Save Money By Going Rural

This post originally appeared on Clever Dude

On a quest to financial independence, the idea is generally to save as much as possible, invest and grow your money for two or three decades, until it produces enough passive income for your to live on. But are you ready to make a drastic change, such as moving to the country, to save money and boost your nest egg? If you are able to live on $500 less than you used to in the city, investing the difference at 8% over 20 years is enough to have a million dollars! Is it worth it?

The money pros of going rural

  • If you can keep your job you are golden. With today’s flexible job market, it can be pretty easy to find location independent work, freelance, or convince your boss to let you work from home, and come to the office only once in a while. If you manage to earn as much as you did in the big city, your savings rate will soar.

  • More space. You get way more square feet in the countryside, for less money. When you used to pay $2,000 for a one bedroom in Manhattan, you can get a three bedroom house with a garden for $800 in Kentucky.

  • No more storage. Now that you are living in a large place, you can get your stuff out of storage! That should save you a couple of hundreds every month.

  • You can grow a garden. Saving money on your grocery bill and eating healthier, which will in turn save you $$ on healthcare.

  • Less stress. Again decreasing your need for pills or sick days.

  • Less bills. You probably won’t have a gym membership, or an annual pass to the stadium.

  • Go off grid. You can find a place with a well and a septic system, and install solar panels to reduce your electric bill, or even resell to the grid.

  • Less peer pressure. Who will notice your suits are last season?

  • Nature is free. You can go hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and much more during the weekend. Free entertainment!

The money cons of going rural

Obviously, it is not all rainbows and unicorns when you leave the city to settle in the middle of nowhere.

  • Job opportunities. If you need to work in a cubicle, it can be hard. But medium sized businesses can always use qualified labor

  • You need a car. If you were living in a very walkable city with a good transit system, and managed to now own a car in the city, you will probably need one in the country. Even if it is only to go to the supermarket and haul stuff once in a while, you can’t really walk 100 miles to the nearest car rental company. Owning a car means insurance, maintenance, gas and repairs.

  • Social life. Be it going out with friends for drinks, or being able to drop your kids at a neighbor’s on date night, there might be some distance to drive, and that becomes inconvenient to do. On the other hand in a small town you might get to know your neighbors where you would barely acknowledge their presence in your building’s elevator. If you are unable to build a social network, that can end up costing you money. In baby, pet and house sitters, and for all the other favors you used to ask your city friends.

  • Raising up kids in the middle of nowhere can offer less opportunities. Out of state tuition is expensive too.

But in the end you can indeed find rural places with jobs, opportunities to build a nice network around, and a good college nearby. Opportunities abound all around if you open your eyes.

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