15 Cheapest Places to Live in California in 2023

Looking to move to California but worried about the high cost of living? You’re not alone. Even though California is renowned for being one of the most expensive states in the US, it is also well known for having wonderful weather, breathtaking beaches, and a booming economy. The good news is that California still has cheap housing options that won’t break the bank.

You’ll be pleased to know that, regardless of your financial situation, you can still live the California dream whether you’re a student, a recent graduate, or a retiree. In this article, we’ll be exploring the cheapest places to live in California, so you can start planning your move to the Golden State without any financial worries.

cheapest places to live in California

If you are a budget traveler there is no shortage of cheap vacation spots in California. But it is not that easy to find a cheap place in California if you have a dream to live here.

My goal was to provide you with a truly comprehensive idea of affordable California cities to live in. To achieve this I collaborated with fellow travel bloggers and worked together to compile a list of the most affordable places to live in California.


most affordable places to live in California

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay any extra penny, but I’ll get a small commission that encourages me to deliver more helpful content for you.


  • Population: 203,311
  • Median home cost: $750,000
  • Crime rate: 3.68 (Per 1,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate: 3.2%

Oxnard, a beach city in Ventura County with 200,000 residents, is located 60 miles from Los Angeles and 38 miles from Santa Barbara.  

Why It is Cheap?

Even though the city has a sizable population, prices have remained affordable when compared to other places in Southern California. Family homes can be found in the mid 400s and a one-bedroom apartment can be rented for $1,400 per month (or less). Utilities and transportation are lower than the state median.

Oxnard is an agricultural hub. Because of this, there is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables all year round. This is a great way for residents to balance their food budgets.

Cheap California cities to live
Housing in Oxnard

Housing costs are cheaper in Oxnard. This is mainly because there are less career options and a significantly slower pace of life compared to other major cities in the state. In comparison to other California towns, Oxnard offers a higher proportion of affordable housing options. Last but not least, the city is in a prime location close to numerous stunning beaches and other tourist destinations, making it an attractive area to live for those who wish to experience California’s natural beauty without having to pay a premium for it.

Nearby Sightseeing

The number of things to do in Oxnard is high. The city counts 20 miles of beaches, a harbor, and plenty of water-related activities (kayaking, deep-sea fishing, whale watching). From the harbor, you can visit the Channel Islands National Park, an archipelago dubbed the “Galapagos of North America.”

Other attractions include Heritage Square, two automotive museums, wine tasting rooms, breweries, and shopping venues. 

Most affordable places to live in california | Point Mugu in Oxnard
Point Mugu in Oxnard

When it comes to food, restaurants in the city showcase multicultural hues. You can enjoy Mexican, Brazilian, Italian, Japanese, and American cuisines.  

Cost of Living in Oxnard

The California Budget Center estimates a single adult needs $2,200 per month to cover costs in Oxnard. This budget includes housing, utilities, food, health care, transportation, miscellaneous, and taxes.

Cost of Living in Oxnard
Source: https://nomadlist.com/cost-of-living/in/oxnard

Ventura County shines when it comes to the manufacturing, retail, tourism, agriculture, defense, and healthcare industries. On the other hand, the area is not strong when it comes to technological industries such as e-commerce, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and advertising.

  • Rent and Utilities: $1800
  • Groceries: $550
  • Transportation: $100
  • Entertainment: $100
  • Monthly Budget for One Person: $2200(Average)

Pros and Cons of Living in Oxnard

Pretty safe, spacious and not crowdedHospitals are not that great
Very easy to do businessMaking friends can be difficult

Recommended By: Ruth Rieckehoff


  • Population: 127,471
  • Median home cost: $ 638,947
  • Crime rate: 4.92 (Per 1,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate: 5.3%

Located in Fresno County, Clovis is one of the cheapest places to live in California if you are planning to move there. A city with natural beauty, Clovis gives a community feel to its residents.

Due to its unique position at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, this city is a great place to stay on a budget. Its amazing location and popularity as the “Gateway to the Sierra” have led to a gradual increase in population.

Families with kids love to move in here because of the availability of affordable homes. Besides, there are a lot of schools with high rankings, which makes it a great place for students as well.

Although the unemployment rate is still at a higher percentage, the economy is growing steadily, and there is a huge possibility for job opportunities. The people are friendly, making the city a safe place for everyone.

Why Is It Cheap?

