Cities Journal

Low Cost Of Living Equals Bad Area

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Photo credit: Julie70 / Flickr

It is time for you and your spouse to make the big move. There are several locations that you have at the top of your list.

Yet your spouse has been crunching the numbers, figuring out whether the combined income will allow both of you to afford to live in those areas. When she suggests other locations that have a lower cost of living, you are already mounting a defensive by claiming that places with a low cost of living are in bad neighborhoods with high crime.

Misconceptions About Low Cost Of Living Cities

When people associate the words “living” and “low cost” together, they imagine poor people trying to make ends meet as they may commit illegal activities to survive. You imagine poverty-stricken streets with crumbling buildings, lack of basic utilities such as running water, and foreclosed homes that banks can’t sell because of the horrible real estate market in the area.

In actuality, low cost of living does not mean impoverished areas. A low cost of living can signify that the costs to live in that area are lower than the national average. Transportation expenses, consumer goods, utilities and home prices are lower in that region when compared to other towns and cities across the country.

Bad Areas Can Be Found Everywhere

Never assume that because you live in a high cost of living city that there won’t be crime or bad neighborhoods. There can be a large amount of unemployment and people struggling to make a living in every type of standard of living. In addition, people who live in high cost of living areas may be struggling to stretch their paychecks and pay the bills like everyone else.

Places such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco have such a high cost of living that middle class workers are leaving the cities to find more affordable living conditions, leaving behind the wealthy and the poor.

High Employment Wages In Low Cost Of Living Areas

Before you associate low cost of living with unemployment rates, you may be surprised to find out that there are places where the average household income ranges from $52,000 up to almost $70,000 annually yet have the lowest cost of living across the nation.

Top places with a low cost of living include Wichita, KS; South Bend, IN; San Antonio, TX; Springfield, IL; and St. Louis, MO. These cities range from an 8% up to a 12% rate below the national cost of living averages, making them places that have the lowest cost of living in the United States.

Change Your Perception About Low Cost Of Living Locations

If you are looking for a great place to live where you won’t be struggling to pay the bills every month, then consider moving to a low cost of living location. Do your research about what the neighborhood is like and what type of crime is in the area like you would in high cost of living areas. Then choose to live in the place that fits within your financial means.

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