Fort Smith: Cheapest Place To Live

It came as no surprise to me when a national poll taken by a nationally known company declared Fort Smith, AR Cheapest place to live in the United States or more accurately among the cheapest places to live. Any time a declaration is made like this I always am a little skeptical about the results because with any poll it depends a lot on the methods that were employed when the poll was taken but those methods stated in the article seem to indicate a real effort to unearth the truth.

One of their methods was to visit grocery stores once a quarter and check the retail prices on predetermined national brands. Some other things they checked regularly were Doctor visits, an annual check-up for a dog at the vet, rent of an apartment defined by the rent per square foot, a medium pizza and the average price of a new home.

In this authors mind, even after using a pretty scientific method of study, I think there are a lot of other factors that could affect an individual persons result were they able to live in a certain city. For instance, you could have really low rates for all these things like rent and pizza but you would have to also be able to determine how much you could earn in a comparable job in both cities.

For example you could be a restaurant manager in both cities for similar businesses but in one place you might earn significantly less than the other. That has to be factored into the formula. If you live in a cheap place but you earn 20% less that makes your cheap pizza more comparable to the more expensive city. It is all relative unless you have income independent of your location, which is rare for most people that are not wealth or retired.

My advice is a person needs to do a lot of research beyond the results of a company’s poll in order to get at the real cheapest place to live.

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