Are you a digital nomad struggling to find an affordable place to stay within the United States? This post includes all of the cheapest cities in the USA, so you can stay here while not breaking the bank.
I’ve been a remote worker and freelancer for a year and I definitely did a deep dive myself on the most affordable places to live in the USA.
I know how important it is to have a lower cost of living when working remotely, especially if you’re a freelance worker and aren’t sure how much you’ll make each month due to fluctuating income.
This post will cover absolutely everything you’ll want to know about the cheapest cities to live in America. From the east coast to the west, this article has it all. Plus, I’m sure you didn’t know about #10!
Here’s my list of the cheapest cities in the USA for digital nomads and remote workers.
1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
First up is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of the cheapest cities in the USA.
This city is located in the western part of the state and has tons of history, so if you’re a history fan, you’ll never run out of things to do here from all the monuments and museums.
Cost of Living in Pittsburgh
The average cost of living in Pittsburgh for a single person is $1,065.10 USD without rent, so living in Pittsburgh is even more affordable if you’re living there with a friend, family member, or significant other.
Rent is a lot cheaper. In fact, according to Nerd Wallet, it’s 60% cheaper than rent in New York, and if you live in Pittsburgh, you can easily visit New York.
The average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre is $1,343 USD but outside of the city centre it’s closer to $951 USD.
A 3-bedroom apartment goes for around $2,080 USD per month and outside of the city centre it’s around $1,547 USD.
Those who live in Pittsburgh find that monthly rent is the most significant addition to their monthly cost of living, making up about 30% of their average spending.
Of course, grocery shopping is also a considerable expense, but the same can be said about most places to live.
Pittsburgh for Digital Nomads
This is one of the most affordable places to live in the USA because it’s a city, but it’s not as big as many other cities in the United States. With a population of 300,000, it’s considered a smaller city yet is still filled with tons of fun things to do.
Pittsburgh has lots of great coworking spaces, cafes, and all-around has an immense love for community. As a remote worker, you’ll easily be able to find other people to meet, connect, and network with while staying in Pittsburgh.
2. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Next is another of the cheapest cities to live in America, Oklahoma City.
It’s the capital city of Oklahoma state and has tons of history and memorials throughout. Plus, there are some great natural attractions in the area, so you’ll have tons of significant landmarks to see.
Cost of Living in Oklahoma City
As one of the cheapest US cities to live in, Oklahoma City has an estimated monthly costs of only $852.30 USD for a single person, not including rent. However, rent is slightly lower than it is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, listed earlier on this post.
On average, monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre of Oklahoma City is around $1,166 USD and closer to $813 USD outside of the city centre.
If you need more space, a 3-bedroom in the city centre is approximately $1,665 USD and outside of the city centre, it’s around $1,162 USD.
Like Pittsburgh, the most significant monthly expenses for someone living in Oklahoma City are shopping for food and monthly rent.
One of the most affordable necessities in Oklahoma City is gas. The state is rated as one of the least expensive places to get gas in all of the USA.
This is one of the cheapest cities in the USA for digital nomads because the cost of living is about 15% below the average in the nation, and it’s the biggest city in Oklahoma.
So, you get more bang for your buck, versus if you were to live somewhere else in the United States.
Oklahoma City for Digital Nomads
Oklahoma City is massive, with around 1.5 million people in the area. As a digital nomad, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with so many other people.
Plus, the state of Oklahoma is a huge advocate for digital nomads and remote workers. In early 2021, the state even offered a stipend to those who moved to a particular location within the state.
☞ SEE ALSO: 15 Best Cities For Digital Nomads This Year
3. Memphis, Tennessee
Another of the cheapest places to live in the USA for remote workers is Memphis, Tennessee. It’s located right along the Mississippi River and is known for its history with Rock ‘n Roll.
Elvis Presley’s world-famous Graceland is found here, as well as the Blues Hall of Fame.
With a population of 651,000, Memphis is a pretty sizeable city. It’s a relatively safe city if you move around Memphis by being aware, but the touristy areas are known for having higher crime rates.
Cost of Living in Memphis
Memphis is one of the cheapest US cities to live in. It’s estimated that the cost of living in Memphis is around $840.02 USD without rent for a single person living in the city.
Rent is about 70% lower than if you were to live in New York, making this an extremely affordable place to live.
An average 1-bedroom cost is $1,025 USD per month in the city centre, versus only $866.92 USD right outside of the city centre.
The most significant expenses here are rent per month and shopping, with eating out at restaurants closely behind.
So, you could bring your cost of living down even more if you opted to eat in for the majority of the time instead of indulging at Memphis’s best restaurants.
Memphis for Digital Nomads
Many coworking spaces can be found throughout the city, and there are tons of outdoor workspaces, which make it great for digital nomads.
