The Best Places to Live are Out There Waiting for You to Find Them
The best places to live aren't necessarily where you were born, raised, or went to school. There is a big world out there. Get up in an airplane with a window seat and look outside. You'll see that possibilities extend well beyond what you could ever imagine.
Are you looking for a frugal living lifestyle? Have you ever thought about moving to another area as a way of achieving more thrifty living? Some areas of a state or community are known for their higher cost of living.
Getting out of high cost of living areas can save you considerable amounts of money.
For me, the best places to live are also cheap places to live. They aren't hard to find and they might not be that far away.
Here in Wyoming, the area around Jackson is famous for over-priced homes and a high cost of living. It's one of the good places to live, but it isn't one of the cheap places to live. It's a tourist area and lots of wealthy folks have moved in. The cost of living forces service workers to live well outside of Jackson, as housing is largely unaffordable.
Here in Cheyenne, I have heard many people say that housing is high. Maybe it is, but having come from California, everything here seems very reasonable to me. I have found this to be one of the best places to live because it has a low cost of living and a slower paced lifestyle.
Regardless of what state you live in, moving outside a major population area, and away from trendy, growing and tourist areas will allow you to find decent housing at affordable prices. My experience shows that housing outside of major metropolitan areas is reasonable in price, and there is always someone looking to sell. For my money, being away from population centers is often where you will find the best places to live.
It would be ideal if your job were as portable as your household belongings. If that were the case, then there wouldn’t be much stopping you from implementing this frugal living tip.
Most people are, or believe that they are, stuck in a job that they can’t move away from. If such is the case, then relocation may not be easy for you. Nevertheless, the best places to live are out there waiting for you, and it is still well worth considering for when the day comes that you realize you aren't stuck in that job anymore.
Many people can have an office anywhere. Telecommuting was part of the 20th century as I recall, so I think it is reasonable to maintain telecommuting as part of the 21st century. To implement this frugal living tip, you might need to become part of a more progressive company with a culture that believes employees can live where they want as long as they can be an effective part of the company.
The best places to live will be locations where things suit your lifestyle and personality. Consider the following when you think about where you might build your nest:
- cost of living
- transportation convenience
- general location
- air and water quality
- proximity to population centers
- personal history
Here is an example of my thoughts back almost 10 years ago when I was looking for good places to live. Cheyenne was one of several places I was considering.
Climate - after nearly 20 years in California, I wanted a change of seasons again. Cheyenne has a change of seasons, and despite all the stories about blizzards and the like, a review of climate data showed that temperatures swings in February were wild. So, you get weather that seems like winter for a day or so and then it is like spring for a few days. I like change in weather, so this suited me just fine.
Cost of living - my research showed that Wyoming in general had low wages and high employment rates. So, hard working blue collar people were making it here, and that meant a low cost of living was to be found. My research also showed that gas prices were some of the lowest in the nation, and there was no state income tax. That made Cheyenne one of the best places to live, for I was interested in getting rid of state income tax.
Shopping - before making a choice of location, I toured the shopping areas in Cheyenne to see what they had to offer. There were two shopping areas, one downtown and one associated with the mall on the other side of town. That was plenty for me.
Housing - the apartment rents were about $400 for a single bedroom with all utilities paid back in 1998. That seemed reasonable to me, and that was all I needed.
Crime - the area and state are known for low crime. A largely rural orientation tends to foster that. The best places to live will have low crime because that means they have some of the best people who live there.
Transportation convenience - at the time I moved in, transportation out of the area was important to me. United Airlines flew out of Cheyenne using a contract arrangement with Great Lakes Aviation. That has since changed, but the Denver airport is only a 90 minute drive, so that's convenient enough.
General location - having a centrally located state was important to me. Flights to other parts of the country were 2 hours now instead of 4. The central location in the country and being at the intersection of I-25 and I-80 makes driving convenient for many destinations. The best places to live are places that you can get to and from with ease.
Proximity to population centers - although high population centers weren't my interest, there is something about a large city that has appeal. If you don't have something available, it is nice to know that it isn't far away. With Denver only 90 minutes away, I had big city life if I wanted it. That made Cheyenne one of the cheap places to live and one of the best places to live. I could have a large city without having to live in it or near it.
Personal history - it was my interest to find a place with no personal history, a place that I had never been before. This would give me a fresh start on life at a time when I needed it. That made both Cheyenne and the State of Wyoming good places to live.
If all were told, I had about 16 criteria for finding the best places to live - for me anyway. The above discussion highlights 9 of the criteria. After living here for more than 10 years, I can say that Cheyenne fits well with my frugal living lifestyle. It won't work for everyone, and many people aren't fond of the area or climate, but it suits me well and that's all that matters.
Done with Best Places to Live, take me back to Frugal Living Tips