Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Money reasons I loved small town living

We used to live in a small town.  Well it was big for the area, nothing bigger in the county, but still only 8,000 people.  I've lived in several major cities and always hear people knock small town or rural life mostly for being boring and uncultured.  But I have to say I loved living in our small town more than pretty much anywhere else I've lived.  Here are some of the reasons why:
  • You can have unique ideas.  Think about it.  You have a one in a million idea of going to a gorgeous park for a romantic picnic alone to watch the sunset.  You live in a city of five million.  Your one in a million idea probably occurred to four other people who are also bringing their SOs expecting a romantic picnic alone.  Instead you have a party of ten all trying to do the same thing.  In a small town you can actually be the only person trying to do something.  This is great if you want to go freegan, pick those wild black berries you spotted down the road, save money on romantic dinners by doing picnics or anything else where less competition saves you money or makes an activity more enjoyable.
  • Things are close.  All of our friends except one were within easy walking distance when we lived in our small town.  Now we don't live within walking distance of any of our friends though we are slowly making friends with our neighbors.  It was also an easy walk to downtown shops, museums, and the farmer's market.
  • Things are cheap.  This is where some small towns really shine.  Our apartment in our small town cost a fraction of what a comparable apartment would cost in our current location.  We are paying easily three times as much in rent as we would have been had we stayed in the small town.  Ouch.  To add insult to injury everything else also seems to cost more as well from restaurants and basic groceries to services and fees.  Did I mention we had to leave behind $1 drafts and a beloved $2 Guinness draft when we moved from our small town?
  • You spend less.  With fewer shops to tempt me I definitely spent less on shopping than I otherwise would have.  Similarly there are fewer restaurants and bars so cooking at home, hosting potlucks, or dinner parties all seem more viable as a way to interject variety in your social life. 
  • Events are free.  Our town regularly threw parades, festivals, concerts and the like and the majority of the time these events were completely free.  From historic tours to art galleries, museums, music, and the outdoors small towns have more going on than most people think and they don't charge the exorbitant prices a lot of cities do since demand is softer.  Sure you won't see a Picasso exhibit or hear the hottest bands, but many people just want to get out and be exposed to new music, art and ideas in a social atmosphere which is completely possible.
Those are just the financial reasons I loved living in a small town.  There are many lifestyle reasons as well.  Of course there are financial reasons against living in a small town like fewer jobs and potentially a weaker economy. 

What do you think of small town living?

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    1. I would love to live in a small town. I have always lived in a big city so I don't know how much I will save (I know I will save more than now for sure) but I just love the small town feel. Most of our vacation I prefer to go to a small town close by. We always have a great time - great food from family owned small diners, nice evening in the town square with small concerts/festivals... If I can find a job in a city and there is a small town near by for me to live and unwind, I will be golden.

    2. I have lived for a short period of time in a smaller town and did like it.

      Having said that, at this stage of life I personally prefer to be near larger cities, and along those lines I like suburban environments. However, I can see how as I get older I might like the quiet life of small town living, with no traffic and congestion but a more relaxed pace...and lower home prices!

    3. Suba and Squirrelers - Nice to see that we're all interested in slower paces of life. My only problem is I hate commuting more than I like country living ;) So I pretty much have to go where work or school takes me be it city, suburbs or small town.