Living in rural areas has been a growing trend among people looking for a simpler and more affordable lifestyle. Idaho, with its scenic beauty and abundance of natural resources, is a popular choice for those seeking to escape the chaos of city life.

In this guide, we will explore how you can lower your expenses and live well in rural Idaho.

The Cost of Living in Idaho

The cost of living in Idaho is significantly lower than many other states. According to data, Idaho ranks as the 4th most affordable state to retire in the US. This is due to various factors such as low housing costs, lower taxes, and a lower cost of living index overall.

Lower Housing Costs

One of the biggest expenses for individuals or families is housing. In Idaho, housing prices are well below the national average, making it an attractive option for those looking to save money. This is especially true in rural areas where land and property prices are even more affordable.

Lower Taxes

In addition to lower housing costs, Idaho also has lower taxes compared to many other states. The state income tax rate ranges from 1.125% to 6.925%, with a median property tax rate of just 0.75%. This means you can keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.

Lower Cost of Living Index

The cost of living index is a measure that compares the average costs of goods and services between different locations. Idaho’s cost of living index is significantly lower than the US average, making it an ideal place for those looking to save money. This is especially true in rural areas where the cost of living index can be even lower.

Living Well in Rural Idaho

Aside from lower expenses, living well in rural Idaho also means enjoying a high quality of life. The state boasts some of the most scenic landscapes and offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, fishing, and more. Additionally, the low population density in rural areas allows for a slower pace of life and a strong sense of community.

Embracing the Local Culture

Living in rural Idaho means being surrounded by its unique culture and way of life. Take advantage of local festivals, farmer’s markets, and other community events to get a taste of what makes this state so special. You can also support local businesses and artisans, which not only helps the economy but also allows you to experience the true essence of Idaho.

Connecting with Nature

Rural Idaho is known for its vast natural landscapes and abundance of outdoor activities. Take advantage of this by exploring the numerous hiking trails, lakes, and mountains that are just a short drive away. You can also enjoy camping, fishing, and other outdoor activities year-round.

Utilizing Renewable Energy

Living in a rural area means having more space and potentially even owning land. This opens up the opportunity to utilize renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines, which can help lower your expenses and reduce your carbon footprint. Idaho also offers a net metering program for those who generate their renewable energy.


Living in rural Idaho allows for a simpler and more affordable lifestyle without sacrificing quality of life. Lower housing costs, taxes, and overall cost of living make it an attractive option for those looking to save money. Additionally, the abundance of natural resources and a strong sense of community offer plenty of opportunities for a fulfilling and enjoyable life in the Gem State.

So why not consider making rural Idaho your new home? You may just find that it’s the perfect place to lower your expenses and live well.