. With a low cost of living and a community that's as passionate about its city as it is about its sports, Green Bay is a touchdown for affordable living.


24 Quad Cities, IA-IL: four cities, one affordable lifestyle

Aerial image residential rural neighborhood in Bettendorf Iowa felixmizioznikov / Getty Images

The Quad Cities metro area, encompassing Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Moline and Rock Island in Illinois, offers a unique blend of affordability and Midwestern charm. With a variety of cultural attractions and outdoor activities, the Quad Cities offer a high quality of life at a low cost.


25 Knoxville, Tennessee: a symphony of affordability

Aerial View of Knoxville Surrounded by Forest halbergman / Getty Images

Known for its vibrant arts scene and natural beauty, Knoxville, Tennessee, offers a symphony of affordability. From the Knoxville Museum of Art to the Ijams Nature Center, there's plenty to see and do. With a cost of living that's as harmonious as its surroundings, Knoxville hits all the right notes for affordable living.


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