Inflation around the world is high and the economic situation in your country is worsening? Or perhaps you are planning to go to the US on a student exchange? Either way, it's useful to know what the cost of living is and how much money you need to fulfill your American dream. In this article, we will try to describe how much basic expenses cost in the states.

Cheapest cost of living in the US - state choice

Although the United States is formally one country, in reality there are huge differences between regions. Necessarily take into account that each region has its own characteristics - the cost of living in states strongly depends on where you live.

A woman putting a coin into a pink pig. This is definitely the first step to saving for life in the US.

Cheapest states:

  1. Mississippi - the cost of living here is 17% lower than the average for the entire country. The cost of renting or buying property is very low, as is the cost of transportation. Unfortunately, Mississippi also has one of the highest poverty rates. This state is considered the worst place to live in the entire US.
  2. Kansas - nearly the lowest cost of living in us. The standard of living is not the highest, but indeed it is better than in Mississippi. It is very easy to get a job there. It's a suggestion worth considering when it comes to choosing a place to move to.
  3. Alabama - is a pretty poor state. In Alabama, real estate and health care are very cheap, although food prices are close to the national average. One in six Alabama residents live in poverty.
  4. Oklahoma - for many years, it has been one of the worst places to live in the country. Housing and transportation are cheap, but all the rest of the goods and services are at similar levels as in wealthier places. As in Alabama and Mississippi, a great number of residents suffer from poverty.
  5. Georgia- like Kansas, Georgia is a fairly friendly place. Most of the population has enough money to buy a new home, the minimum wage is quite high and crime is low. A pleasant place to live for people who love peace and quiet.
  6. Tennessee- The cost of living is 11% lower than the national average. People are not very rich, but their income is usually enough to live decently.
  7. Missouri - nearly the lowest cost of living in us, but many people can afford to indulge themselves. The minimum wage is $11.15 an hour. That's a lot!

Most expensive states:

  1. Hawaii - is a perfect example of how the cost of living in states can vary significantly. Hawaii is the most expensive state to live in the United States, exceeding the average by as much as 93%. This is a result of very expensive real estate, expensive utilities and food. Medical care is quite acceptably priced. However, you shouldn't be surprised-most of the products have to be transported by ship or plane, and there are many rich people relaxing in Hawaii.
  2. New York - If you are looking for a place with the cheapest cost of living in the US, New York will not be a good one. New York City is the most expensive city in the country and one of the most expensive in the entire world. Housing in NY costs 2.3 times more than the national average, a result of Manhattan's absurd housing prices. Only 25% of the state's residents have enough money to buy an apartment.
  3. California - living costs in the state are already somewhat closer to average, but still not low. High fuel prices contribute to very expensive transportation and utilities. Houses and apartments are also costly, as California attracts many economic immigrants who are involved in the creation of high-tech, among other things. Of course, the most expensive places to live are big cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. Despite the huge average incomes, there are plenty of homeless people in California.
  4. Massachusetts - The cost of living is high for several reasons. First, Massachusetts is where Boston is located. This is a large city where renting a 2-bedroom apartment costs more than $4,000 a month! Despite the high cost of living, there are not many people struggling with homelessness. Massachusetts is a very friendly place to live, thanks to its high level of health care and education.
  5. Oregon - the high cost of living in Oregon is a result of expensive real estate and health care, while the rest of the expenses should not be significant. Residents' standard of living is high and most are satisfied with where they live.
  6. Alaska - Alaska is the state with the 6th highest cost of living. Health care and food are very expensive, and due to its high crime rate, poor quality of education, and little opportunity for self-development, Alaska is considered one of the least friendly places in the US.
  7. Maryland - Maryland is a place full of contradictions. Despite very expensive houses and apartments, more than 57% of residents can afford their own property. What's more, health care is among the cheapest in the entire country. Maryland is certainly a place worth considering.

What makes up the cost of living?

The cost of living in states, as in the rest of the world, depends on a few basic expenses. Remember the 50/30/20 rule? Our article focuses on the first group of expenses, those that are essential. As basic costs of living we can mention:

  • Apartment rental: renting a two-bedroom apartment in the U.S. on average costs $1326 per month, but if you are interested in renting a house, the price will rise above $2,000 per month. Of course, in the most expensive states it will be much more, and in the cheapest states you will manage to rent an apartment for less than $800.
  • Food: in the US, on average, you have to expect to spend about $410 a month on food. Of course, if you are cooking for several people, you will manage to save some money, but $410 is a safe amount. In the most expensive states, you need to multiply this amount by 1.5 times
  • Utilities: you have to expect about $180 a month in expenses for utility bills. Surprisingly, the amounts don't vary much from state to state. These are differences of 15-25%
  • Healthcare: health insurance prices can vary significantly. Depending on the state, prices range from $400 to $1,000 per person per month, while family insurance costs between $1,100 and $2,500 per month. Of course, there are also much more expensive plans. Prices in Alaska can be up to twice as high.
  • Transportation: The average American spends $800 a month on transportation, although Hawaii spends more than $1,100 a month.
  • Education: a four-year degree program in the US costs between $10,000 and $30,000 per year, although the amounts can be much higher. Everything depends on the course you choose.

A man uses a calculator, a notebook and a piggy bank for the best living

How to compensate for the high cost of living in the US?

Even the cheapest cost of living in the US can prove to be a tremendous challenge for many immigrants. We sincerely encourage you to read our articles on saving money, but you may need an additional source of money to cope.

The first concept will be holiday jobs. We have already written an article about them, and the information contained therein should work well in American conditions. This is a good way to earn a few hundred or a few thousand dollars for necessary expenses.

Hey, what about Paidwork? It's hard to find a better use for this app than to supplement your household budget! With this platform you can work wherever you want. On the bus, the subway, the bath or the couch. If you don't know how it works, you'll learn everything in this article. It's time to realize your American dream!

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