All great cities are not created equal, at least when economics are the key factor. Cities known for low cost rental units and best bargain real estate deals are often competitive with the overall cost of living. With so many choices across the country, there's no need to settle for a high cost of living area unless you are bound by employment or family. For those who wish to pack it all in and cut a new pathway for life in the cheap lane, here's a head start with seven value cities to get more bang for your buck.

1. Las Vegas NV.

Las Vegas has more to offer than one-armed bandits and pulling an all-nighter at the Craps table. The casinos are actually an asset to this once sleepy desert town, generating enough revenue to lower the tax burden on the Nevada residents. In addition to lower taxes, living in Las Vegas affords a lot of house for your money, well above the national average of price per square foot. Dining and entertainment are at your fingertips, with plenty of options for a cheap meal and access to some of the best discount mall outlets in the country. If you wish to live large on very little, Las Vegas is the place to be.
flickr/cc - deneyterrio

2. Austin, TX.

Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in America, and it is for good reason that the masses are flocking to the Old South West. Word has caught on that the great city of Austin offers affordable real estate prices, moderate rents and a wide and diverse selection of job opportunities to include corporate careers with some of the nation's top executive companies. The University of Texas at Austin graduates thousands of technical and engineering students every year who may find local and lucrative employment with Dell, Ebay, Google, Samsung and Apple Inc., just to name a few. Life is good in Austin, with the city's five star amenities and a growing economy offering the best of upscale living on a budget.

3. Hemet, CA.

If Southern California living is your lifestyle, but you don't want to pay a fortune for housing, the Riverside County city of Hemet is the ticket. Located in the beautiful San Jacinto Valley, Hemet is freeway close to the major metropolis regions of Orange and San Diego counties, while maintaining a secluded and low cost of living environment. Employment within the Hemet city limits favors medical careers, various government jobs, education, manufacturing, and finance opportunities. Hemet has a small town look and feel, making it a great escape from the bustle of big city living. The Hemet real estate price tags are cut down to size and there is plenty of acreage available to buy a plot and build your dream home in Southern California.

4. Birmingham, AL.

Birmingham, Alabama has enjoyed a steady growth rate, with over one million people calling this sparkling city home. Known for it's easy tax rate, the state of Alabama collects only 2 to 5 percent personal income tax from its residents and boasts of the lowest property taxes in the country. Corporate taxation currently does not exceed 7 percent, drawing big business to settle and operate from the major Alabama cities. Birmingham has found its place as a magnet for jobs while offering a carefree lifestyle with low cost real estate and rentals. Medical, financial, sales and banking job opportunities lead the way with some of the best and brightest corporate employers in the world making Birmingham their home.

5. Provo, UT.

If snowcapped mountains and crispy clean air are your standards for life, you may opt for a home in Utah's third largest city. Provo has moved with the times, and exceeded the technology market as one of the largest headquarters for software development in the country. Employment opportunities abound for the technically trained job applicant who seeks outdoor excitement, beautiful landscapes, top wages, and a low cost of living with their housing. Homes in Provo are not only new and spacious, but many come with a generous cut of land to call your own. Centrally located about 40 miles outside of Salt Lake City, the quiet enclave of Provo makes for an easy commute to big city life while maintaining it's integrity for small town living.

6. Raleigh, NC.

There's no law against living on the cheap and being a pretty place, and Raleigh delivers on low rent and beautiful, tranquil surroundings. Life is good in this capital city, with it's more than a quarter of a million population faring well on less than $50,000 a year. Home to three leading universities, Raleigh is the place to learn and live in this most hospitable town. Raleigh is rich in culture, entertainment and the arts and is also a draw for job applicants holding a PhD degree. Leisure time is at it's best with Raleigh's excellent golf courses, biking trails and over 7000 acres of rolling green parks. This North Carolina gem has enjoyed a steady growth rate of nearly five percent a year, offering a first class lifestyle on a shoestring budget.
flickr/cc - kencf0618

7. Boise, ID.

The city of Boise has long been known for its roomy and comfortable housing picked up at a fraction of the cost of most of American cities. In addition, Boise residents enjoy low utility rates, an amenity that really counts in the winter months with a heating bill can cripple a household budget. Boise motorists save time and money with this capitol city's excellent public transportation system from the Valley Regional Transit, serving Boise and it's environs. Trolley car service is soon to arrive making the scoot about town process faster and more economical while adding personality and punch to this lovely Northwestern town.

Special thanks to those filling in while I was on vacation - Article courtesy of Miles Walker, a freelance writer and blogger who compares car insurance deals over at CarinsuranceComparison.Org