If you’re interested, there’s also a coliving place in Memphis which is a great way to keep costs down and meet like-minded people.
4. Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky, is arguably the cheapest place to live in the USA if you want to live in the city as a digital nomad. Located in the south, this city has a population of 600,000 people and is considered one of the best places to live in Kentucky.
Cost of Living in Louisville
For just one person living in Louisville, you can expect to pay $848.84 USD without rent.
Inside the city’s centre, an apartment for rent would cost about $1,065.48 USD, while outside the city centre would cost closer to $846 USD, which is relatively affordable compared to most US cities.
Even purchasing a home in Louisville isn’t as bad as buying a home in another state. The average home cost for purchase in Louisville is around $150,000 USD, so if you love the city enough, you just might be able to stay in the area.
You’re probably wondering what makes Louisville, Kentucky, one of the most affordable places to live in the USA. It’s primarily due to their low utilities, high employment rate, and lower food costs. Plus, health care also is below the national average for cost here too.
Louisville for Digital Nomads
Digital nomads will love living in Louisville. The city hosts tons of events throughout the city for connecting with others, and there are great cafes for working in a place other than your apartment. You’ll find lots of gyms and other fitness centers to help you stay fit.
Plus, there’s an airport in Louisville, meaning you can easily get here from other places in the states.
5. Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City is another of the cheapest places to live in the USA for remote workers. Located in Missouri, this city is right on the border of Kansas.
But, unlike what most tourists think, Kansas City is not located in Kansas… it’s just right next to it.
Cost of Living in Kansas City
If you’re living in Kansas City alone, you’ll find that without rent, your cost of living will be around $887.65 USD per month. Rent for a 1-bedroom right in the city centre is an extra $1,169.27 USD, but if you live outside of the city centre, it’s as low as $802.89 USD on average.
Kansas City is the cheapest place to live in the USA because its low cost of living is about 6% lower than the national average, and housing is relatively affordable for a city of this size.
Kansas City for Digital Nomads
With a population of just under 500,000, it will be easy for you as a digital nomad not to feel alone and mingle with others at one of the many coworking spots in the city.
Plus, Kansas City is known for growing pretty rapidly, so there are sure to be some significant changes in the city in the near future.
This city has a great connection with Jazz. In fact, there are tons of museums and bars so you can learn more about the city’s relationship to it and also enjoy it while sipping on a refreshment.
6. Charlotte, North Carolina
Easily one of the cheapest cities in the USA for digital nomads is Charlotte, North Carolina. So many Americans vacation to North Carolina because it’s in the south with warm weather but is never as busy as the cities in the state of Florida — it’s a great alternative.
Cost of Living in Charlotte
The average monthly costs without rent are around $943.89 USD for a single person in the city. Rent for living in the city centre is an added $1,580.92 USD, but living right outside of the city’s centre is around $1,069.66.
While this may be higher than some of the other cities on this list, it’s still significantly lower than New York (62% lower, in fact).
What makes Charlotte one of the cheapest cities to live in America is that it’s still sort of up and coming. It tends to be a city that is more appreciated by locals, so the city is still fast-growing and has a great job market.
Charlotte for Digital Nomads
Charlotte is one of the biggest city on this list so far, with a population of around 850,000 people.
It’s home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, great museums, and fun outdoor adventures like whitewater rafting right in the area. Plus, the nightlife is excellent because the city is so big.
The city is very welcoming to digital nomads and is even a great place for those who live out of a van. There are also a lot of great coworking spaces worth taking advantage of.
7. Fort Wayne, Indiana
Next is Fort Wayne, Indiana, which has a huge history with art. So, if you’re a fan of arts and culture, you’ll absolutely vibe with the city of Fort Wayne.
This city is not large and only has a population of 265,000, but it’s still pretty up and coming. Compared to other places to live in Indiana, this is a pretty big size for the population.
Cost of Living in Fort Wayne
For those who want to live in an apartment, you’ll find that the average rent cost in the city centre is about $800 USD. However, right outside of the city centre, you can save yourself some money with monthly rent costs of about $600 USD, which is incredibly cheap.
In addition to rent, the average cost of living is an added $857 USD on average, but that’s still a lot lower than many other cities across the United States.
If you’re looking to stay longer, the average home cost in Fort Wayne is only $110,600, which is very affordable for a home price in the United States.
This is especially true if you compare it to homes in New England or anywhere in the northern part of the country.
Fort Wayne for Digital Nomads
Fort Wayne is pretty popular among the younger crowd, remote workers, and digital nomads due to the lower cost of living. The city is also really diverse, and most people who live here own homes instead of living out of an apartment.
There are quite a few different coworking spaces throughout Fort Wayne despite it being a smaller city, so you can easily meet up with other remote workers as a digital nomad.
