Living a great life at an affordable price—should it be that hard? Unfortunately due to the tough economic times many people are having to sacrifice living standards for affordability. However, living a great life at a price you can afford is more realistic than it may seem. Here are some cities making it possible.
South Bend, Indiana
South Bend is a multicultural town, made possible by multiple universities, a rich history, a strong sports influence and beautiful scenery.
Bethel College, Brown Mackie College-South Bend, Holy Cross College, Indiana University South Bend, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, Saint Mary’s College and Trine University South Bend/Mishawaka and the University of Notre Dame all call South Bend home. With so many colleges and universities in one location there are countless arts and sporting events happening simultaneously, all of the time—all affordable prices.
College-town focused with Midwest living prices make this city an exceptional place to live. South Bend apartments make-up for just shy of a quarter of the housing available in the city while median household income is $34,761.
The original home and manufacturing facility of the classic automobiles is paid tribute at the Studebaker museum. Where 75 vehicles span over the 114 year-old history of the company in South Bend.
Other budget-friendly attractions include the 24,000-work collection Snite Museum of Art, touring the University of Notre Dame, College Football Hall of Fame and South Bend Chocolate Factory and Museum Tours.
Nestled in the western corner of Interstate 135 and state route 400 in the south central part of the Sunflower State—Wichita is a city proud of its history. The state’s heritage goes back to the founding roots of the country as its only 140 miles south of state capitol Topeka, a major stop during on the bustling days of the Oregon Trail.
Last Year, CNN Money ranked Wichita as one of its best places to live with a 10-year job growth rate of 7.29 percent, low crime rates and a modest median family income of $59,433.
An average cost of living and a growing job market mixed with dozens of affordable attractions like 48 museums and libraries make the 3-time All-American City award-winner a great place for families interested in both entertainment and learning. Like the Museum of World Treasures featuring rare artifacts from nearly every time-period at only $7-$9 for admittance.
Old Town Wichita is the city’s major entertainment area and a perfect way for budget conscious friends and family to spend an afternoon.
It’s described in a Trip Advisor forum as “a pretty, cobble-stoned area great for ducking into little locally owned shops and galleries before sitting down for a good meal at one of the many restaurants.” By night it’s a vibrant nightlife epicenter filled with bars and nightclubs.
St. Louis, Missouri
The Gateway to the West is a flourishing city that offers residents a chance at affordable city living. According to the 2011 Census, the city’s housing is made up of 53.5 percent multi unit structures, apartments and condos, with the median income falling at $33,652.
St. Louis is a town full of diverse neighborhoods and attractions. From the city’s eclectic Central West End, pseudo-suburban Florissant district to downtown and trendy Maplewood— the city has something to offer everyone. The thriving metropolis offers affordable landmark entertainment for all demographics and incomes like the Botanical Garden, Forest Park, Zoo, City Museum and Gateway Arch historic parks.
St. Louis is home to many national sports league franchises and was once voted as the “Ultimate Sports City” by ESPN Magazine. Sports fans can cardinals tickets for as low as $10 for adults and $6 for children. The city is also home to one of Anheuser-Busch’s five national breweries. Visitors 21 and over can enjoy beer tours for $25 while those 13-20 cost only $10 for admittance. The state’s “buried treasure,” the Meramec Caverns, is an affordable alternative for adventurers and nature lovers. While the caverns offer many exotic activities like zip lines and lantern-guided tours. Explorers on a budget can enjoy $8 riverboat rides for adults, $5 for children and an opportunity to pan for gold like some of the state’s founding residents for $7-$10 per person.