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20 States Where Your Money Goes the Furthest

Feel like your paycheck isn't going quite as far these days? It might be the state you live in. Calling one of these 20 states your home can help you feel like you have more money in the bank.

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Texas allows residents to live comfortably

Want to live in a state that gives you more bang for your paycheck? According to, El Paso, Texas, residents need just over $40,000 to live comfortably, which is an easy task for most residents, since the median income is just over $42,000. Even in a more expensive city, like Austin, the median salary is $1,991 higher than the expenses it takes to live with all your needs met. Don’t miss these 14 other budget-friendly cities.

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Ohio has low housing costs

With the average home costing $130,900—over $80,000 less than the national average—you can get a lot of square footage for your money. Now might be a good time to invest in popular Ohio towns, as well, since predicts home values will rise 6.3 percent next year, making them the highest they have been in the last decade.

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North Carolina is the best state to start a business

Equipped with low business costs and incentives, Forbes names North Carolina the best place to start a business. North Carolina also has the second smallest union workforce in the United States, resulting in labor costs that are 10 percent below the national average and the fifth lowest in the country.

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Utah has the least amount of student loan debt

With student debt hitting $1.5 trillion in the first quarter of 2018, it might be worthwhile to move to a state with the lowest student debt average. Utah has a student loan debt average of only $19,975. In comparison, New Hampshire, the state with the highest student debt, has an average of $36,367 per student. These towns are so cheap you basically won’t have to work if you live there.

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Hawaii has the lowest home insurance

Believe it or not, Hawaii’s average annual home insurance is $703, which is a bargain compared to Florida’s $6,892 annual home insurance bill. What makes it so cheap when everything else on the islands is expensive? It might have something to do with Hawaii’s balmy weather and lack of destructive winters. The state also pays the least amount in property taxes.

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New Mexico has the cheapest healthcare

New Mexico was ranked the number one most affordable state for healthcare. The state has the lowest monthly premium for a Silver insurance plan and residents can get coverage for an average of $181 a month, as well as a low deductible of $2,000.

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Alabama has low property taxes

The average American spends over $2,000 on annual property taxes, according to Alabama comes in second to Hawaii for the nation’s lowest property taxes. Based on a $185,000 home, the median annual property tax paid by Alabama homeowners is $791.

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Florida really is the best place to retire

Business Insider named Sarasota, FL, as the top place in the nation to retire. Florida ranked well for home affordability and health care costs and had a perfect score for happiness. Your nest egg can go further in Florida because residents do not have to pay personal income taxes. Don’t miss the 15 cheapest towns to retire in.

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Arizona is a Right to Work state

Arizona is one of the 28 states that follows Right to Work laws, meaning employees can decline to join a union. Less employment-related fees mean your paycheck can go further. This impacts state and local government employees, public school teachers, college professors, as well as federal government employees, like individuals in the Postal Service.

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Maine has affordable car insurance

While car insurance prices vary by each driver and their driving record, insurance prices can be determined by a state’s location, the rate of uninsured drivers, and crime statistics. Maine had the cheapest car insurance prices in the nation, with an average annual cost of $889. Compare that with the most expensive state, Louisiana, which costs an average of $2,536 per year.

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Wisconsin has their finances in order

Wisconsin residents have their money woes under control. The state has the seventh highest credit score of any state, as well as the fourth lowest level of credit card debt. Wisconsinites also don’t carry around heavy home loans: The state has the 14th lowest mortgage debt.

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Missouri has cheap rent

With more coastlines than California, Kansas City, Missouri, ranked fourth for the cities with the most affordable rent on’s report. Median rent costs $885 and residents spend only 14.3 percent of their income on that monthly bill. Even if you don’t want to settle in Kansas City, other cities in Missouri will most likely be easy on the wallet. Missouri’s most recent state-wide rent price median sits at a humble $759 according to the U.S. Census.

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Oklahoma has inexpensive transportation

Getting around the Sooner State won’t cost you a lot. Oklahoma is 11.9 percent cheaper for transportation than the rest of the nation. Not only does the state offer affordable transportation by plane, bus, train, taxi, and bike, but some cities also offer a free transit service.

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Kentucky ranked second for the most affordable cost of living

While housing prices are higher than some of the other states listed, common goods, such as groceries cost less. U.S. News shares that the average cost of milk is $1.72 per gallon and a dozen eggs cost $1.43 on average.

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Arkansas has cheaper restaurants

Americans spend almost $2 billion more each year on eating out versus buying groceries. While experimenting in the kitchen more can save you thousands each year, if you do have to eat out, Little Rock, Arkansas, is the place to do so. Tied with Cranston, Rhode Island, the average menu price in these cities runs $8.76.

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Oregon is the best place to buy cars

Oregon is one of the few states that doesn’t collect sales tax. So not only are shopping sprees more fun, but expensive purchases like cars don’t come with that hefty added cost. Even better: The average cost of an affordable car is $23,209—almost $10,000 cheaper than the national average.

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Wyoming gives out degrees for less

If you don’t mind seeing Pistol Pete—University of Wyoming’s mascot—at sporting events, then consider earning your degree in Wyoming. says that Wyoming has the most affordable in-state public university tuition, at just over $5,000. Founded in 1886, the school’s most sought-after degrees are in nursing, psychology, and teaching.

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Tennesse is the cheapest place to raise a family

Paired with a low cost of living, Tennesse has the second-lowest childcare costs in the country. Residents pay an average of $5,857 per year for child care, which is 63 percent less than the national median, according to

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Iowa has a strong workforce

Not only can your paycheck go further in Iowa, but there is a good chance your job will keep the checks coming. Iowa has a 2.9 percent unemployment rate, which is 1 percent below the national average. The state also boasts 67.5 percent in labor force participation.

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Louisiana has affordable utility bills

You won’t have to stress about leaving the light on if you live in Louisiana. This state is one of the top states for cheap utility bills. The average monthly electricity bill is $141, while monthly home heating oil costs an average of two cents. Next, check out 11 affordable U.S. cities to add to your bucket list. 

Ashley Eneriz
Ashley Eneriz is an expert finance writer who has worked with top clients like Discover, SoFi, Credit Sesame, The Hartford and more. Her work has been featured on Time, Business Insider, Forbes, Huffington Post, MSN and more. She has a passion for making personal finance topics relatable to everyone.

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