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When we think of the future, some key things probably come to mind: good health, a nice family, and a bit more money.
Eventually, you begin to realize that you probably shouldn't still be eating ramen out of Tupperware when you get home at night. So how do you make that transition from being completely broke to eating something that costs more than a quarter per pack? How do you save money when you start out in your career?
Easy: live in a super cheap place in Arizona. Lower your cost of living and you will find you have more than a few pennies to your name at the end of the month.
When you live in one of the desert states, you will probably find that everything is dry, but hopefully, your bank is not. Arizona is a state full of amazing sights and can be expensive at times; however, there are plenty of cities in Arizona that won't dry up your account like the Arizona sun dries your clothes.
So where are the cheapest places in Arizona? Let us walk you through the cities that will allow you to ditch the ramen forever.
The 10 Most Affordable Places To Live In Arizona
What is the cheapest place to live in arizona? After cranking the numbers for the 57 largest cities in Arizona to find the cheapest city in Arizona for 2020 we came up with a clear winner: Holbrook. This cheap city is packed with Native American culture and history and is near the Petrified Forest National Park. Yes, you read that right--a national park filled with petrified wood.
If very old mummified wood isn't your kind of fun afternoon out, check out Snowflake, Arizona. If you think you will get some snowy winters here, think again. However, Snowflake does have some alleged alien activity.
If mummified wood and aliens don't sound like amazing pastimes to you, just remember the best part about these Arizona cities: they are dirt cheap.
Interested in learning more quirks about these top ten cheapest cities in Arizona? Read on to learn more about our methodology and these bank-savers.
And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Arizona and the cheapest places in the country:
The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Arizona For 2020
You don't have to stay at a Holiday Inn to know what a good deal looks like. The good people of our number one most affordable city in Arizona for 2020, Holbrook, know that it's not rocket science, it's just common sense.
Holbrook has been The Grand Canyon State's most affordable city three years in a row. Located in the northeast corner of Arizona, agriculture, tourism, and retail have been keeping this city booming. The median income for Holbrook is close to $43,462. This allowed Holbrook to also grab the first spot for most affordable city in Arizona in terms of home price to income ratio.
The median household income in Holbrook comes in at $43,462 and the median home value is $84,300 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 5.7%.
We can all agree that Winslow, Arizona is "such a fine sight to see," but did you know that it's also extremely affordable? So much, that It is our second most affordable city in Arizona for 2020. Once a railroad community, Winslow's residents now find themselves working in education, transportation, and public service to offset their cost of living. We know why you scored an 8/10 on our snackability scale for affordability, Winslow. It shouldn't be difficult to meet your cost of living head on with the median income hanging close to $38,043.
So do yourself and your wallet a favor, and get-a-movin' to this affordable Navajo County city.
The median household income in Winslow comes in at $38,043 and the median home value is $91,400 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 11.8%.
At the base of the San Carlos Reservation, on the Arizona/ New Mexico border, is our third most affordable Arizona city for 2020: Safford. This Southern Arizona border town is home to the greatest percentage of young folks (25 to 44) concentrated into one city on our list. And if we've learned anything about Millenials, they know a good deal.
So what's drawing the 'youngins'? Probably copper and gold. The largest employers in Safford are in the mining industry and education. Safford is home to the largest copper and gold mining facility in the country. This might explain why Safford has one of the highest median household incomes on our list: $52,768/year.
The median household income in Safford comes in at $52,768 and the median home value is $136,200 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 6.5%.
Where the 10 meets the 8 in Southern Arizona, is our fourth most affordable city in The Copper State: Eloy.
This little ray of Arizona sunshine is third when it comes to home price to income ratio. They are, however, only 23rd when it comes to income to rent ratio. We're not surprised it's so affordable, but we're pretty sure they want you to buy a home and stay awhile.
And if you're the daredevil type, skydiving operations in Eloy employ the second largest number of residents. So, if not your hustle, maybe your side hustle? Either way, good luck!
