UPDATED: March 31, 2022

Are you looking to move to Florida but worried about the cost? Florida is an amazing place, and one of the main reasons why people might want to live there is its great weather.

Nicknamed the Sunshine State, Florida is well-known for its semi-tropical climate, which means that it stays warm and often sunny all year round. 

For retirees or snowbirds who are looking to escape the cold winters, Florida can be a perfect place to set up shop. It's also becoming popular for families and singles looking to move to a warmer climate.

Florida also boasts a wide variety of activities and attractions for residents to enjoy. From world-famous theme parks to beautiful beaches to prime golfing real estate, there's something for everyone in Florida. 

The problem, however, is that the cost of living can be prohibitive for some people. 

If you're looking for a great place to live that doesn't break the bank, don't worry because there are plenty of affordable places to live in Florida.

In this post, we'll take a look at some of the best inexpensive places to live in Florida. We’ve done all of the hard work for you, so you can focus on finding your perfect place. 

Our research is based on verified information, and we have included some advice on what you can expect when living in these areas. Ideally, you'll be able to find the perfect place to call home with this list.

Ready to start your search for the perfect place to live in Florida? Check out our guide to find the most affordable place to call home.

1) Bartow, FL

  • Cost of Living: 0.9x Lower than the National Average
  • Population: 19,000+
  • Average Rent: $841/month
  • Average Home Value: $137,000
  • Good for: Families with children

Bartow is a small city located in Polk County, Florida. The cost of living in Bartow is 0.9x lower than the national average, making it one of the cheapest places to live in Florida. 

The average rent in Bartow is $841/month and the average home value is $137,000.

If you're looking for a small, quiet city to raise a family, then Bartow is a great choice. 

One of the advantages is that Bartow has a good school district and a low crime rate, making it an ideal choice for parents. It's also an affordable option for seniors looking to retire in the state.

As Bartow is located near Tampa and Orlando, residents can travel to these larger cities for entertainment and amenities.


2) Clewiston, FL

  • Cost of Living: 1.0x Lower than the National Average
  • Population: 7,781+
  • Average Rent: $752/month
  • Average Home Value: $112,600
  • Good for: Small town living

Are you looking to live in a place where everyone knows everyone? If this is your ideal, then Clewiston may be the place for you. Clewiston is a small town located in Hendry County, Florida.

The cost of living here is 1.0x lower than the national average, making it one of the most affordable places to live in Florida. The average rent here is just $752/month while the average home value is $112,600.

One of the highlights of Clewiston is Lake Okeechobee. This large lake is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and swimming. 

It may not, however, be ideal for families with teenage children or young adults as Clewiston is a small town without much in the way of entertainment, nightlife, or amenities.

3) DeFuniak Springs, FL

  • Cost of Living: 0.9x Lower than the National Average
  • Population: 6,448+
  • Average Rent: $746/month
  • Average Home Value: $121,700
  • Good for: Retirement, Small town living

Do you want to live in one of the best small towns in Florida? DeFuniak Springs is a place you should definitely put on your list. In 2019, Insider Online named the historic DeFuniak Springs as the Best Small Town in Florida because of its welcoming atmosphere and Victorian charm.

The good news? It has one of the cheapest rents in Florida, averaging at just $746/month. The cost of living in DeFuniak Springs is also 0.9x lower than the national average and the average home value in DeFuniak Springs is $121,700.

Retirees who are looking for a quiet town to spend their golden years in an amazing community should consider DeFuniak Springs. It's definitely one of the best places to retire in Florida on a budget.

4) Dunedin, FL

  • Cost of Living: 0.9x Lower than the National Average
  • Population: 36,381+
  • Average Rent: $1,087/month
  • Average Home Value: $198,700
  • Good for: Singles, Retirees, Living near the beach

Dunedin is located on the west coast of Florida, just a few miles from Tampa Bay. The city is well known for its beaches, which are a huge attraction for people who want to live near the water.

The cost of living in Dunedin is 0.9x lower than the national average and the average rent in Dunedin is just over a thousand dollars a month. If you want to buy a home, the average home value is $198,700.

One of the main draws of Dunedin is that it's a vibrant place to live in. If you're looking for a small-town feel that still has many options when it comes to bars, restaurants, cafes, and shops, then Dunedin is a better choice. 

Additionally, there are many other activities in the area that you can explore like fishing, boating, golf, diving, and sailing.

