Salem, New Hampshire, is a charming place to live in Rockingham County. It is highly regarded because of its scenic beauty, vibrant community, and rich history. Despite its many attractions, living in Salem can be quite expensive, especially if you have a limited budget.

However, with some planning and smart strategies, you can still enjoy a good life in Salem without breaking the bank. Here are some tips and strategies from budget and finance expert DJ Bettencourt for living a good life in Salem on a budget.


Renting or buying a home is one of the biggest expenses for most people. In Salem, the cost of living is relatively high compared to other towns in New Hampshire. But there are still some affordable Salem housing options available. One option is to look for apartments or homes for rent on the outskirts of town or nearby towns like Derry or Windham.

Another option is to consider sharing a rental property with roommates to split the rent costs. Additionally, some apartment complexes in Salem offer income-restricted units for low-income families or individuals. You should check with local housing authorities or non-profit organizations for more information.


Salem has a well-connected transportation system with several options available, including buses, trains, and taxis. If you need to commute to work or school, consider taking the bus or train instead of driving.

Public transportation is generally more affordable and can save you money on gas, parking fees, and car maintenance costs. Salem also has a bike-friendly community, so if you prefer cycling, you can take advantage of the town’s many bike paths and trails.


Eating out can be a pretty heavy expense, especially if done most of the time. However, there are several affordable food options in Salem, including fast-food restaurants, diners, and cafes. You can also save money by shopping at local grocery stores and cooking your meals at home.

Salem has several supermarkets that offer great deals on groceries, and you can save even more by buying in bulk or using coupons. Additionally, Salem has several farmers’ markets where you can buy fresh and locally grown produce at affordable prices.


Salem has a thriving arts and culture scene, with several museums, theaters, and art galleries. While some of these attractions can be expensive, there are still many ways to enjoy them on a budget. For instance, some museums and galleries offer free admission on certain days or during specific hours.

You can also check local newspapers and websites in Salem for discounts and coupons for events and activities. Salem has many outdoor recreational areas, including parks, trails, and beaches, which are free to access and offer great opportunities for hiking, biking, and swimming.

Various Utilities

Lastly, utility bills, including electricity, water, and gas, can quickly add up, especially during the winter months when heating costs are high. To save money on utilities, DJ Bettencourt states that you should consider installing energy-efficient appliances and lighting fixtures.

You can also reduce your water usage by fixing leaks and using low-flow showerheads and faucets. Additionally, you can save on heating costs by insulating your home, using a programmable thermostat, and sealing drafts and air leaks.