Why You Shouldn't Move to a More Affordable City, According to Redditors

New York, streets. High buildings and crowd walking


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New York, streets. High buildings and crowd walking

Worth the Money

When you hear about New Yorkers spending upwards of $3,500 on one-bedroom apartments, you might wonder why they don’t just move. The same apartment in Shreveport, Louisiana, or Wichita, Kansas, might cost just $700. But then you remember that not everything is about affordability, as Redditors pointed out in a recent r/Frugal thread. From chasing high-paying salaries to staying close to family, frugal Redditors listed some of the most common reasons why people don’t move to more affordable cities.

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Edna Barnes Salomon Room, inside New York Public Library main branch, New York, NY, USA
ARK NEYMAN/istockphoto

Services and Amenities

While San Francisco and New York City have sky-high rents, they also boast plenty of top-tier services and amenities that smaller cities can’t offer. With a collection of 25 million books, the Big Apple is home to the nation’s largest public library, which also hosts 93,000 annual events across its 92 branches. San Francisco has a wealth of resources and organizations, too, such as the Asian Law Caucus and Eviction Defense Collaborative.

Related: Affordable Suburbs That Feel Like Cities

Metropolitan Museum of Art New York City


If there’s one thing that expensive, big cities do right, it’s entertainment. Take New York City. All within a couple of blocks, you can find world-class museums, galleries, bookstores, and movie theaters. And it doesn't always have to cost you — NYC has plenty of free or cheap things to do. That’s not to say that there’s nothing fun to do in a place like Lexington, Kentucky (there’s unbeatable rock climbing an hour away), but your options are certainly limited.

Related: Most Fun Cities in America

Multi Generation Family Enjoying Meal Around Table At Home

Friends and Family

Moving away from the city might mean leaving behind your friends and family. As one Redditor shares, “One of the biggest downsides to moving away was the lack of the grandparents and cousins being around.”

Related: The 20 Safest Big Cities in the U.S.

Van full of moving boxes and furniture near house
Liudmila Chernetska/istockphoto
Students raising hands while teacher asking them questions in classroom


Parents on Reddit shared that they endured outrageous home prices and rents so that their kids could go to better schools, with one commenter writing that the opportunities a major city offers are “invaluable.” That said, the country’s top-rated high schools aren’t all in New York and Los Angeles. Reno, Nevada; Evansville, Illinois; and Murfreesboro, Tennessee all have high schools in U.S. News’ top 10.

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Connect to opportunity
katleho Seisa/istockphoto


It shouldn’t be a surprise that some of the most expensive cities also offer some of the highest-paying jobs. Compared to El Paso, Texas, where the median household income is an average of $48,866, households in San Francisco make an average of $119,136 a year. However, given that income and purchasing power aren’t the same thing, a larger salary doesn’t always mean a better life (sometimes it does mean an increase in happiness, though).

San Francisco lightrail drive to  the sea under Sunset


U.S. cities that consistently rank for their excellent public transportation — New York, San Francisco, and Chicago, to name a few — are also some of the nation’s most expensive areas. But for many, it’s a tradeoff they’re willing to take, as living car-free saves money and the planet.

Doctor talking to a patient in a consultaton at the office


Multiple Redditors shared that they had trouble accessing specialized healthcare in smaller cities with lower living costs, with one r/Frugal member driving three hours to see a specialist. “We have a child with a complicated medical condition. Nothing can beat having the best medical care for them,” another user added.