When you’re done with school and ready to take on the world, one of the first things on the list is to move out of your parents’ house. The big cities always have great potential — lots of people, plenty of jobs and a nice change of scenery.
The problem? Most of the big cities are expensive. New York City and Los Angeles are among the most expensive cities in the world to live in — so why, when you’re already thousands of dollars in debt from school, would you want to move to a city that will drain any income you make?
There are plenty of other nice cities in the United States, and they don’t have the major price tag of NYC or LA. These cities have their own booming businesses that are constantly hiring. Here are six you should consider moving to.
- Fayetteville, Arkansas
Don’t let the Arkansas label fool you — Fayetteville is one of the best places to start a career and settle down. Many large companies have their headquarters here, including Walmart and JB Hunt Transport, which means there are opportunities for jobs that can help pay off any pesky loans.
- Memphis, Tennessee
Known for its rich musical background, Memphis is a booming southern city with an affordable pricetag on it. The average rent for a two-bedroom/two-bathroom is $726 — a good deal no matter where you are. With its cost of living well below the average, Memphis offers plenty to do at a great price.
- Round Rock, Texas
Located just outside Austin, this suburb reaps the benefits of big city life — larger salaries, plenty of activities — without the hefty cost. Additionally, since Texas doesn’t have an income tax, you keep more of that salary in your pocket. The added bonus of major employers — Dell and TECO-Westinghouses — shows there are plenty of career options.
- Cedar Rapids, Iowa
If you’re looking for a community with low housing costs, well-educated people and a plethora of museums, Cedar Rapids is the place for you. Its cost of living is over 8 percent lower than the national average. Additionally, it has the highest concentration of public libraries and museums in the US, which means there are plenty of budget-friendly options for something to do.
- Topeka, Kansas
The capital of Kansas provides many affordable options for any 20-something who is looking for a change of scenery. In addition to the Topeka Zoo, Topeka offers a variety of ethnic cuisine and parks for a day out and about. Additionally, since a number of big companies, including Westar Energy and Goodyear, are located here, the unemployment rate is barely over 4 percent.
- Omaha, Nebraska
As the home of the companies Berkshire Hathaway, ConAgra Foods, Union Pacific, Peter Kiewit Sons’ and Mutual of Omaha — also known as the “Fab Five” — Omaha’s economy is one of the strongest in the country. The city also boasts a cost of living that is 12.8 percent below the average nationally, meaning you can set aside more money.
If you’re looking to get the big-city experience but don’t have the funds for it, you still have options. The United States of America is huge — why limit yourself to the East Coast or West Coast when there are so many opportunities available everywhere else?