5) Edgewater, FL

  • Cost of Living: 0.9x Lower than the National Average
  • Population: 23,324+
  • Average Rent: $950/month
  • Average Home Value: $155,900
  • Good for: Retirees, Living near the beach

Edgewater is another option if you want to live near the water but you're not willing or able to pay the high prices in Tampa or Miami. This town is located in Volusia County, just minutes from Daytona Beach.

The cost of living here is 0.9x lower than the national average and the average rent in Edgewater is $950/month. If you want to buy a home, the average home value is $155,900.

Edgewater is a good choice for retirees who love the beach but want to retire in a quiet place with friendly people. It's also a safe place to live, with a crime rate that is well below the national average. It's one of the best places to retire in Florida on a budget.

6) Fort Meade, FL

  • Cost of Living: 0.8x Lower than the National Average
  • Population: 6,104+
  • Average Rent: $771/month
  • Average Home Value: $77,900
  • Good for: Small town living near a big city

If you want to retire in Central Florida and are looking for cheap housing options, then why not consider moving to Fort Meade, FL? The cost of living here is 0.8x lower than the national average and the average rent in Fort Meade is just $771/month. 

If you're looking for the cheapest rent in Florida, you can probably find a place in Fort Meade. Additionally, the average home value in Fort Meade is only $77,900.

Fort Meade is a small, idyllic town near a picturesque lake. If you're into kayaking, canoeing, and fishing, Fort Meade is the perfect place for you. 

It's also close to a few bigger cities like Tampa, which is less than an hour's drive away. So, if you want the small-town feel but still want to have access to all the amenities of a big city, Fort Meade is a great choice.

7) Gainesville, FL

  • Cost of Living: 0.9x Lower than the National Average
  • Population: about 132,127+
  • Average Rent: $953/month
  • Average Home Value: $161,900
  • Good for: Young adults, Singles

Gainesville is mainly a college town as it's the home of the University of Florida. This makes the demographic fairly young. 

You can perhaps imagine that with the constant influx of students, the scene is vibrant and more dynamic compared to other small towns on this list.

The cost of living in Gainesville is 0.9x lower than the national average and the average rent is about $953/month. The average home value is a little higher at $161,900, but that's still relatively low for Florida.

What young adults will love about Gainesville is that there are plenty of things to do. There are restaurants, bars, breweries, and other entertainment options. 

This can be the main draw for singles and young adults looking for the cheapest places to live in Florida with a younger population.

8) High Springs, FL

  • Cost of Living: 1.0x Lower than the National Average
  • Population: 6,000+
  • Average Rent: $745/month
  • Average Home Value: $167,800
  • Good for: Families, Retirees, Nature lovers

High Springs is often described as a quaint, small-town with an almost rural feel. With its cheap housing costs, it's no surprise why it's becoming a popular option for families and retirees.

The cost of living in High Springs is 1.0x lower than the national average and the average rent is $745/month. The average home value in High Springs is $167,800.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in High Springs is the Ginnie Springs. It has crystal clear water where you can swim, kayak, or canoe. This is a great weekend activity for families with children.

9) Lakeland, FL

  • Cost of Living: 0.9x Lower than the National Average
  • Population: 107,922+
  • Average Rent: $999/month
  • Average Home Value: $149,500
  • Good for: People working in Tampa or Orlando

Known for having over 38 lakes, the city of Lakeland is unsurprisingly a popular destination for fishing and boating enthusiasts. Additionally, with its low cost of living and ample job opportunities, it's also a popular place to live for those looking for the cheapest places to work and live in Florida.

Lakeland's cost of living is 0.9x lower than the national average and the average rent is only $999/month. If you want to own a home, the average home value in Lakeland is $149,500.

The proximity of Lakeland to bigger Florida cities like Tampa and Orlando (one-hour commute) makes it an alternative option for people wanting to work in the city but drive home to raise a family in a suburban type place.

10) Lake Alfred, FL

  • Cost of Living: 0.9x Lower than the National Average
  • Population: 142,700+
  • Average Rent: $884/month
  • Average Home Value: $142,700
  • Good for: Safety is your priority, Retirees, Families

If you want to move to a city that's very affordable but at the same time has a very low crime rate, then Lake Alfred is a good choice. The crime rate is -73.62% below the national average, making it a very safe place to live.

