Author: Maurie Backman | May 17, 2019
Save your money
Housing is the typical American’s largest monthly expense, so keeping it on the low side can free up money for other important purposes, like savings and obligatory bills. Finding an affordable place to live, however, is easier said than done if you’re looking to reside in a city. Often, you’ll pay a premium for conveniences like public transportation, walkable shops and restaurants, and access to other amenities. The good news, however, is that there are plenty of low-cost cities to rent in throughout the country. Here are a bunch where it’s possible to keep your monthly rent payment to $750 or below, courtesy of GOBankingRates.
1. Gainesville, Florida (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $750)
Often associated with being a college town, Gainesville has a lot to offer students, recent graduates, and families alike. Education-based jobs are common in Gainesville, and with no state income tax, your earnings will go further. Gainesville is also one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country.
2. Memphis, Tennessee (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $750)
Home to a few notable Fortune 500 companies, Memphis offers decent opportunities for employment. And with housing being fairly cheap, it’s a good place to stretch your income while still having access to great culture, food, and entertainment. The fact that there’s no state income tax on wages makes life in Memphis even more affordable.
3. Albuquerque, New Mexico (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $750)
A mere $750 in rent in Albuquerque isn’t bad given all that that buys you -- a rich culture and a host of child-friendly attractions. In fact, Albuquerque is a good place to live for families, outdoorsy types, and those wanting the convenience of a city without having to spend a fortune on housing.
4. Knoxville, Tennessee (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $750)
Downtown Knoxville is loaded with interesting shops, making it an appealing place to live for younger workers and families alike. And with access to Great Smoky Mountains National Park roughly 90 minutes away, it offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy an urban and outdoor lifestyle simultaneously. And since there’s no state income tax, you’ll get to keep more of your wages.
5. Roanoke, Virginia (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $735)
Roanoke isn't just an affordable place to live; it's a city where employment is abundant. Last year, in fact, Roanoke was rated as having one of the best metro job markets in the country, and with rent on the low side, it’s a good place to call home when you’re first starting out career-wise and perhaps aren’t yet earning the big bucks. Access to the Blue Ridge Mountains is an added perk for outdoorsy folks.
6. Pensacola, Florida (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $713)
A lot of the jobs in Pensacola are military in nature, given that it's home to a major base for navy, marine, air force, and coast guard personnel. Still, you don't need to work for the military to find a job in Pensacola; you can instead seek out a job with one of the many defense contractors in the area. And you can bet that your earnings will go far, since there's no state income tax to worry about.
7. Fresno, California (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $705)
Though California is generally considered to be one of the more expensive states in the country to live in, it’s fairly cheap to rent a home in Fresno. The job market in Fresno is decent, with plenty of agricultural opportunities, though you should be aware that the cost of living in the area is rising fairly quickly. Therefore, if you’re looking to rent there, you may want to sign a lease sooner rather than later.
8. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $700)
A fairly strong job market and low housing prices make Oklahoma City an appealing place to live. If you choose to rent there, which you can do affordably, you'll have access to plenty of walkable neighborhoods and bike-share programs for easy transit.
9. Little Rock, Arkansas (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $695)
Known as the home of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Arkansas' capital is an exciting place to live from a cultural perspective. The city is home to many unique attractions, not to mention excellent dining establishments. And the nearby Ozark Mountains make it a great spot for nature lovers.
10. Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $695)
Sioux Falls is home to a number of larger financial companies, making it a decent place to find a job. The city also offers plenty of shopping and dining opportunities, and its Empire Mall is a major retail hub in the area. Not only can you rent a one-bedroom apartment for under $700, but your earnings will go further in Sioux Falls, since South Dakota doesn’t impose a state income tax.
11. Greensboro, North Carolina (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $692)
Home to arts, recreation, and plenty of shopping, Greensboro, North Carolina is a good place to call home. And with a downtown in the process of being revitalized, you have a solid opportunity to snag some cheap rent before prices start climbing.
12. Fayetteville, North Carolina (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $650)
Though most cities in North Carolina have reasonably strong job markets, Fayetteville was ranked as the worst city in the country for finding a job this year. If you're going to move there, you may want to proceed with caution -- cheap rent will only get you so far if you can't find work.
13. Wichita, Kansas (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $650)
Home to several universities, education jobs are abundant in Wichita, as are employment opportunities in the aviation industry. And though farms are abundant in Wichita, it still offers a taste of city life in the form of art museums and unique eateries.
