“We definitely spend the most on our house payment,” explained Webb City resident Sherry Noller.
Noller saw a significant drop in housing costs compared to her condo in Florida.
“That was $1,250 a month. And when we moved here, we were able to purchase a house and our monthly house payment was around $700 a month,” Noller added.
While Florida is close to the national average, all of the Four States are significantly less–a difference of more than ten points.
The state of Missouri indexes at 88 versus 100 for the national average, the fourth least expensive in the union.
That number covers everything from utilities and transportation, to food and housing.
And, that low cost of living helps out when it’s time to pay bills.
“So you can make your dollar stretch instead of spending all your money on housing,” explained Ken Surbrugg with the Small Business Development Center. “You can afford steak versus hamburger or going out to a meal versus cooking in and eating Ramen noodles all the time.”
Oklahoma and Arkansas are even slightly less than Missouri’s cost of living.
Kansas comes in 8th on the list, one index point higher.
But they are all much, much more affordable than the other end of the list, with New York and California in the 130’s, and Hawaii more than double the local cost of living.
“What you have to make per hour to have a two bedroom apartment in San Francisco is like $60 per hour,” said Surbrugg.
The report also breaks down by metro area – with Joplin coming in as the lowest cost of living in the state.
To view the full report, click here.