Thinking About Moving? Here are 5 Affordable Cities to Live In

affordable cities

The biggest chunk of change from our income typically goes to our housing and general living expenses and if you’re living in a hot stop with high rent, transportation and living expenses than it can be hard to reign in that spending. It might be time to think about moving to one of the more affordable cities in the U.S.

Moving is a huge expense in and of itself, but if you manage to get yourself a sweet deal with significantly cheaper expenses and a steady job it might be worth it!

For Music Lovers: Memphis, Tennessee

If you’re looking for an affordable place to live that has a rich musical heritage then look no further than Memphis. Home to Graceland, Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the National Civil Rights Museum there is a little something for everyone in Memphis. It’s Tennessee’s most populous state with a population that hovers around 652,000.


The median home price is $84,200, which means that with a full-time job and a little planning you can reasonably plan to afford one. For renters, the average monthly rent for a 2-bedroom is $769.


Memphis boasts a mild temperature with the hottest months being June to August boasting highs in the low 90s, and the coolest being December to February with highs hovering in the low-to-mid 50s. Job Situation The average income in Memphis is $21,909 with the median household income hovering around $37,099. Unemployment in Memphis hovers around 4.1 percent.

For the Career-Orientated: Fayetteville, Arkansas

I’ll admit that this probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you’re searching for your perfect city but it consistently ranks as one of the best places to live and one of the most affordable cities, and Forbes linked it specifically to business and careers! It’s described as mixing small-town charm and business-friendly climate. Its population has seen steady growth and is currently above 85,000.


If you’re looking to purchase a house, the average price is $215,000. And if you’re a renter you can get a 2-bedroom for around $733.


Fayetteville boasts a cooler climate than some of the other affordable cities, but not by much with temperatures from November to February hovering in the high 40s to low 50s. June to August, on the other hand, hover in the mid to high 60s.

Job Situation

The average income in Fayetteville is $37,350 with the median household income hovering around $37,350. Unemployment in Memphis hovers around 2.6 percent.

For Nice People: Ashland, Ohio

Ashland, Ohio is nicknamed the “the world headquarters of nice people” according to its sign. With a population of just over 20,000 people, you get a combination of mid-city privacy and small-town community. While it won’t have the same hustle and bustle of some of the other affordable cities on the list, the quiet might do you some good, so you can finally write that book you’ve been wanting to.


You can purchase a home in this quaint community for an average of $217,000 and rent a 2-bedroom apartment for $523.


The cool winter months in Ashland have average highs between 30 to 43 degrees, and the summer keeps it warm in the low 80s.

Job Situation

The average income in Ashland is $20,813 with the median household income hovering around $39,215. Unemployment in Memphis hovers around 4.8 percent.

For Food Lovers: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne is the second largest city in Indiana with apparently pretty great food. If you’re a food lover with the hankering for a small city setting, Fort Wayne might just be for you. It boasts a few local breweries, beautiful river scenes and an active social life. It doesn’t hurt that with it being a smaller metropolitan area with a population of just over 265,000 the housing expenses are more affordable, making it easier for you to save (and probably spend…).


The average house price in Fort Wayne is $128,7000. And you can rent a 2-bedroom for an average of $781.


From December to February the temperature in Fort Wayne cools down and hovers in the low-to-mid 30s. It’s higher months from June to August see the temperature in the low 80s.

Job Situation

The average income in Fort Wayne is $23,607, with the median household income hovering around $43,994. Unemployment in Fort Wayne is 3.2 percent.

For Elvis Fans: Tupelo, Mississippi

Welcome to Tupelo, Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis Presley. I kid you not. If you’re a huge fan of The King and are looking for a place to settle down that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, Tupelo might be your place. You can spend your weekends exploring Elvis Presley Birthplace & Museum, Elvis Presley Center and browsing through souvenirs that you can send to your mom at the various gift and specialty shops. Tupelo is a tourism-oriented town with a population of just over 38,000 people.


You can pick out your new home for relatively cheap considering the median house price is $129,400. Or find yourself a 2-bedroom apartment for around $1,118 (which seems a little pricey so you might want to buy).


From December to February you can reasonably expect the temperature to sit somewhere in the low-to-mid 50s. And from June to August you can expect the temperatures to sit somewhere in the high 80s to low 90s.

Job Situation

The average income in Tupelo is $23,825, with the median household income hovering around $41,979. Unemployment in Tupelo is 4.4 percent.

Other Affordable Cities

There are countless other options when it comes to looking for the perfect affordable city for you to settle down in. When it comes to affordability, you’ll likely have to sacrifice the hustle and bustle of some of the more lively and populated cities (think Los Angeles and New York, which are definitely not affordable cities) for the quiet, more slow-paced vibe of the smaller to mid-sized cities.

Other factors that we didn’t assess include things like state taxes, transportation costs, general food and supplies cost and even how many jobs there are to find. But if you’re looking for somewhere more affordable to settle down or even pass the time in for a few years while you bring in the cash, these might be just the places for you!

Do you have recommendations for affordable cities? Share them with me in the comments below!

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Photo Credit: David Wilson

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