Cheapest Places to Live
If you are of the belief that things are tough all over, as the old saying goes, then you probably have an interest in the cheapest places to live, not just in the United States but all over the world. A variety of factors can play a part in just where that is, and what's good for you may not be good for someone else. The important thing to remember is that spending behaviors are the number one factor in living cheaply. You could choose a third world country where wages are $2 per day, and it still wouldn't be among the cheapest places to live if you don't maintain reasonable spending habits. With that in mind, these places do their part in assuring a healthier bottom line:
If the good old U-S-of-A is where you plan on staying, get ready for a huge difference in cost of living from one part of the country to another. If low cost of living is your primary goal, then you will want to stay in states such as Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Nebraska. A 2009 study from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center had these as the top five from cheapest to most expensive, though most recent data indicates slight adjustments. To put it in perspective, if you live in Los Angeles, California, and make $50,000 per year, here is what you could reduce your salary to and still maintain the same lifestyle:
• Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – $28,774
• Omaha, Nebraska – $29,640
• Nashville, Tennessee – $31,060
• Little Rock, Arkansas – $32,237
• Dallas, Texas – $33,553
In particular, Cairo is one of the cheapest places to live that you can find. While the idea of living in this area may not be immediately appealing, keep in mind that it is not all sandstorms and pyramids. The Cairo area offers all of the same amenities that you can get in the United States, and a luxurious two-bedroom apartment there will only cost you around $500. According to Frugal Zeitgeist, that will get you a building with a doorman on a nice side of town. Internet and utilities run around $70. Stock up your fridge for around $50, and take the metro for 25 cents a ride. All total, you're looking at a pretty nice lifestyle for around $700 per month. If you make your living telecommuting, that's a dream come true!
Cairo and the United States have nothing on this region. Thailand is without question one of the cheapest places to live in the world on account of its affordable accommodations—a fully furnished one bedroom runs you about $100 per month. Electricity can go anywhere from $30 per month on the low end to $125 per month on the high. Internet runs about $30-60 per month depending on speed. A Big Mac costs about $1.85. A group of four can typically eat for $15-20. At these prices, a single person could live in Thailand for under $500 per month. That's running the air conditioner 24/7, grabbing the fastest Internet available, and eating three or more Big Macs a day, every day of the month!
Ultimately, it's up to you how much you spend, and how you choose to live. Don't get discouraged if one region is a little more expensive than you had hoped. By monitoring your spending habits, knowing the amount that it takes for you to survive, and working in a career that is conducive to your talents and abilities, you can live virtually anywhere and have the life you've always dreamed of.