I am fortunate to live in one of the most temperate climates in the world, but that comfort comes at a huge cost. It’s hard to leave your family, friends and loved ones behind though in order to save a few bucks (actually a lot of bucks). Today, PF Pro contributor, Kali Hawlk takes a look at what it would cost for her to move away from the beautiful low cost of living state of Georgia and experience the world.
Why do you live in the area you do?
For us, there were three major factors that influenced our current location:
- It was in the same part of the state we grew up in (so it was familiar)
- It was less than 10 miles from where we both worked (so it was convenient)
- It was relatively cheap (so it was well within the budget of the young newlyweds we were when we bought our home)
That third reason is the biggest reason we’ve stayed in our current location. Without a doubt, we’re spoiled with a low cost of living.
But we don’t want to stay in our current house forever. We we want to get out there and explore; live in different places and experience new things.
This is especially important to me. I’m actually quite embarrassed to admit that I’ve never lived outside of the state of Georgia. In fact, I’ve never lived anywhere but the northwestern part of the state.
While I love Atlanta and I’m proud to call the city my hometown, this country is way too big to stay in one place forever.
Dealing with Higher Costs
That being said, I’m still amazed when friends tell me how much their rents on tiny apartments are in different areas. After I pick my jaw up off the ground, I have to resist saying, “but our mortgage payment is only…”
I don’t feel the urge to say it to be rude, but I think it in the same way someone says, “oh come on, that just can’t be true, because…” after the person they’re speaking with says something so totally outrageous that it couldn’t possibly be accurate.
I don’t say it because my friend’s numbers are accurate. Even two bedroom apartments in some of the cities I’m interested in moving to are more than double my mortgage payment.
As much as I want to move to a new location and experience a different city, I feel like it would be financially irresponsible to move to a place where not only your accommodations but also everything else you want to buy is so expensive.
To deal with the higher cost — on just a living space — we’d need to cut back on how much we can save.
Making Room for Cost of Living Increases Affects Savings
We already have a pretty bare-bones budget as it is. We’ve eliminated expenses and cut costs where we can. We’re naturally pretty frugal by nature, and don’t enjoy spending money (unless it’s on something we really value).
So if we wanted to move, we’d have to save less to free up money for an increased cost of living. That’s just a hard pill for me to swallow, so I’m curious: does cost of living affect where you live?
Did you choose your current home like we did — because it was cheap and allowed you to accelerate your savings goals?
Or did you prioritize the ability to live in a particular location, even though it was more expensive to do so?
I don’t think there are any wrong or right answers, but I’m extremely curious to hear from Your PF Pro readers on this issue because I feel stuck myself!
It’s hard to imagine spending double what I’m currently paying to keep a roof over my head. But I also understand that there’s a reason some locations are more expensive. You often receive more bang for your buck in a variety of ways, from job opportunities to more exposure to unique cultures to “amenities” like events, restaurants, shopping, and public parks, transportation, and other resources.
Track All Your Accounts With Personal CapitalPersonal Capital lets you see all of your accounts in one convenient place. Sign up now for free.
So what do you think? Does cost of living affect where you live — or did you seek out your current location based on factors that went beyond just finances?