We moved from the city in Melbourne 4 years ago to a regional town which is still quite large. We find it much cheaper. Cheaper housing, rates, car rego. Foid, petrol is the same price but we use less fuel because work is closer. Mortgage is the big one though, with our income the same and a smaller mortgage life is much more manageable.
We moved from Sydney to country NSW. Rent in my town is about $100p/w (ours is subsidised by my husbands work so we only pay $40) but the house we moved from is renting for $560p/w. I find we pay heaps more for things like bread and milk at our general store ($5 for a loaf or for 2L of milk) but we are travelling to a much, much bigger town in country Vic fortnightly for one of my sons specialist appointments so we do our groceries there and I haven't noticed a change in price really. I do find that really good green grocers are far more common our here so you food will go further. Same with butchers. Petrol prices where we live are dearer, but again once we are in town it's not so bad. So I would advise not moving to a teeny tiny town if you are looking to save money. Something with a set of traffic lights is probably big enough to make the grocery bills and petrol comparable. And the house prices should be a significant drop.
But we love it here. I can't see us ever moving anywhere else.
Petrol is really only a consideration for us when we have to travel out fortnightly, but our town is 1km from start to finish and we live in a little community about 2kms out of that (on my husbands work complex) so we use maybe 20kms of fuel a week for just zipping kids to school etc.
Our medical is heaps cheaper. We are considered remote and we are services by the Royal flying doctors. So the last filling I had in my tooth. Free. And yes if we have to go to a big hospital it's 2 hours (for the plane to get here and then to take us to the hospital) but we have RNs that are here permanently so you do get decent treatment straight away. And you'd probably still end up being seen quicker than a city hospital (Sitting in a waiting room for 5+ hours with a 2 yo that had a head injury in a Sydney hospital wasn't great) even including the plane trip.
Subbing to reply later
But then I'm very bias I whinge about the medical services here, but apart from that I love the country so much. You might miss the shopping for a while, but with online shopping now I hardly notice.
I could not live in the country again but the other ways you can save money too is that there aren't 10000 shops to pop into. And you aren't going out for dinner/lunch all the time just because it is down the road.
Just take some country drives - speak to some locals about living/working in the area if you are up to it and if you are up to it go for it!
Do you have an idea of what area you might like? Or no idea? Maybe if there are certain areas/things you want in an area some of the people here can help you out with more info?
I grew up in suburban Melbourne, moved to regional WA (still not that far from Perth though) back to Melb burbs and have now settled in a town in SW Gippsland.
The term 'the country' covers such a broad range of situations. We're in town (pop about 1500) and can walk to primary school, IGA, bakery, butcher, doctor and about 15 other shops. 10 minutes drive to the next bigger town with a woolies. Pakenham, which has 80% of what we need, is only 20 minutes away and Fountain gate about 35 min. On a good run with no traffic we're in the CBD in just over an hour - so we're really feeling like we have the best of both worlds.
In WA, if we wanted to live somewhere close-yet-country it wouldn't have actually been that cheap. But to buy out here (vic) is amazingly good value. For us, that's where the main saving is. Most other stuff still costs about the same.
We both commute to the outer burbs for our jobs and I hope to get a local job eventually. I cover about 700km on an average week, so you definitely want a fuel efficient car!!
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