The median household income in Eloy comes in at $37,530 and the median home value is $83,100 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 11.4%.
We're pretty sure everyone has heard of Coolidge, Arizona by now. Not only are they our fifth most affordable city in Arizona for 2020, but they also made our best places to live in Arizona for 2020 list.
Once home to the Pueblo People, this city in Pinal County is now home to Central Arizona College (CAC). CAC has been supplying employees to C-towns strong economy for over 50 years. And you know what else C-town's residents know? Apparently a good deal when they see it, because they are the second most affordable city for home price to income ratio.
The median household income in Coolidge comes in at $44,063 and the median home value is $92,500 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 12.4%.
Apache Junction takes the seventh spot on our list of the cheapest places to live in Arizona. It's a welcome site for the town of 39674 to make it up this high this year. It has both affordable homes and rents for places like it in Arizona. If you're looking to move to a place where your dollar goes further, seriously consider Apache Junction.
Home to attractions like Lost Dutchman State Park and a ghost town or two, there's plenty to do that won't break your wallet, nevermind the bank.
The median household income in Apache Junction comes in at $42,115 and the median home value is $97,400 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 9.4%.
For a city to be truly hip, it needs to be affordable. So it goes for our eighth most affordable city in Arizona for 2020: Douglas. Located on the Arizona/Mexico border, this city scored a 6/10 for affordability and an 8.5/10 for diversity. We think that makes Douglas pretty hip.
When Douglas residents aren't busy preparing for their annual cool, super hip, Cochise County Fair, they can be found earning the dream with jobs in public administration and education. Kudos to Douglas for keeping their townies employed, their economy strong, and their city super hip!
The median household income in Douglas comes in at $34,154 and the median home value is $94,500 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 12.3%.
You don't have to couch surf to be able to live in our ninth most affordable city in Arizona: Globe. This city in Gila County is not only one of the most affordable on our list, but they scored a 9/10 for diversity and a 10/10 for commute times on our snackability scale.
The Tonto National Forest-burb knows how to make the dolla' holla' (AKA $47,086/year median household income) with jobs in mining, tourism, and retail. So if you are looking for an affordable Arizona city with small town charm and big city hospitality, hurry on over to Globe.
The median household income in Globe comes in at $47,086 and the median home value is $129,500 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 10.3%.
Page, Arizona's "Center of Canyon Country," is our tenth most affordable city in the The Valentine State for 2020.
This city in Coconino County is the tenth most affordable city in terms of home to income ratio and tenth cheapest for rent to income ratio. Up two spots from last year, we're pretty sure the residents in Page know a good deal. More importantly, those numbers scream come and check us out, rent or buy; either way, your going to love it here.
But who wouldn't want to buy a home where Walmart, tourism, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are keeping the median income around $57,475?
The median household income in Page comes in at $57,475 and the median home value is $155,400 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 9.5%.
With the economy doing so well, people are moving now more than ever. Might we suggest Arizona's 11th most affordable city for 2020: Florence?
This city in Pinal County, scored an 8/10 on our snackability scale for affordability and a 9/10 for safety. This can only mean that just because a place is affordable, does not mean the trade off is high crime.
According to our data, Florence should be Arizona's poster city for affordability, housing, and safety. And if you're looking for an Arizona city that boasts great staycations, Florence is it. This city has close to ten parks and Phoenix and Tucson in its backyard.
The median household income in Florence comes in at $49,674 and the median home value is $142,600 for 2020. The unemployment rate sits at 9.8%.
How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Grand Canyon State For 2020
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Arizona to figure out which is the least expensive.
What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 57 places in Arizona that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the lowest cost of living in Arizona according to the data is Holbrook. You can download the data here.
There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Arizona Cheapskate
If you're looking at the cost of living numbers in Arizona, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Arizona for 2020.
Here's a look at the most expensive cities in Arizona according to the data:
For more Arizona reading, check out:
The Most Affordable Places To Live In Arizona
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