Many factors go into the cost of living in various states, including housing prices, state taxes, insurance costs and even the price of fuel. Monthly household bills also play a large role in a region’s cost of living. Digital bill paying service doxo recently reported that the average U.S. household spends 36% of its income on bills.
The company recently put together the 2022 United States of Bill Pay Report, which evaluated the average prices for bills across all 50 states to find the most and least expensive states in which to pay bills.
Doxo looked at bills in 10 common categories:
- Auto loans
- Auto insurance
- Health insurance
- Mobile phone service
- Alarm and security
- Life insurance
If you’re planning a move in the near future, perhaps because you have the option of continuing to work remotely, consider these statistics if you’re seeking a place with a lower cost of living.
Most Expensive States for Paying Bills
These five states are the most expensive to live in, as far as household bills go — and they’re probably not all that surprising.
Because the state has to import virtually everything across water, Hawaii is listed as one of the most expensive states to pay bills. The cost of bills in Hawaii totals an average of $2,911 per month, 45% higher than the national average, doxo reports.
The average mortgage in Hawaii is $2,137, doxo reports. Real estate prices are so high because it’s such a desirable place to live. Who wouldn’t want to live in a tropical paradise if they could afford it?
One way to reduce costs in Hawaii is to opt for solar energy, as the sun shines 8% more in the state than in other places across the U.S., according to the website RealHawaii.co. By opting for solar panels on your Hawaii home, you may be able to shave some money off your utility bill, which could run as high as $550 if you’re an average Hawaiian household, according to the doxo study.
California, especially Silicon Valley and other areas of northern California, is virtually renowned for high real estate prices. Of the 10 most expensive cities based on real estate prices, four are located in California, Rocket Mortgage reports. Similarly, the doxo study found that mortgages in California averaged $2,234, nearly $1,000 more than the national average of $1,368.
Overall, Californians pay 32% more than the national average for their bills.
Of the top 10 most expensive states to pay bills, five of them are located in the Northeast, including Massachusetts (No. 4), Connecticut (No. 6) and New York (No. 7). But New Jersey has the distinction of the third-most expensive place to pay bills across the U.S., with household bills totaling an average of $2,610 monthly, representing 36% of an average household’s income.
Why is it so pricey? The state’s proximity to Manhattan makes it a desirable home for commuters, driving mortgage prices up to an average of $2,244 and rents to $1,380. Cable and internet services run an average of $122, which is higher than the U.S. average of $114, while utilities and various types of insurance also cost substantially more than the countrywide average.
The cost of bills in Massachusetts exceeds the national average by 25%. Where Massachusetts residents really suffer is when it comes to housing. The average Massachusetts mortgage runs $2,065, while rent costs an average of $1,372.
And although Boston ranks seventh on the Rocket Mortgage list of most expensive places to live based on real estate, it’s not the most expensive city in Massachusetts based on other bills. That distinction goes to Hingham, where household bills run an average of $3,719 compared to $2,963 in Boston.
As far as real estate goes, Maryland is only slightly pricier than the national average, with the average mortgage costing $1,852 and rent going for $1,396. But overall, Maryland residents pay 23% more for bills than the average American.
Total monthly bills for the state average $2,456, which is 34% of the average household income in the state.
Least Expensive States To Pay Bills
In comparison, these five states are cheaper than most of the U.S., with residents affording the same home comforts for less. It should be noted, though, that cost of living is generally relative to wages in the area, so life may not be all that much easier.
If you’re seeking a laidback rural lifestyle, friendly communities, and a low cost of living, look no further than the least expensive state to pay bills in the U.S.: West Virginia.
West Virginians can save in multiple categories, including housing. The average mortgage in West Virginia costs just $817, which is $551 less than the national average, while rent is only $695, compared to $1,129 nationwide.
Arkansas ranks second on the list of least expensive places to pay bills in the U.S., with some savings in nearly every category.
But you’ll find the real savings in your housing costs; with the average mortgage costing just $898 and rent costing an average of $736.
If you think you may like the Southern lifestyle, Mississippi has the lowest cost of living amongst the states in the deep South. Nearly all household bills are cheaper in Mississippi.
Mortgages run an average of $961 per month, while rent sits at $771, well below the national average. If you’re looking for the cheapest city in Mississippi, consider Tupelo, where the average household bills come to only $1,581 per month.
Is the Hoosier life for you? If so, you’ll find substantial savings in housing costs, with an average mortgage of just $966 and rent running an average of $830.
On average, expect to pay 20% less than other states, while enjoying a great mix of city and country life, legendary state fairs that are fun for the whole family and fantastic college and professional sports teams.
Kentucky’s average monthly bills are 19% lower than the national average. Housing costs slightly less than in Indiana, with the average mortgage running residents $953 per month and rent costing an average of $759.
Kentucky’s bigger and more well-known cities, including Louisville and Lexington, rank as some of the least expensive places to pay bills in the state, with costs running an average of $1,795 and $1,767, respectively.
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Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.
Data is sourced from the 2022 doxoINSIGHTS State by State Bill Pay Market Report. All data is accurate as of June 7, 2022.