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Moving to Oklahoma: Affordable Living and Rich Cultural Experiences

Welcome to the heartland of hospitality and rolling plains – Oklahoma! If you’re contemplating a move to the “Sooner State,” you’re in for a treat, and not just in the form of their world-famous pecan pies. As you’re packing up your life and possibly a collection of cowboy boots, it’s essential to remember that moving to Oklahoma is more than just a change of address; it’s a passport to a life filled with friendly faces, affordable living, and landscapes that look like they’ve been plucked straight out of a classic Western movie. 

Did you know that Oklahoma ranks as the 4th most affordable place to live in the U.S.? Yes, your wallet will breathe a sigh of relief here! From finding a job in a state where truck drivers and nurses are as in-demand as a cold drink on a hot summer day, to choosing the perfect neighborhood that fits your lifestyle – be it the family-friendly vibes of Edmond or the bustling university life in Norman. 

And let’s not forget the essentials like changing your address, setting up utilities, and maybe even mastering the art of tornado spotting (yes, it’s a thing here). Moving to Oklahoma is not just about relocating, it’s about embracing a lifestyle where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, and the waving wheat sure smells sweet. 

So buckle up your seat belts (or saddle up your horses), as we dive into what makes Oklahoma a place not just to live, but to thrive.

Here is the List of 13 Things to Consider When Moving to Oklahoma

1. Before You Take Off to Oklahoma

When it comes to moving to Oklahoma, the first step isn’t packing your bags; it’s packing your strategy. First off, you need a moving company that’s as reliable as Oklahoma’s love for college football. 

Hunting for the right mover in Oklahoma is like trying to find the best barbecue joint – it takes some digging, but once you find it, it’s a game changer. Look for movers with glowing reviews, a website that doesn’t look like it’s from the 90s, and experience that says, “We’ve got you covered from Tulsa to Oklahoma City.” 

And let’s talk jobs. Oklahoma’s job market is as diverse as its landscape. With a low unemployment rate, it’s like a “Help Wanted” sign in almost every window. Key industries are calling – think truck driving, nursing, and retail.

Next up, it’s time to play mail tag! Opt for USPS’s mail forwarding service. At the cost of just over a buck for six months, you can ensure all your important letters find their way to your new Oklahoma home. Consider it your personal mail homing pigeon!

Now, the fun part – out with the old, in with the new! Moving to Oklahoma gives you a fantastic opportunity for a fresh start, and part of that involves deciding what to leave behind. Like that ugly sweater from Aunt Edna. Or your collection of pet rocks. Sell or donate the items you won’t need in your new life. Trust us, your moving boxes will thank you!

2. Touchdown in Oklahoma: First Steps

Congratulations, you’ve made it to Oklahoma! Now, before you get lost in the beauty of the Wichita Mountains or start a conversation with a friendly local (and trust me, they’re all friendly here), there are some must-dos. 

First, take a walk around your new neighborhood. It’s not just about finding the closest coffee shop for your caffeine fix; it’s about knowing your emergency numbers like you know the lyrics to “Oklahoma!” from the musical. Safety first, y’all.

And if you’ve brought your car, don’t forget to exchange your out-of-state driver’s license within 30 days. The DMV doesn’t take kindly to procrastinators, and you don’t want your driving test skills getting rusty.

Speaking of your car, remember to register it. You’ve got 30 days to do this too (there’s that number again!). Get Oklahoma car insurance, fill out some forms, and voila – you’re officially an Oklahoman driver. Just remember to drive on the right side of the road, unless you’re trying to reenact scenes from a Western.

city skyline in USA

3. Settling Down in Oklahoma

Choosing where to live in Oklahoma is like picking your favorite flavor of pie – they’re all good, but some just feel right for you. For couples, consider Jenks. It’s like that perfect blend of rural charm and nightlife, like having your cake (or pie) and eating it too. Plus, the diverse culture and amenities are the cherries on top.

For families, Edmond is your slice of heaven. It’s brimming with top-notch schools, parks that are every kid’s dream, and job opportunities that make adults sigh in relief. It’s the kind of place where neighbors become friends and backyard barbecues are a regular thing.

Singles, turn your attention to Norman. It’s not just a university town; it’s a vibrant hub of young professionals and coffee shops that might just make you forget about Starbucks. The public schools are top-rated, too, so if you decide to plant roots and start a family, you’re already ahead of the game.

Setting up home services in these places is as easy as pie. Need electricity, water, or internet? The Oklahoma Corporation Commission and various providers have you covered. They make setting up utilities as easy as a click or a call, which is good, because who wants to spend their first week in Oklahoma on hold with customer service?

4. Cost of Living in Oklahoma

Let’s talk money – and how much of it you’ll be spending (or saving!) in Oklahoma. Think of Oklahoma’s cost of living as the happy medium between a thrift store and a luxury boutique – you get more than your money’s worth without breaking the bank. 