One of the reasons that make Clovis cheap to live in is its home pricing. The average home cost is lower than the national average. On average, the monthly rent of an apartment costs around $1208. Moreover, schooling and cost of living, such as healthcare, and transportation, are also cheaper than other cities in California.

Nearby Sightseeing

There is a lot to see and do in the Clovis area if you live there. Visit the historic downtown district, take in local celebrations like Big Hat Days or the Clovis Rodeo, or go hiking in the Sierra National Forest nearby. With a variety of dining and shopping options, Clovis has something for everyone to enjoy.

The nearby Farmers’ Market is a great place to visit to get some fresh, local produce. Old Town Clovis gives the feeling of a rich heritage, and the place is surrounded by many restaurants, cafes, gift shops, and many more.

Cost of Living in Clovis

For a single adult, the cost of living in Clovis is almost $36,169 a year, including housing, transportation, health care, food, and taxes.

Wild Water Adventure Park
Wild Water Adventure Park


  • Population: 101,475
  • Median home cost: $ 476,546
  • Crime rate: 5.35 (Per 1,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate: 4.0%

Situated in Northern California, Chico is a place with beautiful weather where you can move in without burning a hole in your pocket. It takes just 1.5 hours from Sacramento to reach this quiet and beautiful place.

You will hardly find winter here, and the all-year-round pleasant weather makes it a great place to settle in. Popularly known as the “ City of Roses”, the people of Chico are quite friendly and active.

The presence of Chico State University is one of the major advantages of moving to Chico. Besides having a great education, the city is also known for having good healthcare and friendly neighborhoods.

Why is it cheap?

Housing is definitely a cheaper option available in Chico. Moreover, healthcare and transportation are also quite affordable. The average rent of an apartment is around $1375.

Nearby Sightseeing

Bidwell Park is one of the major attractions of Chico. With a vast area of 11 miles, it is a great place for hikers and bikers to go for an amazing ride. The natural landscape and the flower-wrapped surroundings make it a picturesque tourist attraction. If you love to visit museums and learn some information about the city, then make sure to visit Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park.

Cost of Living in Chico

The cost of living index of Chico is 117.4. A single adult with a yearly income of $100,000 can comfortably live in Chico.

Bidwell park

4. Cheapest Places to Live in California: RANCHO CUCAMONGA

  • Population: 177,207
  • Median home cost: $ 754,200
  • Crime rate:  3.18 (Per 1,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate: 3.00%
READ NEXT:  10 Exciting Things to Do in Point Reyes, CA(2023 Visitor's Guide)

Rancho Cucamonga is a city located about halfway between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, along Route 66. Nestled in the foothills of the mountains, this once a large wine-producing region has turned into a growing metropolis that is a perfect stop on a road trip and an affordable place to live in California. 

Why It is Cheap?

This area is much more affordable than living in Los Angeles, and it is still close enough to commute into LA for work. The train runs into Los Angeles and it takes a little over an hour to reach Union Station.

However, it may be considered relatively more affordable compared to other cities in the region like Los Angeles, due to slightly lower housing costs, lower tax rates, and a lower crime rate. Additionally, the city has a variety of employment opportunities available, which can help to offset some of the higher costs of living.

Nearby Sightseeing

Rancho Cucamonga has a few local historical museums and hiking options. The John Rains House gives an overview of the history of the area. The most popular hiking trail, the Etiwanda Preserve, is perfect for an afternoon hike.

There are even several local wineries to go wine tasting at. It is very easy to take a weekend trip to Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs, or the Los Angeles area.

Rancho Cucamonga | Most affordable places to live in california
Rancho Cucamonga

Cost of Living in Rancho Cucamonga

Rancho Cucamonga is one of the most affordable cities to live in Southern California, where you can expect to spend around $2200 per month on rent, utilities, and food. Additionally, Rancho Cucamonga is home to many unique and locally-owned restaurants.

The newly opened Haven City Market offers a variety of food vendors. Vince’s Spaghetti and the Sycamore Inn are also classic joints locals love. Rancho also contains several chain hotels to stay in. 