Lake Alfred has a cost of living that is 0.9x lower than the national average and the average rent is only $884/month. The average home value is $142,700.

Lake Alfred is home to Willowbrook Golf Course so it's a great option for retirees who want to live and golf without paying premium prices. 

This city is also great for families with young children as there are plenty of parks and playgrounds.

11) Live Oak, FL

  • Cost of Living: 0.8x Lower than the National Average
  • Population: 6,890+
  • Average Rent: $717/month
  • Average Home Value: $110,600
  • Good for: Small town living, Retirees, Nature lovers

Live Oak is another cheap town to live in Florida. A small town with only around 7,000 residents, it’s located in Suwannee County, which is known for its natural beauty.

With an average rent of only $717/month and an average home value of $110,600, it's perfect for those looking to downsize or retire. The cost of living in Live Oak is also 0.8x lower than the national average.

Live Oak offers a very small-town living experience. The community is tight-knit and the feel is almost rural. This place is more suitable for people who are more into nature like wildlife and beautiful springs.

However, there's not much in the way of amenities, entertainment, or nightlife so you would have to drive to neighboring towns. It’s also more suited to younger retirees who can still drive and don’t need as much assistance as the elderly.

12) Macclenny, FL

  • Cost of Living: 0.9x Lower than the National Average
  • Population: 6,592+
  • Average Rent: $900/month
  • Average Home Price: $140,600
  • Good for: Young families

Macclenny is often dubbed as the small town with a big town feel. This town is located in North Florida and is a popular place for families.

The cost of living is 0.9x lower than the national average. The average rent in Macclenny is only $900/month and the average home price is only $140,600.

Compared to other Florida towns, Macclenny has a younger demographic. Many residents often view this town as a great place to raise young children. However, the lack of entertainment and amenities for teens and adults may be a downside for some.

13) Quincy, FL

  • Cost of Living: 0.9x Lower than the National Average
  • Population: 7,334+
  • Average Rent: $800/month
  • Average Home Value: $77,100
  • Good for: Families, Potential homeowners on a budget

Used to be a tobacco manufacturing town, Quincy has gained a reputation of being a hip and trendy place to live in. It's popular with young families as well because of the super low cost of living.

The cost of living is 0.9x lower than the national average and the average rent is $800/month. The average home value in Quincy is only $77,100, which is great for those who are looking to purchase a home under $100k.

Quincy is also a good option if you don't want to settle in a retirement town as the demographic is relatively younger. Some of the popular attractions in Quincy include Apalachicola River Blueway National Recreation Trail, Gadsden Arts Center, and the Golf Club of Quincy.

Where Should You Not Live in Florida If You're on a Budget

If money is tight, then you should steer clear of the places where the cost of living is high and the cost to rent and own a house is expensive. There are also places that are attractive to many tourists, making the cost of living even more expensive.

Some of the most expensive places you should avoid are:

  • Palm Beach, FL
  • Miami, FL
  • Key West, FL
  • Surfside, FL
  • Bal Harbour, FL

Affordable Alternatives to Florida

Perhaps you're wondering if there are other states similar to Florida where you can move to. The answer is YES! There are many states in the US that offer great weather but also have a cost of living that is lower than the national average.

If you're looking for a place that is affordable and has great weather outside of Florida, then you should consider looking at the following states:

  • Arizona – Arizona is also a good place to live if you're on a budget. The cost of living is low in many Arizona cities and the weather is very sunny. Arizona is often at the top of the list for people looking for cheap places to retire.
  • Nevada – The cost of living in Nevada is very low. It's a good place to retire because it's very tax-friendly for retirees. It's a popular destination, especially for people coming from expensive California.
  • Texas – Texas is a large state with a wide range of climates to choose from. From the big city life in Dallas and Houston to the small-town feel in places, there's something for everyone. It's also more affordable to live in Texas than the national average.
  • Georgia – Georgia is another great option for those looking for an affordable state. Even the bigger cities are affordable compared to the national average. The weather is also pleasant in Georgia.

Find the Most Affordable Place to Live in Florida

Depending on your lifestyle, there are indeed cheap places in Florida where you can live, work, or retire. So, if you're looking for an affordable place to live in Florida, be sure to check out our guide on the most affordable places to live in the Sunshine State.

And remember, when it comes to finding a place to call home, don't just focus on the cost of living. Make sure you take into account all of the important factors that matter to you and your family.

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