Moving to Oklahoma means you can live comfortably without having to sell your grandmother’s antique brooch. It’s a place where your dollar stretches further than a cowboy’s lasso, making it an ideal spot for anyone looking to balance a budget-friendly lifestyle with quality living.

Income and Expense Table Comparison for Oklahoma

CategoryAverage Income (Monthly)Average Expenses (Monthly)
Average Income  
Median Household Income$4,500 
   
Housing  
Rent (1-bed Apartment) $1,250
Mortgage (Average Home) $1,200
   
Utilities  
Electricity, Heating, etc. $338
Internet $81
   
Transportation  
Car Maintenance $150
Public Transit $50
   
Food and Groceries  
Groceries $218
Eating Out $150
   
Healthcare  
Insurance Premiums $250
Out-of-Pocket Expenses $100
   
Miscellaneous  
Entertainment $100
Clothing $75
Savings / Investments Variable

Note: These are average values and can vary based on individual circumstances and locations within Oklahoma.

5. The Weather in Oklahoma

When it comes to weather, Oklahoma is like that one friend who can never decide what to wear. With over 230 sunny days a year, Oklahoma’s weather is like a mood ring – expect bright, sunny summers and winters that can dip to a chilly 26°F with some snow.

Oklahoma’s summers are perfect for lake days and outdoor BBQs, with enough sunshine to make your sunscreen work overtime. But don’t let the winter blues get you down – the cold months are still bright and crisp, perfect for sipping hot cocoa and exploring Oklahoma’s stunning landscapes in a different hue.

Spring in Oklahoma is like nature’s grand opening, with blooming flowers and a refreshing breeze. And let’s not forget fall, when the state turns into an Instagram-worthy palette of reds, oranges, and yellows. It’s the ideal backdrop for pumpkin picking and hayrides.

Remember, Oklahoma weather keeps you on your toes, so having a wardrobe that’s as versatile as a Swiss Army knife is key. It’s not just about surviving the weather here; it’s about thriving in it. So whether you’re basking in the sun or wrapped up in a cozy sweater, Oklahoma’s weather adds a touch of drama and beauty to everyday life.

sunny day in a city

6. What to Do as a Local in Oklahoma

Alright, you’ve unpacked, and now it’s time to play! Oklahoma isn’t just about moving boxes and paperwork; it’s a treasure trove of fun waiting to be explored. As a new Okie, you’ve got a backstage pass to the state’s best attractions. 

Start with the Tulsa Zoo – it’s not just for kids. Here, you can befriend giraffes and debate philosophy with the monkeys (or at least try to).

Then there’s the Castle of Muskogee. It’s where Halloween meets Renaissance fair, and it’s as fun as it sounds.

Grocery shopping in Oklahoma can be an adventure in itself. From the health-conscious Sprouts Farmers Market to the budget-friendly WinCo Foods, you’ll find everything you need and more. And for the big hauls, there’s always Walmart and Costco, where you can buy anything from a loaf of bread to an inflatable kayak.

In short, living in Oklahoma is like having an all-access pass to fun, food, and adventure. There’s always something to do, see, or eat, making every day in Oklahoma a day to remember.

7. Education in Oklahoma

If you’re moving to Oklahoma with a family, or you’re just a lifelong learner, you’ll be pleased to know that education here is taken as seriously as college football rivalries. Oklahoma boasts a diverse array of educational opportunities, from top-notch public schools to prestigious universities. 

The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University are the headliners, offering a range of programs that could even make Ivy Leaguers a bit envious. And for the younger crowd, the public school systems in cities like Edmond and Norman receive gold stars for their academic excellence and innovative programs.

But it’s not just about textbooks and classrooms. Oklahoma’s educational landscape is rich with vocational and technical schools, perfect for those looking to master a trade or skill. The state understands that a one-size-fits-all approach to education is as outdated as dial-up internet. 

Whether you’re aiming for a PhD or a technical certificate, Oklahoma’s education system has a path for you. Plus, the community colleges here are as welcoming as a grandma’s hug, offering a more affordable route to higher education or a new career path.

8. Cultural Richness and Diversity in Oklahoma

One of Oklahoma’s hidden gems is its rich tapestry of cultures. This state is a melting pot of Native American heritage, cowboy culture, and Southern charm. 

With over 39 Native American tribes calling Oklahoma home, the state offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in indigenous history and culture. Don’t miss the annual Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City – it’s a vibrant display of Native American art, dance, and tradition.

But it’s not all history and heritage. Oklahoma’s modern cultural scene is buzzing too, with music festivals, art galleries, and live theater performances. In cities like Tulsa and Oklahoma City, you can find everything from jazz clubs to avant-garde art exhibitions. 

And let’s not forget the food – Oklahoma’s culinary scene is a delightful fusion of traditional Southern comfort food, Native American cuisine, and modern culinary innovations.