  • Rent and Utilities: $1800
  • Groceries: $505
  • Transportation: $150
  • Entertainment: $120
  • Monthly Budget for One Person: $2600(Average)
Cost of Living in Rancho Cucamonga
Source: LivingCost

Pros and Cons of Living in Rancho Cucamonga

More affordable than Los Angeles and a great place to be in for day trips as well as weekend trips.Worst traffic in America
Beautiful climate. 290 sunny days and no snowPublic transportation system is not great

Recommended By: Francesca Makana


  • Population: 403,455
  • Median home cost: $ 380,075
  • Crime rate:  4.99 (Per 1,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate: 6.80%

Bakersfield is probably one of the most affordable places to live in California that is also a fairly big city with over 300,000 residents.

cheapest cities to live in california |Mount Whitney Hike in Bakersfield
Mount Whitney Hike in Bakersfield

Why It is Cheap

For those who are accustomed to living along the coast in California, they will find Bakersfield as “sub-par” to live in comparison to big-city amenities such as Los Angeles.

However, if you’re looking for an inexpensive place to live in California that is within 2-3 hours driving distance to some of the golden state’s best attractions, then you might just love it.

Bakersfield does not have big-city vibes and is more of a suburban community supported by agriculture and the oil industry. Please note that Bakersfield can be unbearable in summer. The high temperature in summer in many California cities is one of the reasons for me to regret moving to California.

It’s also at the gateway to the Sierra Nevada Mountains making it an easy weekend trip to some amazing hiking adventures like hiking Mount Whitney (the highest peak in California and the lower 48 states), which is only a 3-hour drive from Bakersfield. If you live in Los Angeles, you would be driving upwards of 4-7 hours (depending on traffic) just to make the same trip.

Nearby Sightseeing

Likewise, Bakersfield is only 2-3 hours from the coast, great wineries, big cities, and national parks. There are even some local parks like the Wind Wolves Preserve and local breweries in the Kern Canyon like Kern River Brewing Company that are only an hour’s drive from Bakersfield. Undoubtedly, Bakersfield is one of the best places to live in California on a budget.

If you’re looking for a place to live that’s not only affordable but a close escape to weekend adventures, then Bakersfield is a great choice.

Cost of Living in Bakersfield

Cost of Living in Bakersfield
Source: https://nomadlist.com/cost-of-living/in/bakersfield

The average cost of living is around $1700-2200 per month. If you’re looking for the cheapest places to buy a house in California, Bakersfield makes for an excellent choice.

  • Rent and Utilities: $1400
  • Groceries: $500
  • Transportation: $100
  • Entertainment: $90
  • Monthly Budget for One Person: $2100(Average)

Pros and Cons of Living in Bakersfield

Reasonable housing ratesToo hot in the summer
Lots of outdoor activitiesPublic transportation is not as efficient as large cities

Recommended By: Allison


  • Population: 16777
  • Median home cost: $ 265,024
  • Crime rate:  7.61 (Per 1,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate: 5.20%

The city of Clearlake is in Lake County in Northern California, approximately 110 miles north of San Francisco. The city itself is not densely populated with an estimated population of 15,250.

Why It is Cheap

If you are finding cities with the lowest cost of living in California, Clearlake is one of them. Housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living and median home prices are very favorable for individuals in Clearlake at around $107,531. You may also be able to find a property with acreage that will allow you to build or farm.

Dining out in the city is very affordable, as there are relatively few high-end, expensive restaurants. But if you enjoy fine dining, a quick trip to nearby Napa Valley is a fantastic choice.

Nearby Sightseeing

Life in Clearlake is relatively laid-back, with a variety of recreational activities centered around California’s largest natural lake, Clear Lake. Water sports such as fishing, boating, water skiing, wakeboarding, and sailing are popular here.

cheap places to live in california | Clearlake

If hiking is your thing you can take in the nature trail walk at historic Anderson Marsh State Historic Park, one of the best hiking trails in California

You can also take a short 20-minute drive to Kelseyville and take the Mt. Konocti trail hike. You will be amazed by the view overlooking Clear Lake

There are no large retail stores in Clearlake, other than Walmart. So, you will have to drive over an hour out of town to Ukiah or Santa Rosa if that is what you are after. 

Cost of Living in Clearlake

Based on all these factors, a single individual could be able to live comfortably on an average of a budget of around $2,300 a month. That may be favorable for some individuals, but not all. It is all about your preferences and needs.

