Low Cost of Living Area - find one
Many of us yearn for a low cost of living area simply because we keep complaining about the cost of living in general and where we're at in particular. Let's keep in mind that much of our cost of living has to do with choices, but sometimes it's directly associated with location.
Take Las Vegas for example. Everything is more expensive in Las Vegas. Ask someone who lives there and they'll point out where the cost of living is considerably more than other places around the country. I've been to Las Vegas more than a dozen times and I've seen the differences in prices. But, I also realize that personal choices like gambling, shows at the casinos and meals out add to the apparent cost of living.
Nevertheless, there are places around the country where the cost of living varies, and by finding a low cost of living area, you can reduce what you regularly spend for everyday purchases. I find the cost of living in Cheyenne to be quite reasonable, but others complain about the cost of housing.
Much of your view of the cost of living in an area has to do with what you're accustomed to, and what you tend to spend your money on. An associate of mine was enjoying a beer with me at a nice micro-brewery in Cheyenne. When the check came, it was $4.50 for two large mugs of hand-crafted beer. He looked at me in amazement and said that he expected to pay that for just one beer. His experiences on the east coast and in large midwest cities were sharply contrasted by his experience in Cheyenne.
To be sure, a low cost of living area should benefit you from a standpoint of housing and food, since these are large and recurring expenses. Recognize that there might only be a few key things about a particular location that make it worthwhile as a place for your residence.
For example, a man I used to work with lived about 80 miles from the office. He never moved closer to work because his home was financed at a very low interest rate, while others with newer homes closer to work were paying about twice that amount. His monthly house payment was so low that he chose not to move closer to the office. Instead he chose to pay for the commute. Fuel was much cheaper than the difference in house payments.
The prices of things vary greatly from one area to another. Do some research and figure out where the general cost of living is lower. It might be that it's time to relocate to a low cost of living area and save money on large and recurring expenses. With more opportunities for home based enterprises and telecommuting, it's more likely that you can escape the higher costs of a major metro area to enjoy steady employment in an area with a low cost of living.
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