Dollars and Cents

The cheapest cities to live in the U.S.? Arlington is one of them.

The cheapest cities to live in the U.S.? Arlington is one of them.

City of Arlington
Arlington is one of the cheapest cities in the U.S. Photo courtesy of Arlington CVB

If growing your bank account is a top priority, wages and cost of living only tell part of the story. For the third consecutive year, has determined the best and worst cities in which to live if you're trying to save money, and Texas makes a stellar showing.

San Antonio shows up at No. 2, and Arlington comes in at No. 5. El Paso also sneaks onto the "best" list at No. 9, giving the Lone Star State one-fifth of the top scorers.

Researchers examined seven key factors, including median household income, unemployment rate, median home list price, median rent price, average gas price, average monthly cost of groceries, and sales tax.

Cheap groceries are San Antonio's claim to fame, ringing up at a thrifty $239 a month. And while a median salary of $46,744 is certainly not the highest, it does stretch extra far when compared to other cities around the country, thanks to an overall low cost of living. Paying only an average of $2.21 per gallon for gas doesn't hurt either.

Arlington's cost of living and median income is right in line with the national median. While that might sound mediocre, it actually means that it's that much easier to put aside extra bucks for a rainy day. And the study also points out that Arlington makes a great alternative to its expensive neighbor, Dallas, which has a median home price that's nearly twice that of Arlington's $199,000.

Virginia Beach, Virginia, takes the top spot, boasting the highest median income — $66,634 — of any city on the cheap list. Oklahoma City and Omaha, Nebraska, round out the top five.

So which cities drain your wallet dry? New York, for one, but mostly metropolitan California. Anaheim, Oakland, and Los Angeles make the list of the five most expensive cities, with San Francisco getting crowned the absolute worst if you're trying to save money.