Finding which state has the lowest cost of living will help stretch your dollar and make it easier to invest in your future.
When you're looking for ways to save money, you can focus on smaller changes like where you shop, the brands you buy, and how often you splurge. But there are potentially larger savings to be found by re-evaluating where you live, since this can affect nearly every single expense you incur. That said, picking up and moving to another state is no small task.
For example, California and New York may be two of the best places to live by some measures, but they are also among the most expensive states to live. For this reason, many people skip these states and seek a more affordable area.
So where are the states with the lowest cost of living that offer just as much beauty and benefit as living on the East or West coast? Where can you enjoy lower healthcare costs, taxes, childcare costs, and an overall lower cost of living and affordable home prices?
Below we list the 10 best cost of living states based on the cost of living, adjusted income, median home value, and cost of living index.
Oregon has a cost of living adjusted income of $46,700 and a median home value of $287,000. Rent in Oregon is right along with the median in the country and the same is true for its average utility costs. While Oregon does have high state taxes, the Beaver State has an abundance of beauty and cultural opportunities for those who want to settle in the west without paying the high price of living in California. Enjoy the beauty and culture of the West without paying through the roof.
Florida has a cost of living adjusted income of $47,000 and a median home value of $197,000. There is a good reason Florida is one of the most popular states to retire. Aside from its abundant sunshine, Florida offers affordable housing and median rent prices in line with the average rent in the US. Florida has low state income taxes and an overall low cost of living despite their slightly higher gas taxes. Floridians also enjoy beautiful scenery, plenty of outdoor activities and lots of sunshine.
North Carolina’s cost of living adjusted income is $47,400 and has a median home value of $165,000. Among its low costs, North Carolina has a flat state income tax rate, charging everyone the same rate regardless of income level. Even better, the housing costs are low enough that many people can achieve the American Dream of owning their own home in this gorgeous state. If renting is your thing, North Carolina has an average rent cost that is almost $300 less than the national average. And did we mention the mountains and beaches?
Louisiana has a cost of living adjusted income of $48,000 and a median home value of $158,000. Louisiana’s low cost of living is attributed to its abundance of agriculture and petroleum production. This helps keep the daily cost of living down, making homeownership even more affordable. Louisiana is a diverse state with an abundance of cultural opportunities and economic opportunities making it a fun, yet affordable state to live.
Minnesota has a cost of living adjusted income of $48,000 and a median home value of $211,000. Minnesota boasts a low unemployment rate and affordable homes. While you can find a few cities here and there that cost more than others, overall, the cost of living in Minnesota is affordable. While you do need to love winter to live in Minnesota and it does have slightly higher taxes than other states, its overall affordability makes it one of the cheapest states to live.
Michigan has a cost of living adjusted income of $48,400 and a median home value of $147,100. Almost 3/4 of Michigan residents own a home rather than rent, which tells you something about its affordability. Michigan also has low healthcare costs, and a flat income tax rate, but some cities add their own tax on top. Aside from its affordability, Michigan is a gorgeous state to live to "get away from it all".
Texas has a cost of living adjusted income of $48,400 with a median home value of $161,500. While it may be the second-largest state, it’s one of the cheapest states to live. If homeownership isn’t your thing, average prices for rent are fairly low in the Lone Star State – just $700, according to Apartment List data. Perhaps what Texans love the most, besides the Tex-Mex food, is the lack of sales tax and estate taxes.
Indiana has a cost of living adjusted income of around $48,600 with a median home value of $134,000. With plenty of cultural opportunities for sports fans, art lovers, and outdoor adventurists, there’s something for everyone in Indiana. If you want to become a homeowner in Indiana, they boast some of the lowest property taxes and closing costs in the country, making it easier to achieve the American Dream.
Missouri has a cost of living adjusted income of around $42,000 with a median home value of just $151,000. Missouri offers both city and rural living opportunities to satisfy the city dweller or the privacy seeker. Missouri enjoys all four seasons and has plenty of gorgeous scenery. It’s easy to see why many people choose Missouri for it's natural abundance and low cost of living.
Delaware has the lowest cost of living adjusted income of around $48,000 and a median home value of $243,000. Along with its low housing prices, Delaware offers low property taxes, making it affordable to own your home whether it’s your first home or you are looking to retire. Other reasons to live in Delaware include no sales tax, beautiful beaches, and plenty of cultural opportunities all while providing a cheap place to live on the east coast.
Choose where you live based on numerous factors, not just the weather. The cost of living affects your overall financial wellbeing. You want to live somewhere in which you can comfortably afford your house, taxes, healthcare, education, and recreational activities while earning more than just a living wage. The top 10 cheapest states to live give you plenty of options that fit within any budget while providing you with an incredible place to live.