  • Rent and Utilities: $1600
  • Groceries: $410
  • Transportation: $200
  • Entertainment: $140
  • Monthly Budget for One Person: $2300-2600(Average)

Pros and Cons of Living in Clearlake

One of the most affordable places in California to liveThere is not much to do which it makes Lake County boring
It offers residents a sparse suburban feel 1 in 10 people are unemployed here

Recommended By: Mike Holland from The Hollapinos 


  • Population: 176,162
  • Median home cost: $ 822,422
  • Crime rate:  4.16 (Per 1,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate: 3.50%

If you want to live close to the coast in San Diego County, you’re going to be paying a pretty penny to do so. But those who have been keeping an eye on San Diego real estate and rentals no doubt notice that the city of Oceanside often has much more affordable housing than even popular Carlsbad Village, just to its south.

Best places to live in california on a budget | Oceanside

Why It is Cheap

Luckily, many of the restaurants and bars from years past still are operating in Oceanside. They provide laidback and affordable places for brunch or a place to meet up with friends after work.

Oceanside is the northernmost city in San Diego County and is just south of Camp Pendleton, a military base. Above all, it is a relatively safe place to live in California at cheap.

Oceanside has long had a bit of a wild reputation, but in the past decade it has cleaned up its act and the downtown area has undergone a massive revitalization, turning into a hip and happening place.

Nearby Sightseeing

It’s now home to some of the best restaurants in North County San Diego, has a popular beer trail, and a gorgeous long, sandy beach that is also home to a lovely pier that you can walk down and even get a milkshake from the Ruby’s Diner on the end of the pier.

Cost of Living in Oceanside

Cost of Living in Oceanside
Source: https://nomadlist.com/cost-of-living/in/oceanside

Oceanside is one of the best affordable places to live in California. An expat can live for less than $2400 per month in the inland valley of Oceanside.

  • Rent and Utilities: $1800
  • Groceries: $400
  • Transportation: $150
  • Entertainment: $120
  • Monthly Budget for One Person: $2400(Average)

Pros and Cons of Living in Oceanside

It’s cheaper than areas closer to San DiegoBeing a military base there is nothing to do in the back gate of Camp Pendleton
It has a beautiful pier and a beach with palm trees Terrible traffic and parking

Recommended By: Gina Tarnacki

READ NEXT:  10 Best Wineries in Santa Barbara County


  • Population: 329,534
  • Median home cost: $ 441937
  • Crime rate: 12.62 (Per 1,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate: 5.0%

Stockton, another cheap city to live in California is situated in the Central Valley of California. Just 90 minutes away from San Francisco, Stockton boasts affordable living.

The extremely pocket-friendly housing and gorgeous weather make it a great option for moving. Also, you get your own home away from the chaos and crowd of the city.

The presence of The West Coast Medical School and the University of the Pacific are some of the great academic institutions. The growing population has contributed to a lot of job opportunities as well.

Moreover, Stockton is majorly an agricultural city, and there are more than 200 crops grown a year. Hence, it is a great place to indulge in farm produce local foods. The downtown also has some famous restaurants such as Smitty’s Wings and Things, Bento, The Omelet House, and many more.

Why is it cheap?

Stockton’s cost of living is lower than the national average. The average apartment rent is around $1539. Education, healthcare, and housing are quite affordable.

Nearby Sightseeing

Haggin Museum is a top destination in Stockton. It has some of the most world-famous paintings and artifacts. If you are an art lover, you will fall in love with this place. Visit Pixie Woods for a different experience altogether. Stockton Arena, Banner Island park and the University of Pacific are also some of the nearby sightseeing options.

Cost of living in Stockton

The cost of living in Stockton is 15% lower than the state average. For a single adult, it will cost around $2018 for one month, including food, rent, transport, and utilities.

9. Most Affordable Places to Live in California: SACRAMENTO

  • Population: 524,943
  • Median home cost: $ 491,487
  • Crime rate:  6.79 (Per 1,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate: 4.00%

Surprising to see that the capital of the Golden State is indeed one of the best affordable place to live in California. Located in the center of the state and in between the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe, Sacramento has a fantastic quality of life and is still affordable. Significantly, there you can find lots of free things to do in Sacramento.

Inexpensive places to live in california | sacramento downtown
Sacramento Downtown

Why It is Cheap

Good jobs, affordable property values, and outdoor lifestyles make the city a wonderful place for families, multi-generational families, and even solo professionals enjoying the lifestyle in this city. You can check out CalCareers and Indeed to find the best suitable jobs for you.

Good paying jobs with state and local government, hi-tech companies, biotech, and a diversified economic base affords a good employment base and opportunities to afford a very comfortable lifestyle in the city and that makes it one of the cheapest places to live in Northern California.

