Moving somewhere cheaper can not only save you a lot of money, but it can also allow you more freedom to do what you want for a living even if it pays less than what you make now. Of course, it is not always that easy, but if you can find a place you want to live that is cheaper than where you live now, and you can still have and/or do your job, you can instantly cut your housing (and other) expenses in half or more. Yep, I am talking about our move to Taos:
I am very lucky that my job(s) can be done from anywhere and that my wife is a teacher – we have the ability to live almost anywhere we want to, and we have found what we think (and feel) is our “place” – Taos, NM. Small town vibe, tons of outdoor activities, progressive politics – our kind of town. When we were there this last time, everyone was so nice to us, from the girl at the coffee shop to the guy at the gas station, that it really threw us for a loop. After all, we live in Los Angeles where most people don’t care too much about anyone else. (Yes, I know there are exceptions)
So how much money are we going to save by moving to a cheaper place to live? Here is what I have figured out so far:
- RENT – Our rent will go from $1,949 a month for a smallish 2 bedroom apartment to $1,000 a month for a 2 bedroom, 2 bath home with a garage and enclosed front and back yards.
- CAR INSURANCE – We only own one car, and because we are moving into town in Taos, we will just keep this one car for now and not get another one. Our car insurance should drop from $112 a month to $70 a month.
- UTILITIES – You would think our utilities would go up because it actually gets cold in New Mexico, but the rates are cheaper there than they are here in California.
- TAXES – It only hurts if you consume, but the sales tax rate is substantially lower in NM.
And because I am taking my job(s) with me, our income will not really fluctuate and I will effectively be giving myself a raise. And teachers are already underpaid everywhere, so my wife’s income won’t change much either. We will be making the same amount we are making here in California, but spending considerably less. This is where it really pays off to be a freelancer of sorts, because regular jobs, if you can find them, pay a lot less in Taos than they do in other places.
I guess the point of me writing this is to remind you that maybe an option for you, if you are having difficulty affording where you are living, is to look into smaller towns that you would be just as happy (or happier) living in and that could support your work (whatever that may be). It took us an entire year since we first visited Taos to actually make the move – just something to keep in mind!