With the price of gas and food on the rise, most of us are looking for the best affordable places to live, places where our dollar will stretch further and last a little longer. To help you in your pursuit of the best places to live cheaply, check out these resources and suggestions of what may be the perfect place for you and your family.
Salary CalculatorThe first place to start in your quest to find the most affordable place to live, is to calculate how far your current salary would take you in the new city. While your salary may change, it's good to know approximately how much you may earn in the new location and how much you might need to earn in terms of expenses.
- Salary.com: This is a great site that will provide quite a bit of detail for those seeking more precise information. Find out what the salary range is for your particular career for a particular area of the USA, along with education levels and benefits, and it'll even estimate your paycheck.
- Potential Salary Calculator: From Monster.com, this calculator takes a generalized profession and gives you an approximate salary for the region you're thinking of moving to. While the job list is not inclusive, it's a good place to start.
- International Salary Calculator: Great tool for those movers who are thinking of settling overseas. Find out what your profession is worth in another country. With a wide range of cities, this tool provides information for most of the world.
Cost of Living
- Sperling has the best cost of living comparison calculator, taking into account where you live now and where you want to be, your current salary and how much you'll need to earn in the new city or town in order to maintain your current lifestyle. It includes such necessities as food, housing, transportation and health. Highly recommended resource.
- CNN Money has a similar tool, but without the same kind of details. Also, this tool is limited to a few cities in each state. Worth a peek jsut to compare its results to Sperling's tool.
Where are the Most Affordable Cities and Towns?
- Business Week has a great article on the most affordable housing markets in the US. Although this information dates back to 2009, it still provides a good place to start your search. With the downturn in the housing market still affecting most of the country, real estate is a little more affordable for those who can afford to buy.
- 25 Cheapest Cities to Live: Again, from BusinessWeek, a great list of the cheapest places to live with information on crime and other factors you may want to consider before you pick up and move.
- Kiplinger.com offers a great article on how far your real estate dollars will go, looking at home prices of $300,000 up to $1 million. It's a great way to see which areas of the country are offering the best real estate value. And it's fun to see just how far a million dollars will go!
- Cheapest Places to Rent:Today offers the top cities for the rental market. With 1. Wichita, Kansas ranking number one at $470 per month for a 600-square foot home to Dayton, Ohio where a 500 square-foot home will set you back $570 per month. The article also provides some details about each city, including fun facts that might make moving to these smaller cities worth while. And for those of you who are looking for the high-life, but at a cheaper price, the article provides the top 5 fancy places to live that have been reduced in price.
- AOL Money & Finance also provides a great article and slide show of the top cheapest cities for renters. With great pictures and details on both low and high rental rates and how much rents have increased over the years, this is definitely worth checking out.