Money

10 US cities with high-paying jobs and a low cost of living

The West End Marketplace in Dallas
Danny Lehman | Getty Images
The West End Marketplace in Dallas

Choosing the ideal place to live can be hard. Most of the time, it seems like you have to pick an area that offers a low cost of living or an expensive one that's home to high-paying jobs.

But in many U.S. cities, you don't have to choose. GOBankingRates crunched the numbers to find places where the average annual salaries are high and the cost of living is low.

To determine the top cities, GOBankingRates compared average annual income to average monthly living expenses for each area, taking into account median rent prices, groceries and utility bills, using data from Zillow, Numbeo and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Cities in the South and Midwest, such as Dallas and Omaha, dominated the list. Oklahoma City nabbed the No. 1 spot, thanks to an average annual income of $72,385 and estimated annual expenses of $18,701. That leaves over $53,000 per year for saving, investing and fun.

Here are 10 places that offer high wages coupled with an affordable cost of living, allowing you to bank more of your income for the future.

10. Charlotte, North Carolina

Average annual income: $86,922
Median monthly rent: $1,344
Cost of annual necessities: $23,249

Charlotte, North Carolina
Anne Rippy | Getty Images
Charlotte, North Carolina

9. Dallas, Texas

Average annual income: $76,726
Median monthly rent: $1,445
Cost of annual necessities: $23,057

Giorgio Fochesato | E+ | Getty Images

8. Tampa, Florida

Average annual income: $80,121
Median monthly rent: $1,344
Cost of annual necessities: $23,035

Tampa skyline
Judy Kennamer | iStock/360 | Getty Images
Tampa skyline

7. Bakersfield, California

Average annual income: $76,673
Median monthly rent: $1,353
Cost of annual necessities: $22,632

Bakersfield, California sign
E+ | Getty Images

6. Omaha, Nebraska

Average annual income: $74,125
Median monthly rent: $1,324
Cost of annual necessities: $21,779

Omaha, Nebraska
Andrew Reese | Getty Images
Omaha, Nebraska

5. Durham, North Carolina

Average annual income: $74,401
Median monthly rent: $1,341
Cost of annual necessities: $21,625

Durham, NC skyline with the Hill building on the left and Durham Center on the right.
Getty Images
Durham, NC skyline with the Hill building on the left and Durham Center on the right.

4. Phoenix, Arizona

Average annual income: $73,135
Median monthly rent: $1,296
Cost of annual necessities: $21,412

Phoenix, Arizona skyline
photoquest7 | iStock / 360 | Getty Images
Phoenix, Arizona skyline

3. Lexington, Kentucky

Average annual income: $77,827
Median monthly rent: $1,215
Cost of annual necessities: $20,535

Lexington, Kentucky
Davel5957 | Getty Images
Lexington, Kentucky

2. Kansas City, Missouri

Average annual income: $69,301
Median monthly rent: $1,092
Cost of annual necessities: $19,756

Kansas City, Missouri
Tim Clayton | Corbis | Getty Images
Kansas City, Missouri

1. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Average annual income: $72,385
Median monthly rent: $1,070
Cost of annual necessities: $18,701

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Jeremy Woodhouse | Image Bank | Getty Images
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma