The cost of living has been rapidly increasing in metropolitan areas on both coasts. Inflated housing costs, coupled with the fact that income growth has been essentially flat in the United States since 2008, have made some major cities too expensive for many Americans. The excitement of urban living does not need to come at the expense of your bank account. Cities such as Oklahoma City, Okla.; Columbus, Ohio; and San Antonio, Texas give residents the all the benefits of living in the city without the price tag.

 

Oklahoma’s capital is an up-and-coming metropolitan area that boasts cheap housing costs, low unemployment, and a strong economy. The average cost of a one bedroom apartment in Oklahoma City is only $640 a month with the average for a two bedroom apartment coming in at $842. On average, residents of the city use just 12.3 percent of their income on rent. Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy (both Fortune 500 companies), and Oklahoma State University all call Oklahoma City home and provide consistent demand for employees.

 

San Antonio just might be one of the most overlooked cities in the United States. Dallas, Houston, and Austin draw much of the attention when people think of Texas cities, but San Antonio is actually the second largest city in the lone star state. The average one bedroom apartment in San Antonio is just $847 a month. The job housing prices and the fact that Texas has no state income tax make San Antonio a cheap metropolitan option.

 

Columbus Ohio skyline

Columbus Skyline 2013 (columbusoh.about.com)

The capital of the Buckeye state is home to cheap housing and boasts tons of entertainment, most of which  centers around campus of The Ohio State University. The average cost of a one bedroom apartment in Columbus is just $767 a month. Columbus has below-average costs on health care and groceries, in fact a gallon of milk in Ohio’s capital costs 18.6 percent less than the national average.

 

What are your motivating factors for looking to settle in a city? Is affordability the most important thing? Sound off, or find me on Twitter @Andrew_Morse4