The next time someone calls an Ogden area resident a "cheapskate," they should take it as a compliment. After all, frugality is the new black in these post-Great Recession times.
Kiplinger's, a personal finance magazine published since 1947, scoured the country for the cities where living costs are well below the average and incomes are higher than average, and the combination of prosperity and affordability appeals to cheapskates and spendthrifts alike. And Ogden ranked second, behind Omaha.
Such rankings tend to measure metropolitan areas as identified by the U.S. Census Bureau. In this case that would be the Ogden-Clearfield metropolitan area, which takes in all of Weber and Davis counties.
Here is the top 10 list with Kiplinger's justifications:
1. Omaha, Neb. Omaha tops our ranking and sports the lowest cost of living (12.3 percent below average) of all cities with median incomes above the national level. Housing costs fall 18.8 percent below the national average and you'll find plenty to keep you entertained--the city tallies 1.8 public libraries and museums per 10,000 people and a flurry of free activities.
2. Ogden, Utah. Residents earn the highest household income of all our cheapskate cities, 18.2 percent more than the US median. Enjoy the 100-year-old 25th Street Historic District, the 152-acre Nature Center and Dinosaur Park
3. Des Moines, Iowa. Grocery and health care expenses are about 6 percent cheaper than average. The median home value is $153,700, or $32,500 less than the national median; the concentration of public libraries and museums is the second highest of this list, with 1.92 per 10,000 people.
4. Columbus, Ohio. Hit the Buckeye State for more affordable living--Columbus has the second-lowest overall living cost of all the cities on this list (12 percent below the national average) and below-average costs on everything from groceries to health care. Home to Ohio State University, Columbus offers plenty of campus amenities to the entire town.
5. Raleigh, N.C. While sporting the lowest average housing-related costs of all the cities on this list--a whopping 30.7 percent below the national average--Raleigh still affords its residents a generous household income (on average, $61,407) and offers more than 40 free cultural attractions to enjoy around town.
6. Cincinnati, Ohio. Home values stand 16 percent below the national median, at $156,400; energy costs are 17.7 percent less than the national average. Cincinnati also offers five regional and 70 neighborhood parks, 34 nature preserves and a 1,459-acre forest to explore.
7. Salt Lake City, Utah. Most of your living costs in Salt Lake City will add up to less than the national average. Housing and utilities are the biggest budget savers -- 15.9 percent and 13.7 percent below typical costs, respectively. Food, transportation and health care also contribute to the area's affordability and National Geographic named Salt Lake one of the best US cities for hiking.
8. Austin, Texas. Food, housing, utilities and transportation in the area are all priced well below the national average, and local groceries prove to be the most affordable of all the cities on this list at 10.4 percent under par. Music lovers will have no shortage of affordable venues to visit--you could see more than 250 live performances without having to revisit a single spot.
9. St. Louis, Mo. St. Louis is the biggest city on this list and houses the greatest number of public libraries and museums of all of our cities. Housing is the biggest contributor to St. Louis's affordability; the area's housing-related expenses fall 27 percent below the national average.
10. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The least populous city on our list, Cedar Rapids offers below-average transportation and grocery costs, and its biggest budget saver is housing. The median home value is $137,100 -- the lowest of all the cities on this list and $49,100 below the national median. The city also has an average of 2.4 public libraries and museums per 10,000 people, topping the US average of 1.5.