The Surprising U.S. Cities Where Your Salary Goes the Furthest

iStock
iStock

Salaries in major metropolises like New York and Los Angeles may be higher, but your paycheck will go a lot farther in a small or mid-sized city. A new analysis by Indeed Hiring Lab lists the cities with the highest salaries, after they’ve been adjusted for cost of living—in other words, where residents get the most bang for their buck, City Lab reports.

The breakdown is based on job listings and salaries posted on Indeed's website from July 2017 to June 2018, as well as 2016 cost of living data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The analysis looked at 185 cities with a population of at least 250,000 people.

Coming in first place with an adjusted salary of $80,880 (compared to an unadjusted salary of $67,778) are the Texan cities of Brownsville and Harlingen. They're located about 23 miles apart, but together they make up a Census Bureau-designated region of about 335,200 people. (For a few of the slots on the top 10 list, a larger geographic region encompassing two or three cities, and sometimes two or three states, was identified).

Courtesy of Indeed, here are the top 10 metropolitan areas with the highest adjusted salaries:

1. Brownsville-Harlingen (Texas)
2. Kingsport-Bristol (Tennessee, Virginia)
3. Huntington-Ashland (West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio)
4. Merced (California)
5. Spartanburg (South Carolina)
6. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton (North Carolina)
7. Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula (Mississippi)
8. Toledo (Ohio)
9. Birmingham-Hoover (Alabama)
10. South Bend-Mishawaka (Indiana, Michigan)

However, there's one caveat: These 10 cities aren't necessarily the ones with the best job opportunities. "Places where adjusted salaries are higher often serve up other challenges," Indeed writes in its report. "They tend to have higher unemployment today and are projected to have slower job growth."

Perhaps of greater interest, Indeed did another calculation of the cities with the highest adjusted salaries and above-average opportunities. The geographic region of Duluth (Minnesota, Wisconsin) came out on top with an adjusted salary of $75,910, compared to an unadjusted salary of $68,547.

Here are the top 10 cities for both adjusted salary and jobs:

1. Duluth (Minnesota, Wisconsin)
2. Wilmington (North Carolina)
3. Lubbock (Texas)
4. San Antonio-New Braunfels (Texas)
5. St. Louis (Missouri, Illinois)
6. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade (California)
7. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway (Arkansas)
8. Salem (Oregon)
9. Kalamazoo-Portage (Michigan)
10. Gainesville (Florida)

[h/t City Lab]

10 of the Most Popular Portable Bluetooth Speakers on Amazon

Altech/Bose/JBL/Amazon
Altech/Bose/JBL/Amazon

As convenient as smartphones and tablets are, they don’t necessarily offer the best sound quality. But a well-built portable speaker can fill that need. And whether you’re looking for a speaker to use in the shower or a device to take on a long camping trip, these bestselling models from Amazon have you covered.

1. OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Portable Speaker; $26-$30 (4.4 stars)

Oontz portable bluetooth speaker
Cambridge Soundworks/Amazon

Of the 57,000-plus reviews that users have left for this speaker on Amazon, 72 percent of them are five stars. So it should come as no surprise that this is currently the best-selling portable Bluetooth speaker on the site. It comes in eight different colors and can play for up to 14 hours straight after a full charge. Plus, it’s splash proof, making it a perfect speaker for the shower, beach, or pool.

Buy it: Amazon

2. JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker; $110 (4.6 stars)

JBL portable bluetooth speaker
JBL/Amazon

This nifty speaker can connect with up to three devices at one time, so you and your friends can take turns sharing your favorite music. Its built-in battery can play music for up to 20 hours, and it can even charge smartphones and tablets via USB.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker; $25-$28 (4.6 stars)

Anker portable bluetooth speaker
Anker/Amazon

This speaker boasts 24-hour battery life and a strong Bluetooth connection within a 66-foot radius. It also comes with a built-in microphone so you can easily take calls over speakerphone.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker; $129 (4.4 stars)

Bose portable bluetooth speaker
Bose/Amazon

Bose is well-known for building user-friendly products that offer excellent sound quality. This portable speaker lets you connect to the Bose app, which makes it easier to switch between devices and personalize your settings. It’s also water-resistant, making it durable enough to handle a day at the pool or beach.

