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35 Surprising Cities With Low Costs of Living

·4 min read
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you're struggling to make ends meet, it might have something to do with where you live. It can be tough to stretch even a big paycheck far enough to pay for necessities and have money left over for savings -- and a little fun -- if you're in a place where the cost of living is high. So, it might be time to move to a place that's more affordable.

Related: 50 Cheapest Places To Retire Across America
Read: 27 Genius Things Retirees Should Do With Their Money Now

In order to help you pinpoint the cheapest places to live, GOBankingRates compared living expenses in 150 of the largest U.S. cities to find out where you can live comfortably. The 50/30/20 budgeting rule was used as a guideline, in which 50% of income covers necessities, 30% covers discretionary items and 20% is for savings. For necessities, the cost of rent, groceries, utilities, transportation and healthcare were used. Then, GOBankingRates doubled the cost of necessities to get the total income needed.

Keep reading to see how much money you need to live comfortably in these U.S. cities.

Last updated: Aug. 4, 2021

Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

35. Baltimore

  • Total annual cost of living: $26,502.54

  • Annual income needed: $53,005.07

See: The 50 Best Cities for Renters

traveler1116 / iStock.com
traveler1116 / iStock.com

34. Huntsville, Alabama

  • Total annual cost of living: $26,385.81

  • Annual income needed: $52,771.62

Check Out: Almost Every State Is In Debt Thanks To COVID -- What Now?

Tory Garcia / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Tory Garcia / Getty Images/iStockphoto

33. Kansas City, Missouri

  • Total annual cost of living: $26,168.67

  • Annual income needed: $52,337.33

Do Your Research: What Homes Will Be Worth in Your State by the End of 2021

Not Home / Wikimedia Commons
Not Home / Wikimedia Commons

32. Laredo, Texas

  • Total annual cost of living: $26,041.71

  • Annual income needed: $52,083.42

SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

31. Chattanooga, Tennessee

  • Total annual cost of living: $26,037.48

  • Annual income needed: $52,074.97

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

30. Milwaukee

  • Total annual cost of living: $25,977.35

  • Annual income needed: $51,954.70

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

29. Greensboro, North Carolina

  • Total annual cost of living: $25,927.14

  • Annual income needed: $51,854.28

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

28. Corpus Christi, Texas

  • Total annual cost of living: $25,800.21

  • Annual income needed: $51,600.42

dreamyguy1 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
dreamyguy1 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

27. Cincinnati

  • Total annual cost of living: $25,758.50

  • Annual income needed: $51,517

benkrut / Getty Images/iStockphoto
benkrut / Getty Images/iStockphoto

26. Des Moines, Iowa

  • Total annual cost of living: $25,635.13

  • Annual income needed: $51,270.26

Find Out: These Are the 50 Best Cities for Gen Z To Live Well on a Budget

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

25. Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Total annual cost of living: $25,217.09

  • Annual income needed: $50,434.18

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

24. Wichita, Kansas

  • Total annual cost of living: $25,200.71

  • Annual income needed: $50,401.42

f11photo / Getty Images/iStockphoto
f11photo / Getty Images/iStockphoto

23. Indianapolis

  • Total annual cost of living: $25,112.34

  • Annual income needed: $50,224.67

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

22. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

  • Total annual cost of living: $25,034.16

  • Annual income needed: $50,068.31

SeanPavonePhoto / iStock.com
SeanPavonePhoto / iStock.com

21. Mobile, Alabama

  • Total annual cost of living: $24,981.49

  • Annual income needed: $49,962.98

dlewis33 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
dlewis33 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

20. Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Total annual cost of living: $24,958.48

  • Annual income needed: $49,916.95

espiegle / Getty Images/iStockphoto
espiegle / Getty Images/iStockphoto

19. Detroit

  • Total annual cost of living: $24,903.13

  • Annual income needed: $49,806.26

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

18. Amarillo, Texas

  • Total annual cost of living: $24,839.61

  • Annual income needed: $49,679.21

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

17. Augusta-Richmond, Georgia

  • Total annual cost of living: $24,778.75

  • Annual income needed: $49,557.49

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

16. El Paso, Texas

  • Total annual cost of living: $24,715.64

  • Annual income needed: $49,431.28

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

15. Lubbock, Texas

  • Total annual cost of living: $24,592.25

  • Annual income needed: $49,184.51

See: The Most Expensive Countries To Live In

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

14. St. Louis

  • Total annual cost of living: $24,495.14

  • Annual income needed: $48,990.28

ChrisBoswell / Getty Images/iStockphoto
ChrisBoswell / Getty Images/iStockphoto

13. Fayetteville, North Carolina

  • Total annual cost of living: $24,246.71

  • Annual income needed: $48,493.43

Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

12. Buffalo, New York

  • Total annual cost of living: $24,163.60

  • Annual income needed: $48,327.20

ChrisBoswell / Getty Images/iStockphoto
ChrisBoswell / Getty Images/iStockphoto

11. Fort Wayne, Indiana

  • Total annual cost of living: $23,717.29

  • Annual income needed: $47,434.58

See: Cheapest Places To Buy a Home in Every State

Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

10. Memphis, Tennessee

  • Total annual cost of living: $23,131.05

  • Annual income needed: $46,262.09

Shutterstock.com
Shutterstock.com

9. Shreveport, Louisiana

  • Total annual cost of living: $23,126.13

  • Annual income needed: $46,252.26

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

8. Montgomery, Alabama

  • Total annual cost of living: $22,936.20

  • Annual income needed: $45,872.40

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

7. Columbus, Georgia

  • Total annual cost of living: $22,594.26

  • Annual income needed: $45,188.52

61242142 / Shutterstock.com
61242142 / Shutterstock.com

6. Rochester, New York

  • Total annual cost of living: $22,577.04

  • Annual income needed: $45,154.08

SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

5. Birmingham, Alabama

  • Total annual cost of living: $22,049.47

  • Annual income needed: $44,098.95

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

4. Brownsville, Texas

  • Total annual cost of living: $21,835.35

  • Annual income needed: $43,670.70

Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

3. Toledo, Ohio

  • Total annual cost of living: $20,928.10

  • Annual income needed: $41,856.20

benkrut / Getty Images/iStockphoto
benkrut / Getty Images/iStockphoto

2. Akron, Ohio

  • Total annual cost of living: $20,381.18

  • Annual income needed: $40,762.35

ChrisBoswell / Getty Images/iStockphoto
ChrisBoswell / Getty Images/iStockphoto

1. Cleveland

  • Total annual cost of living: $20,323.36

  • Annual income needed: $40,646.72

More From GOBankingRates

Cameron Huddleston and Sydney Champion contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: To find 35 cities with low costs of living, GoBankingRates analyzed the 150 largest cities in the United States by population, according to the Census Bureau's 2018 American Community Survey. First, GOBankingRates referenced the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2019 Consumer Expenditure Survey data to find the amount that a typical consumer unit spends annually on necessities across the following five categories: housing, groceries, utilities, healthcare and transportation. Then, GOBankingRates used Sperling's Best Places' cost-of-living indices to adjust spending estimates in each category to reflect prices in each city. Finally, GOBankingRates doubled the estimated total annual cost of necessities in each city to create an estimated minimum income needed to live comfortably, using the 50/30/20 budgeting rule (which allocates 50% of income to necessities, 30% to discretionary spending and 20% to savings) as a guideline. Cities were then ranked on the estimated minimum income needed to live comfortably, with No. 1 being the city with the overall lowest cost of living. All data was collected on and up to date as of Nov. 20-23, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 35 Surprising Cities With Low Costs of Living