Frugal living can be a great way to manage and grow your money. No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s helpful to have a budget and stick to it each month. Some cities are better suited than others for keeping your spending in check. The Zebra looked at the 50 most-populated U.S. cities to find out where it’s easiest to live on a budget.
We looked at four separate data points to analyze the budget-friendliness of each city.
- Median home price: With housing prices skyrocketing across the country, we looked at which cities had the lowest median sales price. Data was from Realtor.com’s second quarter of 2021. For reference, the national median sales price for this period was $374,900, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
- Average monthly cost of car insurance: The cost of car insurance also varies dramatically by city. The Zebra’s State of Insurance reveals the average monthly price by city.
- Healthcare cost ranking by state: Data compiled from WalletHub ranks each state for the overall cost of healthcare. The country’s healthcare spending is among the highest in the world, making affordable programs extremely important.
- Online “free stuff” group membership: Social media marketplaces are a convenient place to buy, sell and trade just about anything. There are also plenty of “free stuff” and “buy nothing” groups to avoid heavy spending when you don’t want to. We ranked each city by the membership size of their largest Facebook group.
Why these four data points? We focused on some of the largest line items in most budgets: housing, insurance and healthcare costs while also taking into account “free stuff” that can lower personal spending.