NEW YORK CITY — SmartAsset, a financial technology company based in New York City, conducted a study to determine the most affordable areas in each U.S. state. It ranked Shelby County 10th in the state for purchasing power, making it one of the “Top 10” most affordable places to live in Ohio.
According to the SmartAsset website, their study utilized three published resources — the US Census Bureau 2019 American Community Survey, the MIT Living Wage Study, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 Consumer Expenditure Survey — to calculate two different metrics for the cost of living expenses for households with a single adult living without any dependents. The first study was an average cost based solely on location, and the second study was an a weighted average based on the differential of median income to the minimum living wage for that area, less income taxes.
Purchasing power is the amount of goods and services that can be purchased with a unit of currency. Given the disparity of income and cost of living across the U.S., the degree of purchasing power will vary depending on levels of income and living location. Places with high living expenses will likely negatively impact disposable income, and places with lower living expenses can allow for more flexibility in budgeting and spending.