Nearby Sightseeing

One of the definite advantages of living midway in the state is the access to mountains in the Sierra and outdoor adventures and also an easy drive to the Bay Area for urban culture, historic sites, and other big city exploration. Sacramento itself has lots of interests and attractions being the capital city of the state.

You can check out what to do in Sacramento here for all of the fantastic attractions, landmarks, and historic places of interest along with some quirky and fun places to explore around the city.

Cost of Living in Sacramento

Cost of Living in Sacramento
Source: https://nomadlist.com/cost-of-living/in/sacramento

If you are looking for a 1 bedroom, expect to pay near around $2300 per month which is pretty typical for the downtown/midtown area for nice apartments. You will get a cheaper option on the outskirts of Sacramento, Suburbs, or surrounding areas where you can easily find 1 bedroom for $1200–1800.  

  • Rent and Utilities: $1800
  • Groceries: $480
  • Transportation: $150
  • Entertainment: $100
  • Monthly Budget for One Person: $2500(Average)

Pros and Cons of Living in Sacramento

Sacramento has one of the highest rates of employment in CaliforniaThe summers are exceptionally hot
Cultural experiences are plentiful and lots of opportunities for weekend getawaysThe city is becoming overcrowded

Recommended By: Noel Morata

Read Next: 8 Cheapest Places to Live in Hawaii


  • Population: 1,410,791
  • Median home cost: $ 951,975
  • Crime rate: 3.88 (Per 1,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate: 3.20%

San Diego is not cheap. So why is it mentioned on this list of the Cheapest Places to Live in Southern California? Because luckily, there are quite a few pockets in and near San Diego that are still affordable to live in. 

Best affordable places to live in california | San Diego
San Diego

Read Also: San Diego Souvenirs – What to Buy from San Diego?

Why It is Cheap

Barrio Logan is a cost-effective California neighborhood right next to downtown, some of it even within walking distance. The neighborhood is really up and coming and has some nice restaurants, taco shops, bars, and taprooms, as well as lots of cheap markets. Rent starts at $800 for a 1 bedroom 1 bath, which is really great for Southern California and especially such proximity to downtown.

Tips: While most of Barrio Logan is safe, be aware that there are some areas that have higher crime rates and also gang activity, so I recommend you get to know the area first before you rent a place.

La Mesa is a few miles inland and is a great family-friendly neighborhood in California that is still very affordable. A 1 bedroom 1 bathroom will start between $700-800 per month.

Unless you go during rush hour, downtown or the beaches are only a 20-minute drive from La Mesa, making it a very centrally located city. Additionally, La Mesa has a charming Main Street filled with shops and restaurants that make it a fun place to live in San Diego.

If you are ok with sharing an apartment and want to live near bars and beaches, I highly recommend finding a shared apartment in Pacific Beach. This is where many college kids live and finding roommates will be easy.

There are a ton of bars and you are within biking distance to the beach. A private room in a shared apartment will start at around $900-1200. 

Nearby Sightseeing

There are plenty of free things to do in San Diego including Balboa Park, La Jolla Cove, ample hiking trails, and gorgeous beaches. It is also considered one of the best weekend getaways in California. I recommend getting up early one day and planning to witness a beautiful sunrise.

Cost of Living in San Diego

Cost of Living in San Diego
Source: https://nomadlist.com/cost-of-living/in/sacramento

San Diego comes out as slightly more expensive compared to the other cities on the list, but it makes up for the excellent regulatory framework. Expect to pay a minimum of around $2200-2600 per month to live in San Diego comfortably.

  • Rent and Utilities: $1800
  • Groceries: $510
  • Transportation: $150
  • Entertainment: $150
  • Monthly Budget for One Person: $2600

Pros and Cons of Living in San Diego

Access to numerous outdoor activities and events to enjoySan Diego is certainly not the cheapest places, but manageable
Food options in San Diego are some of the best in CaliforniaTraffic is horrible now than before

Recommended By: Maria Haase, San Diego Explorer

Read Also: 10 Most Popular Places to Live in Southern California


Truly, if you are looking for the cheapest places to live in California for seniors, it doesn’t get any cheaper than Slab City. Nicknamed “The Last Free Place in America,” Slab City really takes FREE to heart.

The small town is more of a large community compound, inhabited largely by snowbirds and the few hundred people who live there year-round.