Plus, there’s a great coffee scene in the city with many different cafe options for working out of your apartment, home, or van.
8. Buffalo, New York
Located near the Canadian border on the eastern end of Lake Erie, you’ll find the city of Buffalo. With history, art, architecture, wine and food at your doorstep, Buffalo is a great place to live.
Cost of Living in Buffalo
Many people want to live in New York City, but without the hefty pricetag. Buffalo is a great alternative city!
The cost of living in Buffalo is 62% lower than New York City (Manhattan), and housing costs are actually 81% lower. The average rent costs in Buffalo are around $850 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
Buffalo for Digital Nomads
Dubbed the “city of good neighbors”, there’s a sense of community here in Buffalo. The city exudes a small-town feel, even though it’s a larger city.
If you’re into sports, you’ll find the fans here to be some of the best! Plus, if you’re a foodie or you like to have a good time, you’ll find endless eateries and bars open at all hours. Restaurant Week is on in Buffalo two times a year!
While Buffalo does receive snow in the winter months, there are 155 sunny days on average in the city.
You’ll find fast wifi speeds and many coworking spaces and cafes in Buffalo. This is a trending city, with numerous things to see and do, you’re sure to meet like-minded remote workers in Buffalo.
9. Omaha, Nebraska
If you’re looking for the cheapest cities in the USA, you’ll also want to consider checking out Omaha, Nebraska. This city has a population of about 500,000 and is right next to Iowa, plus it’s on the Missouri River.
Omaha is most popularly visited because it’s one of the stops along the famous Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. In addition, the city is filled with early American history, so there are lots of museums worth visiting there.
Cost of Living in Omaha
If you’re a single person without rent, the average cost of living in Omaha is just $933 USD. Rent costs change depending on where in the city you are.
In the city centre, a 1-bedroom apartment costs about $931 USD, while a 3-bedroom apartment costs approximately $1,571 USD.
Outside of the city centre, you can expect a 1-bedroom to cost around $769 USD and a 3-bedroom to cost about $1,310 USD.
Prices are incredibly affordable, especially if you end up finding enough roommates to do the 3-bedroom apartment if you can.
If you would rather stay in Omaha for a longer time, you’re in luck because average home prices are around $140,000. The cost of living here is 10% lower than the average in the United States.
Omaha for Digital Nomads
As the biggest city in Nebraska, you’ll never run out of things to do in this Midwestern city. Plus, there are tons of tech companies here, and jobs are always booming in case you have to pick up an in-person job.
Omaha also has a youthful vibe, which can be good for us younger remote workers!
There are quite a few locally-run coworking spaces if you need to work outside of your apartment. Wifi speeds are pretty good depending on where you stay or work, so just be sure to run a speed test before doing any heavy work on your laptop.
10. Salt Lake City, Utah
Last but not least is a place you may not expect to find on this list: Salt Lake City, Utah.
This is the only affordable city in the western part of the United States on this list, so if you’ve wanted to enjoy the beauty of the wild west, this is your chance as a digital nomad.
Cost of Living in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah and also the biggest populated area in the state, with a population of just under 200,000 people.
Similar to Denver, Salt Lake City is seen as a great home base for exploring the great outdoors because it’s right along the mountains.
For a single person living in Salt Lake City, expect to pay around $856 USD per month without rent included. To live in the city centre with one bedroom, rent costs around $1301 USD, while outside of the city centre it’s closer to $984 USD.
If you’ll be in Salt Lake City with more people, then you may want a 3-bedroom.
The average 3-bedroom in the city centre costs $2,074 USD, and out of the city centre costs around $1,519 USD, which is very affordable for a 3-bedroom in the United States.
It’s kind of confusing why Salt Lake City is such an affordable place to live because it’s in a pretty well-off area of Utah and is surrounded by great ski resorts, outdoor activities, and beautiful mountains.
But, the housing costs are very low compared to other cities across the country.
Plus, if you want a safe place to live, you’ll want to consider Salt Lake City. Crime rates in the city are significantly lower than the national average, which is pretty incredible.
Salt Lake City for Digital Nomads
With outdoor adventures and perks of living in a city, Salt Lake City is a good option for remote workers. And actually, the city was recently listed as one of the top 10 metros in the USA for digital nomads.
There is an abundance of coworking spaces in Salt Lake City, even compared to the other places on this list. So, you’ll easily be able to find and connect with other remote workers. Plus, you can stop by a coffee shop or library for another place to work.
While cost of living isn’t everything when it comes to choosing your next remote working destination, it’s always nice to spend a little less and save a bit more.
With a mix of culture, food, nature and city life, I hope these 10 cities gave you some inspiration for your next location. With pricing like this, you could consider hopping around from city to city to try them all out.