The cost of living in some states is very high. You can, however, keep your costs down if you still want to live in one of these expensive states. GOBankingRates recently ranked all 50 states based on what percentage of income residents had left over after covering the cost of living expenses. Now, it’s time to see how you can swing a move to one of the top 15 most expensive states in the ranking.
Click through to learn how to get by when you’re living in a state where you’re most likely to live paycheck to paycheck.
The cost of living in Alaska is high, but at least taxes are low. Because costs are even higher in rural areas of Alaska than city locations, consider living in Fairbanks or Anchorage, both of which provide big-city living without a lot of congestion.
The best part of living in Alaska is totally free. You’ll find world-class fishing and you can enjoy a number of winter sports like skiing, ice skating and sledding.
Consider moving to one of the cheaper places in the state as opposed to Los Angeles or San Francisco. According to the website Livability, the five most affordable cities in California are Oxnard, Ventura, Simi Valley, Vacaville and Camarillo.
With its surf, sun and year-round moderate temperatures, California is a place where many want to live and visit. Buy a vacation home in Palm Springs and rent it out for an attractive rental yield.
One in four Colorado renters spend more than 50 percent of their household income on housing, and a minimum wage worker earning $8 an hour needs to work more than 102 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment, according to LiveAffordablyColorado.org.
If you’re worried about the cost of living in Colorado, don’t move to Denver. Instead, choose a more affordable city such as Lamar, La Junta, Pueblo, Trinidad or Alamosa. In each of these cities, you’ll find lower food, energy and housing costs than in Denver.
A slightly higher median household income and slightly lower expenses help Connecticut residents have more money left over than residents in nearby Massachusetts. Still, nearly three-quarters of take-home pay will have to go toward the cost of living in Connecticut.
There are cheaper places to live in Connecticut than the popular Greenwich or New Canaan. Bridgeport, Waterbury, West Haven, New Britain or Hartford will likely offer somewhat more affordable housing, food, health insurance, transportation, gas and utilities.
There might not be a person in the U.S. who hasn’t dreamed of living in Hawaii, but its high cost of living is daunting. If you’ve built up equity in your home and you’ve really set your sights on island life, you could sell your place and buy something outright or put a large down payment on something.
One great thing about Hawaii is that it has the lowest property tax rates in the nation, with an average effective property tax rate of 0.28 percent. Don’t forget, entertainment in Hawaii is practically free. Choose from surfing, hiking, paddling, swimming and a host of other outdoor activities.
If you’re willing to deal with the cold, keep in mind that Maine’s cost of living isn’t as high as in other New England states — but the median household income isn’t as high, either. One good way to live in Maine is to get a side hustle so you can add to your paycheck.
If you live in Maine you’ll pay lower utility costs than anywhere in New England, so you’ll really save when the winter comes. While Maine’s state sales tax is 5.5 percent, you won’t pay any additional local sales taxes. The cheapest cities in Maine include Caribou, Presque Isle, Waterville, Augusta and Old Town.
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Maryland’s median household income is the highest in the nation. In addition, the people who live there are still among the most likely to live paycheck to paycheck because of its high cost of living. You can, however, find a lower cost of living in some areas, such as Allegany, Garrett and Washington Counties.
Another way to cut your living costs in this state is to look for a place to rent that includes utilities. And if you want to buy, it’s helpful to know that at least Maryland’s average effective property tax rate of 1.04 percent is below the national average.
Massachusetts residents might have the sixth-highest median household incomes in the U.S., but the high cost of living kills those incomes quickly. First, forget about Boston proper, where the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $2,600. Instead, look in the Boston Metro area, where you can rent a two-bedroom in Adams Shore for $1,550, East Weymouth for $1,550 and Braintree Highlands for $1,575.
You can also save money by not driving in the commuter-friendly city — and access a lot of entertainment for free or on the cheap in Boston. Visit Boston Public Library, Sam Adams Brewery, the Boston Common, Boston University’s Coit Observatory and the Public Garden. Or, take the self-guided Freedom Trail Tour that will lead you to 16 significant city sites.
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New Hampshire is an expensive place to live, but there are several ways to mitigate that. First, remember that the state collects no taxes on salaries or wages, although it does have a 5 percent tax on dividends and interest.
Consider moving to one of the state’s most affordable cities, which include Berlin, Claremont, Belmont, Franklin, Alton and Rochester. New Hampshire is still a great place to live — in fact, another GOBankingRates study found it was the best state to live and have a good quality of life.
Two of America’s wealthiest counties — Hunterdon and Somerset — call New Jersey home, according to SmartAsset. And as you might imagine, it’s also crazy expensive to live there.
You can, however, save on utility bills in the state. The average New Jersey monthly utility is $105.65, which is around 7 percent below the U.S. average of $114.09.
You can also save if you’re willing to give up your car and use public transportation. Many New Jersey residents rely on public transportation — Jersey City, N.J., has the highest proportion of public transportation users after New York City.
New York might be expensive, but there are ways to get around the high costs if you’re dying to live there. One thing you can do is compromise on your distance to Manhattan — many outlying neighborhoods have easy access to the city via bus or train, and you’ll likely get more space for your money.
Another way to live in Manhattan is to consider a roommate with whom to share expenses. You can look for one on sites such as ApartmentList, Craigslist and LiveLovely.
Oregon has a lower median household income, and people who live there have less money left after expenses than those in most other states. It also means a bigger percentage of paychecks go toward covering living costs. In addition, Oregon also is one of the states with the biggest tax bites.
If you can’t afford Portland but still want that Oregon vibe, consider living in a more affordable city, such as Albany, Gresham, Oregon City, Hillsboro or Salem. The median home prices in all of these locations is noticeably more affordable the median home price in Portland.
If you want to live in the Ocean State affordably, cross these cities off your list: Cumberland Hill, Greenville and Warwick. Some of the wealthiest people in the state live here.
Instead, look to live in the less expensive areas, such as Central Falls, Woonsocket, Pawtucket, Chepachet or Providence. You can also save money because no cities in Rhode Island levy local income taxes.
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The Green Mountain state is a wonderful place to live — if you can afford it. There, you’ll find great food, a hot arts scene, plenty of outdoor activities for every season and a lower unemployment rate than the national average.
You’ll also find breathtaking views but unfortunately, the key to living in this state is to steer clear of resort towns, like Stowe. For example, travel 9 miles north of Stowe to Morrisville and you’ll pay far less to live.
According to The Seattle Times, almost half of local millennials are considering moving away from the Puget Sound region as housing costs rise. In Seattle, living costs overall are expected to rise in 2018. In fact, housing costs are a bigger concern in Washington than traffic, crime, the environment, employment prospects, inequality and college costs.
You can really save money on one thing if you do move to Washington — electricity. In fact, it’s cheaper in the Puget Sound region than almost anywhere else in the nation, according to SmartAsset.