By Morgan Quinn GOBankingRates.com.
The city you choose to live in can have a major impact on your finances. Large cities like San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles have become unaffordable for many residents and some have chosen to relocate in search of economic stability, homeownership and a less-expensive lifestyle.
So just where are the best places to live if you want to save some cash, and which cities are the worst for your wallet?
GOBankingRates conducted a survey of the best and worst cities for saving money, based off factors that affect your finances most: sales tax, median home and condo value, median monthly rent, median income, unemployment rates and gas prices.
If you are thinking about making a move to improve your financial future, check out our list of the top and bottom 10 cities for saving money.
PORTLAND, ORE. _Population: 609,456 _Sales tax: 0 percent _Median home/condo value: $268,800 _Median monthly rent: $905 _Median Income: $52,158 _Unemployment: 5.9 percent _Gas: $2.13 a gallon With relatively low rents, an average unemployment rate and no sales tax, the hipster capital of the United States tops our list of best places to save money. Residents also enjoy bike-friendly roads, easy access to the great outdoors and a vibrant arts scene. Just make sure you don't spend all your money on the 83 breweries in the Portland metro area.
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA _Population: 300,950 _Sales Tax: 0 percent _Median home/condo value: $281,000 _Median monthly rent: $1,184 _Median Income: $72,575 _Unemployment: 5.6 percent _Gas: $2.53 a gallon More than half of all Alaskans live in Anchorage and it's almost the size of Delaware, but this city feels like a small town _ it's not uncommon to see businessmen waiting for moose to cross the streets. Rents are higher than some of the other cities on our list, but the median income is impressive, the median home price is relatively low and there is no sales tax. Anchorage is also young _ the city was founded in 1915 and the average resident is just 32 years old, which makes it a great place to save some money and get ahead.
LINCOLN, NEB. _Population: 268,738 _Sales tax: 7 percent _Median home/condo value: $143,300 _Median monthly rent: $683 _Median income: $48,070 _Unemployment: 3.2 percent _Gas: $1.93 a gallon If you can stomach the erratic weather and violent storms, Lincoln, Neb., is one of our top cities for saving money. Median rents are low, unemployment is well below the national average and gas is dirt-cheap. If you have dreams of owning a piece of land, Lincoln has some great deals on property and you can get from the wine bar to the cornfield in five minutes flat. It also helps if you are a football fan: The population is just over 268,000 but the Cornhusker football stadium has a capacity of more than 80,000.
BOISE, IDAHO _Population: 214,237 _Sales tax: 6 percent _Median home/condo value: $167,000 _Median monthly rent: $771 _Median income: $47,446 _Unemployment: 4.1 percent _Gas: $1.90 a gallon Housing in Boise is less expensive than most major metropolitan areas, but the city still offers many of the same amenities as its larger and more urban counterparts: theater, dining, museums and plenty of access to outdoor recreation. Boise also has relatively mild seasons and low crime; additionally, Sunset Magazine named the North End neighborhood one of the best places to live and work in 2014.
MADISON, WIS. _Population: 243,344 _Sales tax: 5.5 percent _Median home/condo value: $206,600 _Median monthly rent: $867 _Median income: $51,180 _Unemployment: 4.3 percent _Gas: $1.98 a gallon Madison, Wis., was named the best place to live in 2015 by Livability.com for good reason: Housing costs, unemployment rates, sales tax and gas prices are all low. Residents also enjoy dining at top restaurants, listening to live music and strolling State Street, the iconic downtown center. This mid-sized city offers ample opportunities for people to find work, own homes and live an affordable lifestyle.
OMAHA, NEB. _Population: 434,353 _Sales tax: 7 percent _Median home/condo value: $130,400 _Median monthly rent: $760 _Median income: $45,159 _Unemployment: 4.3 percent _Gas: $1.92 a gallon Omaha is the second Nebraska city to make our list, with low median housing costs and unemployment and a median income that's higher than the state median. Residents are known for being friendly and down to earth, but if you really want to get in good with them, just order a Runza and say, "Go Big Red!"
WICHITA, KAN. _Population: 386,552 _Sales tax: 7.15 percent _Median house/condo value: $118,400 _Median monthly rent: $661 _Median income: $43,776 _Unemployment: 6.2 percent _Gas: $1.82 We aren't the only one who thinks Wichita is a great city for saving money. MSN Real Estate ranked it as the No. 1 most affordable city. The high unemployment rate hurt Wichita's rank in our study, but the affordable median housing, rent and gas prices make this city a very attractive option. Wichita's Old Town is full of brick-exposed apartments, bars, restaurants, theaters and shopping. Make sure to pick up a pair of cowboy boots while you're there.
FORT WAYNE, IND. _Population: 256,496 _Sales tax: 7 percent _Median house/condo value: $98,900 _Median monthly rent: $634 _Median income: $42,540 _Unemployment: 6 percent _Gas: $2.04 a gallon Fort Wayne is just one of the Midwestern locations that made our list of best cities to save money. The Indiana Business Research Center says Fort Wayne saw a significant population increase between 2010 and 2013. Maybe it's the insanely low cost of living, historic architecture, family friendly festivals and activities, or perhaps people are finally catching onto the fact Fort Wayne is home to the famous BBQ RibFest, an annual event that draws BBQ masters and fanatics from across the country.
ARLINGTON, TEXAS _Population: 379,577 _Sales tax: 8 percent _Median house/condo value: $129,100 _Median monthly rent: $814 _Median income: $51,285 _Unemployment: 5 percent _Gas: $1.87 a gallon Arlington is one of two Texas cities that made our list of best cities for saving money. The city dropped two places from last year's GOBankingRates study, where it was ranked the No. 7 best city for saving money. Nestled between Dallas and Fort Worth, this city offers low housing prices coupled with a relatively high median income. In fact, Forbes named Arlington as one of the best places to buy a home in 2014, and WalletHub listed it as the fourth-best city to find a job.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS _Population: 316,381 _Sales tax: 8.25 percent _Median house/condo value: $113,900 _Median monthly rent: $840 _Median income: $49,336 _Unemployment: 4.9 percent _Gas: $1.83 a gallon Corpus Christi is the final Texas town on our list. The sales tax is fairly high, but the unemployment rate is low, and the median rent, home values and income will have you "living in high cotton." The city is also near popular travel destinations like Padre Island, Mustang Island and King Ranch, one of the largest ranches in the world. ___ Unlike our top 10 cities for saving money, residents in our 10 worst will pay more in taxes and rent, spend more on their houses, earn less and be less likely to be gainfully employed. Americans interested in saving money should stay far away from California. Nine of the 10 worst cities for saving money are in the Golden State. Here's our list of the bottom 10.
SAN FRANCISCO _Population: 837,442 _Sales tax: 8.75 percent _Median house/condo value: $727,600 _Median monthly rent: $1,512 _Median income: $73,012 _Unemployment rate: 4.6 percent _Gas: $2.66 per gallon According to real estate marketplace Zumper, San Francisco takes the title of most expensive city, surpassing New York for the first time ever. Housing costs have skyrocketed, rent is almost totally unaffordable and sales tax and gas prices are some of the highest in the country. On the flip side, the local tech industry keeps unemployment rates fairly low and the city is home to some of the best restaurants, nightlife and culture in the United States, but residents pay a high price to call San Francisco home.