Why It is Cheap

The origins of Slab City are pretty interesting, as it is technically on government-owned land and is the remnants of an old marine training base.

After World War II, the military pulled out of the area and left behind giant concrete slabs, which gave the town its name. These slabs eventually attracted RVers and snowbirds who settled in the area and set up permanent camps, drawing more individuals over time.

The residents of Slab City live in old buses, tents, trailers, and other makeshift homes, all rent-free. However, even freedom has a price, as there is no running water, electricity, sewage lines, Wi-Fi, or cell phone service.

Nearby Sightseeing

While Slab City is essentially in the middle of the desert in Imperial County, there are a few cool sightseeing spots nearby. The first, Slab City itself, which is home to Salvation Mountain and an incredible collection of contemporary art pieces and installations that spark discussions and challenge mainstream societal beliefs.

It is also close to the Salton Sea, the cities of Coachella Valley, and the California-Mexico border! 

cheapest places to live in California | slab city
Slab City

Pros and Cons of Living in Slab City

Perfect place for free spirits, creative soulsDrug addicted homeless people
Insanely cheap places in California where you can meet some interesting peopleSlab City is not for all. Especially if you are looking for a comfortable life.

Recommended By: Kay

READ NEXT:  9 Insanely Cheap Places to Live in the Bay Area in 2023


  • Population: 466,742
  • Median home cost: $794,368
  • Crime rate: 5.05 (Per 1,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate: 5.2%

California is known for being one of the most expensive places in the United States. Fortunately, there are a few great places that are considered affordable. Long Beach must be on your list if you’re looking for the cheapest places to rent in California. Also, you can have fun at a very affordable price.

It is a laid-back, fun, progressive, and active city in Los Angeles County. If you find yourself in Los Angeles with family, be sure to make a stop in Long Beach which is one of the cheapest cities to live in California.

Why It is Cheap?

Depending on the specific area of the city you decide to live in, public transportation is easily accessible and inexpensive. If you are close to Downtown Long Beach trains are the easiest way to get around the city. The other most popular option is buses, but it is more convenient to get around the city by cars.

Long Beach
Long Beach

Nearby Sightseeing

There are a lot of popular activities such as Pride, concerts at the Convention Center, the Queen Mary, the Pike, amazing food, fun beaches, and festivals. There is always something to do in Long Beach on any given weekend.

One of my favorite things about this city is the people. Most people you encounter are happy and will have a smile on their face. It is also a city that is very dog friendly and Rosie’s Dog Beach is one of the best dog beaches in California. If you have a four-legged friend this is the place to be. 

Please Note: There are a few cons about Long Beach. The major pain point is the lack of parking in some areas. If you have a car you may have to pay a monthly fee for parking. Also, the small-town feel has been overshadowed over the last few years with the increase of businesses in the area. 

Cost of Living in Long Beach

Long Beach is one of the cheapest and safest places to live in California. You can live on a monthly budget of $2,600 per month. Please remember, that everyone’s budget is different depending on their lifestyle. 

  • Rent and Utilities: $2000
  • Groceries: $530
  • Transportation: $150
  • Entertainment: $100-200
  • Monthly Budget for One Person: $2600(Average)
Cost of Living in Long Beach
Source: LivingCost

Pros and Cons of Living in Long Beach

Perfect location, you can get anywhere quickly OC and LALimited parking and homeless people.
Public transportation system is extensive and affordableThe crime rate is not that high, but there’s definitely some gang crime

Recommended By: Cee Lewis


  • Population:  556,339
  • Median home cost: $ 374,506
  • Crime rate: 6.80 (Per 1,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate: 5.9%

It is a fact in California that the closer to the ocean you are, the more expensive the city is to live in. If you like sunny weather, Fresno can be a perfect place for you to live in California at cheap.

Fresno is never too cold, or wet although it is pretty hot in the summer. Smog and crime rate can be your headache, but if you consider living near the California State University area, it can be a great place to live with beautiful surroundings.

Why It is Cheap?

San Joaquin Valley is also known as the agricultural center of California where 90 % of the entire United States fruits and vegetables are grown. The average rate for a one-bedroom apartment is very cheap and can be found within $800.

The city is laid out on a grid and the topography is flat, so it’s easy to find your way around in Fresno.