9. Outdoor Adventures and Activities in Oklahoma

For the outdoor enthusiasts, Oklahoma is a playground of natural beauty and adventure. The state’s diverse geography includes over 200 lakes, numerous state parks, and the mesmerizing Wichita Mountains. 

Whether you’re into fishing, hiking, or just enjoying a picnic under the vast Oklahoma sky, there’s an outdoor activity for everyone.

Lake Eufaula, the largest lake in Oklahoma, is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. You can go boating, jet skiing, or just relax on its sandy beaches. For hikers, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge offers breathtaking trails and the chance to spot bison, elk, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. 

And for those who prefer a more leisurely pace, the scenic drives through the Talimena National Scenic Byway are unbeatable for their autumn foliage.

10. Business and Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is not just a great place to live; it’s also a land of opportunity for business and entrepreneurship. The state’s business-friendly climate is evident in its low tax rates, affordable real estate, and supportive community of entrepreneurs. 

Oklahoma City and Tulsa, in particular, are burgeoning hubs for startups and small businesses, with a growing reputation for innovation in sectors like aerospace, biotechnology, and energy.

The state offers various resources and incentives for budding entrepreneurs, including business incubators, networking events, and funding opportunities. Plus, the cost of doing business here is significantly lower than in many other states, making it an attractive location for both established companies and new ventures. 

Whether you’re looking to start a tech company, open a quirky coffee shop, or anything in between, Oklahoma provides a fertile ground for your entrepreneurial dreams to take root and grow.

11. Healthcare and Wellness in Oklahoma

Healthcare in Oklahoma, much like its famous wide-open spaces, offers both quality and accessibility. The state is home to renowned healthcare facilities like the University of Oklahoma Medical Center and the Integris Health System. 

These institutions are not just healthcare providers; they’re pioneers in medical research and patient care. Whether you’re in need of routine check-ups or specialized treatment, Oklahoma’s healthcare system ensures that you’re only a stone’s throw away from top-notch medical services.

But healthcare in Oklahoma isn’t just about treating illnesses; it’s also about embracing a lifestyle of wellness and prevention. The state has an increasing number of fitness centers, yoga studios, and wellness spas – perfect for keeping both your body and mind in tip-top shape. 

Oklahoma’s emphasis on preventive healthcare is evident in community programs and events focused on healthy living, from farmer’s markets offering fresh, local produce to city-wide fitness challenges. This holistic approach ensures that residents not only live longer but also enjoy a better quality of life.

single art in a narrow empty gallery when moving to oklahoma

12. Arts and Entertainment Scene in Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s arts and entertainment scene is as vibrant and diverse as its sunsets. The state boasts a rich artistic heritage, reflected in its numerous galleries, theaters, and live music venues. 

In Oklahoma City, the Paseo Arts District is a haven for art lovers, offering a mosaic of art galleries, studios, and boutiques. For theater enthusiasts, places like the Tulsa Performing Arts Center and Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma provide a steady diet of Broadway plays, ballet, and opera.

The music scene in Oklahoma is a pulsating mix of country, rock, and everything in between. The state has birthed music legends and continues to nurture new talent in its many live music venues. 

Festivals like the Norman Music Festival and Tulsa’s Cain’s Ballroom are annual pilgrimages for music lovers.

13. Sustainability and Environmental Initiatives in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is not just about preserving its cultural heritage; it’s also committed to protecting its natural environment. The state has embarked on numerous sustainability and environmental initiatives, aiming to keep its land as pristine as its pioneer past. 

From large-scale wind farms dotting the landscape to community recycling programs, Oklahoma is making strides in embracing renewable energy and sustainable practices.

The state’s commitment to the environment is evident in its parks and wildlife refuges, which are not only sanctuaries for wildlife but also for Oklahomans who value the great outdoors. Initiatives like urban tree planting programs and conservation efforts in areas like the Great Plains demonstrate Oklahoma’s dedication to maintaining its natural beauty for future generations. 

This forward-thinking approach ensures that Oklahoma remains a place where nature and progress live in harmony.

Conclusion

As our journey through the ins and outs of moving to Oklahoma comes to a close, it’s clear that this is a state that offers more than just a plot of land to call home. It’s a state that invites you to be part of a community that’s as warm as their famous barbecue sauce. 

From the sun-kissed days that outnumber the clouds, to the diverse cultural experiences that await in every corner, Oklahoma promises a life that’s as rich in experiences as it is in affordability. 

So, as you consider moving to Oklahoma, think of it not just as a relocation, but as an adventure into a state that prides itself on community, affordability, and a little bit of quirkiness (where else could the grocery cart have been invented, right?). 

Oklahoma isn’t just a place; it’s a feeling. A feeling of being welcomed with open arms and a piece of pie. And who knows, you might just find yourself saying “Okie dokie” to Oklahoma sooner than you think!

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