Living on a budget is a balancing act that isn’t just about how much money you make. You also need to consider what you spend and what you require – are you living in a place that suits your means and needs.
Where do you stand financially?
U.S. Income and Housing Costs:
• The median household income is $52k
• The median home listing is $214k
• The median monthly rent is $1,369
What’s the need-to-know number?
The Cost of Living Index is a measure of what we pay for goods and services as compared to the national average. The Council for Community and Economic Research considers the price of everything – from food to housing – with each category weighted in proportion to a typical household’s expenditures, which break down as follows:
• Transportation = 12%
• Groceries = 13%
• Housing = 29%
• Utilities = 10%
• Health = 4%
• MISC = 32%
What are the most affordable cities?
If your town’s Cost of Living Index is less then 100%, you’re paying less for goods and services then most people. Here are the five lowest scoring cities (minimum 100,000 population) in five regions.
• Pueblo, CO = 85.1
• Boise, ID = 91.4
• Colorado Springs, CO = 93.6
• Spokane, WA = 93.9
• Vancouver, WA = 94.8
• McAllen , TX = 80.1
• Norman, OK = 82.3
• Amarillo, TX = 85.7
• San Antonio, TX = 86.8
• Lubbock, TX = 88.3
• South Bend, IN = 86.5
• Fort Wayne, IN = 87.0
• Springfield, MO = 87.6
• Topeka, KS = 88.1
• Buffalo, NY = 95.1
• Rochester, NY = 97.9
• Pittsburgh, PA = 100.1
• Baltimore, MD = 112.0
• Manchester, NH = 117.2
• Jackson, MS = 83.3
• Memphis, TN = 84.9
• Knoxville, TN = 86.0
• Durham, NC =87.4
• Augusta, GA = 89.3
Aren’t some things worth paying for?
Bear in mind it’s not all about dollars and cents. Consider your interests and lifestyle, and decide whether you can afford a city that caters to them.
The best cities for:
> Foodies (from Travel & Leisure)
• Kansas City
> Fitness (from the American College of Sports Medicine)
• Washington, DC
• Minneapolis/St. Paul
• San Diego
> Family (from Parenting Magazine)
• Colorado Springs
Where do I get to keep more of what I earn?
Seven states that don’t collect state income tax:
• South Dakota
That doesn’t mean they don’t collect any tax – they just do it in other ways, such as sales tax or taxes on, specific industries.
What’s the most affordable state?
Where affordable living is a way of life!
Of the 11 largest cities in America, only five of them have a lower-than-average Cost of Living Index, and four of those are in Texas: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin
Homeowners and Renters Insurance
Whether you’re buying a house in your new, affordable town or renting a pad, you’ll want to protect your space from the unexpected. From theft to natural disasters, Nationwide can provide coverage that will suit your needs and budget.
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Find a local Nationwide Agent today: nationwideTX.com.
Council for Community and Economic Research’s 2015 Cost of Living Index, http://www.C2er.org