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If you did not land a six-figure salary job right out of college, you are probably worried about many things, but definitely one item in particular: money.
You may have a pretty well-paying job, but that makes little impact on the mountain of school debt you may have if your cost of living is outrageously high. Unfortunately, life after graduation and beyond for many is not full of candy and exotic vacations, but rather is filled with the question: how do I save when I can barely make ends meet?
The south of course -- and in particular South Carolina. That's right-- the southern states are one major region in the U.S. that won't wipe your bank account clean. But what is a good state to live in? While it may be hard to believe at first, South Carolina is a great place to live and not just because it is cheap.
In South Carolina, you can stroll through the streets of Charleston on a haunted ghost tour, cheer on the Gamecocks during a football game in Columbia, and hit the beaches in Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach.
In the Palmetto state, you can have easy access to both the beach and the mountains. You can eat some ridiculously good peaches and have your fill of local breweries. You can also meet some really nice people. The South is known for its southern hospitality.
So where are the most affordable places to live in South Carolina?
What is the cheapest place to live in south carolina? If you are looking for some cheap rent, Fountain Inn is your place to go. Fountain Inn ranks #1 again this year for the cheapest city to live in South Carolina.
If you are looking for a cheap place in a suburb area outside of Greenville, one of the best cities in South Carolina, Fountain Inn and Mauldin are waiting for you. No matter where you end up in South Carolina, you can be sure of two things: the food will be epic and the affordability will be shocking.
Read on to learn more about how we crunched the numbers and the other super affordable cities South Carolina has to offer.
And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about South Carolina and the cheapest places in the country:
The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In South Carolina For 2020
Fountain Inn is a city in Greenville and Laurens counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 7,799 at the 2010 census, up from 6,017 in 2000. It is part of the Greenville-Mauldin-Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The median income in Fountain Inn comes in at $62,904 and the median home value is $147,200 for 2020.
Laurens is a city in Laurens County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 9,139 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Laurens County.
The median income in Laurens comes in at $36,228 and the median home value is $90,800 for 2020.
Marion is a city in Marion County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 6,711 at the 2016 census. It is the county seat of Marion County. It is named for Francis Marion, a Brigadier General from South Carolina in the American Revolutionary War.
The median income in Marion comes in at $34,561 and the median home value is $104,000 for 2020.
Mauldin is a city in Greenville County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 15,224 at the 2000 census, 22,889 in 2010, and an estimated 25,135 in 2015. It is a principal city of the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The median income in Mauldin comes in at $65,737 and the median home value is $157,400 for 2020.
Irmo is a town in Lexington and Richland counties, South Carolina, United States and a suburb of Columbia. It is part of the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area and is located 12 miles northwest of the city center. The population of Irmo was 11,097 at the 2010 census.
The median income in Irmo comes in at $63,713 and the median home value is $124,900 for 2020.
Batesburg-Leesville is a town in Lexington and Saluda counties, South Carolina United States. The population was 5,362 at the 2010 census.
The median income in Batesburg-Leesville comes in at $45,294 and the median home value is $118,400 for 2020.
Bennettsville is a city located in the U.S. state of South Carolina on the Great Pee Dee River. As the county seat of Marlboro County, Bennettsville is noted for its historic homes and buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries - including the Bennettsville Historic District which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The median income in Bennettsville comes in at $30,008 and the median home value is $81,900 for 2020.
Simpsonville is a city in Greenville County, South Carolina, United States. It is part of the Greenville-Mauldin-Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 18,238 at the 2010 census, up from 14,352 in 2000. The population had risen to an estimated 20,736 as of 2015. Simpsonville is part of the "Golden Strip", along with Mauldin and Fountain Inn, an area which is noted for having low unemployment due to a diversity of industries including Para-Chem, Kemet, Sealed Air and Milliken.
The median income in Simpsonville comes in at $67,456 and the median home value is $164,100 for 2020.
North Augusta is a city in Aiken and Edgefield counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina, on the north bank of the Savannah River. The population was 21,348 at the 2010 census. The city is included in the Central Savannah River Area and is part of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area.
The median income in North Augusta comes in at $56,811 and the median home value is $157,800 for 2020.
Cayce is a city in Lexington and Richland counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina, along the Congaree River. The population was 12,528 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina, Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The median income in Cayce comes in at $50,545 and the median home value is $127,400 for 2020.
How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Palmetto 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 South Carolina 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 64 places in South Carolina that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the lowest cost of living in South Carolina according to the data is Fountain Inn. You can download the data here.
There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. South Carolina Cheapskate
If you're looking at the cost of living numbers in South Carolina, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in South Carolina for 2020.
Here's a look at the most expensive cities in South Carolina according to the data:
- Port Royal
For more South Carolina reading, check out:
- Richest Cities In South Carolina
- Safest Places In South Carolina
- Best Counties To Live In South Carolina
Where Are The Most Affordable Places To Live In South Carolina?