14. Tucson, Arizona (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $639)
Known for its glorious scenery, Tucson is an appealing place to live if you're looking to score rent on the cheap. And while salaries in Tucson are lower than the national average, the cost of living is low enough to compensate.
15. Lubbock, Texas (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $626)
Lubbock offers the benefits of a large city, but with a small city vibe. With new restaurants and retailers popping up left and right, it's a good up and coming urban spot, with relatively low rents that reflect that status. It's also known as one of the cities with the shortest commutes in the country.
16. Detroit, Michigan (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $615)
There's a reason Detroit is known as the Motor City -- the auto industry pretty much dominates the job market there. And while rents in the city are fairly low, you might consider leasing an apartment temporarily and then buying a place of your own, since home prices are extremely competitive these days.
17. Shreveport, Louisiana (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $610)
With a local U.S. air force base and numerous manufacturers, job opportunities in Shreveport do exist. Still, you should know that last year, the city was ranked as the worst place to find work, which means that despite the cheap rent, you might still struggle financially.
18. Mobile, Alabama (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $597)
The cost of living is low in Alabama on a whole, and Mobile is no exception. Though education and healthcare anchor its job market, there are plenty of manufacturing companies that offer work opportunities as well. The city is also a great place for sports enthusiasts and outdoorsy types.
19. El Paso, Texas (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $590)
Located on the border of the U.S. and Mexico, El Paso's job market is heavily focused on the healthcare and education sectors, as well as government opportunities. The city is also home to a number of cultural festivals and participatory sporting events, making it an appealing place for young workers and families.
20. Tulsa, Oklahoma (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $585)
With the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment coming in over $100 cheaper than in Oklahoma City, Tulsa is a thriving metro area worth considering. The oil industry dominates in Tulsa, though there are plenty of jobs available in healthcare, manufacturing, and aerospace industries.
21. Akron, Ohio (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $550)
Akron may not have the most thriving job market -- but if you can find work there, you can score a home on the cheap. The cost of renting there is much lower than in most of Ohio’s well-known cities. Just keep in mind that winters in Akron aren't for the faint of heart.
22. Topeka, Kansas (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $550)
You can easily spend $100 less on a one-bedroom apartment in Topeka than you’ll spend in Wichita, but there may be a reason for that. With crime rates on the rise, families should think twice before calling Topeka home. In fact, last year, Topeka was rated the most violent city in Kansas.
23. Rockford, Illinois (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $550)
Though private sector jobs have been abundant in Illinois in recent years, Rockford has one of the worst job markets in the state. The city's unemployment rate is well above the national average, and salaries are below-average. If you can find work in Rockford, you’ll snag a rental on the cheap -- but that may be a very big “if.”
24. Fort Wayne, Indiana (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $525)
With an unemployment rate below the national average, Fort Wayne offers a host of job opportunities in manufacturing, the auto industry, and defense. Home to a thriving arts scene, it's a great place for young workers to enjoy the perks of a small city on a budget.
25. Springfield, Missouri (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $525)
Jobs abound in Springfield, particularly in manufacturing, education, healthcare, transportation, and financial services. The city also offers plenty of entertainment, dining, and nightlife. Throw in a great parks and trail system, and it's a prime spot for those who enjoy the outdoor life, too.
26. Amarillo, Texas (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $500)
Smack in the middle of the Texas Panhandle, Amarillo has a relatively low unemployment rate despite its somewhat stagnant job market. The fact that housing is fairly cheap is a draw for some folks, coupled with the fact that Texas doesn't impose a state income tax on wages.
27. Evansville, Indiana (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $495)
Evansville is one of only three U.S. cities where the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment comes in at under $500 a month. The city sports a relatively low unemployment rate and decent job growth, though salaries fall below the national average, due in part to Evansville's relatively low cost of living.
28. Killeen, Texas (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $483)
Home to military base Fort Hood, more than 30,000 Killeen residents are members of the armed forced. Jobs are abundant in the healthcare and education fields, too, though Killeen is very much known as a military town, albeit a family-friendly one.
29. Toledo, Ohio (Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $475)
If you’re looking to live in a city where rent is cheap, Toledo
might top your list, as it boasts the lowest median rent for a one-bedroom
apartment in the country. And while it may not offer the same array of cultural
and dining experiences as other Ohio cities like Columbus, Cleveland, and
Cincinnati, it has a bustling downtown and plenty of attractions for families
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