10 Cheapest Places to Live in Alabama

Updated On February 17, 2024

Alabama is known for its southern hospitality filled with friendly and welcoming neighbors and live music in genres including blues, jazz, country, and gospel.

This Gulf Coast border state has a rich history that has helped to shape American culture and is home to loyal lifetime residents.

If you’re thinking about living in Alabama and seeking information on the costs of living in this state’s most affordable cities, this is the guide for you!

Our guide provides an overview of the cheapest places to live in Alabama.

10 Cheapest Places to Live in Alabama

The cheapest places to live in Alabama can be found in every part of the state.

While some local Alabamians love the tranquility, comfort, and southern hospitality they experience in the heart of the state, others prefer to make their home alongside the calming waters of the Gulf of Mexico and its pristine white beaches.

Regardless of where loyal locals choose to make their home, one thing remains clear, the cost of living in the Alabama cities below is substantially lower than that of many other local cities in the state and the country.

Primary Factors Influencing Alabama’s Cost of Living

  • Housing Costs – Rents, Mortgage Payments, Property Taxes, Homeowners Insurance
  • Utilities – Electricity, Natural Gas, Water, Sewer, Trash Disposal
  • Taxes – State Tax, Local Income Tax, Sales Tax
  • Transportation – Owning a Vehicle, Gas, Maintenance, Insurance, Registration Fees, Public Transportation
  • Healthcare – Health Insurance Premiums, Copayments, Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses, Emergency Costs

Now that you know what primary factors affect the cost of living in these southern cities, dive in to find out where Alabama’s coziest residents pay the lowest costs to enjoy top-quality living in the Yellowhammer state!


1. Bessemer

Residents understand that Bessemer isn’t just a place, it’s a feeling.

This charming industrial town is easily identifiable by its numerous smokestacks that pierce the sky.

Vibrant murals and low costs of living welcome residents home to this artistic community whose treeline is draped in Spanish moss.

Online housing data reports from sources like Payscale show that the cost of living in Bessemer is around 24% lower than the state’s and 9% lower than the national average.


2. Birmingham

Birmingham is the home of an eclectic cityscape where towering Art Deco buildings and remnants of a politically charged past linger in the air.

This trendy southern town beckons newcomers and longtime residents alike with its affordable housing prices, comfort foods, and standing remnants of its historic role in American Civil Rights history.

The cost of living in Birmingham is lower than 8% of America’s neighborhoods.

While some residents may pay higher costs for shelter, locals pay lower costs for food, transportation, and most goods and services.


3. Decatur

Decatur Alabama spans two counties in Northern AL. Morgan and Limestone County renters living in Decatur enjoy some of the cheapest rents in the nation and breathtaking views of the Tennessee River glow.

This Alabama community is teeming with life in a vibrant community where the average monthly rent costs around $888.00.

Homeowners in this area also pay lower costs for utilities, transportation expenses, and groceries than many of their Alabama neighbors.


4. Enterprise

Enterprise Alabama residents enjoy a relatively good quality of life in this heart of Alabama city with many hidden treasures waiting to be discovered.

The costs of living in Enterprise with its tree-lined streets and charming Victorian homes are 20% less than in most other US cities.

Housing costs are lower for new home seekers and renters considering moving to this city with its eclectic and quirky style, which features the only known Boll Weevil Monument in the US.


5. Gadsen

Along with living in an area known for its cascading waterfalls and captivating landscapes, Gadsen area residents get deep discounts when it comes to paying for everyday costs like housing.

Their housing costs are a whopping 44% lower than most other use states and more than 10% lower than other cities in Alabama.

Apartment renters in Gadsen pay an average of around $832.00 per month for rent on a two-bedroom apartment.

People considering making the move to Gadsen can expect to pay lower costs on food, healthcare, and most goods and services.

Gulf Shores
Gulf Shores

6. Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores is a resort city in Baldwin County where turquoise waters whisper juicy secrets to sugar-white shores along the Gulf of Mexico.

Residents living in the captivating haven of Gulf Shores enjoy a coastal quality of life paired with beach bliss and southern hospitality – at an affordable price.

