How far does $50 go in Illinois?

Sperling calculates cost of living indices on a US average of 100. Anything below 100 means Illinois is cheaper than the US average.

Illinois is cheaper for the following utilities:
• Housing: 87
• Groceries:97.1
• Miscellaneous: 98

Health ranks 100.

Wad of CashIllinois holds its general rate of living in Illinois at 95.60.

The cost of living is measured by how far your purchasing power extends in comparison to other regions or states. (At the same time, however, states with higher price levels generally raise their salaries so the calculation balances out).

After two years of observations, the Bureau of Economic Analysis recently showed that $50 would go furthest in Mississippi, Arkansas, South Dakota, Alabama, and West Virginia. Unsurprisingly, you would get least for your buck in the District of Columbia, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, and California.

We pay higher property taxes than any other nation, higher college tuition fees than 95 other states, and higher taxes in general. We pay more or less the same for a gallon of gas, health care, and home prices. On the other hand, we pay cheaper than 47 other states for car insurance, electricity, and rent.

How about differences in the cost of living in Illinois, our own state?

Movoto crowned Chatham the most affordable place to stretch your bucks. This was followed by:
Washington; Morton; Springfield; East Peoria; Quincy; Kewanee; Pontiac ; Pekin and Moline
The most expensive areas are: Lincoln, Crest Hill, New Lennox, Mt. Vernon, Hanover Park, and Macomb.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014) shows the Kendall area with its overall cost of living index of 109 to be the most expensive for you to live in. Generally, your $50 would go further in the southern and central regions (particularly the southern) than it would in the northeastern.

So want to go shopping with that $50? Move to Chatham or Southern Illinois.