When you’re starting out a professional career, it’s helpful to start in a place with a low cost of living, plenty of affordable real estate, and lots of job opportunities. Here are some of the cheapest cities to start your career.
1. Des Moines, Iowa
This city has just over half a million people, which means there are enough people that there is plenty of suburb and downtown living areas. The salary here tends to be above average, and home prices tend to be some of the lowest in the country, making it ideal for young professionals who want to invest in a home while they’re still starting out. Plus, this city has a lot of tech startups, publishing, and health care jobs for professionals to explore.
2. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The average annual income here is around $70,000 and rent is only around $1000, so even people at the beginning of their careers may be able to buy a home in this area. You can live comfortably here for less than you need in many other places. Groceries, transportation, and other living costs are low and jobs are prevalent in the right fields.
3. Kansas City, Missouri
If you want some of the lowest cost of living in the country, consider this city. The rent here is some of the lowest for a city that still has this number of jobs and this high of an income.
4. Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington offers high salaries, affordable transportation, and cheap rent. Young professionals will be able to find affordable apartments in nice areas, a variety of jobs, and even lots of real estate options when they want to start investing in a home.
5. Phoenix, Arizona
As the city is growing, the cost of living is also increasing. However, it’s still lower than the national average, and the city’s growth means that young professionals can find a job in their field in an area with high salaries.
6. Durham, North Carolina
Durham has experienced a cost of living decrease while still offering a wide variety of jobs. Transportation and groceries are inexpensive here, and the housing market is continually growing.
7. Omaha, Nebraska
This part of Nebraska has lower than average living costs including transportation, groceries, and utilities. The household income is above average, making it the perfect place for a young professional to get a lot of bang for their buck.
8. Bakersfield, California
A lot of California is expensive and the housing market can be difficult in large parts of the state, but Bakersfield has cheaper rent and transportation that most of the rest of the state and a large part of the country.
9. Tampa, Florida
Home values are rising, but it’s still a good time to get in on the real estate market here. Some costs, like groceries, are more expensive here, but other costs are much lower than average.
10. Dallas, Texas
Dallas is one of the places where income is rising and the job market is hot. Monthly utilities, rent, and groceries are lower than average. The variety of industries in the area means that most people will be able to find something that is in their field.