4 Reasons Life in the Midwest is Cheaper than You Might Think

Most people in the US – two-thirds, to be specific – are concerned about their personal finances. While the reasons are complex and very real, there are still ways to control the cost of living, depending on where you are. Someone considering a relocation to this next of the woods might even be pleasantly surprised. Living in low-rent housing near public transportation and good public schools can take away the pinch of inflated prices.

You can at least take heart in the fact that things could be worse. In New York City, the average studio costs $3,253! In contrast, that vast space in the middle of the country has few big cities and lots of opportunities for creating a decent, economical life for you and your family.

1. Many Cost-of-Living Prices Are Lower in Illinois and Other States

Many factors determine the cost of things one needs to survive and thrive – from car care to child care to prices at the nearest gas station. So you’ll need to do some homework to determine the cost of living in any specific neighborhood, apartment building or home.

That said, the numbers in a given area do tell a story when you add them up. Take Illinois, for example. According to Rentcafe, the cost of living in Illinois is 6% less than the national average. Not bad! Here are some other cost comparisons the website highlights as a reason moving to the Land of Lincoln may be worth it – as compared to the national average:

  • Housing is 14% lower
  • Utilities are 4% lower
  • Entertainment and grooming services are 4% lower
  • Groceries run about 4% less
  • Clothing also costs 4% less

2. Relaxed Lifestyles and Open Space Can Save You Money

If there’s one we have here in the Midwest, it’s space. All that prairie, farmland and rolling hills has a financial upside. Generally speaking, there is less heavy traffic than on the coasts. More relaxed lifestyles can translate to less pressure to shop for things you don’t really need. Sure, there are always ways to spend – and possibly waste – your hard-earned dollars no matter where you live. But a place with a more casual culture will provide endless opportunities to walk, hike, bike, and chill at your neighbor’s barbeque.

A stressful lifestyle can have unintended and costly consequences. We Midwesterners are known for being open, friendly, and not in a constant hurry. You can find high-pressure careers in Indiana and Minnesota, but you can also encounter an easier-going population that likes to kick back and enjoy the simple things in life. And the folks here don’t necessarily feel they have to spend their every dime doing it.

3. Many Towns & Cities Have More Availability, Perks for Renters

You’ll have to do a bit of homework, but there are many places throughout the Midwest that are good for renters.

With its low-cost apartments, Wichita, Kansas ranks as the country’s top city for renters. One reason is that denser cities are going to have less space and therefore fewer unoccupied homes and apartments available for rent. More availability can translate to more apartment perks, as well.

4. Vacationing Can Be Cheap, Too

One of the best perks of Midwestern life is all of the beautiful scenery that is relatively inexpensive to explore. No matter where you settle down, take advantage of the many ways to vacation on a limited budget. These travel tips will help you spend within your means:

  1. Prepare your trip in advance.
  2. Negotiate a better hotel price.
  3. Use a travel budgeting app.
  4. Find little ways to save money on the road.

Keep Spending Under Control through Local Currency Exchange Services

No matter where you may be headed, keep in mind that prices can vary a lot within the same state. Living in a city like Chicago will generally cost more than in a small rural town. Bottom line: there’s something for everyone! Once you’re here, stop by any CCEA to:

  • Cash your checks
  • Pay your bills
  • Take care of auto needs
  • Ask about prepaid debit cards to avoid overspending in your new neighborhood

There are countless reasons life is good in the Midwest. Your nearby Community Currency Exchange (CCEA) can provide information and services on transportation, auto needs and financial advice for anyone who walks in the door. Stop by your nearest location to find out how we can simplify your life today.

A small boat sailing in the distance.

With over 350 locations, many open nights, weekends, and holidays (and several stores with 24/7 availability), you can rest easy knowing your financial needs can be taken care of when you need them most. We’re in the heart of every community. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.