Local homeowners and renters who settle along the shore pay 5% less than the national average for housing, transportation, and food that can include same-day fresh seafood fished from the waters of nearby shores.


7. Montgomery

Montgomery Alabama is a vibrant city where history walks hand in hand with progress.

Echoes of the US Civil Rights Movement resonate on cobblestone streets where the sweet aroma of southern sweet tea blends with the soulful melodies of jazz.

Housing costs in this historical city are 28% lower than in most other US cities.

Apartment and home renters in this city can expect to spend an average of just under $1000.00 per month for rent.

The average home price in Montgomery is reported at just over $324,000.00.

Phenix City
Phenix City

8. Phenix City

Phenix City offers an affordable option for Alabama families and incoming transplants to enjoy a unique blend of southern hospitality, historical echoes, and low cost of living for a modern life alongside the mighty Chattahoochee River.

Housing data reports show that a family living in a two-bedroom rental home or apartment would need to bring in just over $30,000.00 a year to maintain their lifestyle in Phenix City along the Gulf Coast, where they enjoy breathing in the salty air punctuated by the sweet aroma of southern barbecue smoke.


9. Selma

Alabama’s history buffs looking for an affordable town with a small-town feel directly linked to American history can find comfort in Selma, AL.

Residents of this tiny Alabama town pay less for housing along the city’s cobblestone streets where the echoes of footsteps of the giants who marched for equality still linger.

Homeowners and renters pay less for food and almost all other services, including healthcare services, in this historical town.

Selma residents may experience higher utility costs than other local towns.

However, the lower costs of all other everyday essentials are worth the cost to most local homeowners.


10. Talladega

As the home of national sporting events and NASCAR Talladega is one of the most famous cities in Alabama.

Talladega’s residents enjoy low living costs that fall below both the state and national averages, along with easy access to a historic downtown area that is buzzing with the energy and excitement of history, southern hospitality, and NASCAR fans.

Talladega’s residents enjoy an extremely low cost of living along with its high-octane fee.

A two-bedroom rental apartment typically costs around $740.00 per month in comparison to the national average of around $1702.00 per month.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Factors Contribute to the Low Cost of Living in Alabama’s Cheapest Cities?

The most important factor contributing to the lower costs of living in Alabama’s cheapest cities is that residents pay lower costs for everyday expenses including housing, transportation, and food.

While some individual costs for goods or services may be slightly higher, the overall savings result makes the total out-of-pocket expenses lower than the average.

What Housing Options are Available in Alabama’s Cheapest Cities?

Alabama’s residents enjoy access to a wide variety of single and multiple-family housing options.

The cheapest cities have single-family homes, multi–family homes like duplexes, luxury apartment rentals, low-cost apartment rentals, and income-based housing options available for rent or purchase.

What Should I Know About the Weather Before Moving to Alabama?

One of the most important factors to consider when moving to Alabama is its sub-tropical climate.

Its location along the Gulf of Mexico means that this southern state can experience devastating storms in the form of hurricanes and violent tornadoes.

Residents statewide can expect to experience a mild climate most of the year with extremely hot summers where temperatures can climb into the early 100s.

Severe thunderstorms are common for all residents throughout the state during Alabama’s rainy season.

How Does the Cost of Living in Alabama Compare to the National Average?

The cost of living in Alabama is noticeably lower than that of many other US states.

For example, the state with the highest cost of living index in the US is Hawaii,  where monthly apartment rentals for a two-bedroom can easily skyrocket well above $2,000.00 per month.

The average cost of renting an apartment in the US is reported to be just over $1,700.00 a month.

The cheapest cities in Alabama have similar-sized rentals for less than half the price.

The US state with the lowest cost of living index is Mississippi where the average cost of living is 16% lower than all other states with all factors included.

What is the Crime Rate Like in Alabama’s Cheapest Cities?

The crime rates in Alabama’s cheapest cities are similar to the crime rates in most other US cities.

However, it is important to note that some of the cheapest cities to live in may experience higher than normal rates of violent crime or property crime.

It is important to do your research online and by visiting the area before making a permanent decision to relocate or buy property.

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