Fresno, California
Fresno, California

Nearby Sightseeing

Fresno has plenty of things to do for all ages. Fresno is a place that is within two hours of three national parks, three hours from Los Angeles, and three hours to San Francisco, two hours to the Pacific Ocean, and some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. The proximity to the magnificent nearby sightseeing is the main advantage of staying in Fresno.

Cost of Living in Fresno

The cost of living is reasonable compared to other parts of California. From a one-bedroom apartment to grocery and clothes, everything is affordable in Fresno. You can expect to live here for less than $2100 per month.

  • Rent and Utilities: $1500
  • Groceries: $350
  • Transportation: $150
  • Entertainment: $110
  • Monthly Budget: $2100

Pros and Cons of Living in Fresno

Pretty affordable, central location, close to both SF and LA. Summer temperatures can exceed 110F
Amazing food scene and diverse neighborhoodsAir quality is lower than average

So, it is very much possible to live in California without breaking your bank. I hope you’ve found this guide to the cheapest places to live in California useful. As always, I would love to hear from you! Let us know if you are planning to move any of these cheapest cities to live in California.


  • Population: 26,308
  • Median home cost: $ 458403
  • Crime rate: 6.94 (Per 1,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate: 3.30%

Situated in Northern California, Eureka is a small city with a small population that takes you to the Victorian era. If you want to have the real experience of California but on a budget, then Eureka is the perfect place for you.

With mountains, great weather, coastline, and palm springs, Eureka is an amazing place to settle in. it provides great opportunities for outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, and many more.

Although the population is quite small, you will find people of all races and ethnicities, and the communities are extremely friendly. The locals love to celebrate festivals together.

Since the population is very low, job opportunities are limited, and young adults prefer to move out to different cities for better employment. Besides having friendly neighborhoods and heartwarming residents, some areas experience property crime and violent crimes.

Why is it cheap?

The low housing cost is one of the major reasons for making Eureka a cheap place. Also, the city is agricultural-based hence residents can easily get fresh foods and meat. Moreover, the low population and low job opportunities make it a cheaper place.

Nearby Sightseeing

Sequoia park garden is a place seated in the lap of nature. With a varied collection of flowers and trees, it makes for a perfect day trip to soak in nature. Make sure to carry some food with you as you can have a nice picnic there.

Carson Mansion is a treat to the eyes due to its beautiful architecture. If you are on the lookout for some historical adventure, Carson Mansion is a must-visit. Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Humboldt Bay, and Old Town Eureka are some other nearby sightseeing options in Eureka.

Cost of living in Eureka

The cost of living in Eureka is around $1772 on a monthly basis, including food, rent, transport, and other utilities for a single adult. The monthly rental cost for an apartment is $712.


  • Population: 73,168
  • Median home cost: $ 600999
  • Crime rate:  3.27  (Per 1,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate: 3.20%

Redlands is nested near San Bernardino, which is only 45 miles away from Palm Springs and 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles. With a limited population, Redlands is full of Victorian buildings and gardens.

If you are moving with a family, this is great as the people are quite friendly. A diverse population lives here, and the availability of good schools allows kids to have quality education. However, the weather is dry all year round, and there is a high earthquake risk.

Why is it cheap

This city is known for its affordability, thanks to low property rates and a variety of affordable housing options available in California. While there are several reputable schools and universities in the area, job opportunities are limited, resulting in lower demand for employment and ultimately contributing to the lower overall cost of living. As a result, this city has become an attractive option for those seeking affordable housing in California without sacrificing their quality of life.

Nearby Sightseeing

The most famous destination is A.K Smiley Library due to its rich heritage and historical value. It has a huge collection of books and fine art. Ford Park is a great spot for kids to have fun as it has tennis courts, fishing ponds, and lots of fun-filled activities. The University of Redlands is a must-visit due to its vast and beautiful campus.

Cost of living in Redlands

The cost of living for a single adult on average is about $2629, which includes food, rent, utilities, and others.

Ford Park
Ford Park

You May Also Like


cheapest places to live in California
Most affordable places to live in california

FAQs: Cheapest Places to Live in California

1. Where are the cheapest places to live in California by the beach?

Ventura in Los Angeles is an affordable California beach town to live in if you want to be somewhere with beautiful views and charming weather. Some other inexpensive coastal cities to live in California are Long Beach, San Pedro, and Eureka. If you can apply your bargaining skill efficiently, finding a cheap place in California near the beach is not a big deal.

