Doesn’t it break your heart to watch the numbers in your bank account go down the moment you receive your salary, all because you need a roof over your head? Oh and what can we say about the absolutely dreadful utility bills that haven’t been said already? Whether you pay rent or have your own house, you can never truly escape these.
But a tiny relief for you would be the fact that it is not the same everywhere. Some places do cost higher than others to let you exist. So, let us take a look at some of the cheapest states in the US, that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. All of this while letting you and your bank account have some financial peace of mind.
Top 10 Cheapest State to Live in the United States
The average rent for living in Mississippi is $795 and that of buying a house is $128,000. You would be paying $1.21 for a litre of milk and $4.04 for a loaf of bread. As per Numbeo, a dozen eggs would cost $2 and 1kg of potatoes would be around $4.5. Utilities, which include electricity, water, garbage disposal, heating and cooling should be within $200.
As far as transportation is concerned, if you plan on using the local transport, a one-way ticket would cost you $1 or if you prefer a monthly pass, it would be $50. If you prefer taxis instead, the normal tariff is $3 and that of travelling 1km is $2.42. You are lucky if you have a vehicle of your own as the cost of gas is $0.92, less than a dollar.
In case you have kids, childcare is pretty affordable with kindergarten and any other creches costing $755 for a month. While the median household income for Mississippi is $43,567, the cost-of-living index there is 84.8, which has given Mississippi a reputation for being one of the cheapest states to live in. The low cost of living along with smart financial decisions will let you have the full experience of the southern charm that Mississippi is known for.
You would be paying $879 per month on an average as rent if you were living in Oklahoma. If you are going to buy a house here, it would be $130,001. Grocery shopping here should leave you thoroughly satisfied as 1L of milk costs 0.93 and a loaf of bread is $2.54. A dozen eggs cost $1.63 and 1kg of potatoes are as low as $2.11. Electricity, water and garbage bills, etc should cost you roundabout $156 per month. This includes the functioning of the heating and cooling fixtures of the house.
While travelling in the state, a one-way ticket in the local transport costs $2 and a monthly pass around $40. In case you are a taxi-person, the normal tariff would be $2.88 and the tariff for travelling 1km is $1.96. The cost of gas for your personal transport would be $0.53 per litre. The state cares about keeping the costs low for your kids as well. Childcare, including pre-school, costs $721.25. The median household income for Oklahoma is $51,424 and the cost-of-living index is 85.4. That is certainly an attractive factor of life in the state.
Also See: Moving To Oklahoma
Rent in Arkansas is $708 per month and the cost of buying a house is $140,000, that is, a two-bedroom house for both the cases. For your trips to the supermarket, you would be spending $0.82 on a litre of milk and $2.28 on a loaf of bread. A single egg would cost you a twelfth of $2.08, but we are guessing that you will be buying them by the dozen, so you don’t need to do the maths and just pay $2.08. And potatoes, America’s favourite vegetable, cost $2.33 per kilogram.
Utilities in Arkansas rarely go over $160, if you don’t forget to turn off the lights when you leave a room. Transportation stands pretty cheap with a one-way ticket for the local transport being $1.35 and a monthly pass being around $36. One litre of gas costs $0.56, which works very well in the vehicle owners’ favour. But some people just love their morning cab rides. Yes, that’s a thing. If you are one of them, the base fare costs $5 and the fare for travelling one kilometre is $2.17.
Your bank balance will not be disappointed with kids, when childcare in Arkansas costs $531 per month, including pre-school. The median household income in Arkansas is $45,726 and the cost-of-living index is 87.8. The ‘Natural State’ indeed offers a lot on a single plate to its residents.
See Also: Relocation Guide for Arkansas
Kansas homeowners charge $752 in rent per month on average, and if you wish to be a homeowner yourself, it would cost you $137,700. A litre of milk costs $0.79 and a loaf of bread is $2.20. A dozen eggs would be around $2.01 and a kilogram of potatoes would cost $4.13. What do you think you can cook up with these basics? While you consider that, you would be happy to know that the utility costs of electricity, garbage, heating, cooling and water cost about $209.41.
The next budget consideration would have to be transportation. A one-way ticket on your local transport costs $1.50 and a monthly pass should be $50. The base taxi fare costs $4.50 and the cost of travel per kilometre is $2.33. A litre of gas costs $0.59, useful information should you be the owner of a car.
Childcare in Arkansas, which includes preschool, goes up to $1,550. The median household income in Kansas is $57,442, which is around $9,000 higher than the liveable wage. The cost-of-living index is 87.9. The ‘Sunflower State’ does look sunnier than ever, given this information about the comfortable financial situation the state is capable of offering.
Also Read: Moving To Kansas – Relocation Guide
Missouri has the fifth-lowest cost of living in the entire country, with the average rent of a two-bedroom house being $800, and the cost of buying a house being about $200,000. Your food bills every month are going to be conveniently low with 1L of milk costing you $0.79 and that of a loaf of bread being $1.99. Somebody once said that potatoes can be cooked in more than 200 ways. You might try and master a few of them without any worry for your monthly budget, considering 1kg of potatoes cost just $2.63. For a change, you might try and eat eggs as well. A dozen costs just $2.05.
Utility bills stay on quite the lower side with them being about $175 per month. You wouldn’t dread these, considering the surprise that this category of bills is capable of being. Transport in Missouri costs $2.5 for a one-way ticket and $78 for a monthly pass. If you are a taxi-person, you will be paying $3 as the base fare and $1.24 per kilometre. If you have a vehicle of your own or are planning on buying one, you will be paying $0.54 per litre.
Missouri’s median wage is about $53,560, which is not far from the liveable wage in the state. All these factors place the cost-of-living index at 88.9. The ‘Show-Me State’ definitely has a lot to show one by way of smart finances.
Also See: Moving To Missouri
The rent of a house in Georgia can be notably high in cities such as Atlanta, Columbus and Savannah, but on an average, it stays around $958 and the median cost of buying a house is $186,500. In Georgia, a litre of milk will cost you $3.53 and a loaf of bread will be around $1.13. Potatoes cost $1.49 per kilogram and a dozen eggs average around $4.36. For an average two-bedroom apartment, the cost of utilities per month would be about $200.
Transportation costs are another category of their own. A one-way ticket would be $0.50 and a monthly pass costs $38. Taxi base fare is about $3 and per kilometre taxi travel is around $1. A litre of gas costs $2.54, in case you own a personal vehicle. Transport costs are something of an invisible cost. You don’t actually calculate it when trying to budget your expenses. Therefore, it helps that they are priced so low.
The median wage of a person in Georgia would be $55,679 which is almost $8,000 more than the liveable wage there. The cost-of-living index stands at 71.3. Once you know that you will have enough left in the bank after taking care of your expenses for the month, you can sit back to enjoy the peaches of this state. After all, they do give Georgia its nickname of the ‘Peach State’.
Must Read: Moving to Georgia
Residents of Alabama pay $772 on average per month for rent, and if they own the house, the median cost of it would be $129,300. You know you are turning into an adult when you look forward to your trips to go grocery shopping. And if you are in Alabama, a part of the excitement is the fact that the prices of items won’t empty your pockets. A litre of milk costs $0.84 and a loaf of bread around $2.62. A dozen eggs come to about $2 and a kilogram of potatoes about $3.56.
Utilities for your apartment should be $200 on an average. The bills we just mentioned are not really daily occurrences. But transport on the other hand, is an everyday expense. Lucky for you, the transportation in Alabama is budget conscious. A one-way ticket costs $2 and a monthly pass would be $75. The base tariff for a taxi is $4.50 and that of every kilometre travelled is $1.5. One litre of gasoline costs $0.56. The median wage of an individual in Alabama is $48,486, which is about $3,000 more than the liveable wage. The cost-of-living index happens to be 93.4. This information certainly makes the ‘Heart of Dixie’ an attractive option for a half of the United States.
8. New Mexico
Rent in New Mexico stands at $847 per month on average, and the cost of buying a house is $193,200. When you go grocery shopping, you will be spending $0.71 on one litre of milk and $2.61 on a loaf of bread. A dozen eggs cost $1.92 and one kilogram of potatoes would be about $2.17. Not bad for basic cooking.
As far as utilities go, as in electricity, heating, cooling, garbage disposal and water, the average rate would be $142. Transportation in New Mexico is very low-priced with a one-way ticket being $1 and a monthly pass costing around $30. The base taxi fare goes to $2.50 and the rate of travel per kilometre in the taxi costs $1.7. One litre of gas costs about $0.61, so if you are the owner of your own vehicle, you will love that aspect of your life.
The median household income in New Mexico is $48,059 and the cost of living index is 87.5. This places Mexico in the list of top 10 most affordable states to live in the US.
Read Also: 10 Largest Cities In New Mexico
Housing in Tennessee is certainly on the lower end of the spectrum, with rent being $854 per month. And in case you want to buy a house, the cost would be $170,801. As Joni Mitchell, a Canadian singer-songwriter, once said, ‘I love my freedom. I like to do my own grocery shopping.’. We know that browsing through the aisles to stock up on your kitchen pantry for your daily food and sustenance is an essential part of being an adult. Tennessee grocery prices understand that. One litre of milk costs $0.81 and a loaf of bread is $2.70. a dozen eggs would be around $1.82 and one kilogram of potatoes $2.48.
Utilities for an average two-bedroom apartment cost $165.83. Transportation costs in this state wouldn’t bother you too much, with a one-way ticket in the local transport costing around $2 and a monthly pass being $65. The base taxi fare is $3 and the charge per kilometre is $1.24. If you own your own car or other vehicle, the cost of one litre of gas is $0.61.
The median income in Tennessee is $50,972, which happens to be $4,000 higher than the liveable wage. The cost-of-living index is 87.6. And once you are done paying your bills for the month, you would still have ample time left for going on a tour of the many attractions of the ‘volunteer state’.
Living in a two-bedroom house in Indiana will cost you $750 in rent per month. If you buy that house, it would cost, on average, $169,156. A trip to the grocery store should have you spending $0.65 on a litre of milk and $2.07 on a loaf of bread. A dozen eggs cost $1.5 and a kilogram of potatoes would be $3, on average. If you live in a two-bedroom apartment and don’t forget to turn off the lights when you leave a room or leave the water running unnecessarily, your utility bills for the month should come to about $157.
Going places in Indiana is cheap. A one-way ticket costs $1.75 and a monthly pass around $60. The base taxi fare is $3 and the rate per kilometre is $1.24. A litre of gas costs $0.59. You will certainly love the fact that the median income of households in Indiana is $56,303, especially considering the cost-of-living index is 90.4 only. Knowing this information, you can now sit back and enjoy some of the basketball games that Indiana is known for, or even start playing yourself.
The determinants of a financially sound life are, to put it very broadly, the income you earn and the amount you end up spending, that is, your cost of living. Sure, the cost of living does differ from place to place and depending upon your income category. So it does prove to be more beneficial for a person’s lifestyle and savings if they live in a place that is complementary to their income and not detrimental to it. Moving to one of these states will surely help in this regard if it ticks all the boxes for you.