5 Economical American Cities to Live In

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the Consumer Price Index (CPI) saw an increase of 2.1 percent over a 12 month period (May 2013 to May 2014.) In May alone, the food index increased by half of a percentage point and over the past few months, the price of a gallon of milk rose from an average of $3.56 to around $3.74.

These days, it is expensive to live, anywhere you live. The average consumer unit spent a total of of over $51,000 in 2012, nearly $17,000 of which went to housing costs. In some areas of the country, however, average costs are much higher. San Francisco, for instance, is known for having expensive home prices. Trulia reports the median sale price for San Fran homes at $950,000. Such a price is unfeasible for a middle class family.

When searching for an economical place to live, finding a place with low housing prices is only the beginning. You can almost always find inexpensive places to live in areas where income is low and finding a job is near impossible. The challenge is finding a place to live that has a combination of benefits – a place where you can find a job, earn a living, a home at a reasonable price that can earn you some equity, and decent cost of living. Using a plethora of reports on prices and demographics, we have come up with a list of five economical cities to live in.

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuseeger/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuseeger/

1. Cedar Park, Texas

This Austin neighbor has a high median income ($76,118 according to the most recent Census reports) relative to the national median of around $51,000. In addition to being able to earn high, cost of living is reasonable in this area, as well. The median home value in Cedar Park is $201,900, up around 3 percent from last year. Rent is a bit higher in Cedar park, with median rent prices at $1,395.

Education level is also high in this area — a report by Neighborhood Scout says that around 43 percent of adults over 25 hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Educated citizens may play a role in the success of the job market and Austin’s job market is expected to do pretty well during 2014. With unemployment currently at 3.8 percent in the Austin area, the large Texas city frequents ‘best job markets’ lists and ‘best places to find a job’ lists.