2. What are the cheapest and safest places to live in California?

Finding a cheap but safe place in California can be painful. Long Beach can be an ideal option for you. However, I will recommend getting a local who can help you to find the right place and can guide you away from some of the high crime areas.

3. What are the affordable family-friendly places to live in California?

If you are planning to move to California with family, Bakersfield could the place for its affordability, weather, and countless family-friendly fun activities.

4. Where is the cheapest place to live in Southern California?

There are several inexpensive cities to live in Southern California such as Rancho Cucamonga, Yucca Valley, San Bernardino, and Bakersfield where the cost of living is relatively low. It is easier to find cheap places in Imperial county in Southern California.

5. What is the cheap place to live in California for college students?

Fresno is rapidly becoming popular among college goers. It is an affordable college town in California where utilities, healthcare and transportation costs all average less than the national average.

6. Where is the most affordable place to live in Northern California?

Sacramento, Sonoma, Eureka, and Clearlake are relatively inexpensive to live than other places in Northern California.

7. What are the cheapest places to live in California near San Diego?

Barrio Logan and La Mesa are just a few miles away from San Diego where you can find 1 bedroom apartment at $700-800.

Similar Posts


  1. I really enjoyed reading through your post. I’m Canadian but lived in the states for many years and my late husband and I had traveled back to get married in California and drive the whole state. It was fabulous and a beautiful spot.

      1. I think Oxnard and Rancho Cucamonga are two places I have lived and the cost of living in these places is increasing very fast.

  2. Thanks for publishing this helpful content. It really helped me to find some affordable places to move to California.

  3. Cali Native says:

    The worst traffic in America is not in Rancho. It literally takes minutes to drive to the grocery store and run errands.

    1. Yup, the traffic condition is improved a lot and is still better compared to Los Angeles.

  4. Don’t forget to mention that if you buy a condo, note HOA fees are generally over $200-500/mos.

    1. Don’t buy anything with a HOA.
      They’re great for invalids (old and/or fat folks who can’t or won’t DIY), but other than the cost, there are many reasons that you wouldn’t want to get stuck with one of those.

  5. Thank you for this comprehensive list of the most affordable places to live in California. Well done!!

  6. Thank you for sharing such in-depth content. Helped a lot.

  7. When exactly was this study done on this?

    1. Hi Toni, we always try to keep this post updated and we update this frequently.

  8. Thanks, so how do I find an apartment near the water for under $1,500 a month?

    1. Hi Toni, you can check PropertyShark or Zillow to find affordable apartments near the water in California.

  9. Yoooo!!!! You put Slab City on here! LMAOOOOOOOOO. I’ve driven through there. Gnarly place! For sightseeing you gotta include Bombay Beach and East Jesus. The whole area is represented in Trevor’s location of GTA V. So cool!

  10. Mission viejo is NOT affordable / cheap by any means. Average house $800,000 dollars.
    gasoline — $4.75/ gallon & going up every day.

  11. I am planning to move to California and looking for a budget-friendly city to raise my family. the post is really amazing.

  12. Thank you, for all the information you have on affordable places to live in California. I continue to do my research so that I do not become a statistic. I am moving back home, and I am excited! Your site makes it possible for me to do thorough research. Thank you for all the updates. Success to you and your family! great reading and information in the 10 insanely cheap places to live in California!

  13. Marian Murdoch says:

    You forgot about Ridgecrest, CA! Cheap home prices, low crime, lots to do if you like off-roading, friendly people.

  14. I’m a CA native and life long resident and have lived in some of the areas on the list, know people living in other places on the list. North of Sacramento is pretty much the only areas that are affordable, but lately due to fires and So Cal people moving here, not as affordable as it used to be. I would highly recommend you do your own real research before moving here. I can tell you this, if you like high crime rates, high cost of living in most areas, heat and drought, earthquakes, and forest fires that fill your summers with smoke filled lungs, then come on over!

    1. None of this is plausible with the current minimum wage and rising costs, this is a load of bull.

  15. Oxnard is a complete shithole! Full of gang members, shootings, stabbings, felons driving around with guns are arrested every day. Nobody speaks English, graffiti everywhere. Do nothing city council because they know the illegals can’t and won’t complain.

  16. Clear lake is so polluted you aren’t supposed to even swim in it 🙁

  17. Mr. Prakash Chandra Devkota says:

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge about low-cost housing options in California.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *