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By the author of The Faithful Prepper, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices.
I was listening to two guys associated with the Dave Ramsey show the other day, and they briefly passed by a topic that I thought was interesting and worth discussing. As is the usual case with these types of radio shows/podcasts, the person calling into the radio show was in dire financial straits and was seeking out the advice of the gurus.
One of the guys suggested that the caller consider moving to a smaller house or to someplace that was cheaper to live at.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what that guy had to say that day, and I think he really is spot on with this suggestion. While it may initially come across as calloused to suggest to somebody that they move to another place that is cheaper than their current place so that they can better pay their bills, I don’t think that this
is necessarily the case.
Yes, people grow attached to their homes.
There’s a reason that songs like “The House That Built Me” are so popular. People can relate to the pain of leaving a house that they have lived in for a long time and adore.
But let’s consider where we’re at financially at the moment. If you’re currently living with a car payment, credit card debt, a mortgage, and other various loans that are all causing you to be financially strapped on a daily basis, just barely eking out an existence, is there a possibility that you could solve a lot of those financial problems by moving to a cheaper home?
I think the answer is a definite ‘yes.’
I’m not a financial planner or investment guru, so don’t take what I have to say as financial advice, but it all makes logical sense to me.
Let’s say that you currently pay $1000 a month for your mortgage/escrow, that you have $12,000 in car payment debt, $4500 in credit card debt, and two other loans that you had to take out at various times in your life for a total of $6000. This is all in addition to your monthly bills for food, gas, electricity, school, and whatever else you may have to pay for regularly.
You’re pulling in $3500/month and have $25,000 in debt, not including your mortgage. Your monthly expenses come out to $400/month for food, $250/month for gas, $150/month for electricity, your $1000/month mortgage, and a $1500 credit card bill for odds and ends. $3300/month is your monthly bill.
That doesn’t leave you a lot of room left over for paying off debt, for saving for emergencies, or for saving for the future.
If that’s where you’re at (and a lot of Americans are in a similar boat as the above example), I think it is well worth considering making drastic changes to better protect the financial welfare of your family.
Moving to a cheaper/smaller home where your mortgage payment is only $700/month would then allow you to have an extra $300/month to tackle expenses. What could you do with an extra $3600/year? Could that make a sizable dent in one of your loans? Could it allow you to build up a pretty solid emergency fund of at least a month’s worth of expenses?
Could you better prepare for your family’s future with that extra money?
Let’s not forget that there would likely be other savings in electricity (less room to heat) and the like if you’re able to do this.
Many years ago, this was actually a step that my family took. My mom and dad sold their place with the hopes of eventually buying a bigger place for our family. But to get to that point, we had to first downsize so that expenses could be tackled. We moved into a double-wide, where everybody was stacked atop of each other for quite some time.
It allowed mom and dad to pay off expenses, and we were eventually able to get out of there to a house where everybody had a bit more breathing room. It was a sacrifice at the time, but it allowed mom and dad the financial flexibility to move about a bit more in the future.
What about moving to someplace cheaper?
If you live somewhere where living expenses are higher, and you have the job flexibility that you can move elsewhere and take your work with you (let’s say you’re a software engineer and you work remotely), could you potentially move your family out to somewhere where you don’t have to pay as much for food, gas, a mortgage, and everything else?
Again, this may be something worth considering here if you’re financially strapped all the time.
This is my main point
The reason I bring this all up for discussion is that there is a lot going on right now in the United States with inflation, and there are going to be a lot of consequences of it. The past few years have been very difficult on Americans’ wallets, and if it is only going to get worse, you need to place yourself in as good of a financial position as possible beforehand.
Could moving to someplace cheaper be the solution? I don’t know, that’s a decision that you and your family are going to have to make based on your circumstances, but it is a question worth considering. Have you ever relocated to save money? How did it work out? Let’s talk about it in the comments section.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices.