The location of your home determines how much of your income is spent on living expenses. That’s why penny-pinchers keep tabs on the ideal cities for frugal living. Check out this list of the five best places to live that won’t break your bank.
5. St. Louis, Miss.
As big cities go, this metropolis offers plenty of amenities and a reasonable cost of living. The Lou, as many residents call it, earns a spot on this list thanks in part to its affordable housing options. The low-cost of renting and owning is attributable to the work done by the city’s Affordable Housing Commission.
For those who do live here, there are several hundred museums and public libraries in the area. Those who are frugal are delighted to learn that several of the very best venues are free and open to the public including the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, and the Saint Louis Science Center.
4. San Antonio, Texas
Like St. Louis, San Antonio brings its residents a good quality of life through culture and history with a low-cost of living. Also like The Lou, many of San Antonio’s premier venues do not charge a fee for admission. This includes the River Walk, Main Plaza, and the Alamo site. Throughout the year, this vibrant, affordable city brings together artists, musicians, and others for various celebrations and festivals.
3. Spokane, Wash.
This attractive city falls about 7 percent below the national average for cost of living. Some of the factors contributing to its affordability include lower utility costs and affordable housing. As with the other two cities on the list, Spokane gets high marks for plenty of high quality freebies. In this part of the country, the great outdoors beckon, and many hiking trails, state and local parks, arboretums, and wildlife refuges are free or low-cost.
2. Eau Claire, Wis.
Savor the free, easy access to outdoor activities such as swimming, camping, and fishing. If you prefer biking, hiking, or running, check out the series of Chippewa Valley trails. Artistic and cultural events on the University of Wisconsin campus often have an affordable ticket price. Surveys show this city has one of the lowest costs of living in the state.
1. Raleigh, N.C.
With a metro population that exceeds one million, this livable city ranks high because of its exceedingly low housing costs. It’s nearly one-third lower than the national average. With ample, well-kept outdoor spaces that residents can access free, this city earns the nickname the City of Oaks. High-paying jobs are also in good supply here thanks to the city being a part of the Research Triangle, which attracts biotechnology and high-tech firms. Finally, spend your spare time exploring the 40 attractions and museums that are open to the public for free.
Many U.S. cities are affordable and plenty of fun low-cost activities. Consider the kinds of leisure activities you enjoy, and choose to live in a city where you’ll have access to free and low-cost options.