Buy it: Amazon

5. DOSS Soundbox Touch Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker; $28-$33 (4.4 stars)

DOSS portable bluetooth speaker
DOSS/Amazon

This portable speaker features an elegant system of touch controls that lets you easily switch between three methods of playing audio—Bluetooth, Micro SD, or auxiliary input. It can play for up to 20 hours after a full charge.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Altec Lansing Mini Wireless Bluetooth Speaker; $15-$20 (4.3 stars)

Altec Lansing portable bluetooth speaker
Altec Lansing/Amazon

This lightweight speaker is built for the outdoors. With its certified IP67 rating—meaning that it’s fully waterproof, shockproof, and dust proof—it’s durable enough to withstand harsh environments. Plus, it comes with a carabiner that can attach to a backpack or belt loop.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Tribit XSound Go Bluetooth Speaker; $33-$38 (4.6 stars)

Tribit portable bluetooth speaker
Tribit/Amazon

Tribit’s portable Bluetooth speaker weighs less than a pound and is fully waterproof and resistant to scratches and drops. It also comes with a tear-resistant strap for easy transportation, and the rechargeable battery can handle up to 24 hours of continuous use after a full charge. In 2020, it was Wirecutter's pick as the best budget portable Bluetooth speaker on the market.

Buy it: Amazon

8. VicTsing SoundHot C6 Portable Bluetooth Speaker; $18 (4.3 stars)

VicTsing portable bluetooth speaker
VicTsing/Amazon

The SoundHot portable Bluetooth speaker is designed for convenience wherever you go. It comes with a detachable suction cup and a carabiner so you can keep it secure while you’re showering, kayaking, or hiking, to name just a few.

Buy it: Amazon

9. AOMAIS Sport II Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker; $30 (4.4 stars)

AOMAIS portable bluetooth speaker
AOMAIS/Amazon

This portable speaker is certified to handle deep waters and harsh weather, making it perfect for your next big adventure. It can play for up to 15 hours on a full charge and offers a stable Bluetooth connection within a 100-foot radius.

Buy it: Amazon

10. XLEADER SoundAngel Touch Bluetooth Speaker; $19-$23 (4.4 stars)

XLeader portable bluetooth speaker
XLEADER/Amazon

This stylish device is available in black, silver, gold, and rose gold. Plus, it’s equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, a more powerful technology that can pair with devices up to 800 feet away. The SoundAngel speaker itself isn’t water-resistant, but it comes with a waterproof case for protection in less-than-ideal conditions.

Buy it: Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Amazon Customers Are Swearing by a $102 Mattress

Linenspa
Linenspa

Before you go out and spend hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars on a new mattress, you may want to turn to Amazon. According to Esquire, one of the most comfortable mattresses on the market isn’t from Tempur-Pedic, Casper, or IKEA. It’s a budget mattress you can buy on Amazon for as little as $102.

Linenspa's 8-inch memory foam and innerspring hybrid mattress has more than 24,000 customer reviews on Amazon, and 72 percent of those buyers gave it five stars. The springs are topped by memory foam and a quilted top layer that make it, according to one customer, a “happy medium of both firm and plush.”

A bare mattress from Linenspa in a bedroom
Linenspa

Perhaps because of its cheap price point, many people write that they first purchased it for their children or their guest room, only to find that it far exceeded their comfort expectations. One reviewer who bought it for a guest room wrote that “it is honestly more comfortable than the expensive mattress we bought for our room.” Pretty impressive for a bed that costs less than some sheet sets.

Getting a good night's sleep is vital for your health and happiness, so do yourself a favor and make sure your snooze is as comfortable as possible.

The mattress starts at $102 for a twin and goes up to $200 for a king. Check it out on Amazon.

[h/t Esquire]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.