When it comes to housing, transportation, health care, and groceries, your money will stretch a lot further in Tennessee than it will in most states. According to thebalancesmb.com, Tennessee ranks as one of the ten most affordable states in the country. Sure, you'll find some places that eat up your money faster than you can make it, but you'll also find no shortage of places where even the tiniest of budgets will see you living like royalty. To help you figure out the one from the other, check out our round up of the 10 cheapest places to live in Tennessee.
According to CBS, Memphis doesn't just rank as one of the cheapest places to live in Tennessee, it's one of the cheapest places to live in the entire US. The average property price is just a fraction over $180,000, while a rental property can be had for as little as $726 per month. Food costs are a little higher than they are in some of the state's other hubs, but thanks to the low property prices, affordable transportation, and very reasonable entertainment costs, the overall cost of living is a significant 14.3% lower than the US average.
The median household income in the small town of Bolivar might be relatively low at $35,442, but considering how little you'll be paying in rental costs, mortgage payments, and groceries, you won't find yourself short of cash come the end of the month. And given its proximity to the bright lights of Memphis, you won't find yourself short on places to spend it, either.
For cost of living, property prices, and a great standard of life, little Loudon is hard to fault. Surrounded by gorgeous countryside and with a charming historic downtown, it's an attractive place to life - and a supremely cheap one, to boot. Expect to bag a house for around 40% less than you'd pay in most cities in the US, and have plenty left in your pocket after your weekly shopping trip. Overall, the cost of living is 21% lower than the national average.
If you want your money to go further, you might want to consider a move to Covington. A property can be snapped up for the bargain-basement price of just $98,000 (or $651 per month if you prefer to rent), while utilities, food, gas, public transport, entertainment, and health care will all cost you significantly less than in other parts of the US (or, indeed, other parts of Tennessee). When even a haircut costs you 17.1% less than the national average, you know you're onto a good thing.
If you want to get a decently sized family home for just over half the price you'd be able to get one in most other US cities, you might want to consider packing up and heading to Lexington. As one of listwithclever.com's top 5 most affordable places to live in Tennessee, it's ideal for people with big dreams and small budgets. Despite the average property price climbing by around 4.3% in the last year, you should still be able to pick up a new home for just $98,900 - a whopping $90,000 less than the national average. Rental apartments are similarly affordable, while the cost of living isn't exactly going to tax your wallet either.
With the overall cost of living a whopping 24% less than it is in other parts of the US, Harriman is clearly a very attractive option for people on a budget. The cost of groceries, transportation, health care, and entertainment are all low enough, but it's in affordable housing options that the city really shines. While a family home will cost you $184,700 in most parts of the US, in Harriman, it'll cost you just $79,000 - a massive 57% less. Rental properties aren't quite so cheap, but at just $640 per month for an apartment (compared to a national average of $949), it's still a budgeter's dream.
With its population of 1,726 and median property price of $64,400, Graysville is a small town with small prices. With a median household income of $40,428, most families are drawing just under $15000 less than those in other parts of the US - but when the cost of living is as small as it is in this little corner of Rhea County, their spending power is just as great. If you're a first-time property buyer looking to get the maximum amount of bang for your buck, you'll find few places in the Chattanooga Area that are quite so affordable.
Located right in the very heart of Tennessee is the city of Lewisburg. Ranked by Home Snacks as one of the most affordable places to live in the state, it's a small city of 11,638 residents that offers some of the smallest property prices for miles around. If you fancy bagging a good sized, three-bedroom home, expect to spend no more than around $90,200 (which, just to put into perspective, is around half the price you'd pay in most cities around the US). The median income is a fraction below the national average at $40,736, but considering your weekly grocery shop will cost you little more than peanuts, you're unlikely to feel the effects of the lower income on your wallet.
2. La Follette
Area Vibes considers La Follette one of the cheapest places to live in all of Tennessee. It's not hard to work out why. The cost of housing is a massive 60% lower than the US average (expect to snag a three-bedroom family home for around $64,000 or a rental property for around $480), while the overall cost of living is a very appealing 27% lower than the national average (and 17% lower than the Tennessee average). In fact, the only thing you might spend a little more on than you would elsewhere is a beer, with the average ale costing $9.69 compared to an average of $9.23.
If you're on shoestring budget, there's one place in Texas in particular that you need to know about - Rockwood. Your money will stretch to infinity and beyond in this little town. The income to rent ratio is very reasonable; the home price to income ratio is even better. And that's to say nothing of the low cost of transportation, food, and entertainment. Despite the supremely low costs, the standard of living is sky high - so high in fact, that's it earned the affectionate moniker of 'The Place to be in Tennessee' among its residents. If you want to keep your savings intact without sacrificing your living standards, Rockwood is clearly a great place to head.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson