Moving from dual-income city living to one-income country living
We've finally been told where we're moving to next summer. Currently we live in Winnipeg, having moved six years ago from Vancouver. I'm totally a city-girl and will be moving to Petawawa, Ontario. I grew up in small town Ontario, know what it's like, and hate it. That said, I'll make it work because I'm that kind of person.
My concerns are a) dropping our income in half, and b) not having ammenities dead close to our house (ie here a 711 is 200 feet from our house, grocery store is a 5 min walk, library is a 15 min walk, etc).
To address the financial concern of an income cut, we're hoping to buy a larger home and rent out a 1 bdrm suite in the basement, and hopefully one bedroom as well (we're used to roomates, love having roomates so thats not an issue). I also hope to have a large garden, cook a lot more meals at home and do things to save money like hang laundry out to dry vs using the dryer etc.
We already use our vehicle as little as possible, and since we will most likely live less than 10 km's from my husbands work, he will continue to cycle to/from work most of the year, and I will walk/cycle to a fair number of places I need to go. We will still keep the vehicle for convenience, and may end up using it more often than we plan, but I think it will still be fine.
I'm curious to hear from others who have gone through a similiar change, regardless if it was by choice or not, and what tips you have for me.
I lived on a farm in rural eastern Ontario for 10 years...and I live in downtown Toronto now. My family (I have two kids) has had every possible combination of work arrangements I can think of.
I'm not totally sure what you are asking for...you've shared some of your financial and other concerns - but what specifically would you like to hear? There were things I loved about living on the farm, and I don't rule out living in that kind of situation again in the future.
I guess it's not clear why moving to the country requires you to go to a one-income household and cutting your income in half, unless that means that one of you will be unable to find work? Or maybe you explained this earlier in one of your posts but I can't remember.
I lived in the country and/or small towns all my life until I moved to the city eight years ago; I hated it in the city at first but gradually grew to like it. I still wouldn't say I love it, but I don't hate it anymore and there are aspects of city life that I really like.
I have a friend who moved from Boston to a small town in Alaska, and it was really hard for her at first but she grew to love it there and never moved back. I think the key is time: humans are pretty adaptable, and most of us can adjust and make the best of a situation even if we sabotage it for ourselves by going into it thinking "I hate this." If you view everything through a lens of compromise and disappointment, you will ensure that you will be disappointed. If you go into it with a spirit that you will make the best of it and build a life for yourself, your chances of being happy will increase. You already know that and it sounds like you're determined to make it work, so I think you'll be okay. But for sure it'll be hard for the first couple of years. Once you make it past that point things should get easier.
I moved from West Vancouver to Hornby Island 2 years ago. It is about 14K return to the store (grocery, hardware, liquor, library, clinic)... What I found was that rather than hopping in the car at every turn ( several times a day), I hop in the car twice (3 tops) a week.
I simply don't spend the money I used to when I lived in the city.
I simply don't spend the money I used to when I lived in the city.
US too. We used to live in West Vancouver all year (where Steve house sits), and were always finding ways to spend money. Whole Foods was just across the street. We could walk to every kind of retailer. Theatre, bowling alley, restaurants of all kinds were everywhere.
Now we live frugally in a condo in PV. While it is not as "rustico" as Steve's place, spending money is much harder. We only drive twice a week and so plan our shopping trips. Buying household items is not easy. So we often do without.
Many people would wonder why we put up with it. There are compensating aspects to living here. Clothing is cheap. So is heating. Food is about half price. Many permanent residents are very friendly as so we entertain rather than going to expensive restaurants.
Like Brad says. Give it 6 months to a year to adjust to your new way of life. Also DECIDE that you are going to like it rather than finding ways to dislike it. There will be things that rub you forever but just find the compensating things.
Most people I know who made that sort of moves spent less in the "country" than they did in big cities. They said they would go out more in cities than small towns. Gardens can also make big difference during summer and small town activities are often cheaper than the ones in cities. So I don't understand how you decrease your income by half.
I was going to say that in my earlier post and I'm not sure why I didn't - there are many fewer spending opportunities in small towns than there are in cities. Also, people are used to spending less money, so there is lots of social reinforcement for frugality. Even if your income was cut by 50% I suspect the impact will not be a 50% reduction in your standard of living.
The quality of life in small towns is second to none. I grew up in the country and live in the city now. Sure, it's convenient to run errands but all other aspects of life seem closterphobic. When I'm in my hometown I can parallel park anywhere, nice wide streets, park close to everything, not worry about traffic jams and no constant fire engine noises. I don't say small town life is perfect, but let's just say that if it wasn't for the jobs, I don't think cities would sustain themselves. The concept of office workers crowding into congested cities has always puzzled me when small towns have all the infrastructure to run office equipment that cities have. It's a great life. Enjoy.
It's funny, I actually spend a lot less in the city than I did in the country, but I think it boils down mainly to the fact that I hardly ever use my car here in the city...our household bill for gasoline during November 2010 was exactly $0.00, and so far I haven't spent anything on gasoline in December (but we're driving to Vermont at the end of the month so I'll end up having to buy a tank).
It also comes down to the fact that we don't get out much...apart from my work keeping me too busy, most of our entertainment involves activities we do at home or with friends at their homes (mostly related to music, we're both musicians). I've lived in the city for eight years and we've gone out to the movies four or five times during that entire period, seen three or four museum exhibitions, maybe four or five concerts. We're not big into shopping, and do quite a bit of our shopping online because it's easier than going downtown if we know exactly what we want. When I lived in the country I was driving long distances to see my friends and to do shopping, and I would eat out more often because we were driving more.
I would say that rural living appeals more to older people. Around here, pretty much any capable young person leaves to go to school, and doesn't return because of poor economic possibilities. Then many of them return in their 50s to retire.
I don't know how old you are, but while you may have hated rural life as a youth, you may find that now it is more your speed.