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Want to Save Money: Head South

If the idea of saving money seems appealing, you’ll have an easier time doing so if you live in the southern half of the U.S. That’s because the cost of living is lower, college tuition is more affordable, jobs are more plentiful and the South’s economy, in general, is healthier. Here’s a closer look at why so many adults consider moving to the South or remaining there for the long haul.

It Costs Less to Live

What do Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, South Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Georgia have in common, other than being Southern states? They’re all in the Top 25 states for having the lowest cost of living for a family of four. It’s almost always cost less to live in the South than in the North, and perhaps that’s one of the reasons the population has been slowly shifting toward the South. It’s hard to say for sure, but for working parents, singles or couples, it costs much less to live in a place like Montgomery, Alabama, than in Chicago.

Education is More Cost-Efficient

Some of the nation’s best educational value for college-bound students, graduates and returning students are in the Southern states. Florida’s St. Leo University, Milligan U. in Tennessee, Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina, Berry College in Georgia and Bob Jones U. in South Carolina represent some of the nation’s schools that deliver the best educational value for every dollar spent. All have sterling reputations among employers and boast an impressive list of famous alums. Attending a value school is one of the most effective ways of keeping tuition costs down but getting a well-respected degree at the same time.

If you already have college behind you but still have education debt, a smart way to instantly reduce monthly expenses is to refinance student loans with a private lender. This money-saving technique opens the door to lower rates, longer repayment periods and reduced payment amounts. That translates into a healthier budget and more peace of mind.

The Job Market is Healthy and Growing

In most every sector, particularly health care and engineering, the South leads the nation in job opportunities. Several decades ago, this was not the case, but new educational research institutions, major corporate headquarters and other strides forward have turned this part of the U.S. into an excellent place to find a job. The strong job market has opportunities for young people, college grads, mid-career workers and just about everyone else. Cities like Birmingham, Alabama, and Plano, Texas, are two examples of new employment hubs that attract people from all over the country.

The Long-Term Economic Outlook is Bright

Three places that are typical examples of how the region’s economy has soared in just a single generation are Houston and San Antonio, both in Texas, and also Orlando, Florida. All three cities have undergone major growth in the last decade, become employment hotspots and attracted global companies searching for places to build new factories and investment centers.

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