Financial freedom is something that we all aim to achieve in life. Being able to forget about money worries and have enough savings for anything we could ever ask for in life is the ultimate goal for anyone pursuing financial freedom, but along the way, we might encounter some difficult choices that we need to make in order to truly embrace it.
What Exactly Is Financial Freedom?
First, before we delve into the idea of moving out of the city for financial freedom, we must analyze what we actually mean by financial freedom. After all, chasing a goal you don’t completely understand is foolish, so here are a few hallmarks of financial freedom.
- Loving your job and having it make you enough money for your needs
- Ability to go on holiday when you need it and without worrying about your budget or savings
- Being able to pay with cash for everything, not credit
- Have the savings to help others financially, such as your children and their tuition fees for college
- Saving enough money to retire earlier than everyone else you know
Of course, financial freedom is a personal goal. Everyone sees it differently, but the five points above are generally what people would consider to be financial freedom. You need to learn how to manage your money and you need to learn to be more efficient with your purchases, which is why many people have turned to moving out of the city and into the country in pursuit of financial freedom.
But What Makes the City Such a Bad Choice?
It doesn’t matter if you’re currently living in New York or Los Angeles, living in a city is a bad choice financially. Many people believe that living in an expensive city can empower you, but that’s only if you’re willing to fight tooth and nail for every single opportunity that you come across.
Let’s face it, living in the city is cutthroat and if you’re not willing to step on others to get your time in the limelight, then you’re always going to be shafted as a regular employee. This can create an environment that not every agrees with. Most people don’t want to fight for opportunities and they don’t deal well in an ultra-competitive environment. It doesn’t make them any less capable of doing a job–it’s just a different mindset.
However, that’s not the only thing that makes living in the city a bad choice financially. While opportunities are few and far between, you also need to consider the financial implications of living in a city. Here are a couple of the biggest ones to consider and how they contribute to the expensive life of a city-dweller.
- Food is more expensive in the city. This should come as no surprise. Purchasing food, whether it’s just ingredients and condiments or actual meals, is far more expensive. When you’re in the country, ingredients can either be homegrown (sustainable living) or they can be bought at much lower prices from markets and farmers. The only exception to this is eating fast food in a major city, but this comes with health risks that not everyone is willing to take.
- Housing is far more expensive in a big city. This should also be an obvious point. Cities are where all the big companies and offices of the world are. It’s also where tourist attractions are, big-name businesses and large shopping districts reside. This means that for the same amount of money you pay for a small apartment in a major city, you could get a much larger property out in the country. Of course, this does nothing for your financial freedom if you pay the same amount of rent or mortgage. However, what it does mean is that you can pay much less for a smaller home and still be more comfortable.
- Driving a car is more expensive in a city. There’s an argument that country living is more expensive because you have to drive everywhere and that city living is cheaper because you can just take public transport. However, there are many things wrong with that statement. For starters, you don’t need to drive everywhere in the countryside. Riding a bike is a good option that is both healthy and inexpensive, and public transportation in cities can get incredibly expensive if you rely on it. To make things worse, driving in cities means you have to constantly stop and start your engine, and this can burn through more fuel than you might first think. As a result, driving (and transportation in general) is much more expensive in a city.
- Entertainment is more varied in a city, but also expensive. Let’s face it, you probably love the entertainment you can get in the city. From all the cinemas to the clubs and bars you can visit, there’s plenty to see an do in a city. However, if you can make do with fewer creature comforts and embrace nature and more modest pleasures, then living in a country can save you a huge amount of money. There’s no peer pressure to get you to go out and spend money, you won’t need to spend lots of money on things such as tickets to see concerts and sports games, and you won’t pay ludicrous sums of money for cable television.
As you can see, living in a city is a poor financial decision. If you traded in your city life for one in the country, then you could save a huge amount of money. However, we can’t forget the possible concerns that you might have with living in the country.
Concerns With Living in the Country
In this section, we’ll attempt to address some of the most common concerns that people have with living in the country.
- I’m worried I’ll miss all my friends and family members. This is a legitimate concern, but it’s also one that you need to cope with if you want financial freedom. Moving to a further location doesn’t mean that you can’t keep in contact with them. Thanks to social media and smartphones, you can keep in touch much more easily than you could before. In addition, having your own place in the country means that you’ll have a tranquil retreat for friends and family to visit when they want a weekend break or a holiday. As an added bonus, this ends up being cheaper financially because you won’t feel the need to go out and spend money with your friends and family members. Instead, you’ll value their time and messages and make the most of occasional visits.
- I don’t think I’ll be able to find a job in the country. Moving to the country would be a poor financial move if you weren’t able to secure a job or a source of income. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to take your skills to the country and turn them into either a freelance career or to apply your knowledge the positions around where you live. Many people in the country are actually self-sufficient, meaning they’ll operate cattle ranches, farms and generally run their own businesses to make money. If you’re confident being self-employed, then you can view ranches online that are available for sale. However, if you prefer working with clients, then it might be worth exploring your freelance options and testing them before you move to the country. While you might not earn as much in the country as you do in the city, the cheaper expenses will more than make up for the difference in income.
- I’m worried my children won’t like it in the country. Schooling and tuition can be expensive in the city. In the country, things are a little different. You have the option to homeschool your children if you prefer to save even more money and you’re confident in your abilities to teach, but you could also send your children to the many schools available in the countryside. There aren’t as many children, but it’s generally much safer and your kids will learn to appreciate nature and what they have around them instead of relying on technology all the time and city comforts like public transportation. It’s an entirely different way of life for your kids that will ultimately change the way their view the world for the better.
As you can see, there are real concerns when it comes to moving out into the country, but they’re not as bad as they might seem. Whether you’re worried about your career opportunities or if you’ll miss friends and family members, those concerns can easily be handled if you’re willing to look at the alternatives and consider the advantages.
Living in a city is, as you can see, an expensive investment. Virtually everything is cheaper in the country, making it a great solution for those that want to achieve financial freedom earlier in life. It’s a completely different way of life, but it’s also one that can be adopted easily once you learn the many benefits of embracing the country and saying goodbye to the city.